The Wreckers busy themselves painting over George Washington and tearing down Robert E. Lee. Here are some more targets.
Four Confederate generals served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. They were Generals Joe Wheeler, Fitzhugh Lee (a nephew of General Lee), Thomas Rosser, and Matthew Galbraith Butler.
“Fighting Joe” Wheeler graduated from West Point. He had been a general of cavalry in the Confederate Army of Tennessee – one of the South’s finest cavalrymen. After the Civil War, he served eight terms from Alabama in the United States Congress.
When war broke out with Spain, Wheeler volunteered for the U. S. Army. President McKinley, who had himself served in the Union Army, appointed Wheeler a major general of volunteers.
During the battle of Las Guasimas de Sevilla in Cuba, Wheeler is said to have called out in his excitement, “Let’s go, boys. We’ve got the damn Yankees on the run again.”
In July 1898, Wheeler commanded Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan Hill. At the onset of the battle, Wheeler was ill and out of action. When he heard the guns, however, he returned to the field. He was the senior officer at the battle.
He then led his troops through the Siege of Santiago, the last major military encounter of the war. He served as a a senior member of the Peace Commission.
In 1900, General Wheeler joined the war against Spain in the Philippines. The United States ultimately commissioned Wheeler a brigadier general in the regular Army, from which he retired.
General Fitzhugh Lee was the son of Sydney Smith Lee, a Naval officer first of the United States and then the Confederate States. He was the nephew of Marse Robert.
After graduation from West Point in 1856, he joined the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Texas, where he was severely wounded. He resigned from the U. S. Army when the Civil War broke out.
Fitz Lee commanded a cavalry brigade under Major General J. E. B. Stuart and – after Stuart’s death in 1864 – under General Wade Hampton. He himself rose to the rank of major general.
He carried out many successful cavalry actions throughout the war. Fitz Lee led the final charge of the Army of Northern Virginia on April 9, 1865.
After the war, Fitz Lee urged the Southern people to reconcile with the North. He spoke at the Centennial of the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1875.
In 1885, he became a member of the board of visitors of West Point. Virginia elected him governor in 1886.
In 1896, President Grover Cleveland appointed Fitz Lee the consul-general of the United States in Havana, Cuba. On the sinking of the battleship Maine, General Lee re-entered the United States Army. He took no part in military operations but did become military governor of Havana and Pinar del Rio in 1899.
Fitz Lee also retired from the U. S. Army in 1901 as a brigadier general.
General Thomas Rosser, born in Virginia, moved with his family to Panola County, Texas, as a child. His nickname became “Tex” Rosser.
A Texas Congressman appointed him to West Point, but at the outbreak of the Civil War, he resigned two weeks before graduation.
Rosser served in both the artillery and the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia and received severe wounds in several battles. He received steady promotions and became a major general in November 1864.
At the battle of Trevilian Station in 1864, he captured 530 soldiers from the division of his West Point roommate, George Armstrong Custer, together with a pair of Custer’s drawers.
A few weeks later, Custer’s cavalry defeated Rosser’s at the Battle of Tom’s Creek. Custer also captured Rosser’s personal baggage train, which included his gold-laced uniforms. Rosser sent Custer the following message:
You may have made me take a few steps back today, but I will be even with you tomorrow. Please accept my good wishes and this little gift — a pair of your draws captured at Trevillian Station.
Custer shipped Rosser’s gold-laced Confederate gray coat to Rosser’s wife with a reply.
Thanks for setting me up in so many new things, but would you please direct your tailor to make the coat tails of your next uniform a trifle shorter.
Best regards G.A.C.
Rosser led an early-morning charge on April 9, 1865, and escaped from the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia. On May 4, however, he surrendered his command at Staunton, Virginia.
After the war he worked as a railroad engineer in the United States and Canada. With the Spanish-American War, he volunteered for duty in Cuba, and President McKinley appointed him a brigadier general of volunteers. His assignment was to train cavalrymen in th United States. He was honorably discharged.
On March 29, 1910, he died at the age of 73.
General Matthew Galbraith Butler
General Butler was born in South Carolina, but his mother, Jane Tweedy Perry, came from Rhode Island. Thus Butler was the nephew of two famous Naval officers, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry and Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry.
Butler practiced law in South Carolina, but joined Hampton’s Legion (cavalry) when the Civil War broke out.
Butler lost a foot at the Battle of Brandy station in 1863. When Wade Hampton took over the cavalry corps in 1864, Butler was promoted to major general and commanded a division.
After the war, Butler practiced law in his home state, entered politics, and was elected to three terms as a U. S. Senator by the legislature. Pitchfork Ben Tillman of South Carolina defeated him in 1895.
Butler resumed the practice of law in Washington, D. C. In 1898 he volunteered for duty in Spain and became a major general of volunteers. He supervised the evacuation of Spanish soldiers after the war.
General Butler returned to Washington, D. C., where he died in 1909.
The wartime generation began to reunite North and South within a few decades.
But the Wreckers ignore 150 years of great progress. They will not achieve reconciliation by destroying centuries of our history.