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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: August 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When America was God’s Country

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., Speaker and Author of the book “When America Stood for God, Family and Country.”

The United States of America is a vast melting pot of many people of different origins and religions….And, thank God, we are still free to worship at the church, synagogue or mosque of our choice as our nation celebrates her 234th birthday as an American-Christian Republic.

But, today, some folks are questioning the wisdom, or lack of, in building a Mosque and Islamic Center near “Ground Zero” the sacred site where the World Trade Center was destroyed by terrorists on September 11, 2001. This is sacred-honored ground that some compare to the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where thousands were also senselessly killed.

Is this the same America of forty-five “45” years ago, when our nation celebrated the Civil War Centennial or over two-hundred “200” years ago, when our founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence? Are children still taught the words to the Declaration of Independence or Bill of Rights?

Why do some of our Washington representatives, who are sworn to defend the Constitution and American people, criticize the State of Arizona for upholding the Constitution and protecting their people?

If only we had the values of the 1960s when….

Mothers, Fathers, Grandmas and Grandpas shared stories and words of wisdom with their children. The young folks were encouraged to live more constructive and fruitful lives by avoiding cigarettes, alcohol and drugs and obeying the laws of God—that are the Ten Commandments and the laws of man.

During 1961-65, America remembered the men of the Union Blue and Confederate Gray of the War Between the States and….

In 1965 people enjoyed quality time at the drive-in or in-door picture show to see such great movies as: “Shenandoah” starring James Stewart, “A High Wind in Jamaica” starring Anthony Quinn, “Von Ryan’s Express” starring Frank Sinatra, “The Sons of Katie Elder” starring John Wayne and the academy award winner “The Sound of Music” starring Julie Andrews. Veteran Movie Director Henry Koster was still making family film classics like: Dear Brigitte starring James Stewart and Glynis Johns.

Television shows during the autumn of 1965 were magnificently transcending from black and white to color, that included such shows as: “The Lawrence Welk Show” on ABC, “Daniel Boone” staring Fess Parker on NBC and “The Andy Griffith Show” also starring Don Knotts on CBS.

During the 1960s, presidents hardly ever apologized for America, the family attended church on Sunday and streets were safer even though firearms were easier to purchase.

The music scene of 1965 exploited with excitement with such entertainers as: the Beatles, the Supremes, the Dixie Cups, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Louis Armstrong, Tennessee Ernie Ford, George Jones and Loretta Lynn—to name a few.

In 1965, a Mother could safely leave her front door unlocked to go the store, school bands still played “Dixie” and everyone respected the fireman, policeman, paramedic, school teacher and soldier.

America has never been perfect but Capitalism, not Communism, has endured the test of time. When I was growing up, no one quoted former Communist or Socialist leaders. Americans quoted from great men like: George Washington, Sir Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee.

The world looks toward America as the last hope for the free world. But, are we still the land of the free and home of the brave and is our motto still “In God We Trust?”

III. “The Myth of the Myth of the Lost Cause” (continued)

“The Slaves Set Themselves Free!”

By Bill Vallante

I honestly don’t remember who it was that invented this bit of melodrama but I do suspect that many “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” have jumped on this bandwagon because it is what they think that most people these days would like to hear, because it is an easy story to tell, and because it’s entertaining. I believe it was Avary O. Craven who said that in depth discussions of economics and political intrigues as causes of the war do not have the appeal or “the entertainment value” that “harrowing tales of runaway slaves” have. I guess then that our mythologists have opted for entertainment over reality. Maybe instead of holding expensive Sesquicentennial Celebrations or writing books they should instead start their own Sesquicentennial “Reality Show” and sandwich it between “ Jersey Shore” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”?

The “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” tell us that the slaves endured unimaginable cruelties, and that often they sought refuge by fleeing northward on the Underground Railroad, a “railroad” whose legend has grown so much in scope in recent years that it now appears to have been larger than Amtrack. I for one would love to know how many people actually ran away to the north or to Canada and how much of what is in books on this subject these days is pure hype......or .....perhaps see some research into how so many people who don't know their rear end from their elbow and who have never been more than 5 miles from home and who are so superstitious that the darkness inspires absolute terror in them (Read the WPA Slave Narratives if you don’t believe me), can so expertly pick out the north star and navigate by it in the pitch black darkness, for a thousand miles or more?

Our mythologists also tell us that Massa Linkhorn emancipated the slaves after some sort of moral awakening late in 1862 and that taking the high moral ground is one of the things that helped the Union win the war. Many in England didn’t quite see it that way. In 1862, one English publication issued the following commentary regarding the Emancipation Proclamation:

“…But as time went on, and the issues of the war came out more clearly, this spring of Northern sympathies began to fail. It soon became apparent that the grievance of the South went very far beyond the mere refusal to allow slaves to be held in the territories of the United States, and it became still more clear that whatever the North was fighting for, it was not for the emancipation of the Negro. It was impossible to believe that the North was crusading for abolition, in the face of the President’s reiterated denials, and of the inhuman treatment which Negroes were constantly receiving at Northern hands. If anything was wanting to confirm their skepticism, it has been supplied. Emancipation to be a military resource of his extreme necessity, shows how little he cared for it as a philanthropist. He values it not for the freedom it may confer, but for the carnage that it may cause.” [16]

Our mythologists tell us that those slaves who could not flee worked to sabotage the Confederacy’s war effort and that they welcomed the Union army with open arms and that whenever possible they flocked in huge numbers to swell the ranks of that army to fight for their freedom.

Seemingly ignored is the fact that while an estimated half a million slaves did, either of their own accord or because they were forced to, leave their homes and go to the Union armies, that over 3 million stayed right where they were and indeed, some of them lent strong support to the land of their birth. The WPA Slave Narratives are full of such stories but the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” tell us we cannot believe the stories in the Narratives because those interviewed were senile or were afraid of telling the truth to the mostly white interviewers. It does not prevent our mythologists however, from picking out select stories from those narratives where those interviewed said they were abused or that they strongly supported the Union. I guess the formula for determining credibility is that if a former slave said positive things about the South, then he was suffering from dementia or feeling intimidated. If he spoke for the North or had negative things to say about slavery, he was not. How convenient!

