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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Impact Of The Scots-Irish On America, Part 5

In the years following reconstruction, the Scots-Irish began to regroup after the devastating losses of the war. Many of the men who had fought in the Confederate army, enlisted in the Union army and went west to fight Indians. Since that time, Southerners have made up the bulk of the American army.
The Scots-Irish began a comeback during the World Wars. On the beaches of Normandy, during WWII, one of the National Guard units from Virginia was nick-named the "Stonewall Brigade". Patton and MacArthur were both descendants of Confederate Veterans. After the Americans took Okinawa from the Japanese, a marine raised the Confederate battle flag from the top of Okinawa castle.

But the Scots-Irish were dealt a crushing blow to their warrior mindset during the middle of the 1900's with the start of the Korean War. Gen. MacArthur, of WWII fame, was dismissed from command because of his aggressive tactics against the enemy. Vietnam was Korea on a much larger scale. "The Vietnam War put the brakes on the Scots-Irish ascendancy that had begun with the outbreak of World War II. In the coming two decades, the traditional notions of military service as well as the very foundations of what it meant to be an American would take a terrific beating. The Scots-Irish, whose ethos has always been so closely identified with patriotism and respect for military service, would serve in great numbers during this war and in a historic anomaly would, in many cases, be ostracized from many academic and professional arenas as a direct result of their services.....For the Scots-Irish Jacksonians, Vietnam was a real and often brutal war, one in which a high percentage of their sons and brothers fought.... the South had by far the highest casualty rate during the war, a rate 32 percent higher than the Northeast.." (Born Fighting, pg. 307)

I don't know the percentage of American soldiers in Iraq from south of the Mason-Dixon, but you can almost bet your bottom dollar that most of the grunts kicking in doors over there are from the South. The legacy is passed down...

From the Vietnam War, we should learn the fallacy of electing politicians as our country's leaders. I firmly believe, since the purpose of government is to wield the sword and protect the innocent, that one of the biblical qualifications for an executive governmental position is that the candidate have skill in fighting, and be willing to fight for the right cause even in the face of certain defeat. Is this possible without getting into the bureaucratic mess? I don't know. But if we do not have leaders who are willing to do their duty and leave the results in God's hands, America has no hope for future blessing from the Lord.

But we should take hope! Christians should look to their ancestors for inspiration and follow the examples. You may not be Presbyterian, or Scots-Irish, or even Southern, but you have a God given duty to resist tyranny. When people become slaves, they lose the ability to "glorify God and enjoy him forever", which is why we are here.

I want to end with one of my favorite excerpts from Born Fighting.

....The rituals and demands of military service imbued both with the same identifiable traits of courage, personal honor, and loyalty that one would find in the mountain communities of Virginia or Tennessee. While never losing their own ethnic identity, they have also met the test of mine. These standards were passed down to me hard and early by my father, and I have done the same thing with my son. In both cases it was automatic...In this culture, if one is to be recognized as a leader, he must know how to fight and be willing to do so, even in the face of certain defeat....He must know how to use a weapon to defend himself, his family, and his friends. He should know how to hunt and fish and camp, and thus survive. And throughout his young life he should observe and learn from the strong men in his midst, so that he can take their lessons into adulthood and pass them on to the next generation. Perhaps, as some claim, the advance of civilization and the sophistication of our society have made many of these lessons irrelevant. But to me, the attitudes they ingrained have been the most consistent sustaining forces in my life.
(emphasis mine, pgs. 329-330)

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Blogger Sarah Boyd said...

Wonderful series Stephen! Our Scotch-Irish ancestors would be very proud of you as am I. Wow! I didn't realize what a fantastic brother I have.:)
Keep up the good work!
With Much Love,

June 18, 2008 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thanks, Sarah! I appreciate your encouragement!

June 18, 2008 at 3:15 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

*Gives standing ovation* Excellent!

June 19, 2008 at 8:51 AM  

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