The South Remembers!
“The mortars were playing to-night and they are well worth seeing. We watch a moment, and… beyond the city; suddenly up shoots the flash of light, and in a moment the ponderous shell, with its fuse glowing and sparkling, rises slowly from behind the bluffs; up, up it goes, as though mounting to the zenith; over it comes toward us, down through its flight trajectory into the city, and explodes with a shock that jars the ground for miles. There are women and tender children where those shells fall, but war is war.” -US war correspondent of the Cleveland Herald, Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 4, 1863
Every Fourth of July, citizens across the U.S. celebrate the anniversary of ‘The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America.’
It is indeed important that we are reminded of the purpose of that proclamation.
“We therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are. And of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States…they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Many years have passed since that day, and through the course of those years many changes have taken place. It is well that we ask ourselves where are those ‘Free and Independent States’ today?
Independence? Freedom? Southerners are reminded of another July 4th in the history of America. Take yourself back in time to 1863. Our people were butchered and starved at Vicksburg, Mississippi, for ‘Those Peoples’ version of independence. The citizens of Vicksburg surrendered only after a very long and deadly siege, which brought on starvation, disease, mass death and total destruction. Hardships we today no longer understand! Southern women and children were forced to live in dank, dark caves for protection against US artillery and eat rat meat and shoe leather to ward off starvation. They suffered and died from scurvy, malaria and dysentery. The results of this siege reduced the entire Southland to poverty and deprivation, only to be taken advantage of once again by carpetbaggers, scalawags and puppet governments. All because we sought independence, for which this day is honored.
“Sometimes the caves were desperately crowded, and always hot and close. Sometimes a cave had twenty or twenty-five people packed into it; no turning room for anybody; air so foul, sometimes you couldn’t have made a candle burn in it. A child was born in one of those caves one night. Think of that; why it was like having it born in a trunk.” – Mark Twain
Confederate soldiers under General John C. Pemberton were forced to surrender to Yankee barbarians under General Ulysses S. Grant after the long siege. The horrors, crimes against humanity and war crimes inflicted upon the good citizens of Vicksburg, Mississippi, by these criminals, can only be appreciated and comprehended today by the Almighty God. Call those federal soldiers heroes if you like, but justice, judgment and honor have another name for them and it isn’t complimentary. So brutal was the treatment of Vicksburg by the government of the United States that the city’s citizens refused to celebrate Independence Day for nearly 80 years afterwards. It took close to four generations of Southerners to pass before ‘Independence Day’ could be looked on favorably through forgetfulness in the city of Vicksburg.
So, this day is proclaimed as ‘Independence Day’. But where is independence for the Southern States? The federal invaders cheered, laughed, sang and mocked at our suffering with great celebration, dancing and music, even as the dying and wounded lay about them. May God awaken those Southerners who so easily forget, or are willfully ignorant of what happened to their Southern kinsmen and the true meaning of independence during that fateful ordeal.
“A question settled by violence or in disregard of the law must remain unsettled forever” –President Jefferson Davis, CSA
The U.S. shelling of Vicksburg was so severe that to this day construction crews still find deadly unexploded ordinance buried around the city.
When was the last time our conquerors expressed sorrow and shame for their aggressive invasion, conquest, occupation, subjugation and cultural genocide against the Southland, or even offered valuable recompense? Where were the trials held for the war crimes against the Southern people? What penalty was served against the perpetrators? Even today the U.S. government mocks our defeat. They have even named a modern U.S. warship in honor of their holocaustic victory over the Southern people at Vicksburg. To add insult to our injury, the USS Vicksburg (CG69)) is even home ported in the at the Norfolk, Virginia naval station.
If Independence Day means anything, it should be honored for more than clichés, rhetoric and fireworks. It should stand upon a foundation of principal; that Almighty God endows all people in creation with the inalienable right to decide for themselves what manner of society, government and nation shall be theirs. 13 states and territories of the South made such a choice and were crushed to earth for their efforts.
Southerners, if you want to celebrate Independence Day, strive for Southern independence and then we can celebrate our own, which has this far been denied by the very conqueror to which we today pay such tribute.
Yes, we can continue to celebrate the “Independence Day” of the United States. Or we can work for real independence by striving diligently and persistently to reclaim those principles for which our Colonial as well as Confederate forefathers fought, suffered, bled and died, the principals of local self-government, home rule, state sovereignty and true independence!
Are you mad enough yet?
“I was reading in safety, I imagined when the unmistakable whirring of Parrott shells told us that the battery, we so much feared had opened from the entrenchments. I ran to the entrance to call the servants in; and immediately after they entered, a shell struck the earth a few feet from the entrance, burying itself without exploding. I ran to the little dressing room, and could hear them striking around us on all sides. One fell near the cave entrance, and a servant boy grabbed it and threw it outside; it never exploded. And so the weary days went on…when we could not tell in what terrible form death might come to us before the sun went down”
-Mary Loughborough, Vicksburg, Mississippi, July 1863