A Northerner Speaks in your defense…
With the criminal removal of the monuments in New Orleans, I opined that maybe the 12th named storm this year, Lee, should hit NOLA.
I was asked, out of curiosity, the reason for my being a fan of the confederacy. Here is my response to a wider audience.
I’ve read a lot of history.
Genealogy shows I have a Saginaw relative who went to Detroit to enlist who then marched east to fight at Gaines Mill with the Michigan 16th where he was wounded, taken to Savage Station then hospitalized ‘forever’ in Baltimore, before being released back to Saginaw. He then joined the GAR. Grand Army of the Republic. As such I belong to the SUVCW. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. There is also a Daughters group.
Genealogy also shows some branch of the family moved to Georgia before the war. But details are more than murky on that connection. Whether relatives fought for the South, I do not know, though there was a Confederate with my exact name.
History should never be erased, no matter who desires it.
The South was losing out economically to the north.. The North could not survive economically, Lincoln said so, without the taxes and tariffs (especially from cotton grown here, processed in the UK, then returned here) brought in by the South which did not benefit.
It was not a civil war. A civil war is when people within try to take over the government. The South chose to depart, write their own constitution, and desired simply to be left alone.
Most southern states did not mention slavery in their legal papers when they chose to Secede. Only the more northern tier of southern states did so and only at the outbreak of hostilities. These were North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The original seven seceding states of the deep South did not.
It is important to note here, our forefathers envisioned a United nation of otherwise Sovereign States. Capital S States. Lincoln’s actions during the War Between the States created and exercised more heavy handed Federal control which exists to this day. Making state borders seem relatively Quaint compared to what they meant previously. The South fought for these State’s Rights.
The northern US brought in slaves, sold originally by Africans and Muslims (which still do it), but as the north went industrial, slaves were expensive, compared to, say, Irish immigrants, who were also indentured servants. So the North sold their slaves to the South. This came in handy as a moral justification for the War of Northern Aggression as the war progressed and both England and France looked poised to support the South, which would have spelled the end of the North’s chances.
So Lincoln freed the slaves. Oh, not US slaves. He held on to those. Just slaves in the Confederacy. A separate and sovereign country in which he had no legal standing.
Lee was a US Army General in Virginia. With the outbreak of the war, Lincoln offered him leadership of Northern forces, but Lee lived in Virginia, and despite its proximity to Wash DC, Virginia chose to side with the South, forcing Lee to choose between the US and his family and friends all around him. Who could have chosen differently?
When Virginia seceded, a few counties resisted. Lincoln broke those off from Virginia and formed West Virginia. Talk about making up constitutional powers as you go along.
When Maryland, which along with Virginia, physically bordered and surrounded DC, tried to secede as well, Lincoln arrested their entire legislature to prevent a vote.
Kentucky was the geographic center of all this and Lincoln knew he had to hold on to it or lose Missouri as well. When they too departed so he installed his own governments in those states to hold on. The South claimed them, but they never filed papers of secession and Lincoln refused to remove their stars from the flag. Some of the first bloodshed was in Kentucky.
Slaves only arrived in northern ports on ships flying the US Flag. Never Confederate.
Lee inherited, through his wife’s family I believe, slaves, but found it immoral and freed them and started an illegal school to educate others. By comparison U.S. Grant had and kept slaves which he neither freed nor educated.
Arlington, our most Hallowed Ground, was Lee’s homestead. It was defiled with Union dead so no one could ever return and live there. Southern dead by comparison were not initially buried at Arlington, but were left where they fell on the battlefield. For years and years.
This is why the north is lacking in many monuments but the South seems covered in them. These are memorials to be dead. Often paid for by the Daughters groups surviving the Confederacy. They most often lived on farms. But the passing Union troops, Most notoriously Sherman’s March to the Sea, left few fathers,sons, husbands and brothers to return home to the burned homes and fields with destroyed or stolen crops and destroyed farm animals.
So the South made many memorials in hopes no one would ever forget, not just the war or war dead, but the actions of the North and the valiant response of her Southern Sons, 95-97% of whom owned no slaves, but who were fighting for their homes and families.
Under US law these monuments, markers, statues and graves are protected as Confederate soldiers are now considered US war dead. There is no enforcement of course.
Before I end, it is important to point out the Confederate Battle Flag is exactly that. A flag of Battle carried by those who fought. It does not represent the government of the Confederacy. There are many surviving with the names of the places where soldiers fought and died.
So, to answer the question, I am a fan of the Confederates, because of what I know.
Source: Virginia Flaggers Facebook Page
May 21, 2017
Post By Timothy Mahar