Notable Moments in Confederate Heritage, 2014: Part One

It’s that time of year again, folks, where we count down the most memorable moments in Confederate heritage this calendar year. The list has expanded a bit to a total of fifteen events, although I must admit that after a rather raucous 2013, some of the enumerated events aren’t quite so sensational. Still, there’s something for everyone.

Number 15: Confederate Memorial Day, 2014

We’re always told that Confederate heritage is about nothing more than honoring the service of those men in grey who fought and died for southern Confederate independence. Then came along this little speech given to honor the Confederate dead.

… my purpose here today is to urge you, to prod you, to do more than merely remember the herculean deeds and heroic struggle of our Confederate ancestors for their liberty and independence. I want you to do your duty to them, yourselves, and your posterity and honour their sacrifices and their memory by becoming what they once were – patriotic Southern nationalists – and by once again taking up and actively working for their Cause, which by right is now OUR Cause – a free and independent Southern Republic.

Just keep talking. That’s all y’all do.

Personally, I find the feeble efforts to promote southern nationalism and independence a mockery of the willingness of real Confederates to do something. The League of the South continues to spew away, but although some of the talk raises eyebrows, it’s still all talk.

Number 14: Billy Bearden’s Interests

Billy Bearden
Billy Bearden

Some people consider Billy Bearden, who inspired the creation of the Virginia Flaggers, to be a model example of what a Confederate heritage advocate should be. If that’s true, then let’s recall that in 2014 Bearden advocated violence against a black female judge (his expressed wish was that she be raped) and a gay man (this time he preferred lynching).

Only an idiot would defend such statements … and you can guess which idiot did.

Number 13: Kickstarter or Kickstopper? 

kickstarterWho can forget the glorious Kickstarter campaign to make the children’s book My Brother’s Keeper a reality? After all, who wouldn’t want to read the story of a young black Confederate soldier? Well, for folks interested in raising funds for all sorts of causes (as well as those pesky undocumented “legal defense funds”), the heritage community didn’t turn out in force for this endeavor, and I speculated on why that was so. That post kicked up some whining, but no money, and the project died an unlamented death.

You would have thought that someone with experience in self-publishing could have lent a hand (and maybe even prepared a few dozen book covers), but she was busy “monitoring” blogs to get material for her own screech-a-thon. It would not be the last time she was asleep at the switch.

More soon …

6 thoughts on “Notable Moments in Confederate Heritage, 2014: Part One

  1. Leo December 15, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    Strange people.

    Speaking of strange, this was posted on the Midsouth flagger page. Any opinions?
    A fact you wont hear from a yankee or their history books;

    The Confederate Congress specified that Black Soldiers were to receive the same pay as the white soldiers. The yankee army’s Black Soldiers were paid less than the White Soldiers. A Black Soldier in the yankee army would have been paid $10 a month with a $3 clothing fee taken out, leaving the soldier with $7 a month. White Soldiers were paid $13 a month and were not forced to pay a clothing allowance, which is almost twice as much as the black soldiers. By contrast the Confederate Army paid their Privates of BOTH races $11/month until 1864. Equal pay for both races in the federal army did not come into effect until June 1864. The Confederate Army also authorized a salary for Black Musicians in 1862.

    • Brooks D. Simpson December 15, 2014 / 7:31 pm

      It would be difficult to understand how a Confederate Congress which debated about whether to have black soldiers in 1865 would have provided for their pay in 1864.

      • Leo December 15, 2014 / 8:06 pm

        I notice they did not provide any reference to this information. I even did a search on Google and a university database and came up empty. The closest bit of information I found mentioned a pay difference between black and white US troops when the colored units were first organized.

        • bdhamp December 16, 2014 / 8:26 am

          This all jogged a memory from an experience I had while looking into the doings of Charleston, SC’s Executive Council when Lee and then Pemberton were working on fortifications there.

          Seems there was some degree of debate about what to pay black “soldiers,” if by “soldier” we mean slaves working on the fortifications (moving logs, rocks, mud, etc., building the works, and facing all manner of danger that could result in severe injury or death) and by “pay” we mean the price paid to the slave owner for the use of his slave.

          The slave owners wanted to be paid (and paid well) for the black person’s labor. The Executive Council didn’t want to pay more than they already were. Pemberton didn’t really want to pay them anything and thought they were all ridiculous, ungrateful prats who probably deserved what was coming to them if they low-balled defenses around the Charleston area.

          None of that is particularly unknown information among people who actually know things about the political side of the Civil War, but I have witnessed multiple individuals use this information as somehow support for the notion the Confederacy (or at least South Carolina) paid black laborers who worked on city defenses. Someone was getting paid, but it wasn’t the laborer if his or her skin happened to be black.

  2. Leo December 16, 2014 / 9:48 am

    Thanks for the information! That is very informative and an interesting take on how documented fact is often turned on its head.

    I went back to the MidSouth Flagger Facebook page again this morning to see if someone posted documentation or if I overlooked something. Perhaps I was overly optimistic because I didn’t find anything on the “pay” topic. However, they did post something new citing a blurb from Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address – “The power confided to me, will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property, and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts” from the South.

    I searched the address to discover they added the “from the south” at the end. Anyway, if one actually READS the speech, it’s obvious Lincoln is begging/asking the southern states not to secede and even says slavery will survive where it exists.

    I loved history class when I was in high school. I cringe to think of the nonsense these people are spewing and the people who stumble across it and believe it as documented fact.

    I give up. I will leave these fools to the historians.

    • Brooks D. Simpson December 16, 2014 / 11:15 am

      These folks twist and distort freely. It does not pay to correct them … except to educate a wider audience.

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