Confederate Culture Wars: Joe Owen

This week, ECW historians are offering their thoughts and reactions to recent events related to Confederate memory. We’re pleased to welcome author Joe Owen.

Has the South finally lost the Civil War?

My answer is that the South lost the war the minute they fired on Fort Sumter and refused to talk to the North and Abraham Lincoln about the issue of slavery.

As for the modern timeframe, no, the South hasn’t lost the war as of yet.

As long as there are Sons of Confederate Veterans; the decedents of Union Veterans and the GAR who honor the history of the South; great and honest historians of re-enactors; the National Battlefields and Military Parks who present accurate and honest interpretations to the public about the campaigns, battles, and history of the Civil War; those who honor their forefathers in an honorable way with commemorations, meetings, dedications at gravesites, and other venues—no, the South hasn’t lost. Not as long as authors write and edit about Southern history and its leaders, military, civilians, battles and campaigns from 1861-1865 in proper context and not with those “publishers” who are nothing but Neo-Confederate revisionists.

The South is going through an anti-Confederacy revisionist agenda right now with the media and people in power who are so bent against anything about the Confederacy except to see it tarnished, ashamed, and—in some viewpoints—erased from American history. However, the historians, authors, lecturers, professors, and students of not only Southern but American history have shown that it’s possible to remain true to history in a truthful way, by researching for new facts and accounts and presenting their findings and views in an honest and rational way.

My wish is that future generations continue to be interested in the Civil War and be fascinated with it in an open, honest, and meaningful way to keep the memories, sacrifices, and devotions of the soldiers and civilians who endured through it in ages to come.


Joe Owen is a National Park Service historian and author of an upcoming book about Texans at Gettysburg.

4 Responses to Confederate Culture Wars: Joe Owen

  1. I’m a native Texan with an distant ancestor, Wm Irvine, who died at the Alamo. All my ancestors were VA and KY ancestors. Why didn’t the vicious attack on everything Confederate happen decades ago? Certainly, why not during the 8 years of Obama? Why now? The answer is painfully clear. It’s a very well funded and organized effort to de-legitimize the presidency of Donald Trump. There are many hundreds of paid protesters that travel from city to city inciting violence against police and anyone that disagrees with them. By upsetting hundreds of thousands of Southerners such as myself they also keep race and racism to the front- a cottage industry that keeps Sharpton, Jackson and a host of others in power. The Clintons, no fans of blacks in general (habitually used the N word in the White House; and that from the Air Force LTC that carried the nuclear codes), are also benefiting from this. Karl Marx talked about controlling people first through the removal of their history. This is simply tied to that movement- be it communist, socialist, etc. I served in the US Army for 20 years and I’m a Virginia Military Institute graduate. What I’ve said above is rather common knowledge among former military officers- but no one dare mention it if on active duty, particularly under the Obama regime. This is a sad, sad day for all Americans. To sum it up, am I more inclined to honor the history of other people by putting up with the destruction of my own history? Don’t think so. I’ve written about black history for my local paper during Black History Month, have spoken as the key-note speaker at BHM observances, have a black woman as my daughter’s God-mother, and championed the advancement of minorities for 20 years in the Army and 18 years as a school teacher. Right now I feel that there is a bulls-eye on my back and can’t fathom what will be going on in another 10 years? Stealing my bank account for reparations, race wars, etc? To think I was willing to give my life for all of this while serving in the 82nd Airborne Division and the Big Red One.

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