Last week, in our approach to Mother's Day, we posted our Tribute to Southern Women on YouTube. If you did not see it don't worry, its still there.
Tribute to Southern Women
The pathetic thing is that if you were to go to YouTube and try to find a tribute to Southern Women or to Confederate Women using their search engine you will find hundreds of videos of the song "Trashy Women" by a musical group that calls itself Confederate Railroad. There will also be a few tributes and documentaries about "Civil War" women (north and South) and a few videos extolling the made-up virtues of northern women trying to feed the free the slaves myth. But the internet really has failed to offer any genuine tributes to the women of the South. Actually, a better way to put that is that we Southerners have failed to place the appropriate tributes on the internet. Certainly we Sons of the South owe it to our wives and mothers to do more than songs named "Trashy Women."
Reverend John Levi Underwood, a Chaplain and Captain in the Confederate Army, saw first hand the contributions women gave to the South and the Confederacy. In his book, The Women of the Confederacy, published in 1906, Underwood gives both personal and public testimony to Southern womanhood. In citing the selflessness shown during the war he stated, "Our women gave their carpets to make blankets, their dresses to be made into shirts for the soldiers, and their linen to furnish lint for their wounds, and then, clad in home-spun, they gave themselves."
This Mother's Day I wish to express my gratitude to the women of the South who for generations have lived their Christian faith and imparted its virtues to their daughters and granddaughters.
THE SOUTHERN ROOTS OF MOTHER'S DAY
According to the encyclopedia, the modern American holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother died.
Anna's mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, was a Southern nurse who provided care and comfort to many an injured boy in Grey. When fallen northern soldiers were left behind on the battlefields near her Virginia home she would nurse them as well.
Ann Reeves Jarvis actually began organizing what she called Mothers' Day Work Clubs to combat the disease-causing environment of the mountain people's poorest workers. She believed too many of the workers' children were dying from illnesses brought on by filthy conditions. So under the advice of her physician brother, Jarvis taught mothers how to boil water for drinking and keep food from spoiling. When the war began, the Mothers' Day Work Clubs became a vehicle for providing nursing and care to the Soldiers.
Jarvis and other club members fed and clothed soldiers; treated their wounds and, just as they'd done with the poorest workers before the war, taught life-saving sanitation methods.
By the end of the war, her Virginia home was now in the "northern" State of West Virginia. And tensions were high. After the war, wanting to help bring the community together, Jarvis organized a Mothers' Friendship Day at the local courthouse. Although she publicized the event as a way to honor mothers, its real purpose was to bring together a fractured community by gathering battle-worn soldiers and their families.
Seeing the large crowds that the annual Mother's Friendship Days were attracting political agitators from the North began to hijack them for their own propaganda purposes. In 1870, Julia Ward Howe, an early feminist and writer of the Yankee anthem "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," wrote a very highly-publicized (in the Northern and Carpet-Bagger controlled Southern press) "Mother's Day Proclamation." Howe, and others like her, organized events driven by their political leanings which were held annually in various locations across the country on June 2. However, these events began to see ever-reduced attendance because most women, both Northern and Southern, simply were not interested in what we now know as "feminism."
In 1905, when Jarvis died, her daughter lobbied enthusiastically to institute a national holiday that wouldrecognize mothers by encouraging sons and daughters to honor their own mothers. In 1914, then President Woodrow Wilson officially named the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.
Almost as soon as the proclamation ink dried, merchants began advertising candies, flowers and greeting cards to commemorate the day. This disturbed Anna, who believed it was being corrupted from her intention of an intimate celebration of one's own mother. In the years that followed, she tried to reverse the commercialization of Mother's Day, spending her sizable inheritance, along with her energy, on boycotts and lawsuits against groups that violated the spirit of the day. In 1923, she crashed a confectioners' convention. In 1925, she protested the American War Mothers convention, which used Mother's Day as a fundraising event by selling carnations. She was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Her efforts went largely unanswered. She died penniless in a sanitarium in 1948, having no children of her own. Mother's Day, as we now know it, continued to gain momentum. And like so many things in our Southern heritage and history, its story has been retold. The retold version is one where a Southern mother's genuine efforts to care for the poor in her community and then for the wounded soldiers who fought to defend it is recast where yankee feminists are supposed to be the heroes. This is why I begin my book The Truth About The Confederate Battle Flag with the quote: "History is written by those who hung the heroes." If you would like for us to send your mother a free copy of the book just have her visit our website at: www.dixieheritage.weebly.com
And whatever you do, do not forget to wish your mother a happy Mother's Day!
SUTTLERY WALL TENT AVAILABLE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
I would consider shipping it, minus poles (I can always eMail the dimensions) but fear that due to the weight of the canvas it would be a very expensive shipment. Probably more than anyone would want to spend. The Dukes of Hazzard car - known on the show as "the General Lee" - has become something more of a hot-button topic during the last 10 years or so. Far more than it was when the series originally aired in 1979.
THIS WEEK IN THE WBTS:
As you remember, last week, General Stonewall Jackson would be mortally wounded by his own soldiers in the Battle of Chancellorsville. On May 10th he would die from that wound.
Military historians consider Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in history. His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Northern Army's right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide even today as examples of innovative and bold leadership. He excelled as well in other battles;such as First Manassas, where he received his famous nickname "Stonewall", Second Manassas, Antietam, and Fredricksburg.
Before the war, beginning in 1851, Jackson was a Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery at the Virginia Military Institute. Much of Jackson's self-written curriculum is still taught at VMI, regarded as timeless military essentials: discipline, mobility, assessing the enemy's strength and intentions while attempting to conceal your own, and the efficiency of artillery combined with an infantry assault.
Jackson was revered by many of the blacks in his hometown of Lexington, both slaves and free blacks. He was instrumental in the organization in 1855 of Sunday School classes for blacks at the Presbyterian Church. His second wife, Mary Anna Jackson, taught with Jackson in this Sunday School.
Upon hearing of Jackson's mortal injury, General Lee would write to him: "Could I have directed events, I would have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead." On his death bed, though he became weaker, he remained spiritually strong, saying towards the end "It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday."
His attending physician, Dr. McGuire, wrote an account of his final hours and his last words: A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, "Order A.P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front rapidly! Tell Major Hawks"-then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."
In honor of General Jackson we are offering the DVD video on Warriors of Honor.
I will get a DVD out to you. I'll even pay the postage to anywhere in the US or Canada. DIXIE HERITAGE WEBSITE
Don't forget to tell your friends about our Dixie Heritage website: www.dixieheritage.weebly.com
Everyone who signs up at Dixie Heritage receives a FREE book!
Deo Vindice, Chaplain Ed