Thoughts On Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee’s Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans
by Al Benson Jr.
Let me start off by saying that I am not a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I have no Confederate ancestors of which I am aware. The closest I can come is being a member of the Friends of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which group I joined a couple years back when I was finally able to get information about it.
Those who know me also know that my sympathies are and have been with the South and the Old Confederacy. If that makes me a "racist" (a Trotskyite term) in the eyes of some folks, well, I guess that’s tough. "Those people" have a right to be offended by my views just as much as I have a right to be offended by theirs, which I am.
Any student of history realizes that the Old South was not perfect (which its detractors seem to think it should have been) anymore than the Old North was. But I have noticed over the decades that the defenders of the North rather seem to gloss over their own sins (which in many cases were the same as those of the South) while denigrating the South for what they, themselves, have also done. Let’s be honest and admit that all men, North, South, or anywhere else, are sinners, in need of the grace of Jesus Christ to make us forgiven sinners. Many in the South recognize this, while many in the North seem intent upon dethroning God and replacing Him with themselves. Just for the record, I was born in the North, so I am not referring to all Northern folks when I say this. There are lots of good Northern folks in the country who detest the direction we have gone in and are still going in just like Southerners, in fact, some have the same mindset as Southerners–and, unfortunately, I have run across some Southerners who are ashamed of being Southerners and try to wrap themselves in Abe Lincoln and his bloodstained banner.
Where we live there are several SCV camps in the area. My wife and I have gone to meetings at several of them and I have even been invited to speak at some of them. I can tell them things about Lincoln and his Marxist buddies they never learned in public school, nor will their kids ever learn there.
I have read Stephen Dill Lee’s Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and some things have sort of jumped out at me. Lt. General Lee started off with: To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought. There are other worthwhile goals mentioned, but it seems to me that this is one of the most important. The SCV (as should all Southerners, along with some of us Copperheads) is to vindicate the Cause for which their fathers fought. That cause is under attack today as never before. The Marxist originators of Cultural Genocide and Political Correctness have worked overtime for decades now to convince Southerners that their cause is tainted by the stain of slavery and that’s really all they seceded for and sought to preserve. It hardly needs to be said that such Political Correctness is a crock full of some excremental material I will not mention. All you have to do regarding the slavery question is to read Donnie Kennedy’s book Myths of American Slavery to find out how involved the North was in the slave trade. Check out how many of the original 13 colonies had slavery at some point. That’s not what your average Southerner fought for, and even some Yankees had to admit that they fought for what they considered to be "preserving the Union" and they had no interest in slavery one way or the other. Little did they realize that their leaders were destroying the Union they thought they were preserving–and using them to do it.
I’ve noted some things the SCV has done over the years, preserving and marking the graves of Confederate soldiers and putting flags on them in commemoration. That’s a good thing–but it’s not enough–and that seems to be all that some are willing to do. It seems to me that a lot more needs to be done to vindicate the Cause for which the Confederates fought. Some SCV camps do try to do more. From what I have heard, some don’t. Decorating Confederate graves, important as that is, doesn’t seem to me to be enough of a vindication.
I’ve gone to SCV meetings where the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag is recited during the meeting. I don’t doubt for a minute the sincerity of these folks, and maybe it’s just my Copperhead sentiments, but I have a hard time with the Pledge of Allegiance. I have not said it for years at any meeting of any kind that I go to where they recite it. Given that this Pledge was written by a Northern Socialist who was asked to leave the church he preached in because of his overt socialism, and who doted on the "one nation indivisible" bit, I don’t think this Pledge really belongs in an SCV meeting. I’ve even gone to churches where it was recited as part of the service, and I don’t think it belongs there either. If you want to offer some kind of salute to the Christian flag that’s fine. But the Christian flag and the US flag are antithetical one to the other.
It just seems to me, and this is only my opinion, for the SCV to vindicate the cause for which Confederate soldiers fought, there needs to be some sort of educational agenda or process at work by the SCV noting those ideas and values for which the South fought, and taking note of what they fought against. In some places such is true and SCV camps do try to educate people, beginning with their own, as to what the War was really fought over. It seems to me that this educational effort needs to be a part of the SCV’s overall program. It may be so and I am just not aware, but having some sort of brief lesson plan for new members as to what the War was fought over might be helpful.
The last sentence of the Charge is just as important as the first. It says: Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations. I wonder how many Southerners, even in the SCV, realize how terribly important that is. The true history of the South is almost never presented anymore, especially not in most schools, and, at the university level–forget it! Many colleges today are way too busy teaching their students how to feel guilty over being white, or for having Southern accents. Real, accurate Southern history only gets in the way of the Marxist agenda. A question we might ask, and I have asked, is "why do you still send your kids to these schools?" I have yet to get a satisfactory answer.
From all that I can discern, Lt. General Lee’s Charge is, or should be, extremely important, not only to the SCV, but to all concerned Southern folks. It’s important to me and I wasn’t born here, but I live here now and the South is home. If we don’t take the time to vindicate the Cause for which the South fought and make sure the kids here get the right history instead of the Marxist propaganda that’s out there, then our Cause (it’s mine, too) will be lost and it may be centuries before it is retrieved.