The governor of Virginia has yet to issue a proclamation for Confederate History Month or Civil War History in Virginia Month as his predecessor chose to call it. I am assuming that is just fine with fellow blogger and historian, Robert Moore, who writes from the Shenandoah Valley.
Robert worries that the Lost Cause-laced content of most proclamations distorts more than it reveals the antebellum history of the South.
I’m a firm believer that the Southern-born postwar narrative has done a gross disservice to the history of the South… even to the point where either people define prewar via the postwar narratives, or where they don’t really grasp much of an understanding at all about [the] prewar South.
Actually, I suspect that a proclamation coming from Richmond is not as troubling to Robert as the county-wide public proclamations that have and will continue to be issued throughout the Valley and beyond.
Go ahead… ask most who partake in Confederate History Month to give a fair and accurate summary of the pulse of the Shenandoah Valley prior to the Civil War. If you don’t get a story tainted with the Southern postwar narrative, I’d be surprised.
For someone as rooted in local history as Robert is, I can appreciate his concern. We’ve all seen these proclamations. They bleed into one another with the same meaningless platitudes that have almost nothing to do with local history and likely do very little to connect individuals to their historical surroundings and the stories of neighbors long passed.
Read Robert’s post in full. Helping people forge meaningful connections with rich local stories is what he is all about.