Krunal Desai
Mrs. DiVietro
English II Honors
28 Mar. 2015
Learning Target 2: Letter to His Son
In General Robert E. Lee\'s letter, "Letter to His Son", he contemplates over the future of his beloved Union to his son, Custis. Throughout the letter, an apparent theme is the idea of one having an unwavering commitment to his fatherland. At all costs, General Lee hopes that secession will not be an option for the South. He stoutly believed that there would be "no greater calamity for the country than a dissolution of the Union" (Lee 542). As an undaunted citizen, Lee would take the necessary steps needed for the preservation of the Union. He takes pride in being an American, and he is unbiased towards any state, as he would defend them if they were transgressed upon. Unlike most Confederate generals, Lee treasured the unity of the Union, as he understood the consequences of its dissolution. As this theme is the basis of his letter, Lee includes the concept of how the "supreme law of the land" says how the government can only be disestablished "by revolution or the consent of all the people in convention assembled" (Lee 542). Secession is not a form revolution, but in fact an infraction of the Constitution. If the Union can only be preserved through war, Lee shall lament over the dissolved nation, and hope that the people of this nation shall endure. At the very end of this letter, another significant theme is introduced, in which it epitomizes the idea that one has a kinship with his native home, or as in Lee\'s case, the state of Virginia. "I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people, and, save in defense, will draw my sword on none" (Lee 542). The thematic approach of having a bond with a place, and defending it as well, would not be considered as an opaque thought in regard to General Lee. One may view Lee as a "nationalist" of the nation, but as a steadfast Virginian, he would be regarded as a true nationalist of this state. He believed in the preservation of the Union, but quite frankly, if encroachment occurred upon his state, Lee would certainly take up arms. As he said in the last sentence, he shall take up arms only if an infringement upon his homeland occurs. From the ending of this letter, Lee has a stronger sentimental tie with his state, than his nation. He will not exempt himself from the struggle of choosing his state or nation, because when the decision arrives, Lee\'s passionate bond with Virginia will be of higher significance than his Union.