You won’t hear our mythologists citing any narratives like:

“I had two uncles. Jipp and Charlie Clark in Stonewall's company. They would never talk much about him after his death. It hurts them too much, for Stonewall's men loved him so much. Jeff Davis was a great man, too.” (The Federal Writer’s Project; “The Slave Narratives,” Jeff Charley Harvey, South Carolina)

or, “We wa'n't beaten, we was starved out! Sometimes we had perched corn to eat and sometimes we didn't have a bite o' nothin', because the Union mens come and tuk all de food for theirselves….” (The Federal Writer’s Project; “The Slave Narratives,” Gus Brown, Alabama)

or, "After the War many soldiers came to my mistress, Mrs. Blakely, trying to make her free me. I told them I was free but I did not want to go anywhere, that I wanted to stay in the only home that I had ever known. In a way that placed me in a wrong attitude. I was pointed out as different. Sometimes I was threatened for not leaving but I stayed on.” (The Federal Writer’s Project; “The Slave Narratives,” Aunt Adeline, Arkansas)

or, "Slavery wus better den it is now. Shore it wus. I don't know much 'bout de war but my first life in Virginia wus better den it is now. I never did have any mean white folks. De Lord made me lucky in dat way.” (The Federal Writer’s Project; “The Slave Narratives,” Amy Penny, North Carolina)

You won’t hear the mythologists talking about Dick Poplar - a free black man from Petersburg who joined the 13th Va. Cavalry and who elected to spend 19 months in Point Lookout rather than take the oath of allegiance to the United States? [17]

Nor will you hear about the free black woman who Union General Milroy tossed out of Winchester because she refused to remove a black corsage from her dress after Stonewall Jackson died. [18]

And you won’t hear body servant Washington Wills, say in a letter to his master, “I will do whatever I can to help my struggling country…” [19]

You won’t hear anything about the Yankee lieutenant in Sherman’s army (or countless others like him) who said, “The….nig***s, as a general thing, preferred to stay at home, particularly after they found out that we wanted only the able-bodied men, and to tell the truth, the youngest and best looking women. Sometimes we took them off by way of repaying influential secessionist. But a part of these we soon managed to lose, sometimes in crossing rivers, sometimes in other ways.” (Thomas J. Myers, Lieutenant, U.S.A., February 26, 1865)

And while you will find many monuments, plaques and celebrations honoring the United States Colored Troops and celebrating their “Glory,” you won’t find much in the way of a realistic description of life as it really existed for these people. You won’t hear much about the fact that not all of the 189,000 men of the United States Colored Troops were freedom fighting volunteers. Many of those from the North were conscripted. Others were paid bounties for their service. Others, slaves “liberated” from their owners and in some cases carried off by Yankee troops, were forced to enlist and in some cases threatened with being shot if they did not. Still others, runaways in most cases, took the opportunity to join something that would at least give them the necessities of life, i.e., clothing, shelter, food and medical care, even if joining that “something” meant they could get killed! The alternative in those days, you see, was to starve or die of malnutrition or exposure. It was a matter of simple survival. Let’s see…where in the anything that I’ve seen on this subject have I heard anything remotely resembling this? I haven’t!

For sure you will not hear the words of Liney Chambers of Arkansas, who told a WPA interviewer, “What the Yankees didn't take they wasted and set fire to it…. They done one more thing too. They put any colored man in the front where he would get killed first and they stayed sorter behind in the back lines…….. When they come along they try to get the colored men to go with them and that's the way they got treated.”

And you won’t hear a peep from those Sesquicentennial planners, about Jefferson Davis and his wife rescuing and adopting an abused free black child named Jim Limber in February 1864. Little Jim lived in the Confederate White House until the end of the war. He played with, ate with and slept with the Davis children, and he functioned as a part of that family. As I recall, the Sons of Confederate Veterans commissioned a sculptor to make a statue of Davis and the child, and then offered it to the Tredegar Museum. Tredegar officials acted like they were being offered a case of bubonic plague.

When you get down to it, our “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” really haven’t done much in regard to telling an accurate history of the black man in this period. They’ve simply destroyed the “Gone With the Wind” myth and replaced it with another myth - “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Since none of us were alive at the time of the war and since none of us saw it first hand, we are left to wonder where the truth lies, and indeed, what the truth really is. There are many versions of the truth and I submit, that as in most cases like it, the real truth lies somewhere in between the two most extreme versions of it, and that it is a pity that few of us will ever get to see or hear it. There is no truth in what the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” are doing. There is only a question - whose myth are we going to go with and why?

(to be continued)


[16] “The Quarterly Review,” “The Confederate Struggle,” London, July – October, 1862, vol. 112, pp. 535 – 564


[18] “War Crimes Against Southern Civilians,” by Walter Brian Cisco, Pelican Publishing Co., 2007

[19] “Rebel Boast - First at Bethel, Last at Appomattox,” by Manly Wade Wellman
Originally Published 1956 by Henry Hold and Company, New York
Reprinted 2000 by Blue Gray Books

Sunday, August 29, 2010

II. “The Myth of the Myth of the Lost Cause” (continued)

About Slavery as a Political Issue in ante-bellum America

By Bill Vallante

Yes, slavery was indeed an issue of political conflict, one which revolved chiefly around slavery in the territories. But there was much more to the 'slavery in the territories' question than a simple matter of good vs. evil. As in the case of most political conflicts, the real issues had more to do more with money and power than any real moral principle. How do I know this? I know it because I have read the words of those who lived at the time, northerners, southerners and even foreigners – words which are usually not to be found in most of the contemporary history books for some strange reason. I cannot say for sure why these words are so hard to find, but I do know that their inclusion might give students of the period a more accurate picture of what was going on in America at the time and why!

More than one Southerner questioned the feigned and hypocritical philanthropy of Northerners toward the black man. The English also questioned it and for their part, Northerners seldom issued any denials.

Students reading about “The Wilmot Proviso” in their high school history books seldom will read the actual words of Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot when he introduced this important piece of anti-slavery legislation – legislation aimed more at Southern domination in national affairs than the pursuit of some vague notion of equality. It doesn’t sound to me like Mr. Wilmot was too concerned about equality:

“The negro race already occupy enough space on this fair continent.” [2]

Josiah Quincy, Massachusetts politician for over 50 years, spoke out in 1811 in favor of New England forming its own Confederation – in other words, he had no problem with New England seceding. Still active in 1861 he strongly supported Lincoln’s invasion of the seceding Southern states in what can only be described as an amazing turn around! Nonetheless, he was honest enough to openly admit one of the real reasons behind the North’s 30 year anti-slavery cold war against the South:

“The slave representation clause is the cause of all the difficulties we labor under…the Southern states have an influence in our national councils, altogether disproportionate to their wealth, strength and resources.” [3]**

And if that isn’t enough, we have the words of various antebellum Northern luminaries who, perhaps, not realizing that someone would record their words for future posterity revealed their true attitudes toward the black man:

Ohio Republican Senator John Sherman, (brother of William T. Sherman): “We do not like the negroes. We do not disguise our dislike…..The whole people of the Northwestern states are opposed to having many negroes among them and that principle or prejudice has been engraved in the legislation for nearly all of the Northwestern states.” [4]

Republican Senator Lyon Trumbull: “We, the Republican Party, are the white man’s party. We are for free white men, and for making white labor respectable and honorable, which it can never be when Negro slave labor is brought into competition with it.” [5]

