Front Porch: Spring 2002

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Front Porch: Spring 2002

by Harry L. Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 8, No. 1: Spring 2002

"I remember the fearsome urgency in my mother's voice when she told me once that 'in this part of the country, when people say the War they still mean the Civil War.'"

There once was a time when every southerner had a Confederate childhood. This was a circular truism in part, because white folks were inclined to think of themselves as the only real southerners and they usually dismissed non-Confederates as too trifling or disgraceful to think about. Generations of white children grew up on legends of the Confederacy, perhaps imparted in Faulknerian tradition by implacable relatives who could neither forgive nor forget, even if the War had been over and done with before they were born.