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As a proud Virginian in these PC times, I’ve learned to keep certain opinions to myself, in particular those regarding the War Between the States. But I feel that I must respond to Dan Shea’s letter (The Mail, 7/31) concerning the article, “The Black and the Gray” (7/17), not necessarily for his slanted views of the South before the conflict, but because of his comparison of the Confederate army and the German SS. Leaving all your stunted assumptions aside, Mr. Shea, may I point out:

1) The SS were the aggressors; the Confederates were not.

2) The SS helped carry out mass genocide; the Confederates did not.

3) The Confederacy is part of our national heritage and history; the SS is not.

4) My great-grandfather fought with the Confederates; my father fought against the SS—so that now you are free to write such drivel.

Please don’t confuse the two again.

Falls Church, Va.

via the Internet