As a response to a federal order by the Department of Defense, West Point is starting to remove all Confederate statues and portraits from its campus.
West Point Superintendent Lieutenant General Steve Gilland broke the news and stated “During the holiday break, we will begin a multi-phased process, in accordance with Department of Defense directives, to remove, rename or modify assets and real property at the United States Military Academy and West Point installation that commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy or those who voluntarily served with the Confederacy”.
One of the most notable Confederate portraits that will be removed is General Robert E. Lee’s portrait.
Besides Lee’s portrait, a stone image of him along with several plaques of his likeness will also be removed.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 26, 2022
Most people only know Robert E. Lee as the General of the Confederate Army but before choosing to side with the Confederacy he served 32 years in the US military.
Lee started off his military career by being the top graduate at West Point and made a name for himself during the Mexican-American War where at one point he even worked side by side with General Ulysses S. Grant.
After the Mexican American War, Lee was later named as the Superintendent of West Point.
In the years leading up to the Civil War, Lee condemned any states succeeding from the Union and stated they were betraying the Founding Fathers.
Advisor to President Lincoln Union Army General Winfield Scott even requested Robert E. Lee to be the new general of the Union Army.
Lee, however, would deny the opportunity and would eventually resign from the US military in order to join forces with the Confederate Army shortly after Virginia succeeded from the Union.
His reason was he didn’t want to betray his native state of Virginia.