General Lee surrendered today

One hundred fifty years ago. Thus this is the last major day of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Which lefty TNR thinks should be celebrated every year from now on. Heretical though that is, I tend to agree. Make it a subtext of Martin Luther King Day.

Nevertheless, while I despised racial and ethnic segregation when I was a teenager in the 1950s and understood it, not conceptually as so many do now, but by seeing it in action every day, and while I have no love at all for the Confederacy or its elites like Lee and his slave-owning, aristo cronies (including some of my own ancestors), I share kinship and deep sympathy with the defeated Rebel junior officers and common soldiers.

So I quite like the sentiment of the following old song which some of them sang after the war, if I do not agree with all of the words. They would understand the over-weaning, over-regulating, over-taxing and endlessly incompetent and corrupt federal government—and predominantly Democrat news media of today. They saw it coming.

Oh, I’m a good old rebel,
Now, that’s just what I am,
And for this Yankee nation,
I do not give a damn.
I’m glad I fought agin ‘er,
I only wish we won.
I ain’t askin’ any pardon for anything I’ve done.
I hate the Yankee nation and everything they do.
I hate the Declaration of Independence, too.
I hate the glorious union, t’is drippin’ with our blood.
I hate the stri-ped banner, and fit it all I could
I rode with Robert E. Lee,
For three years, thereabout.
Got wounded in four places,
And I starved at Point Lookout.
I catched the rheumatism
Acampin’ in the snow.
But I killed a chance of Yankees
And I’d like to kill some more.
Three hundred thousand Yankees
Is stiff in southern dust.
We got three hundred thousand
Before they conquered us
They died of Southern Fever
And Southern steel and shot
I wish there were three million
Instead of what we got.
I can’t pick up my musket
And fight ’em down no more
But I ain’t agonna love ’em
Now that is certain sure
And I don’t want no pardon
For what I was and am
I won’t be reconstructed
And I do not give a damn
Oh, I’m a good old rebel,
Now, that’s just what I am,
And for this Yankee nation,
I do not give a damn.
I’m glad I fought agin ‘er,
I only wish we won.
I aint askin’ any pardon for anything I’ve done.
I aint askin’ any pardon for anything I’ve done.
I went to the 125th surrender commemoration at Appomattox back in 1990. It was stirring, except for the play-acting reenactors whose gotch-gutted bellies and faultlessly-tailored uniforms made it a sham.
I expect the news media will write about the anniversary today and, as they have ever since the first one in 1865, get most of the details wrong.

Via Mouth of the Brazos.

8 responses to “General Lee surrendered today

  1. Sennacherib

    I really like Hoyt Axton’s version.

  2. Sennacherib

    Yes, that’s the one. I seem to recall being chastised mightily here for posting a you tube music link in the past. Has there been a change in policy or bandwidth. Fiddle players are not known to bring down plagues such as Old Testament Prophets were able to, but I take no chances!

  3. I don’t mind anyone providing any links, as above. It’s embedding the YouTube stuff in my pages so I have to look at them that I don’t like. It’s not really a matter of bandwidth, just taste. I like commenters to comment (you, especially, your highness) but not to take over my site with embedded stuff, thank you very much. Link away, as above. Just skip the embedding, please.

  4. Unfortunately this linking vs. embedding is a deep and dark mystery to me. The Amorite priest I had in charge of these sort of things fell off the Ziggurat in mid sacrifice and I haven’t had time for a replacement, so I’ll have to stay with the current program. As I said, I take no chances, 2700 yrs you learn, to this day if someone yells Matzo, I get this nervous twitch.

  5. I don’t remember noticing segregation until Jr. High School when it was stopped, even then didn’t really notice. Just more different people showed up, which didn’t really affect anything. I remember asking my grandmother while at Weingarten’s in Houston what a colored water fountain was for (I envisioned blue water coming out of it.). She replied it was for colored people to drink from. The mystery wasn’t cleared up by that (blue people?). I went to a Movie Theater, as an adult, that I had gone to many times over the years. I went into the balcony and the lights were on and I noticed for the first time there was a wall dividing the balcony and black people were on the other side. As I left, I noticed there was a separate entrance and box office window for them, and it was being used. This was a considerable time after segregation was ended. I don’t remember being offended or outraged, it just was. Not socially conscious, I guess.

  6. Middle-school is the time when kids become more socially aware, as I noticed with Mr. B, who began talking about gays, though I don’t think he realized what it meant. I grew up in the Air Force and started noticing the “Whites Only” signs in store windows in Virginia and, later, in Massachusetts, in middle school, and a “No Coloreds” sign on the entrance to a community swimming pool when we lived in Illinois.

    It’s often portrayed now as strictly a Southern thing, but it was not. By the time I was in college in Maryland in the mid-60s, I had black friends (from a previous Air Force school which was integrated) who were unable to rent off-campus apartments. Some of that was still going on in Austin when I moved here in the late 1970s and the public schools were still only gradually becoming integrated. You may remember the “busing” fight in Boston about that time. The federal anti-segregation law passed in 1964 but it was more than a decade being implemented, longest, perhaps, in the South.

    Nowadays, when our local H.E.B. is full of Koreans, Vietnamese, India Indians, Hispanics and blacks, segregation seems like a quaint idea. A history lesson at best.

  7. Hm… and you asked me once why I am so enamored with many things Southern… there is the spirit, and there are scores of young writers growing up in the South I purely enjoy.