Thursday, July 09, 2015

Proud of South Carolina

I'm delighted to see that South Carolina has stopped displaying the Confederate flag on its own initiative. I'm sure the flag doesn't represent hatred to most of the people for whom it is a sign of southern pride and dignity. But it's been 150 years since the end of the Civil War. Better for everyone to move on.

My great grandfather fought for the North, but he had a cousin who died in the South. The difference? His family moved to Indiana in the early 1800s. The common people usually don't make the wars, even though they are compelled to fight them.

Did slavery need to end? Absolutely. Was the Union a greater good than a loose collection? I would say absolutely. Was Robert E. Lee a man of honor? I'm willing to say so. I'm willing to honor all the fallen soldiers on both sides. Were the soldiers of the North more noble? Not in my book, even if I think theirs was the more righteous cause.

Let's just say that the Civil War ended April 9, 2015, a mere 150 years later. North and South are now equal. Black and white are now equal. From now on, let's say, a person is to be judged by the content of their individual character, North or South.


Rob Henderson said...

My dad was from Versailles, Kentucky. And it was with Southern pride that he flew the Rebel flag outside of his home. Versailles was always "down home" to him and my grandmother. (They emigrated to Michigan after World War II looking for work.)

Then 9/11 occurred.

The flag of southern pride came down. An American flag replaced the other. He never talked about it but perhaps something was stirred within his own heart about our nation being one nation. There was no more "north vs. south."

I'm grateful that many in the South are finally removing a symbol that has been offensive to many people of color- including our own Wesleyan brothers and sisters. It's too bad that a horrid racist incident had to occur to awaken the consciences.

vanilla said...

Let's say it is so and pray devoutly for the consummation thereof.

Brad Harris said...

Why I would say that I'm not totally delighted with the flag coming down is because it shows are miss understanding as a nation and history what the flag did mean and it was not back then about race.

Fact that the Civil War started not because of race but more on the issue of state rights to decide on the issues for their own state and not the government to decide for them.

Not saying that I believe slavery was right. However, it is interesting that many of the Northern Generals had slaves during the civil war. It is also interesting how the Southern Generals treated their slaves. General Lee treated his slaves like family and gave rights a privileges of a family member. General Jackson not only treated his slaves like family but took time to teach and read the Bible to his Slaves.

Brad Harris said...

Some research and a column Walter Williams did. Who is a black by the way

Black Confederates
During our War of 1861, ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, "There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down . . . and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government."

Dr. Lewis Steiner, a Union Sanitary Commission employee who lived through the Confederate occupation of Frederick, Maryland said, "Most of the Negroes . . . were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy Army." Erwin L. Jordan's book Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia cites eyewitness accounts of the Antietam campaign of "armed blacks in rebel columns bearing rifles, sabers, and knives and carrying knapsacks and haversacks." After the Battle of Seven Pines in June 1862, Union soldiers said that "two black Confederate regiments not only fought but showed no mercy to the Yankee dead or wounded whom they mutilated, murdered and robbed."

In April 1861, a Petersburg, Virginia newspaper proposed "three cheers for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg" after 70 blacks offered "to act in whatever capacity may be assigned to them" in defense of Virginia. Erwin L. Jordan cites one case where a captured group of white slave owners and blacks were offered freedom if they would take an oath of allegiance to the United States. One free black indignantly replied, "I can't take no such oaf as dat. I'm a secesh nigger." A slave in the group upon learning that his master refused to take the oath said, "I can't take no oath dat Massa won't take." A second slave said, "I ain't going out here on no dishonorable terms." One of the slave owners took the oath but his slave, who didn't take the oath, returning to Virginia under a flag of truce, expressed disgust at his master's disloyalty saying, "Massa had no principles."

Horace Greeley, in pointing out some differences between the two warring armies said, "For more than two years, Negroes have been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy. They have been embodied and drilled as rebel soldiers and had paraded with white troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in the armies of the Union." General Nathan Bedford Forrest had both slaves and freemen serving in units under his command. After the war, General Forrest said of the black men who served under him "[T]hese boys stayed with me . . . and better Confederates did not live." Southern generals owned slaves but northern generals owned them as well. General Ulysses Grant's slaves had to await for the Thirteenth Amendment for freedom. When asked why he didn't free his slaves earlier, General Grant said,"Good help is so hard to come by these days."

These are but a few examples of the important role that blacks served, both as slaves and freemen in the Confederacy during the War Between the States. The flap over the Confederate Flag is not quite as simple as the nation's race experts make it. They want us to believe the flag is a symbol of racism. Yes, racists have used the Confederate Flag, but racists have also used the Bible and the U.S. Flag. Should we get rid of the Bible and lower the U.S. Flag? Black civil rights activists and their white liberal supporters who're attacking the Confederate Flag have committed a deep, despicable dishonor to our patriotic black ancestors who marched, fought and died to protect their homeland from what they saw as Northern aggression. They don't deserve the dishonor.

I would rather share and inform truth than just keep believing the confederate flag is about race.