This was one of the first questions presented to me this morning in my class "The South Since 1865" a lecture formerly taught by Hardy Jackson. This is a concept you may actually have to think about though. What is the South in your eyes? Is it juleps on the veranda?
Is it grandma's wrap around porch with the Confederate Jasmine and Crepe Myrtles blooming? Is it your Mama's cornbread with butter beans? Whatever your outlook on the definition is, it usually ties back to a friendly, hospitality driven society, known as "The South"
As I write this I look back on just a few days ago as I was at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham, AL with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, watching "Gone With The Wind"
"There was a land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. Here in this pretty world, Gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of Knights and their Ladies Fair, of Master and of Slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a Civilization gone with the wind..."― Ben Hecht
We just wanted to be left alone, but The War of Northern Aggression did the very things this quote by Patrick Cleburne predicted: "I am with the South in life or death, in victory or defeat. I believe the North is about to wage a brutal and unholy war on a people who have done them no wrong, in violation of the Constitution and the fundamental principles of government.
They no longer acknowledge that all government derives its validity from the consent of the governed. They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and murder our men and dishonor our women. We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone."
The South isn't the little town of Tara, with Scarlet O'Hara running about. The South today is a modern culture, still somewhat resistant to change with majority income from agriculture, but even though we changed we still are much different than those of the north.
The South today is slandered for the legacy of slavery but little did most know, The war was not fought over the total issue of slavery, it was made into a war over slavery.
"It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government and to deprive us of our rights and liberties." ~Patrick Cleburne (To add, Cleburne NEVER owned slaves) Think about this, Why would a man fight for slaves if he never owned them?
Abraham Lincoln did some dirty, underhanded things like suspending Habeas Corpus or Imprisoning newspaper editors and publishers for publishing bad things about him and his motives to vilify the South and make their cause seem wrong. These very wrongdoings were predicted by Major General Patrick Cleburne C.S.A. in another quote:
"Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision."
Today we are letting others tell us that our ancestors were racists or that they were slave owners, This is a push by the political left to whitewash our current history and try to prevent me from honoring my ancestors and their sacrifices. The political left is not stopping at individuals or their personal histories, but also monuments, flags and places of memory. We must defend the heritage from which we were raised. Defend Southern History!