I think for any Northerner living in Virginia (and for many where I live in Virginia is a far cry from the South, right Tom?) is sooner or later (most likely sooner) going to be struck my the godhead status of Robert E. Lee throughout the South. He is more than a mere man below the Mason Dixon line, he is a kind of spiritual icon. (The other one is Stonewall Jackson, but I’ll get into that later.) And if you want to get a sense of the reverence for Lee, check out this diorama of Lee with both Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Here is a bit of the audio narration:
Robert E. Lee carried two banners towards fame and immortality. First, as a soldier, he was a man of supreme ability. Second, he was a man of rare integrity and a great spiritual force. [Emphasis mine]
It’s pretty plain from the narration that I’m not really overstating the case here, Lee is a God in the South—nothing less than a “supreme, spiritual force.” Crazy, crazy stuff.