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Posted at 4:00 AM ET, 11/ 7/2010

Running scared on Confederate history

By Richard T. Hines, Alexandria

Twenty years after Gen. Robert E. Lee rode into Appomattox and surrendered his tattered army, ending the War Between the States, a memorial chapel was built in Richmond in memory of the 260,000 Confederate soldiers who died during the conflict.

The organ in the chapel was donated by a group of Union veterans from Lynn, Mass. One of the contributors to the soldiers' home that surrounded the chapel was Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. And a Union private from Massachusetts donated his annual pension to support the home.

Back then, folks argued -- as they do today -- over why the war was fought. Some said slavery. Some said tariffs. Others said the Constitution. One captured Confederate soldier, as he was being marched off to prison, was asked, "Why are you fighting?" He is said to have grunted, "Because you're here."

Of course, the truth is that men fought for different reasons. But once the war was over, they handled their arguments about it with mutual respect and courtesy. Today in the Old Dominion, this has been lost, and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and former senator George Allen (R) -- possibly to their surprise -- find themselves embroiled in the latest debate over honoring our ancestors.

The whole brouhaha began when McDonnell signed a proclamation honoring Confederate History Month. That seemed innocuous enough. After all, we have innumerable heritage commemorations, including, of course, Black History Month. But before the ink had dried, McDonnell's political opponents descended on him hammer and cudgel, all but branding him pro-slavery.

In panicked reaction, McDonnell vacillated. First, he added an anti-slavery statement to his proclamation. When that did not appease his opponents, he did a full about-face and announced there would be no more Confederate History Month Proclamations on his watch. And, finally, he required the removal of the flags of the old veterans at their own chapel in Richmond. Their descendants had unwisely left the land and chapel of the Soldiers Home in trust to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We need to recall that slavery began in Virginia in 1619, not 1861. Indeed, Virginians such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Patrick Henry, George Mason, John Marshall and a host of others were slaveholders who also opposed slavery. Yet they had to deal with the day-to-day reality of an inherited institution, while looking forward -- they hoped -- to its final abolition by peaceful and orderly means. It is quite easy to revere Confederate history without being pro-slavery, but McDonnell doesn't seem to understand this. His eyes seemingly set on higher office, he took up the banner of "politically correct" history.

Naturally, the Post gushed that McDonnell's decision "took guts," and soon George Allen jumped in. Allen's political problem is his "macaca moment," which got him branded a racist in his last campaign. Perhaps seeing a way to put this behind him before he announces his next bid for the Senate, Allen offered up praise for McDonnell. And McDonnell's political alter ego, former Virginia and national Republican chairman Ed Gillespie, added his "amen," hailing McDonnell's transformation as proof that Virginia has been reborn as "the Dynamic Dominion."

We've been arguing over the causes of our great war between brothers for 150 years, and no doubt we'll go on arguing for another 150. But today one group - the one that insists the war was fought over slavery alone -- tolerates no disagreement. Confederate
chapels, history months and monuments, they say, should be banished, and the history books rewritten to exclude other points of view. Anyone who dares disagree gets called a racist. Allen and McDonnell have given us proof of the power of that charge.

A pair of Confederate flags have flown over the Confederate Memorial Chapel in Richmond since 1887. Those two flags did not trouble the Union soldiers who donated the organ to the chapel; nor did they trouble Ulysses S. Grant. They honored the bravery of thousands of Virginians, most of whom did not believe they fought to defend slavery. But McDonnell panicked when attacked by those who would never support him politically. This was an act of political courage?

The two Virginia leaders who should be praised for their courage on this issue are not Allen and McDonnell but former governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Democrats who had enough respect for the descendants of Confederate soldiers to allow the flags to fly at the chapel throughout their terms in office.

The writer is commander of the Jefferson Davis Camp No. 305 Sons of Confederate Veterans, Virginia Division.

