For a civ­i­liza­tion gone with the wind

The Covington News - - OPINION - Dear editor, Fel­ton Hud­son

Back in the1950's my sis­ter and I at­tended the old Cov­ing­ton Gram­mar school, which stood where the cur­rent Cov­ing­ton Po­lice sta­tion is lo­cated. Back then on ev­ery April 26 (re­mains a Ge­or­gia State Hol­i­day) when school was in ses­sion, all grade lev­els were loosely marched to the Old Cov­ing­ton Ceme­tery which was maybe 500 yards from the school. The route of the pro­ces­sion was ex­tended through down­town where the work­ers and busi­ness­men and many par­ents stood watch­ing this me­mo­rial to the Con­fed­er­ate dead that re­posed in a sec­tion of the ceme­tery.

Many of the stu­dents car­ried flow­ers to lay upon the mark­ers and many wore white or their Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts' uni­forms. Many of us looked for­ward to these cel­e­bra­tions and strut­ted our stuff en route. Once gath­ered at the site, lo­cal min­is­ters and dig­ni­taries would ex­toll at length, of­ten in blaz­ing heat, the courage and sac­ri­fice of the dead who lie for eter­nity be­neath piti­fully small mark­ers de­not­ing their name and mil­i­tary units. MANY were with­out iden­ti­fi­ca­tion-known only to God.

It would be my guess that few, if any, fought in this ter­ri­ble war to en­sure rich plan­ta­tion own­ers their right to en­slave another hu­man be­ing. In fact I must have missed any lec­tures that the war was ac­tu­ally fought to main­tain slav­ery, but rather the right to se­cede from a union they no longer felt to be just and which led to the sub­se­quent in­va­sion by North­ern mil­i­tary forces.

Over the years I have main­tained a strong ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the South and its com­mit­ment to form its own coun­try and to ex­er­cise its held opin­ion of a le­gal right to break­away from a gov­ern­ment that had cre­ated a yoke of op­pres­sion they could no longer tol­er­ate. Know­ing that my Great Grand­fa­ther (35th Reg­i­ment of Ge­or­gia) had been wounded in the Bat­tle Of Get­tys­burg dur­ing the so-called Pick­ett's charge, I ac­quired a real zeal for know­ing more about the war-the bat­tles, the Gen­er­als and the men who died in so many gory bat­tles over four years. It is es­pe­cially painful to watch those who now seek to slan­der the men who fought and died for the rights of a new na­tion, and com­pare the Con­fed­er­ate Bat­tle Flag to Nazi em­blems. Their ig­no­rance and hate can­not be quan­ti­fied.

In Mar­garet Mitchell's novel of the cen­tury, which was made into cin­ema in the late 1930s, the screen writer for the movie, Ben Hecht, summed up Mitchell's novel in a short para­graph... "there was a land of cava­liers and cot­ton fields called The Old South. Here in this pretty world gal­lantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of knights, ladies fair, of master and of slaves. Look for it only in books, for it is a dream re­mem­bered, a civ­i­liza­tion gone with the wind."

Slav­ery was dead long be­fore Mitchell ever penned Gone With the Wind. In fact it was dy­ing be­fore the War Be­tween the States was ever fought. For what­ever rea­son one may want to be­lieve the war was fought, both sides fought hero­ically and died bravely. There isn't the re­motest pos­si­bil­ity that their courage could ever be repli­cated for any cause in the world in which we now find our­selves. To sully their honor and will­ing­ness to die for a cause they be­lieved in by out­law­ing their flag, mon­u­ments, etc., cre­ates furor not needed. May God turn this na­tion around and save us from our­selves.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.