The Southern Remnant

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(James Rutledge Roesch, Abbeville Institute) – n the summer of 2020, overwhelmed with sorrow and horror over the removal of our historical monuments, the renaming of our historical places, and the rewriting of our history, I wrote a trio, and then a duo, of essays titled ‘The Southern Remnant.’

Inspired by an anonymous writer who advised, ‘We must become living monuments,’ I exhorted others who felt as I felt that we, as ‘the remnant’ of our people, had a duty unto our ancestry and posterity to preserve within ourselves what it was which our monuments symbolised, even if we could not preserve those symbols themselves.

To paraphrase our first and last commander-in-chief, it would be unwise for us to deny this great loss, yet this loss is not without compensation, for our struggle has now entered upon a new phase wherein we are relieved from having to guard particular points, in this case Confederate statues that are easy targets in ‘blued’ Southern cities. Our enemies believe that the conquest of our symbols will be the signal for our submission to their rule, but we shall show them that the hearts of the people whose symbols they conquer are unconquered and unconquerable.

My usage of ‘the remnant’ was drawn from the Bible, specifically the Book of Isaiah. It refers to the Israelites who, during the Babylonian captivity—the beginning of the ‘diaspora’ or ‘exile’—remained faithful to…

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