Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, April 27

What a Treat

If you missed the Macon Symphony performance Saturday night you missed a treat. The orchestra was fantastic under the direction of Keitaro Harada, a graduate of Mercer University. The program was music from different movies of the past, accompanied by the Georgia College Chorus. Also performing was Sihao He, a cellist who did a great job playing a piece from Joseph Hayden. Nicholas Ricks played the “The Entertainer” on the piano, and Richard Kosowski sang tenor of Giacomo Puccini’s “Che Gelida Manila” from “La Boheme.” The Macon Symphony has wonderful performances, and if you miss them you are really missing a great evening.

-- Frank Gaudry


The best it could be

The Telegraph had an interesting article about a woman raised in an orphanage near Chicago in 1945. So many of the stories we read about with children separated from birth parents are about abused and unloved adolescents who are traumatized for life. This story is about a facility run by caring and dedicated women who happen to be an order of nuns. The person who was featured in this story went on to become a nurse and eventually started a pre-school. She was married and raised three children. Now that her husband has died she lives in a retirement community.

I am a Maconite familiar with several orphan homes here. I went to school with many of these kids. I’m sure some of them suffered from being separated from their parents, but I believe the system we had, run by concerned local citizens, was the best it could be.

-- Jimmy Hays


Sorry, Rev. Graham

In relation to ISIS and other Muslims killing Christians and others, the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, called on the United States government to “Stop allowing immigration of Muslims into this country” in an attempt to protect “we the people.”

I hate to disillusion Graham’s confidence in Mr. Obama, who has taken it on himself to be completely in charge of any type of immigration; therefore, any Muslim who wishes to enter the U.S. by air, sea or land can go to Mexico or any country south of the U.S. border then just walk across illegally into the U.S. without even identifying himself as a Muslim. Or maybe the Muslims choosing such a course can call Obama when they reach land south of the U.S. border, and Obama will have our government go meet them and provide transportation to the U.S. All they have to do is say they have family living in the U.S. legal or illegally.

-- Faye W. Tanner


Historical dispute

Accusing me of offering up a revisionist version of history, Jim Costello mistakes revisionist history for hypothetical history. Obviously, no one knows what would have happened had Lee died before the third day of Gettysburg. But, the assumption that Longstreet would not have attacked the center of the Union line on the third day is about as sure as you can get without actually going back in time and shooting Lee.

I find it ridiculous for Jim to write that it is “inappropriate” for me to assume the outcome of the Battle of Gettysburg and the war would have been different had Lee died on the second day of the battle. Of course, the battle would have been fought differently and of course a win at Gettysburg, or more likely somewhere between Gettysburg and Washington, could have changed the outcome of the American Civil War.

When the Army of Northern Virginia invaded the United States, Longstreet firmly believed that Lee had pledged himself to an offensive strategy but defensive tactics. One of the reasons Longstreet has been blamed for the defeat at Gettysburg was that he felt so betrayed by Lee breaking that pledge that he was deliberately slow and half-hearted in carrying out Lee’s orders on the second and third days of the battle.

Jim is right in writing that I assumed that the Army of the Potomac would not have attacked the Rebels as they maneuvered around the Yankee flank. There are good reason for believing that: (1) The Yankees were clinging to those hills for their lives, many of them expecting to, yet again, be defeated by Lee’s army. (2) Longstreet had already successfully done an abbreviated version of maneuvering around the Union left on the second day. (3) Lee’s army was good at flanking movements. Lee’s greatest victory a couple of months earlier had been achieved by doing a similar flanking maneuver at Chancellorsville. (4) Even after Picket’s Charge had failed and a good part of the Rebel army was a disorganized mob trying to get back to their lines, some throwing down their guns to get there faster, the Yankees didn’t attack. (5) Even after Lee’s army was strung out in a long retreating column, the Yankees didn’t attack.

As for Grant, no, he did not set in motion the march to Savannah. That move by Sherman shocked and scared the bejesus out of both Grant and Lincoln. By the time Grant took command of all the Union armies the South already had one foot in the grave and any competent Union general could have won the war. Grant wasn’t great and he wasn’t even good, but he was competent. His bulldozer strategy of just-keep-attacking with his overwhelming advantage in material and men wasn’t exactly brilliant. And even at something that simple, he missed opportunities to finish off Lee and instead of taking Richmond, he let the war bog down into a siege of Petersburg.

As for Grant’s magnanimity, tell that to the ghost of the men who he carelessly and foolishly ordered to attack entrenched Rebels at Cold Harbor where they were slaughtered and then, unwilling to admit defeat, Grant refused to ask for a truce to gather the wounded and left them to die in agony under the blazing sun and eaten alive at night by hogs.

-- Jim Sandefur


Bad drains

I have a question for the City of Macon. I know the streets in the city belong to the city. What about the drainage system drains along the streets and the pipes connected to them? I have a city drain in front of my house, and the drain pipe runs through my yard, Is the city responsible for that pipe? My yard is slowly washing away for years due to the bad connection of pipes and the Macon wants to host another sports team?

-- Steven Huff