Saturday, September 10, 2016

Open Letter to "The Alabama Baptist" Regarding the Display of the Confederate Flag

                           IGNORANCE OF HISTORY
    This response is in reference to the June 23, 2016 issue of "The Alabama Baptist"
with the article and resolution announcing that the messengers at the Southern Baptist
Convention voted against the display of the Confederate flag. I applaud the remarks in
that issue and the June 30 issue by Dr. John Killian, past president of the Alabama Baptist
    This decision is "divisive". There are members of Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV)
camps in 29 states with national headquarters in Tennessee. There are members of United
Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in many states with headquarters in Virginia. There are
about 52 UDC chapters in Alabama.
    There were over 10 reasons stated by the Southern states for seceding from the Union
to form the Confederate States of America. In July 1861 Alabama's Governor estimated that
Alabama contributed 122,000 to Confederate service in the War Between the States. Of those,
35,000 died and another 30,000 were seriously disabled. In 1862, Alabama's Governor estimated
that 20,000 Alabama Confederate veterans were permanently disabled, and there were 20,000
widows and 600,000 orphans. The value of Alabama farms and number of livestock decreased dramatically. Homes had shortages of heads-of-households and everyday items,such as food.
The South was devastated, looted and plundered.
    Alabama Confederate soldiers fought in hundreds of battles. For example, Alabama losses at Gettysburg were 1,750 dead and more wounded or captured.
    There were 12 battles fought in Alabama. There is a trail of significant Confederate sites in
eleven counties in Alabama. Regarding Confederate history in Alabama, there are Confederate
soldier monuments, museums, cemeteries and buildings that were hospitals. The Alabama
state Capitol building and grounds contain mementos of the War. This building is where the
Confederate States of America founded its government.
    There are three senior high schools in Montgomery named for Confederate heroes. There are
fraternities in honor of General Robert E. Lee at the well-known University of Alabama and Auburn University. (During the War, the University of Alabama was burned by Union raiders, leaving about
three buildings.) The Jefferson Davis Highway runs through Alabama.
    The Governor of Alabama and the Department of Education annually declare the month of April
to be "Confederate History Month". Programs honoring Confederate ancestor soldiers are held throughout Alabama, and Confederate flags are placed at grave markers of Confederate soldiers throughout the state. For examples, there are over 7,000 graves of Confederate soldiers in
Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery. A mass grave for Confederate soldiers whose names are not
known is in Old Live Oak Cemetery in Selma. There are 313 graves of Confederate soldiers in Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury. Confederate soldiers are buried throughout Alabama.     
    The Christian faith of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson is historically recorded.
Four Confederate cannon were named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. A great War-time revival
moved through the Southern armies and the "Bible Belt" became known in the South. Faith in God
was expressed in the Confederate Constitution.The Cross of St. Andrew forms the Confederate
Battle flag.
    The biggest problem in the Confederate flag issue is that the true Confederate history is not taught to the general public.
- Faye Gaston, United Daughters of the Confederacy

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