by Parker Stockdale
Pittsboro, NC – I am Parker Stockdale and I’m a Chatham County resident. I am concerned that some people in our midst feel that the statue of the infantryman outside is an uncomfortable anachronism. These people will tell anyone who listens that it is a monument to “The Lost Cause”, that the Daughters of the Confederacy, all of whom are descendants of long-dead Southern soldiers, put it there as a means to slyly intimidate freed Negro slaves, and that it glorifies the 150-year slaveholding period before the Civil War.
These people need to become familiar with the history of the State they have decided to relocate to. The men, and, read your history, many women, who are honored by that monument lived in a region of mainly one-family farms. North Carolina in 1861 was not swept up in the cries for war put forth by the cavalier landed slaveholders who saw the handwriting on the wall when Lincoln was elected. The prospect of large armies of armed, foraging men being visited on the populace by a centralized federal government was enough to cause secession.
When military age men volunteer to leave their farms and families to fight, it exacts a huge strain on the fabric of the community. Chathamites took a significant role in the rebellion against British rule and did so again in 1861. North Carolina men of military age made up only 1/9th of the entire Confederacy, but contributed twenty percent of the manpower of the Confederate Army. North Carolina fielded 60 cavalry regiments and 69 infantry regiments, the greatest contribution to the CSA, and our losses were proportionate. 26% of all Confederate dead were North Carolinians. One example was the 26th NC Infantry at Gettysburg, fielding 800 men and losing 640, an 80% casualty rate.
One Chatham regiment, normally composed of 1800 men, surrendered five officers and 111 at Appamattox. That’s sacrifice. If some people can’t get over their wounded PC sensitivities find something else to whine about. Better yet, contribute to our growing county through volunteering. You can’t rewrite history. If our history and the way we honor our dead bother you, exercise your hard-bought freedom and get the hell out of here.