The governor and State of Virginia are in trouble with the media and the entire black community for designating April as Confederate History Month. The Sons of the Confederacy and others are doing Civil War reenactments and having celebrations to commemorate and remind us of that part of our history. The celebrants have neglected to say slavery was the cause of the war and this has enraged the media and the black folks. The Civil War enthusiasts have been accused of being terrorist and traitors. The media and angry blacks say it’s like the Germans praising the soldiers and battles of the Nazis regime.
I have always loved the study of the Civil War and have given several talks on Civil War Medicine. Now I’m afraid to give the talk anymore and am considering getting rid of my excellent collection of books on the Civil War. I must admit, I never think much about slavery when I talk and read about that conflict. I’m interested in the various battles and generals like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. My ancestors in Texas were poor dirt farmers and cattlemen who didn’t rely on slave labor. They viewed the situation as Yankees invading their homeland and were trying to protect their property and families.
I have read a number of letters by southern soldiers involved in the war and none of them mention they are fighting to preserve slavery. I realize slavery was the major issue but it was not the only issue and certainly not for a large number of the soldiers caught up in the fighting. I guess that’s the way it is with a lot of wars. Most of the troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan probably don’t even know the reasons behind the conflict. They were only kids when 9/11 occurred but have little understanding of Muslims and those we call terrorist. Even the generals don’t know we are really fighting about oil. Everyone thinks it’s about freedom. When I was drafted as a physician during the Vietnam War, I really didn’t know that war may have been wrong. I just went into the service because it was the thing I was expected to do for my country. I also went into the service because I didn’t want to go to jail or be disgraced. I’m sure that many of the southern soldiers served for the same reason I served. Now they are being called traitors.
All this has caused me to forget my political correctness. Instead of getting rid of my books I may hang a Confederate Flag in my front yard and put up a picture of Robert E. Lee on the porch.