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Confederate Memorial Day in Whiteville

READ MORE: Confederate Memorial Day in Whiteville
The courthouse came alive in Whiteville Saturday morning for a ceremony that was geared toward the recognition of Confederate veterans. "Our biggest goal today is making sure citizens and residents of Columbus County know about their heritage and that includes their Confederate heritage. I have ancestors that fought and like being able to portray them. On top of that it's just awesome to be able to experience a part of our history," said Michael Graham. Please click on "video" for complete essay.

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Confederate Memorial Day Celebration in Columbus County, NC

Last Saturday, I attended the “Sons of Confederate Veterans” Confederate Memorial Day celebration, in Whiteville, NC, as I do every year, and, as I have done for several years, I presented a few remarks concerning the Confederate Soldier. As this was a celebration of the southern warrior, I spoke on the attributes of the Confederate soldier… who he was, what he was like, what he did, what he felt, why he did what he did, and why he felt he MUST do what he did, and so on and so forth. When one studies the Confederate soldier, one quickly comes to understand that there has never been, before or after, the American “War Between the States”, a warrior quite like that “Southern Knight”. It is impossible to overlook the fact that 800,000 badly equipped, badly clothed, badly fed, (but wonderfully led) Confederate soldiers managed to hold,at bay, 2-1/2 million federal troops of the US military for four of the longest, bloodiest, years in American history. They were masterful at the art of war. As I read some of the comments here posted, it struck me that it is absolutely shameful that political correctness has driven its talons so deeply into the American consciousness that to speak of the Confederate soldier in any way other than a defender of slavery is totally unacceptable. Modern day ancestors of the Confederate soldier are taught that their great, great, great, great grandfathers were traitors! Nothing could be farther from the truth! The Confederate soldier was a citizen of another country. He was a citizen of the Confederate States of America, not the United States of America. One cannot betray a country of which one is not a citizen. Plus, there is this fact: Something like 97% of the soldiers of the Confederacy owned NO slaves. Common sense says men do not put their lives on the line, in a war, to preserve another man’s right to hold another human being in bondage! As to the accusation that the Sons of Confederate Veterans are ignorant, I find this so far from the truth as to be laughable. Many, if not most, of the attendees at Saturday’s gathering have college degrees. In our camp, alone, we have doctors, lawyers, teachers, broadcasters, newspapermen, former representatives to the North Carolina General Assembly, and so forth. As I spoke to the gathering in one of our oldest, and most beautiful, cemeteries last Saturday, an article I had recently read persistently nagged at me. It was an article by Paul Gottfried entitled: “ On Loving To Hate The South.” Referring to my cohorts in the “Sons of Confederate Veterans” Mr. Gottfried said: “You may take pride in those whom you honor as your linear ancestors but equally in the anger of those who would begrudge you the right to honor them. What your critics find inexcusable is that you are celebrating your people’s past, which was a profoundly conservative one based on family and community, and those who created and defended it. For your conspicuous indiscretions, I salute you; and I trust that generations to come will take note of your willingness to defy the spirit of what is both a cowardly and tyrannical age.” Mr. Gottfried nailed it! Mr. Gottfried had said earlier in his article that we “Southern traditionalists are still celebrating a pre-bourgeois, agrarian, and communally structured world. It appealed to hierarchy, place, and family; and its members displayed no special interest in reaching out to alien cultures. Such ideals and attitudes and the landed, manorial society out of which they came, point back to a nineteenth century conservative configuration.” It is here we find the root cause of the virulent hatred for the ensign of the South, the Confederate Battle Flag, and for the hatred of the people of the South, like us, who insist on maintaining our unyielding determination to hold on to the conservative values of our Southern ancestors. Last Saturday, in that ole cemetery (near the monument to the nearly 1200 Columbus County Confederate Soldiers) we all stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag, and then the NC state flag, and to the Confederate flag. I saw no contradiction. You see, it was a gathering of people who love and honor their country, the USA, just as their Southern ancestors loved and honored THEIR country, the Confederate States of America. We were remembering THEM and honoring THEM and the commonality of our conservative/southern philosophy which is STILL alive and well in their off-spring today. And it was a celebration of our heritage. For the same blood that flowed in the veins of the renown Confederate Soldier still flows in our veins today. As Sons of Confederate Veterans, we have taken an oath to not allow the memory of the Confederate Soldier to die. We intend to honor that oath. The most difficult task we have today, in venerating the Confederate soldier, is attempting to cut through the hatred of all things Southern. The most frustrating of all is the self-hating southerner whose hatred is based on untruths easily proven wrong by a few hours of research at the local library. But we will continue our honorable task because we are devoted to cleansing the memory of our Confederate ancestors. Why, because they are our families. And, because it is the right thing, the honorable thing, to do. Bill Ghent Lt. Cmdr NCSCV, Camp 794 “The Columbus County Volunteers”