By Richard T. Hines, Alexandria  | November 7, 2010; 4:00 AM ET
Categories:  Confederate flag, HotTopic, Va. Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

Commander Hines nails it! What happened between 1861-65 was not the "good guy/bad guy" situtation that revisionists, including apparently a number of Post writers and contributors want to portray. Most southerners, in their minds, fought for the same reasons that their forebears had done in 1776. But as Mr. Hines states, when it was over it was over, and soldiers of both sides were willing to shake hands in mutual respect. Lee told his men to "Go home and become good citizens; we are all Americans again." When you hear the cries of "it was all about slavery" I guess it means that slavery was OK as long as the Stars & Stripes was flying overhead, and had been consitutionally supported for 80 years, having been insituted in the western hemisphere nearly 200 years before that! Virginia was contemplating procedures for abolishing slavery when forced to choose between attacking or defending her sister southern states. Yes, there were other issues, and yes, contrary to a number of opinions in the Post lately, blacks did serve in the Confederate military early on, though not in organized segregated units. Those who holler "no way" are the ones not doing their research.

Posted by: rvtcfs | November 7, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

This column is so full of baloney that it's hard to know here to start to comment. I'll start with this: my family has been in Virginia for over 300 years and at least one of my ancestors fought for the Confederacy.

First, the term "War Between the States" was a post-war southern invention. Check your history. The confederate government never used this term. The US government called the confederates what they were, "rebels," and referred to the war as the "War of the Rebellion."

Second, the proximate cause of the war was the refusal by the governments of the states that formed the confederacy to accept multiple offers of allowing slavery to continue in those states but not to be extended to others.

Third, there has never been any argument offered by reputable historians outside the south that slavery was the root cause of the Civil War. Those who led the United States, including Lincoln and Grant, stated in no uncertain terms that slavery was the cause of the Civil War.

Fourth, the statement "but once the war was over, they handled their arguments about it with mutual respect and courtesy" is patently false. In fact, US troops remained in the states for the former confederacy for over a decade after the Civil War, maintaining martial law for a large part of the period. US troops also put down the very violent Ku Klux Klan of the time.

Finally (because this could go on for pages), if someone wants to honor their confederate ancestors, well, who is stopping you? Fly all the confederate flags you want, believe what you want, say what you like, but don't expect everyone to agree with you or to respect you --- your ancestors, like mine, fought for a government that believed that human beings could be owned as property and that's hardly a noble cause.

More importantly, don't expect taxpayers like me to support the use of state funds or state property to honor people who took up arms against the legally constituted government of the United States and fired on the flag of our country. Honor them in your own way and leave the rest of us out of it. There are more important and deserving things to honor in this country.

Posted by: Bob22003 | November 7, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Mr. Hines.

Revisionists need to understand that while they might not like our heritage, it is still our heritage. If they have to be dragged screaming to the realization, so be it.

Enough of this political correctness!

Posted by: flintston | November 7, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep this real simple, shall we? Flying the Confederate flag is a signal that the person or institution flying it approves of the Confederacy, including slavery. Therefore, it is a signal that the flyer would approve of making black people slaves again. Black people find that "off-putting" for some strange reason. So McDonnell was absolutely right to prohibit any institution associated in any way with the Va. gov't from flying it. I have a suggestion: Why don't you Reb-sympathisers come up with a new flag to fly? Something like a Confederate flag with a big, black "S" inside a Ghostbusters-type circle-with-a-diagonal superimposed on it, to signify, "We like our 'heritage' but we don't approve of slavery." That might work.

Posted by: Dan4 | November 7, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Well said bob. I read this in the paper version and immediately felt compelled to come online and dispute this oblivious account of history.Let me begin however by saying I have no problem with veterans, of any and all wars being honored for their bravery and courage. If a descendant of a confederate soldier wants to honor his ancestor he or she has that right. I think that even would should extend to memorial grounds ie cemeteries. However, lets get the facts straight here. The war itself was fought over many issues, slavery of course being the biggest. While every white southerner did not own slaves, many did and many others saw nothing wrong with the owning of slaves.While slavery did not begin 1861 it certainly was perfected by then, especially in Virginia where the first Africans were enslaved in 1619.This issue is reflective of the popular phrase "love is never having to say you are sorry." Indeed there was some(not universal) brotherly love between the states following the war including the author's reference to an amiable surrender by Lee. I would highight however that comraderie was due to Lincoln realizing the pragmatism of having to reunite a divided country as opposed to any support of southern ideology.Thus the victors were instructed whereever possible not to The south never had to face court martials, trails or any other I find it still stunning that by comparison anyone attempting to overtake would certainly face a death penalty or life imprisonment, but southern states, residents, politicians and soldiers could wage war on the nation, tearing it apart at its seams and then turn around and walk home to "start over" as if nothing happened. The conciliatory "love" approach by the north meant the south, even though it lost the war, never had to say it was sorry, or that it was wrong. That has led to generations believing that the southern culture slavery, included was correct,it was just the iutcome that was flawed. There is nothing valiant about a society that enslaves its fellow human beings, no matter how hard or courageous its soldiers fight to defend it against foes with superior resources. Tax payer funded confederate history months should be banished. Why should children of slaves have to honor the soldiers who fought to keep their ancestors enslaved? That's like saying confederate descendants should be forced each year to attend a ceremony honoring union troops destruction of Atlanta. Keep these celebrations private and voluntary. confederate sympathizers lost the right to these public, taxpayer funded confederate observances in 1865, they simply were allowed since then as post-war balm to heal 19th century wounds. Those days are long over and rightfully so. Many white and black people have no desire to see confederate flags which were waived vehemently at lynchings, ku klux klan rallies and other discriminatory events. The south fought to keep slavery. Confederacy and its flag in that regard are nothing to celebrate.

