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Top blue bar image The Map Group
A student-led group project from HIST 246

Blog Post 12

This week I have been gathering all relevant geodata through the use of a Garman GPSmap 60Sx hand held unit. This allows us to get the exact location of the relevant site within less than 6ft, under ideal locations. I will continue to gather this information until we have a complete profile of Dick Dowling’s legacy in Houston. I intend to go to the ARCHgis software next and impute all of my data and begin building the base of the map.
It is part of human nature to remember the past and celebrate the people who came before you. By ignoring the past you are ignoring yourself, I think that it is essential for us to remember the Civil War for what we believe it was about. I find it hard to believe that there will ever be a clear consensus about what the Civil War, or War Between the States, means to each and every person, Northerner and Southerner. Horwitz poses an interesting question in asking: “[is there] any way for white Southerners to honor their [Confederate] forebears without insulting” [black Southerners?]”
To answer this I think that it is necessary to examine how Southerners perceive the War Between the States. Like it or not many believe that the War Between the States was not just fought over slavery, but for a magnitude of wide sweeping reasons. To make the claim that the Civil War was simply about slavery alienates many people from the South. Southerners have a strong heritage, and are taught about their histories from such a young age. This is seen on page 36 of Howitz’s essay when he discusses the “Children of the Confederacy,” where southern children are taught about their legacy in the Civil War.
A common theme through this essay is how each Southerner remembers the Civil War, or the War Between the States as they call it. When Horwitz asked Sue about remembering the Civil War she replied “The answer is family…Northerners say ‘Forget the War, it’s over.’ But they don’t have the family Bibles we do, filled with all these Kinfolk who went to war and died. We’ve lost so much.” (p. 26) Others motivations for supporting the memory of the Confederacy are expressed on Page 35 where Howitz deals with the mystery held by the Civil War stating, “The present… holds no mystery… the past does.” (P 35) Other men such as Hawkins state that they celebrate the legacy of the Civil War because “it brings people together, like the War did.” (P29)
It is a common theme that Southerners are remembering the war for the right reasons, not the bad. Why should we stand in the way of this? No one interviewed for Horwitz’s book expressed a need to celebrate the institution of slavery. Southerners as a whole do not believe the war was solely about slavery, and as a result do not celebrate slavery today. If Southerners today celebrate the good of the war, why should any one take offence? Blacks today should not be at odds with the celebration of the ideals of heritage, unity, duty, honor or courage. This is what we must celebrate when we remember the War Between the States. Celebrate the men who fought and died for us because they did so for their families, and their states. Remember the heroic actions and good of these Soldiers, do not condemn or forget them because of the evils of the institution of Southern Slavery.

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