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Some Mississippians Changing View of Civil War

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 11 Apr 2011 11:48am | comments

Today is the 150th anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter, which signaled the start of the American Civil War. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that some Mississippians are changing the way they perceive the war.

Mississippi had already seceded from the union about four months before confederate troops began bombarding the fort.

Some Mississippians are still reconciling the sacrifices of the war with the fact it was fought over slavery says University of Mississippi History professor John Neff.

"The struggle to maintain a sense of one's personal connection to the past is laudable. To be able to maintain that, while keeping our eyes wide open about the past, is challenging," Neff said.

50 years ago, there was a large parade in Jackson celebrating the succession, led by then governor Ross Barnett who dressed as a confederate general.

Neff says this time, Mississippians are approaching the anniversary more carefully.

"There are now a wider range of voice about what that legacy is and how we should properly understand and think about it," Neff said.

Neff says about 75-thousands Mississippians joined the confederate army....which was about one-tenth of the total population of the state at the time.

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