What could have been!
Ever wondered if Memorial Day could have been different? Imagine what it could have been like? How U.S. history could have been changed? Many who took American History in school will remember studying the confederate civil war. It was a fight about state rights, slavery, and many other things. No matter where you fall politically on the issue, it still part of our history. There were a lot of good people on both sides of the war, and they were fighting for what they believed in. This is why some states still recognize the fallen. They commemorate this event in history with “Confederate Memorial Day.”
What was the Civil Ware all about?
The history of the civil war began on April 12, 1861 and ended on June 23, 1965. The reason for the war was many things. There is much debate on the actual reason, but here a few of them.
Abolishment of Slavery: Slavery came into the United States from the beginning. Even George Washington has slaves, though he was known to be kind to them. However, over time, the Northern States began abolishing slavery with the anti slavery movement.
State Rights: Some thought that if American was going to work as a nation, that the federal government needed have more control to unify the nation. Other states in the South, wanted their independence. There was push against the federal government and tension grew between the union and confederate. A separate constitution and currency was even developed during this time. This eventually could not be sustained.
Social Differences: The North and South were socially different. Because of the South’s industry, that of cotton and use of slaves, they were given to a much more plantation mindset. The North was more dependent on industry and was probably the buyers of the South’s product. They were more forward thinkers, always wanting the latest and greatest. Socially they were more progressive. As one can imagine, this brought just as much tension as social issues do today. However, this issue threatened the lively hood of many people, and so tension was high.
The combinations of these things brought war and casualties were many. Nearly 400,000 were counted dead from the Federal Army and almost 300,00 were wounded. Though the Confederate army sustained less causalities, their numbers were significant at almost 300,000 deaths and nearly 200,000 wounded.
Honoring the Confederate Fallen Today
Confederate Decoration Day, as it’s called by another name, is not a Federal holiday. It is only instituted on the state level (evidently some state rights were preserved). Seven states celebrate this holiday: Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Others celebrate it, but not in an official capacity. During this time it is not unusual for offices and school to be shut down.
North and South Carolina celebrate this day on Thomas Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson death on May 10, 1963. He was a general of the Confederate States. It also commemorates the capture of Jefferson David.
In Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi, Confederate Memorial Day is celebrated toward the end of April, generally on a Monday.
This falls in Texas holidays as Confederate Heroes Day and is celebrated January 19 of every year.
As you celebrate Memorial Day this year, remember the fallen. They gave their lives for what they believed in and fought diligently for it. Be thankful for a country where we live in freedom because of the fallen! If you want to experience this day here are some things you can do:
- Find a civil war reenactment in your city (www.civilwartraveler.com/events/)
- Visit a Civil War Museum to see civil war relics.(http://www.military.com/Resources/ResourceSubmittedFileView?file=museums_civilwar.htm)
- Pay honor to a Confederate Soldier’s grave