Heritage of Hate: Confederate Memorial Plaza, Anderson, Texas 0108111521
Something really sad about seeing this flag, this disgusting rag, this vile shameful symbol of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and racism, flying, perpetually.
One of the plaques at the plaza reads:
BATTLE FLAG OF THE FOURTH TEXAS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
(Replica WIGFALL flag flown at this site perpetually)
Made by Miss Lula Wigfall in November of 1861 and presented to Colonel John Bell Hood in Virginia by her Father General Louis T. Wigfall with her request that it be presented to the Fourth Regiment Texas Volunteer Infantry. The thirteen stars and white trim were made from her mother's weeding gown. Inscribed on the brass finale [sic] of the flagstaff was this motto: "Fear not for I am with you. Say to the North give up, and to the South keep not back".
Through the battles of Ethan's Landing, Seven Pines, Gains' Mill, Freeman's Ford, Second Manassas, Boonsboro Gap, and Sharpsburg this banner waved proudly and victoriously. Nine color bearers fell in battle carrying it. It was at the battle of Second Manassas that the finale [sic] was struck by a minie' ball. Pierced by 65 bullets and 3 shells this historic silken standard was retired on October 7, 1862. It was returned to Texas by Captain S. H. Darden and presented to Governor Lubbock and deposited in the state archives. In 1865 the day before federal troops reached Austin, two men from the 4th, home at the time retrieved this flag from the Capitol. The sacred banner was wrapped in oilcloth and buried on the banks of Barton Creek near Austin. In June of 1871 veterans of Company "B" 4th. Texas Volunteer Infantry resurrected it. The banner became the property of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and was recently conserved.
NOTE: The thirteen stars appearing in the St. Andrew's cross of the Confederate battle flag were of the same size. Each star represented one of the 13 states of the Confederacy. Naturally, Miss Wigfall felt the Texas star was more important and gave it the lasrger center star.
In 1861 far removed from the places that were soon to become the great killing fields of the War Between the States, yet united in spirit with their compatriots, 1700 Grimes County men left home and family to answer to their new nation's call to duty. Not all troops were sent to other states. Older men and boys were mustered into "Home Guard" and "State Troop" units. These men were mustered for six months service, then rotated with other men. They provided vital "home front" service, doing escort, POW guard duty, and maintained military order. These units were called "Beats".
After a 907 to 9 vote-favoring secession Grimes County raised five companies of cavalry and four companies of infantry for the new Confederate States of America. Men of these units covered themselves with dignity, honor and bravery in bloody fighting at Sharpsburg, Chicamauga, Pea Ridge, Vicksburg, Shiloh, Galveston, The Wilderness, Gettysburg, and many others.
Many of these units took their oath of allegiance to Grimes County and the State of Texas in organizational ceremonies held at this site.
More Grimes County men perished in the War Between the States than all other conflicts in which this country has been involved.
One hundred six young men of Grimes County went to Virginia in the ranks of the Grimes County Greys, Company "G" 4th Texas Infantry. Only twenty four were present at Appomattox VA. at General Robert E. Lee's surrender on April 9, 1865.
Grimes County Units that served the Confederate States of America.
Co. G, 4th. TX Vol. Inf. Co. C, 5th. TX Cav.
Co. A 10th. TX Vol. Inf. Co. H, 21st. TX Cav.
Co. D, 12th. TX Vol Inf. Co. H, 26th. TX Cav.
Co. I, 20th. TX Vol. Inf. Co. I, 26th. TX Cav.
Co. B, Madison's Regiment, Texas Cavalry.
This statue is a reminder of the hardships and suffering endured by Southern men who in 1861-1865 answered their states' calls, marched to distant fields, endured deprvation, fought against overwhelming odds, winning the admiration of the world for valor, dertemination [sic], and sacrifice.
The Confederate soldier who gave everything defending his home and fledgling nation was not the rich landowner of fiction and film. They came from every walk of life and was [sic] self-reliant and independent. As soldiers they developed an unusual loyalty to cause and comrades. Most were devout Christians.
Exposure and lack of food make them more susceptible to disease. Meat was scarce; fruits and vegetables were had only in season. Beans, and peas, along with hardtack and cornbread were the mainstays of their diet. They were ill equipped and paid infrequently. They wore coarse homespun jackets and trousers made by their mothers, wives, and sisters. Clothes were patched and re-patched. When shoes wore out they marched and fought barefoot; blood from bleeding feet marked the line of march over frozen ground. They were soldiers! When an observer noted the tattered clothing on the backs of his Texas troops, General Robert E. Lee responded, "Their ragged clothes make no difference. The enemy nevr sees their backs".
One in four of these brave men died from wounds and disease. Medicines were scarce. Much of the time nothing was available to relieve the suffering fro wounds and amputations.
When it was aver, tattered and starved, they walked home. Some died by the side of the road and are buried in unmarked graves.
These soldiers fought for the constitutionally guaranteed rights of each state to self-governement. This statue was erected in April 2001 in honor of these brave men - the soldiers of the Confederacy.
But, let's try to set the revisionist history aside. Whatever those "brave men" (and some of my ancestors served the Confederacy) may have felt they were fighting for, the only right of each state that Texas and other secessionist states were really concerned about, the cause of all of that death and destruction and suffering, was slavery.
So how, now that we have entered the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, can we discuss the Confederacy, how can we memorialize it, without remembering the evil institution at the heart and soul of the Confederacy and the antebellum south?
How is it that, at this site, and at Confederate memorials throughout the south, absolutely no mention is made of slavery?
In all fairness, though, let’s let the aspiring Texas Confederates of the time, at the Secession Convention of Texas, address the states’ right they were so concerned with, and in their own words:
A declaration of the causes
which impel the State of Texas to secede
from the Federal Union
The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A. D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal States thereof,
The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.
Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated States to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquillity and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery--the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits--a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretenses and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slave-holding States.
By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.
The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refused reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.
These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of administration.
When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.
The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions--a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.
In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon the unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of the equality of all men, irrespective of race or color--a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of the Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and the negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.
By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.
They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a "higher law" than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.
They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.
They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offences, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.
They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.
They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.
They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.
They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.
And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.
In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.
We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States. By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.
For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons - We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freeman of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.
Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.