Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard (1818-1893) was born just outside of New Orleans. He graduated from West Point (1838) “served with distinction” in the Mexican War and was in command at Charleston, bombarding Fort. Sumter (1861), fought at Bull Run (1861) and Shiloh (1862), later defended Charleston and Richmond, Virginia. After the war, he retired to Louisiana and died in New Orleans.

Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) was born in Virginia and graduated from West Point (1828). In 1861, he became commander in chief of Virginia forces after having been offered command of all Union forces. His achievements in battle are central to the entire history of the war. In 1865, he surrendered to Gen. U.S. Grant at Appomattox, Virginia. Thereafter, he became president of Washington College (later Washington and Lee College), where he died.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, in the decent, honorable, exemplary lives of these two American generals can cause any fair-minded, even-handed person to throw them under the bus as Mr. Landrieu clearly wishes to do.

Yet there is, abroad in New Orleans, a plot to do exactly that — and for such incredible reasons as to make good-hearted citizens cry out in shame and anger.

And, most unacceptable of all, is the very fact that an overwhelming percentage of all those who are opposed include very large percentages of all races and sexes and ages.

I served on the New Orleans City Council some years ago when Moon Landrieu was mayor. I had great respect for Moon’s actions in behalf of minority efforts and voted consistently in support of same. I stand by those votes to this day — proud of the progress that has been seen to be the case here in New Orleans.

But wait a minute; that progress depends, to a great extent, on dealing with all citizens of our fair city in an even-handed manner and not making politically motivated, hurtful rules that would, clearly, lower the overall acceptability of one of the major tourist attractions of our historic New Orleans.

Gen. Beauregard and Gen. Lee are important players in the history of our city. They clearly and positively deserved to remain where our good ancestors placed them.

Shame on tearing them down and throwing them under the bus.

Peter Beer

U.S. judge, Eastern District of Louisiana

New Orleans