A Yankee on Confederate Soil

October 23, 2007

Willi’s Uncle E.K. reminds me that I am a Yankee every so often when we visit him in Texas. His friend Frank down right harasses me about it when he comes up North from Arkansas. It usually comes as a light-hearted poke, accompanied by a smile, and then a pause for response. But it always feels as though there is something there, lying just beneath the skin. I’m not quite sure what they are expecting. After all of these years I have found that a mere acknowledgment will suffice. Then we can all laugh and move on.

I don’t know why it bothers me so much. And to be honest, I never even gave it much thought until it was pointed out to me. Other than being born and raised a Hoosier, I wasn’t around during the Civil War. For me it was a page in my history book. For them it was, and still is, real.

Willi says there are probably several reasons why that is so. The majority of the battles were fought on Southern soil. The scars of defeat are deep and enduring. After Lincoln’s assassination his plan for graceful and dignified reconstruction of the South went awry. All of these make sense. Walking on the battleground in Franklin, Tennessee where 9,500 men, from the North and the South, became casualties of war in only five short hours made it real.

This is the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. It sits on two acres of land adjoining the Carnton Plantation and was donated by the McGavock family in 1866. It is the final resting place of 1481 soldiers who died and were buried on the battleground.

carton-plantation.jpg

They lie in rows and sections defined by the states they called home; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

arkansas-marker.jpg

“(Franklin) is the blackest page in the history of the War of the Lost Cause. It was the bloodiest battle of modern times in any war. It was the finishing stroke to the Independence of the Southern Confederacy. I was there. I saw it.”
–Sam Watkins, 1st Tennessee Infantry

cedar.jpg

Well, I am a Yankee. And Willi is not. The curator at Carter House asked us where we were from. I said we were from Indiana, but Willi claims Arkansas born and raised. As I moved a little farther along he pulled Willi aside and said “That’s ok. Colonel John Mosby said the best way to get back at the Yankees was to marry one.”

And there I was again! A Yankee on Confederate soil.

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8 Responses to “A Yankee on Confederate Soil”

  1. mjd Says:

    “That’s ok. Colonel John Mosby said the best way to get back at the Yankees was to marry one.” That is funny.

    You may be a Yankee. Willi may be a southerner from Arkansas, but he is one of the last people that I would consider a Redneck or a Confederate. But that may be my Yankee bias speaking.

    I am glad that you are both back in Indiana (where you belong.)

  2. corky Says:

    My wife and I saw a girl walking around the mall here in KY with a Confederate flag purse. LOL! Are you kidding me?

  3. coffeypot Says:

    Here in the South there are two kinds of Yankees. There are Yankees and there are Damn Yankees, the difference being, the Yankees go back home.

  4. Nessa Says:

    Do they think because you stole Willi from them that you are a carpet bagger?

    Military graveyards always make me sad, no matter whose they are.


  5. That last picture is stunning!

    As you know, I am southern to the core, but I have no problems with anyone unfortunate enough to have been born elsewhere…..ha, ha…….

  6. Tink Says:

    You know what I say when people call me that?

    “I’m not a Yankee. I’m a DAMN Yankee!”

    *Snort*

  7. daddy d Says:

    That post shows a lot of history. I hope we all have learned from that Civil War. Oh, wait no we have not all learn to get along. Too bad.

  8. tod Says:

    We have the North South divide thing over here too, but for different reasons obviously. I always get comments when in the North of England or Scotland or Wales. Mostly it is just fun but sometimes some twit can be really annoying. Me, I see myself as a citizen of earth…lol!


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