Southerners who honour their Confederate forebears have often been admonished: “Get over it. You lost!” The admonishers often do not follow their own advice. As a modest but earnest advocate of Southern heritage, I have quite often been threatened, usually anonymously, with harm to my person and a renewal of the extermination campaign against my people. I once received from Portland, Maine, a package containing a chamber pot labeled “Robert E. Lee’s Soup Tureen.” Not to mention the present hysteria which Paul C. Graham has aptly named “Confederaphobia.”
Here is an interesting example from 1904. A woman named Blanche Boies entered the Kansas state capitol with an axe concealed under a cloak. She rode the elevator to the fifth floor headquarters of the Kansas Historical Society and proceeded to chop up a large picture of “Custer’s Last Stand,” a painting that had been commissioned by the Annheuser-Busch brewery of St. Louis, copies of which were at one time said to be in every tavern in America.
Asked to explain her actions, Ms. Boies said: “I concluded to chop the name of the secesh firm off, with no ill will toward the rest of the picture.” This lady was a well-known follower of militant prohibitionist Carrie Nation. Somehow she thought that a Missouri brewer must have been secessionist, highly unlikely for St. Louis people with German names. And somehow she had associated the evil demon rum with the late Confederacy.
What she chopped was likely a copy. The original, for which a rather obscure artist was paid $30,000, seems to have been lost. Just a few years later Union and Confederate veterans met cordially on the field of Gettysburg and other places.