The Historian Confederate Descendants Want Fired for Writing a Critical Review of Gods and Generals





On Sunday October 12 HNN received the following correspondence, which is being published with the approval of the letter writers. The letters concern an effort to fire the director of the Museum of Mobile after he panned the movie, Gods and Generals.

Click here for the latest updates.

Click here to read his movie review.

LETTER FROM MIKE THOMASON TO THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA

To: History Dept members

From: Mike Thomason

Subject: George Ewert and the Neo-Confederates

Date: Oct. 2, 03

There is a serious problem developing at the Museum of Mobile. George Ewert wrote a review of the film, "Gods and Generals" which was published in the Southern Poverty Law Center's Quarterly. It was a companion piece to a story of the flap over putting a statue of Lincoln in the Virginia state capitol.Although George's review echoes much that has already been said about the film, Ben George and a group known as the Lee-Moses-Dixon Vindicator Camp #408, Sons of Confederate Veterans, took exception to what he wrote and the fact that he was identified as the Director of the Museum of Mobile. Dr.George and others are calling for Ewert's resignation or dismissal as Director of the Museum of Mobile. They have contacted members of the City Council and Mayor Dow several times to repeat their demand.

At the last Museum Board meeting, on Sept. 22, Harry Teaford addressed the board on their behalf to demand Ewert's dismissal. Since then the campaign has escalated. ... Dr. George's people, and some like-minded citizens on the board, also want to completely overhaul the museum's Civil War exhibit. It will be called The War Between the States; the Confederacy, is to be the Second American Confederacy (the first was the US government under the Articles of Confederation) , and the exhibit will stress Southern virtue and that war had nothing to do with slavery. That is just for openers!

It is tempting to dismiss these people as a members of a fringe group, but I can assure you that they are adept at representing their viewpoint and bringing effective political pressure to bear. If Ewert is reprimanded for his article they will take it as a victory in their campaign to distort the history presented in our museum out of all recognition. I urge you to write Mayor Dow and your council representative, if you live in the city, to support Ewert's professional qualifications, and his right to free speech. I think it is also appropriate to state your feelings about Ben George's goals and tactics. It is important that the mayor know that we, as academic historians and as voters, are watching and will oppose any effort by an interest group such as Ben George's to dictate what the museum presents to the public. Even if you are not an American historian, or do not live in Mobile, you can still write the mayor. After all, Ben George lives outside of Mobile and is originally from New Jersey!

Mayor Dow, and the city council members can be reached by writing them at City of Mobile, PO Box 1827, Mobile, Al 36601. I am attaching copies of relevant documents for your information. I will be happy to talk with you individually about this whenever you wish.

This is serious, please write and do so before the mayor meets with Mr Ewert next week. The Ben Georges of this world are not the only people interested in history. We must make that point forcefully.

LETTER FROM HISTORIAN MICHAEL THOMASON TO MOBILE MAYOR MIKE DOW

Mayor Mike Dow October 2, 2003
City of Mobile
P.O.1827
Mobile, AL 36601

Dear Mayor,

I am writing you on behalf of George Ewert and the presentation of accurate history in our museum. I understand that Dr. Ben George and his cohorts are demanding that you take disciplinary action against Mr. Ewert for his review of the film "Gods and Generals". They would like him dismissed, but what they really want is to rewrite history as our museum presents it to conform with their myths about the Civil War and the Confederacy. I have reviewed their proposed changes in that part of the museum, and listened to their criticism of Ewert's review of the film. Their positions have no support among serious scholars of the conflict or our region. Ben George and his supporters are propagandists for a long discredited myth, and should not be allowed to dictate policy to you our our museum.

Over the years you have been a good friend to the museum and what we are trying to do, and I am sure I can count on you in this case also. I am sorry Ben George uses the tactics he does, but we cannot allow him to bully our city.

Sincerely,

Michael Thomason,
Professor of History
University odf South Alabama

LETTER FROM HISTORIAN RICHMOND F. BROWN TO MOBILE MAYOR MIKE DOW

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

I am deeply distressed to learn that Museum Director George Ewert has been asked to apologize for comments made in a recent review of the movie, "Gods and Generals."

Beyond such basic constitutional issues as intellectual freedom and freedom of speech, it saddens me very much to think that the mayor and several council members are siding with a fringe group bent on rewriting history to suit their romantic notions. I would hope our elected leaders would fight for a serious representation of history that reflects the views of our country's most respected scholars. There is nothing objectionable to Mr. Ewert's well-written and thoughtful review, despite what you may have been told.

George Ewert is a great credit to the city and to his alma mater, the University of South Alabama (where I teach). I refer you to recent reviews of the Museum of Mobile in the Journal of American History and the Gulf South Historical Review, which praise the museum as among the best in the nation for a city of our size. That will certainly not be the case if you allow the likes of Dr. George to dictate museum policy.

I'm afraid it is you who owe George Ewert an apology for infringing on his rights of expression. If it is true that you support the efforts of Dr. Ben George, then I'm afraid you also owe an explanation to your constituents as to why you believe he (and his ilk) are to be taken seriously.

