Thursday, April 7, 2016

Prayer for the future (Enlistment Blog)

Dear Journal,
All my deepest nightmares have been realized, and at this time I fear for the future. The future of my country, my state, and my fellow brothers. I knew I had made my choice the very moment I rejected “Old man Blair’s” proposal to lead the Union armies.
My ideologies haven’t faltered. I still believe what I have always known to be true: Slavery is an unjust institution, and I will never agree with the treatment they are subject to be my fellow southerners, but I also adhere to the fact that the Black race is better suited as slaves in these Americas than they are free in Africa. Blacks are inferior to the white race, and they simply aren’t ready for dealing with such things as voting and government. I recognize the conflict over slavery and don’t support the Abolitionist view nor the Southern view. This being one of the things President Lincoln and I have in common.
God only knows that I am appalled by the idea of succession. It is nothing but revolution, and it serves no purpose other than pinning brother against brother. I had long prayed for Virginia to strive away from succession because I knew from the very beginning: My sword belongs first to my mother state. Upon learning of Virginia’s secession, I paced the floors of my home until my feet grew wiry, collapsing on the ground in prayer for the fate of my country.
I have always seen myself as a man of honor, but in that moment I choose between my ideas of slavery, my loyalty to the Union, and my loyalty to my home, choosing my home, knowing not how to turn my back on my kin, my family, and the people I’ve known for the great length of my life.
Sometimes I reflect on the past, wishing to return to it. Return to the days when my dear Mary was not confined to the metal bars of a wheelchair, praying for my safety. Return to a time when Mr. Boo, Rooney, Rob, Daughter, Annie, and my Precious life were still the children that begged me for just one more story before bed, and I was ignorant to the problems I had yet to face.
Upon resigning my commission in the United States army, I was faced with the task of leading my fellow Virginians and southerners into battle with their countrymen. Their optimism is very much misplaced. The truth of the matter is if we are to stand a chance against the growing resources of the Union army, we must accept the coming struggle and ban together with a common goal: Survival. God protect my beloved family in these times of hardship.
Sincerely yours,
Robert E. Lee

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