The Southern Agrarian

Southern Agrarianism and the culture of the Old South

Plan a Lee-Jackson Dinner

Robert_Edward_LeeThe Lee-Jackson Dinner is a tradition celebrated by MOS&B, SCV and UDC groups – but it need not be limited to that. Why not have your own Lee-Jackson Dinner at home? Robert E. Lee’s birthday is on January 19, and Stonewall Jackson’s is on January 21. This next year (2014), that will fall on Sunday and Tuesday.

We have scheduled this year’s dinner for Saturday, January 18. We like to serve something a bit special each year. Our original plan called for Roasted Goose, but we decided that we’ll be going with Standing Rib Roast this year. Standing Rib Roast is basically Prime Rib with the bone still on it (hence, it can “stand” up). A dinner like this is not the time to learn, so we picked up a small one from the grocery store and Laura prepared it for dinner last week. It turned out great, but we also learned a few things that will make it better for our Lee-Jackson Dinner.

Photo courtesy of A Southern Table (Facebook page)

Photo credit: A Southern Table

An occasion like this is one that calls for bringing out the silverware and fine china that usually stays closed up and unused. Make it a special occasion. It doesn’t have to be expensive – we found our set of china at the local Goodwill store several years ago.

You could do this as a family or you could invite as many guests as you can accommodate. You could invite your fellow Southerners who may already be familiar with Lee-Jackson Dinners, or you could invite your friends who are only vaguely aware of Lee and Jackson – and educate them in the process.

Why not turn this into a home school project? Assign your children to read and do reports on Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, have them research what a typical “fancy” meal would have been like in the 1860′s, have them learn what children of their ages might have worn then and dress in period clothes. There are all sorts of ways to approach this as a home school project.

What ideas do you have for a Lee-Jackson Dinner? With several weeks to go, there is still time left to plan a first-class Lee-Jackson Dinner, so mark your calendar and start planning!

If a Lee-Jackson dinner does not fit into your schedule, you can plan for a Confederate Independence Day dinner on February 22 – the date that President Jefferson Davis was inaugurated.

A Lee-Jackson Dinner by a Sons of Confederate Veterans. I am in the dark suit and red tie in front of the window. Photo © Shoin Fukui.

A Lee-Jackson Dinner by a Sons of Confederate Veterans. I am in the dark suit and red tie in front of the window. Photo © Shoin Fukui.


The following photos were provided by A Southern Table to demonstrate that you can set up for an elegant dinner worthy of honoring Lee and Jackson without spending a lot of money. All of the items shown were purchased at thrift stores such as Salvation Army and Habitat and Goodwill stores. While the colors are not appropriate for a Lee-Jackson dinner, the point here is to not let money stop you from celebrating your Southern heritage.

Photo credit – A Southern Table (Facebook page)

2 Comments

  1. Great article and what a great reminder to everyone. I founded a Civil War Roundtable in Marshall county Alabama and am also a member of the SCV here. This sounds like a great chance for the two organizations to have a combined Lee Jackson dinner and have it open to the public and raise money for both organizations. Once again, thanks for the reminder and have a Happy New Year in our beautiful southern home!

    Regards
    Trevor

    • Stephen Clay McGehee

      December 29, 2013 at 8:56 am

      Trevor,
      My first Lee-Jackson Dinner was with the SCV. Most of our invited guests for this one are those I met through the SCV almost twenty years ago.

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