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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: Confederate Memorial Day Service to be held Sunday, 30 May 2010 at Old Warrenton Cemetery

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Confederate Memorial Day Service to be held Sunday, 30 May 2010 at Old Warrenton Cemetery

By Gar Schulin, Black Horse Camp #780, Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans

WARRENTON, VA - The annual Memorial Day observance at the Confederate War Memorial at the Old Warrenton Cemetery in Warrenton, Virginia, will be held Sunday May 30th at 2:00 PM. The memorial observance is open to the public and is co-hosted by the Black Horse Camp #780, Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans; and the Black Horse Chapter #9, Virginia Division United Daughters of the Confederacy. The public is encouraged to participate in this very special annual observance which includes Color Guard members; rifle volleys by the 4th Virginia Cavalry, Company H, "The Black Horse Troop;" and Striblings Battery, who will fire three artillery volleys from their 12-pound Napoleon cannon. Live performance of period music by Evergreen Shade, Mrs. Anne Howard and Dr. John Tole, will also pay tribute to Virginia's fallen defenders.

Mr. Thomas G. Moore, distinguished scholar and author, will deliver the 2010 Memorial Observance keynote address, "The Struggle of Memory," taken from the famous Czech author Milan Kundera, who wrote, "The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting."

Mr. Moore is an author, editor, and consultant to defense and firearms companies, with 25 years combined experience in government and business. He has published extensively, and is considered one of the defense policy community's most persuasive and original writers.

From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Moore was Director of Defense and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation, one of America's leading public policy institutions. From 1992 to 1995, he served on the Senate Armed Services Committee Professional Staff. Prior to serving on the SASC he was Military Legislative Assistant (1990-1992) to former Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-WY). From 1988 to 1990 he was a Reagan Administration appointee in the Department of Defense, serving as liaison between OSD and the Congress on the Strategic Defense Initiative; and advised OSD on matters related to SDI, the ABM Treaty, military space, and arms control. Mr. Moore was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve (Armor Branch), and completed the U.S. Army Armor Basic and Infantry Officer Advanced courses. In 1998 he was appointed to the Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, and helped conduct a comprehensive survey of training and operational units of the Armed Forces in CONUS and overseas.

He is a 1970 graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina; attended the University of Grenoble, France under a French Government Scholarship, and earned an M.A. in National Security Affairs from Georgetown University.

More recently, Mr. Moore serves as a scholar with the Stephen Dill Lee Institute, and is the current Chairman of the Southern National Congress. He is also the award-winning author of the history-themed suspense novel, The Hunt for Confederate Gold, which masterfully weaves past and present events in a thought-provoking, gripping saga which promises to leave readers with an enlightened and renewed feeling of hope about the future of the United States of America.

As current generations of Americans approach the Sesquicentennial of the massive rupture of our American political system and the bloodiest conflict of the 19th Century, many seek to gain a broader understanding of the epic struggle from 1861 to 1865 on our American continent. In this context, it is worth noting the words written by Miss Ida F. Powell, United Daughters of the Confederacy in May, 1930, "We maintain, that the conflict was not a 'Civil' War, but was a 'War Between the States.' Each Southern State seceded from the Federal Government after mature consideration, seceded with all the dignity and weight of their State governments and State conventions back of them, and formed an independent constitutional government- the Confederate States of America."

"The South did not fight to overturn the Federal government. It did not wish to destroy that government and set up a rival administration in its place. The Southern States simply desired to withdraw peaceably from what had hitherto been considered a voluntary union of States, to leave the Northern States intact, with their recognized government untrammeled, and to form an independent government of their own. The South fought to repel invasion, to protect its homes and its inalienable rights as free men, and it was between two constitutionally organized governments that the war was waged."

It has been written that Virginia is sewn into the very fabric of American history. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Patrick Henry, and countless other patriots first drew breath on Virginia soil. In many respects, American Independence began with Virginia. It was Richard Henry Lee, delegate from Virginia, who first proposed on June 7, 1776, that the Continental Congress declare independence from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence was itself a secession document, listing the reasons for the separation from the British Crown. The distinguished historian Dr. Clyde Wilson, editor of the John C. Calhoun Papers, perhaps summarizes it best when he observes Lee's decision to resign from the U.S. Army to serve in the defense of the invaded South was one of the most important and monumental decisions in American history, similar to George Washington's gradual increasing resistance to the acts of the British ministry (whereupon he came to believe the English government had a deliberate intent to subvert Virginia's traditional liberty). The progression of Lee's thought in regard to Abraham Lincoln and an increasingly hostile Republican Party toward a large portion of the voluntary Federal Union was exactly the same. Was George Washington, who had held a royal commission, a traitor for fighting the invaders and would-be conquerors of his country? Was he obligated to fight for the King against the American states?

