Reply To Ms. Davies
Here is my reply to Ms Davies of Rockford, Illinois about her column.-
I read with interest your take on the Confederate battle flag. You titled your item tying together the battle flag and an "ongoing race war." Where in America is there a race war happening? Is it there in Rockford? I live in Illinois and have not heard of this so-called race war of which you write. Perhaps you wrote the piece taking a pot-shot at the Confederate battle flag thinking that because you were in north-west Illinois, that no one would really disagree with you about your faulty conclusions or what you write. You say that the "Confederate army fought for among other things was the right to continue forcing black people into impoverished slavery” Is there such a thing as lavish slavery? Seeing how you apparently did not get a passing grade in American history, I will assist you on this one. The slave ships that brought those people to these shores were built in New England; the profits from those transports were deposited in New England. The people who sold those people in the slave markets, thus making a profit at that end, also deposited money in New England. Not one person was ever imported as a slave under the Confederate battle flag. Speaking of nothing being charming in hatred of the South, I submit to you, Lincoln’s law that was submitted to the Illinois legislature in 1858 that would ban any "Negros, free or in servitude from setting up a homestead" in our fair State. Under Saint Abe they would only have 3 days in which to pass through Illinois, or face criminal punishment. This law and others like it were referred to as "Black Codes". Illinois had these laws as did every other Northern state. Not to mention that there were 3 Union slave states Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia. So much for the idea that the War Between the States was fought over the question of slavery. Google it, and give yourself an education before writing about something in which you know little about. As for this quote from your article “It’s a reminder that we will never be able to do enough to make up for the pain cast on generations of black slaves." It seems that you are suffering from white guilt. You threw open the door, but now what is your solution "to relieve the pain cast upon generations of slave descendents?" Should the South sit upon the stool of perpetual repentance alone, or should the North likewise sit upon the stool next to her? What would be your solution to this race war you speak of? If you think getting rid of a piece of fabric that represented an army in battle 150 years ago, and is used to by that armies descendents to honour their commitment, is going to cure the ills of racial discord today, you are wrong.
For the record, my ancestor was from Southern Illinois, did not own slaves, yet he went to Virginia, enlisted, and fought with Co. A, 37th Virginia Infantry Regiment, Army of Northern Virginia.
Race War??? Are you kidding me???
John Jeffers, Camp Commander,
Camp Douglas Memorial #1507, Chicago
Illinois Division Recruiting and Communications Officer
Signal Officer Army of Tennessee