All of us have family stories that have been passed down through the generations. Many of these tales contain half-truths but they are packed full of life lessons. These stories tell us about another time, a time when being a white Southerner was worn as a badge of honor. A time when a man could be a man and could stand up for what was right. A gentleman could speak his mind without having to hide behind an anonymous sock account on Facebook to protect his family and livelihood. All of us long to live in a society like our grandparents.
This is a little known historical event that I’ve always found incredibly interesting.
Some context: In 1798, there was a massive rebellion in Ireland led by an organization called the “United Irishmen.” Over 50,000 people were involved in the uprising, which was brutally crushed with tens of thousands killed in the aftermath.
Welcome to the first edition of “This Week in Southern History.”
1861: A Confederate army under Pierre Beauregard defeated Union troops under Irvin McDowell at the Battle of Manassas (referred to as “The Battle of Bull Run” up north).
The battle was the first major engagement of the War Between the States, and tested the mettle of many famous units that would gain fame and renown throughout the war. Likewise, the actions of General Thomas Jackson during the battle lent him the nickname “Stonewall” – which referred to his stubborn defense of Henry House Hill.
Looking back on my childhood, I remember the names of men put forth as men that were worthy of looking up to. I remember the story of how Lincoln freed the blacks and how Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act and was told that these men were heroes for their heroic deeds. Upon further examination though, it is not these men that are heroes, it is the men who stood against them that are the real heroes. Men who stood up against the tide of, not only federal overreach, but the breach in contract with the laws of nature – blacks are lesser thans and, if anything, should be subjugated. When opposition to the “muh Civil Rights” movement comes to mind, one can think of none other than Bull Connor.