It is true, perhaps, that politics makes for strange bedfellows. I urge you to look closely at your sleeping partners. Mobile deserves better from its elected leaders. George Ewert deserves your support, not condemnation for telling the truth and representing the city (and its past, warts and all) in the most accurate way he knows how.

Richmond F. Brown
Associate Professor of History
University of South Alabama

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More Comments:


Rab Reidyird - 1/14/2005

''William forced many Lowland Scots to emigrate to Northern Ireland'' I don't think William had anything to do with this. The Plantion of Ulster, started about 80 years before William. The main person for encouraging this was James the First[Sixth of Scotland] The two crowns became one, James pacified the Borders, and many of the Border Reivers headed for Ulster. 'God's Frontiersmen' says that the Scots came to Ulster in three great waves--The Reivers,the hill farmers and then the Covenanters. This all happened before William.

Otherwise this was an excellent article. I learned a lot from it especially about 'Stonewall'


Stefanie Ann Hagemann - 7/19/2004

Does anyone have knowledge of a niece of Boadacea, who was also a soldier. This is important to some research that I am doing and I would be grateful for any leads.


peter helland - 7/19/2004

I tend to agree with Fogel and Engerman. Those who win the war write the history according to their views. In fact one of the purposes of fighting a war like the American Civil War is to be able to write and control history. There are more reasons to accept the southern interpretation of slavery and the civil war than the Northerners. The south had almost every country and church for 19 centuries affirming the morality of slavery. The modern view that slavery is evil is new and revolutionary. We came to our anti-slavery view primarily by the barrel of a gun. What Fogel and Engerman discovered was what southerners had been saying all along. But southerners have had no voice. I am from Wisconsin and I am deeply disturbed by the idolatry of Lincoln and all his false notions of liberty etc. When the scriptures declare that Jesus came to set us free. That was announced to church members who were mostly slaves. Christian slaves were commanded by the authority of Jesus Christ to regard their masters as worthy of all honor and to obey them as unto Christ. Those who in any way did not fully teach this were heretics to be excommunicated from the Church. The churches uniformly for 19 centuries taught this. American northern Christians were the first 'Christians' in the history of the church to challenge 1 Timothy 6:(1-5). Only because American is the world's superpower and America's new civil religion coming out of the trauma of its Civil war is a Christian heresy revealed in I Timothy 6 must the world bow to its idolatry of freedom and democracy.


Phil Weezner - 5/22/2004

If Americans really were cowards with no self control, why are America's enemies alive? I think America has shown great self restraint in the face of agression. It has strategic weapons that could easily eliminate any threat to it.

Also the ground is full of Americans who have fought for the freedom of others. I visited Holland a while back and it is full of cemetaries where Americans died for the freedom of others.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 1/7/2004

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/reconstruction/states/index.html
STATE by STATE

FOLLOW THE MONEY - TO THE VICTORS GO THE SPOILS

Redistribution of the Nation's WEALTH

Value of farm land in all the yankee states increased (most by 200-300%)
value of farm land in the Southern Confederate States decreased to almost 1/3rd of their original value (the dirt our ancestors struggled to carve out of the wilderness, the dirt, we fought and died for wasn't worth a plug nickle anymore)


THE BIG WINNER!
New York
Union State

New York boasted the nation's most valuable farm land both before and after the Civil War. New York City was the nation's biggest commercial, manufacturing and financial center during Reconstruction. New railroads shifted commercial traffic away from canals and other waterways.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 195,459 216,253
Value of Farm Land $803.3 million $1.27 billion
Number of Factories 22,624 36,206
Value of Manufactured Products $378.9 million $785.2 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/



Delaware
Border State

Tiny Delaware could not compete with larger states' agriculture and industry, but both sectors grew within the state during and after the war. The DuPont Company, which had supplied a large percentage of the Union Army's gunpowder, was -- and still is -- one of Delaware's major businesses.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 6,588 7,615
Value of Farm Land $31.4 million $46.7 million
Number of Factories 615 800
Value of Manufactured Products $9.9 million $16.8 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


BIG WINNER

Illinois
Union State

Illinois was among the big economic winners during the Civil War and Reconstruction, as Americans moved west. Chicago had built itself into a major industrial and economic center and a railroad hub, attracting tens of thousands of settlers to the state, and growth and investment continued rapidly.

Illinois farm values rose 125% in a decade, and the state's manufactured output -- including the meat, brushes, glue, and other products of Philip Armour's pork-packing operation -- skyrocketed 257% in value.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 142,338 202,803
Value of Farm Land $408.9 million $920.5 million
Number of Factories 4,268 12,597
Value of Manufactured Products $57.6 million $205.6 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


One of the BIG LOSERS

Alabama
Confederate State

Alabama's economy plunged into crisis during the war. Confederate general Braxton Bragg returned home to find "all was lost, except my debts."

