Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

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Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby William Thornton » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:13 pm

In sorting out some of my material I ran across a folder with the April 26, 1912, local paper, The Athens Banner. The Titanic had just sunk. My parents had not been born. The last member of my family who served in the Civil War had died three years earlier and numerous other CSA veterans had died a decade or two earlier. Almost all of these veterans' children and grandchildren were alive, including my two grandfathers. Their grandparents (and in one case, a parent) were the CSA veterans. The issue of the Banner was a special Confederate Memorial Day edition which contained a number of articles that were typical for the time. Someone in my family, I expect it was my grandmother, saved the paper.

Here are a few of the types of articles that are in the issue.

Poetry:

A bunch of fragrant violets...As my offering I have brought...True blue, as were the soldiers...When for the right they fought...etc.

Tattered and torn and limp as a rag...Droops from its staff the old battle flag.......Tenderly gather the sacred dust...And let it mingle, at last, for aye...With that of the boys who wore the Gray.

The cross, a symbol of the pain...And suffering they bore...The tear dimmed the eye, the dying sigh...Shall be theirs nevermore...The crown immortal they shall wear... A noble, loyal band... ...Defenders of our land.

Accounts of local organizations: Soldiers Aid Society, UDC, etc.

Lists of local soldiers and their stories.

Accounts of prominent local CSA leaders.

Reconstruction: "Rufus Bullock was forced upon us [as military governor]. He stood for negro supremacy...The best thinking negroes of the day are discussing educational problems as never before. The conflict between the white race and the negro race is not from the educated white but from the illiterate white - 'po' white trash'...Social equality in the South between the races can never ..."

Ku Klux Klan: "The Ku Klux Klan was a great law and order league of mounted night cavalrymen, called into action by the intolerant condition of a reign of terror under the negro rule in the South at the close of the War between the States..."

Clearly, this is The Lost Cause on steroids. Veterans still living were revered. My great aunts (one had just married a CSA vet and another would do so in a couple of years) and grandparents probably appreciated the memorial issue. The paper has several sections and was likely the largest paper of the year. It's just a curiosity to me. No doubt the minority population of Athens, including some who were formerly slaves, didn't appreciate it.

I'd speculate that few people who will read this have much of an idea what the Lost Cause movement was other than a general sense that it idealized and sanitized slavery, the bloody civil war, and the aftermath. The brief excerpts above will give you a pretty good feel for it.

Athens erected one of the first war monuments in 1871, paid for by one of the private memorial groups. A local group has called for its removal and they have held some meetings. I've been by the obelisk a thousand times but since it is in a high traffic area, I have no idea what's on it. It's just there.

There are no longer any grand memorial editions of the paper and not much of any remembrance of any kind. Frankly, if there wasn't a protest group I doubt anyone would recognize that a monument to the Confederacy was there.

If the group arranges to relocate the monument to the historic cemetery, I'd probably support that and would be able to get a better and longer look at it.

I have no objection to reconciliation groups and might benefit from some perspectives I haven't had but do not particularly feel inclined toward such personally. No one in my circles is talking about the Civil War like they did a century ago. It's almost reflexive to say that all the problems aren't solved yet but pastors, as it is often said, just try to hack it on Mondays and we all try to pay the bills.

And, by the way, Georgia still has a Confederate Memorial Day, the fourth Monday in April but it is called "State Holiday" and does not reference the Confederacy at all. It's just an odd day off for state employees. Things change.

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Bill Leonard had great piece on Lost Cause Religion

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:47 am

Easily googled a few weeks ago.
And there is that great chapter about the Daws of the Confederacy in Jumpn Jim Crow, one of whose editors Dailey or Simon was at UGA in 2000 at time of publication. I do think you are 20 years behind reading this one William, but will be delighted you are not too proud to take a Fox recommendation once you've competed it.

And there is the Mind Revisited piece Oxford American, Crowther that will add much needed nuance to your exploration.

And Dixie's Daughters by Cathy Cox, a book about the Daws.

Even so interesting post and thanks for sharing.

You will be delighted to know a copy of Bruce Gourley's book on Baptists and the Civil War is now in the Tom Lolley
Education and Resource Center at the Truett Camp in Hayesville NC

I was up there last Thursday for a presentation and will blog my submission to the Clay County Progresss soon. Should be in the Nov 2 print issue, a weekly

Be part of history William. Go over to Greenwood SC Next Sat Nov 4 to see the first statue of a person of color who resisted Jim Crow, stood out against poor historical revisionism on the matter of Slavery and was a mentor to Martin Luther King. Benjamin E Mays statue going up with Abyssinian BC's Otis Moss III master of Ceremonies. Civil War is daily being reconciled whether you've gotten word or not. Google Vernon Burton FU 69 acceptance speech Oct 19 for SC Humanities Award. The Clemson proff, a product of the Furman chaplain's office in the 60s Jim Pitts and LD Johnson; Burton said Lincoln not only the greatest President, also the greatest American "theologian" of the 19th Century!
"I'm the only sane {person} in here." Doyle Hargraves, Slingblade
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby William Thornton » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:23 pm

You don't know squat about the Lost Cause Stephan.
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Lost Cause?

Postby Stephen Fox » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:24 pm

And Willie tee knows about as much about the LC as he knows about In err antsy. Obviously Willie Tee hasnit read Charles Reagan Wilson's Baptized in Blood nor the Bill Leonard piece of less than a month ago.

FTR I was talking about the LC at lunch today with the son of the former Newsweek bureau chief in Atlanta in the 60s. I guess Willie Tee was talking to that expert on ever thang, Jerry Vines, Clarence was his Daddy's name, a preacher also.

Willie, We got to have some Cue soon cause been a while since I told you how ignorant you are, how pontificating almost as bad as Rick Burgess in person. :lol: :lol: :brick: :brick: :brick:

Love you Bro. Let's break bread. Check my blog on Nov 4 Greenwood SC unveiling. You should go over. I would if not for a wedding for the ages here in Bama.

TRying to schedule a 2019 throwdown on ESPN twixt the Gaffney Indians and Hoover Bama Bucs. Can you make it to the Game at the Reservation?

You following Charlie Culberson of the Dodgers and Calhoun Ga in the World Series. Got a tee just last weds in Calhoun causa him on way to celebrate Truett in Hayesville. I should be published Nov 2 in the Clay County Progress....Young Harris Zell Miller college got a fabulous new Lyberry student center dining hall complex; and that new Chic Fil A in Ellijay has fabulous view on perfect fall day!
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby William Thornton » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:30 pm

You won't find me in Gafe-nee anytime soon unless it's to buy some peach cider on I-85 on the way through the state where HS kids drove the school buses when I first moved there in '82.

I actually read the stuff I talk about bro, and I haven't had any good BBQ in a while.
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby Dave Roberts » Sat Oct 28, 2017 1:10 pm

For many, the Lost Cause was state's rights which sadly was the code word for slavery until the South lost the Civil War. Then the lost cause became the cause of bringing Blacks along slowly so they are not overwhelmed with too much freedom--aka Jim Crow laws. Of course it had a religious component as in the SBC sermon in the 1950's that declared that Southern Baptists were "God's last and only hope." It is still present in the Christian nation history that glorifies the morals of Southerners like Robert E. Lee and even prints the prayers of Jefferson Davis.
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby Sandy » Sun Oct 29, 2017 11:31 pm

I once taught a college class entitled "Effects of the Civil War and Reconstruction on American History" as an adjunct. That's quite a discovery. I know that information from publications of the time is readily available now, but that's quite a discovery. Just out of curiosity, what did you do with it? It might not have any specific monetary value, but a local college would probably appreciate having it.

I did a lot of reading, study, and even some battlefield visits, to get a grasp on the subject in order to teach about it. The Civil War caught my interest even more than the Revolutionary War has, I think because, while it occurred in a period of time when other countries were experiencing similar turmoil, it had uniquely American causes, and because if your family origins are in the Eastern US, you've got ancestors who were directly affected by it. I've been told that Stonewall Jackson was a relative on my mother's side. There's no record of it in the county records I've looked at in Doddridge County, West Virginia, where she was born. There are also no CSA veteran markers or memorials in the cemetery there where most of my ancestors on her side of the family are buried, but there were few confederate sympathizers in the county, and Jackson was actually from Clarksburg, about 20 miles east. Most of my ancestors on my Dad's side are buried in the municipal cemetery there, where there are a few, but not many, CSA veteran markers. There is a statue of Jackson downtown. But I doubt that there is any family connection. My Dad was related to the Harrison family after whom the county is named, and which produced Presidents William Henry and Benjamin, but no connection to Jackson or to anyone on the confederate side.

The most exciting historical artifact I've ever discovered when going through family belongings is my Dad's navy hymnal and worship manual, stamped with USS Arizona, 1939 on the front cover. He left the ship in San Diego in January of 1941 to go to AC mechanic school and took it with him. I never knew he had it until I found it going through his things after he died. Quite a discovery.
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby Haruo » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:14 am

What did you do with your dad's hymnal? If you still have it, and don't have plans for it, if you predecease me I'd love to have it. I have an Army hymnal from a couple of years later and would be interested to compare them.
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby Tim Bonney » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:05 am

William Thornton wrote:You don't know squat about the Lost Cause Stephan.


As a former SBCer who grew up in the Midwest, it isn't as familiar a topic for me either. We used to say in Missouri, "it may work that way in Nashville but not here....."
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Re: Unfamiliar with the Lost Cause?

Postby Sandy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:47 pm

Haruo wrote:What did you do with your dad's hymnal? If you still have it, and don't have plans for it, if you predecease me I'd love to have it. I have an Army hymnal from a couple of years later and would be interested to compare them.


Now that I'm looking at it, it was published in 1940, called the "Song and Service Book for Ship and Field, Army and Navy" and was stamped USS Arizona BB-39. It has sentimental value for me, of course, but if I do predecease you, I'll add a statement to my will and get it to you. I've never really inquired as to its value, though it might have some but not enough to entice me to give it up.
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