Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Confederate Memorial Day in N.C. (May 10, 2003)
Eyewitness account & printed program | May 10, 2003 | Dennis Rogers

Posted on 05/10/2003 10:10:46 PM PDT by Constitution Day

I spent this day in Wilson, N.C., where a memorial service was held for the 101 Confederates buried in the "Soldiers' Mound" in Maplewood Cemetery.
This mass grave, filled with the remains of those who died in Wilson General Hospital #2, was capped with a monument on May 10, 1902.

Various groups and individuals researched the identities of those interred in this mound, and today, Confederate Memorial Day, a bronze marker was placed at the mound's edge with the soldiers' names, units and states.
Prior to this, nothing at the site indicated this. This was a tremendous undertaking for many people.

Dennis Rogers of the Raleigh (NC) News and Observer was the keynote speaker.
The major portion of his remarks were taken from his column, published in the above newspaper on May 11, 1996.
I do not often agree with Mr. Rogers in his other columns, but I believe FR readers may enjoy this.
I am typing this out from a photocopy and, as far as I know, this article does not exist online.

CD


Southern pride needs day in sun
by Dennis Rogers
Raleigh News and Observer - May 11, 1996

Give us this day.

Give us this day to remind ourselves whence we came. Give us leave to look back, without shame but with fondness, toward a time and a culture long disappeared into the mists of time.

Give us this day to celebrate without guilt, without feeling that what we are doing is dirty and should be hidden away from the disapproving gaze of others.

Give us this day free of snotty accusations that we pitifully ramble in the past because we choose to hold dear to our traditions, the tragedies and triumphs of those who came before us.

Give us Confederate Memorial Day, just this one day each year to say, proudly and in public: I am a Southerner and I am proud of my history and heritage. Yesterday was the official day, but it is today in cemeteries and courthouse squares across the state, that we step into the sunlight and take our stand.

We have been told that by honoring the past we honor the inhumanity of slavery, that by taking our stand with our Southern ancestors, we are promoting a racism disguised as heritage; that by standing proudly in the shadow of our old flags, we are insulting those who suffered the indignity of captivity.

Our protestations of innocence fall on deaf ears. No one gives credence to our denials. Accusations hurled are accusations proven. If they say we hate, then we must hate. If they say our flag is a banner of slavery, then it must be so.

But give us this day, just this one day, to say to our detractors, you are wrong. On this one day, believe us when we say it is our heritage, not your hate, that moves us.

Believe us when we say that we do not wave the flag under which our forefathers served to insult anyone, only to honor those men and women for whom honor was paramount. Believe us when we say, as is engraved on the statue to their memory in Kinston, that it was "Not for wages, not for glory, 'twas for home and right they fell."

Give us this day to take part in the celebrations of heritage that others enjoy. Our past means something important to us, too, and all we ask is to be left in peace to hold close to our hearts that which seems so distant now.

Today, we place flowers on the graves of our fallen heroes. Today, we fly the honored soldier's flag that they flew in battle. It is not the Stars and Bars under which slavery was legal or the Stars and Bars under which politicians tried to establish a rebel nation. Rather, ours is the bloodied and ripped old flag that the soldiers took into battle with them, the flag that they died to keep aloft, and the flag that embraced them when they were laid to rest in Southern soil.

Do not ask us to dishonor that flag because ignorant hatemongers have tried to steal it for their own evil uses. Do not ask us to be ashamed to fly it because others have brought it into disrepute. We did not do it, and we grieve that it happened, but we will not accept defeat and we will not give up our flag.

Today is the day we take our stand beside those who went before, beside those who fought the good fight, beside those who covered themselves with timeless glory at faraway Gettysburg and beside those who valiantly defended their homes just down the road in Bentonville.

Today we take our stand, in the words of the old song, to live and die for Dixie.

Give us this day.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: confederate; dixie; northcarolina
I will ping a few FReepers who may find this of interest, then I am off to bed.
1 posted on 05/10/2003 10:10:46 PM PDT by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: billbears; stainlessbanner; 4ConservativeJustices; aomagrat; GOPcapitalist; stand watie; ...
.
2 posted on 05/10/2003 10:15:18 PM PDT by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
Deo Vindicatus
3 posted on 05/10/2003 10:17:53 PM PDT by Prospero (Bush, Burr & Ballantine 2004)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day; SAMWolf
Thanks for this post. We always need to remember that during our Civil War there were TWO Americas, and respect needs to be given to both. It is the honorable thing to do.
4 posted on 05/10/2003 10:37:57 PM PDT by Graewoulf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Graewoulf; Constitution Day
Thanks for the ping Graewoulf. Well said.

Thanks for the post, Constitution Day
5 posted on 05/10/2003 11:03:05 PM PDT by SAMWolf ((A)bort (R)etry (I)mJustJokingButYouShouldHaveSeenTheLookOnYourFace...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Graewoulf
Does anyone happen to have a list of those buried in that "mound" in NC or know of one on line?

A Friend and fellow Reenactor is researching the 5th NCT (Infantry) for a book they are writing and would be interested I'm sure.

Several Years ago Haskell Marston Camp 56, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in Yarmouth, Maine (of which I am the Chaplain) became aware of the grave of an unidentified Confederate Soldier up here in Durham, Maine.

Little is known about how he got here, so far from his Southern Home, but is seems that his body was shipped by mistake from the aftermath of some battle in the place of of a Maine Union Volunteer who had been killed.

This seems to have happened several times, and we have heard that there are up to 7 Confederates buried in Maine - one of them is in Gray, ME, where the Family of the Union Casualty buried the unknown Confederate in the Family plot.
When the mixup was corrected by the Government and they got the body of their Son delivered some time later, he was buried alongside his former foe, where they rest side by side to this day.
As long as the Family lived in Gray - well into the 19th Century, apparently - they saw to it that the Confederate's grave was tended to just the same as that of their lamented fallen "Yankee" and those of other departed Family Members.