With fields destroyed and slaves gone, the state's farms recaptured less than 40% of their pre-war value. Alabama built railroads and restarted cotton production, but the state's coal and iron industries would not develop until the 1880s.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 50,064 67,382
Value of Farm Land $175.8 million $67.7 million
Number of Factories 1,459 2,188
Value of Manufactured Products $10.6 million $13 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Another big winner
Michigan
Union State

Michigan's timber and mining industries were expanded under the control of large Eastern corporations and their output rose dramatically during Reconstruction.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 62,389 98,786
Value of Farm Land $160.8 million $398.2 million
Number of Factories 3,448 9,455
Value of Manufactured Products $32.7 million $118.4 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Desparate Loser
Mississippi
Confederate State

Mississippi attempted to modernize its plantation economy after the end of slavery. The legislature enacted policies to attract Northern capital, including huge land grants to railroads, and almost no taxes for railroads and other corporations.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 37,007 68,023
Value of Farm Land $190.8 million $81.7 million
Number of Factories 976 1,731
Value of Manufactured Products $6.6 million $8.2 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/

Too bad for the little guy
Missouri
Border State

New railroads in Missouri created better conditions for large companies, who squeezed out small, independent producers. The railroads opened up new markets for mined, agricultural and manufactured goods. The invention of refrigerated railroad cars would make meat packing, once a part-time local industry, a mainstay of the state's economy.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 88,552 148,328
Value of Farm Land $230.6 million $392.9 million
Number of Factories 3,157 11,871
Value of Manufactured Products $41.8 million $206.2 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Another big loser
Virginia
Confederate State

Richmond, the capital city of the Confederacy and an important port city, languished after the war, unable to compete with new railroads. Covered with battle sites, Virginia was one of the states most damaged by war; farm values plummeted from the fifth-highest in the nation to the 10th. The state attempted to attract capital with low taxes and subsidies.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 86,468 73,849
Value of Farm Land $371.8 million $213 million
Number of Factories 5,385 5,933
Value of Manufactured Products $50.7 million $38.4 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Not much reported on WVA-at least they factually stated they were allowed to secede by the Lincoln government while we were not!

West Virginia
Entered the Union in 1863

West Virginia emancipated its slaves during the war, seceding from Virginia. The new state's economy moved away from plantation farming toward smaller-scale farming and manufacturing.


1870
Number of Farms 39,778
Value of Farm Land $101.6 million
Number of Factories 2,444
Value of Manufactured Products $24.1 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/

The rest of the yankee states were holding their own
Connecticut
Union State

The number of farms in long-settled Connecticut did not change much during or after the Civil War. Already the home of business successes like the Colt firearms factory, the state experienced growth in manufacturing and finance during Reconstruction.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 25,101 25,508
Value of Farm Land $90.8 million $124.2 million
Number of Factories 3,019 5,128
Value of Manufactured Products $81.9 million $161.1 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Desparate

North Carolina
Confederate State

After the Civil War, North Carolina aggressively attempted to lure Northern capital to stimulate mineral extraction. Subsidized railroad companies opened up new farming opportunities in undeveloped parts of the state.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 67,022 93,565
Value of Farm Land $143.3 million $78.2 million
Number of Factories 3,689 3,642
Value of Manufactured Products $16.7 million $19 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Georgia
Confederate State

Wartime destruction and a subsequent economic depression forced many of the state's rice plantations into bankruptcy. New railroad lines and commercial fertilizers increased cotton cultivation in Georgia's upcountry, but rice growers never recovered, and the state's coastal plantation homes, as Northerner Edward King reported,were abandoned "like sorrowful ghosts lamenting the past." However, freed slaves found more landowning opportunities in lowcountry Georgia.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 53,897 69,956
Value of Farm Land $157.1 million $94.6 million
Number of Factories 1,890 3,836
Value of Manufactured Products $16.9 million $31.2 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/

Ohio
Union State

Ohio's farm values were second highest in the nation both before and after the Civil War. Ohio developed large industrial and mining industries supporting the railroad industry.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 173,383 195,953
Value of Farm Land $678.1 million $1.05 billion
Number of Factories 11,123 22,773
Value of Manufactured Products $121.7 million $269.7 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/



South Carolina
Confederate State

Seeking to alleviate economic hardship during Reconstruction, South Carolina offered incentives to railroads and other corporations to build in the state.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 28,456 51,889
Value of Farm Land $139.7 million $44.8 million
Number of Factories 1,230 1,584
Value of Manufactured Products $8.6 million $9.9 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/

Occupied Kentucky
Kentucky
Border State

Before the Civil War, Kentucky was primarily an agricultural state, with extensive hemp and tobacco plantings. After the war, the hemp industry declined but the tobacco industry boomed.


1860 1870
Number of Farms 83,689 118,422
Value of Farm Land $291.5 million $311.2 million
Number of Factories 3,450 5,390
Value of Manufactured Products $37.9 million $54.6 million
Data source: University of Virginia Geospatial and Statistical Data Center. United States Historical Census Data Browser.
http://fisher.lib.virginia.edu/census/


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 1/7/2004

Please, what is the source of your information? - i always heard the Davis's never knew what happened to Jim Limber when he was taken from them in Richmond, VA.

