CONFEDERATES IN THE ATTIC - PART 1
As a Midwesterner who has chosen to live in the South, I'm often in love with their way of life and pride of place. But their relationship with the Civil War is, indeed, often different than mine and I thought this book might help explain why.
- •I bought it at my favorite used book store and then was immediately scared to tell my Southern friends.It was published in the 90's but I have this gut instinct that it wasn't received well here in the South, much like the folks in Borat didn't like the way they were perceived in the film. Is this my own prejudice coming through? You betcha!
- •I was instantly hooked and even began highlighting statements that I liked or that I wanted to remember for later.
- •For instance: "The South is a place. East, west, and North are nothing but directions." -Letter to the editor, Richmond Times - Dispatch 1995This is the South I love. Head held high, manners on display, sweet tea on the porch.
- •But the theme of the book is "why does the South keep the Civil War alive?""We have tried to forget the Civil War," Edmund Wilson observed. "But we have the defeated enemy on the premises, and he will not allow us to forget it. "
- •I'm on page 45 and so far the author has been offered up two answers: family and military backgrounds.A member of the Daughters of the Confederacy said that Southerners have always grown up knowing who their great-great grandfathers, etc were, as well as the family Bibles filled with the names of who went off to the war and never came back. (1 in 4 Southern military age men died in the war vs 1 in 10 Northern men)
- •As for the military backgrounds...That reason was more philosophical and from a gun shop owner who claimed that Southerners are military people. They were back then and they are now. And it's that tie between soldiers that keeps the war alive. (I did some research and as of 2013, the majority of military recruits did indeed come from the South)
- •The ways the war is kept alive range from eccentric: the Cats of the Confederacy is a group that meets to make up stores about cats during the war
- •To disturbing: the Catechism for the Children of the Confederacy states that the relationship of slave to owner was loyalty and hardworking.Yes, although it was published in 1954, this was still being used in the 1990's in Raleigh, NC.
- •Seeing as how I'm only on page 45 and he hasn't made it to my beloved Charleston yet, and my siblings will grow tired of me talking about this book soon, expect more lists!