The heritage dilemma and the Civil War

Posted on February 8, 2011 by


Just a quick thought, but…

What is one’s personal Civil War heritage? I see it as that link to the past through ancestors. So, if heritage is a part of us… the blood of our ancestry running through us, I’m wondering…

With each generation, there comes the possibility/probability that a new line of heritage is infused into the previous, more pure line. So, at what point, in the name of honoring your heritage, in connection with one ancestor, do you run the risk of betraying the heritage that connects to another ancestor, whose blood also runs through your veins? Let’s say, you have Union ancestry vs. Confederate ancestry…

But, what if your heritage is all Southern?.

In that case, one may be descended from a Confederate soldier who served for the full course of the war, 1861-1865, AND ALSO from a Southern Unionist, or a “leave aloner”. Maybe that Southern Unionist wore blue. Maybe that “leave aloner” hated the Confederacy, and was conscripted. Who knows. The point is that there are several possibilities in which one part of your heritage is at odds with the other. In this case, who shall you call a traitor? Which side will you choose? If you choose one side over the other, why?

There’s an old saying… “you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family”.

When it comes to the Civil War era, are you siding with one ancestor (or set of ancestors) and purposefully ignoring the other(s)?