Allen, Confederates weren’t traitors

June 30, 2013

While reading the Opinion page, I noted the letter written by Terrence Verigan, of Metairie. Verigan takes exception to your informational piece on former Louisiana Gov. and Confederate Gen. Henry Watkins Allen.

I applaud the Advocate’s article on Allen as an informational and historical piece.

I don’t think the article was intended to foster bigotry as Verigan suggests. In Verigan’s condemnation of your article, he goes so far as to insult Allen with the mischaracterization of “traitor.” There seems to be a general move these days to call all Confederate soldiers “traitors.”

If this characterization is true, then why are these men still to this day classified as U.S. veterans by the U.S. government?

Why are they still eligible to have tax dollar-supplied grave markers from the Veterans Administration placed on their graves? Why are there still U.S. Navy ships and military bases named in their honor?

Does the U.S. government honor “traitors?” My answer to that is no! The government does not honor traitors, and the characterization is not true either. These men were not traitors. They were men who, rightly or wrongly, felt that the U.S. government at the time was infringing or was about to infringe upon their rights.

They fought a war over it and lost. While I certainly do not advocate armed revolt, I can say that a lot of citizens these days again have similar feelings and mistrust of what many consider to be an out-of-control U. S. government.

Whether one claims the Civil War was about slavery, or tariffs, or states’ rights, the bottom line is that the war was about one section of the country, the South, feeling alienated by the U.S. government.

James Cannon
U.S. veteran