News and Notes: March 29, 2014

Here’s some stuff that may be of interest to someone:

  • George Purvis has his own blog. It reads as if he’s a long-lost cousin of Jerry Dunford. In either case, those of you who want to see what George has to say can go there.
  • Kevin Levin pushes for a change to the Mississippi state flag. Given how long it took that state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, good luck.
  • Here’s yet another one of those “student displays Confederate flag, gets in trouble” stories from Kevin’s home state. And then there’s this, too. I will reserve comment until prom season passes.
  • Glenn McConnell was named president of the College of Charleston, and guess what happened? Yup … and this, too. As well as this. Told you sotwice.
  • None other than Gary Adams takes on someone who still embraces the black Confederate myth. In other words, here’s another case of the circular firing squad that is Confederate heritage advocacy.
  • For those of you who actually follow Civil War history, you will find this debate over the Lost Order of September 1862 fame very interesting. In order: here, here, and here. Maybe readers can go there to read the exchange and then come here to comment and discuss.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

As expected, certain people went off on the usual temper tantrums in response to my post about a struggling Kickstarter campaign. So we could expect those sons and daughters of Confederate heritage to pony up some cash and put their money where their mouths and keyboards are. Right?

And so here we are, a day after the post appeared:

kickstarter

Nothing’s changed … except there’s one less day to go.

UPDATE, March 16: Make that two less days to go. Follow the countdown here.

Imagining What I Think

Last Friday and Saturday folks traveled to Lexington, Virginia, to celebrate Lee-Jackson Day. Having attended a university in Virginia where monuments to Lee and Jackson stand in the downtown area, I’m more than familiar with the holiday. However, I left it to other interested parties to hold forth on the holiday, from suggesting that calls to boycott the town’s businesses had failed to questioning whether the holiday would persist in the future. Oh, yes, someone did notice the usual outburst of historical ignorance, but what’s new about that? Even a long-time chronicler of such missteps decided that it wasn’t worth following up on what he speculated might happen.

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Another “Heritage” Crime?

Al Mackey offers his take about the new name of the merged Museum of the Confederacy/American Civil War Center in Richmond.

I’ll simply point out that according to the logic whereby the Confederate flag(s) is (are) American flag(s), then Confederate history is American history, and thus the new name of the joint venture reflects the very reality some people want us to embrace concerning the Confederate flag(s). In short, people like the Virginia Flaggers helped inspire this rebranding. Congratulations to them for their success.

The Tussle at Olustee Continues

On December 2 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection held a hearing to canvas opinions on a recent proposal to erect a monument to United States soldiers who fought at Olustee, Florida, in February 1864. The SCV represented itself in fine style at the meeting. So did that black Confederate for hire, H. K. Edgerton. “There is no place in the south land of America to memorialize Yankee soldiers,” declared our favorite hero. “This is an army that came here raping, robbing, stealing, killing and murdering our people. The kinds of things that happened here under the sanction of Abraham Lincoln were for these men to commit total warfare against innocent men, women and children who could not defend themselves.”

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Two Richmond Museums Plan to Merge

As reported on Kevin Levin’s blog (and a host of media outlets, including Richmond’s leading newspaper), the American Civil War Center and the Museum of the Confederacy have announced plans to merge by 2015.

Not everyone will welcome this news. Rumors of a merger created quite a stir in some corners of the Confederate heritage committee and led to some incomplete reporting. No doubt we’ll hear of a continuing war to eradicate Confederate heritage. It will be interesting to see whether their protests amount to anything. I’ll be interested to learn how the branch of the Museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox will be treated in this reorganization, as it is a Confederate museum, not a Civil War museum.

Tussle at Olustee

The Battle of Olustee, February 20, 1864

The Battle of Olustee, February 20, 1864

News comes that members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are opposed to the placement of a monument honoring United States soldiers’ service at the Olustee battlefield in Florida.

In the words of one SCV member:

If you have an Iraq war monument, you don’t want to put a Muslim/jihadist monument right in front of it.

These boys always seem a little too eager to put their foot right into their mouths. But wait, there’s more. Here’s how the SCV characterizes it:

Compatriots,
 
A new heritage attack has been launched at Olustee (near Lake City, Florida), and your help is needed.
 
In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the battle that protected Florida’s capital from falling, the Sons of Union Veterans has obtained approval from the State of Florida Parks Department for a special monument to invading Federal forces.  The plan calls for a large black Darth Vadar-esque shaft that will disrupt the hallowed grown where Southern blood was spilled in defense of Florida, protecting Tallahassee from capture.   
We fear the State may have a legal right to do so.  Therefore, in order to stop this we must win the war through citizen objection.  
Confederate Forces won the Battle in 1864 - but will we win the 2nd Battle of Olustee and prevent this menacing monument from disrupting this hallowed Southern soil?
We can and will – but only if you take action today!
—-
It will be interesting to see whether this is simply a debate over the location of the monument or a protest against the erection of one, period.
(h/t to a reader for one of the contributions to this post)
UPDATE: There’s been some squabble over exactly how many monuments are on this battlefield. Here’s a webpage suggesting that there are more Confederate than United Sates markers, and that the US monument marks the place where the dead were buried.
For Andy Hall’s take at Dead Confederates, see here.