Look up the definition of “traitor” — it doesn’t include “must own slaves”. It only requires taking up arms against one’s own nation (or giving aid and comfort to its enemies).
Guy, ALL my direct family line, all the way back to 1870, are buried in the same cemetery by a small Southern Baptist church surrounded by soybean fields, several miles away from the closest small town in the Mississippi Delta. I’ll be the first one since 1870 not buried there. I was raised steeped in Southern culture, and was deeply proud of the Stars and Bars. The Delta is the very deepest of the Deep South — it just doesn’t get any more Southern than there.
So don’t try to imply that I don’t know what Southerners are like. I do know, and more so than most. Been there, done that, lived it, breathed it, and loved it…
…and rejected it for the very best of reasons.
Also, don’t try to tell me the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. Lincoln said that it was, and so did the Vice President of the Confederacy. Mississippi’s articles of secession make it crystal clear…and there’s a reason why Mississippi didn’t finalize ratification of the 13th Amendment (Banning Slavery) until 2013 — six years ago. Oh, they claim it was because of a mix-up with the paperwork…but if you believe that, then I’ve got a bridge across Jones Bayou in the Delta to sell you.
To this day, there’s so much I miss about the Delta — the land, the weather, the fields and bayous, the family values (other than the endemic racism), and especially the food.
But racism informs almost every personal interaction between races there. Once one realizes just how endemic the racism is, it’s almost like an ex-smoker walking into a casino where almost everyone else is smoking. One wants so bad to tell people to stop, to wake the f**k up to what they’re doing to themselves, and at the same time one knows that there’s absolutely nothing he can do for them, that they have to learn their own lessons.
All the Confederate soldiers, from the generals all the way down to the dirt-poor infantry, were by definition traitors. It does not matter that they themselves didn’t think they were traitors. It only matters that they were.