The south-facing statue of a Confederate soldier on Alexandria’s South Washington Street. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

I was surprised to see The Post, rarely a bastion of conservative thought, use the phrase “occupied Southern town of Alexandria” in the Nov. 7 Metro article “Alexandria preps for invasion after PBS series.”

Defenders of secession and states’ rights use “occupied” to describe places recaptured by U.S. forces. The accurate term is “liberated.” 

Modern Alexandria’s relation to the Civil War is murky, shaped by the views of Southern sympathizers who once made up the city’s population. 

A statue of a Confederate soldier with his back turned toward Washington can be found on Old Town’s Washington Street.

A hotel on King Street bears a plaque marking the spot where a Confederate sympathizer shot and killed a U.S. Army officer for removing a Confederate flag. 

The plaque fails to mention that the officer was shot in the back.

The building that housed Alexandria’s slave pen (closed by U.S. troops) still stands on Duke Street but is unmarked.

If you cannot tell that the side that opposed slavery was right in the Civil War, you cannot tell the difference between good and evil.

James A. Lewis ,
Alexandria