I have been writing letters-to-the Editor of the Macon (GA) Telegraph since 1973. In 2015, my last two letters were not printed after the following Jan. 7thone (below) from none other than Jim Sandefur. Charles Richardson (editor Macon.com) had already gotten in the habit of giving Sandefur feature length space for his writings but always limiting me to 250 words. I admit my work should have been better cited but I NEVER tried to illegally copy anyone – what would be the point to that? All Sandefur and another guy from Warner Robins knew to write was anything contrary to my views and anything defaming me personally (which does not matter) our Southern heroes – apparently he got away with it all quite handily. Anyway, they seem to have found a way to silence me. Hope someone else will take with this particular phase of the fight.
All the best,
John Wayne Dobson
A different view
As usual, John Wayne Dobson excels in nonsense, contradicts himself and is guilty of plagiarism. First, stealing the words from columnist John Kelly’s article in The Washington Post, he tries to elevate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Stonewall Jackson to deity status but ends his letter by saying it is wrong to past judgment on these two men.
Jackson made fools of incompetent Union generals in the Shenandoah Valley and later was Lee’s “right arm.” Most of us who study the American Civil War wonder what would have happened at Gettysburg had Jackson not been killed and replaced by Gen. Richard Ewell, who probably cost Lee the victory there. But Jackson was egotistical and given to self-promoting theatrics and was sometimes even an incompetent. His performance at the Seven Days Battles was inexcusable. His shabby treatment of his subordinate officers and his “foot cavalry” caused many to hate him. The rumor that his men shooting him was no accident never died.
Lee was a good general but not a great one. He was audacious and sometimes, like at Chancellorsville, that was exactly what was needed, but he was also stubborn and made some huge blunders. How a general goes down in history is largely dependent on luck. Lee was lucky that the only good army the Confederacy had wasn’t destroyed when he accepted battle with his back against the Potomac at Antietam. Had Gen. George McClellan been a little more aggressive, the United States would have won the war that day and Lee would be remembered as the bum who lost the war. Just as Johnston might be remembered as the general who stopped Sherman had Hood not mistaken a Union cavalry patrol for infantry at Cassville (Ga.).
As for some very unimpressive stained glass windows in a niche in the National Cathedral, they are just two of many stained glass windows and Lee and Jackson are outnumbered by Union soldiers.
Of all the generals Virginia produced for the American Civil War, the best, and most deserving of being immortalize in stained glass, is Union General George Thomas. Not only was he a better general than Lee or Jackson, he refused to be a traitor to his country and refused to break the solemn oath he took at West Point.
— Jim Sandefur