Confederates Need Not Apply

One of my readers pointed me to an interesting public commemoration of the Civil War that is set to take place in Baltimore, Maryland on the weekend of April 16.  If you click on “Civil War Procession Application” [pdf] you will notice something quite interesting.  It plainly states that event organizers will only accept the following to take part in the parade: Union Re-enactors, Military Bands, High School/College Marching Bands, Fife & Drum, Equestrian and Honor/Color Guards.

Because I have been unable to locate a website it is impossible for me to draw any conclusions that might help to explain the decision to omit a Confederate representation.  Of course, some folks, including the individual who pointed me to this story, will revert to the standard explanation of revisionism, political correctness, etc, etc, etc.  Unfortunately, that won’t do it.  One possibility is that the organizers of this commemoration intend to hold an event that emphasizes good ole fashioned patriotism by remembering the men who helped to preserve the Union.  Of course, as we all know, Maryland sent men to both armies.  However, our decisions about how to publicly commemorate the past always involve a certain amount of remembering and forgetting.  We don’t expect places such as New York City to include an acknowledgment of the large numbers of Loyalists that lived in the city during the Revolution in their Independence Day celebrations.

That is quite a statement on the part of the event organizers if something along these  is true and it would be another indication that our collective memory of the war has turned a corner.

22 thoughts on “Confederates Need Not Apply

  1. Ken Noe

    “For the formal procession the decision has always been to keep it historically accurate to the Pratt Street Riot. This means that everyone interested in participating in the procession should either come as Southern sympathizers in civilian dress (no CSA uniforms) or galvanize as Union Soldiers or a Baltimore Militia without the Confederate Battle Flag. These guidelines allow our Southern brethren to honor their heritage by portraying confederates as they would have been in April 1861. We would welcome an application from SCV, or any group, to participate in the procession as long as they are able to meet these guidelines.”
    http://www.cwreenactors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22033

    Reply
      1. Ken Noe

        There are two parades that morning, Andy. Your link refers to an 8:30 am Friends of Presidents Street Station parade, which seems to be open to all in any uniform. It’s only the 11:00 am “formal procession” from the station that mandates blue.

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      2. Andy Hall

        My error — it appears there are two parades/processions — one starting at Fells Point at 8:30, and the one organized by the Baltimore Promotion and Arts, starting at the President’s Street Station at 11. Presumably the 8:30 event, which includes Confederate units, was organized in response to the latter.

        It’s going to be a loooong sesquicentennial.

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    1. Will Hickox

      I mean no disrespect to reenactors and I was one myself as a teenager, but whenever I see statements such as this stressing the need for “historical accuracy” I just shake my head. Participants can spend ungodly sums for the finest uniforms and gear and study 1860s drill manuals and social customs until they go blind, but inevitably over half of them will be too old and overweight to represent the average Civil War soldier. You can stuff a 300-pound, 6’4″, pale-skinned guy in the most authentic uniform available, and he’ll still look like an obese reenactor.

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    1. Andy Hall

      I wasn’t aware that Confederate military units were present at the historical event this commemorates. Did the SCV invite Federal reenactors to the Jefferson Davis event in Montgomery some weeks back? You know, to “show the world in this moving, poignant example that America is indeed one, commemorating our tragic past but at the same time demonstrating that despite our differences and diversities, we have indeed ‘bound up the nation’s wounds.’ ”

      No doubt Billy will explain why that’s an entirely different situation.

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      1. K.P. Marshall

        I have no knowledge of the President Davis event but I did see USCT reenactors at the Fort Sumter event on 12 April. They were not even created until 1863. So who, pray tell, is being inclusive and who is not?

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          1. K.P. Marshall

            Come on Andy……if the USCT reenactors were excluded from the event on the grounds of historical accuracy the fallout that descended upon Charleston would have been of the vengeful God of what y’all call the Old Testament variety. No one would have believed that was the real reason and I can only imagine the press reaction. It would have marred EVERY event for the next four years. These folks, instead of excluding Confederates, could have had a small number say 50 of them and say something like “well since what this event was about in 1861 was the divided sentiment of this city and since there were obviously those in the city who were with the South to honor them and in a spirit of reconciliation a Maryland SCV Camp will be participating”.

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      2. Billy Bearden

        Rest easy Mr Hall, Our Georgia contingent did carry a 50 star US Flag during Davis. I doubt the Stars and Bars 1st National will be carried by the Pratt Street Gang in Maryland. But hey! The Maryland State Flag is after all 50% Confederate so there is a little Rebel Love…

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  2. Billy Bearden

    Well, the Confederates held thier parade and service. Right at the end of the service it began raining. The Mayor cancelled the “official” event which sent all govt personnel packing, but the Union reenactors and a dozen civilians went alone with a police escort, and the Union men asked the Confederates if they cared to join in behind.

    Looks as if everything went great – as soon as the Government was removed. Praise God for the rain!

    Reply
    1. K.P. Marshall

      Billy not to put too fine of a point on it but with the timely arrival of the inclement weather one could say…….Deo Vindice? rotfl

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  3. Adam

    Mr.Hall, the parade & service that started @ 8AM is held every year & the MD SCV Color Guard whom I’m a member of is in EVERY YEAR! We do so to Honor William Clark who was the first Confederate Soldier that was killed during the war of northern aggression. He was killed on the streets of Baltimore. There are also union units that march in the parade & attend the service as well. As far as the Confederates being banned from the city’s 150th event that was just discrimination pure & simple. The rain evened it all out in the end! Deo Vindice [><]

    Reply

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