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City passes proclamation to

honor Confederate heritage

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

April 25, 2000 10 PM

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford signed a proclamation Monday declaring April 26 Confederate Heritage and History Day in Troy.

Lunsford called upon the citizens of Troy to demonstrate their appreciation to all of those who fought for the Confederacy.

The mayor said the veterans of the Confederacy for the Great State of Alabama and for Pike County during the Civil War had to perform their services under very adverse conditions.

"The courage and sacrifices exhibited by the members of the Confederacy while engaged in the war between the states was equal to that of their counterparts in other wars," Lunsford said. "We wish to express our sincere appreciation to all those who gave years of their lives when Alabama called for their service and served so honorably in the name of freedom."

The Sons of the Confederate Veterans, Private Augustus Braddy Camp 385, held a service at the site of the Confederate Monument on the square in Troy Monday.

Michael Berry, commander of Camp 385, said the service was held to honor those who fought valiantly and long and hard for a cause in which they believed.

Berry said the Civil War was fought primarily for states rights.

"Our ancestors here in the South were up against a very intrusive federal government," said Jerry Hicks, commander of the W.C. Oats Camp in Dothan. "The South was being charged with ridiculous taxes. Four Southern states were providing 70 percent of the federal government’s intake. That’s why the Union couldn’t afford to lose the South."

Hicks posed the question, "If the war was fought over slavery, why did Delaware still have slaves in 1865?"

Berry said the Confederate battle flag is still flown by the SCV because it is the flag under which the Confederate soldiers marched to war.

The Stars and Bars, the flag of the Confederacy that first flew over the capitol in Montgomery, was so similar to the Stars and Stripes of the Union, that when the wind blew the flag around its staff, it was impossible to tell one from the other.

"That’s why the battle flag was designed," Hicks said. "The Confederate battle flag has nothing to do with race. The Confederate flag represents the South and its desire to protect the rights of the state. We are still in that battle today against a government that is too big."

Berry said the Sons of the Confederate Veterans was not meeting to honor war, but rather the men who sacrificed themselves for a cause they believed to be just and true.

Confederate Memorial Day is held on April 26 each year, the day Gen. Joseph E. Johnson surrendered his troops to the Union. Johnson’s troops were the last big army, other than Gen. Robert E. Lee’s, to surrender east of the Mississippi.