By Chris Lewis | Cordele Dispatch

(Cordele, GA) Today as never before there is an all-out attack on history. To be honest, I simply do not understand it. People want to rewrite or change history. Monuments are being removed or destroyed and in the classrooms of today children are being taught to hate their heritage and ancestors. Simply put, slavery was wrong; however, today folks want to blame the Confederacy. Slavery started with the indigenous natives in the 1500’s, in the mid 1600s African slaves were brought into the American Colonies. This was done for about 160 years until the States won the Revolutionary War in 1776.

From then until 1861 the Union allowed slavery for another 85 years. The South wrote a new Constitution which had three things different than the US Constitution. One, the President served a six-year term and he could not have a second term. Two, a bill once submitted in their congress could not be amended by anything that is unrelated, thus no “Pork Barrel Deals”. The third, no more importation of slaves. Slavery was on the way out by 1861 with the inventions of the cotton gin and the McCormick reaper.

When the war started in 1861 five states of the North still legalized slavery. The war lasted for four years, so America held slaves for 249 years; but the South held them for only four years. When it comes to slave ships the Dutch, British, Portuguese, French, Spanish, and even the US had slave ships. Not a single slave ship ever flew a Confederate Flag.

Have you ever read the Emancipation Proclamation which Abraham Lincoln issued on January 1, 1863, at the beginning of the third year of the bloody civil war? The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” Look at it real close, the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the states of the Union like Maryland, Kentucky, West Virginia, or Tennessee. Some areas controlled by the Union army in Virginia and Louisiana were exempt, as well. Why would he not free slaves in areas held by the north?

Today, people want to hold the Confederate States responsible for the institution of slavery, this is so wrong. Only 4-6 per cent of the soldiers owned slaves, what were the others fighting for? They were fighting because their country had been invaded. This is not a simple problem, but the Confederate monuments placed across our land was done to honor the many men who gave their lives for their country, not slavery. Some of these men were white, some were black, and others were native Americans.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans will be holding a meeting next Saturday, May 14, in Cordele to organize a camp. Also, a United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter will be organized. For more information call (229) 379-6714. We will also have a Memorial Service Sunday, May 15, at 3pm at the Monument near the Community Club House in Cordele. Everyone is invited.

Jack Cowart

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