Some historians attribute the Scottish participation in the American Civil War as an extension of the conflicts between English merchants, Scottish landlords, and Irish Catholic. The lowland Ulster Scotts, who intermarried with Irish, resisted the Irish identity and insisted they were Scottish, not Irish. It meant they adhered to the King James version of the Bible, and descended from Viking settlers, and opposed the radical Puritans that inhabited New England. When they immigrated to America, they lost the American Revolution and the Civil War. Their cultural heritage was already gone.
The fanciful images of castles, kilts, bagpipes and the ‘Mac’ surname were lost on the Irish border. In America, the feudal farming that had devastated the Scottish Highlands were reinstated in the southern states. The saddest contribution from European heritage was slavery and the wars that ravaged the Carribean and American South. This war once defined southern identity.
Most people in the Mississippi Delta are a mixture of Indian, African and European heritage. The celebration of big bands, jazz, swing, and flat-footing, are heavily influenced by Carribean culture. The Palatine Germans established close relations with Indian tribes. Today many southerners are from Central and South America.
Whoever you are and wherever you live, know who you are. Your heritage is complex and you live in a world that is breaking the mold. You can’t live in your roots, even if you know what they are. You can contribute to a better world and recognize all the people who are you.