April marks Confederate History and Heritage Month, and last Sunday was Confederate Memorial Day.
People like to boil the cause of the War Between the States as being purely about slavery. Eyebrows should be raised anytime someone can tell you the sole reason for a war. Slavery became an issue once the war began, but it was not the reason for the first shot.
In the events that led to Ft Sumter, the US Congress increased tariffs. Prior to the war, 75% of the money used by the Federal Government came from the South with only four of the southern states providing 50% of those tariffs. There was a constant debate on centralization of federal power verses the right of states to remain sovereign. Secular humanism began to rise and challenge the basic Christian principles observed by most in the south. There were cultural differences too that began when the country was first settled. There was a battle to control western territories as new states like Kansans and Nebraska were added. The industrial revolution in the north looked favorably on the south’s agricultural resources and wanted them. Abolitionists attempted to encourage a slave uprising that would have resulted in the murder of men, women, and children in the south similar to what had been done in Santa Domingo.
The federal census conducted before the war showed that 90% of the all southerners did not own a slave. So why do we now associate the War Between the States as a war to free the slaves? Even Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation freed only the slaves in the south but did nothing to free the northern slaves.
Tomorrow Governor Sonny Perdue is expected to sign a bill making Confederate History and Heritage Month a permanent observation in Georgia during the month of April. An editorial writer for the UGA college paper asked why. If such a bill inspires people to learn the truth behind the war, it is appropriate and worth the time spent in the chamber to write and debate it. A City Councilman in Auburn, Alabama, Author Dowdell, recently ran through Pine Hill cemetery removing Confederate flags from graves of the soldiers, breaking some, and putting them in his car. This hate crime and display of ignorance was done by a self professed civil rights activist. Contact the city council at firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know how you feel about Mr. Dowdell.
More than once, the Albany Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has asked the Albany City Council to sign a Confederate History and Heritage Month proclamation. The council refuses to do this. Why? The SCV Camp in Terrell County asked the County Commissioners to also sign a proclamation. Their multiracial commission voted unanimously to approve the following proclamation.
WHEREAS: The State of Georgia has long cherished its Confederate History and honored great leaders who made sacrifices on behalf of the Confederate cause like; Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, James Longstreet, and Philip Cook; and
WHEREAS: The men and women of the Confederacy came from all races and religions that include; Irish-born Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne, Black Georgia Private Bell Yopp, Mexican-born Colonel Santos Benavides and Cherokee-born Gen. Stand Watie; and
WHEREAS: Confederate Memorial Day, April 26th, has been celebrated in Terrell County, Georgia for over 100 years by the Ladies Memorial Association, United Daughters of the Confederacy, United Confederate Veterans, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the month of April bears special significance since it marks both the beginning and the end of the War Between the States; and
WHEREAS: The Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is dedicated to honoring, on a statewide basis, those who served the Confederate States of America and to educating the general public on Confederate history; and
WHEREAS: Our country is a nation of people united by a common history of individual heritage and diverse cultures and Terrell County is rich in the history of the War Between the States; and
WHEREAS: Terrell County was the home to the Dickson-Nelson Rifle Company which supplied arms to the Confederacy; and
WHEREAS: Terrell County supplied men in the 5th Georgia Regiment Company E, 13th Georgia Regiment Companies E and H, 17th Georgia Regiment Company K, 31st Georgia Regiment Company K, 51st Georgia Regiment Company F, and the 64th Georgia Regiment Companies H and G; and
WHEREAS: Terrell County was the home of an exile camp for citizens escaping the terrible wrath of the Battle of Atlanta during Sherman’s March to the Sea; and
WHEREAS: Nearly 200 Confederate soldiers now rest in the soil of Terrell County and their sacrifices should never be forgotten; and now
THEREFORE: We, the Terrell County Board of Commissioners do hereby proclaim April 2009 as “Confederate History and Heritage Month” in Terrell County and encourage all residents to increase their knowledge of the role played by the Confederate States of America in our country’s history.
Happy Confederate History and Heritage Month!