Preface: This is not an opinion peice. This is an entry consisting of documented Historical Fact and Evidence that oh, mayhaps bears a little revelance to things which have been discussed, in an opinion sort of way, here recently.
Let us begin with the History of the Confederate Battle Flag:
This flag was never a national flag of the Confederacy, or the flag of any Confederate State. It was, as the title indicates, a military flag, most notibly used by General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. It is often mistakenly refered to as “the Stars and Bars”, which was the name for one of the actual flags of the Confederacy. This is “the Stars & Bars” and was the first official flag of the Confederacy, used from 1861-1863, the stars representing the original Confederate states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama , Lousiana & Texas. A second flag was instituted for the Confederacy in May 1863, which put a modified version of the Confederate Battle Flag on a plain white field- the modifications were extra stars representing additional states which had officially joined the Confederacy: Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina & Arkansas. This flag became troublesome as in battle, if there was no wind, it could be mistaken for a flag of surrender. In March of 1865, a third flag was made the official flag of the Confederacy.
At no time however, was the Confederate Battle Flag itself used in an official capacity other than a military one.
General Robert E Lee:
Was a West Point Graduate and decorated officer in the US military prior to the Civil War. President Lincoln actually offered Lee command of the Union forces, but Lee declined because he would not fight against his home State of Virginia (some historians also assert that Lee was disconcerted by unequal tariffs in the US, as often the South paid roughly 85% of nations total tariffs prior to the Civil War). Lee himself did not own slaves, when his wife inherited a plantation and slaves owned by her father, she and Lee began freeing them. By the time Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, all of the slaves owned by the Lees had been freed. Lee himself was on record as opposing slavery:
“There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil”
* Union General and Former President Ulysses S Grant also owned slaves, as did his wife. Union General William Sherman rented slaves while living in the South.
African American Soldiers in the Civil War:
It is widely known that the Union Army had African American Soldiers. Approximately 198,000 African American men served in the Union Army & Navy. Roughly 65,000 African American men, a mix of free and slave, served in the Confederate Army.
Famous Women of the Civil War:
Two very famous Historical Civil War figures are actually women: Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton, who both served as nurses. Barton is often cited as a leading figure responsible for better sterilization of medical instruments and advancements in prioritizing of the wounded which helped survival rates and decreased the rampant infections that were par for the course throughout the war.
Were most members of the Confederate Army Slave Owners?
Was there any slavery in the North or Union Allied States during the Civil War?
Were their any African American slave owners?
Why was the Civil War so…bloody?
Advancements in military technology such as better guns, precision barrel rifling, and the mini ball combined with the old school tactics of battle (i.e, droves of combatants just charging across a field at each other) led to disastrous consequences.
How did the North Win?
Well, that will be a lesson for another day!