The 15th Alabama CSA Reenacting Unit based in Maine sees to it that the "Stars and Bars" decorate his grave every Memorial Day, where it flys right beside the "Stars and Stripes" on the next grave over.

The last I knew they routinely held a short Military Memorial service to mark the occasion, and fire a volly in honor of the Southern Unknown.

As to the grave in Durham, a local stone carver found a piece of Georgia granite, researched period gravestones for CSA Veterans, and crafted a lovely replica which he generously donated to mark the grave of the unknown.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, I believe, provided an appropriate marker / flag holder to hold the ANV Battle Flag, and we held a dedication cerimony where both the 3rd Maine with our Fife and Drum Corps and the 15th AL, along with a bunch of local residents participated.

The State SUVCW Chaplain led the Prayers - I think an SCV Chaplain participated as well; a couple of Dignitaries spoke; I played "Nearer My God To Thee" on tenor fife (Key of low "G").

Taps was played, the 15th AL fired the vollys, and the Field Music broke into "Dixie" as we marched out of the Cemetery.

And we see to it that a fresh "Dixie" is placed at the grave every Memorial Day.

They all deserve to be remembered.
6 posted on 05/10/2003 11:22:29 PM PDT by Uncle Jaque (Any day without incoming ordnance can't be all bad! {8^{D~)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
It is part of our history. Thanks for the post.
7 posted on 05/11/2003 1:21:54 AM PDT by buffyt (The DemonicRATic Whiners are Jealous of President Top Gun Bush's GRAVITAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Prospero
Thanks Prospero.
8 posted on 05/11/2003 11:39:22 AM PDT by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Graewoulf
We always need to remember that during our Civil War there were TWO Americas, and respect needs to be given to both. It is the honorable thing to do.

Indeed, many people forget that.

The program gave thanks (among others) to the Sons of Union Veterans.
A representative from them was present, a show of respect which was definitely appreciated.

9 posted on 05/11/2003 11:42:37 AM PDT by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: SAMWolf
Thanks for your comments, SAMWolf. I do appreciate it!
10 posted on 05/11/2003 11:45:36 AM PDT by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: azhenfud
I meant to ping you last night when I posted this... sorry, it was a long day. :)
11 posted on 05/11/2003 11:49:42 AM PDT by Constitution Day
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
The interregnum drags on.
12 posted on 05/11/2003 12:13:09 PM PDT by Old Professer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
Give us Confederate Memorial Day, just this one day each year to say, proudly and in public: I am a Southerner and I am proud of my history and heritage. Yesterday was the official day, but it is today in cemeteries and courthouse squares across the state, that we step into the sunlight and take our stand.

Our ancestors deserve to be honoured for their service, their courage, and even their lives knowing that many would not return from battle. No matter which side of the battle they were on, their rank, or their colour. They deserve to be remembered.

13 posted on 05/11/2003 6:13:23 PM PDT by 4CJ ('No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.' - Alexander Hamilton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Jaque
Thanks for the in depth reply. It is refreshing to depart from our pithy, sound-bite mentality of this age.

We need to remember that the two Americas healed quickly, unlike so many other nations with their respective civil wars.

A tiny snippet of how we healed so quickly is provided by your reply as you detailed the care that a Maine family gave to the grave of the Confederate Soldier being equal to the graves of their family members. It was the honorable thing to do.

Perhaps we can put the divisive factions in our Nation in proper perspective by comparing the actions of the Maine family of the Post Civil War Era with how today a politically correct Maine family would probably behave in the same situation.
14 posted on 05/11/2003 7:55:44 PM PDT by Graewoulf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Old Professer
Pithy.
15 posted on 05/12/2003 5:18:15 AM PDT by Constitution Day (I always like to keep my audience RIVETED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Uncle Jaque
Thanks very much for your comments.
That is a very cool story, and I am glad you posted it. They do all deserve to be remembered.

As far as I know, the list of the soldiers buried here does not exist online, having just been revealed to the public on Saturday.
I do have the program from the event, which lists the names.

The bronze marker, however, goes an additional step and lists the unit and state information.
I did take a picture of the marker, but have not gotten it developed.

If you'd like, I will be happy to post that picture when I get it.
Alternately, I could have the back of the program scanned and post that.

Let me know.

Regards,
CD

16 posted on 05/12/2003 5:27:03 AM PDT by Constitution Day (I always like to keep my audience RIVETED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
Hurrah for the South! Great post, CD.

"He alone deserves to be remembered by his children who treasures up and preserves the memory of his fathers."

--Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

17 posted on 05/12/2003 6:00:08 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
Today we take our stand, in the words of the old song, to live and die for Dixie.

If this person is talking about the song "Dixie", then he doesn't know the words.

Walt

18 posted on 05/12/2003 11:50:37 AM PDT by WhiskeyPapa (Be copy now to men of grosser blood and teach them how to war!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WhiskeyPapa
This was written in 1996. Perhaps he has learned the lyrics by now.
19 posted on 05/12/2003 12:03:50 PM PDT by Constitution Day (I always like to keep my audience RIVETED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: stainlessbanner
Thanks for the comments, SB.

I especially like that quote.

20 posted on 05/12/2003 12:25:52 PM PDT by Constitution Day (I always like to keep my audience RIVETED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: TomServo; PistolPaknMama; okchemyst
Ping
21 posted on 05/12/2003 12:33:24 PM PDT by Constitution Day (I always like to keep my audience RIVETED.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Constitution Day
Dixie Bump, CD. Thanks for the ping!
22 posted on 05/12/2003 3:00:42 PM PDT by TomServo (Bring Back Illbay!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson