A Ku Indeed!

Dang Northern Scum

Posted in Life, Politics by Chris on October 11, 2008

In the attempt to get out of the house to think about things other than Paige’s medical issue, we went “downtown” to Apple Butter Makin’ Days. This is the local yearly festival run by my little town of Mt. Vernon (Missouri). Along the way, we stopped in the local Ben Franklin store to get some things. While my wife was off in the aisles, Parker and I sat by the window and ate popcorn. While there, I read this little window pamplet that described the history of Mt. Vernon, specifically focusing on its role in the Civil War. Hmm. Interesting…

Apparently, Mount Vernon went back and forth between Union and Confederate control. At times, both sides had camps established in the town (I beleive this was also the case in Springfield, but I could be wrong). In any case, the pamplet spoke about one particular battle that happened right there — where we were — on the square. It described how Colonel So-and-So (can’t remember his name) marched into the town center and uprooted the rebels, who had previous held the square as a stronghold. As a sign that the rebels had been vanquished, they removed their wretched flag — the stars and stripes — and replaced it with their own flag.

I had to read that a few times. The north, or the Union forces, described as “the rebels”? Let’s just say that after 7 years here, it still took me by surprise and reminded me exactly where I was. It reminded me of the time when I was in graduate school (in Connecticut) and in a conversation about the Civil War my good friend (who was from Alabama) described it as “the war of Northern aggression.” I did a quadruple take on that one — not spending any time in the South, I’d never heard that one before.

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6 Responses

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  1. Bill Haines said, on October 11, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    I’ll bet you’re referring to the “Rebel Flag Incident,” in which General Samuel Curtis (Union) replaced the Confederate flag with the Union flag in 1962.

    The incident is described on one web site this way: “One significant clash took place in 1862 when General Samuel Curtis’ troops captured a rebel outpost in town, replacing the ‘stars and stripes’ atop the county’s courthouse. The incident has been referred to as the ‘Rebel Flag Incident.’”

    But the city’s own web site has this text: “One significant clash took place in 1862 when General Samuel Curtis’ troops captured a rebel outpost in town, replacing the ‘stars and bars’ with the ‘stars and stripes’ from atop the county’s courthouse. The incident has since been referred to as the ‘Rebel Flag Incident.’”

    General Curtis was a Colonel until his promotion on May 17, 1861.

  2. Bill Haines said, on October 12, 2008 at 12:01 am

    What I don’t understand is why this Flag Incident would seem like a big deal to anybody.

  3. Bill Haines said, on October 12, 2008 at 12:04 am

    The “Leisure and Sport Review” has a slightly different take on the incident:

    “The Confederate Army kept a garrison at Mr. Vernon after the battle of Wilson’s Creek (August 10, 1861), but Union Colonel John Mills’ troops routed them on Feb. 18th and 19th, that next spring in the ‘Rebel Flag Incident’ where the Yankees took away several prisoners and the Rebel flag which had been flying over the courthouse.”

  4. Chris said, on October 12, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Bill –

    Ah; so it was the other way around? The pamphlet I read certainly made is clearly sound as if the flag that was replaced was the Union flag, not the Confederate one. That makes more sense of the use of “rebels” clearly. Thanks for fact checking it!

    If you are confused about why this incident would be a big deal to anyone, you have clearly never been to a town like Mt. Vernon. If you got pulled over for a routine traffic violation here the whole police force would show up as “backup”. Nothing happens here.

    I can only imagine how boring it was back in 1862. I’m surprised my town doesn’t have a “Flag Incident” Day and do a yearly re-enactment.

  5. Bill Haines said, on October 12, 2008 at 9:28 am

    That’s not a bad idea!

  6. Chris said, on October 12, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I suppose, to keep the two different versions of the story “in play” they could alternate from one year to the next which flag is the “rebel” one, and thus which side, Union or Confederate, prevails in the attack on the c0unty courthouse.

    I actually think that people around here would love it.


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