The Second Confederate Jack (1863- 1865)

Most people look at this flag and think it is a symbol of racism due to the fact that the Confederate States of America practiced slavery. What they fail to realize is that it is also called the “Rebel Flag,” and it’s called this for a reason.

The Confederacy was formed because the people in those states felt that they were being made second-class citizens by the existing government. Just because slavery was part of the Confederate way of life, it doesn’t mean that the nation was representative of racism. The Confederacy and its flag were, and still are, a symbol of rebellion against an unfair, intrusive government.

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This unassuming house in Petersburg, Va., has an odd history. It was constructed from the tombstones of Union soldiers who had besieged the city in 1864. The Union soldiers who died while attacking the Confederate-held city were buried near where they fell. Apparently to save on maintenance, nearly 2,000 marble headstones were removed from Poplar Grove Cemetery and sold to a Mr. O.E. Young, who assembled them into a two-story house in the 1930s.

The tombstones face inward, so “as the owner lay in bed the names of the dead stood about his head,” Headley wrote in Architectural Follies in America (1996). Later they were plastered over so visitors wouldn’t be freaked out — or accidentally see their great-grandfathers’ name.

The last word must be left to the lady living next door to the Tombstone House, who confessed “Ah dont rightly see what all the fuss was about. They was jist Union boys.”

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Ron Paul standing in front of a Confederate flag and telling an audience that the South was on the right side of the American Civil War

What’s this, you ask? On, nothing. It’s just a video of Ron Paul standing in front of a flag flown by traitors 150 years ago and telling his audience that the South was on the right side of the American Civil War.

At 1:25, Paul says that buying slaves’ freedom would have been a better way to free them than fighting a war over the issue. Does anyone actually believe that Ron Paul, were he a member of Congress in 1861, would have supported a plan for the United States government to spend taxpayer dollars to buy slaves, even if it were to free them? He’d abolish Medicare and Social Security, and he doesn’t support universal healthcare, but he’d support a federal government that would undoubtedly need to increase taxes and then spend that tax money on the purchase of southern slaves? No, he wouldn’t.

What’s stunning about Paul’s views on slavery and the Civil War is the fact that he calls himself a libertarian, and he talks more about personal liberty than any politician currently in office, but he would have been willing to accept idea that human beings could own other human beings. He’s arguing in this video that the North should have purchased the slaves of the South in order to free them, and that tells me that he would have been willing to accept that the northern government could legally purchase human beings. If one opposes slavery, and one believes that personal liberty is our primary, guiding principle, the idea that anyone (or any government) could purchase a human being should be unacceptable. To have supported the North’s purchase of human beings from the South would have been supporting slavery — the idea that one human being could be the property of another — as a legal concept.

Further along in the video, at 2:00, Paul he calls the Civil War a “loss of liberty.” For whom? Certainly not for the slaves who were freed. Were he a slave in 1861, I doubt that his libertarian ideals would have allowed him to argue that his freedom was for sale, to anyone, whether in the North or the South, for any reason. I doubt that he would have referred to the South as the victim, argued that the Civil War was a “loss of liberty”, or complained about “northern aggression”, a term that Southern apologists love to use.

Thank you to Dominion of New York for their article that brought this video to my attention.

October 12, 1870: Robert E. Lee Dies

On this day in 1870, Robert E. Lee, the leading general of the Confederate Army, died at 63 in Lexington, VA after suffering a massive heart attack . Lee was the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War (1861-65) which was the most successful of the Southern armies.

His surrender to Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in April of 1865 signified the end of the Civil War in the Union’s favor.

Browse American Experience’s “Lee the Man” photo gallery for a timeline of Robert E. Lee’s personal history.

Photo: Portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee, officer of the Confederate Army (1863) (Julian Vannerson/Library of Congress/Wikimedia Commons).

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The Confederates of Brazil,

Every year in the State of Sao Paolo, in the City of Americana, Brazil, the locals host a festival called the Festa Confederada.  The women wear American Antebellum style dresses while the men often dress as Civil War Era Confederate soldiers.  They eat Southern food, they dance to Southern music, and they fly the Stars and Bars (Confederate flag).  On occasion they may even have a Civil War re-enactment.  The only thing they lack is a heavy Southern drawl as most of the people are native speakers of Portuguese.

An oddity to find in South America for sure, there is a logical explanation to this madness.  It all goes back to April of 1865, when Union forces occupied the South and forced the Confederacy to surrender, there were many who were not willing to give in to the Union.  Many others had their land confiscated or their property totally destroyed by the war.  Many had nowhere to go.

That year Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil wanted to encourage the cultivation of cotton in Brazil, and he knew of thousands of people with the resources and expertise to do it.  He began to offer special insentives for immigrants from the former Confederacy to move and settle in Brazil.  This included subsidies on travel, cheap land, and tax breaks.  More importantly in Brazil slavery was still legal and would not be abolished until 1888.  

Between 1865 and 1875 ten to twenty thousand former Confederates made a home at Americana, Brazil.  There they set up a community that was an almost exact copy of the pre-Civil War antebellum South.  Because of their culture and heritage, they became known as the Confederados. At first the Confederados were a very insular group, interacting little with the Brazilians and fiercely maintaining their own culture.  However the third generation descendants of the Confederados began to break with tradition, intermingling with the Brazilians and eventually intermarrying with them.  Today Confederado decedents are little different from regular Brazilians, except perhaps when they host their Festa Confederada.  

Nathan B. Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida, home to the fighting Confederate Rebels, is named after a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and confederate general. It has been since 1959, when administrators changed the name to show their defiance to school integration laws enforced by Brown v Board of Education. But town residents, fed up with kowtowing to racial extremists, are looking to change that.

One Jacksonville resident launched a Change.org petition that has so far garnered over 150,000 signatures, asking the Duval County School Board to change the name.

A Manual of Military Surgery, Confederate States of America, Surgeon General’s Office, 1863-National Library of Medicine

 25,000 Southerners returned from the Civil War permanently disfigured from the amputation of a limb. There are relatively few historical works that address the meaning of amputation following the Civil War. When veterans returned home from the war, they faced a new set of challenges, especially for those who returned home physically and emotionally scarred. Chiefly, although the war became a venue wherein Confederate men could find new definitions of individual and societal worth based on their performance in battle, it also produced new challenges to the older definitions.

It is reasonable to assume that Southerners would view the actions of their soldiers as honorable. Circumstances required that Southern men and women incorporated the imperfect Southern male body within their traditional notions of manhood. They did so by blending traditional gender models with their celebrations of veterans’ sacrifices in remembering the Civil War as an honorable defeat.

http://www.factasy.com/civil_war/blogs/jhtaylor/confederate_amputees_and_women_who_loved_or_tried_love_them

 

ca. 1860’s, [ambrotype portrait of a Confederate soldier wearing a plaid shirt and a holstered pistol. He carries a large bedroll, a percussion rifle and a kepi with the letters “4 SLG” for the 4th Sumter Light Guards]

via Heritage Auctions

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A widow’s plea
Nancy Woodward, a Confederate widow, wrote to President Davis and asked him to release her only son from the Army so he could return home and help her. Southern civilian life during the war was very difficult, especially for women. While coping with shortages of food and other resources, they maintained the home front and ran farms, plantations, and businesses.

Letter from Nancy Woodward to Jefferson Davis, 11/12/1862

via DocsTeach