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As Confederate Statues Come Down, A Retired Army Brigadier General Explains How He Broke Up With The Lost Cause

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Nancy L. Ford

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

This weekend, statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were removed from public display in Charlottesville, Virginia. They join an increasing number of symbols of the Confederacy that have fallen as the nation takes a cold, hard look at its past.

That past is bathed in myth, which has led legions of Southerners to see Lee, Jackson, Jefferson Davis and others as heroes fighting for a way of life and for state’s rights.

Our guest today once fell into that camp. Today, he sees those men as traitors and the "lost cause" for which they fought as nothing more than an attempt to prolong slavery.


Ty Seidule, retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army and professor emeritus of history at West Point. Author of "Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause." He is a professor of history and Chamberlain Fellow at Hamilton College.

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.