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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/1/14

The Civil War never ended. The neo-Confederate tea party fights on

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Message Daily Kos

Reprinted from by Denise Oliver Velez

Questioning the Confederate flag at a Baton Rouge tea party gathering
I learned about the Civil War in school, and at home. I knew I was the great-granddaughter of enslaved people freed by the war. My great-grand-uncle Dennis Weaver (black), was a former slave, freed by early emancipation in Washington, D.C., in 1862, who enlisted immediately in Company D, 1st Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT). My great-great-grandfather, James Bratt (white), was opposed to slavery and fought for the Union in the 6th Light Artillery Regiment, Wisconsin. I also know, through researching my family history, that I am descended from slave holders.

As a young person, I learned "Lincoln freed the slaves," and that the Civil War ended when Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant in 1865. It boiled down to "the North won, the southern slaveholders lost." Most of the history of what happened after the end of the war was skipped over in my classes. We learned next to nothing about Reconstruction. Thankfully, my parents filled in many of the gaps, but one of the things I could never understand, even as a child, was why, when we would drive through the South, there seemed to be more monuments to Confederates than to the victors. I learned early on to associate Confederate flag-carrying and waving with KKK activities, lynching, rape, murder, repression, segregation, and hatred of black people.

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