Requiem for a Culture, Part 4: The Amelia Christmas Parade

This is the fourth essay in an occasional series. Previously: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Requiem for a Culture

Part 4: The Amelia Christmas Parade

The past is never dead. It’s not even past.

— William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun, Act I, Scene III (page 80 in the Vintage paperback edition)

As most of you know by now, I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans a while back, during the height of the George Floyd frenzy, when statues were being toppled and/or removed all across the Commonwealth of Virginia. I’m descended from a cavalryman who served honorably in the War of Northern Aggression, and it seemed right to do my own small part to resist the zeitgeist, which demands that white Southerners repudiate their ancestors and obliterate their history.

There isn’t much Confederate activity in the near vicinity of Schloss Bodissey, so I’ve been journeying to the Farmville area to attend some of the events. The largest concentrations of Confederate sympathizers seem to cluster along the line of General Lee’s retreat from Petersburg in April of 1865, which roughly paralleled U.S. Routes 360 and 460 through Chesterfield, Amelia, Nottoway, Prince Edward, and Appomattox counties.

Amelia County is right in the middle of the line of Lee’s retreat. As it happens, a large number of members of the Farmville SCV camp are from Amelia, so every year camp members march in the Christmas parade in Amelia Court House.

This year’s parade took place last Saturday. It rained all morning, but cleared up in the afternoon. The weather became mild and pleasant, so I drove on over to Amelia for the parade, thinking that I would enjoy watching it, and take some photos of those deplorable Confederates.

However, when I got to the place where the SCV was mustering, it turned out that they needed another warm body to march in the parade and carry a flag. They had a spare kepi and uniform jacket, and persuaded me to suit up and join the parade. That’s me in the photo at the top of this post, in back on the left wearing shades and carrying the seven-star version of the Confederate national flag.

Behind me during the march were three horses carrying riders. Two of them are shown below:

The third was a magnificent Clydesdale (not shown in the photos), with its characteristic enormous hooves and hairy pasterns. The young lady riding the horse was wearing a helmet. She said the horse — which was very sweet-tempered and kept nuzzling me — was young, and hadn’t been ridden many times, so she was being careful. Fortunately, however, the gig went off without a hitch.

The ladies who marched with us wore period costumes and carried baskets of candy to hand out to kids along the route. We started off outside the town proper, to the northeast, and marched down to the center of the business district, circling the court square to pass by the reviewing stand.

There seemed to be a lot of Confederate sympathizers in attendance, who clapped vigorously and cheered as we went by. A few of the men had ZZ Top beards, and looked like they ought to be marching alongside us wearing uniforms.

There were plenty of black people along the route. They weren’t among those who cheered, obviously, but they didn’t seem overtly hostile. I assume they’ve gotten used to seeing the Confederates turn out year after year.

We finished up at the court square and posed for photos in front of the Confederate monument. Unlike most places, Amelia still has its statue. A local resident told me that the Board of Supervisors had been planning to have the statue taken down, but a large number of people showed up at the board meeting and vociferously objected to the idea.

So Amelia Court House, unlike Farmville, still has its sentinel guarding it.

37 thoughts on “Requiem for a Culture, Part 4: The Amelia Christmas Parade

  1. If y’all had never attacked Fort Sumpter there would have never been a war. England and France were more than ready to buy your cotton at the prevailing market without you having to pay the extort, I mean export duties that were being charged by the New England money masters.

    • Left-wing Revolutionaries are not known for their foresight and diligence. Especially when they think they’re offering a fait accompli.

    • All offensive war are economically based. Lincoln had already sent troops to Ft. Sumter, they were on their way to occupy it and bottle up Charleston harbor. HE declared War by sending them, taking Ft. Sumter was a defensive move. look it up and don’t be so quick to accept revisionist history.

      • The notion that the Union invaded the south for money is ludicrous. Southern ports were not profitable and New York City was the cash cow.

        Also, enough with the “attacking Fort Sumter was defensive” malarkey. The Confederates didn’t make that excuse at the time.

        • “Also, enough with the ‘attacking Fort Sumter was defensive’ malarkey. The Confederates didn’t make that excuse at the time.”

          [ad hominem redacted]. The Confederate government had warned Lincoln in writing that his sending the Star of the West to relieve Sumter would be responded to as an act of war. Lincoln *chose* war.

          • Given that Lincoln’s government did not recognize the Confederacy diplomatically, on what basis was he obligated to make concessions to them? Or should the USA supplying Guantanamo Bay be regarded as an act of war against Cuba?

    • Fort Sumter (not Sumpter), being in South Carolina, was technically non-Union property. Additionally, it being located in the mouth of one of the South’s most active harbors, was part of the blockade forcing the extraction of “duties” and “tariffs” (i.e. extortion) on ships entering and leaving the harbor. Simply by blockading a southern fort AFTER they had left the Union, the Union committed an OVERT act of war.

      https://www.google.com/maps/search/fort+sumter/@32.7621693,-79.8893855,14z

      Sincerely, someone who is descended mostly from people who were never involved in what the south rightly calls the war of northern aggression.

      • Fort Sumter was federal property, not state. It’s like Cuba attacking Guantanamo Bay and then claiming the USA is the aggressor merely by being there.

        There was no blockage, either. That comes later.

        Charleston was busy only compared to other southern ports, and was not a major trading area. It was a great place to go for merchants who wanted to lose money.

        • “Fort Sumter was federal property, not state.”

          [ad hominem redacted]

          South Carolina was independent at that time. The fort, lying within her territory, belonged to her.

          “Charleston was busy only compared to other southern ports, and was not a major trading area. It was a great place to go for merchants who wanted to lose money.”

          [insult redacted]

          Cite the statistics. Mississippi, without a port city, was the richest city in America in 1860. Charestton was the richest city–by far–in British America, and it got richer with time.

          Cite your stats and their source.

          • Even if your claim of South Carolina being independent were true (a hard sell without diplomatic recognition), South Carolina did not own the fort, de jure. Even if you don’t like the federal government, it’s property rights are not at the whim of state governments.

            If you want to talk economics, I’ll gladly send you my source: The Impending Crisis of the South, 1857, by Hinton Rowan Helper.

            Here is the full text, for free: https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/36055/pg36055-images.html

            Helper’s book was written as an economic treatise to prove that slavery was ruinous to the South. He himself was southern, and a strong supporter of yeomanry over sharecroppers. His book was so accurate, several states banned it and at least 3 men were lynched for possessing it.

    • It’s amazing that you can know what “would have” happened but didn’t. It must be amazing to be you.

      [Personal insults redacted]

      The Confederate government warned Lincoln in writing that if he dared to send the Star of the West to relieve Ft Sumter, they would consider it an act of war and would respond accordingly.

      The bombardment of Sumter was the direct result of Lincoln’s decision to start the war, and that’s exactly what happened.

      And if you want to be taken seriously by serious people, you should refrain from talking about something that you clearly know nothing about. AND you should learn to spell “Sumter.”

      [Epithet redacted]

      • You might also wish to add that the Confederate government dispatched emissaries to Washington to discuss a resolution to the (oncoming) conflict. Lincoln refused to see them.

        • Yes, because Lincoln’s government refused to recognize the Confederacy. So rather than plan ahead and get recognition from European powers and/or get the Supreme Court to take up their case, they decided war was the better option.

          Before attacking the fort, there was no military threat to the Confederacy. No blockade, no 75,000 volunteers… but leftist revolutionaries are not known for their foresight.

  2. “As most of you know by now, I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans a while back, during the height of the George Floyd frenzy, when statues were being toppled and/or removed all across the Commonwealth of Virginia. ”
    And you worthless [multiple vulgar epithets] did not preserve, defend, or spare any of those monuments, NOT ONE.

    • You evidently failed to read my post all the way to the end.

      To help you out, I’ll repeat the last two paragraphs:

      We finished up at the court square and posed for photos in front of the Confederate monument. Unlike most places, Amelia still has its statue. A local resident told me that the Board of Supervisors had been planning to have the statue taken down, but a large number of people showed up at the board meeting and vociferously objected to the idea.

      So Amelia Court House, unlike Farmville, still has its sentinel guarding it.

    • I’m also told that Nottoway preserved its statue, despite pressure to remove it. I’m sure there are others in rural counties across the South.

      It seems that your central premise is incorrect: multiple monuments WERE preserved. Perhaps you failed to do due diligence before making your erroneous assertion.

