05 September 2011

Honor , The Civil War, & Its Lessons


One of my most anticipated subscriptions is North South Trader's Civil War magazine. I absolutely love it! It always features great articles about WBTS relics and metal detecting, as well as a good balance on general topics surrounding the war - without the plague of political correctness we often see in many other CW publications. It is a quality and well-respected publication; published right here in Old Virginia. The Publisher's Forum of the magazine features publisher and editor Stephen Sylvia's views on various issues surrounding the study of the Civil War. I always find his views and comments thought provoking. His latest is no exception. Here's an excerpt:

Anyone who believes the war was fought only over money, the inhumanity of human bondage, or the complexities of state vs. federal rights, misses a crucial ingredient. Regardless of the causes of the war, the men who shouldered the burden of war did so, largely, for honor. Honor strikes a primal chord in men's hearts and honor was such a defining element of the war that it continues to strike a primal chord in people around the world a century and a half later . . . We are confronted today with serious problems that seem overwhelming in their scope and complexity, but the solutions have already been written in the blood of our ancestors. We just need to look back to see them.

Since honor is so lacking in our modern culture, it is often misunderstood and overlooked by professional historians. As I once heard James Robertson point out, "Robert E. Lee never existed [in the minds of some] because we don't have a Robert E. Lee today."

It is impossible to understand the WBTS without understanding the concept of honor. It is even less likely one will be able to understand the WBTS without an appreciation for the concept of honor.

2 comments:

Douglas Hill said...

Perhaps appropriate to this posting and coming from the very same issue of the same magazine was this: "Lee's great biographer Douglas Southall Freeman said of the perceived idolatry of Lee, 'We Virginians do not go to the storied shrines of the past to do worship but rather to gain inspiration.' "

As a Floridian by birth I think all true Southerners need to gain from this same inspiration, or risk succumbing to a wicked world system and the lies of the politically correct.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Doug - yes, I remember reading that quote in this issue. Freeman understood like few do today.