William Seward, inveterate moralizer and creator of the phrase “irrepressible conflict,” who, at a political rally in 1860, described the American black man as a “foreign and feeble element like the Indians, incapable of assimilation…a pitiful exotic unwisely and unnecessarily transplanted into our fields, and which it is unprofitable to cultivate at the cost of the desolation of the native vineyard.” [6]

And on July 12, 1848, during a Senate debate over slavery in the territories, it was a New York Senator, John Dix, who got up and said that “free blacks would continue to be an inferior cast and simply die out.” It was a Senator from Mississippi named Jefferson Davis who replied that he was “horrified” to hear “their extinction treated as a matter of public policy.” [7]

During one Senate session in the spring of 1860, Senator Jefferson Davis cited what he believed were the real reasons behind the North’s anti-slavery campaign. For those who believe the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologist’” contention that unjust tariff legislation or economic grievances were issues dreamed up by Southern apologists after the war, read on:

“What do you propose, gentlemen of the free soil party? Do you propose to better the condition of the slave? Not at all. What then do you propose? You say you are opposed to the expansion of slavery. Is the slave to be benefited by it? Not at all. What then do you propose? It is not humanity that influences you in the position which you now occupy before the country. It is that you may have an opportunity of cheating us that you want to limit slave territory within circumscribed bounds. It is that you may have a majority in the Congress of the United States and convert the government into an engine of Northern aggrandizement. It is that your section may grow in power and prosperity upon treasures unjustly taken from the South, like the vampire bloated and gorged with the blood which it has secretly sucked from its victim. You desire to weaken the political power of the Southern states, - and why? Because you want, by an unjust system of legislation, to promote the industry of the New England States, at the expense of the people of the South and their industry.” [8]

Such statements were nothing new for Davis as he had been making them for years. In 1848 he called out his northern brethren for their hypocrisy with these words:

"Neither “love for the African” [witness the northern laws against him], nor revulsion from “property in persons” [“No, you imported Africans and sold them as chattels in the slave markets”] motivated the present day agitators,"…... “No sir….the mask is off, the purpose is avowed…It is a struggle for political power." [9]

And let’s not forget that Vice President Alexander Stephens, often cited for his “Cornerstone Speech,” had much more to say than simply “the Negro is not the equal of the white man,” (a widely held belief in white America, north and south at that time). He also noted the following regarding the feigned Yankee sympathy for the slave:

“Their philanthropy yields to their interests. Notwithstanding their professions of humanity, they are disinclined to give up the benefits they derive from slave labor…The idea of enforcing the laws, has but one object, and that is collection of the taxes, raised by slave labor to swell the fund necessary to meet their heavy appropriations. The spoils is what they are after – though they come from the labor of the slave.” [10]

And what about the old “spread of slavery” gambit, often used by northern politicians of the day and by “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” today? ‘Oh! The South was trying to spread slavery all over this great free land of ours!’ Not quite. Once again we have the words of old Jeff Davis, words not to be found in many contemporary books on the subject:

“We equally deny [to the federal government] the right to establish as to abolish slavery…..Non interference with the subject of slavery is our main position, and is equally opposed to force for or against it”” [11]

Students of the period who subscribe to the South being a “Slave-ocracy” will take note that in 1860, in the New Mexico Territory, an area which encompassed the area presently occupied by the States of New Mexico and Arizona, that there were a grand total of 22 slaves, only 12 of whom were actually domiciled there. If the South intended to be a “Slave Power,” spreading its labor system across the entire continent, it was doing a pretty poor job of it. Commenting on this fact, an English publication in 1861 said, “When, therefore, so little pains are taken to propagate slavery outside the circle of the existing slave states, it cannot be that the extension of slavery is desired by the South on social or commercial grounds directly, and still less from any love for the thing itself for its own sake. But the value of New Mexico and Arizona politically is very great! In the Senate they would count as 4 votes with the South or with the North according as they ranked in the category of slave holding or Free soil states”. [12]

The English, abolitionists though they were, were especially good at sniffing out northern hypocrisy on the slavery issue. An 1862 editorial in an English journal commented, “They (the Northern white men) do not love the Negro as a fellow-man; they pity him as a victim of wrong. They will plead his cause; they will not tolerate his company.” [13]

And if these examples aren’t enough, (I have many more, enough to fill a book), there is the simple fact that while all of this was going on, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin was moving Northern audiences to tears – in segregated theaters!” [14]

So yes, slavery was indeed an issue in antebellum America, but not in the way that our “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” say it was. Indeed, if such mythologists accuse the South of fighting for slavery, I would have to respond by asking what it was that the North was fighting for? Perhaps the Times of London hit the nail on the head in September 1862:

“If the Northerners on ascertaining the resolution of the South, had peaceably allowed the seceders to depart, the result might fairly have been quoted as illustrating the advantages of Democracy; but when Republicans put empire above liberty, and resorted to political oppression and war rather than suffer any abatement of national power, it was clear that nature at Washington was precisely the same as nature at St. Petersburg. There was not, in fact, a single argument advanced in defense of the war against the South which might not have been advanced with exactly the same force for the subjugation of Hungary or Poland. Democracy broke down, not when the Union ceased to be agreeable to all its constituent States, but when it was upheld, like any other Empire, by force of arms.” [15]

The “Civil War,” like almost every war ever fought, was about power and control. That’s your bottom line – and it isn’t pretty. And maybe, just maybe, when the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” claim that the history of the war has been sanitized, well, maybe they are right. Maybe it has been sanitized – it was sanitized because the real truth is pretty damned ugly to look at!

(to be continued)

[2] “Taking a Stand, Portraits from the Southern Secession Movement,” By Walter Brian Cisco, White Main Books, 1998, Pages 62-63

[3] “The Real Lincoln,” by Thomas DiLorenzo,” Prima Publishers, Roseville Ca., 2002 Page 99

** (“The Slave Representation Clause” – Each slave was counted as three fifths of a person for purposes of determining a state’s representation in the House of Representatives. Northern politicians felt this to be unfair, claiming that it gave the Southern states more congressional representatives than they deserved, and would have preferred that slaves not be counted at all. Southern politicians of course, would have liked to have seen each slave counted as a “full person.” The more “full persons” a state has, the more representatives it gets in the lower House.)

