Tag Archives: Confederate Symbols

Letter to News and Advance

(May 27, 2020)  Provided below is a letter-to-the-editor by Bo Traywick (responsible for its content) to the Lynchburg News & Advance. Before publishing the letter I asked if Bo believed that the white Supremacists  that hi-jacked the Robert E. Lee statue for their own purposes were also responsible for the Charlottesville riot along with the antifa thugs. Bo replied, “By all means, blast the White Supremacist thugs and any and all other hijackers of our heritage.” Speaking for myself, I will never forget Joe Biden’s lie that Donald Trump was defending the white Supremacists instead of people like Bo when the President said “there are fine people on both sides.”

Bo is an author, Vietnam Vet and Virginia Military Institute graduate.

Bo Traywick

 

To the Editor:

Sunday’s OpEd page notes that “Few things have been as divisive in American history” as the Vietnam War, yet it goes on to promote even more divisiveness with its rhetoric in describing the United States’ War to Prevent Confederate Independence, aka “The Civil War.” It’s all there: blaming “white supremacists” for Charlottesville instead of the imported fascist Antifa mobs who incited the riots for the news cameras; mourning how many soldiers from Ohio and Michigan died “to stamp out the rebel flag and the cause it represented;” and expressing pious impatience at the prospect of hearing “all the debates about why (Confederate monuments) are there in the first place.” Here is one that is not open to debate:

If those Michigan and Ohio boys had stayed home and minded their own business, they would not have died at the hands of our forefathers who were fighting to defend our country from invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance – the same cause their fathers were fighting for in 1776, when the thirteen slave-holding colonies signed the Declaration of Independence and seceded from the British Empire. That is the cause that the “rebel flag” stood for – in spite of Lincoln’s pious and political “Orwellian doublespeak,” and what Voltaire called history: “The propaganda of the victorious.” It was the cause of ’76, when George Washington was also called a rebel, the cause those boys from up North were “stamping out” back in ’61-‘65, and the cause for which those people in Ohio and Michigan were flying the Battle Flag today. Good for them!

*

To support this blog, buy my books at my Amazon Author Page

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh
The Devil’s Town: Hot Springs During the Gangster Era by Philip Leigh

 

Letter to Marine Commandant

April 28, 2020

General David Berger
Marine Corps Commandant
3000 Marine Corps, Pentagon
Washington, D. C. 20350-3000

Dear General Berger:

I regret your banishment of Confederate icons in the Corps.

They have been inspiring symbols for generations of many American warriors. Southerners have long contributed more than their share of soldiers. Presently, about 44% of military recruits are from the South whereas the region has only 36% of the nation’s population.  

The first American flag to fly over the conquered Japanese Shuri Castle fortress on Okinawa was a Confederate Battle Flag. It was put there by a company of Marines when they found it in the abandoned helmet of their commander after the South Carolina Captain had been evacuated with a paralyzing wound.  

I ask that you reverse your ban.

Sincerely yours,

Philip Leigh

One Benefit of Confederate Heritage

(April 22, 2020) Texas novelist William Humphrey wrote in 1965 that the Southerner “is conscious of his [Confederate veteran] great-grandfather as a constant companion throughout life. He will seek his counsel in moments of moral perplexity and will borrow his courage when going into battle.”

One example has been a tendency for Confederate descendants to take courage from their ancestors as evidenced by those who carried Confederate symbols into America’s wars of the 20th and 21st centuries. Presently, for example, 44% of American military personnel are from the South notwithstanding that it represents just 36% of the nation’s population.

Alvin York was America’s most famous infantryman in World War I. Although his grandfather was a Union deserter, two of his grand-uncles sided with the Confederacy. Texan Audie Murphy was the most decorated soldier of World War II. In Vietnam, Arkansas sniper Carlos Hathcock killed more enemy than anyone and even put a bullet in the eye of an opposing sniper through the foe’s telescopic sight. (Steven Spielberg theatrically copied this in his Saving Private Ryan movie.) Each man was born into the poverty that typified much of the South for a century after the Civil War. As boys they hunted game for food, not sport.

During World War II, the first American flag to fly over the captured Japanese fortress at Okinawa was a Confederate Battle Flag. It was put there by a company of marines to honor their commander— a guy that happened to be from South Carolina and who suffered a paralyzing wound in the mopping-up process. The company found the flag in his abandoned helmet after he was evacuated. Some of the tank crews that freed prisoners from German concentration camps also flew the Confederate Battle Flag.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, author of the Owen Parry Civil War novels, Confederate solders merit such inspiration.

The myth of Johnny Reb as the greatest infantryman happens to be true. Not only the courage and combat skill, but the sheer endurance of the Confederate foot soldier may have been equaled in a few other armies over the millennia, but none could claim the least superiority. . . [T]he physical toughness, fighting ability and raw determination of those men remains astonishing.​

The Confederate battle flag is a symbol of bravery, not slavery. I’m a Yankee, born and bred, and my personal sympathies lie with the Northern cause . . . To me, though, that red flag with the blue St. Andrews cross strewn with white stars does not symbolize slavery—that’s nonsense—but the stunning bravery of those who fought beneath it.”​

*

To support this blog, buy my books at my Amazon Author Page

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh
The Devil’s Town: Hot Springs During the Gangster Era by Philip Leigh

Texas Novelist Explains Confederate Heritage

(April 21, 2020)

In 1965 Texas novelist William Humphrey wrote:

