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Confederates weren’t traitors

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Patrick Henry commented, “Who had the effrontery to insert the opening phrase ‘We the People’ instead of ‘We the States’?” as the new U.S. government was being created.

He also warned that we would lose our other rights such as “the right of conscience, liberty of press, all our communities and franchises, all pretensions to human rights and privileges are rendered insecure.” He was already predicting that states’ rights would be destroyed under a new “consolidated” government before the War of Northern Aggression even began, as they continue to crumble today.

Most Confederate soldiers were the descendants of Revolutionary patriots, so to them the new “consolidated” government and its constitution were very important. Southerners and their families fought for those rights written down in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Those were rules not to be broken.

I am tired of people calling our Confederate ancestors traitors. They were not! None was ever tried for treason. Not even our president, Jefferson Davis. As the North continued with its “Reconstruction” plan for the South after the war, the economy was terrible. That is why no statues or monuments were erected at this time. The South didn’t have the money.

Confederate monuments are not monuments to white supremacy. Confederate monuments were not erected to intimidate anyone. They were erected for the grieving family members to have a place to grieve and they put them where everyone in the town could have access to them and see them on a regular basis so as not to forget.

They could only be erected after the turn of the century due to monetary issues, and, in fact, many of them were actually made and sculpted in the North.

I should not even have to write this letter asking my government to keep a historical statue of my people. This is history and heritage. What happened in the past will still be there. We have many more pressing issues than spending money moving a statue that does nothing but represent the men and boys who left home fighting for what they believed.

I will always support the Sons of the Confederacy, the Daughters of the Confederacy, the military tactics of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, the wisdom of Robert E. Lee, the gallant J.E.B. Stuart, the mysterious John Mosby and the tenacity of Turner Ashby.

I will also always support all the men and boys that rode or marched with the Confederate armies. And yes, I do know my family were Confederate cavalry and they didn’t own any slaves.

Katharine Owens

Smithfield