[4] “The Truths of History” by Mildred Rutherford, Southern Lion Books, 1998, p. 9

[5] “North of Slavery,” By Leon Litwack, University of Chicago Press, 1961, Page 269

[6] “North of Slavery,” By Leon Litwack, University of Chicago Press, 1961, Page 271

7] “Jefferson Davis – Unconquerable Heart”, By Felicity Allen, University of Missouri Press, Columbia and London, copyright 1999, blacks p. 168

[8] “A Constitutional History of Secession,” By John Remington Graham, page 232, Pelican Publishing Company, copyright 2005 [8]

[9] “Jefferson Davis – Unconquerable Heart”, By Felicity Allen, Page 168, University of Missouri Press, Columbia and London, copyright 1999 [9]

[10] “One Nation Indivisible? A Study of Secession and the Constitution” By Robert F. Hawes, Copyright 2006, Published by the Fultus Corporation, Page 228

[11] “Jefferson Davis – Unconquerable Heart”, By Felicity Allen, University of Missouri Press, Columbia and London, copyright 1999, pp. 167-168

[12] “The Quarterly Review,” “Democracy on Trial,” London, July – October 1861, vol. 110, pp. 247 – 284

[13] “The North British Review,” “The American Republic: Resurrection through Dissolution
Edinburgh, February, 1862, (British Edition), pp. 233 – 272

[14] “North of Slavery,” By Leon Litwack, University of Chicago Press, 1961, Page 248

[15] “The Times of London,” September 13, 1862, pp. 7-8

Friday, August 27, 2010

I. “The Myth of the Myth of the Lost Cause”

Myth? What Myth?

By Bill Vallante

If you like “Civil War” history but haven’t been paying attention these last 20 years or so, the “Lost Cause”, has now become a “Myth” – at least according to most contemporary historians and self-proclaimed experts. Ever since Alan Nolan’s 1991 book, “The Myth of the Lost Cause” the historical literary field has witnessed an avalanche of similar books, each desperately trying to be unique in its own way, and each seeking to prove that the cause for which the South claimed to have fought and indeed, the heroic struggle itself that most people, until the last 20 years, believed that the South put up, are nothing more than myths.

Wikipedia, not known to be the best and most reliable of sources, nonetheless defines accurately what I am getting at and what is the target of this paper:

“The Lost Cause is the name commonly given to a literary and intellectual movement that sought to reconcile the traditional white society of the Southern United States to the defeat of the Confederate States of America in the Civil War of 1861–1865.[1] Those who contributed to the movement tended to portray the Confederacy's cause as noble and most of the Confederacy's leaders as exemplars of old-fashioned chivalry, defeated by the Union armies not through superior military skill, but by overwhelming force. They also tended to condemn Reconstruction.”

So then, the “Lost Cause” has become a myth – so sayeth the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists.” Why do I refer to them as such? Because in destroying one myth or what they claim is a myth they haven’t done much more than replace it with another myth, and a particularly bad myth at that!

A more detailed look at what the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” contend:

- They contend that: Slavery was the real cause of the war. The South fought for the right to keep others in bondage and anything else is a lie or distortion perpetrated in the post war period by former Confederates who were ashamed of their actions and who were trying to make themselves look good, or, by neo-Confederates today seeking to whitewash the Confederate cause and who themselves are most probably racists.

-They contend that: After the war Southern writers wrote the history of the war and brainwashed Americans, north and south into believing that the South really fought for states rights and not slavery, and that it lost its heroic fight only because it was overwhelmed by superior numbers.

-They contend that: After the war, Southern writers convinced America that before the Yankee attack everything was moonlight and magnolias in the South and that all the slaves were happy.

-They contend that: Southern generals weren’t really as good or as noble as everyone says they were. This myth was invented by Southern writers to steal the glory from Yankee generals, who, led by Massa Linkhorn and company, gave us “a new nation,” for which we should all be eternally thankful. (even though the cost of creating that “new nation” was nearly 700000 dead and nearly half a million maimed),

- Most mythologists contend that the Southern soldier was one or more of the following: overrated, ignorant, misled, apathetic, a frequent deserter, a poor soldier, and that his heart was not really in the fight. If he did, at times, show enthusiasm for his cause, it was only because he hoped one day to hit the lottery and be able to afford to buy a gaggle of slaves – thus, even if he did not own slaves, he was fighting for the hope that one day he would.

-They contend that: 50000 Southerners fought bravely for the North…err, well, they used to say 50000 but a few years ago they upped the figure to 100,000, and more recently, that figure has climbed to 300,000. (soon the numbers will reach a point where it will appear that there were more Southerners in the Union army than there were males in the entire South.)

-They contend that: Southern writers wrote out the black man’s participation in the war on the Union side in order to promote “white supremacy.” To correct this injustice, “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” now inform us that the black man was actually instrumental in winning the war for the Union, that slaves ran away in vast hordes to the Union lines, that “the slaves freed themselves”, and that those who could not make it to the Union lines worked feverishly to subvert the Southern war effort. (There is no mention of any black participation on the Southern side as “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” do not believe in such things any more than they believe in little green men. Well, actually, a lot of them do believe in little green men but not in black men supporting the South.)

-They contend that: The Planters, who were slave owners and werry werry bad men, dragged the rest of the South into seceding and into a war that it really did not want. This resulted in a lack of enthusiasm for the war that was reflected in the attitude of the Southern civilian population, whose women begged their men to desert and who frequently rioted because they were sick of the war and sick of not having any food.

-They contend that: Reconstruction was a wonderful time of social progress and of wonderful “interracial democracies,” snuffed out by those evil Southern white supremacists and that Reconstruction was a great idea, but it did not go far enough. (stick the word “interracial in front of anything these days and it is automatically a good thing. I wonder if an “interracial” case of cholera is a good thing?).

But it’s all ok now, because the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists” are going to make it all better and fix America’s collective memory. Like the Union army before them, they will go “trampling through the vintage” to stomp out the “grapes of wrath.” The Republican-led Union army gave America a new nation, whether America wanted it or not, and the “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologist” will give America a new “memory” - whether it wants it or not.

Glory, Glory Halleluiah.

About those Post War Southern Writers

There was no subversive plot on the part of Southern post-war writers to steal America’s historical “memory.” In 1865 the South recognized that its bid for independence had failed. It laid down its arms, and its citizens agreed to return to the Union and be good citizens of that political entity. They and their descendents have been faithful to their word, as evidenced by the fact that ever since 1865, whenever America has needed volunteers to go off and get killed in some far off hellhole, it is always Southerners who are the first to volunteer. Anne Coulter referred to them as “America’s Warrior Class.”

Nowhere in the terms of surrender however, did it specify that Southerners had to grovel and to humbly beg for forgiveness. Nowhere did it say that they had to admit to wrongdoing and then accept slander or insults. Nowhere was it written that they could not defend themselves. Self-defense, whether against physical or verbal attack, was and still is everyone’s right. In the post war period Northern writers took it upon themselves to cast the South as the proverbial villain in some kind of demented passion play. Southern writers responded and that’s all there is to it. And if they wrote better and presented a better argument than their northern counterparts, well, maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that they indeed had the better argument, and that in a day and age that had yet to see mass brainwashing in either the public schools or the national parks or, had yet to encounter the most nauseating of popular terms, “the teachable moment,” maybe, just maybe, an American public that was still able to think independently, logically and critically, actually bought those arguments - because those arguments actually had something to offer!

