Confederate troops were American veterans too

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The new party within our government, and those who support it, have taken measures to erase the history and heritage of white, Southern Christians whose ancestors fought in the Confederacy during our War Between the States.

Some in our nation’s government now want reparations for slavery, paid to the descendants of slaves by Americans all.  Was reparation not served well in the sacrifices of the men whose blood was spilled across our lands for freedom? Slavery does not exist today in America and no one here today had anything to do with slavery.

Many Southerners, including my ancestors from North Carolina who fought in that war, did not own slaves, nor did they fight for slavery. They fought because they were ordered to do so under threat of death. Because they were not cowards, brave North Carolinians fought for their homeland and the sacrifices were extensive.  Here at Gettysburg, North Carolina lost the most men during the battle, enough so that N.C. had to recruit elderly men and boys. North and South,  all who fought in our nation’s War Between the States were Americans. 

By a 1958 Act of Congress, the soldiers of the Confederacy were declared American veterans to be memorialized equal to all American veterans. The actual truth of the Southern cause is of a matter similar, if not the same, to what our country is experiencing today: the standing up to and fighting against less federal government intervention by those who revere the U.S. Constitution.  The great misconception is that we needed a war to end slavery.  The system had been dying away on its own.

The last two slave-owning states were the Northern states of New Jersey and Delaware. The largest slaveholder in the south was a wealthy and free black man named William Ellison. The truth is out there, however, refuted by the ignorant, the radicalized, the defiant. Finally, in this country once upon a time, Native Americans, white men and white women, too, were enslaved.  In America we had bondservants who were bought and sold at auction, having been shipped from England, Ireland and France.  A portion of these men had criminal records. 

Slavery was a great wrong and yet it had existed since the earliest time. It was abolished here in the United States though, sadly, slavery still exists in other places in the world and nothing has been done to address it.

Wake up, Americans. If you want peace, live it!

Barbara Rowe

Gettysburg, Pa.