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.”

The Confederacy Voted For Secession? Think Again

The Confederacy Voted For Secession? Think Again

In the wake of the southern states’ secession, many around the world put pen to paper covering the causes of the Civil War. But in writing for the German newspaper Die Presse, Karl Marx, yes, that Karl Marx, hit upon a cause which had been overlooked. In his coverage, he struck upon something overlooked by many others during the same period.

The south didn’t vote to secede at all.

Instead, in his…

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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.  

HOW YOUR GRANDPARENTS’ LIVES AFFECT YOUR RESILIENCE TO STRESS -Can trauma, stress, and even nightmares be passed down from generation to generation?  Do we carry the stress our Civil War ancestors experienced? How many generations can epigenetic inheritance effect?

Gene expression—a chemical coating upon the chromosomes—is strong enough to be passed on to a third generation, which means grandchildren have “a kind of biological memory” of what their grandparents experienced, according to studies.

  • Epigenetic inheritance is an unconventional finding. It goes against the idea that inheritance happens only through the DNA code that passes from parent to offspring. It means that a parent’s experiences, in the form of epigenetic tags, can be passed down to future generations.

As unconventional as it may be, there is little doubt that epigenetic inheritance is real. In fact, it explains some strange patterns of inheritance geneticists have been puzzling over for decades. Three generations at once are exposed to the same environmental conditions (diet, toxins, hormones, etc.). In order to provide a convincing case for epigenetic inheritance, an epigenetic change must be observed in the 4th generation. 

According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Jews whose great-grandparents were chased from their Russian shtetls; Chinese whose grandparents lived through the ravages of the Cultural Revolution; young immigrants from Africa whose parents survived massacres; adults of every ethnicity who grew up with alcoholic or abusive parents — all carry with them more than just memories.

Like silt deposited on the cogs of a finely tuned machine after the seawater of a tsunami recedes, our experiences, and those of our forebears, are never gone, even if they have been forgotten. They become a part of us, a molecular residue holding fast to our genetic scaffolding. The DNA remains the same, but psychological and behavioral tendencies are inherited. 

New Israeli study finds signs of trauma in grandchildren of Holocaust survivors Study detects unprocessed, indirect signs of post-trauma, or problems in communication and interaction systems, among second-and-third-generation descendants of Holocaust victims.  A research study at the Ruppin Academic Center argued that eating disorders among third-generation female students can be linked to eating problems suffered by their second-generation mothers, and also to the extent to which their grandparents exposed them to Holocaust realities. The study argues that these survival concerns are often passed down from generation to generation, and can now be documented among teenagers who belong to the third generation. Fears about harm being caused to their parents, or about their parents’ deaths. In addition, fears among the parents were expressed via preparation for some future calamity - parents would hoard food and other items, and would make efforts to feed their children so that they would gain weight and be immune to danger.

PHOTO:The Confederate Soldier at Fort Mahone, Battle of Petersburg, April 2,1865. Colorized by StaceyPalmer thecivilwarparlor@TUMBLR.com

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/new-israeli-study-finds-signs-of-trauma-in-grandchildren-of-holocaust-survivors-1.424480

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/inheritance/

http://www.fastcompany.com/3045229/how-your-grandparents-lives-affect-your-resilience-to-stress

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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Civil War Mercenaries in Egypt, 1870’s

In 1869 a representative of the Khedive of Egypt met with Gen. William T. Sherman for advice in hiring three experienced American officers to serve in the Egyptian Army.  The Khedive of Egypt was Isma'il Pasha, son of the Ottoman Emperor and a man who was on a quest to modernize the Egyptian military.  Sherman recommended to Pasha three names, all of whom were experienced Civil War officers; Maj. Gen. William Loring (Confederate, pictured top left), Brig. Gen. Charles Pommeroy Stone (Union, bottom left), and Brigadier Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley (Confederate, top right).  The three men in turn recruited another 50 officers and NCO’s, all of whom served either the Union or Confederacy during the Civil War.  Once in Egypt they were met by another American, a former Union Colonel named Thaddeus P. Mott (pictured bottom right).  An adventurer, globetrotter, and soldier of fortune who was a veteran of wars in Italy and Mexico, Mott had been recruited by Pasha earlier in the year.

The purpose of hiring these men was very clear.  In the 19th century the mighty Ottoman Empire had declined significantly.  Isma'il Pasha believed that in order to survive the empire and Khedive of Egypt had to modernize its military, which was decades behind the West in terms of doctrine, tactics, and technology.  Pasha believed that outside help was needed.  He chose Americans because after the American Civil War, there were many unemployed veterans who were experienced in modern warfare.  Furthermore, the United States had little interest in the empire, and thus were a neutral party.  It was Pasha’s intention as Khedive (viceroy) to use these men to modernize the military forces under his command in Egypt.

Once in Egypt the American mercenaries set to work supervising the reformation of the Egyptian military.  This included the construction of new coastal fortifications, training of the army, and the founding of an officers school headed by American officers.  During the years the American advisers made great strides in reforming the Egyptian military, however progress was often shaky at best.  Many Egyptian officers and soldiers were offended by the American’s arrogant and/or racist attitudes towards them.  Many of the Americans refused to learn Arabic, creating a linguistic barrier between themselves and the men they commanded.  Finally Union and Confederate rivalries also flared up resulting in fist fights, brawls, and even duels among the mercenaries.

By 1874 Isma'il Pasha began to have dreams of conquest and glory with his new army.  In 1875 he annexed Darfur, then he turned his attention towards the conquest of Ethiopia.  The Americans expected Pasha to give command of the expedition to William Loring, who held the rank of fareek pasha (Major General).  However command was given to Ratib Pasha, an ex-slave who served the former Khedive of Egypt.  The was an incredibly foolish move as Ratib had little military qualifications.  The Ethiopians, however, were fully prepared for war and had raised a massive army.  After purchasing modern weapons and receiving military training from British military advisers, the Ethiopians were ready to do battle.   At the Battle of Gurwa the poor leadership of Ratib Pasha caused the outnumbered Egyptian Army to be slaughtered.  Many Egyptians pointed the blame at the Americans despite the inept leadership of Ratib.  Eventually the disillusioned Americans returned home.  Those who remained were eventually dismissed due to budget cuts.  Only Thaddeus P. Mott remained.  He moved to Turkey and served in the Ottoman Army, fighting against the Serbians and distinguishing himself at the Battle of Shipka Pass during the Russo Turkish War.

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