Robert E Lee horse plaque reading 'The last home of Traveller through war and peace the faithful, devoted and beloved horse of General Robert E Lee placed by the Virginia division'

Rex Hammock/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

‘Untreatable tetanus, untreatable cancel culture’: Conservatives say Robert E. Lee’s horse has now died a second ignominious death

Markers dedicated to Traveller, the horse of Robert E. Lee, have been removed at a university.


Mikael Thalen


Conservatives are up in arms after they say a university in Virginia “canceled” the horse of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

The Washington and Lee University in Lexington made the decision last month to remove two markers honoring “Traveller,” the horse used by Lee, who led Confederate forces in the Civil War.

The two markers, a gravestone and a plaque, were pulled down as part of the university’s ongoing effort to distance itself from its past Confederate connections.

The gravestone was replaced with one that no longer mentions Lee or the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a neo-Confederate hereditary association for female descendants of Confederate soldiers. A replacement for the plaque, according to the College Fix, has yet to be made.

Right-leaning figures such as Jonathan Turley, a libertarian attorney, legal scholar, and writer, are arguing that the decision is emblematic of cancel culture run amok.

“Traveler was originally put down for untreatable tetanus but will now be put down again by equally untreatable cancel culture,” Turley quipped.

Turley’s replies were also inundated with outrage from those opposed to the university’s decision.

“Even historic ANIMALS are not safe from these liberal lunatics!!!” one user wrote.

“Ridiculous move by school. The honor paid to Lee’s steed was well deserved,” another added. “What idiot started this action? I’d like to know.”

Even Sen. Ted Cruz weighed in.

Yet countless others were quick to mock Turley and show their support for the school’s removal of Traveler’s markers.

“Fine. We don’t normally commemorate the horses of insurrectionist traitors,” one respondent said.

“When, like Jonathan, you’re deeply committed to the proposition that white supremacist men who betray their countries should never face the consequences of their treason, you tend to get worked up about the darndest things,” a second user wrote.

At least one alumnus of the college, Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor and politicial scientist at Georgia State University College of Law, chimed in to back the school’s effort.

“As an alum of Washington & Lee, let me assure Professor Turley that Traveller was not honored for any reason other than the myth behind the guy who sat on his back, Robert E. Lee, who viewed the horse as his property no different than the Black persons he fought to keep enslaved,” Kreis wrote.

“Washington and Lee University is an educational institution. Its campus is neither a museum nor an appropriate repository for Confederate artifacts, and as such, the Board determined that a number of plaques on campus should be relocated to a museum to be appropriately interpreted,” the school said.

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