Warner Brothers has decided to eliminate the Confederate Battle flag from the roof of the General Lee Dodge Charger in the upcoming remake of the 1980s TV classic. Who would General Robert E. Lee have been without his courageous soldiers advancing the Battle Flag against overwhelming odds? Fortunately, the comments to the article seemed to demonstrate overwhelming support for the flag, Southern culture and heritage and many expressed growing weariness and frustration with the incessant misplaced political correctness by the liberal news and entertainment media. Today we fight the winds of political correctness. Our Southern Anglo-Saxon culture is being diluted and revisionists incessantly attempt to erase and dismiss our Confederate heritage as in Memphis and Selma and in the very history books which indoctrinate our children in the schools our tax dollars support.
Confederate General Patrick Cleburne warned, “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all that our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties”. Rev. James P. Smith from Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s staff stated, “All that was, or is now, desired is that error and injustice be excluded from the text-books of the schools and from the literature brought into our homes; that the truth be told, without exaggeration and without omission; truth for its own sake and for the sake of honest history, and that the generations to come after us not be left to bear the burden of shame and dishonor unrighteously laid upon the name of their noble sires.” But this fight against revisionists is nothing new and our fight must continue to ensure our children and grand-children know the truth of our glorious heritage.
My father recently gave me a real treasure, a 1912 original volume of The History of the Civil War by Benson J. Lossing with Brady War Photographs. Just as Gen. Cleburne warned though, the book is rife with such bias that it can only be considered propaganda, an editorial or fiction but, it is presented as a preeminent historical accounting. Lossing was praised in the prologue as being beyond any question on the subject, “a great authority; a court of last resort for facts and data.” Examples of the presented facts include, when speaking of the South Carolina delegation which went to Washington to negotiate the “disposition of property” within their sovereign borders, they “set forth the objects of their mission in haughty language (and) their demands had been uttered in a manner so insulting that the President (Buchanan) was justly indignant and wrote them a letter, courteous in tone” declining to receive the diplomatic correspondence. Embellishing a bit aren’t we? Lossing then proceeded to provide an accounting of the action at Fort Sumter, claiming the Star of the West attempting to reinforce and resupply Ft. Sumter was “fired upon from redoubts which the Secessionists, now become insurgents, had erected on the shore. The assailants had no respect for the insignia of the Union. This overt act of the insurgents was the beginning of the terrible Civil War that followed. The language of the Declaration of War against the Union by the politicians of South Carolina was arrogant, boastful and savage. They proceeded in hot haste to inaugurate Civil War and to drag the peaceful inhabitants of the other slave-labor states into its horrid vortex. The people whose rights they had violated and whose sovereignty that had usurped, were stunned and bewildered by the violence of the self-constituted leaders and they found themselves at the mercy of madmen, totally unfit to lead in the councils of a free, intelligent, and patriotic community. Meanwhile, the loyal people of the Northern States loved peace and friendship and were willing to make almost any concessions.” Except conceding the subjugation of their “friends” to the South. Outrageous stuff, eh?
Lossing continued, incessantly. “When the Civil war had ended, there was joy and hope in every bosom in the land. The soldiers of the great armies of the republic had saved the nation from political death and incidentally achieved the great work of emancipation for an enslaved race.” Hope and joy in the ravaged condemned Southland? Can you stand to read more? “When the starvation plan had succeeded in reducing forty thousand Union prisoners to skeletons, generally no better for service than dead men, a proposition was made by the Confederate authorities for a resumption of exchanges. Again, (Union) humanity took precedence and these poor creatures in Confederate prisons were exchanged for as many prisoners who had been well fed and otherwise comfortably provided for in the North.” And on and on. “A reign of terror under the Richmond despotism crushed out all freedom of speech and action in the Confederacy, defying all moral and civil law granting that the people of the South were as good, benevolent, humane, refined, kind-hearted and Christian-like in character and deeds as any on the face of the earth and have unjustly suffered reproaches because of the wrongs committed by self-constituted political leaders who misrepresented them.” No mention of Lincoln’s innumerable unconstitutional measures. Reconstruction? “There was nothing to be reconstructed for nothing worth preserving had been destroyed. No State as a component of the republic had been severed from the others for secession was an impossibility. The insurrection against the National Government only placed the constitutions of some of the States in a condition of suspended animation.” The readers belief system must be placed in suspended animation to undoubtingly accept this disinformation.
The UCV, the SCV and the UDC are to be commended for standing in the face of this propaganda for the past 150 years, educating the low-information populace as to the true history of the South and the Confederacy. It is a commendation that during this Sesquicentennial that there remains our voices proclaiming the truth and we should be encouraged when mainstream media and politicians such as Judge Andrew Napolitano, economist Walter Williams and Rep. Ron Paul recognize and advance these same facts and principles. While outstanding letters to the editor such as our own Charlie Graham faithfully publishes are priceless and reach our neighbors, the new digital and social media also enables our voices to be heard across a limitless audience everywhere. As we mourn our fallen forefathers at this anniversary of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, do your part to advance the Cause and disseminate the truth, never forgetting the constitutional principles they espoused and the ideals they fought and died for.