“Stupid war!?”

I recently engaged a man in conversation probably in his 50s while he was visiting the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. He was by himself and told me he was from Chicago.

He was balding on top and seemed a bit perturbed.

I discovered this was his first time in Williamson County and at McGavock. Then he blurted out, “Stupid war!”

“All these boys died for nothing.”

I wanted to engage him in a discussion further but I could tell he was not in a great mood.

How sad though.

The American Civil War was not a stupid war. To generally ascribe the reason men and boys fought – on both sides – as stupid is just plain . . . well, stupid!

Try telling that to the almost 1,500 Confederate soldiers buried in McGavock Cemetery that they fought in vain. That their sacrifice didn’t matter? It mattered to William Stone of the 19th South Carolina, and William Martin of the 65th Georgia.

On the contrary. The men who fought and died during the Civil War (1861-1865) fought for many reasons; everything from States’ rights to abolish slavery, and everything in between. To simply dismiss the Civil War as “stupid” minimizes the sacrifice and honor the boys fought for on either side – Confederate or Union.

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