The Confederate Flag will always be greatly respected in our home. The Confederate Flag matters. While our divisive government is determined to destroy our American heritage, they cannot destroy the truth, any more than they can destroy the very DNA that has passed from the brave Confederate soldiers to their future generations.
My great great grandfather, William Patrick Goode (1844-1937), was a Confederate infantryman from the “Valley of Virginia.” He enlisted on March 6, 1862 in Franklin County, Virginia, as a Private in Company B, 57th Infantry, Virginia Volunteers, for the Confederacy. The 57th Virginia Infantry included “The Franklin Sharpshooters” and my great great grandfather, Private Goode, was one of them.
On this day in history, July 3, 1863, the 57th Virginia Infantry Regiment was involved in the Battle of Gettysburg. This day saw a very dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates who marched against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett’s Charge. Pickett’s Charge is a well known battle that occured in the Battle of Gettysburg.
My great great grandfather, William Patrick Goode, was one of those Infantrymen who fought under Major General George E. Pickett at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was in The Battle of Gettysburg and was an Infantryman in Pickett’s Charge, against the odds.
Pickett’s Charge was a defining point in the Civil War — that battle was a bloodbath. Over 50% of the men sent across the fields were killed or wounded. (1) Private William Patrick Goode was a survivor that day, only to be captured after that day’s battle.
Private Goode became a Prisoner of War from July 3, 1863 until June 20, 1865. Private Goode was held at Fort Delaware, a Civil War prison known for its poor treatment of POWs and high death rate. By August 1863, there were more than 11,000 prisoners at Fort Delaware; by the war’s end, it had held almost 33,000 men. Due to the poor living conditions and overcrowding, many men died from smallpox, typhoid, or malaria. In addition to these problems, in 1864, the War Department ordered the rations to be cut in retaliation for the treatment of Northern soldiers in southern POW camps. Somehow, Private William Patrick Goode survived his 2 year imprisonment at Fort Delaware.
But William Patrick Goode survived the Civil War and and his 2 years imprisonment. He lived into his 90s. He married Malinda Jane Oxley in 1867 from Franklin County, Virginia and their marriage produced 9 children in all.
William Patrick Goode was buried in a sacred Confederate cemetery, Hollywood Cemetery, in Richmond, Virginia. He was interred on Pickett’s Row, near his commander, General George Edward Pickett.
I have great respect for the men who fought in the Civil War. I have additional respect for those Confederate soldiers who served the South, fighting for States’ Rights. They stood for what they believed in and fought for their principles.
My great great grandfather not only survived the bloody Pickett’s Charge, but he survived the lengthy ordeal afterwards. If he had succumbed to the great battle at Gettysburg, or if he had perished while he was a POW, I would not have existed.
The Confederate Flag matters.
For an overbearing and demanding government that believes they can re-write American history by using divisive, wrongful, and racist accusations about what the Confederate flag stands for, they need to examine the segment of the American citizens who have Southern connections. The government cannot erase our heritage any more than they can erase our family ties or our DNA. The government cannot force its will to ignore our Constitution, States’ rights, and personal independence. For a government to forcefully remove the Confederate flag from existence, they will need to first examine the full ramifications of their actions. The Confederate flag matters. The lives of those who fought in the Civil War matter. And the lives of those who succeeded them, those with Confederate sentiments and DNA, matter.
The truth lives.
(1) Hess, Gordon, General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend.