Column shows we should think of bigger picture

Published 11:05 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017

To the Editor:

I want to compliment Bobby Holt for his excellent piece [“Surrender at Appomattox: Lessons learned we need today.”] on Appomattox in the April 9th edition of the paper.

As you can imagine, from my position at the American Civil War Museum I have the opportunity to see and hear a lot of history, as well as to give my own thoughts about it. Too often, the history is lost on a 21st-century audience, because they dismiss it as mere facts from long ago.

The real issue is what we can learn from history, and Bobby did a great job of making his observations a lesson to be learned for today. The models of Lee, Lincoln, and Grant from 152 years ago are as relevant today as they were then. Despite the deaths of 750,000 Americans (the equivalent of 7 ½ million people in today’s population), they elevated themselves to think of the bigger picture.

Ignoring factions or disagreements, they thought of what was best for the country. This is the lesson we should all learn.

S. Waite Rawls III
The American Civil War Museum Foundation