About Slavery as some kind of sin or high crime

Yes, the South had slavery. So what? It was in America for 240 years before Sumter was fired upon, it had been practiced worldwide since the dawn of recorded history by nearly every people on the planet, it was legal and protected by the Constitution, and the Yankees had no problem with it until they stopped making a profit from it and, until they began a determined campaign to secure a majority in Congress in order to be able to pass legislation favorable to their states – legislation I might add that also happened to be detrimental to the Southern states. Further, I don’t see anyone making demands for apologies or expressions of regret on other countries that have practiced slavery. The only one I see getting hit with demands is America, specifically white America and specifically the American South. And I do not see those today who whine about slavery of the past doing anything about it where it exists in the present (in Africa, and in a manner far more brutal than any 19th century white planter could have conceived of). I can’t say exactly what the reason for this might be except to postulate, as someone else did, that slavery of the past is remunerable for reparations in the present, while slavery of the present is not.

Whatever the reasons, I will not jump on the insanity bandwagon and start apologizing on behalf of past peoples for doing what was common and quite the norm in their time. As I’ve said before, more and more I grow convinced that for the past 20 or 30 years, someone has been putting “stupid pills” in America’s water supply. When I majored in history as an undergraduate 40 years ago, such moralizing, sermonizing, and apologizing were not to be found, and judging past peoples by using contemporary standards was considered to be the province of the fool. A student majoring in history who displayed such behavior would have been told by his professors to find another major. Today, the professors do it!

Newsflash – those who demand such apologies and expressions of regret are the demagogues, the race baiters and those who have something to gain by issuing such demands. Those who comply with such demands are the cowards, the fools, the idiots, those who are afflicted with self-loathing and those who have something to gain by demonstrating abasement. I refuse to play in this game. Charley Reese, former journalist for the Orlando Sentinel, once said that “the people of the past don’t owe anyone an apology. They, like us, fell out of the womb into a society that, like all societies, had pre-existing customs and mores. They played the cards that God dealt them the best way they knew how and that’s all that you can expect of them. It’s our play now, and the pot is the future.” I stand with Mr. Reese on this one. And I will not budge for anyone. I don’t do apologies, I don’t do sorry, I don’t do “reconciliation” (another word that has been battered to death in recent times), and I don’t do “stupid pills” either.

About Slavery as the “Cause” of the War

The war itself was not caused by slavery. The war was caused by the invasion of 11 states who sought the same right as their forefathers sought – the right to be governed by something which had the consent of those that it governed. Those states, not counting 2 others, Maryland and Missouri, who were prevented by military force from even discussing secession, had determined that they were not safe in the Union and therefore had decided to pursue their own course independent of their northern neighbors. Those northern neighbors, governed as they were by a relatively new political party bent on consolidation of the American system, could not find it in their hearts to part with those states, and so, launched an invasion of them. That’s your cause of the war in a nutshell.

I would say that the South had plenty of reason not to feel safe. Some Northern idealists had cheered 30 years earlier when Nat Turner mutilated and murdered 61 white men, women and children. Even greater numbers of sanctimonious reformers proclaimed John Brown, whose plans, if successful, would have made Turner’s exploits look like a church picnic, to be a saint. Brown’s expedition was financed by 6 well-heeled and wealthy northerners, all belonging to a party that, in the words of one prominent Republican, Wendell Phillips, was a “party of the North pledged against the South.” [1]

If anyone wanted war, it wasn’t the South. “All we ask is to be left alone.” It was a cry echoed by numerous Southerners throughout Dixie between 1861 and 1865, from the highest official and general, to the lowest private and civilian. It was heard coming from the mouths of Jefferson Davis, Alexander Stephens, Patrick Cleburne, Mary Chestnut, Judah Benjamin and countless others. Had the North left the south alone to go its own way, there would have been no war, no nearly 700000 dead and no nearly half a million maimed.

To you “Myth of the Lost Cause Mythologists”, I say flat out – if you want to know what the cause of the war was, look into the mirror and you’ll see it staring back at you. It was caused by the invasion of sovereign states by a bunch of boobs like you who just couldn’t leave well enough alone. The desperate fight that the South put up was a noble one and a courageous one, and until recently that fact was acknowledged by anyone with a modicum of common sense and a passing amount of literacy. And though it failed, I have no doubt that those who conducted the defense against that invasion would say that despite its failure, it was well worth the effort to try and rid themselves of meddling, petty tyrants like yourselves.

(to be continued)

[1] “The “Secession, State and Liberty,” David Gordon, Editor, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, (U.S.A. and London (U.K.), Copyright, 1999, 4th Paperback Printing, 2009, page 27

Civil War History: Truth or Propaganda

Brandon H. Kelley
Instructor Lauri Goodling
English 1101-002
April, 21 2008

History is supposed to be a record of true events. Records that are passed down from teacher to student, father to son, and old to young. Why then, are there so many views of one event? Society would like to think that it passes on correct information to its offspring to provide evidence that the old generation that once existed is etched in the minds of those left behind when they are gone. Is it possible that, at some point in the past, those teachers altered the true facts and ideas behind an event leading to a contorted view of the world as we know it?

I had no idea, that on an otherwise average day, I would see a man standing in front of a school that would make me reconsider a lot of what I had thought to be true about the American Civil War. He was standing with a very still, non-imposing posture holding what appeared to be a Confederate battle flag. Living in north Georgia, that is not an uncommon site to behold, but something made me go back for a second look. This time around I looked at the man and not the banner. I saw a small framed man who looked to be around 60 years old proudly waving and chatting with passers-by. He was well dressed and certainly not the person I had expected to see underneath the St. Andrews cross banner. His name, as I found out later, is H.K. Edgerton.

Something kept nagging at me after I made it to the coffee shop. I tossed around all of the why not’s in my head until finally, I decided I wasn’t going to let it go until I went back and talked to him. Usually, this kind of thing is not in my nature, but I felt bound to seek out this mans story, because I knew that he had one tell. So I picked up a regular coffee to go and set off to talk to this man that was holding a confederate flag in front of Cherokee High School in Canton, Georgia. It might be important that I mention that Mr. Edgerton is an African American man. I think that might have been why this was captured my curiosity so.

I parked and approached him, I don’t know why exactly, but I was very nervous. I handed him the coffee and explained to him why I had stopped. Looking back I wish I had asked a more intelligent question but all I could manage to get out was: “Why are you holding that flag here?” He smiled, I am sure he knew that was coming. I then told him that I am a student in college and I am trying to write an analysis essay. I told him that I saw him standing here with that flag and thought he might be a source of information for my project.