      • You carry the banner proudly, Sir. Thank you, Baron. The courthouse in FLOYD, Virginia still has the remembrance statuary in place despite the moronic “woke” crowd DEMANDING removal. May our Gracious Lord keep you in his care as you do such good with your site. I will mention that I miss your Dear companion and felt your loss. May your Christmas be peaceful and calm with lovely memories of a time past with hope for tomorrow.

      • All Confederate monuments in Georgia are protected by state law, just like all war monuments in Georgia. I don’t know of any Confederate monument that was removed in Georgia, whether connected with the veneration of St George Floyd the Martyr or not. And I’m MOS&B, so I keep up with such things.

    • Appomattox still has its Confederate sentinel guarding the Courthouse square.

      The Confederate battle flags still mark the graves of the fallen near the cease-fire site.

      Come to Virginia to help get over any NOT ONE angst you might be feeling.

  3. The preservation of monuments and other markers of the past is much-debated and much-misunderstood, but it is vital to our sense of who and what we are. A people must be connected with their past in order to know who and what they are; the things for which they stand – or do not stand.

    In many ways, when you erase the past, you erase the identity of a nation, people or civilization – which is one reason why the communists always move to seize control of how history is taught and what it contains. There can be no “new man” or “new socialist utopia” until all traces of the past are wiped clean.

    In the old USSR, historians for the party could not simply submit history texts for publication; they had to be approved by the party as hewing to party doctrine and its view of the past. If a given work dissatisfied Premier Stalin or one of his top lieutenants, the offending historian/author was – if lucky – simply reprimanded and told to do the work over; the unlucky ones simply disappeared into the gulags or got the proverbial “nine grams” behind the ear and an unmarked grave.

    The apparatchiks of the 21st-century American communist party are no different. They rival the old Stalinists in their zeal to erase, or consign to the dust-bin of history, those parts of the past to which they object. Statutes and memorials of the Confederate States of America, for example, or anyone/anything connected to it.

    The myopic and short-sighted may believe that the cause of race relations in these United States is benefited by the destruction of these old monuments, but the facts and common sense beg to differ: We keep monuments of the past not just to glorify some aspect of it, but to remind us of wrongs committed and mistakes made.

    Race-baiters and hucksters claim that allowing a monument to the dead of the American civil war to stand in some small Southern town is tantamount to singing Nazi songs in a synagogue or some such wrong – but they are mistaken. It is precisely the presence of such relics and markers of the past that preserves in national memory events like the War Between the States, and the issues and divides that gave rise to it.

    Human bondage & slavery were one of many issues of contention in that now long-ago conflict; there were others, too – such as state’s rights versus those of the federal government, and precisely what the constitution meant and said, and much more besides.

    Slavery has been a universal institution or practice across human civilization throughout history from the antiquity to the present day. Human bondage & chattel slavery remains a problem in the modern world, but one much reduced from its greatest prevalence in the past – largely thanks to the efforts of two nations: Great Britain and the United States, which in the years since roughly 1800 have done the most to roll-back these practices.

    America lost six-hundred thousand of her sons in that cause. No other nation can make that claim. Not even the blackest and most-African of nations on that continent.
    Everyone remembers that once upon a time, slavery was practiced in the U.S. but how many people remember that we had a great part in ridding the civilized world of that scourge? Too few, I’ll tell you that.

    Pulling down monuments to Johnny Reb and Billy Yank only ensures that in time, no one but the historians will remember the Civil War/War Between the States/War of Northern Aggression, etc. Is that the outcome we want for posterity?

    • We keep monuments of the past not just to glorify some aspect of it, but to remind us of wrongs committed and mistakes made.

    • They want universal monolithic communism and they don’t care what we want. They’re prepared to defile the whole world to get it. Communism? It’s feudalism by another name.

    • By that same logic, would Poland and Eastern Europe be the bad guys for tearing down statues of Lenin and Stalin? Or post-WWII Germany removing statues/sigils of Nazi rule?

      • @ Michael Gladius

        Re: “By that same logic, would Poland and Eastern Europe be the bad guys for tearing down statues of Lenin and Stalin? Or post-WWII Germany removing statues/sigils of Nazi rule?”

        That’s a judgment only you can make, and only the people in those places you mentioned, can make.