If the Civil War is more alive to the Southerner than the Northerner it is because all of the past is, and this is so because the Southerner has a sense of having been present there himself in the person of one or more of his ancestors. The war filled merely a chapter in his . . . [family history] . . . transmitted orally from father to son [as] the proverbs, prophecies, legends, laws, traditions-of-origin and tales-of-wanderings of his own tribe. . . It is this feeling of identity with the dead (who are past) which characterizes and explains the Southerner.​
It is with kin, not causes, that the Southerner is linked. Confederate Great-grandfather . . . is not remembered for his (probably undistinguished) part in the Battle of Bull Run; rather Bull Run is remembered because Great-grandfather was there. For the Southerner the Civil War is in the family.​
Clannishness was, and is, the key to his temperament, and he went off to war to protect not Alabama but only those thirty or forty acres of its sandy hillside, or stiff red clay, which he broke his back tilling, and which was as big a country as his mind could hold.​
“Oh, for Heaven’s sake,” my Northern friends would say, “us Yankee boys had great-grandads in that war. But all of our clocks didn’t stop on that day at, where was it, Appomattox? What’s that got to do with me anyway?”​
“Now that’s a question,” I replied, “that a Southerner could never ask. He is conscious of his great-grandfather as a constant companion throughout life. He will seek his counsel in moments of moral perplexity and will borrow his courage when going into battle. No, Southern clocks did not stop in 1865; they have gone on ticking; but they are all grandfather clocks.​

Author William Humprey

Humphrey was revealing feelings carried forward from his Texas childhood during the 1930s. Back then a few veterans were still alive to pass along their memories to youngsters like Bill. He later used those recollections to portray an incident in his best-known novel, Home from the Hill, which Vincente Minelli made into a movie.

About twenty years after the war a foppish stranger stepped off the Dallas-bound train when it stopped at Clarksville. Even though he spoke English none of the whittlers at the station could understand him, which they later learned was due to his Italian accent. But eventually the stranger—who identified himself as a professor—was granted an audience with the aldermen during which he explained that he could build a marble monument to the Confederate infantryman for $1,000. For $5,000 he could erect one depicting a mounted cavalryman, or an officer.​
The town chose the $1,000 option. After the professor labored creatively and submitted a finished design the aldermen gave him a $500 deposit. A year later he returned with the sculpted components and erected the statue. The unveiling was a celebration that attracted nearly everyone in town, white and black.​
A good many years elapsed before anyone from Clarksville traveled far along the railroad from whence the sculptor arrived. But when one resident eventually travelled to Georgia he noticed that there was “hardly a town of monument-aspiration size along the railway line all the way to Atlanta without a copy of our soldier.”​

*

Buy and sample my books at my Amazon Author Page.

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh
The Devil’s Town: Hot Springs During the Gangster Era by Philip Leigh

Video Presentation: Save Confederate Statues

(April 11, 2020) The thirty-minute video presentation below makes the case for saving Confederate statues, memorials, flags and other symbols.

*

Buy and sample my books at my Amazon Author Page.

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh
The Devil’s Town: Hot Springs During the Gangster Era by Philip Leigh

Lee-Jackson Day Presentation: Save Confederate Memorials

(January 9, 2020) On Saturday, January 18th, I will be making a presentation at the Lexington, Virginia Lee-Jackson Day memorial to explain why Confederate statues and symbols should be preserved.

Presentation Subject: Defending Confederate Memorials
Speaker: Philip Leigh
Date: January 18, 2020 (a Saturday)
Time: Noon
Location: Hampton Inn on Col Mansion Grounds
401 East Nelson Street
Lexington, Virginia 24450

Although The Washington Post was recently outraged that President Trump briefly pondered whether he might retaliate against further Iranian aggression by targeting one of their cultural sites, The Post has for years eagerly advocated the removal of Confederate statues in America. Moreover, its opinion pages are silent about the vandalization and mob destruction of them. In contrast,  my speech will provide reasons why the statues should remain as inspirations of courage, duty and sacrifice that our country may yet need again. I am proud to be participating in the hometown of Washington & Lee and the Virginia Military Institute as well as the burial sites for Lee and Jackson.

My speech will begin as follows:

In 1965 Texas novelist William Humphrey wrote:

If the Civil War is more alive to the Southerner than the Northerner it is because all of the past is, and this is so because the Southerner has a sense of having been present there himself in the person of one or more of his ancestors. The war filled merely a chapter in his . . . [family history] . . .  transmitted orally from father to son [as] the proverbs, prophecies, legends, laws, traditions-of-origin and tales-of-wanderings of his own tribe. . . It is this feeling of identity with the dead (who are past) which characterizes and explains the Southerner.

It is with kin, not causes, that the Southerner is linked. Confederate Great-grandfather . . . is not remembered for his (probably undistinguished) part in the Battle of Bull Run; rather Bull Run is remembered because Great-grandfather was there. For the Southerner the Civil War is in the family.

Clannishness was, and is, the key to his temperament, and he went off to war to protect not Alabama but only those thirty or forty acres of its sandy hillside, or stiff red clay, which he broke his back tilling, and which was as big a country as his mind could hold.

*

Sample my books at my My Amazon Author Page:

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh
Trading With the Enemy by Philip Leigh
Lee’s Lost Dispatch & Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh
Southern Reconstruction by Philip Leigh
U. S. Grant’s Failed Presidency by Philip Leigh