Originally created 07/29/01

Correcting some mistaken notions about the South



In his July 23 letter, Victor Reilly wonders if "flag wavers yearn for the way things were in the 1860s South," my answer is yes.

Some things from that time are sorely missed today: Being able to sleep at night without a dozen dead bolts on our doors, being able to go to town any time of the day or night without fearing for your life, not worrying about drive-by shootings, or drugs. Get my drift?

As for his statistics saying nearly half of the white families in the South owned slaves, I'd like to see where he gets his research. Less than 9 percent of Southerners, black and white, owned slaves. The largest owner of slaves in Charleston, S.C., was a black man, so it is not a "white" thing.

People talk about slavery in the South but never bring up the fact there were slaves in the North. In fact, they had just about as many in the North as in the South.

When the "great emancipator" freed the slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation, he didn't actually free any slaves at all. Read it and show me where that is stated. He was in a foreign country and had no power here, plus there was no mention of freeing Northern slaves.

The reason I'm a "flag waver" is that I'm proud of my ancestors who fought an invading army that was well supplied, were outnumbered almost 10-to-1, and were able to do so for over four years. Talk about Southern tenacity.

The flag I wave is the flag of the farmers in the trenches fighting for their homes and families. I can't help that hate groups have bastardized my ancestors' flag. I am trying to correct that wrong.

Walker B. McWee, Augusta