Restricted Rebels

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MikeyB

Corporal
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
When modern day authors and lecturers refer to the southern army as "rebels" versus let's say Confederates, do any southerners take any offense to this? 1) It presupposes the Federal government was correct and 2) "rebels" can have negative connotations. Was just curious if southerners mildly object, or view it as a badge of honor or its really a nothing issue that I'm making up in my head.
 

Ethan S.

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Location
Carter County Kentucky
I would have been ones of those "rebels" or confederates back then. I have no objection to it. It is what we were doing back then after all, unless we want to start talking all about the legality of it all... I'm not up for all that lawyer speak right now, I'd rather do bayonet practice. :D
 
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thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
I deliberately use CSA army/soldier/officer or what ever....

First of all a debate about rebel/confederate is irrelevant if we are debating the best "rebel" officer.

But more importantly even if the federal government never recognized the confederacy and no other sovereign state ever did.
But the USA and states like the UK and France did recognized that they where a belligerent and that soldiers enlisted in the CSA military where soldiers and not criminals.
And when captured they where (to be) treated as POWs... not charged with Treason and hung.

And no matter the legal issue, there is no way around the fact that the CSA did exist as some sort of legal/political entity for about 4 years.
It raised money, enlisted men, made laws and fought a four year war and it exercised its sovereignty within the areas it controlled.

I also try not to use "southerners" since plenty of people who lived in the south was not supporters of the CSA.
 
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MikeyB

Corporal
Joined
Sep 13, 2018
I would doubt it to be a big concern to a Southern soldier. No different then being called a Blue belly. There was no flattery in the names they used for each other.
Sorry, I meant more towards modern students of history of southern heritage.
 

A. Roy

Corporal
Forum Host
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
When modern day authors and lecturers refer to the southern army as "rebels" versus let's say Confederates, do any southerners take any offense to this? 1) It presupposes the Federal government was correct and 2) "rebels" can have negative connotations. Was just curious if southerners mildly object, or view it as a badge of honor or its really a nothing issue that I'm making up in my head.
I never much thought about it until recently. When I was growing up, we kind of thought of it as a badge of honor to be considered on the "rebel" side. Taking of offense would have been a lot stronger during the war, but seems to continue today. I guess it depends on where you come down on the question of the constitutionality of secession, no?

Roy B.
 
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DixieRifles

Captain
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
In my opinion, the word "rebel" took on a meaning to describe someone who opposes or disobeys one in authority or control. Which is one of Webster's definitions.

In the 60's, you sewed on a "Rebel Flag" as a show of your attitude against the normal order.
 
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Dead Parrott

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 30, 2019
I tend to use CSA\USA when I comment. But I don't think rebel is offensive, as I would call Washington's troops rebels in some posts.

I guess as long as its not being phrased in a pejorative way, it should be okay.
 

PapaReb

Corporal
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Location
Arkansas
Reb, Johnny Reb, Rebel....most of us (in fact no one I know) takes offense at these monikers. In fact, a lot of us consider them badges of honor to be known as a person/people who will not stand for the status quo when it, in our view, tramples on our rights. That being said, I would hope that we have advanced enough as a country and society so that we now can settle our differences with debate and comprimise rather than secession and the taking up of arms. When it comes right down to it we are all citizens of a country that was founded in and on rebellion.
 
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Joined
Jan 29, 2019
The term "Rebel" certainly is not offensive to me. The Civil War was considered then and now as a "War of Rebellion", fought openly against the United States Government by a large faction of its citizens who were displeased with how they were being governed, for an array of reasons. So it only makes since that the term "Rebel" would be used to describe those whom were "rebelling" against the Government. Just as the term "Yankee" was used originally as a nickname for people from New England in the 17th and 18th Centuries. When before the American Revolutionary War, the term Yankee was used by the British to refer, derisively, to the American colonists. During and since the Civil War, American southerners have called all northerners Yankees.

I have done quite a bit of travelling in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, over the years and was called a "Yank" during my travels more times than not, when being addressed by the locals with whom I would converse. I took no offense to it as I take no offense to those who refer to my direct ancestors who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War a "Rebel".
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
I've used the terms interchangeably - rebels, Federals, Union, Yankee, Southerners, Confederates without much thinking on it. It's the way the terms were used at the time. Our censor button won't let us use some other historically accurate but highly offensive terms - but I'd use them as well since that's how it was used historically.

Historically speaking, it's interesting to see the terms people applied to themselves at the time. Forrest never referred to himself as a rebel or a Confederate but as a Southerner - he wanted Southern independence - and so there's evidence the people at that time used certain designations to state their position. Lee referred to 'those people' as often as possible, because he believed he was following the principles of the Revolution and 'those people' were fellow Americans who misunderstood the founding of the country. It's an oddity of our CW that so many on both sides considered themselves and their opponents to be Americans...having a really bad family fight!
 
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Viper21

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Interesting topic. I myself, have no problem with the moniker, Rebel. I don't find it offensive at all.

Having said that, I never use it to refer to Confederates. I just prefer Confederate, or Southerner. I'm under the impression the nickname came from Yankees. :D

At the same time, it ain't Bull Run, it's Manassas. It's also Shiloh, & Sharpsburg not, Pittsburg Landing, & Antietam. :cool:
 
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