Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Remembering the Civil War

"I'm A Good Ol' Rebel" - this is the song the bluegrass band belted out as I stood by a tent near the reenactment site. "I hates the nasty eagle, with all his brag and fuss; but the lyin', thievin' Yankees - I hates' em wuss and wuss." - the band performing it was named "Un-reconstructed." Tents were lined up selling all kinds of civil war era products. There was even a tent where you could buy clothes from that time period, and apparently it was the thing to do, to get into character. There were many men and women who came to the reenactment dressed as though it were still that time period.

It's so funny how into this part of their heritage these people are. I actually must say that I've never in my adult life been to a civil war reenactment (I went as a child, I think, because my elementary school took us on a field trip). But Saturday, I sat there watching this, looking around at all the families and honestly wondered to myself what kind of people these are. Are they all "rednecks"? Are some of them simply just bored and didn't have much else to do? Are many of them, like myself, just curious about what exactly a Civil War reenactment entails, and therefore present simply as spectators trying to observe this part of a dying Southern Culture?

I watched the Dixie Flag flying back and forth as the rebel troops hollered and charged forward. The flag waved ceaselessly until the end of the battle. It made me sad, because so many people died, hoping that this flag would fly over their land as a separate country. It was pointed out to me that dying to protect the flag's flying over a land is exactly what the North was doing also. But it's not the same. When we [the U.S.] declared independence from Great Britain, many of their soldiers died trying to keep us from seceding, from splitting away from the Motherland, but they failed. The United States seceded, and this victory has led to the blessings of all the freedom we have today.

In the same way, the South was fighting for independence from the North, but didn't get it. So many deaths only led to continued Northern agression, such as Sherman's March:

"For thirty-six days that army moved through Georgia, with very little opposition, pillaging the countryside. It was a sort of military promenade, requiring very little military skill in the performance, and as little personal prowess, as well trained union troops were deployed against defenseless citizens."

It's sad how many lives were lost in vain. The war was not only about slavery. Call it the war of the Rebellion, or the war of the Northern agression, but anyone who's studied it knows that slavery was only a side issue, and Northern agression and Southern rebellion have still survived, even though the war is supposedly over. Whatever region you're from, I recommend going to a reenactment sometime, it's a great history lesson.

11 Comments:

Blogger Jeannine said...

that was my first time to a civil war reenactment. it was quite an experience.

i don't think the war was in vain...it was crucial in bringing us to where we are today. God has ordained everything and His will is perfect...somehow this war and the result ties into bringing Him the most glory. any other way would not be part of His perfect will.

and a side question: was the mullet around in the 1860s because i think i remember seeing quite a few at this reenactment... :)

Tue Nov 08, 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Jugador de Futbol said...

Jonathan,
So, how was your weekend in Athens? nudge, nudge. How is that systematic paper coming? I turned mine in today, so did Wayne.

Wed Nov 09, 01:17:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

The mullet is part of man's curse.

When Adam was kicked out of the Garden, he got his hair cut into a mullet.

Wed Nov 09, 02:20:00 AM  
Blogger Scooter said...

They took our juuuuubs!

If you think Southern heritage is dying, visit Windsor Academy (where I teach) for a day. You'll see it's alive and well (for good and bad).

Wed Nov 09, 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Julianne said...

Just come over to my house...j/k

Wed Nov 09, 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

JONATHAN!! What in the world! You are holding out on us - I had to read Christine's blog to find out...

And I thought we were friends.

:)

Seriously - congrats, bro.

Wed Nov 09, 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Civil War is taught differently depending on where you learn about it. Different things are emphasized. Slavery was a major issue. I would suggest reading materials written from many perspectives on the Civil War...that, by the way, is its official title. It was not the war of northern agression. I find that to be an incredible insult.

Thu Nov 10, 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

obviously anonymous is a yankee - and I'm willing to bet I've read more about the Civil war than you. Did you even follow the link I left to the info site?

Thu Nov 10, 01:12:00 AM  
Blogger jeff said...

Quoting anonymous, "The Civil War is taught differently depending on where you learn about it. Different things are emphasized."

Unfortunately, this is true! And that's why many people have an inaccurate understanding of many important topics in history. Too many teachers emphasize what is important to them, even if it's biased or completely inaccurate. My teacher in high school taught the main cause of the war to be slavery, which is not true. She was African-American so I can see why she would feel that slavery was a very important issue. The real main issue, however, was states rights in seceding from the Union, which I and my fellow classmates never learned in high school b/c of her teaching. and the wrong side won on that issue, in my mind.

"All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government."
-- Pres. Ronald Reagan

Thu Nov 10, 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Scooter said...

I have a student who has said several times that he wished the South had won the Civil War. His reasoning? He says that if they (of course, he says "we") had won, he wouldn't have to go to school; instead, he could sit on his porch and watch African Americans (he, of course, calls them something different) pick cotton. And he's completely serious when he says this. I'm not joking.

Fri Nov 11, 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger kathy lombardo said...

Can't we all just get along? The Civil War is over. Leave it in the past. Why all the hatred (on both sides) to this day!?

Sat Nov 12, 11:45:00 AM  

<< Home