Posted by: detroitblkmale30 | November 7, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

I suppose we should overlook the slavery in States that remained in the Union, to include Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, and most importantly the State of West Virginia, which was made a state during the War.

So as Bob pointed out, I suppose if one flies the American Flag(and I do) it must signal support of slavery? After all slavery was legal before, during and after the war in America. But of course people who want to load blame on the South ignore northern slavery in order to place all the guilt on the South for it. Well, for those of us that are not biased and can look at history as it happened know better.

Posted by: irish031 | November 7, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

BOB22003 who states "Those who led the United States, including Lincoln and Grant, stated in no uncertain terms that slavery was the cause of the Civil War".

If this assertion is true, I can't help but wonder why the Commanding General of the Union Army Ulysses S. Grant would allow his wife to keep slaves throughout the entire war. In fact, Grant himself once owned a slave. Mrs. Grant would frequently visit her husband in the field, accompanied by one or more slaves. It was not until the passage of the 13th amendment in January of 1865 that the Grant family slaves were freed.

Lincoln stated on a number of occasions that his priority was preserving the Union, and that if he could preserve the Union by allowing slavery to continue he would gladly do so. The Corwin amendment, which passed in both the US House and Senate, would have preserved slavery in perpetuity. Lincoln publicly stated he had no difficulty supporting this measure.

The bottom line is that the Lincoln Administration was more than willing to overlook the "peculiar institution" of slavery so long as the South was willing to pay tribute in the form of excessive tariffs.

If you want to comprehend the true cause of the war, follow the money.The War between the States was clearly an economic war. It certainly was not a Civil War as the South was not attempting to takeover the duly elected United States Government, with whom the South intended to peacefully co-exist. It was not a "War of Rebellion" as the South was merely following the original provisions of the Constitution recognizing State sovereignty and the right of secession.

Posted by: TerryMKl | November 7, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Bob 22003, You are a disgrace to your Confederate ancestor and I hope when you meet him in heaven he will disavow you! Explain why Lincoln waited 18 months after the war started to issue the Emancipation Proclamation? If you want to know why Virginia soldiers fought on the side of the Confederacy you need to look no further than Lincoln’s call for 75,000 Union volunteers to invade the state of Virginia. Because as you say Lincoln and Grant stated that the war was fought to end slavery then we should believe the same? There has been plenty of valid argument given by plenty of historians throughout the country that the war was brought on by numerous issues in addition to slavery. Try looking into the Morrill Tariff for one. If you really want to know why Confederate soldiers fought then I suggest you go to some archives and look at letters written by them in 1861. These letters will show why they fought and I bet you will not find too many references to slavery. I challenge you to go look at Union soldiers’ letters from 1861 too. You will find that not too many men in Blue in 1861 were fighting to abolish slavery either. Bob, if you really want to know the facts then go to primary sources written by the people who were involved – don’t rely on the B.S. in the modern day media or any PhD who has a political axe to grind to explain anything.
You want to believe only the pro-Lincoln crowd? This is the same group of PhD scholars who scratch each other’s backs and award each other Lincoln book awards to prop up their messiah - it is all based on money and collegial respect. Also, look into the actions of the Union League during Reconstruction. This is why the KKK became violent. Bob, until you look into the above issues, you have no business writing anything that has to do with the history of 1861-1875. Trying to destroy the character and intentions of men who cannot defend themselves, the Confederate soldier, is pretty shameful. I will state my name unlike you!
John Fox
Winchester, VA

Posted by: johnfoxva | November 7, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Mr Hines had put eloquently into words EXACTLY what I have wanted to say since the most recent attacks on the Pelham Memorial Chapel - Confederate War Memorial began.

