Saturday, March 29, 2008
Teddy Roosevelt: Civil War Historian
There is no doubt that Teddy Roosevelt was a history fan and a Civil War buff. According to legend he watched Lincoln's funeral procession pass his grandfathers house. Roosevelt was only a young boy at the time but growing up he idolized Civil War heroes. On September 19, 1904 he wrote his old friend who was ironically named George McCellan Harvey. Here is what Ted wrote:
"If you will turn to what I said of Lee in my Life of Thomas Hart Benton, or to what I have said about southerners and es-confederates in speech after speech in the volume of my speeches which I enclose to you, you will see that I have been generous in speaking of them. While as a public man I expect to perserve proper reticence in what I say, yet people may as well understand that I have not the slightest apology to offer for having, as a historian, told the truth as I saw it. It is not my business now to speak of secession any more than to speak of the alien and sedition acts; but when I, in m writings, youch on secession, I shall say about it what I really feel, and I shall speak of its leaders as I think they deserve."
Teddy was defending his views as a historian and made sure to state that he didn't take sides or make himself out to be pro-Confederate.