My family and I spent half of July travelling through the Old Confederacy from North Carolina in the east to Texas in the west. What a great joy it was to see fascinating historic sites—yet how sad I was to know they’re under attack from those who hate our country and want to destroy the heritage of the Historic American Nation.
A simple fact: The mobs tearing down statues don’t really care about the Confederacy. They hate our heritage. They hate America. Otherwise, they wouldn’t attack statues of Christopher Columbus and Theodore Roosevelt as well.
I'm no neo-Confederate, and my Union Army kinsman, James Dunlavy (right and above) received the Medal of Honor in 1864 for capturing Confederate general John Sappington Marmaduke. Recently I discovered that another line of my family was still in the South and supported the Confederacy. Like many Americans, I had family on both sides.
What we saw on our journey through the former Confederacy:
COUNTY CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS
Traveling through southern Tennessee, we stopped at three courthouses, each of which had at least one Confederate monument. Thanks to the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act Confederate monuments have been safer in the Volunteer State.
These county monuments honored the young men, many only teenagers, who fought and died for the South.
Poor is a nation that has no heroes. Shameful is a nation that has heroes and forgets them. No nation can long survive without pride in its traditions.
Long may Tennessee counties continue to protect their monuments.
Stone Mountain is a magnificent inselberg near Atlanta, Georgia, and offers the largest bas-relief sculpture in the world. Begun by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum and finished by Walker Hancock, it features Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson atop their horses: Blackjack, Traveler and Little Sorrel.
I wanted to see it in case the radical Left actually succeeds in wrecking or destroying it. Among those who would do so are the Peach State’s failed gubernatorial candidate in 2018, Stacey Abrams. She called for sandblasting what anyone—at least before this insane era— would call a great work of art.
Seeing this monument is actually more impressive than the photographs. My Mexican wife was also impressed. One of my sons told me a man could stand up in the mouth of one of the horses.
AT RALEIGH, IN THE WAKE OF THE “MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTERS”
At least until now, none of these recent "Mostly Peaceful Protests" have taken place where I live. But visiting Raleigh, North Carolina, I saw the results firsthand. Many businesses downtown were boarded up.
“Mostly peaceful protests?”
We saw the state capitol and the area from whence Confederate monuments had recently been removed [To cheers and music, workers dismantling 75-foot Confederate monument at NC Capitol, by Virginia Bridges and Josh Shaffer, NewsObserver.com, June 21, 2020].
That includes the Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy, which had stood there since 1914. [Photo from 2011 in a previous section].
In contrast, the Pope hasn’t demanded the demolition of the Colosseum.
THE LOST COLONY
The Lost Colony of Roanoke Island, which disappeared in the 1580s, is one of history’s great mysteries.
VDARE.com readers, of course, know that one of the lost English colonists was Virginia Dare, first English child born in America, and our eponymous namesake.
Roanoke Island is in Dare County on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, about a 15-minute drive from Nags Head.
I’m glad to report that when I visited, Virginia Dare was still being honored. Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge spans the Croatan Sound and connects the island with the mainland.
A sign on the island proclaims it to be “Roanoke Island—Birthplace of America’s First English Child 1587.”
A monument in Manteo, the town on the island, reads
Virginia Dare, First Born of the English in America Near By this Place, Born the Eighteenth and Baptized the Twentieth of August 1587 and then Vanished with those Colonists.
Since 1937, an outdoor theatre has staged a drama portraying the lost colony’s story, though the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Even so, the theater is open and tourists can wander freely throughout it.
It is a play, a sign says,
honoring the birthplace of our nation and the heroic people who tried to bring England to the New World.
Not far away is an Elizabethan garden with its statue of Virginia Dare as she may have looked later in her life, and yet another of Good Queen Bess.
I couldn’t resist the urge to text a photo of Virginia to VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow, who of course understood exactly where I was.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who watched a performance of the play, understood its significance: “We do not know the fate of Virginia Dare or the First Colony,” he said. “We do know, however, that the story of America is largely a record of that spirit of adventure.”
KILL DEVIL HILLS, WRIGHT BROTHERS
About 25 minutes from the Lost Colony is the current municipality of Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright brothers, two plucky preacher’s sons from Ohio, flew their first powered airplane. The site, a few miles south of Kitty Hawk, clearly marks out the distance flown by the first four flights.
The Wright Brothers were private individuals, not working for the government nor beneficiaries of some government program. They just invented the airplane, which revolutionized the world.
We also visited Jamestown, Virginia, founded in 1607, and the first permanent English colony in the New World. It was good to see that the sign at the visitor’s center still reads “Historic Jamestowne America ’s Birthplace.”
We crossed a walkway over the swampy ground and went to the triangular fort that was the original Jamestown. A nearby obelisk proclaims it
The First Permanent Colony of the English People—The Birthplace of Virginia and of the United States—May 13, 1607.
Still-working archaeologists have done a remarkable job reconstructing the fort, which contains a statue of John Smith, that great proto-American leader who led the colony at a strategic time.
I felt a sense of wonder standing in the small area where our country began--yet at the same time great sadness for the state our country is in today.
A reconstructed church at the fort contains a plaque, a gift from the Virginia State Bar in 1959, that explains a salient fact about the settlement that many Americans undoubtedly don’t think much about:
Here the common law of England was established on this continent with the arrival of the first settlers on May 13, 1607. … Since Magna Carta the common law has been the cornerstone of individual liberties, even as against the crown. Summarized later in the Bill of Rights its principles have inspired the development of our system of freedom under law.
At the gift shop, I even purchased a Historic Jamestowne baseball cap…made in China. Wouldn’t John Smith be proud?
Who would make a tourist attraction out of a cattle market? Texans would, and have. In Fort Worth, Texas, we visited the old Fort Worth Stockyards, now a tourist attraction that features a twice-daily cattle drive.
We were also in San Antonio and saw the Alamo, now fenced off thanks to a George Floyd riot there.
A policeman told me the building had been closed to tourists because of COVID-19 … but at least they could still approach. That stopped when a George Floyd mob attacked the site where held so dear by Texas patriots and a nearby monument.
Unlike cities that allowed such cultural destruction, San Antonio has protected the venerable old mission where Bowie, Travis, and Crockett, along with 197 men, held off Santa Ana’s battle-hardened troops for 13 days.
Congratulations, San Antonio!
BRANCH DAVIDIAN COMPOUND
We also visited the remains of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
In 1993, federal authorities laid siege to the compound and killed 82 members of the bizarre cult, including their self-styled "messiah", David Koresh. Four federal agents also died.
The massacre could have been avoided, by Koresh himself on the one hand and arrogant ATF and FBI bosses on the other. President Clinton was never seriously called to account for this catastrophe.
Another faction of Branch Davidians, which is critical of both Koresh and the Feds, maintains the site. You can see a few remains of the destroyed compound and visit a small museum. It’s sobering.
It does show you what the federal government can and will do when it’s determined to do it.
American citizen Allan Wall (email him) moved back to the U.S.A. in 2008 after many years residing in Mexico. Allan's wife is Mexican, and their two sons are bilingual. In 2005, Allan served a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his Mexidata.info articles are archived here; his News With Views columns are archived here; and his website is here.