Across much of the South, the month of April has long been celebrated as Confederate History or Heritage Month. Some states have debated whether or not to continue the tradition of honoring their Confederate ancestors due to political correctness. Like everything related to the Confederacy, certain groups are trying to erase history by expecting Southerners to stop honoring their ancestors.
After the war concluded, very few Southern soldiers expressed regret for fighting for the Confederacy. On the contrary, most were proud to have fought against northern aggression. The way they saw it, they were not fighting for the continuation of slavery, but for the preservation of state’s rights. General Robert E. Lee, who was commissioned with the U.S. Army when the war broke out, resigned because he decided it was better to side with his state than to fight for the U.S. government as a whole.
Colonel John S. Mosby was quoted after the war as saying, “I am not ashamed of having fought on the side of slavery – a soldier fights for his country – right or wrong – he is not responsible for the political merits of the course he fights in.” This sentiment holds true throughout the course of time, and is still true today. So who are we to judge the sentiments of soldiers who served 150 years ago? Beliefs were very different then, but they shouldn’t be considered as right or wrong. That is merely the way it was.
On this, the final day of Confederate Heritage Month, we should take a moment to consider all the suffering and sacrifice that Southern soldiers went through to protect and defend their homeland. One hundred and fifty years ago, the war they fought in to preserve their heritage came to a close. Hopefully, the tradition of Confederate History Month won’t come to a close as well.