Category Archives: Civil War Culture

If By Pro-Union You Mean, Pro-America

Richard Williams believes that I run a pro-Union blog, which I assume stands in contrast with a pro-Confederate blog.  It’s kind of funny to be labeled in a way that suggests that I am somehow still fighting the war.  On the other hand, I do not claim objectivity when it comes to this history.  Who could possibly do so given the issues involved and the scale of violence and destruction wrought.  No, I do not believe that the Union was wholly good and the Confederacy evil – that would be to apply an overly simplistic moral formula to a very complex subject.

So, if you have any doubt as to where I stand let me lay it out for you on a fourth-grade level:

  • I do not believe that secession was justified given the reasons presented. [I am speaking specifically of the lower South states.]
  • I also do not believe that secession was constitutional.
  • Abraham Lincoln was justified in using military force to suppress the rebellion of the southern states.
  • Lincoln and Congress were justified in going against slavery as a means to save the Union.
  • The abolition of slavery was a good thing for the entire nation.
  • The preservation of the Union was a good thing for the entire nation. [The right side won the war.]
  • The outcome of the war placed this country on track to becoming the leader of the free world.

I was born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey.  I was not raised on a pro-Confederate or pro-Union interpretation of the war; in fact, I don’t remember learning anything about the Civil War until I was well into my 20s.  If what I listed above makes me pro-Union than so be it.  It seems to me to be a pretty mainstream/uncontroversial view.

Rather than a pro-Union blog I prefer to see it as a pro-America blog.  Enjoy the increased traffic today, Richard.

Calling All Patriots of the Confederacy

It’s a slow day here at Civil War Memory.  For your consideration and amusement:

There needs to be a new organization. This new organization should not be based on blood, and ancestry. And, it need not be all male, or female. It does however need to be Christian, and it needs to be committed to vindicate the Cause, where the Cause is defined by the Confederate Constitution, minus those aspects which defend slavery. The South had and has much to offer in terms of ideas and concepts for governing America. The supreme sovereignty of the individual state, the meaning of republic, the original meanings to the words of the Constitution all are applicable to today’s world.

This new organization, Patriots of the Confederacy, Inc. should not be a not – for – profit and should not be intimidated or controlled by the government. Membership should be based on the spirit of the prospective member. The prospective member should be Christian or Jewish and practicing their faith. The prospective member should be required to take a written examination to demonstrate knowledge of what they will be committing too. This knowledge should be focused on the C.S. Constitution, the writings of Jefferson Davis and the lives of R. E. Lee, Stonewall and others. And it should include questions about the Charge. Further, the prospective member should demonstrate an understanding that this is not about history, it’s about America today, and how we can improve the condition of a nation by reintroducing the ideas which were at the heart of this nation when it was conceived.

The floor is yours.

Our Obsession With the Confederate Flag

My editor at the Atlantic asked me to revise a recent post on the DNC and the Confederate flag.  You can read it below or at the Atlantic.  I have no doubt that it will raise the usual cries of South/Confederate heritage bashing from the usual suspects.  What I find funny is that the posts I’ve written for the Atlantic that could be construed as Union bashing or whatever the equivalent is this side of the Mason-Dixon Line rarely receive any kind of condemnation.  Funny how that works.  Click here for the rest of the my Atlantic columns.

Next month’s Democratic National Convention and the nomination of the nation’s first black president for a second term in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, will provide an ideal backdrop for those looking to assess the region’s progress on the racial front. At front and center for many sits the Confederate flag.

Reports are likely to resemble this recent article from The Charlotte Observer, written by Elizabeth Leland, who believes that “remnants of the Old South linger in our region — and none as divisive as the Confederate flag.” Such articles follow a well-worn pattern that includes interviews with one or two white southern men who fly the flag on their property or pickup truck and believe it represents “heritage, not hate.” (As an auto mechanic quoted in Leland’s story puts it, “I’ve lived here since I was a little rascal and my daddy always had an American flag and a Confederate flag, and I do, too.”)

Click to continue