Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Support Confederate History Month But Don't Support Texas Textbook Revisionism

I remember when I first realized I was in the Confederacy. It was on a trip to Fort Worth, May of 1998, to see if it was feasible to make the drastic move to Texas.

We were out in Weatherford, walking around the Parker County Courthouse, my first look at what was to become many looks at various impressive Texas County Courthouses, with the one in Waxahachie being the best that I've seen.

On the grounds surrounding the Parker County Courthouse there is a Civil War Memorial. I don't remember if this said Confederate States of America on it, but I was looking at this memorial when I realized for the first time I was in Rebel Territory.

At Pioneer Plaza, in Dallas, between the cemetery and the Convention Center, sits the biggest monument to the Confederacy that I've seen. The monument has statues of several stars of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and one other I'm forgetting. I am almost 100% certain it was not John Wilkes Booth.

A few weeks ago the guy who replaced Gar the Texan as the smartest Guy in Texas, Jovan Gonzalez, blogged about his dismay at Texas re-writing history in new textbooks. And the appalling reality that, apparently, Texas textbooks are used by other states.

On March 24, I did not read it, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram printed a letter from Paul R. Schattman in which Mr. Schattman complained about the Texas textbook revisionism. Apparently Jefferson Davis gets a re-do. Davis was the President of the Confederacy.

I believe Jefferson Davis was arrested at the end of the Civil War. If I remember right he was caught while trying to escape to the West. I don't remember if he did any jail time.

So, Mr. Schattman's letter (and opinion) generated some amusing follow up letters. In one of them the letter writer asserts that at one point Robert E. Lee was considered the best military tactician of all time. The writer did not say who made this consideration.

Anyway, for your reading enjoyment and enlightenment, Letters from the Confederacy...

Rewriting History

If there was any question as to the wisdom of the State Board of Education dedicating space in its new textbooks for Jefferson Davis, then Paul R. Schattman's "Honoring traitors, not heroes" letter of March 24 provides a conclusive answer.

Anyone who name-calls Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee as "traitor" and "secessionist trash," comparing these men and all others who fought and sacrificed for the cause of Southern independence as the equivalent of those who represent "al Qaeda and the Taliban," is in serious need of a proper education.

I am hopeful that Schattman will at some point return to school and avail himself of the new text.

-- Scott Bowden, Arlington

The ignorance of Paul R. Schattman amazes me. People such as he concern me much more than al Qaeda or the Taliban.

-- Greg Pitts, Carrollton

The State Board of Education is charged with reporting history, not rewriting it. Schattman calls people "traitors, incompetent leaders, vainglorious fools"? If he knew his Civil War history, he would know that Gen. Robert E. Lee was offered command of the Union Army but rejected it to represent the Army of Virginia. Also, before we decided to not win wars but accept political settlements, Lee was considered the best military tactician of all time.

Some malcontents would rewrite history, not teach it. I would like my grandchildren to learn historical facts.

-- Philip E. Orr Jr., North Richland Hills


Steve A said...

The fourth one was Albert Sidney Johnston, the only actual Texan of the bunch.

So HERE is a research project for you - there is also a medallion on the main column that states it is "Old Tice." Who was old Tice? The Fort Worth Conferate Museum has no idea. I've also not found anything about him on the Internet.

Old Tee said...

I'm guessing "Old Tice" was the sculptor Frank Teich's nickname and the face on the front of the obelisk is his. Teich is pronounced tie-sh and I can imagine some Texans pronouncing his name Tice.

I haven't found any hard evidence to back up my guess, although I looked.

Anonymous said...

A little history for these undead Confederates:

Old Tee said...

Ok, my guess was wrong.

Old Tice was actually Old Tige or General William L. Cabell.

I win eleven cents to spend at Aldi or perhaps a gigantic chicken fried steak or maybe a dye job on my hair like Moncrief has. Making your proud, ma!