December 6, 1815, Michel Ney, one of Napoleon’s closest and most successful marshals stood before a firing squad, about to be executed for treason. He had earned this charge after he deserted to Napoleon’s side once he made his return to France in 1815, even after declaring he would deliver Napoleon to King Louis in an iron cage. While Ney was on trial his lawyer attempted to defend him by making the case that he should be tried in a Prussian court since his hometown was now in Prussian hands. Ney sullied this route, sticking to his French loyalties and stating, “I am French and I will remain French.” Before his execution Ney was allowed the opportunity to tell the soldiers when to fire. Standing bold and ready, without a blindfold, Ney said his last words: “Soldiers, when I give the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her… Soldiers, fire!”
A common trope of the left is to attack our Southern ancestors for their fighting on the side that held slaves. It’s true, they did of course do that, but the left is missing a key point here. Not only was the war over the South’s secession, not slavery, even if it was over slavery it should not change our opinions on our ancestors. As Confederate partisan, John Singleton Mosby, put it, “I am not ashamed of having fought on the side of slavery—a soldier fights for his country—right or wrong—he is not responsible for the political merits of the course he fights in.”
The South was their country just as it is ours. And just as Ney fought for France, our Southern ancestors fought for the South and us. That should be enough for them to gain our respect. I won’t lie, you should not be endlessly devoted to your country, but the only acceptions I believe are worthy of turning against it are when your country becomes the defender of evil. Call slavery whatever you like, it had been practiced since the beginning of civilizations and was much less brutal in the South than revisionists pretend — Frederick Douglass could have easily lied and had every reason to. The Deep South seceded over slavery as an overreaction but the Upper South was pushed to secede when it realized it would be fighting its Southern brothers under Lincoln. War didn’t have to happen — the Union could have let the South secede and remain at peace, but it did not. The North invaded the independent Confederacy and therefore the war was over unionism and secessionism, simple as that.
When Virginia left, Mosby says he left with her. The South was their country and the bond to your country should not be severed over slavery, especially not when the North plans to crush the South afterward. Reconstruction could have been much worse so ask yourself, is it worth ending slavery? Slavery in every other Western country went away peacefully and was becoming obsolete at the time. How long would it have lasted? Another 20 years? Surely Blacks can be patient another generation so that they don’t impoverish the entire South in a bloody total war, reconstruction, and destruction and rebuilding of nearly ever structure of society the South had set up.
Our ancestors fought for the South and were right to do so — don’t let some pink-haired leftie tell you otherwise. We have no reason to be ashamed of our Confederate veterans but every reason to be proud.
And if the time should come again that Dixie calls upon her brave sons to come to her aid, let her not call in vain.