Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Day to Remember

I write this post in the early hours of April 13. The day past marked a memorable occasion. 150 Years ago Yesterday, April 12, 1861 Confederate Forces under the command of General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard opened fire upon the United States Garrison at Fort Sumter in South Carolina commanded by Major Robert Anderson. The Civil War had begun. The next four years would see unimaginable carnage and horror, and inhumane treatment of prisoners of war in prison camps on both sides (Elmira in the North especially, and everyone knows about Andersonville). It is hard to study the civil war and not see the hand of God on this battle. Although the Fort was to become a blazing inferno due to the constant barrage of confederate Hot-Shot (the result of heating the cannon ball in a furnace before loading), two days of bombardment produced no casualties on either side. When all was done and the fort was surrendered, the citizens of Charleston brought food and drink to the defeated Federals, and offered the services of the city, including the doctors, though none were needed. It was all about the fort, there was no personal malice against the Union Soldiers. That would come later. It was a Civil beginning to an uncivil war.

The battle may have been bloodless, but the surrender was deadly. General Beauregard permitted Major Anderson to offer a hundred cannon (gun) salute to his flag, a noble gesture. Halfway through, a improperly sponged barrel ignited a charge and exploded a cannon, killing several soldiers. An accident.

I mention this because, 150 years later, there are those who feel that if history is inconvenient, it should simply be rewritten. It has been said that those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it. How can one learn from what is not taught because the truth may offend. Slavery then was a horrible thing, now overpaid NFL athletes call themselves slaves if there 5 million dollar contract isn't raised to 6 Million. Words mean nothing in this light. It is interesting that the original rallying call in the south (not Slavery, but States Rights) is in the forefront again. No, Civil War will not happen again. The revolution of today is a peaceful one, and despite the Liberal Screed, the Tea Party would be admired by Lincoln. It is about returning power to the people where it belongs. The North won the War, but lost the hearts of the South during the ill advised "reconstruction". As the country enters a second reconstruction from its economic destruction, let us look to the past to find the key to our future. God Bless America.