Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | January 17, 2014

Lee-Jackson Day 2014: No Lost Cause

Lee and Jackson were loyal to the 1787 Constitution and its voluntary union of Sovereign States

Lee and Jackson were loyal to the 1787 Constitution and its voluntary union of Sovereign States

Happy Lee-Jackson Day 2014.   Celebrating it may seem like a lost cause.  Like the old Lost Cause.   Not so.  As long as there is a remnant of root, there will be buds, branches and flowers – if the root is strong and good.

What Lee and Jackson fought for is strong and good – and, obviously, that doesn’t mean the sin of slavery.   And, it isn’t the old Lost Cause.  The Lost Cause of the Antebellum South is dearly beloved by Liberals of every stripe because it gives them something to hate and an eternal tar baby for all things Confederate and Southern.  The Lost Cause died with those of the generations that created it and wanted to believe it.

Unfortunately, one of the unspoken pleasant agreements about “The Recent Unpleasantness” died too.  The South would shut up about Northern outrages and war crimes and the North would shut up when Southerners talked about Southern valor.   Such politeness is gone with the wind.

The shrillness, threatening, and name-calling bluster of anti-Confederate and anti-Southern rhetoric is inversely proportional to the threat the speaker fears from Southern manhood.   The men who actually fought the Confederates and soundly, decisively defeated the South never spoke in such demeaning language.  Even the Northern heroes – Grant, Sherman, Chamberlain – spoke with great respect, reverently, about Confederate soldiers.   No one who fought Confederate infantry mocked them.

But, the war, despite such courage and leadership was a lost cause.   Many Southerners didn’t think it was so until after Lincoln’s re-election in November 1864.  Certainly not the soldiers of the Army of Northern Virginia who fought non-stop in the late Summer and Fall of 1864 – in a preview of the future World Wars – who caused Grant more casualties than Lee had in his entire Army.   Such great numbers of Yankees – the principle of war ‘Mass’ – had a quality all their own.

Even in the last months of the war, Confederates would win a sharp tactical fight – jumping from the trenches to make a Union regiment throw down their arms near Petersburg or sharply holding up the advance through North Carolina.   Yet, there was no way the Confederate soldiers could cash their courage into victory.

Their only victory was the legacy of courage, fidelity and honor they taught their sons and daughters.   That legacy is alive today.   It isn’t just the legacy for the sons and daughters of Confederate veterans.  It is part of the culture of the South.  It includes persons of all races and origins who hold true to the same ideas.   Southern can be a choice – as it was for many Northern and foreign-born soldiers who fought for the South.

Those Southern ideas – embedded in the Scots-Irish culture that dominates most of the South – are Family, Faith and Freedom.  The South gives family, faith and freedom a place to be.

Family, Faith for Christians and Jews, and Freedom isn’t a lost cause.   The Constitution of 1787 isn’t a lost cause.

Happy Lee-Jackson Day to our heroes, their ascending ideas and a great cause.

Men of valor

Men of valor


And for your reading pleasure – some past writing…







  1. I too always celebrate this holiday as well as Lees birthday Sunday and Jackson’s on Tuesday.

    Interesting photo with two prominent black veterans. -RCR


  2. Hooah to my Semper Fi buddy. Best to you for sharing the best of our past to your future and our great hope.

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