My wife and I took a day trip to St. Augustine to mark our 46th wedding anniversary, and we were also privileged to visit the Confederate monuments there before they are “contextualized” or worse.
One of our first stops was the old public burying grounds. Work is being done in the cemetery, so we could not actually enter, but many of the markers and monuments could be seen from outside the fence.
There are several Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery, including Captain George C. Powers, commanding officer of Company I of the 10th Florida Infantry.
Next we proceeded to the Memorial to Saint Augustine’s Confederate Dead, located in La Plaza de la Constitution.
The monument was erected by the Ladies' Memorial Association and the funds for the memorial were raised from the impoverished local populace following the War of Northern Aggression.
Inscribed on the monument are the names of 44 of Saint Augustine’s sons who lost their lives in defense of their homes, and families, and way of life. Amongst them are several members of the “St. Augustine Blues” (Co. B, 3rd Florida Infantry), whose distinctive Battle Flag carried the motto: “ANY FATE BUT SUBMISSION”.
These simple and moving words are found on the monument:
OUR DEAD. IN MEMORIAM. OUR LOVED ONES WHO GAVE UP THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES.
THEY HAVE CROSSED THE RIVER AND REST UNDER THE SHADE OF THE TREES.
THEY DIED FAR FROM THE HOME THAT GAVE THEM BIRTH BY COMRADES HONORED AND BY COMRADES MOURNED.
This is a touching remembrance to young lives lost -- and yet, low-life, despicable scum begrudge us this memorial to our ancestors and faithful defenders. One particular organization, “Take em’ down, St. Augustine”, is demanding the removal of this monument, and of any and all reminders of St. Augustine’s Confederate past.
Thus far the city has resisted the removal of the monument, but has indicated a willingness to place markers to “contextualize” it. What that means is explaining to visitors how the 19th Century residents of St. Augustine were evil, racist and white supremacists, and how the Confederate soldiers who are remembered were wicked defenders of slavery -- or something like that.
And while the “contextualization” is not yet complete, there is a marker assuring us that a correction to history is on its way.
Next we visited the monument and burial place of Confederate General William Wins Loring. Loring grew up in St. Augustine, having moved there with his family from North Carolina when he was four years old. Loring began his military career in Saint Augustine as a fourteen year old, participating in numerous engagements with the Seminole Indians. Throughout his long and illustrious military career, he served in the US Army, the Confederate Army, and then after the war in the Egyptian army.
The University of Florida manages the property where Loring’s monument is located. Thus far, they have rejected efforts to have it removed or “contextualized”, but as we all know, nothing is settled or secure when we struggle with the enemies of the truth, and those who hate our Southern history and culture.
One thing I’ve always found terribly ironic is that no one seems to be offended by the statues of a genuine tyrant and murderer, General Pedro Menéndez de Aviles. In addition to multiple statues, parks and streets are named for him throughout the city. Menéndez was the founder of Spanish St. Augustine and personally responsible for the murder of hundreds of captured French Huguenots. In some instances the Huguenots were promised to be spared if they would surrender, but were subsequently slaughtered when they refused to renounce their faith and become Catholics. An inlet in Saint Augustine, near where one of these massacres occurred, is named “Matanzas” (slaughters) in remembrance of Menéndez’s depredations.
So evidently fondly remembering a murderous, Catholic bigot is all right, but memorializing the brave young defenders of St. Augustine, who gave their lives in the struggle against the immoral and unconstitutional onslaught of northern scum, is not to be permitted.
On a more positive note, a resistance to historical revisionism remains. At least two of the local businesses that I visited unashamedly displayed Confederate Battle Flags and offered them for sale. I had very encouraging discussions with the proprietors of both establishments. I would encourage you to visit these folks if you are ever in St. Augustine, offer them your support, and send them some of your business. While I am, of course, well stocked in Battle Flags, I was able to purchase a MOLON LABE flag, which I did not recall having seen before.
VISIT THESE FOLKS IF YOU GET THE OPPORTUNITY:
Old City Army Navy
St. Augustine Textiles
And finally, one of the street musicians struck up a rousing rendition of “Dixie” when he saw us pass. Of course, you have to dress appropriately to get such a reaction, but I always dress “appropriately”, as I am always looking for an opportunity to meet fellow Confederates and to encourage them. And yes, I dropped a “tip” (and a Free Florida First business card) in the musician’s box.
Stay Southern, my friends!
Stay Southern, my friends!
Free Florida First advocates for a Free, Independent, Godly, Prosperous, and Traditionally Southern Florida.