By 1861, faced with the harsh realities of a voluntary Union which had become unworkable, Virginians followed other Southern States in secession after careful deliberations and conventions, and in the aftermath of Lincoln's announcement of his intention to invade the Southern States by force of arms. To better gauge the sentiments among Fauquier County, Virginia citizens of the mid-19th Century, history has recorded only one man cast a vote for Lincoln at the Old Warrenton Court House in the 1860 Presidential election while having to carry a sidearm to do it. Several months later in 1861, the Fauquier County vote for Virginia secession was 1809 to 4 in favor. Clearly, in Virginia and throughout the South, with the carefully considered official act of secession, a solemn act of the sovereign people representing the consent of the people, represented the most fundamental principal of American government.

In our current time, many essential truths of the mid-19th Century have been suppressed or omitted to perpetuate the myth in recent decades that the War Between the States came about as a holy crusade to abolish slavery on the American continent, or more specifically, "The War was fought over slavery." The problem with this myth is that it simply isn't true according to the historic record. Dr. Donald Livingston of Emory University astutely notes that upon closer scrutiny, myths aren't actually supposed to convey the facts, but rather, only the "meaning" of the facts. Clearly, the historic record reveals the War Between the States involved far more complex issues including States Rights; a highly unfair economic relationship among the States as it related to tariffs; and economic control over territory and resources, among others.

As for the slavery issue, most Americans today know the institution of slavery was and is evil. Most thoughtful and educated Southerners and Northerners alike understood this at the time of the War Between the States. Seldom mentioned in the public realm, schools and universities today, is the key point that in America, slavery was a national blight in 1861 and not just a Southern problem. Robert E. Lee himself deemed slavery as un-Christian. Lee had married well, and in fact had inherited some 170 slaves upon marriage. However, Lee emancipated his acquired slaves long before Mr. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. To the contrary, the Union Army General who accepted Lee's surrender at Appomattox kept his slaves that he owned throughout the war, citing "good help is hard to find." Indeed, much tribute today is given to Harriet Tubman in the history books for her efforts to free 70 slaves via the Underground Railroad (a railroad which, by the way, did not end in freedom for any slave apprehended in the northern states and returned to their owners, as the Fugitive Slave Laws were being fully enforced by the Lincoln Administration). Yet Harriet Tubman is richly deserving of such recognition today that is both honorable and fitting. By historic comparison, it is never noted today- but should be noted- that Robert E. Lee freed 170 slaves on his own accord, and did so having educated many of them to read and write and after having accrued the equivalent of one full year's wages set aside for them before freeing them to give them the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. It was Lee's Christian approach to gradual emancipation that is worth noting, rather than the overnight freedom which found many former slaves starving and left to forage for themselves off the land with no food or lodging or protection from the weather. In a letter to his wife in 1856, Lee wrote, "In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any Country," and as "the final abolition of human Slavery is onward. we must give it all the aid of our prayers and justifiable means of our power," but "emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influence of Christianity, than the storms and tempests of fiery Controversy."

Dr. Livingston further notes the virulent one-dimensional agitation that began in New England in the 1830s for immediate and uncompensated emancipation and which gradually spread throughout the North. He also questions the moral content of this agitation, and the Northern Anti-Slavery rhetoric in general, for the institution of slavery was not of Southern origin (the first colony to legalize the slave trade was Massachusetts in 1641; and for 160 years, New England grew wealthy by plying the international slave trade; and for 220 years, New England serviced the slave economies from the South to Brazil). Dr. Livingston also notes the New York of 1861 was largely built on cotton which fueled the hungry textile mills of the emerging industrial revolution in America and abroad. Historian Eugene Genovese reminds us that slavery was a national enormity, and that from our perspective today, it would require three things: emancipation; compensation to slave holders; and integration of freed slaves into American society as social and political equals; but this is not at all how Northern antebellum Americans thought. It is documented fact, that by the time of the signing of our Constitution in 1789, slavery had been an institution in New England for over 150 years; and by 1861, at the outset of disagreement over a Union which had become unworkable, there were 8 slave states in the North and 7 slave states in the South, but these facts are conveniently omitted from modern history books.

