Back on Dec. 18-20, 2014 on my blog I presented a pair of Civil War-themed custom cards in the format of the 1955 Topps Rails and Sails bubblegum card set.
At that time I mentioned that I had plans for a custom card in the style of the 1962 Topps Civil War News set.
Months passed and that project got put on the back burner.
Recent events, however, have spurred me to action. I present herewith my CWN custom, a tribute the University Greys of Ole Miss.
When I first heard the story of that unit, I was deeply moved.
When Mississippi became the second state to secede from the Union, on Jan. 9, 1861, the students at the University of Mississippi, along with many of their professors, left school and formed Company A of the 11th Mississippi Infantry Regiment.
The back of my card offers few more details, and you can spend days on the internet studying the unit's participation in the war.
The patriotic spirit of the student-soldiers from Ole Miss is exemplified in a surviving letter home from one of Company A's casualties.
It is preserved in John Cofield's blog entry on HottyToddy.com, linked here:
A rebel's last words
As a child collecting Civil War News cards in 1962, I couldn't intelligently discuss the whys and wherefores of the war; I still can't. Suffice it to say that I was--and am--an admirer of the common man who took ups arms to defend what has been romanticized as the Lost Cause.
I have no illusions that the University Greys were the "common man" of 1860s Mississippi. The college students would have certainly been among the slave-holding aristocracy, but they were willing to fight and die for their beliefs.
And that's all I'm going to say about the current politicization of certain symbols of Southern heritage.
Aw, hell. That's not all I'm going to say.
If that peckerwood had posted internet photos of himself holding the U.S. flag before he desecrated that church would there be an outcry to banish it? Or would the pointy-headed liberals find another pretense to reinterpret and demonize Southern history? Is what the Neo-Reconstructionists are doing any different than Isis's campaign to obliterate what it feels are politically incorrect historic sites and relics in the Mideast and Africa?
Once the Confederate battle flag has been removed from all government properties, will the bronze statues be toppled? Will bodies be exhumed from National cemeteries? There are already reports of Confederate soldiers' headstones being broken or defaced with graffiti. Will the playing of Dixie be outlawed?
Where does it end?
How divisive and/or violent will the inevitable backlash be?
Because my Civil War News custom card uses an original painting, "Imperishable Glory," by noted Gettysburg artist Dale Gallon, I will not be offering it for sale.