Recently a black activist asst proffessor in Virginia began a petition to change the names of the Robt E. Lee and Jefferson Davis Schools in her town; after we jumped on her for this, she studied Lee and was very impressed by what he and his family had done for black people before and after the war, she decided to drop the change petition in the school named for him, but to continue the Jefferson Davis petition - she stated she didn't believe there ever was a Jim Limber and would like some proof and any other info of any good deeds by J. Davis.

She stated the rank and file black people show hatred and hostility towards Lee and Davis because of what they have been told and they probably will never try to find out the truth as she did.

Jeff Davis knew and associated with many of the Union echeleons and found support by many - after all he was the Secretary of WAR for the USA old government before Lincoln. The highway across the country thru Washington State to the border is Jefferson Davis's legacy when he was in the old USA government - a black activist in Washington removed monuments by the hwy (they were very small)honoring Davis's accomplishment in this.

Davis's wife's (Varina) grandfather HOWELL was once the governor of CT or one of the NE states, her father and his brother had come South to Natchez, MS and had plantations; as did DALGHBERG's (of gun fame) brother, they cast their lot wit the Confederacy.


BARBARA CORNETT - 12/14/2003

Americans are cowards have no self control. They kill from a distance, often hitting women and children. They are too cowardly to fight face to face. The women would be the first to run away from danger. Americans have killed millions of women and children in Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan, Germany, and other places.
Rather than fight like men, they massacre women and children


Barbara Carter - 12/13/2003

I know that Jim Limber was brought to Beaufort SC in 1865 and placed in the care of Union General Rufus Saxton there. Varina Davis called upon an old friendship between her husband and Saxton to ask that he take Jim. Two questions: Do You know the source and history of the friendship between these men? (West Point? army postings?) Do you know what happened to Jim Limber when Saxton left Beaufort - anything about the rest of Jim's life?

Thank you - Barbara Carter


cajiedog - 12/4/2003

"The first law of the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice." - Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

We simply ask that all act upon the facts of history.


Your Obedient Servant,
Check out this site: http://www.37thtexas.org

Colonel Michael Kelley, CSA
Commanding, 37th Texas Cavalry (Terrell's)
http://www.37thtexas.org
"We are a band of brothers!"
228-762-2573

"For God's sake, spare my men! They have surrendered!" - last words of LT Joshua L. Moses, Washington Artillery, spoken April 9, 1865, at Ft. Blakely, Alabama, shot by USCT after surrendering - the last Jewish Confederate officer to fall in battle.



cajiedog - 12/4/2003

A book, FREE BUT NOT EQUAL, THE MIDWEST AND THE NEGRO DURING THE CIVIL WAR, by V. Jacque Voegeli, University of Chicago Press, 1967. In this informative book Mr. Voegeli analyzes the attitude of The Democratic Party in Midwestern thought before, during the war and during reconstruction. Mr. Voegeli demonstrates that keeping the Negro "in the South" was a primary aim of the Midwest in the cause of the war. He points out that the primary reason the Midwest supported the Emancipation Proclamation was to prevent Negroes from moving into the Midwest and North. Interestingly enough, Mr. Voegeli documents that a main thrust of the Reconstruction Period was the same fear of the Midwest of having an insurgence of free Negroes inundating the Midwest after the end of hostilities.


I have selected three excerpts from this well documented and researched book to make this point. "Going right to the heart of the matter, they emphasized that northern worries about a Negro inflow and racial adjustment were groundless because the freedmen were going to remain in the South. According to this idea, slavery was a national sin and disgrace but the problems of freedom and race were to be worked out in the South. (p.20)

Next, "In May of 1863, for example approximately 300 Negroes were sent from St. Louis to St. Paul to fill a requisition by General Henry H. Sibley who apparently interned to use them as military laborers and Teamsters. Nevertheless for the time being, the practice of employing and caring for the blacks in the South had effectually sealed the vast majority of them in the region. Lacking passes, transportation, money, and usually the desire to go North, most of the freedmen remained in the South under the supervision and care of the army. In this way, the threat of a great migration was destroyed. (p.110) And finally, "In searching for answers to the race problems in the nation at large, the people of the Midwest deliberately turned away from one suggestion that might have spared much anguish: that of reducing the concentration of Negroes in the South by diffusing them throughout all of the states or by settling them on the public domain in the west. ...it encouraged the freedmen to stay in the South although their labor was badly needed in the North..."

This book is necessary to understanding "Those people".

(the 1850 Compromise was the death knell of the union-the harbringer of the war-Cajie)


cajiedog - 12/4/2003

I been saving this one up for you!

A book, FREE BUT NOT EQUAL, THE MIDWEST AND THE NEGRO DURING THE CIVIL WAR, by V. Jacque Voegeli, University of Chicago Press, 1967. In this informative book Mr. Voegeli analyzes the attitude of The Democratic Party in Midwestern thought before, during the war and during reconstruction. Mr. Voegeli demonstrates that keeping the Negro "in the South" was a primary aim of the Midwest in the cause of the war. He points out that the primary reason the Midwest supported the Emancipation Proclamation was to prevent Negroes from moving into the Midwest and North. Interestingly enough, Mr. Voegeli documents that a main thrust of the Reconstruction Period was the same fear of the Midwest of having an insurgence of free Negroes inundating the Midwest after the end of hostilities.


