Mary Stevens’ well-written letter (06/23) was a very pleasant surprise. Good to know that there is someone else that has not been caught up in the insane hysteria resulting in re-naming, destruction of anything connected to Southern history that Blacks, politicians and the younger generation have completely re-written and distorted. I am old enough to have had true facts handed down from ancestors who fought in the war and/or lived through it.

“States’ Rights” was the mantra that Southerners adopted as to the “Cause” of their rebellion. Who, in their right mind, would believe that Confederates fired on a Yankee ship at Ft. Sumpter, S.C. that started the war — for slavery? Also, would starving, ragged Confederates with antique weapons keep fighting the Union army who outnumbered them 10-1 and had state-of-the art weapons, were well-fed, well-clothed — for slavery?? Especially since the majority of Rebel soldiers did not even own slaves.

The “Cause” was that states below the imaginary Mason-Dixon line had no rights, could get no legislation passed — at all. Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet were Republicans — (it seems as if they must have had a Mitch McConnell in the mix). Therefore, South Carolina and others wanted to secede from the Union for this reason, but the Union would not let them. Ergo, the war began. It’s a shame that the Confederate flag is now being portrayed as a symbol of hatred and slavery since more atrocities have occurred under the American flag. How about what the federal government. did to the American Indians? The Mai Lai Massacre and others? So slavery, that was on its way out, was abolished. Big deal.

Blacks, Indians and women could not vote (until 1930). The flags are sewn materials flown on flag poles. It’s what occurs beneath that counts. Under the American flag, Gen. Sherman ordered Atlanta and all to Savannah to: Burn/destroy all means of livelihood, slaughter all livestock & kill anyone who resists. (I have copies of his two orders.) By contrast, Gen. Lee forbade his starving, undernourished soldiers to even steal food. Quite a difference between and under these two flags — no?

Jean Leigh Durham


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