Why April 9?


The original Ft. Sumter flag. By Matt Howry (CC-BY 2.0)

We’ve mentioned a few times that the reason we had set today as the launch day of RSM is to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. A few astute observers pointed out that the war actually began on April 12, with the firing of the first shot over Fort Sumter. This begs the question: why April 9?


While the firing on Sumter indeed marked the official beginning of hostilities between North and South, that shot was loaded weeks earlier with the secession of the Southern states and subsequent founding of the Confederate States of America. But a loaded cannon does not a war make. A fuse must be lit.

On April 9, 1861, one hundred fifty years ago to this day, the Confederate cabinet met to decide a course of action with regard to the Union occupation of Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor. CSA President Jefferson Davis had suggested the South seize the fort. His cabinet met to determine whether to follow his suggestion.

The Confederate Cabinet decided to fire on Ft. Sumter, April 9, 1861.

With CSA Secretary of State Robert Toombs the lone (and vehement) dissenting opinion, the cabinet chose to attack. The fuse was lit.

So the war truly began not with a shot, but with a decision. The men present in that room that April day had no way of knowing that their decision would not preserve the ways of the Old South, but slowly begin to demolish it, making way for a New South.

Today, we here at Real Southern Men are making a decision, too. Our decision, seemingly frivolous when first suggested, has evolved into something far more exciting. We are making a choice to no longer be ashamed of our Southern roots, to embrace everything good about the South while boldly facing up to the ghosts of our past, to strike a chord for our unique regional culture before franchised, mass-marketed homogeneity wipes it off the map, to figure out what it is about those men we consider Real Southern Men and do our damnedest to emulate it.

RSM Wayne Franklin doing his best Civil War general impersonation.

We are making a decision to become the best kind of men: honest men, honorable men, hard-working, well-heeled, well-versed and well-mannered men. Southern men.

It won’t be an easy process. We’ve only lit the fuse on the first shot of the war against bland sameness. We’ll shamelessly “wrassle” with our issues as we try to become Real Southern Men, because let’s face it, none of us are even close right now, least of all me.

Whether you’re a man or woman, live in the North, the South, East or West, if you love good food, good music and a tale well told, you’ll want to stick around for this. It’s gonna be the best war you ever fought!

(You can follow Wayne on Twitter.)

2 Responses to “Why April 9?”

  1. The “first shot of the war against bland sameness.”

    That’s going to be, perhaps, one of the most interesting parts of this. The war against “bland sameness” can be construed by some as a war against tradition… and that tradition most definitely includes the legacy of the Lost Cause which, in some, has become so deeply entrenched that they believe that the South = Confederacy. Therefore, they can’t see or can’t accept the incredible diversity of sentiment/opinion and Southerness that existed, even at the time of the war.

    I’m looking forward to following… even when you aren’t talking about the South in relation to the “wahwar” 🙂


  1. What’s this?! More “Realist Southrons?!” « Cenantua's Blog - April 9, 2011

    […] them on my radar. It’s not strictly about the “wahwar” (although, they decided to “light the fuse” on April 9) either, but that’s ok. I do see that they also made a calculated decision to launch at the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: