Sunday, April 25, 2010

Confederate Memorial Day

 J.M. +J.D

Today is Confederate Memorial Day in the Stae of Florda and tomorrow our Parish is having a Requiem Mass said for our Confederate Floridian Dead. With that I thought I would share some of the proud Confederate history of my state.

Florida seceded from the Union 10 January, 1861.
In 1862 minor engagements between the yankee and Confederate forces took place; the yankee troops occupied Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Fernandina, however; Confederates, under General Finegan, gained a decisive victory over the Union forces commanded by General Seymour at Olustee in 1864.
(On a side note, I live in Jacksonville and Olustee is only about 45min from my home)

In proportion to population Florida furnished more troops than any other Confederate State; and we took an honourable part in the campaigns of Tennessee and Virginia, and bore a distinguished reputation for steadfast endurance on the march and conspicuous gallantry on the battlefield. Florida gave to the higher ranks of the Confederate service three major-generals, Loring, Anderson, and Smith, and the Brigadier-Generals Brevard, Bullock, Finegan, Miller, Davis, Finley, Perry, and Shoup.

  During the so-called "reconstruction" period where yankee forces brutally raped the South, Florida was full of  despair and disaster when honest citizens witnessed the control of public affairs pass into the hands of Greedy and vile Federalists.

Though Catholicism was a minority religion in both parts of the country, the Catholic influence in American society was much stronger in the less populous South than in the North at the time of the war..

 In the South family mattered, numerous leading families were Catholic. The Carrolls of Maryland can be cited in this regard. Charles Carroll was the wealthiest man in the Colonies when he signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Many leading Southern families that were not Catholic had members who were. An example would be the Lees of Virginia from whom was sprung the Confederacy’s Gen. Robert E. Lee. A nephew of his was the founding pastor of the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C.

Even when the leading families of the South were not Catholic — and most were not — they tended to have a high regard and deep respect for the Church and her institutions, especially her schools. It was very common for these families to send their children to them simply because that is where the best education was to be had. An example in this regard is Jefferson Davis himself, the eventual President of the C.S.A. His father sent him as a boy to Kentucky to be schooled by Dominicans.  (I LOVE my Order!)

While among them young Davis — he was but nine — asked to be received into the Church. His desire was not realized. Alas, for what amounts to secondary concerns (family, youth, etc.),

Despite the ostentatious piety of many of his public pronouncements, Abraham Lincoln is not known ever to have joined any so-called "Christian body" (as Protestants are not TRUE Christians) as a member.
In contrast, Davis embraced a form of Episcopalianism adhered to by many leading Southerners that was very “High Church,” very “Catholic” in its externals. It was exemplified by the cleric who received Davis into Episcopalianism, his former West Point classmate Bishop Leonidas Polk, who would die in battle during the War Between the States as a general of the Army of the C.S.A.

Add to the fact that Davis became the kind of “High Church” Episcopalian he did, the additional one that the southern part of Mississippi from which he hailed was quite Catholic on account of the area’s Spanish and French past. (His home, Beauvoir, was within easy striking distance of New Orleans, where he would die while on a visit.) Further, Davis and his wife, Varina, were comfortable enough around Catholics to count numerous of them among their friends. Then there is also the fact that it was in Catholic places they took refuge when exile was their lot. All this, and more, suggests that the desire of Davis to become a Catholic when a boy was preserved into his manhood!

I would like to end my blog by inviting you to our Requiem Mass for the souls of our brave and heroic Confederate dead, and one of my personal favourire Confederate Songs:

Sing along!!

The Star-Spangled Cross 
and the pure field of white 
click for a MIDI of the tune

The Star-spangled Cross and the pure field of white
Is the banner we give to the breeze:
'Tis an emblem of Freedom unfurled in the right,
O'er our homes and our lands and our seas.

We'll stand by the Cross and the pure field of white,
While a shred's left to float in the air:
Our trust is in God, who can help us in fight,
And defend those who ask Him in prayer.

For years have we cringed to the unlifted red,
For years have demanded our right;
Pur voice shouts defiance--our trust is in God,
And the strong arm that gives us our might.


Our hills and our vales with the death-shriek may ring,
And our forests may swarm with the foe:
But still to the breeze our proud banner we'll fling,
And to Victory or Death we will go.



No comments: