by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
The movie Gettysburg had lots of fiction in it. It was good historical fiction, though I think it leaned a bit too hard on the slavery issue as the cause of the War of Northern Aggression.
But there were also some interesting observations in it. One of them was made by the Englishman, Colonel Arthur Freemantle, who visited the South during the War. In the movie, Freemantle is talking to General Longstreet and commenting on the similarities between North and South, mostly same genealogical background, they worshipped the same God (though at this point that one might be subject to some interpretation) but then Freemantle noted that North and South had “different dreams.” For all their similarities, there were certain things they did not view, had never viewed, quite the same way.
One of those things was their view of government. The South had always viewed the Constitution as a compact between states and not as a document that bound all the states together as one indivisible “union.” As the decades passed, that became the normal view in the North, just like radical theology became one of the norms in the North. The South never accepted this view of the Constitution, nor did it accept the radical theology that may have helped to promote it.
Anyone who has read my material knows I have had problems with the Constitution, but then, the great Christian statesman, Patrick Henry, also had problems with the Constitution, so I guess I am in pretty good company. I have always respected Mr. Henry, both for his Christian faith and for his political acumen. Not many in his day could see the problems he saw. He warned people–to no avail.
Be all that as it may, the Constitution is what we ended up with and the views of it still prevail, even today. In the pre-war South, most Southern folks viewed their home state as their country. This was also noted in Gettysburg when General Kemper stated “Virginia is my country.” When Robert E. Lee resigned from the U.S. Army he did so because he feared Lincoln would invade Virginia and he wanted to defend his home state from that.
I don’t care what the politically correct minions of the Far Left say today. Robert E. Lee and those Southerners who fought to defend their states from Yankee invasion were not traitors. Their understanding of the Constitution required that they defend their home states. They were never cogs in the wheel of an “indivisible Union” that you could never get out of no matter what. Given the fact that some states had secession articles in their ratification documents for the Constitution, this view of the “indivisible” union is heretical. If that was what it really meant, then no state would have signed on to it.
The people that push this anti-secession fertilizer are either totally ignorant of the history or they hope you are. You owe it to yourselves and your children to learn the real history–and it ain’t what you were taught in your high school or college “history” book!
So the North and the South did indeed have “different dreams.” The Southern “dream” was something they felt was in line with the original intent of the Constitution. The Northern “dream” was something they felt was more in line with the Lincolnian vision of empire–“aggressive abroad and despotic at home.”
And let’s be honest with ourselves here. This country is not an “indivisible” nation. Can anyone look at us today and not see the divisions? We are rife with division. Most notably, the political Left is at war with the rest of us and those minions of the Deep State are at war with all of us and using the political Left to destabilize the country as a whole. They are tearing down our flags, monuments, and destroying our history and most of us sit numbly by and watch them do it. And many in Washington love to have it so.
I even read an article just this morning where leftist demonstrators are now smashing stained glass windows and tearing down statues of our Lord, Jesus Christ that they say look “too European.” And where are the Christians? They’re mostly watching it all happen.
We may well get to the point where the Lord will get sick of all this foolishness and end up turning the Leftist’s “dream” for America into a real nightmare!