About an Oath: The Mississippi National Guard at the Battle of Ole Miss
[Technical Report, Monograph]
US Army School for Advanced Military Studies
Pagination or Media Count:
In 1962, the Mississippi political elite legislated citizenship thereby enabling a closed society that allowed a mob to act in open insurrection against the federal government. This society corrupted the minds of citizens using romanticism from the Reconstruction Era and the idea of a lost cause. After Brown v. Board of Education, idealism became action and Mississippi became defiant. Politicians from the former Confederate States authored the Southern Manifesto and declared massive resistance to integration. Mississippi was the extreme state in the group. The University of Mississippi was the training ground for white supremacy and a symbol of the Old South. This is why James Meredith chose to attend college at Ole Miss. He knew that Ole Miss was a moral center of gravity. Integrating Ole Miss forced the federal government to recognize African American citizenship and use federal troops against the state of Mississippi. The Mississippi National Guard was part of the closed society and many thought they would fight with the governor and the State of Mississippi against the US Army. It is a fact the soldiers of the Mississippi National Guard were loyal segregationists. However, they were also trained soldiers with an oath to a state and federal constitution. When President Kennedy activated the soldiers for the Battle of Ole Miss they were not happy, but they did their job because of an oath. The soldiers that served at the battle saved the university and opened the door to the closed society.
- Military Forces and Organizations
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- Sociology and Law