I have selected three excerpts from this well documented and researched book to make this point. "Going right to the heart of the matter, they emphasized that northern worries about a Negro inflow and racial adjustment were groundless because the freedmen were going to remain in the South. According to this idea, slavery was a national sin and disgrace but the problems of freedom and race were to be worked out in the South. (p.20)

Next, "In May of 1863, for example approximately 300 Negroes were sent from St. Louis to St. Paul to fill a requisition by General Henry H. Sibley who apparently interned to use them as military laborers and Teamsters. Nevertheless for the time being, the practice of employing and caring for the blacks in the South had effectually sealed the vast majority of them in the region. Lacking passes, transportation, money, and usually the desire to go North, most of the freedmen remained in the South under the supervision and care of the army. In this way, the threat of a great migration was destroyed. (p.110) And finally, "In searching for answers to the race problems in the nation at large, the people of the Midwest deliberately turned away from one suggestion that might have spared much anguish: that of reducing the concentration of Negroes in the South by diffusing them throughout all of the states or by settling them on the public domain in the west. ...it encouraged the freedmen to stay in the South although their labor was badly needed in the North...”

This book is necessary to understanding "Those people".

(the 1850 Compromise was the death knell of the Union-cajie)



cajiedog - 12/4/2003

No Sir, your logic is way off - If so many as you suggest were not for the War how come so many who survived the war named their children Robert E. Lee....., Stonewall, and how come so many monuments were built in every town in the South; and how come we still honor our Confederat Soldiers and fly their BATTLE FLAG?

the Confederate army was outnumbered 10 to 1 - consider if the chinese enmasse invaded America - oh how much we would be outnumbered.

There were some desertions and there was conscription,but only towards the end of Lincoln's War when so much had been destroyed and so many of our finest killed off - while Lincoln kept adding to his army with multi numerous immigrants. It has been shown that Lincoln's Army had so many in their army they were just cannon fodder to the yankee powers that be, and rather than exchange prisoners or even take theirs back free, Their soldiers in Southern POW camps were left there to rot and starve and die
with the locals. (documented facts on this one look it up)


cajiedog - 12/4/2003

Not all of you can speak for all of you - below is a letter a friend of mine wrote to a writer in the LA Times. Just facts folks no hate filled liberal rhetoric here!

Mr. Shaw:

Not long ago you gave a lengthy essay in the LA Times in which you spoke briefly about Howard Dean, his statement wanting to be the "candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks". Further you stated, "Confederate flags as much a symbol of racism as the swastika is of anti-semitism, and no politician should-or could-be elected if he incorporated either symbol in his campaign appeal". Frankly such a statement is loaded with heavy bias and a lack of historical objectivity. While you are certainly guaranteed a right to your opinion by virtue of our Constitution, your statement is heavily bigoted to say the least. I am sure you may have received hate mail, and perhaps some that has been down right rude. However, I wish to debate you respectfully on this issue.

I am a 1st Sergeant with the 37th Texas Cavalry, a historically accurate multiracial unit that served the CSA. I cordially invite you to visit our web home at http://www.37thtexas.org where you will find well over 100+ pages of scholarly documented FACTS on Confederate of Color heritage that you may not have been able to find before. All we ask is that all who visit us do so with ahn open heart and mind. With that in mind I offer you the following quotations form our web site:

Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, Confederate Veteran, Volume XXVIII (1920), Forgotten Confederates

Bill Yopp, colored, enlisted in the 14th Georgia Infantry on July 9, 1861, as a drummer. He surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
After the war, now a free man, he returned to the Yopp plantation in Georgia and worked there until 1870. He then secured a job as bell boy at the Brown House in Macon. From there he went to New York, California, Europe, and then worked as a porter on the private car of the President of the Delaware and Hudson Railway.

In his later years he returned to Georgia to find his former master, Captain T.M. Yopp, ready to be enrolled in the Confederate Soldier's Home in Atlanta. Bill was a frequent visitor to the home, not only to see his former master but the other Confederate veterans as well. At Christmas, with the help of the Macon Telegraph, he raised enough money to give each resident in the home $3.

In 1920 Bill wrote a book entitled "Bill Yopp, 'Ten-Cent' Bill". The book was about his exploits before, during, and after the war. The book sold for 15 cents a copy, or $1.50 for a dozen. Proceeds were shared by Bill and the Confederate Soldier's Home. The Confederate veterans were so appreciative of Bills help that they took up a collection and awarded him a medal. The board of trustees voted to allow Bill to stay at the Home for as long as he lived. He was one of the last remaining veterans in the Home when it closed its doors in the 1940's. Bill was also a member of the Atlanta U.C.V. Camp.
When "Ten Cent" Bill Yopp died he was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia, the same place as his former master Captain T.M. Yopp.
Battlefields of the South. Vol. 2, page 253

At the Battle of Seven Pines, or Fair Oaks, near Richmond (May 31 and June 1, 1862), a black cook and minister named Pomp who was serving with an Alabama regiment got excited, picked up a rifle and went into the battle. He was heard yelling at his regiment, "Der Lor' hab mercy on us all, boys, here dey comes agin! Dar it is," he shouted, as the Yankees fired over their heads, "just as I taught! Can't shoot worth a bad five-cent piece. Now's de time, boys!" As the Alabamians returned with a withering fire and mounted a furious charge, the black minister was heard shouting, "Pitch in, white folks- Uncle Pomp's behind yer. Send all de Yankees to de 'ternal flames, whar dere's weeping and gnashing of-sail in Alabama; stick 'em wid de bayonet, and send all de blue ornery cusses to de state of eternal fire and brimstone!"

Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia, Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1995) pp. 218-219

Tennessee in June 1861 became the first in the South to legislate the use of free black soldiers. The governor was authorized to enroll those between the ages of fifteen and fifty, to be paid $18 a month and the same rations and clothing as white soldiers; the black men appeared in two black regiments in Memphis by September

Religious Herald, Richmond, VA, September 10, 1863 (From unedited microfiche of the original article):

To the Confederate army goes the distinction of having the first black to minister to white troops:

'A correspondent of the SOLDIER'S FRIEND mentions a Tennessee regiment which has no chaplain; but an old negro, 'Uncle Lewis,'' preaches two or three times a week at night. He is heard with respectful attention -- and for earnestness, zeal and sincerity, can be surpassed by none. Two or three revivals have followed his preaching in the regiment. What will the wise Christian patriots out of the army, who denounce those who wish to see competent negroes allowed to preach, as tainted with anti-slaveryism, say with regard to the true Southern feeling of that regiment, which has fought unflinchingly from Shiloh to Murfreesboro?""

Charles Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg, eds., Forgotten Confederates: An Anthology About Black Southerners (Atlanta, GA: Southern Heritage Press, 1995) pp. 20-21 - Charlotte Western Democrat, July 29, 1861

There are numerous accounts of black participation in the battle of First Manassas in the summer of 1861. Black combatants shot, killed, and captured Union troops. Loyal slaves were said to have fought with outstanding bravery alongside their masters. These reports also provide testimony to the fidelity of black Rebels in combat. One black soldier was moving about the field when ordered to surrender by a Union officer. The Rebel replied, "No sir, you are my prisoner," while drawing a pistol and shooting the officer dead. He then secured the officer's sidearm and after the battle boasted loudly of having quieted at least one of "the stinkin' Yankees who cam here `specting to whip us Southerners." Another black Confederate who stood behind a tree allowed two Union soldiers to pass before shooting one in the shoulders, clubbing him with a pistol, while demanding the other to surrender. Both prisoners were marched into Confederate lines. An Alabama officer's servant marched a Zouave into camp proclaiming, "Massa, here one of dese devils who been shooting at us, Suh."

The Unlikely Story of Blacks Who Were Loyal to Dixie

"John Parker was one of four black men in an artillery battery at First Manassas. A New York Times correspondent with Grant's army in 1863 found a 'rebel battery manned almost wholly by Negroes, a single white man or perhaps two directing operations.'"
Quoted in New Bern Weekly Press, August 13, 1861; Charlotte Western Democrat, August 13, 1861

"Angered at the loss of life at the hands of blacks at Manassas and somewhat disillusioned the northern Exchange editorialized: 'The war has dispelled one delusion of the abolitionists. The Negroes regard them as enemies instead of friends. No insurrection has occurred in the South - no important stampede of slaves has evinced their desire for freedom. On the contrary, they have jeered at and insulted our troops, have readily enlisted in the rebel army and on Sunday, at Manassas, shot down our men with as much alacrity as if abolitionism had never existed.'"

Memphis Daily Avalanche, July 6, 1875, 1.

July 4, 1875 - Memphis, Tennessee -

Nathan Bedford Forrest was invited to speak by the Jubilee of Pole Bearers, a political and social organization in the post-war era comprised of Black Southerners. Miss Lou Lewis was introduced to General Forrest then presented him with a bouquet of flowers and said: "Mr. Forrest - allow me to present you this bouquet as a token, of reconciliation, an offering of peace and good will."

General Forrest received the flowers with a bow, and replied:

"Miss Lewis, ladies and gentlemen - I accept these flowers as a token of reconciliation between the white and colored races of the South. I accept them more particularly, since they come from a colored lady, for if there is any one on God's great earth who loves the ladies, it is myself.

This is a proud day for me. Having occupied the position I have for thirteen years, and being misunderstood by the colored race, I take this occasion to say that I am your friend. I am here as the representative of the Southern people - one that has been more maligned than any other.

I assure you that every man who was in the Confederate army is your friend. We were born on the same soil, breathe the same air, live in the same land, and why should we not be brothers and sisters.

When the war broke out I believed it to be my duty to fight for my country, and I did so. I came here with the jeers and sneers of a few white people, who did not think it right. I think it is right, and will do all I can to bring about harmony, peace and unity. I want to elevate every man, and to see you take your places in your shops, stores and offices.

