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Statues, statutes and the south

Ironically, Lee strongly opposed such monuments. As Chris Boyette of CNN and others point out, he felt the symbols "keep open the sores of war."

Even more important, Lee was crucial in ending the Civil War. When Federal cavalry trapped his retreating army, there was strong sentiment for disbanding and carrying on a guerrilla war. That would have maintained fighting for many years, conceivably into our own time.

Lee rejected the option as dishonorable.

Arthur I. Cyr is Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College and author of "After the Cold War." Contact acyr@carthage.edu

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