Well said

Well said. I salute you sir. You make me proud to be a Southerner and an American.

confederate memorial

I just want to say i attended this event and thought it was wonderful to see everyone there so interested in our history. I believe our children benefit from the knowledge of our past and pray that we continue to encourage more events like this one for all to enjoy and remember. GOD bless us all.

Giving support!!!!!

To the guys of the 20th NC Regiment.. You guys are a inspiration to all. I truly admire you for doing what you do! I know that the guys from our history would feel very proud and honored for your dedication and honoring them back! God bless each one of you!!!! Thanks

New Hanover Celebrations of Confederate Memorial Day

New Hanover host two Confederate Memorial Day services each year. On at the Confederate Mound in Oakdale Cemetery and one at Fort Fisher.


My son has asked how he would go about joining the New Hanover ranks. He would be very honored to do so.


I live in New Hanover, but WOW am I sorry I missed this event! God bless these gentlemen for their efforts! I do hope I can attend their next function.

When I was in school in

When I was in school in Concord, NC, we made a yearly trek to a Confederate monument at the Concord Court House. All the kids brought a handful of flowers and they were placed around the monument. I had not thought about it in years, guessing it was a lost tradition. I am glad to see that Whiteville still honors the Confererate Veterans. Whether you support the Civil War or not, all who fought believed in it and deserve our respect. A yearly program to honor them is certainly in good taste.

All who fought believed in it?

All who fought believed in it? Did you ever hear of the home guard? At the time of the civil war, most of the south was poor and illiterate. The rich families that orchestrated that war in order to keep there slave labor understood that fact. They knew that those poor un-educated men would fight for their cause even though it was against their economic best interest. My family lost 34 young men in that engagement and that is just from my mother's side. I know very little of my father's family as he was orphaned at 12, but he was born in Alabama so I'm sure there were causalities there as well. Isn't it time to see that war for what it was and quit glorifying it as some noble cause. I do realize that is part of our history, and by our, I mean all of America, but isn't it about time to call it what it was .... and that was a few hundred rich families trying to set-up an aristocratic form of government that would have left the common people of the south even poorer than they were, while also creating an indentured servant situation for them. We should also remember that ceremonies like these are a slap in the face of our fellow African American citizens. I have, however noticed that most of the people that still flag the confederate flag and attend these kind of things are usually in the same lower economical and un-educated class of people that got duped into fighting that war. I have lived in the south all my life and I thank God those northern armies came down here and crushed that rebellion. God Bless The United States Of America!

Glorification of War

I agree. My great great grandfathers fought in that war and my great aunt who is 93 quoted one of them saying that he wished that he had never fought in that war and given the chance again would not. Anyone who tends to immortalize some of our southern congressman at that time shoud look closely at how they managed to destroy our ancestors' livelihoods, kill off our relatives, and leave us in disrepair for many years to come. I am thankful to be southern, but not for that war, no siree.

What about honoring the

What about honoring the Northerners too? They were the ones that won.

I'm sure

I'm sure they have their own parades and memorial services up there. Good men died on both sides. I believe they should all be honored. They fought and died for what they believed was right at the time.

Actually up north the

Actually up north the celebrations were never about the north, but about the country as a whole, like the Revolutionary War, Memorial Day, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and Patriot Day (9/11). Far as I know there was never a "union victory" day or even a "Victory at Gettysburg Day" because it was a sad war for our country overall. They do have re-enactments, though.