Confederate Veterans Remember Their Days of Service in the Klan

We expend a great deal of energy re-casting Confederate soldiers as engaged in a constitutional struggle or defense of home that had nothing to do with the protection of slavery. The price we pay is to ignore what actual Confederates said during the war about the consequences of slavery’s demise and their efforts to re-build a society around white supremacy in the years after.

By the time this story was published monuments were being raised across the former Confederate states in celebration of the bravery and sacrifice of the men who with every victory brought their nation closer to establishing a slaveholding republic around white supremacy. That cause did not end with the furling of flags at Appomattox.

Those communities that have chosen to remove or relocate Confederate monuments now have the opportunity to take a closer look at this history and decide how to re-shape their public spaces and even add to those empty pedestals.

14 thoughts on “Confederate Veterans Remember Their Days of Service in the Klan

  1. Kristoffer

    But will the cities and others also work to stop the Pandora’s box we opened by justly purging the monuments to the Confederacy’s racism and treason? The last time I talked about this Pandora’s box, I mentioned it affecting George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Unfortunately, this Pandora’s box isn’t done with either of them: https://ethicsalarms.com/2017/10/28/ethics-dunce-christ-church-in-alexandria-virginia/

    My notes in the quote are in brackets:
    “The unspoken but implied rationale is that George Washington was a slave-holder, and that this outweighs everything else. Never mind that the entire white population when he was alive believed that blacks were a lower breed of human [My note: a few abolitionists might have begged to differ, but my knowledge of early abolitionism is very limited.]. Never mind that it would have been literally impossible to grow up in agrarian, slavery dominated Virginia as a member of the plantation class without embracing slavery. Never mind that Washington continued to ponder the injustice of the practice, and eventually decided never again to buy or sell another slave while advocating slavery’s eventual abolition. In his will, Washington left directions for the emancipation after Martha Washington’s death, of all the slaves who belonged to him. Never mind that.

    Never mind that without George Washington’s courage, leadership, aversion to excessive power and astonishing charisma and trustworthiness, there would be no United States of America. [My note: precisely.]

    Slippery-slope doomsayers like me and President Trump [My note: for context, the person who wrote this loathes Trump and usually criticizes him.] predicted that the political correctness-sparked historical airbrushing [My note: I don’t agree with his assessment of purging the Confederate battle flag or Confederate monuments as “historical airbrushing”] that began with the Confederate flag and spread to statues of Confederate generals and American statesmen who weren’t attuned to 21st century progressive mandates would eventually make the nation’s Founders persona non grata. We were as correct as these totalitarian and ignorant church-goers are misguided and wrong.”

    This same person also linked to this in the comments: http://dailysignal.com/2017/10/24/university-of-wisconsin-students-protest-abraham-lincoln-statue-because-he-owned-slaves/
    Of course, Lincoln never owned slaves, and the students misrepresent Lincoln’s actions regarding executions resulting from the Dakota War. On a side note, one of the Dakota whose sentences was commuted was executed in error: http://famous-trials.com/dakotaconflict/1525-dak-account

    I am wondering the following question, which in my mind remains unanswered: Will all of the pointing out of inaccuracies, all of the pointing out that Washington etc. had valuable contributions to the USA unlike the Confederacy, at a minimum reduce the frequency of this destructive behavior?

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Dick

      The article omits some important information. The church is removing memorials to Washington and Robert E. Lee which on placed in the sanctuary on “either side of the altar.” More accurate information is in this article. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/27/george-washingtons-church-tear-down-memorial-honor/
      This article goes into more detail on explaining why the church made the decision and also mentioned that they are looking into where to place them as well as examining the way the church explains history. The words “commemoration without contextualization” were used and that’s something which is quite prominent in the arguments about monuments.
      Furthermore, I agree with the church vestry. The sanctuary is not a place for monuments or memorials. I don’t see the slippery slope here. What I see is a church remembering that the focal point of the church, the sanctuary, is about the worship of God and not a museum.

      Reply
  2. Donald Foulke

    I’ve got to admit that while I appreciate the link to the “removed monuments” page/article, I’m a little confused as to why there is no identification of (much less any link to) the newspaper article offered in support of what the article’s text seems to indicate is the thesis point of this piece (the folly of “ignor[ing] what actual Confederates said during the war about the consequences of slavery’s demise and their efforts to re-build a society around white supremacy in the years after.”) Perhaps my browsers (or my brain) are not functioning up to par at the moment.

    Reply
    1. msb

      Pat Cleburne was quite clear that he was proposing Confederate enlistment of slave to enable the South to set the terms of race relations after the war, either way it ended.

      Reply
      1. Donald Foulke

        And this is a meaningful & relevant “reply” to my post, how, exactly? (Apparently my brain continues to fancy being delightfully disconnected.)

        Reply
  3. Rob Wilson

    Kevin: I don’t see a year for the newspaper article included in your post, just the date of “June 3.” Could you tell us what year this came out? I’d like to know where it sits on the post Reconstruction timeline. Thanks.

    Reply
          1. Donald Foulke

            Much obliged, Woodrowfan. It does indeed look like your proffered clipping describes the same event, albeit apparently from a different paper. Your (partial) clipping is identified as the local paper (The Fort Worth Telegram, of June 8, 1908) so presumably the “Special To The News” partial clipping posted here originally (w. a Ft. Worth dateline) was a Dallas or Houston or some-such out-of-town paper.

            Here in South Carolina, we have some tremendous digital newspaper resources available on the net. Here in Lancaster, for example, many hundreds (or thousands) of issues of the local paper are posted and available to one and all, dating from before the civil war. (See, e.g., http://historicnewspapers.sc.edu/titles/places/south_carolina/)

            The site I just posted the link to had an “Support Partners” page, which ultimately led me (on my search for a digitized version of the Ft. Worth Telegram way back when) to http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/newspapers/ . While that appears to be a valuable resource hub, it didn’t help in this instance, for me, at least.

            While I am unable to add much of anything specific to the original post, I’ve rambled on at some length in hopes that some of the information in this post might be of interest to one or more readers here . . . if anyone wanders back this way.

            In any event, Woodrowfan, that was a terribly interesting page you linked to, and I feel enriched thereby. So, again, much obliged.

            Reply

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