Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'll Pass on the SCV

I considered joining the Sons of Confederate Veterans (http://www.scv.org/). Then I read this on their website:

"The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South's decision to fight the Second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our democratic society and represent the foundation on which this nation was built.

Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause."

Almost every male ancestor of mine who was of the right age range served in the Confederate Army, and it pains me to hear people claim that they fought for slavery. They didn't, except maybe James Yancey Baynes, because they didn't have slaves and probably couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to help out a slaveowner. I was told that they fought because their country was under attack. Or they were conscripted or pressured into serving.

Stuff like the SCV publishes also pains me. While my ancestors certainly weren't evil villains intent on enslaving others, they also weren't particularly noble. They were, like all men who fight for states, poor deluded bastards who didn't have the sense or the ability to avoid the fight. They were victims of the schemes of the men who organized the Confederacy for their own interest and to ensure that they could keep other human beings in bondage. Liberty and the Constitution my ass. If that's what they believed then they were even bigger dumbasses than I had figured my ancestors to be, what with their being dirt poor farmers barely eking out a living in the Appalachians.

Does the SCV really believe this crap about patriotism and liberty and citizen-soldiers? If so, I don't want any part of it. I will honor the memory of Wm Christian Warnack, Daniel Waller, Wm Jasper Stone, Lewis Edwards, John Winstead, Thomas Lunsford, Wm Love Dillard, Wm Adolphus Dillard, Benjamin Edward Burgess, Jordan Bailey, and James Yancey Baynes, not to mention countless uncles and cousins, who ended up in the Confederate Army and who (except BE Burgess) all survived the War Among the States in my own way. Their service was a grave misfortune for them and their families and an utter waste, and to remember it otherwise is to risk inspiring other young people to take up arms for idiotic and evil causes that are not their own.

2 comments:

Mike Gogulski said...

Superb!

Anonymous said...

To quote my grandfather, that's a piss poor attitude to have. What's noble about these men is that they fought for what they felt was right - whether it be defending their homes, families, property or their rich neighbors. The SCV honors them in many ways - by preserving their gravesites, erecting monuments, educating the public, etc. Much good is accomplished by the SCV and if you joined you could state your opinions.