Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 Includes Our Confederate Dead

This is why we have Memorial Day.

Decoration day began during the Recent Unpleasantness (1861-65).  The casualties were so many, so terrible that the sufferings of wars and Indian conflicts since the costly Revolution could not compare.  And, frankly, despite the passions of every present moment, the sum of the wars since our second American Civil War (1861-65) don’t compare to the horrific losses of our home war.   Consequently, the memory of our honored dead on any Memorial Day is numerically weighted to this one war.  Which, for my People, means our Confederate Dead.

This Sunday past, our minister asked us to speak out the names of any family members who died in wars past.  I asked, sotto voce,  “How far back?”

I can name dead from Vietnam and the Korean tree-chopping incident, but not family KIA.  My kids can name dead they know from the current Long, Long War – the World War Against Islamists.

I know GGGG-Great Uncle Jesse Bowden died in the Revolution (ACW I) in Philadelphia.  Among my 8 GG-Grandfathers, one – Thomas League (16th SC Infantry) – was killed at Chickamauga.   His wife and a old Black man took a wagon from Greenville SC to the battlefield to get his body and bring him home.   I know at least 2 brothers – Robert Maley and Robert Holland – were killed or died of disease.  I’m sure if I checked the brothers of all my GG-Grandmothers, there would be more.

More Americans died in that war than in all U.S wars combined.   More Virginians died fighting for Virginia than all U.S. wars combined.  More of my family died in that war than all other U.S. wars combined.  It makes history and Memorial Day personal.

These Confederate Dead could be 2nd SC Infantry

GG-Grandfather Daniel Webster Holland, B Company, 2nd South Carolina Infantry, could have known these Confederate dead – pictured above.  His Regiment attacked here at Sharpsburg, MD (Antietam)  successfully pushing back the Yankees and pressing on until they ran straight into their artillery.   Then, they sashayed right a bit and held their ground.  Their courage is my history.

I pray that the courage of the Confederate veterans and their Honored Dead will be the legacy to my grandchildren and their grandchildren.  They will need it in the Long, Long War Against Islamists.





  1. Memories of a distant time and a different attitude. Deeply felt beliefs that set one apart, caused introspection, and helped you learn to think for yourself. Governments detest such things. What makes us individuals makes us harder to manage and control.

    Therefore, your proud memories of rebel ancestors have become politically incorrect. Yes, Virginia supported slavery, and Blue and Gray armies fought each other because of slavery. That ugly institution did split the nation. Nevertheless, slavery did not and could not cause Virginians to fight for Virginia.

    What our people forget is that the people who created this nation first loved their states. It was only latter that they learned to love the United States. Thus, Virginians regarded the armies of Blue as invaders, and they fought them.

    God only knows what good it might have done, but I wish both sides had prayed a little more before they went to war….

  2. Amen. Whatever it was can be interpreted. The legacy, my People’s legacy, to me is clear and indisputable in my mind and heart.

  3. I often wonder why my destiny wasn’t different, like so many others. But if my life as it is makes even the slightest difference for the Lord – even if it is to be in generations upon generations to come – then I am truly grateful that this is the destiny God chose for me.

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