He told me that during the Civil War, thousands of black people in the south fought and died under this flag. He said they were not forced to do this, but they felt like they were fighting for their home and their way of life. He believes that children today are given information in schools that do not cover the whole story and gives the youth of this country the false ideology that his flag portrays oppression or slavery. His website has many letters, essays, and statements from people who know or believe that a side of the history of the Civil War has never been brought into the light of modern day society.

The subject that I am analyzing is broad and encompasses many different topics. It can be included in current events, film, propaganda, racism, American history, and literature. So the only place to start is here with Mr. Edgerton and his reasons for standing alone in front of a school, holding a piece of fabric that represents love and honor to some, absolute hatred and shame to others, and to me a great irony that has torn this country in two once and could threaten to do so again.

I have been taught that the Civil War was about slavery. The north wanted it gone and the south wanted to keep it. The issues were actually a lot deeper than that, but that is a paper in itself. I believe that Mr. Edgerton was holding that flag because he does not want the heritage, his heritage, to be lost in political correctness. The media invests a large amount of effort in blanketing issues in so many nice words that the point gets lost in the filler. Political correctness is great as long as it does not obscure the facts and sugarcoat an issue to the point that the issue itself disappears in politeness.

Mr. Edgerton is proud that he is black and he is proud that he is southern. He is proud that his ancestors fought under the flag that he holds in his hands. Most black people that I know see that fabric as a banner of oppression and hatred, he looks at it like it is a scrap book his family made that shows where he comes from. Isn’t that why we study history? History tells us where we have been and often where we are going if we do the same things again. No one believes that slavery is a good thing, but this man whose family was once slaves themselves still holds up the flag that so many say represents it.

So what does represent slavery or racism? Can it be a piece of fabric? Does the American flag mean equality and justice for all? The answer is no. Racism comes from inside the person who looks at a piece of fabric and only thinks of slavery. The truth is that men and women, white and black, fought under that flag defending the south. Did they fight for slavery? I don’t think so. They fought for the freedom to be who they wanted to be. The political correctness in our society obscures the truth behind events. In today’s society, it would be improper to think of Abraham Lincoln as a warmonger who pushed his own ideology on a group of people that were different and believed differently than him.

The truth is that I don’t know the truth. Having read the things that I have read after meeting Mr. Edgerton, I do have some doubts on the version of history that I thought I knew. I think that most of what we learn in public schools about our history is propaganda and biased to point us where the politically correct and politically minded want us to go. The only way that our society is ever going to get over the wrongs and the problems of the past is to learn the truth about where we come from, and know what we do and do not want to be. A very nice black man holding a Confederate flag on the side of the road showed me that. I just hoped that I listened well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Misery Profiteer

Dr. A. H. Krieg

Of all the bad people in the world, the worst are those who profit from the misery of other through exploitation and extorting funds from them by fabricating fear. The largest and most profitable organization in this endeavourer is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) located in Montgomery Alabama.

SPLC has as of October 2009 a bank balance of $199,951,946.00; say that’s just under $200 million. And all that money is required to fight evil Americas and to bring about equality for all, foolish me, I thought the Constitution and Bill of Rights served that purpose. One would think that if SPLC were really interested in poverty and the plight of the oppressed that they would distribute all those funds to poor people. But I digress, that money is sorely needed to keep SPLC directors and lawyers living in the gratuitous lifestyle they have become accustomed to. Morris Dee’s first law partner Millard Fuller made all that abundantly clear when he said; “Morris Dees and I from the first day of our partnership shared an overriding purpose; to make a pile of money” It’s not about the poor, or the law, its about making money using the poor and minorities as the stick for profit from their misery.

If you are really interested in finding out exactly what sort of dirt bag Dees is, look him up on Goggle, Civil Case CIV 2114 Alabama, Maureen Bass Dees Appellant, Morris Dees Appellee. The string of extramarital engagements is endless even his own stepdaughter at 16 was not spared his arduous attention and including also males.

Morris Dees who is listed as chief trial council had a 2009 anual income of $ 303,936.00, plus $44,484.00 for a grand total of $438,420.00, Richard Cohen President and CEO, $299,588.00 plus $44,892.00 for a grand total of $344,480.00 In fact the payroll of working management employees of which there are 11 total out at $2,026,482.00 which means an average income of just over $ 186,000.00 per working board member about 5.5 times the national average income. All this just to fight hate! But again I find myself in a conundrum after all these people are trying to do good, aren’t they? Well I guess that I just did not know that doing good is that profitable, had I realized that at an earlier age I would have joined in at SPLC and would now also be earning six times the average American income. Does Julian Bond who is paid nothing and is prominently listed as first on the board of directors realize all this? But then poor Julian is not a member of the chosen, like Cohen, Levick, Levine, Dees, Brownstein, Potok, Bauer and Holiday, so that probably accounts for it.

The invention of SPLC list of whom they consider potential terrorist is extensive including such scary people as Congressmen Dr. Ron Paul, and Paul Brown, World Net Daily publisher Farah, columnist Michelle Bachmann. Radio and TV hosts Glen Beck, Judge Andrew Napolitano, in fact almost anyone who opposes Morris Dees’ warped ideas of America and Americans is found on his site, listed as a danger to America. A telling issue is an award granted in 1984 to the Montgomery Advertiser (AL) for journalism for an article exposing unethical fund raising by SPLC.

How does this fund razing scam work? In 1987 SPLC sent out a letter implying that they had forced the United Klan’s of America to pay $7 million to the mother of lynch victim Michael Donald, the facts are that SPLC paid her $51,874.70, kept the balance of collected funds as well as the funds from the solicitation letter. Naturally the fact that the United Klan’s of America never had $ 7 million is not mentioned anyplace.

Pamela Summers another disgruntled former employee of SPLC as reported in the Montgomery Advertiser said, “What they are doing in the legal department is not done for the best interest of everybody [but] is done for the sole, overriding goal to make money. [Many] associate the SPLC with going to court. And that’s why they get money. And they don’t go to court” The amount of litigation by SPLC is minute when compared with their purse, additionally most cases litigated remain unresolved only a small number have ended in a profitable outcome for SPLC.

The next question is, is SPLC racist? Since it’s founding in 1971, 39 years ago SPLC has hired a total of two black staff lawyers both quit stating that they were unhappy working there. Of 13 former black employees the Montgomery Advertiser interviewed 12, all of them complained about racial problems during their employment. In an article in Harpers Magazine entitled “The Church of Morris Dees”, November 2000, it sited that the entire legal staff of SPLC resigned over Dees’s refusal to address such issue as poverty, homelessness, voter registration and other issues.