One need only sit in the pews, where the proud veterans once worshipped and where thousands received their "final roll call" before burial in local cemeteries, to feel a deep connection with and affection for the sacred Sanctuary.

I have seen photographs of reunions on those grounds, with Union and Confederate Veterans both represented. It is a great shame that the same spirit of respect and admiration present in the men who actually fought the war has now been replaced with ignorance and contempt, the likes of which are well documented in the comments on this page alone.


Thank you, Mr. Hines, for bringing the plight of the Chapel to the public in such a well-written article. I am sharing this with everyone I know and pray its sentiments stir others to action in defense of the chapel.

Posted by: DixieGirlVa | November 7, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Bob22003 your rants sound alot like the English after War for American Independence...I am sorry, I mean the Colonial Rebellion in British North America. So what is July 4th all about again? Sounds like you need a history lesson!

Posted by: kiltedkelly | November 7, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

VERY THANKFUL TO SEE "THE OTHER SIDE" ABLE TO SPEAK.....

I WONDER DAN, DO YOU FIND THE UNITED STATES FLAG THAT FLEW OVER SLAVER "OFF PUTTING"?

Posted by: CCLESTERS | November 8, 2010 5:09 AM | Report abuse

VERY THANKFUL TO SEE "THE OTHER SIDE" ABLE TO SPEAK.....

I WONDER DAN, DO YOU FIND THE UNITED STATES FLAG THAT FLEW OVER SLAVER "OFF PUTTING"?

Posted by: CCLESTERS | November 8, 2010 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Why do we celebrate anything about the Confederacy at all? First, Washington is as far north as I have ever lived and I have a number of Confederate soldiers is my ancestry. That being said, I'm glad they lost. The Confederacy existed to destroy the United States of America. It was a traitor state and does not deserve an honorable recognition. The individual soldiers can be honored at Decoration Day in May, as we honor all the fallen at arms in this country, but we certainly do not need to honor as an entity the failed nation that sent them to war.

Posted by: ksu499 | November 8, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

To: CCLESTERS:

You should try living in the present, instead of the past, sometime. If this were 1860, I may very well not be proud of the US flag. (Abolitionists like Garrison burned the US Constitution because it blessed slavery, for example.) But now, post-1865, the US flag does not stand for slavery. The Confederate flag still does, however. If the Confederacy had ever enacted, or even proposed, abolition, then I agree that the Confederate flag wouldn't be a symbol of slavery. But it didn't, so it is. In short, please get your head out of the 1860's and live in the world the rest of us live in.

Posted by: Dan4 | November 8, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

This letter willfully misstates exactly why Gov. McDonnell foudn himself in hot water and why his final decision was the right thing to do. It is appropriate to honor those who fought. When it comes to the Civil War, it is not appropriate to celebrate the role of the Virginia in the Civil War without acknowledging the crime against humanity it fought to preserve, namely the enslavement of human beings. It would be obscene, and an insult to the descendants of the victims of slavery, to do otherwise. Gov. McDonnell wisely recognized this.

My ancestors, too, fought for the South. They were a product of their times, and while they were good men, they were also absolutely wrong.

Posted by: krickey7 | November 8, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I can't read the letter by My Hines without responding. People back then and now know why the Civil War Was fought - to preserve the Union and to abolish slavery. The writings of the Confederate leaders were very plain that the ultimate reason for succession was to protect and defend their right to keep slaves. No matter how you cut it the North fought to fro freedom and the South fought for slavery. The real historical revisionists are those like Mr. Hines who would change historical reality.

As far a the difference between having Black History Month and Confederate History Month is the Black History Month celebrates the contribution the African Americans have made to our nation. The Confederacy tried to destroy our nation.

As a 28 year veteran of the Army who took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic..." I personally find it offensive to see the flag of an enemy who tried to destroy the Constitution flying anywhere in the nation I and many others took an oath to defend. I see know real difference between a statue of a confederate soldier and a statue of any other enemy solder the real patriots of this country fought.

