Our Confederate ancestors are certainly men who are worthy of tribute and honor!
In Florida, Confederate Memorial Day, is April 26th. It is a legal state holiday.
By an act of the US Congress, Confederate soldiers are officially recognized as American Veterans.
In 1900 a red St. Andrew's cross was added to the Florida State Flag as a remembrance of our Confederate ancestors and defenders.
If you are in Florida, especially if you are anywhere near Gainesville, on April 25th and 26th, Landmark Baptist Church of Archer will mark Confederate Memorial Day with a memorial services and BBQ. You are invited to join them. For an online printable invitation click here: www.libcfl.org/invite/
TEACHABLE MOMENTS ABOUND
Earlier this week my son's 2nd grade teacher sent out an eMail that the class would be having a special guest, the grandparents of one of the students, who were visiting from Illinois. The reason they were "special" was because they lived in a house that was a part of the underground railroad. They were showing pictures of the house and talking to the students about slavery. Since parents were invited to attend I decided to do so.
The couple showed a lot of pictures of their house and talked about how it was used to hide fugitive slaves who had come to Illinois for freedom. After their presentation, when the teacher asked if anyone had a question, I asked why, if Illinois was a free state, and the home state of Lincoln, the great emancipator, did the house need so many secret compartments? If the slaves were free in Illinois then why did the former occupants of the home have to build so many secret compartments behind the fireplace and under the floors? As deeply into the border of Illinois as the home was why couldn't the free negro just walk openly down the street, right up to the house, knock on the door, and set openly in the parlor or eat freely at the dining room table? Why did he have to be locked away in a tiny little secret hiding place, caged like an animal and fed through a hole in "free" Illinois?
The teacher suspected that maybe Illinois was not as "free" as we were supposed to believe that it was. So she started asking the right questions. Everyone was shocked to discover that racism was a much bigger problem in the Land of Lincoln than in the ever-villified South. The north was not the promised-land after all.
And then there was the kicker. The grandparents told the real reason why their grandparents had hidden the fugitive slaves in their Illinois home. Because if they were caught by the "authorities" in "free" Illinois they would be turned over to the Army who would work them like slaves doing menial labor in the Army camps and/or would put them on the front lines without guns to be used as "cannon fodder." The Yankee Army wasn't freeing slaves - it was killing and exploiting them.
But had I not been there to ask the right question to begin with the presentation would have never gotten to that part of the story. My point is that opportunities to educate people about the truth of our history and heritage abound. We need only be alert to see the opportunities and prepared to take advantage of them.
One of the best ways to be alert and prepared is to be armed with some basic facts. If you havn't already done so - or if you just know someone who would benefit from the information - visit our website www.dixieheritage.weebly.com and sign up for your FREE copy of the book The Truth About the Confederate Battle Flag.
Speaking of teachable moments. Below is a 2010 column by Pat Buchanan that is just as relevant today as it was the day it was published:
HATRED OF THE SOUTH IS HATRED OF AMERICA
from the syndicated column of Pat Buchanan.
"This was a recognition of American terrorists."
That is CNN's summary judgment of the 258,000 men and boys who fell fighting for the Confederacy in a war that cost as many American lives as World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq combined.
CNN reflects the hysteria that seized Obamaville on hearing that Gov. Bob McDonnell had declared Confederate History Month in the Old Dominion. Virginia leads the nation in Civil War battlefields.
So loud was the howling that in 24 hours McDonnell had backpedaled and issued an apology that he had not mentioned slavery.
Unfortunately, the governor missed a teaching moment.
Slavery was indeed evil, but it existed in the Americas a century before the oldest of our founding fathers was even born. Five of our first seven presidents were slaveholders.
But Virginia did not secede in defense of slavery. Indeed, when Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, March 4, 1861, Virginia was still in the Union. Only South Carolina, Georgia and the five Gulf states had seceded and created the Confederate States of America.
At the firing on Fort Sumter, April 12-13, 1861, the first shots of the Civil War, Virginia was still inside the Union. Indeed, there were more slave states in the Union than in the Confederacy. But, on April 15, Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers from the state militias to march south and crush the new Confederacy.
