History,  Stateside

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

William Faulkner wrote that. And as a Southerner (the chronicler of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi), he knew whereof he wrote.

The New York Times reports on the goings-on in my little town of Lexington in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The largely-liberal town itself (as opposed to the region) isn’t all that divided on the matter of Confederate flags, however.

I arrived back in town from the Arizona desert late Friday night and missed the MLK march on Saturday morning, but my sister, her husband and their daughter participated.

I only wish the Confederate nostalgists understood the extent to which the Civil War on the Southern side was, as people even then were saying, “A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.”

Anti-secession and anti-Confederate sentiment among poorer non-slaveowning whites in the South was widespread and intense. In fact half a million white Southerners fought for the Union. (See Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War by David Williams.)