Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

[Note: this blog post contains a sensitive and possible offensive issue to some people. Click to read other of the many blogs on this site or click to go elsewhere if expecting political correctness. Thanks for stopping by to visit this website.]

His Words Drove a Nation to Stand and Fight for a Right to Be Free

Patrick Henry, Second Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

“In March of 1775, the Second Virginia Convention met at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia, to discuss the state’s strategy against the British. It was here that Patrick Henry delivered his most famous speech, ending with the quote, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death!’”

https://www.history.com/topics/american-revolution/patrick-henry#section_4

Patrick Henry referred to slavery in his famous speech to unite the movement of men, women, and children to stand and fight for independence from the British. When his peers debated whether to work out peaceful arrangements or to use force against the rule of Great Britian, Patrick Henry spoke words heard today:

“Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? … Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!”

https://www.biography.com/political-figure/patrick-henry

The slavery Patrick Henry mentioned concerned enslavement to the British, as he spoke decades before the enslavement of negroe men, women and children, rightfully become a hot topic in America.

Slavery existed in America during Patrick Henry’s speech:

Slavery in the United States was the legal institution of human chattel enslavement, primarily of Africans and African Americans, that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British America from early colonial days, and was legal in all Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It lasted in about half the states until 1865, when it was prohibited nationally by the Thirteenth Amendment. As an economic system, slavery was largely replaced by sharecropping.

“By the time of the American Revolution (1775–1783), the status of slave had been institutionalized as a racial caste associated with African ancestry.” [footnote omitted]

Slavery in the United States, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_United_States

The photo of Patrick Henry’s statue came from the Town Square of McDonough, Georgia. Fifty yards from where it stands, a memorialized Confederate Soldier stands tall amongst the trees, the McDonough Soldier.

American Civil War Confederate Memorial

McDonough Soldier Stands Tall and Proud in Town Square

The McDonough Soldier has a right to stand in the Town Square, as he is a part of History. Though he may represent an unpleasant part of history, it is history, and that statue represents the relative of someone who fought and died in America’s most gruesome war. He deserves to stand where others deemed appropriate many years ago.

Patrick Henry may have waved the Gadsden Flag during battle, another flag that some have claimed represented racism because the designer, Christopher Gadsden, was a slave trader and owner of slaves. 

Personally, I don’t see the relevance of what the designer of the flag did, as making the flag representative of slavery or racism, no more than I see the Confederate Flag representing racism because racists use it in their rallies.  (Read more on that topic in the excerpt to follow.)

If you want to know about racism, watch the news because race-related issues flood the news channels and flourishes in many cities today, all across the World; it’s not just an issue in America.

Gadsden Flag, designed by “Christopher Gadsden (February 16, 1724 – August 28, 1805) was the principal leader of the South Carolina Patriot movement during the American Revolution and a soldier and politician from South Carolina

An Excerpt from Southern Pride-Waving the Confederate Flag.

CIVIL WAR:  I raise the Confederate Flag in this blog to rebel against all of the politically correct BS in the news about issues surrounding Southern Heritage.  Some politicians want to stop the celebration of the Confederate Memorial holiday, and to remove from state buildings and grounds: Confederate flags, monuments, statues of Confederate heroes, and other remnants of the American Civil War (1861-1865) because some people find those things offensive.  I find it offensive when people lie about history to support their agenda, such lies as the main reason for the Civil War being slavery.

Was it slavery or was it the economic edge Southern plantation owners had over competitors in Cotton markets, due to the slave labor?   Economics.  Was slavery more of an ideology used by the Union to get the poor to fight their battles?  If the Civil War was fought over slavery, wouldn’t President Lincoln have signed the Emancipation of Proclamation to free all slaves before the war began on April 12, 1861, instead of on January 1, 1863?  Weren’t the slaves used by the president to fight off Confederate forces who had proved to be a more formidable force than expected by slaughtering his troops in numerous battles?  Yes, is the most logical answer based upon the facts and history of the rich using the poor to fight their battles.

I find it offensive for politicians to use the Charleston Church Massacres that I wrote about in “Love and Evil Are Color-Blind,” as justification to remove evidence of the bloodiest and most gruesome war fought on American soil.  The war where smaller bands of Southerners held their own against larger troops of Union Soldiers, until the advent of the repeating rifle, which tilted the war in favor of the Northern troops who had more food, guns, ammunition, and other supplies, because of the economic embargoes placed on the South.  The North won the war but never defeated Southern Pride.  The Confederate flag is a reminder of that, rather than slavery, as has been used to manipulate the masses to take down the flag.

Six-hundred thousand Confederate Soldiers fought against 2,213,363 Union Soldiers.*  The southeastern states were the last to fall.  When the war ended with the surrender of the last Confederate troop on May 26, 1865, there were 646,392 Union casualties, with 140,414 of those casualties being battle deaths, compared to the 133,821 Confederate casualties, 75,524 of which were battle deaths.  After their imprisonment for their part in the war, another 26,000-31,000 Confederate personnel died in Union prisons.  With my long history as a prisoner of such forces, I suspect that most of those died due to disease, lack of medical care, mistreatment, and overall poor living conditions.

REBELS WITH A CAUSE:  Rebels, those Confederate Southern Soldiers were called, the proud label worn by those who refused to conform to ways established by a government not of their choosing.  Rebels, a  part of Southern history and Southern Pride for those who died fighting for a cause; not because of slavery or why the politicians decided to fight the Civil War.  It was about fighting to keep what was theirs, fighting those damned Yankees who come down to take their land, who raped their women, murdered their children, and burned their homes in the name of Justice–the same as had been done to Native Americans by several Union troops.

Most Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War never owned a slave and most likely never knew why they had to go out and fight, other than to defend their land and heritage.  Firing a gun, running through the woods, and working hard to survive came more natural to the Southern man who grew up hunting and fishing to survive, than it did to the Union troops. You can believe that when Union forces heard the rebel yell and saw those southern soldiers waving the Confederate Flag and charging like bulls, that it made adrenaline and cortisol levels soar, instilling fear in everyone’s heart before the battle began with a brutality not known to the men and boys who stood fighting for their lives.  Early into battle, Union troops learned to retreat or die when overran by Confederates who fought with a passion to defend their land against the invaders.

Read the complete blog at https://straightfromthepen.com/2015/07/06/southern-pride-waving-a-confederate-flag/

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