Two days later, April 17, Virginia seceded rather than provide soldiers or militia to participate in a war on their brethren. North Carolina, Tennessee and Arkansas followed Virginia out over the same issue. They would not be a party to a war on their kinfolk.
Slavery was not the cause of this war. Secession was-that and Lincoln's determination to drown the nation in blood if necessary to make the Union whole again.
Nor did Lincoln ever deny it.
In his first inaugural, Lincoln sought to appease the states that had seceded by endorsing a constitutional amendment to make slavery permanent in the 15 states where it then existed. He even offered to help the Southern states run down fugitive slaves.
In 1862, Lincoln wrote Horace Greeley that if he could restore the Union without freeing one slave he would do it. The Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, freed only those slaves Lincoln had no power to free-those still under Confederate rule. As for slaves in the Union states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, they remained the property of their owners.
As for "terrorists," no army fought more honorably than Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Few deny that.
The great terrorist in that war was William Tecumseh Sherman, who violated all the known rules of war by looting, burning and pillaging on his infamous March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah. Sherman would later be given command of the war against the Plains Indians and advocate extermination of the Sioux.
"The only good Indian is a dead Indian" is attributed both to Sherman and Gen. Phil Sheridan, who burned the Shenandoah and carried out Sherman's ruthless policy against the Indians. Both have statues and circles named for them in Washington, D.C.
If CNN thinks Sherman a hero, it might study what happened to the slave women of Columbia, S.C., when "Uncle Billy's" boys in blue arrived to burn the city.
What of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, at whose request McDonnell issued his proclamation? What racist deeds have they perpetrated of late?
They tend the graves of Confederate dead and place flags on Memorial Day. They contributed to the restoration of the home of Jefferson Davis, damaged by Hurricane Katrina. They publish the Confederate Veteran, a magazine that relates stories of the ancestors they love to remember. They join environmentalists in fighting to preserve Civil War battlefields. They do re-enactments of Civil War battles with men and boys whose ancestors fought for the Union. And they defend the monuments to their ancestors and the flag under which they fought.
Why are they vilified?
Because they are Southern white Christian men-none of whom defends slavery, but all of whom are defiantly proud of the South, its ancient faith and their forefathers who fell in the Lost Cause.
Undeniably, the Civil War ended in the abolition of slavery and restoration of the Union. But the Southern states believed they had the same right to rid themselves of a government to which they no longer felt allegiance as did Washington, Jefferson and Madison, all slave-owners, who could no longer give loyalty to the king of England.
Consider closely this latest skirmish in a culture war that may yet make an end to any idea of nationhood, and you will see whence the real hate is coming. It is not from Gov. McDonnell or the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
THIS WEEK IN THE WBTS:
Abraham Lincoln left the White House to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14. He was supposed to see the play with General Grant. At the last minute, Grant decided to go to New Jersey to visit his children instead of attending the play.
Lincoln's bodyguard, John Parker, left Ford's Theater during intermission to drink at the saloon next door. The now unguarded President sat in his state box in the balcony.
We all know the official story, which credits John Wilkes Booth with killing President Lincoln and ends with Doctor Charles Leale, an Army surgeon, finding the President unresponsive, barely breathing and with no detectable pulse.
The dying President was taken across the street to Petersen House. After remaining in a coma for nine hours, Lincoln died at 7:22 am on April 15. Secretary of War Stanton saluted and said, "Now he belongs to the ages." Lincoln's flag-enfolded body was then escorted in the rain to the White House by bareheaded Union officers, while the city's church bells rang. President Johnson was sworn in at 10:00 am, less than 3 hours after Lincoln's death.
The President of the United States left unguarded while his single security agent sets next door on a bar stool drinking? Was there a conspiracy afoot? Or was the morality and discipline in the northern Army really just that bad? Perhaps both?
19th Texas Infantry
My great grandfather Macijah Lawrence was a color sergeant in the 19th Texas Infantry. Before he died, Colonel Gary Canada compiled a history of the 19th Texas. It is available at Amazon as a Kindle eBook:
It is also available as a paperback book:
Let us all endeavor to do something this week to honor our ancestors and advance our wonderfully unique Southern culture!