Quite clearly, less than five percent of the Confederate army soldiers came from families who owned slaves, yet they sacrificed for liberty and Constitutional government for four long years under the worst conditions imaginable that had nothing to do with the preservation of slavery. Dr. Livingston also notes by 1861, no national party of any significance, since the founding of our nation 70 years earlier, ever advocated or advanced a bill in Congress abolishing the institution of slavery. Abraham Lincoln himself once said he could accept slavery lasting for another 100 years provided that it could be confined to the South. Before the war, Lincoln even drafted an emancipation plan for New Jersey that would take effect in 1914. Just how far the North and Lincoln were prepared to go in supporting slavery in the South can be seen in an Amendment to the Constitution by Congress on March 2, 1861. This Amendment, extensively lobbied by Lincoln himself prior to his taking office, ordained:

No Amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere with any state with the domestic institutions thereof including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of the said State." Here, in these very words, the protection of slavery was tied to the Union itself. If the Southern states truly wanted to preserve slavery within their borders, all they needed to do was to remain in the Union in the Spring of 1861.

Warrenton and Fauquier County has a rich Confederate heritage, as it was also the home of General (and later U.S. Senator) Eppa Hunton; two-term Virginia Governor and Major General William "Extra Billy" Smith; and General William Henry Fitzhugh Payne. Thomas Marshall, Grandson of John Marshall, commanded the 7th Virginia Cavalry after the death of Turner Ashby, among many other local heroes. General Lunsford Lindsay Lomax farmed near Warrenton after the war. All were heroic men who lived in a heroic age.

Compatriot George V. Godfrey's research indicates Warrenton's town cemetery holds the remains of almost 900 Confederate Soldiers; approximately 600 having died in that great struggle. Two Confederate Generals, William Henry Fitzhugh Payne and Lunsford Lindsay Lomax are buried there. Captain John Quincy Marr, the first Confederate soldier to die in the War Between the States, rests in his home town cemetery. And it should be noted Warrenton is the final resting place of Colonel John S. Mosby.

The Virginia Division S.C.V. Commander notes the citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to peacefully, legally secede from the voluntary Union of States. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our Republic and represent the foundation on which our nation was built.

Today, the spirit of the Founders, and those brave individuals who sacrificed all for our Constitutional Government in the mid-19th Century, lives on in the hearts of the more than 3,100 members of the Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans. The Black Horse Camp #780 S.C.V. encourages all eligible males of lineal descent to join our heritage preservation ranks by contacting Commander David Goetz at: ; or via our web site:

The S.C.V. is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans, and the oldest hereditary organization for male descendents of Confederate soldiers. Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces. Organized at Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the S.C.V. continues to serve as a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to ensuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy is the outgrowth of many local memorial, monument, and Confederate home associations and auxiliaries to camps of United Confederate Veterans that were organized after the War Between the States. The National Association of the Daughters of the Confederacy was organized in Nashville, Tenn., on September 10, 1894. Membership is open to women no less than 16 years of age who are blood descendants, lineal or collateral, of men and women who served honorably in the Army, Navy or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America, or gave Material Aid to the Cause. The objectives of the U.D.C. organization are Historical, Educational, Benevolent, Memorial and Patriotic, including to collect and preserve the material necessary for a truthful history of the War Between the States and to protect, preserve, and mark the places made historic by Confederate valor.

The Black Horse Chapter #9, United Daughters of the Confederacy of Warrenton, Virginia, encourages all eligible females to join their heritage preservation ranks by contacting the Virginia Division U.D.C. web site at:


Blogger Val Proto said...

Exceptional comments and points save only this. I do not consider this a "war between states", but rather, a "war AGAINST states"; that is, sovereign states intended by the Founders to be the primary and strongest "check" against a totalitarian central government. The states in the North which sided with the federal government believed that they were "protecting and saving" the Union. Of course, they were not since "union" by its very nature is voluntary. Union at the point of a gun is conquest and what results is colonization, not reconciliation. It is also true that by 1860, most of the nation had chosen Hamilton's vision of the nation over that of Jefferson and Madison and hence their citizens had no problem with a powerful central government.

Let's face it. The antecedents of disunion were present in 1776. America was born with the seeds of its own destruction already in place and in the end, the false was able to overcome what was true.

2:25 PM  

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