        Obviously, it is morally problematic to keep such statutes up if they glorify or in any way excuse the crimes and wrongs committed by those regimes and dictators. But it is also vital that enough of the past be preserved as it was to allow people in the present and in generations to come – to understand what took place in their history.

        The problem with toppling statutes is that it sets a very bad precedent for destroying or erasing anything or anyone in history which offends someone. Where does it end? If a statute of Stalin is offensive, what about a painting of him hanging in a museum or a photograph of him appearing online or in a book?

        Not many years ago, there was a brief tumult in Great Britain when someone was caught censoring photos of Winston Churchill slated for public consumption because of the late British Prime Minister’s ever-present cigar. Why? Because some busy-body somewhere got their underpants in a twist that some child might see the great man holding a cigar, or heaven forbid, smoking it and evidently enjoying it! The horror!

        Have people become so intellectually, morally and spiritually-weak that they can no longer be trusted to see such images in their proper context? Have people become afraid of their own shadows to the degree that a photo or image of someone smoking puts them into hysteria?

        If these questions are answered to any degree in affirmative, I would suggest that our civilization has bigger problems than an old photo of a long-dead statesman puffing on a cigar or drinking some brandy.

        And if such “offensive imagery” is to be taken down, erased, what have you – who decides what constitutes “offensive” and what does not?

        Freedom of expression – which is what we are discussing – means nothing if it protects only speech and expression which are approved and deemed by the majority to be inoffensive. It must also protect speech which some others may, at some times and places, find to be repellent, offensive or even wrong.

        It speaks poorly of the prospects for our civilization that we waste such enormous mental, emotional and other resources on such problems. We used to be made of sterner stuff.

        • Georgia, you asked the question if people have become intellectually, morally, and spiritually weak to the point that they can no longer be left to their own devices? The answer is yes, they have become ripe to be ruled by the ruthless man who isn’t bothered by such things.

    • Yes, Germany is very advanced in this. We have some stones to remind us of the dead, but till a few years ago only those that remembered the dead of WWI we left untouched. And forget WWII! In my hometown there is a part of the cemetary with a 3 m high cross but the stones with the names are level with the erarth so you have to walk close to see that people are buried there. And it is not very good cleaned or kept in order. I suspect that sometime in the future they will claim that because of the bad condition they will have to remove everything.

      But we should also look how they do this in secret.
      And they do this to our hobbies.

      Yes, I am a roleplayer and wargamer.
      Yes, my skills are not up to Advanced Squad Leader, but I am a player of Battletech.
      There was a Patton/Rommel tank (difference was in the main gun) but now the owner of the IP has decided that there will be no more Rommel models.
      https://www.sarna.net/news/your-battletech-news-roundup-for-november-2022/

      So, the question is, who is next when they are finished with the real life statues.
      And the owners of the D&D franchise have already caved in.

  4. If you want to predict the future of culture, look at the people who profess to defend it. In this case, it’s a bunch of old guys with ZZ Top beards, flaunting some nice, if impractical, gadgets like a uniform, a saber and a hat. These are remnants and relics, not beacons of the future. If the majority of followers are like this, then I give this culture maybe a decade.

  5. It is sad that so many southerners only view themselves in light of the Confederacy, as if that’s the sum total of their heritage. Everything else is forgotten (what was that about forgetting heritage because of leftist erasure?) or falsified (like West Virginians flying the stars and bars, despite their ancestors being anti-Confederate) to keep the narrative consistent. All while providing the perfect controlled opposition.

    The only reason the Confederacy has any notion of being right-wing or patriotic is because of Woodrow Wilson. That fact alone should matter more in the minds of would-be right-wingers.

    • Every single thing you have said in this particular comment is false.

      But what you said earlier about feudalism and communism being entirely different things is true and correct.

      The sign of a confused personality–like putting a Greenpeace bumper sticker on a car.

      • Care to elaborate?

        Was I wrong to say West Virginia was anti-Confederate?

        Was I wrong to say that the Confederacy was lesser than the generation prior?

        Was I wrong in saying Woodrow Wilson was crucial in popularizing the Lost Cause and the Confederacy as “patriotic”?

        The devil is in the details…

    • Actually, the young man in the center is quite young, younger than the future Baron, I think. And the young lady to his left is also quite young.

      Some of the SCV men have sworn their sons in recently. It’s very encouraging.

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