Of Malice, Charity And The Confederate Battle Flag

We used to think that the 19th Century had seen out the enmity of the Civil War. There had been a “farewell to the bloody shirt” associated with the end of Reconstruction. This, it must be added, entailed the abandonment of the freed slaves to an impaired citizenship, and the problem of race would persist at least through the civil rights movement of the 20th Century. But animosity over the act of secession itself and the war that followed surely had dissipated even before the Gettysburg semi-centennial of 1913, when the aging veterans of both sides met on the battlefield and embraced. In Profiles in Courage, President Kennedy recounts how the reconciliation was ushered in by such figures as Mississippi’s Lucius  Lamar, who eulogized abolitionist and radical Republican Charles Sumner in the 1870s, pleading that North and South “lay aside the concealments which serve only to perpetuate misunderstanding and distrust, and frankly confess that on both sides we...(Read Full Article)

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