Confederate Soldiers Served Too

I’ve been poking around courthouse squares lately, and I have to say that it is gratifying to see the Confederate markers that I am seeing displayed there. Now, before you faint and fall over and proclaim me totally non-PC, hear me out because I say this knowing that many, many of you disagree with me.

First of all, as a historian I abhor even the slightest hint of rewriting history whether that history be good or bad. I also think it is a bit childish to refuse to acknowledge certain events simply because they represent a dark time in the history of our country. We need to know, and we need to learn from knowing.

So, let’s start our discussion by jumping right in and hitting the nail on the head. The institution of slavery that existed for many, many years in this country is one of those dark periods that I can barely comprehend. From the porch swing where I write tonight, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the fact that there once existed people who dared, who had the unmitigated audacity to believe that they had the right to own another person…a right that gave them total control over another human being. And that is all I’m going to say on slavery in this article.

Now, with the issue of slavery out of the way, let’s start over and look at the other issues that actually drove the war: states rights, westward expansion, railroad expansion, trade, industry, taxes. These topics don’t get the press and they don’t raise the emotions that slavery does, but without heated disagreements over them, there would have been no war.

So, through the years politicians used the above to fan the flames hotter and hotter, pitting one part of the country against the other because that is what politicians do…and they beat the drums of war, and they called for volunteers to fight their war, and finally the first shots were fired by boy-men who were simply doing what boy-men do today when their country calls them…they go; they serve; and some of them die. In this particular war, most of them died.

From our perch here in the twenty-first century, it is easy to have harsh things to say about the Civil War and those who fought it. Apparently, it is easy for many to want to pretend it never happened and to remove it from the history books; however, it is not that easy for me because I realize that like every other war, men simply answered the call when their country issued it…just as they do today, and just as they will tomorrow.

Maybe it comes from the fact that I grew up during the Viet Nam era, and I saw first hand what happens when a country dishonors those who serve. I don’t know, but I do know that I would like to see a marker on every courthouse lawn across this country, honoring every single veteran of every single war that ever took an American citizen from his/her home in the name of service to this country.

And, yes, that means even including those men of the 1860s who answered the call…judge the war if you please, that is the duty of history and historians, but honor the service of those who gave up so much in the name of country and honor and duty.

When you have a moment, slip on over to Dublin, Texas and ask them about their Memorial that honors all veterans of all wars. We all should all do such a thing!

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for texansunited.com and marketing small-town Texas.
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11 Responses to Confederate Soldiers Served Too

  1. Johnnie Griffin says:

    Interesting that I found your site. I am doing some genealogy research on a Civil War Confederate. I am a little offended by your being so ashamed of the fact that we fought in the Civil War as Confederates. It was a war about more than just slavery.

    I am trying to locate a Comanche cemetery by the name of Dingler. It is for a confederate headstone for an A. L. Smith who served in Co. K, 12th Ark. Inf. Died April 7, 1985. Can you help?
    Johnnie Griffin
    Bryan, Texas

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      Our genealogical society can help you with that. They have done a wonderful job of photographing every grave in the county. As to my being ashamed, I thought the article was written to say that we cannot forget that these men served their country as they knew it. It is amazing how many emails have I received telling me that I should be ashamed for giving the due to the Confederates. So…I must be doing something right if both sides are mad! :)

  2. Gerald Stockstill says:

    Good job on the Confederacy. The issue of slavery is as old as mankind. Nimrod was a mighty hunter (of men) far back in the book of Genesis. Joseph was sold as a slave, and even today slavery is practiced in many countries. Consider the sex trafficking, and sex slaves even in the USA. Keep writing. Love to read what you have to say.

  3. Carl W. Roden says:

    Ma’am, as a descendant of a Confederate soldier I would like to thank you sincerely for your wonderfully written and objective views regarding the service of those men who answered the call of their State governments to defend their homes from invasion. Thank you very much.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      Carl, we saw during the Vietnam era the destruction that comes from confusing the soldiers who follow orders with the governments who issue those orders. Regardless as to how I feel about the politics that fueled the Civil War, I would hope that we could learn to honor the service of those young men who did what young men have done through the ages…obeyed orders. Thanks so much for your comment!

  4. David Maddex says:

    Ms. Jones,

    As you well know, “history is written by the winners” . What is often overlooked by most people , because they weren’t taught it is school, is that slavery reprehensible as it was was legal in most of the States of the Union throughout the war. John C Fremont, for example issued a proclamation freeing the slaves in Missouri and it was countermanded by Lincoln and Fremont was removed from his position. West Virginia, although illegally separated from Virginia was admitted to the Union in mid 1863 as a Slave State, months after Lincoln’s lauded Emancipation Proclamation. I do agree with you that all Veterans should be honored on the courthouse square. I travel 3 states extensively in the course of my work and find most small towns do a good job at this as you noted in your piece. I appreciate your article pointing out the other causes of the WBTS and wish other writers were conscientious enough to do a bit of research and discover more than a primary school history book tells them.

    • Fredda Jones Fredda Jones says:

      David, I have a set of history books published shortly after the Civil War so obviously they were printed in the North. As you noted, history is often recorded by the winners, and these schoolbooks definitely were written with no other purpose than to make sure that students understood exactly what demons southerners were. Unfortunately, textbooks continue to slant toward one side or the other from every subject from war to evolution. Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. Michael Garza says:

    I enjoyed your article but I take issue with your comment of “the fact that there once existed people who dared, who had the unmitigated audacity to believe that they had the right to own another person…a right that gave them total control over another human being.” It just makes it seem like Americans were the first to have slaves and that we should be ashamed of ourselves for that simple fact. The fact is, and as a historian, you are well aware that slavery has been around for quite some time. You can trace slavery to the Middle East and Black slavery to the slave trade when Spain was colonizing Mexico. It was actually Black tribes in East Africa who were selling the defeated tribes. My point is, slavery is not simply limited to us and this article, in my opinion paints America in a bad light when in fact we were simply doing what has been done for thousands of years. I do agree with you that history should be remembered, whether it was good or bad, so that we may learn from our mistakes.

  6. Missy Jones says:

    Thanks to Michael Garza and other for their comments. Yes, I am southern born and bred. My great great grandfather, Andrew J. Cox and five of his brothers all enlisted in the southern cause. Andrew and two brothers all enlisted Septembe 21, 1861 at McKinney, Texas. They had rode 90 miles, from Dallas to McKinney to the rendevoux to enlist. Their horses and guns were listed and a value placed on them. Later, three other brothers all enlisted in the southern cause, and one brother, Jacob Cox was killed at the battle of Mansfield, Louisiana in 1864. there is no way that I will NOT honor these men.

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