I don't propose to say anything about politics, but I want you to do as I do - go to the polls and select the best men to vote for. I feel that you are free men, I am a free man, and we can do as we please. I came here as a friend and whenever I can serve any of you I will do so.

We have one Union, one flag, one country; therefore, let us stand together. Although we differ in color, we should not differ in sentiment.

Many things have been said in regard to myself, and many reports circulated, which may perhaps be believed by some of you, but there are many around me who can contradict them. I have been many times in the heat of battle - oftener, perhaps, than any within the sound of my voice. Men have come to me to ask for quarter, both black and white, and I have shielded them.

Do your duty as citizens, and if any are oppressed, I will be your friend. I thank you for the flowers, and assure you that I am with you in heart and hand "'

"Was There a Massacre at Ft. Pillow?" John L. Jordan, Tennessee History Quarterly VI (June 1947), pp 99-133:

"...burial details were composed of Union troops under Union officers, a fact which clears Forrest's men of the charges that they buried Negro wounded alive...Union casualties may have amounted to less than two hundred killed, wounded, and missing."

Destruction and Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War; Richard Taylor, Lieutenant-General in the Confederate Army. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 549 and 551 Broadway,1879, pp.200

I doubt if any commander since the days of lion-hearted Richard has killed as many enemies with his own hand as Forrest. His word of command as he led the charge was unique: "Forward, men, and mix with 'em!" But, while cutting down many a foe with long-reaching, nervous arm, his keen eye watched the whole fight and guided him to the weak spot. Yet he was a tender-hearted, kindly man. The accusations of his enemies that he murdered prisoners at Fort Pillow and elsewhere are absolutely false. The prisoners captured on his expedition into Tennessee, of which I have just written, were negroes, and he carefully looked after their wants himself, though in rapid movement and fighting much of the time. These negroes told me of Mass Forrest's kindness to them.
Those, sir, are just a FEW of the many facts out there regarding the history of that tumultuous time. There was good and bad on both sides of the mason-Dixon. However, sir the problem arises when folks knowingly or unknowingly ignore one side for benefit of boosting what they want to be the accepted truth. I have a few more tid bits of historical FACTS for you to consider as well. The following comes from a web site put together by the Indiana ( NORTHERN state) historical Research Foundation regarding the history of the KKK. The web address is located at http://www.kkklan.com and a subsequent page regarding NEGRO KLAN MEMBERSHIP appears at http://www.kkklan.com/negroklan.htm

I will add some of the information here for your benefit:

My first source of Negro Klan membership is the book, "The Ku Klux Spirit", by J.A. Rogers, noted Negro historian of the 1920's. The Ku Klux Spirit was first published in 1923, by Messenger Publishing Co. It was republished in 1980, by Black Classic Press. On page 34 of his book we find the amazing passage: "A fact not generally known is that there were thousands of Negro Klansmen. These were used as spies on other Negroes and on Northern Whites

My third source is, "Ku Klux Klan, It's Origins, Growth, and Disbandment", by J.C. Lester (one of the six original founders of the first Ku Klux Klan) and D.L. Wilson (another early Klansman). The book was first published in 1884. (I have an original copy). Reprints of this book are available from us for $7.00. The book was re-printed in 1905. In that edition, Walter L. Fleming, Ph.D., added an introduction. Again in 1905, there were still plenty of original Klansmen and others who had lived during the Reconstruction Era. In the introduction we find Fleming's statement: "Many of the genuine Unionists later joined in the movement (the KKK), and there were some few Negro members, I have been told."

My fourth source is an more modern book, "Nathan Bedford Forrest: A Biography", by Jack Hurst. On page 305 we find this interesting quote: "...(the Klan was) reorganized to oppose radical proponents (the Radical Republicans) of what it perceived to be Black domination, NOT to scourge Blacks themselves. Although it has been written that Ku Klux Klan ranks were open only to the more than 100,000 honorably discharged ex-Confederate veterans, the hierarchy in some areas and some instances seems to have accepted and even recruited Blacks, provided they went along with Conservative-Democratic political philosophy. In Memphis of late 1868, sixty-five Blacks organized a "Colored Democratic Club" under the watchful eye of Klansman-editor Gallaway - - who according to an account in the Appeal, "made a motion on behalf of the White men present, that they give employment and protection to Colored democrats."

Concerning the Colored Klansmen of the 20th century my first source is, "Women of the Klan, Racism and Gender in the 1920's", by Kathleen M. Blee. (1991, University of California Press). On page 169, we find the passage, " Even more strangely, the Klan tried to organize an order of Black Protestants, a Klan "Colored division" in Indiana and other states. Despite promises that the new order would have "all the rights of membership" of the White Klan, much preparation went into ensuring that the values of white supremacy would be preserved as the Klan expanded its racial base. The group was to wear red robes, white capes, and blue masks and was prohibited from being seen in public with White Klansmen or handling any membership funds."

