Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Emotionalism! After reading a recent post by Kevin Levin I have come to understand why there is such a great divide in the way in which he and I differ in our view of the WBTS.

Kevin has no heart in the matter; he views it in a purely logical aspect, kind of like Mr. Spock on Star Trek . He simply looks at statistics and reports and then gives an opinion, (anti-southern) I often notice him refer to books written by other “historians and researchers” but then isn’t he relying on their interpretation? Then depending upon his agreement with their views he either promotes’ or disregards their efforts.

I like to look into the hearts of the men who fought in the battles. I think Kevin called my type of view “Emotionalism” or something close to that. And he is correct, I do have a lot of emotion regarding my southern heritage, and seeing as how he claims no ancestry to the south how can I expect him to understand? But there is something to be said for emotionalism!

In the days following 9/11 was it a logical assimilation of facts that drew the American people together, or was it emotion?

If you have ever seen the photograph of the fireman carrying the lifeless baby from the destruction of the Oklahoma City Bombing, is it logic or emotion you view the picture with?

When a 21 gun salute is fired for a fallen soldier from our present war on terror; is it logic that brings tears to the family’s eyes or emotion? And that very same fallen soldier who gave his life by covering a grenade with his own body to save his comrades, again is it logic or emotion? I thing courage and self sacrifice are emotions!

The Confederate Heart / the following text is by---- CARLTON McCARTHY PRIVATE SECOND COMPANY RICHMOND HOWITZERS.

I guess it describes the Confederate soldier as well as anything I have seen.

The heart is greater than the mind. No man can exactly define the cause for which the Confederate soldier fought. He was above human reason and above human law, secure in his own rectitude of purpose, accountable to God only, having assumed for himself a nationality which he was minded to defend with his life and his property, and there to pledged his sacred honor. In the honesty and simplicity of his heart, the Confederate soldier had neglected his own interests and rights, until his accumulated wrongs and indignities forced him to one grand, prolonged effort to free himself from the pain of them. He dared not refuse to hear the call to arms, so plain was the duty and so urgent the call. His brethren and friends were answering the bugle-call and the roll of the drum. To stay was dishonor and shame”!

Also a letter from my ancestor, William Henry Tatum, Private First company Richmond Howitzers; that reads in part ---

When I volunteered I really did not know how long of a time it was for, and in fact I did not care. I am , with the other 12 month volunteers, called upon to reenlist in accordance with an act of congress of Dec 11th 1861 and I am called on to decide what I should do, before we are mustered out of service. I think that with everybody else , that the period will be the most critical one in our history, our enemy are perfectly aware of the straight in which we are placed and will certainly endeavor to take advantage of it. Now what is my duty, to go home and leave our defense to an undisciplined militia who will make a sorry fight at best, leaving it in the range of probability that the northern hessians will overrun our state before the summer is over and thereby bring ruin on us all? Or stay in the field, determined to see the end of this business before we give it up. I might say to myself I am only one, I will not be missed, but ought we to allow such selfish considerations to govern us, our whole army is made up of individuals, and suppose each was to say the same thing”?

Yes William puts feelings into his letters, writing from his heart about a place that he loves: Virginia! A place that our family has lived since 1619. I can’t expect Kevin to understand. I guess he would consider me akin to a medieval surf, I have lived my entire life within a 30 mile radius. On the very edge of the Great Dismal Swamp, no place I’d rather live. I have traveled a bit but was always ready to get Home!

Kevin, You can crunch numbers and statistics, you can look at every book in every library on earth and you can continue to turn out a cold “Vulcan” opinions. Maybe one day you will understand the concept of home, why it’s worth defending. Not only now but back in 1861 when Lincolns’ men invaded.

I will continue to look at the stories and letters written by the men who were in the war. And when I hear Taps played at a Marker dedication for a Confederate soldier or played for a fallen soldier from Afghanistan I will allow my heart to feel sadness. I will pray for the souls of both soldiers, and the family’s of the same. So count your numbers, dot your I’s and cross your T’s. I will continue to sing Dixie from my heart, and thank God that I’m who I am. And also thank God that my ancestors were who they were and did what they did.

David Tatum Jr.


  1. Excellent observations, sir. I have to say, though, I think logic isn't all that determines Mr. Levin's beliefs and attitudes about the war, the Confederacy and the soldiers.

  2. Well said David! I have pointed out similar observations when talking about how we live daily with the physical reminders of the War and it's destruction(battlefields, chimneys from houses burned by the invaders, and the like). The yankee can afford to be aloof from such things - they don't have to look at them day in and day out!