I’m conflicted over this issue, too. I was raised in the rural South, a descendant of six Confederate veterans. In today’s political climate, it makes things difficult to be an inheritor of the pride that my grandparents had in their heritage. We often want to be respectful of the memories of our forebears, without looking at them with rose colored glasses. That given, I want to honor my grandfather who shared many of the stories of his ancestors, but am I being honest in not including some of the things that he expressed in the attitude of the Old South? When my grandmother talked about other relatives, do I include that she called her Uncle Cy Brown “Cy Brown the Drunk?” How about “Beulah the Nut,” as she called Grandpa’s cousin. (For years, I didn’t know them as anything else.) No, I won’t include those kind of memories.
Letters, however, constitute another problem. These aren’t memories, but statements of the times. Fortunately, the letters by a Confederate uncle don’t share anything that couldn’t be quoted without talking in code. But I have seen others in a collateral line that would be more difficult to handle.
All that said, history is history, and we shouldn’t whitewash it. We just need to always be sensitive to how others will look at these same kind of issues in a different manner. Here, courtesy is paramount. I adjust my profile bios appropriately.