View single post by Widow
 Posted: Mon Dec 4th, 2006 11:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 19th, 2006
Location: Oakton, Fairfax County, VA
Posts: 321

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Doc, I can't address all of the questions you raised.  Heck, I'm just a private from Wyoming, what do I know about Lost Causes.

I'd like to comment on your questions about other people expressing their opinions.

Have individuals such as this discussion group (myself included) who appear to have a true interest in the facts/truth in the civil war, been negligent in allowing them to raise their voices? Could past conflicts concerning the flying of CSA flags have been avoided if these fringe groups let their voices be heard?

I wonder if perhaps you were thinking about "negligence" in the sense of failing to reply persuasively to those other voices.

In my opinion, no matter how much I disagree with another viewpoint, I have no right to allow or prohibit others from expressing it.  Of course, they don't have the right to suppress my view, either.  Jefferson said it best, something like "Sir, I disagree completely with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."  I'll bet a Yankee greenback that you feel that way too.

May I add that I have no monopoly on the truth here.  I can't possibly know all the truth, just fragments here and there mixed in with lots of opinions.  The Official Reports aren't exactly the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  A conscientious officer could report only what he knew and did, from his angle, and probably didn't know half of what went on elsewhere on the battlefield.  And many officers were quite willing to omit certain inconvenient details, or skip doing the research necessary to fill in the blanks.  "My regiment withdrew gallantly in perfect order."  Meaning we ran like hell.

I agree with you, though, that as far as I can tell, the members of this board are interested in the Civil War as history rather than as a political issue to argue about today.  Seems to me that those who argue about the CBF should consider we have other more pressing problems to solve in this country.

Interesting coincidence, your conversation with the black doctor who objected to the use of the CBF by the hate groups, but not to its use as a state emblem.  I had practically the same conversation with a black acquaintance who lives in Alabama; his opinion was the same as the doctor's.

I've lived in NoVa for 40 years and have seen lots of bumper stickers, tattoos, license plate frames, and you name it, all with the CBF.  I used to be disgusted and contemptuous, what's with these people?  Are they still fighting the war?  Are they all in the KKK?

Then I got interested in the war last year and have learned a lot.  So much that I've changed my opinion about the CBF and what it stood for.  Now I respect the men who fought under it, just as much as the men who fought under Old Glory.  And I no longer associate the CBF with hate groups like the Klan and neo-Nazis.  The way I see it, they distorted the meaning of the CBF and debased its treasured value for many people.  And that's a shame.

I've always liked the design of the CBF with the St. Andrew's cross and the 13 stars, it has an eye-pleasing symmetry.

One more comment about certain universities.  You know that UVa in Charlottesville claims to be "Mr. Jefferson's university" because he founded it and designed the first buildings.  OK, and Virginia Tech is in Blacksburg, some distance away (and I don't mean just in miles).  So at UVa they assert, loudly, that "all dirt roads lead to Virginia Tech."

By the way, Doc, you live on the Eastern Shore.  That's see-cesh country.  Different universe from the western panhandle, like Sharpsburg and Hagerstown.


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