New York City’s Southern Community

I’ve suggested before that how Americans remember their Civil War can no longer be so easily drawn along strict regional boundaries.  Consider the video below.  On May 15th, 2011, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Archibald Gracie Camp and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as other members of New York City’s Southern Community gathered at The French Church in Manhattan for a Memorial Service honoring the Confederate Dead, 150 years after the Civil War.  Dr. Michael S. Kogan delivered this sermon on the causes of the War and the legacy of the Southern Soldier.

16 comments… add one
  • Tim Abbott May 22, 2011 @ 7:02

    I have declined meeting with the Archibald Gracie Camp SCV, although he was the one confederate in the attic in my northern family tree (3rd-Great Uncle). Died at Perserburg after a well placed shell took him down along with two others in the trenches on Dec 2, 1864.

  • Patrick May 21, 2011 @ 15:32
    • Kevin Levin May 21, 2011 @ 15:54


      Thanks so much for including this link. I’ve never heard of this story before.

    • Marc Ferguson May 21, 2011 @ 18:21

      Thanks Patrick. This is certainly a curious story, and very thin ground for any claim that the Confederacy existed until 1946.

      “They voted in Dec 1945 and they vote failed again, but in Jan 26, 1946, the persons living in Town-Line, NY officially re-joined the Union, some 26 days after the last two southern states (Mississippi & Alabama), officially joined. By rejoining this made Town-line, NY the last stronghold of the Confederacy.”

      Very strange claim here, since Mississippi was readmitted to the Union in 1870, and Alabama in 1868. I doubt very seriously that the federal government viewed Town-Line as not being part of the United States, but as part of the CSA, until 1946.

  • Marc Ferguson May 21, 2011 @ 7:37

    “Technically,” i.e. legally, the Confederacy never existed. As an actually governing entity, it existed until the spring of 1865. But I’m curious, what particular “technicality” are you referring to?

  • Bob Swartz May 20, 2011 @ 18:54

    Obviously, there is a lot of cognitive dissonance regarding the “big issues” that he represents. There are smaller details in what he says that make me question his grasp of the war. He talks of ragged confederates charging at Malvern hill. I suspect the confederate army was still well-clothed in July, 1862. He mentions Sherman’s statement about making Georgia howl (1864?) and follows that with reference to Lee’s invasion of PA and men wanting to take revenge, in 1863. Conveniently, no mention of ransoming northern cities. Hardly worth getting worked up about somebody factually ignorant like this, but I sort of ask myself the question, “Is he the best they’ve got?”

  • Patrick May 20, 2011 @ 16:26

    While NYC is something of an exception, it is interesting as a Southern expatriate who lives in a rural area in the northeast to see how, indeed, which side of the Mason-Dixon line one lives on doesn’t count much toward Confederate sympathy. Rather, it seems to be a rural vs. urban divide (As it was during the War when New Orleans was the Agrarian South’s only representative in the USA’s 25 most populous cities).

    When I first moved up here, I was a bit baffled and off-put (As much as I love the Starry Cross) by the number of Battle Flags I saw on pick up trucks and waving from farm flag poles. I’ve always chocked it up to the fact that tv and movies tend to always give rednecks and tough farmers a Southern accent. Who can paint a caricature of a Yankee Farmer anymore? So people who pride themselves on being backwoodsy and unpolished rally round the banner. Certainly I would be much more comfortable carrying the Battle Flag down Main Street in my current town than I would in Atlanta.

    • Kevin Levin May 20, 2011 @ 17:49

      Thanks for the comment, Patrick. I also don’t think you can discount the political element. Those people who are troubled by what they perceive as a bloated and dangerous federal government identify with a vague notion that the Confederate government represented a commitment to states rights.

      • Patrick May 20, 2011 @ 18:12

        For sure. It’s completely anecdotal, of course, but it seems like where I’m at, the Battle Flag and the Don’t Tread on Me are interchangeable, except the former is more provocative, which has an appeal. Since in any appealingly rural Northeastern town, you have a New York City weekender element, which locals despise.

        Of course there are numerous stories of Democrat-heavy towns in my neck of the woods that raised the Confederate Flag during the War and got run over by Federals immediately, but since most Americans have since moved West, I doubt there’s any element of those groups remaining.

        • Billy Bearden May 21, 2011 @ 7:16

          The ‘Confederacy’ technically lasted just 1 month shy of a full 85 years,
          ending in January 1946 – in New York

      • Will Hickox May 20, 2011 @ 19:49

        …With the irony being, of course, that the Confederate government was more coercive toward the individual citizen and non-citizen in many ways.

  • Will Hickox May 20, 2011 @ 15:34

    I love the fact that members of these groups proudly wear more medals than any Confederate soldier ever did.

    • Billy Bearden May 21, 2011 @ 7:03


      Perhaps the fact that Confederate soldiers had NO MEDALS may have been a minor point as to why current SCV members display a wider variety?

      • Kevin Levin May 21, 2011 @ 7:10

        I have no doubt that what you say is true. 🙂

        • Billy Bearden May 21, 2011 @ 20:08

          Glad to hear it my friend! No medals during the war. However the UDC did create the Cross of Honor after the war, and gave them out thru ?1902?

  • Jeffry Burden May 20, 2011 @ 13:05

    Very nice. Every M&M / Lost Cause / Evil North meme is touched on, in less than 14 minutes. Bravo, Doctor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *