|Tom Lovell's painting from Alfred Waud's sketch of Lee surrendering at Appomattox--look at the drama in Grant and others|
There is a romance about it, of the "Lost Cause," of fighting against overwhelming odds, of the small tinges of fate that sealed the fate of brave Americans fighting and dying.
But there is much we were not taught...about the cruelty of slavery, about the inequality of rich landowners using the blood of poor whites to sustain their economy, about the terrible cost of America's most deadly war, about the ensuing "reconstruction," the KKK, Jim Crow and discrimination for 100+ years.
I am disturbed. I'm saddened that racists have turned the Confederate battle flag into a racist symbol. But I understand that it certainly has become that. I always nobly thought that my ancestors were the non-slaveholders, but research of federal census counts by my oldest son Vance has shown that my great grandfather Batte Peterson Clark Sr. probably owned at least nine slaves. That is very disturbing and upsetting. And I certainly know the War ended for the best for all people and America as a whole.
|Confederate grave at Purcell, OK|
Read again, "A Stillness at Appomattox," by Catton, and if you don't tear up, I'm sorry. You're missing something so American. There is honor, but not much glory.
Appomattox, Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865, 150 years ago. Salute.