Why should you even care? In 1986 four staff lawyers resigned from SPLC. Randall Williams who had started Klanwatch ® in 1981 was one of them. He stated, “We are sharing information with the FBI, the police, undercover agents. Instead of defending victims we are more of a snoop outfit, an arm of law enforcement.” The problem here of course is that SPLC has an ulterior profit motive to invent as many as possible hate mongers in order to inflate their coffers by the mostly Jewish fools who send them money. I do not think it unrealistic to say that 30% of the organizations listed by SPLC have less than ten members and of the individuals listed 80% are benign.

Such cases are SCV, (Sons of Confederate Veterans) and LOS, (League of the South). To claim either of these organizations as a potential threat to society and America as SPLC does can only be considerd stupid. LOS members have run in the last three presidential races, many are professors and doctors, and none have ever advocated any violence to anyone. SCV are a historic organization that tries to preserve Southern Heritage, they are non-political and both organizations have Jewish, as well as black members. Just because Dees and his troop of psychopaths disagrees with them does not make them bad.

One of the major problems with SPLC is the fact that the FBI as well as numerous police department avail themselves, for fees, of politically and socially tainted information from SPLC that with a broad brush paints anyone and everyone not PC and in concurrence with Dees and co. as potential terrorists. In fact a large part of SPLC budget is paid for by such services contracted for by government employees trying to maintain their Cultural Marxist political status.

Stephan Bright another former SPLC official told USA Today, ”Dees is a fraud who has milked a lot of very wonderful, well intentioned people.”

You surely all remember the black church burning issue that was so hotly contested in the lamestream media, all the false information was propagated by SPLC as announced in Washington by Dees in April of 1996 when he stated, “Those [Black] churches that have been burned in the South were certainly burned by racists” The lie was picked up by the FBI and after a long investigation of over 900 church burnings in Southern states the FBI and BATF concluded that the almost all were destroyed by their own parishioners in effort to collect on fire insurance policies, the lamestream media that had prominently featured the church burning issue all failed to report that it was a hoax from SPLC, that they all continue to quote as a paragon of virtue.

Dr. Krieg is an author, columnist, and inventor and member of LOS he can be contacted at

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Community and Heritage

by David Ware

“The South was always proud and independent and believed with the Founding Fathers, that centralized and powerful government invariably slides into tyranny. But the North, less proud, less conscious of national tradition, less independent, less manly in many ways, craves the dictator’s hand, the tyrants force, for many of its people have come from nations whose people were subjected to and dependent on government. It may be, in the future, that it will be the South who will prevent, for many long decades, the collapse of American Freedom into Caesarism.” Taylor Caldwell, from “Captains and the Kings”

It has been said that the Southerner is the last of America’s people to know who they are and where they come from. This is because the people of the South have a deep and devout attachment to their heritage and community. They are able to trace their ancestry back to the War to Prevent Southern Independence, the Revolutionary War and beyond. Their parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents and great-great-great grandparents knew one another. They loved their land and home place. Names were given to the homes of Southerners: My family had Windsor, Sunnyside, Hard Bargain, Plumsite, Lombardy, Pinewoods, Bellevue and others. These were the places where our ancestors raised their families with other like minded people to be self responsible, productive members of a cohesive community.

This relationship is a complex connection between people, their land and nature. All neighbors are included in an intense personal bond to ancestors, the self, family, the land and its inhabitants. Arts to the Southern people more to do with hospitality, hunting, fishing, conversation and vegetable gardening than with rock concerts and the signing bonuses of professional athletes . Their definition of “mind your own business” is forged by a mutual respect for the rights and property of the individual.

Tied to the love of the dollar, the Yankees are Nomads wandering to advance “careers” and to always position themselves to make as much and spend as little money as possible. They typically have no heritage that they know of, bluster on about forgetting the past and “planning” for the future. They are self proclaimed soothsayers who predict their future based on government programs, laws and bailouts. To them, a community is complete because they are in it. They believe that the tyrannical forces of planning, zoning, building regulations, taxes and laws perpetuate true community. They prefer to live in a subdivision with a guard at the gate craving the “dictators hand” of homeowners associations , their idea of connection to nature has to do with lawn care and walking the dog. Freedom, to the Yankee mentality, is the elimination of self responsibility and worry and a plethora of fast food choices, Costcos and WalMarts.

Their mindset wants cell phones with no cell towers, electricity with no generating plants, gasoline with no oil refineries, airplanes with no airports and less taxes with more government spending. This makes perfect sense to their culture that teaches that you spend to save, borrow to get out of debt and kill for peace.

We Southern people must cure ourselves of Republican and Democrat Part thinking. We have no friends in either major party. We do our ancestors a disservice to pay homage to these people as they and their policies run counter to everything our ancestors stood for. We need to pay more attention to our complete heritage starting with the hospitality of Pocahontas, the brilliance of Jefferson, the example of Washington, the perseverance of Calhoun, the chivalry of Lee, the determination and valor of Jackson and most of all to the idea that we are descended from the heirs of limited government, individual freedom and personal responsibility.

We should cease supporting wars of foreign aggression. Our ancestors fought to be left alone and we, of all people, should respect that desire when it unfolds against our military and political presence. We are descended from people that knew the pain and dismay of having our homes and families devastated by an unprincipled aggressor. How can we support efforts to bend foreign countries under the heavy foot of the U. S. might while lamenting the same thing when it was done by the same mentality against our people?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Showing My Respect

By Lloyd Fowler

Perhaps it’s unusual that two major passions of a high school senior in Kentucky are genealogy and American history, but those interests have great meaning to me. These passions compliment each other and allow me to understand the participation of my ancestors in the major events of our nation’s past.

During the American Civil War, every ancestor of mine who was of age fought as a Confederate except one odd ball from and originally I only took pride in his service. He wasn’t a traitor; better yet, he shed his blood for the and never fully recovered from his wound. I thoughtlessly yelled, “I’m not all traitors!” the day I discovered that he was a Yankee.

This same erroneous attitude in our society was very evident following the “You lie” moment of Rep. Joe Wilson. Television news reporters and pundits repeatedly reminded viewers that Rep. Wilson belonged to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as if that membership caused his breach of decorum.

Listening to the major network commentators, I was reminded that a few years before I too had bought into the concept of negatively labeling everyone who was proud of his or her Confederate heritage. With some embarrassment, I remembered that I had tried to weasel my way out of going to the Confederate Iron Cross of Honor ceremony in , for Private John James Misskelley, my 3rd great grandfather. Due to my prejudice, I felt uncomfortable and awkward that the Daughters of Confederate Veterans in 1860’s era black morning dresses, uniformed Confederate re-enactors serving as an honor guard, a cannon crew and a period-dressed pastor who gave the eulogy in attendance. In my opinion, we were having a “The South Will Rise Again” rally at my family’s expense. I now realize that I had forced myself to be appalled because I thought it mandatory as a proper member of modern American society. School projects and documentaries had established my interest in the Civil War and I was very knowledgeable about historical facts. Thus equipped, I presented historical references to my grandmother, Granny, as to why we shouldn’t honor Pvt. Misskelley. Although I accurately knew historical details, the society Ilived in taught me to be proud of one side and to demonize the other. I now understand that this was an adolescent version of political correctness run amok.

