To the Editor:
I am writing to respond to the article about the Confederate statue at the intersection of Prince and South Washington streets (“Confederate Concerns, Alexandria’s Appomattox statute under scrutiny,” July 2). Our local politicians that were quoted (Democratic mayoral candidates Donley, Euille and Silberberg) should focus more on practical matters such as whether or not the city is being run efficiently and honestly. They should not be fantasizing about desecrating historic landmarks such as the Confederate statue.
To ensure that the statute would not be moved at some future date, the R.E. Lee camp of the United Confederate Veterans had legislation introduced into the Virginia House of Delegates on Jan. 9, 1890. The legislation read in part:
“And whereas it is the desire of the said Robert E. Lee camp of Confederate Veterans and also the citizens and inhabitants of said City of Alexandria that such monument shall remain in its present position as a perpetual and lasting testimonial to the courage, fidelity and patriotism of the heroes in whose memory it was erected … the permission so given by the said City Council of Alexandria for its erection shall not be repealed, revoked, altered, modified, or changed by any future Council or other municipal power or authority.”
Obviously any attempt by our local officials to have the Confederate statue removed would be a foolhardy gesture.
The article mentioned Governor Fitzhugh Lee speaking at the dedication ceremony on May 24, 1889.
Fitzhugh Lee remains the only governor of Virginia to have been born in Northern Virginia. He was born and raised at the family estate called Clermont in the Franconia area of Alexandria in Fairfax County. He attended Alexandria’s Episcopal High School before going on to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Gregory G. Paspatis