It just dawned on my that I might use a picture of Appomattox Courthouse as a sign for "the end of the line" for the "Calhoun Constitution." That might have been an even better illustration for my post than the field where Pickett's charge took place. (But, of course, I wanted to use the Pickett's charge photo because Wednesday was the 149th anniversary of the charge.) That's the Courthouse off in the distance.
Then as I was looking through the other pictures I took the day I was at Appomattox Courthouse I came across a monument the United Daughters of the Confederacy put up back in June 1926 to commemorate the Lee's surrender. The language is pretty illuminating -- and I think also suggestive of the UDC's efforts at reconciliation:
Appomattox. Here, on Sunday April 9, 1865, After Four Years of Heroic Struggle in Defense of Principles Believed Fundamental to the Existence of Our Government Lee Surrendered 9000 Men, the Remnant of an Army Still Unconquered in Spirit.
Couple of things stand out about this. First, the "principles believed fundamental ot the existence of our government" -- seems to be saying that, well, maybe we're now understanding that those principles actually weren't fundamental. This is part of the reconciliation that took place in the early twentieth century -- a sense both North and South that the South was fighting for a cause believed just at the time, even if subsequent events showed it wasn't. That allowed everyone (well, really the south) to sort of save face. And it seems as though the UDC monument makes that concession. Or maybe I'm reading too much into this.
The second piece -- not as relevant to my legal point -- is that the "still unconquered in spirit" point elides that they may have had been willing in spirit, but in terms of ability to press on, this was it. End of the line. Third, and somewhat relevant to how we think about monuments, this has the UDC's characteristic focus on heorism and honor. (For another example of this, see the text of the Confederate monument at the South Carolina statehouse.)
Because AGR and anon and I have been talking about this issue on Tuesday's post on "The Calhoun Constitution," I thought that it would be useful to cite the UDC's monument. They realized that the strong version of the Calhoun Constitution, with its compact theory of federalism, had been rejected. And maybe even acknowledged that major parts of it were not just rejected militarily and politically but as a principle of political theory, too.