Only through my continued personal interest and research have I learned how to remember the Civil War within a historically accurate context and with real perspective. Unexpectedly, the man who taught me to not be ashamed of my Confederate heritage was my 3rd Great Grandfather, Corporal Henry Warren House. He and his brother, Private James Pinkney House, served in Company C of the 47th North Carolina Infantry Regiment.

My epiphany came about a few years after the Iron Cross of Honor ceremony when my grandmother gave me the 1909 church announcement of Grandpa House’s death along with a box of old family photos. The church announcement reads:

….Brother House volunteered in the Confederate Army in the fall of 1861, was a brave soldier, and answered to every roll call until the shot of the enemy fractured both bones of his left leg in a skirmish at , in October, 1863, inflicting a wound from which he never fully recovered. From3 p.m. until sometime in the night, when a soldier in blue ministered to him,he lay without attention. From the shoulders of a dying comrade nearby the Federal soldier cut the knapsack to give a more comfortable position and when the comrade died, took a blanket from the sack and wrapped Brother House in it.Early the following morning the Federalist came again, gave water, refilled House's canteen and said, "I must leave now but your own men will find and care for you." They found him at 11 a.m. and removed him to a hospital…

The act of compassion given to my grandpa by the Federal soldier dissolved my discomfort with his Confederate service because it clearly revealed both soldiers to be Americans sharing a common bond. I had to ask myself , "If the Federal soldier had nothing personal against my grandpa, then why do I?"

I now recognize that the humanity of soldiers on both sides should dispel any present day notions that they were anything less than American patriots. As a descendant, I choose to remember and care about my ancestors and give them the greatest gift within my power and ability: the passing on of their stories. Then and there I committed myself to question society’s negative attitude toward people who are proud of their Confederate heritage.

I was amazed to find out how accurate the church announcement was when compared to both official battlefield reports for the Battle of Bristoe Station and memoirs of participants. The time of day matched, the description of leaving the wounded out all night, etc… all matched. This enhanced my interest in Grandpa House and I decided to research the other battles in which he fought. I discovered from a pay receipt that he was at the Battle of Gettysburg fought on July 1-3, 1863 and that this was his and his unit’s “baptismal by fire.” I also found that a James P. House, also in Company C of the 47th, was captured during the Trimble-Pettigrew-Pickett charge on the last day of the battle and died from his wounds on July 20, 1863 in a at . My research showed that Grandpa House had taken part in the Trimble-Pettigrew-Pickett Charge, but I became very interested in determining if I had an uncle who was mortally wounded while making that charge. It would be amazing to have both a grandpa and an uncle take part in what many consider to be the greatest charge in the most significant battle of the Civil War.

My genealogy research revealed that James Pinkney House and Henry Warren House were brothers. Granny told me that Grandpa House was buried at the , church where my mother was baptized. Further, she said that her grandmother never talked about her father’s Civil War experiences nor did she ever mention her aunts and uncles. Through weeks of research I was able to locate the burial places of the other five siblings, but I was unable to locate the burial place of Uncle James.

Around the time I started looking for Uncle James’ burial place, I made a surprising discovery. I was rummaging through the box of old photos that Granny had given me and discovered the picture of Grandpa House as an old man.Staring into his eyes, I sensed that he was telling me to find his younger brother that he had left on the battlefield during the Trimble-Pettigrew-Pickett charge.

I spent weeks researching where the Confederate dead at were buried. I learned that Confederate soldiers were buried where they fell on the battlefield in unmarked graves, although those who were captured and died in Union Hospitals were buried in marked graves. Motivated by this news, I intensified my search for Uncle James. One failed attempt after another to locate the hospital cemetery led to lots of frustration. It took threats in the early 1870’s from Gettysburg farmers to reclaim their lost land to Confederate burial sites before anything would be done about the proper respect the Confederate soldiers were still owed. The women of the south quickly mobilized to raise funds to pay for the removal of every Confederate body that could be found and shipped south.Originally I didn’t know that they were all sent to one cemetery. I would come home from school and scan for hours through one Southern cemetery list after another for Uncle James. Then an email from a Civil War historian suggested that I search Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond Virginia. To my great astonishment, I found him. I cried because I had devoted such a long period of time to solving this mystery and was close to giving up. When I picked up Grandpa House’s photograph and again looked into his eyes, I heard him in my heart say, “Thank you grandson." His lost brother was found!

When the Confederate dead were removed from to Hollywood Cemetery, their loved ones were never notified.No one knew that Uncle James had died except that he never came home. At the end of the war, he was listed on the muster roll as, “Missing since the battle of July 3, 1863."

Civil War dead were usually buried in long trenches, shoulder to shoulder, to maximize burial space. When the bodies were exhumed at , there was noway to separate and identify the remains. Thus, the remains were removed from each trench and boxed together for shipment to Richmond. Consequently, a plot of land at Hollywood Cemetery was set aside for a mass grave that would be the final resting place for Confederate soldiers who died at the Battle of Gettysburg.

I will forever be grateful to the staff of for their prompt response to my inquiry about whether or not Uncle James had a headstone. I was advised that he didn’t, but cemetery records showed that his remains were removed to the mass grave. Further, they let me know that as the next of kin I could order a free tombstone from the Veteran’s Administration to place over the mass grave. I shared the idea with Granny who agreed to pay the $100.00 instillation fee if I filled out the paper work.

Today a granite Veteran’s Administration headstone marks the place where Private James Pinkney House rests in peace alongside his fellow soldiers. I sincerely hope that others can benefit from my journey of discovery and be able to accomplish something that will honor and preserve the memory of these Americans.

I now know that the House brothers were decent, honorable men who fought for what they believed was right and in defense of their state and country. I now feel pride in my Confederate ancestors instead of embarrassment, as I have been privileged to discover their humanity and courage. I can now show my respect by remembering their lives and telling their story.

Lloyd Fowler is a recent 2010 graduate of duPont Manual High School in Louisville, KY where he was one of 84 Valedictorians with a 4.0 or higher. He was the President of the Teenage Republican Club, Parliamentarian of the National Honor Society, member of the Key Club and Football Team ball boy. Lloyd is a proud Eagle Scout and active in his church. During his middle school years he developed a huge interest in American History, which cascaded into the study of his family history and Government and Politics. In the Summer of 2009 he was the U.S. Senate Page in , for the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lloyd is very passionate about genealogy and a proud member of both the Jamestowne Society and the Sons of the American Revolution.He will be attending the University of Louisville in the Fall of 2010 to study Political Science.
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