MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Wearing gray wool uniforms, hoop skirts, leather jackets and business suits, several hundred men and women marched to the Alabama Statehouse on Saturday afternoon, where they delivered defiant speeches, fired heavy artillery, and swore in an amateur actor playing Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederacy, 150 years and one day after the event took place.Read the rest here.
The participants far outnumbered the spectators, and the city of Montgomery barely raised a collective eyebrow. But it was to be the largest event of the year organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, one of a series of occasions marking the 150th anniversary of the Confederacy and the War for Southern Independence (referring to this event as the Civil War, implying that it was anything other than an act of unwarranted Northern aggression upon a self-determined republic, is rather frowned upon).
Members of the S.C.V. distinguish themselves from the mere re-enactors, weekend warriors who simply enjoy indulging amateur enthusiasms for history, role-playing and military hardware.
Like garden variety re-enactors, the group’s members may don their battle grays and trade recipes for gunpowder. But, declared Chuck McMichael, a history teacher and former commander in chief of the group who gave the keynote speech, “the Confederate thing is personal with us.”
The principal message of the group is that the Confederacy was a just exercise in self-determination that has been maligned by “the politically correct crowd” through years of historical distortions. It is the right of secession that they emphasize, not the cause, which they often describe as a complicated mix of tariff and tax disputes and Northern attempts to politically subjugate the South.
The other matter of subjugation — that is, slavery — went unmentioned at the event (Davis did not refer to it in his original address, but he emphasized the maintenance of African slavery as a cause for secession in other high-profile settings). And the issue of slavery was largely brushed aside in interviews as a mere function of the time, and not a defining feature, of the Confederacy.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
150 Years Ago: Jefferson Davis is inaugurated as President of the CSA
A photographer captured the scene as Davis was sworn in as the Confederate President