From time to time I run across these little gems that I feel I need to share with the world. Here’s one I found while perusing the archives at Washington and Lee University’s Special Collection Department. Back story: in 1980 (ancient history…) the good people of Darlington County, South Carolina gathered together to rededicate their Confederate monument – on the centennial anniversary of Darlington’s Rebels’ original tribute to their glorious cause.
The speaker for the day was one William Stanley Hoole – a descendant of Axalla John Hoole, a Confederate Colonel of the Darlington Riflemen who was killed at Chickamauga. Now you might figure Hoole (the speaker…not the dead Rebel) to be one of those reconstructed types. Let’s see what he had to say…..
Those gallant men and women believed that it was their right to dispel from their lives the economic modernism of the neighbors to the North and thus preserve their own landed conservatism. They shuddered to think that they should ever be forced to shoulder the yoke of Yankee domination. They wanted nothing more than their own country, a country they could love and be proud of, a separate nation, a confederation, a confederacy embracing a cavalier way of life, unfettered by the austerity of Northern Puritanism.
John Brown’s attack on the United States Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry had convinced the most reluctant Rebel that there was no longer any camaraderie between himself and his Yankee counterpart. As one Southerner [E. Merton Coulter] put it, “Black Republicanism has buried brotherhood between North and South in the same grave with the Constitution.”
Our beloved South Carolina, surfeited to the point of nausea by Northern insults and maledictions, as we all know, made the first move toward secession. They simply wanted to be left alone in peace. But the Republican regime in Washington, infiltrated by indecision, deception, and unprecedented machiavelism saw differently. Instead of letting the “Wayward Sister,” as they called our state, go in peace, they seized Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, dispatched addition soldiers, and ignored all appeals for amicable negotiation. These warlike acts at once rendered Fort Sumter a symbol of Yankee domination, an out-right indignity, an international insult, is you please, which could not be overlooked, even by the most ardent seekers of peace.
Yep – he sounds pretty angry, right? But I wonder….is he really “unreconstructed” or just confused? I run across people all the time who claim loyalty to the Union (as did Hoole) – yet pile this sort of inflammatory language high. Many, I find, are very much like their Confederate ancestors. Perfectly willing to embrace the post-war Union, so long as they could commemorate their war on their terms. What do you think?