Pitts misunderstands Civil War

Athens Banner-Herald 

In his Monday Banner-Herald commentary, "Lack of civility, history a deadly combo," syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts claims the Confederate battle flag was a "dirty banner."

My forefathers came to America via Charleston harbor and settled in the Alabama territory in the early 19th century. They worked hard and purchased land, not slaves. In fact, their religion fought against slavery. Yet many fought and died under what Pitts calls a "dirty banner." They volunteered to fight for the South, because they interpreted the Constitution as their right to remove themselves from a politically oppressive Union.

If Pitts is right that slavery was the cause of the War Between the States, why did so many Southern men – including my forebears – volunteer to fight in a war for a purpose in which they had no interest or belief? If slavery was the cause, why did it take President Abraham Lincoln nearly three years to free slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation?


There were many reasons that more than 600,000 Americans died, including some of my forebears. Let us learn what those reasons were, so we will never fight among ourselves again. After all, this was the first war Americans lost.

Bill Brackner – Commerce

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