The historical reality is that the Virginians Mr. Hines lists where indeed slaves holders who ignored the issue of abolition of slavery as a compromise and none of which freed their slaves while they lived. Slavery was not dying out but growing in the South and Southerners tried for decades to expand the slavery into every state in the Union ever to the point of trampling on the rights of Free States. One can not "revere Confederate history without being pro-slavery" Since the reason for the Confederacy and succession was the protection of slavery.

Yes, My Hines, it did "take guts" for Gov McDonnell to admit his mistake and resend his order and to stop pandering to pro-slavery, anti-american, extremists like you. There is no separation of slavery from the Confederacy - to try and argue otherwise is deceitful and disgraceful as well as historically inaccurate. To try and equate Confederate solders who fought against the Union and the Constitution to all those who fought for the Union and the Constitution in any age is insulting.

Posted by: dnpearce1 | November 8, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what twisted logic from "Commander" Hines. Two things stand out to me: 1) Comparing Confederate History Month to Black History Month. You couldn't have picked a worse analogy. The Confederates were intent on enslaving blacks, regardless of the "cause" of the war.

2) Your contention that "It is quite easy to revere Confederate history without being pro-slavery, but McDonnell doesn't seem to understand this." Oh really? Quite easy for whom? For blacks? I'm white and I don't see it at all.

This is typical revisionist Civil War crap that belongs in something like the Washington Times or the David Duke newsletter.

Posted by: tcarterva | November 8, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we can disagree on why the war began, and was fought. States rights? Perhaps. Slavery? Perhaps. The Constitution? Doubt it. John Brown's raid on Harpers' Ferry did send a shutter through the South. That was an attack on slavery. That is what "told" southerners it was time to deal with the slavery issue. Regardless, of the "reasons" it's time for southerners to come to grips with the fact it's over. The nation is better off for it, despite the slaughter it entailed on both sides. We are one nation now, and it's time to simply agree on that. The screams of "revisionist" history are simply an attempt to hang-on to the past, even if that past didn't exsist. We are going to argue about this terrible war until the sun dies. What I hope we can agree on is we are now one people with a multitude of thoughts and differnces, yet one mission. The mission is to better ourselves as a person and a people. It's amazing this war divides us almost more than anything else. We are all still fighting this war, it's time to stop.

Posted by: jckdoors | November 9, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Let's censor all history that is unpleasant and prohibit all historical celebrations!

Yes, some Confederates fought to retain their slaves and some Union slave holders fought the Confederacy, while retaining their slaves. There were many varied motivations as to why individuals on both sides fought in the war but why consider the big picture when it is so much easier to blame it solely on slavery.

Applying the same logic or illogic, an argument can be made to prohibit Black History month as there must be a myriad of reasons that can be found to offend someone.The Nat Turner massacre is one obvious possibility but let's see if there might be a way to tie in the slavery issue.

Perhaps Black History month should be prohibited because the individual who introduced chattel slavery to the North American Colonies was not a Confederate but rather a Free Black by the name of Anthony Johnson. Mr. Johnson successfully petitioned the Virginia Courts in 1655 to obtain perpetual ownership of his servant, John Cassor. Isn't it ironic that Anthony Johnson is recognized as the nation's first slaveholder? This historical fact seems to get little, if any attention, during Black History Month.

Perhaps comparing Confederate History Month to Black History Month isn't such a bad analogy after all. If slavery was the Cause of the war, should we blame the Confederacy, who inherited the peculiar institution, or the originator Anthony Johnson?

Posted by: TerryMKl | November 9, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Bob, well put.

"ending the War Between the States"

We here all the time about the great southern cause, and the northern re-writing of the war. (well, from Southerners, we do).

Revisionist history started with the REBELS, when they call the civil war the:
War between the States
War of Northern Agression.

It was the Civil War, or the War of Rebellion. The south attempted to rebel and destroy the Union. The south lost. They ratified the constitution, and when it no longer pleased them, they attacked the Union they swore allegiance to.

And, as the SOUTH attacked the Union... why should we honor the rebellion?

Why should we honor the attempt to destroy the Union?

Why do the sons of long-dead people forget that the base for the break was about slavery... and all the states rights issues always return to slavery (run-away slave laws, expansion of slavery into western territories, increased voting rights for slave-holders and hence slave states, increased economic advantage of free labor) all those "states rights" were directly linked to slavery.

