khbynum wrote:In the lithograph above, that looks like Meade standing next to Grant, but he wasn't actually present at the surrender, was he?
I believe Meade was still back at Farmville or Burkeville during the signing.
khbynum wrote:Captain_Orso, believe it or not, most of us down here do not have a rectangular Confederate battle flag on the front bumper of our pickup trucks. Actually, I was going to put out the Stars and Stripes (it's the only flag I own) this morning to honor the day, but it's raining here.
I have no illusions that every, nor even a majority, of the citizens of the states which once belonged to the Confederacy actually even poses a Confederate flag. It is however far from unusual and greatly accepted to be displayed from flag poles to t-shirts, from bumper-stickers to bar mirrors. Those accepting its display are far more vocal than any who might appose it; at least from my experience.
In part, I can understand this. The stigma of 'loosing the war' was, and I believe, still is, born from the common man's love of his home. I also believe the CW for the man in the South was a 'rich man's war and a poor man's fight'. The seeds of the CW were sown not in the Constitution not abolishing slavery, but in why
, at a time in which the institution of slavery did not have the importance into which it grew over the following decades, the Southern states refused to have such a clause included in the Constitution.
To understand that one must look at who the people of the colonies were and why they choose to which colony to emigrate. The charters of the colonies were very different from each other.
In the north, especially in colonies such as Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts, the charters were constructed to attract simple folk. They would be indentured for a period of from 5 to seven years, after which they would gain not only their full freedom, but a payment, a parcel of land on which they could start a new life and they were then legally equal to every other free citizen of the colony.
The southern colony's charters were written to favor men of low royal standings in England; second and subsequent sons of lower royalty who could never expect to inherit any great amount of land nor power nor influence and thus has little to expect from their lives beyond being little more than a simple land-lord with a 'small' patch of green. But with the little wealth they had they could purchase great tracts of land in the southern colonies and become like royalty in the New World. With their heritage they brought a sense of entitlement and heir.
One anecdote I heard was of how this was lived was a story of such a former 'aristocrat' in Williamsburg who was inadvertently called 'captain' by a commoner who did not know him. He felt so insulted by this title, believing that social standing entitled him to nothing less than the equivalence of the rank of colonel, that he immediately insisted on dueling with the commoner who had slighted him from whom he would accept no apology. The commoner, who had no weapon with which to defend himself, was slain by sword-point on the spot and the 'colonel' then went about his business unhindered by local authorities.
It is this sense of entitlement, I believe, which was the greatest source conflict between the people of the northern and southern states. With growing industrialization, wealth and political influence in the northern states, the southern states saw their power and influence ever dwindling, and this vis-a-vis a band of immigrants working factories in the north; an intolerable affront to southern aristocracy.
The common southern man did not think of defending this shifting situation when the wealthy of the southern states pressed for secession; but to defend their homes, they were very willing. This is the greatest tragedy of the war.