Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Confederate Clones

What do Brooks Simpson, Eric Jacobson, Andy Hall, Corey Meyer and Kevin Levin have in common with Hunter Wallace?

They all believe, judging by things they've written, that Southern heritage advocates should think and believe exactly like their Confederate ancestors... that if you're going to honor the sacrifices in war of Confederate soldiers, you MUST become the mental clones of secessionists such as "Stephens, Davis, Toombs, Yancey, and Calhoun."

It's a recurring theme in their writing. A few months back, when I inquired of my heritage associates on Facebook if they knew of primary historic source documentation substantiating that Nathan Bedford Forrest led the KKK and what his activities were as its leader, my inquiry led to a couple or more blog posts and a flurry of comments about Forrest on anti-Confederate blogs.

Hall posted in comments at Crossroads, "Real Confederates certainly thought Forrest was a klansman..."

Real Confederates, huh?  As opposed to what? Counterfeit ones? And because THEY thought whatever, I'm supposed to think whatever?

Hall's documentation was not eye-witness accounts that dated from the period in which Forrest supposedly led the KKK, which is what I was looking for. My purpose was to find documentation of terrorist activity on the part of Forrest, and if none could be found, to dismiss the wild-eyed rantings about him I sometimes encountered on Internet comment threads.

Hall certainly documented what Confederate veterans thought almost half a century after Forrest purportedly "led" the KKK but there was nothing in it that described what he did -- what his activities were -- as leader, and certainly nothing that substantiated terrorist activity on the general's part. In other words, nothing to convince me that I must change my view that as "Grand Wizard" he was mostly a figurehead.

It's the same story with black Confederates. This is not a huge issue with me. Those who say there were no black Confederate soldiers accuse those who say there were of attempting to legitimize the Confederate cause by showing it wasn't about slavery, or blacks would not have fought. My view is that blacks are not "needed" in the Confederate Army to legitimize the South's fight for independence. Very simply, my view is that all service to the Confederacy, of whatever kind, but particularly the war effort, rendered by black or white, slave or free, male or female, should be recognized and honored.

But according to these fellows "real Confederates" didn't believe blacks were soldiers. They were slaves. Therefore I should not recognize any service they rendered to the Confederacy.

I'm not a clone of my ancestors. I am their descendant. I live in a different time. While I believe basically the same things that make up the big picture -- the place of Christianity in the culture of the west, traditional roles for men and women, and so forth -- my world and times are different even from those of my parents -- with whom I didn't always see eye to eye. I'm certainly not a mental clone of people who lived 150 years ago.

Nor do I think they are suitable for some sort of ancestor worship, as heritage folks are sometimes accused of. I once read a statement by the League of the South that explained it well. "Our ancestors weren't perfect and not everything they did was honorable." I don't know of any heritage advocates who would disagree. That doesn't, and shouldn't keep us from honoring the honorable things about them and their culture.

Anti-Confederate bloggers may wish to define our Confederate ancestors solely by their imperfections and dishonorable deeds, and to imply that such a definition precludes respect for them, their culture and their fight for independence. That's not going to stop me from honoring them.

Sorry, fellas. If you don't like that, tough.

Image: Copyright © Dreamstime.com and the public domain.


  1. Nice fluff piece. Hall actually wrote before that the primary account of Forrest's involvement in the Klan as its sworn in leader. He also knew its intent, to check carpetbaggers, radical republicans, and the free blacks in the South. Whether he advocated terrorist activities is not my area of expertise. You misquote him as well. Hall's original statement is "But real Confederates, and real klansmen, had no doubt whatsoever that Forrest was one of them" (http://deadconfederates.com/2011/12/11/nathan-bedford-forrest-joins-the-klan/).

    I think Andy's statement at the end of that post dresses up nicely what you are trying to do here.

    "None of this will sway the thinking of those who have chosen to believe Forrest had no involvement with the Klan. But for those with an open mind, accounts like Crowe’s and Morton’s are impossible to dismiss. Folks can, and will, believe whatever they want to, but for those who really want to know, the evidence has been there all along."

    By the way, this blogger also did another fabulous work on Forrest about his honest transition from radical Southron' supremacist to the equality promoting figure he would become in the 1870's. So much for the anti-Confederate routine.

  2. You are such a marvelous picture of missing the point.

    Perhaps if you paid attention to what you read, you'd notice that I quoted Hall's comment at the Crossroads site, not his own blog.

    But regardless, his implication is that whatever our ancestors believed, Confederate heritage advocates must hold exactly the same beliefs -- that being mental clones of them is a requirement of honoring them. Ludicrous.

  3. You are such a marvelous picture of misrepresentation, straw man arguments, and nit picking while ignoring details. I find it interesting that you know his implications. Usually that is something that the author divulges rather than others guess at. Interesting considering Andy has a Confederate ancestor.....

    Way to retort on the previous post. I'll take your leave as retreat.

  4. "Andy has a Confederate ancestor"

    ...rolling in his grave

  5. Rob: "I find it interesting that you know his implications."

    That's what the ability to infer does fer you.

    "Usually that is something that the author divulges rather than others guess at."

    Implications are divulged???? No, they are IMPLIED. You know, Rob, using Dictionary.com is free. No subscription required. Check it out.

    He didn't come right out and say that because Confederates believed something, heritage advocates should believe it, too. But that is certainly his implication. If not, what do you imagine his point to be?

  6. It's sort of funny Connie. I was actually told by someone to write that sentence just to see what would happen. You played right into it. Instead of actually looking at the subject matter at hand, you engaged in an argument of semantics in order to prove superiority. Thanks for playing.

  7. Oh and in case you were wondering, I was implying that your ability to infer is extremely flawed. Hence the "Andy has a confederate ancestor."
    He shared the heritage that you hold dear. Lumping would be to lump himself.

  8. Baloney, Rob. You've admitted you included a nonsensical sentence not to communicate but to do a gotcha. Besides, I DID address the matter at hand -- Andy's implication is that heritage advocates should believe exactly whatever Confederates believed. His having a Confederate ancestor is not relevant, since Andy is not a heritage advocate. He's a heritage critic, a heritage tear-downer. That's why the perfesser and other lumpers -- including Andy himself -- don't lump him in with us.

  9. I know I admitted that....I plainly said that above. I did a gotchya to expose exactly what you do and always do including what you were doing earlier tonight on your facebook fan club page.

    Also, you didn't address the issues or the argument simply your "POV" with is pretty PC for your brand of people.


Comments are welcome, but monitored.