Lincoln fought to preserve the Union.
The south fought to preserve their way of life, which was BUILT on slavery.

Not difficult to acknoledge, and not revisionist history.

But of course, the Sons of Confederates will go to their graves before they would admit that the South started the war, and were the aggressors when they fired on US territory.

Posted by: Greent | November 9, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I live in Virginia, too. But I have no patience for treason, nor slavery which is the reason the South seceded, nor people who defend the way their parents discriminated against everyone not like them. Whether Richard T. Hines wants to admit it, there has been extensive discrimination against all (including whites who are not like Richard T. Hines) by the descendants of those confederates.

So I will gladly celebrate the defeat of the Confederacy and all it stood for, and all its adherents still reminisce about.

McDonnell was wrong to want to celebrate 'Confederate History' month! He was properly chastised for it.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 9, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

George Allen cannot be a racist because he "discovered" his mother was a Jew and escaped from za holy-caust.

Posted by: SSTK34 | November 9, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing to read the many brain washed ignorant responses to Mr. Hines
letter. These narrow minded pimple reared empty suits believe themselves to be highly enlightened citizens of the world.However, their limited knowledge of history regarding this period is all so
apparent. Their claim that Southerners were traitors is both laughable and sad ,at the same time. Laughable because at no time did any southern politician or citizen make any attempt to overthrow the U.S. Government.There is no provision in the U.S. Constitution prohibiting secession. Sad because our public school systems have been successful in conditioning students with the victors lies for so many decades.Their success has rendered these individuals unable to to even contemplate the truth when it stares them in the face. These so called open minded individuals are the real bigots and are real threats to restoring liberty to all Americans.

Posted by: dduck1 | November 10, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Some of these comments by apologists for slavery and treason would be laughable if they weren't so frightening and sad. Here is one comment that is particularly bizarre: "at no time did any southern politician or citizen make any attempt to overthrow the U.S. Government." Really? You mean the asassination of the President by Mr. Booth, (born in Maryland but clearly a Confederate agent) and the simultaneous effort to kill the VP and several cabinet members doesn't qualify? You mean raising an army of several hundred thousand and marching on the Washington D.C. doesn't qualify? What else might the Confederacy have had to do, one wonders, to demonstate a desire to overthrow the government of the United States?

But all that is beside the point. What is to the point is the way in which some comments here demonstrate how entirely self-deluded the unreconstructed defenders of the Confederacy are to this day. This is not to say that the Northern States were free of sin either before or after the war when it came to their treatment of Black Americans. But for anyone to convince themselves that the root cause of the Civil War was anything but the insistence by the South on the right to extend slavery into the territories is tjhe worst sort of intellectual dishonesty. Did some Southerns fight for other reasons? Certainly. But those people took up arms once the war began. The South seceeded and initiated the fighting to "defend" it rights as a slaveowning society.

In the North, of course, only a minority of the population was actually opposed to slavery when the war began -- we were then and still are a rather backward nation in a moral sense (see "Invasion of Iraq") -- and after the war, anti-black sentiment slowly reasserted itself nationwide so that by the early 20th Century, racial discrimination was everywhere to one degree or another. But none of that wipes away the stain that will forever mark the Confederacy as a government created primarily to ensure that slavery remained an unchallenged institution.

Posted by: jdnathan | November 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of ignorantmooses (yes the lumberling animal). The Confederate Chapel and grounds were stolen from the Sons Camp by the Virginia Government. During the Wilder administration, that governor signed over the control of the property and chapel to some parks dept or other without authority. They in turn, gave operational authority to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - - the Museum does not have legal ownership of the property. It belongs to the Lee-Jackson Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Gov. McDonnell knows that, so does the current Attorney General of Virginia. Talk about a corrupt state - Virginia takes the cake. Whether you approve of the Confederate States or whether you do not, you can't just steal property from the legal owner. The camp does not have the money to bring a lawsuit against the State of Virginia so the corrupt officials in the state government (Gov. and Attny. General) slide under the radar. Wilder should be brought to court for his actions transferring the property without legal authority but the current administration is so afraid of his mouth that they just let this go by. Boy, did we make a mistake electing this Gov. and Attny. Genrl. Hope they don't think they can again run for any office and continue to fool the voters of Virginia.

Posted by: hamletblue | November 13, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

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