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 Confederacy’s Forgotten Submarine Fleet

Today in History: The Attack of the CSS David, October 5th, 1863

Today the CSS Hunley, the failed Confederate submarine that was recently raised off the bottom of the ocean tends to get all the glory.  Overshadowed by the Hunley was another submersible called the CSS David, a torpedo boat that would spawn a whole fleet of Confederate submersibles during the Civil War.

Designed by St. Julien Ravenel and constructed by a private citizens of Charleston, the CSS David was a cigar shaped craft about 50 feet long and manned by a crew of 4.  A steam powered craft, the CSS David was watertight and had a ballast tank so that it could dive, but it could only dive as far as the top of its smokestack.  Thus it was not a true submarine like the Hunley, however in night attacks it was assumed that the smokestack would not be noticed.

The CSS David was equipped with a 134 pound spar torpedo, which the David would ram into an enemy ship’s hull, detonating the torpedo.  The first attack made by the David on an enemy ship occurred on October 5th, 1863, when it assault a Union blockade ship called USS Ironsides.  The stealthy CSS David got to within 50 feet of the Ironsides before being spotted and fired upon.  Once discovered, the David steamed full speed ahead, ramming the Ironsides and exploding its torpedo.  That attack caused minor damage to the Ironsides, killing one crew member.  

While the attack of the CSS David wasn’t really successful, the Confederate Navy was impressed by the concept, and built a fleet of twenty other David Class submersibles.  However the Confederacy’s sub fleet saw little success.  Most of the blame was not in the subs, but their spar torpedoes which either caused little damage or failed to detonate altogether.  After the attack on the USS Ironsides, the CSS David also attacked two Union frigates called the USS Memphis and USS Wabash.  In both assaults, the spar torpedo failed to detonate, causing little damage.

The fate of the CSS David is unknown.  However, most David Class submersibles were either scuttled or captured and sold as scrap by Union forces. 

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The South Has Risen Again… in Brazil — Meet the “Confederados”

No one has determined how many Americans immigrated to Brazil in the years following the end of the American Civil War. As noted in unpublished research, Betty Antunes de Oliveira found in port records of Rio de Janeiro that some 20,000 Americans entered Brazil from 1865 to 1885. Other researchers have estimated the number at 10,000. An unknown number returned to the United States when conditions in the southern US improved. Most immigrants adopted Brazilian citizenship

In the east of Brazil, two hours away from Sao Paulo, there’s a small community that has a direct blood link with people from the southern United States. They call themselves “Confederados”. Families with last names like Thomas, Strong or Williamson are living proof of the American emigration from Brazil that started after the Civil War. They left the devastation in the southern states to start over in Brazil, which was still a slaveholder nation. The Americans brought with them their expertise in farming, especially cotton, and helped start an agricultural revolution in Brazil. The descendants of these first immigrants are very proud of their roots and while they display the confederate flag proudly, they insist they are not racist and they denounce slavery.

The descendants foster a connection with their history through the Associação Descendência Americana (American Descendants Association), a descendant organization dedicated to preserving their unique mixed culture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederados

The lost colony of the Confederacy By Eugene C. Harter

 

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.

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