Encore: Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General speaks out against the myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy
This episode originally aired on October 31, 2022.
Ty Seidule served in the U.S. Army for 36 years, retiring as a Brigadier General in 2020. He taught history at West Point for two decades and is now Professor Emeritus. General Seidule served as Vice Chair for the Congressional Naming Commission that was tasked by Congress in 2021 to rename Department of Defense assets that honor Confederates including military bases in the south. These days, he is an author and teaches history at Hamilton College in upstate New York.
In his latest book, “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause,” General Seidule writes about growing up in Virginia revering Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He says that from his southern childhood to the time he spent serving in the U.S. Army every part of his life reinforced the Lost Cause myth: that Lee was the greatest man who ever lived, and that the Confederates were underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor.
Once he began deeply researching the history of the Civil War and gaining a full understanding of just how wrong that myth was General Seidule began speaking up. He was on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus to give a presentation for The University Lecture series so we brought him by the studio for a conversation about his book and to hear his story.