As the curtain rises we see a table in the spotlight. Upon the table rests the 2nd National Confederate flag, with a sailors blouse and cap upon it. Slowly another spotlight fades in to show a Senior Confederate Officer in full dress. He is standing with his head bowed and his hands clenched. As he raises his head, he begins to speak.
We are here today to mark the passing of my brother from this earth. And we have gathered together here to remember him one more time, as a group.
As the elder brother, a younger brother was both a responsibility and a burden as we were growing up. On the one hand it felt good having him look up to me, try to copy what I did, to teach him and to watch out for him. And yet, at times, these same things seemed a heavy weight upon my shoulders. But, when he followed me through military school and graduated with honors, I knew that I had done well.
Then when the war came, I eagerly joined so that I could defend my state from the northern aggressors. I was promptly made a Colonel of Cavalry and was eager to have the opportunity to serve. I fully expected my brother to follow in my footsteps as he had done so many times before. But, when his time came he enlisted in the navy and refused to accept a commission. At the earliest opportunity I asked him why he was shirking his responsibility by refusing to become an officer. His answer both angered me and confused me.
He said "I could not refuse to defend my state, so I enlisted. But, I also could not totally ignore the oath I took to my country. An oath and obligation past down to me by our father and his father before him. Because of that I could not become an officer and lead the effort against my country." I tried to show him the errors of his way and being unsuccessful, I told him I never wanted him to darken my house again with his presence.
To this day I have refused to speak either of him or to him. Yet, today my house is darkened. Not by his presence, but rather by the fact that I will never be able to see him again. To be able to tell him that I was wrong to have said what I did, or to call him brother.
His state calls him a hero and his country call him an enemy, yet for which did he die: state or country. Or, was his death in vain, given up only because the politicians were unwilling to accept anything but their own side. To accept that both sides were right and yet both sides were wrong. In a war such as this, there are no winners. Of course one side, or the other, will win the war; but we will be losers in the end. We have already all lost a relative, a friend, property and part of our lives. Lives that will never be the same, we can never go back to the way that it was before this terrible war.
It is not the fault just of the politicians, it is all our fault. It is our fault for thinking that we could prove who was right by waging war. War doesn't prove right or wrong it only proves might, at a terrible cost in lives and property. And it doesn't show which side God is on, after all we both claim he is on our side. If anything, he has abandoned us both for our arrogance and self-rightness. After all, a father doesn't take the side of one brother against the other. He doesn't say that Billie's right and Johnny's wrong or that Johnny's right and Billie's wrong. He reminds both that they are brothers and that brother must work out their differences, because they are brothers.
So, I stand here today trying to say goodbye to my brother. I failed to say it to him during his life, so now I must try to tell him after his death. Goodbye my brother, at least now you will no longer have to take sides.
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This is a fictitious eulogy written by Terrance C. Leavey, in an attempt to stress the down side of any war, and especially the war we refer to as: the U.S. Civil War, the American Civil War, the War of the Northern Aggression, the War of the Rebellion and the Brothers War. But no matter what you call it, the end result is the same. It is just another war of death and destruction. My efforts, documented in this web site, are not to glorify war but to preserve history so that we may learn from it.
But to learn the correct lessons, we must learn the true history. Not the one that has been written by the victor to justify his efforts and actions against the loser, as well as to show his rightness. To learn from history, we must remove the veil of propaganda, placed there in the pursuit of justification and rightness.
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