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Ode to the Confederate Dead


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Learning the Lessons of History

Posted on | April 30, 2019 | 4 Comments



What are we actually arguing about?

Willoughby Run is a stream too small to be called a creek. Trickling southward through the hills of Adams County, Pennsylvania, it runs between two low ridges and crosses U.S. Highway 30 east of what is now a golf course, but which on the morning of July 1, 1863, was farmland. On the ridge west of Willoughby Run was a tavern owned by Frederick Herr and on that ridge, two brigades of Confederate infantry assembled, having marched some seven miles from Cashtown that morning. These brigades belonged to a division commanded by Maj. Gen. Harry Heth, part of the III Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, the vanguard of Robert E Lee’s force invading Pennsylvania. They marched that July morning toward a memorable clash near a crossroads town less than a mile east of Willoughby Run, a place called Gettysburg.
the Mexican War and the notorious “filibuster” expedition to Nicaragua. And in the ranks of the 13th Alabama that July morning were two young privates from Randolph County, Winston Wood Bolt and his brother Robert, whose fate is of more than passing interest to me. When Heth ordered the advance from Herr Ridge, Archer’s brigade marched down to Willoughby Run and waded across the shallow stream then up the hillside beyond. The 13th Alabama was near the right flank of the brigade, and their attention was focused toward the woods on their left near the road, where Union troops were putting up a spirited resistance. Someone on the Confederate line noticed that these Yankees were wearing a distinctive style of hat they’d seen in previous battles and called out: “Ain’t no militia. It’s them black-hat fellows again. It’s the Army of the Potomac.” . . .:snip: 

You can read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.

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The Real Cause

By W. Kirk Wood on Apr 30, 2019

A review of For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Oxford, 1997) by James McPherson

Miss Emma Holmes of Charleston, SC, and a survivor of the War Between the States, has left us one of innumerable diaries from the South about the conflict of 1861-1865 (see The Diary of Miss Emma Holmes, 1861-1866 edited by John E Marszalek [Baton Rouge: LSU, 1979]. A few quotes from this source will serve to introduce Prof. McPherson’s latest work which is also a much needed corrective analysis of what the Civil War was all about.

“‘The United States,’ now alas broken into fragments through the malignity and fanaticism of the Black Republicans….Doubly proud am I of my native state, that she should be the first to arise and shake off the hated chain which linked us with Black Republicans and Abolitionists. . .” (Feb. 13,1861, p. 1)

“Old Abe Lincoln was inaugurated today amidst bayonets bristling from the housetops as well as streets. His speech was just what was expected from him, stupid, ambiguous, vulgar and insolent, and is everywhere considered as a virtual declaration of war.” (Mar. 4,1861, p. 11)

“Every day brings fresh accounts of the demoniac fury & hatred of the Northerners towards the Southerners & South Carolinians especially. The fury with which the ‘Sans Culottes’ of the French Revolution sought the Aristocrats never equaled theirs.” (May 1,1861, p. 40)   :snip:   https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/review/the-real-cause/

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Sins and Virtues of “Civil War” History

History is remembered as a narrative, not facts and figures. If the story is told from the viewpoint of past sins, the rendering condemns our ancestors and makes us ashamed of our legacy. If it… »

  • :snip: 

A Copperhead Loves the South

CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY ADDRESS  22 April 2019 American by birth — Southern by the grace of God!  I come from a true Southern state, South Dakota, and I am honored to be probably the first… »

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The South and the American Union

By Richard M. Weaver on Apr 22, 2019

Stretching from the Potomac River across the southeastern quarter of the United States in a broad arc into the plains of Texas is a region known geographically and politically as “the South.” That this region has been distinctive by reason of its climate, type of produce, ethnic composition, culture, manners, and speech is known to every citizen of the country. That it existed for four years as an independent, if beleaguered, nation is one of the focal chapters of American history. All the while it has been a challenge, never very well met, to Americans to understand themselves historically.

The chief reason for this is that in the minds of most Americans there exists, like an inarticulate premise, the doctrine of American exceptionalism. This assumption is that the United States is somehow exempt from the past and present fate, as well as from many of the necessities, of other nations. Ours is a special creation, endowed with special immunities. As a kind of millenial state, it is not subject to the trials and divisions that have come upon others through time and history. History, it is commonly felt, consists of unpleasant things that happen to other people, and America bade goodbye to the sorrows along with the vices of the Old World. :snip:  https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/the-south-and-the-american-union/

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Podcast Episode 168

By Brion McClanahan on May 11, 2019

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, May 6-9, 2019

Topics: Confederate symbols,Southern tradition, Mel Bradford, Southern history



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Allen Tate’s Confederate Ode: Who are the Living and the Dead?

By Thomas Hubert on Jul 24, 2019

 Then Lytle asked: Who are the dead?

 Who are the living and the dead?

Allen Tate, “The Oath”

Over the decades since its first publication in 1927 Allen Tate’s “Ode to the Confederate Dead” has probably received more critical and popular attention than any of his other poems. Tate himself alludes to some of it in his own commentary on the work in “Narcissus as Narcissus.”[ii]  One critical approach, which Tate calls the “genetic,” asks where the poem comes from. Similarly, a curious type of psychological approach sees the poet as compensating somehow in his poetry for his less-than-adequate life. One such interpretation argues that Tate saw himself as a Confederate general but, lacking the means to be one, sought to “invent fictions about the personal ambitions that my society has no use for” (“Narcissus,” EFD, 594). On a more sober plain, there are critiques that treat various aspects of his poetry, such as its classical allusions—which are vital to this “Ode”—Tate’s sense of irony, his imagery, historicism, and so on.   :snip: 

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