West Point to Yank Robert E. Lee

Portrait, bust will quietly be put in storage
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2022 8:45 AM CST
West Point to Yank Robert E. Lee
Three bronze panels at West Point that depict the history of the United States. A commission created by Congress recommended that multiple historical reminders tied to Confederate officers be removed—many honoring Robert E. Lee, one of the academy's most famous graduates.   (US Military Academy at West Point via AP, File)

Robert E. Lee was a noted West Point alumnus and served as its superintendent before he commanded the Confederate army during the Civil War, but his alma mater is using the current holiday break to scrub itself of his presence. As the Hill reports, the United States Military Academy is undergoing "a multi-phased process, in accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) directives, to remove, rename or modify assets and real property ... that commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy or those who voluntarily served with the Confederacy," writes West Point's Superintendent Steven Gilland in a statement.

Specifically coming down: A portrait of Lee in his Confederate uniform that currently hangs in the library and a stone bust of the general in Reconciliation Plaza. Both will head to storage, while a portrait and a bust of Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant will get more prominent placement on the academy's grounds. The academy is also removing bronze plaques that include Lee and other Confederate luminaries, as well as a hooded figure above the words "Ku Klux Klan," notes the New York Times. (Grant is getting another kind of promotion, too.)

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