Clearly the history that is taught to us is NOT holistic or objective as it should be. You might be wondering if a White supremacist is writing this essay. Well to let the “cat out of the bag,” I am an AFRICAN AMERICAN historian and branch library director from the Tidewater Virginia area. I am descended form TWO slave families in Virginia residing in the counties of Southampton and King & Queen. I am also the son of a Korean War combat vet, the nephew of another Korean War combat vet, the nephew of several other vets and a cousin to a Vietnam Vet. All of my family fought for this country, its constitution and ALL of its history. My point her sir is that before you make broad brush statements like that take the time to allow respect for the fact that not everyone who flies the CSA battle flag or any CSA flag a card carrying Klan member or racist. Some of us are American combat vets who only wish the simple respect and honor we have fought so hard for OTHER Americans. This is the right to feel proud of and HONOR publicly our complete history and heritage.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration!

Bob Harrison, 1st Sergeant
37th Texas Cavalry, Company B, CSA
Author of the Foreword for "Myths of American Slavery" by Walter Donald Kennedy
Point Lookout prisoner Reenactor


bocetA FEDIDA - 12/3/2003

if and of the races mix that we shall destroy there images burn there crops and utterly destroy them, so take your fucken NEW WORLD ORDER your LIBERALISIM your HUMANISTISM (your religeon thinking you worshiping god but your really being tricked) your YOUR SO CALLED SO CALLED "Love Sees No Color" shit and shove it up back your damn assholes you fucken jew ass fucken nigger lovin shits the jews are the sons of satan and the other fucken


Chris Robinson - 11/27/2003

I sincerely hope that before you attempt to spread this racist propaganda to black children that you do more research. The civil war was about slavery. Even if you believe the North didn't enter the war to end it, the South most certainly entered the war to protect it.

I can accept the idea that there were *some* blacks that believed in the confederate cause the same way that I can recognize that there were *some* black slaveowners. However, the purpose of the black confederate myth is not to highlight the diversity of opinions among blacks of the period but to link black folks with the confederacy as a way of removing the deserved stigma that arises from causing 600,000 deaths for an immoral cause. If black folks supported the confederacy then the confederacy must not have been fighting for slavery, but for something else.

Bull. The South wanted to go its own way? Why? Because of high tariffs? Nonsense--the South had complained about tariffs for years. But with the election of Lincoln, who would have been content to simply contain slavery to the states that already had it, but was adamantly against its expansion, the South knew that as the territories became states, slavery would be voted out of existence because it was a morally indefensible AND increasingly unnecessary institution thanks to the industrialization that was sweeping the North.

But when you are able to walk down to your local slave auction and BUY Halle Berry, you look for any reason to justify being able to do so.

Southerners never got far in actually arming slaves to fight for the South. The reasoning was kind of like this:

1. Black men are not men enough to fight. If armed, they will throw down their weapons and run away and the South will lose both its slaves and the arms that they carried;

2. IF Black men WILL fight they won't fight for the South. Raher, they will turn on their masters.

3. IF Black men CAN fight AND will fight for the South, what will we give them in return, their freedom? NEVER!! First because it suggests that enslavement is an undesirable condition and second because free black ex-soldiers are bound to want to free those still in bondage and inspire revolt.

And if there were so many black confederates, why was the confederate command ignorant of that fact? In the last days of the war--not months or weeks even--the confederates were STILL arguing about whether they should allow black men to fight for the South. General Lee and Jefferson Davis are still trying to figure out how to raise those troops a week before Lee surrenders.

I urge you, no, I beg you to read "The Gray And The Black", by Robert Durden. He quotes letters, editorials, committee reports, and speeches that make it crystal clear that the South POSITIVELY did NOT come close to having black troops in any numbers and any that existed were unauthorized by the Confederate government.

Or heck, email me and I'll do your research for you. chrislrob@yahoo.com.


Michael Morris - 11/25/2003

A lot of them fought because they were conscripted, and many Confederate soldiers deserted. If the Confederacy had such widespread support among the yeomanry, why was conscription necessary in the first place? The question of motivation among Confederate soldiers will probably always be murky, but clearly it is there was not enough support for secession to field an all-volunteer army sufficient to achieve victory.


Michael Morris - 11/25/2003

The original Declarations of the Causes of Secession almost exclusively focus upon slavery and the continuation of white supremacy. Nearly every point-whether dealing with the Fugitive Slave Act, the extension of slavery, Constitutional issues, or northern support for abolition- is directly related to the question. Without South Carolina, the other deep south states and Texas, there would have been no secession, so the reasons given by these states for leaving the Union hold considerable weight. Regarding state's rights, southerners obviously had no problem using the power of the federal government to override the will of other states in the Union through the aforementioned Fugitive Slave Act and the Gag Rule. As to the question of the extension of slavery, the Confederate Constitution specifically guaranteed the right to practice slavery in new territories, so the question of servitude in the western territories remained open, not to mention the long-held dream of southern statesmen to extend slavery into Latin America. Finally, if the Confederacy enjoyed such widespread support, why it resort to conscription to raise an army and why did so many conscripts go AWOL? My family on my mother's side is from Georgia and my wife's family on her mother's side held a plantation in Virginia (the family name is Astor- I'm not sure what connection there is, if any, but I'm trying to find out). I do not hate the south. I appreciate and love the music, literature, culinary arts, and other heritages of the region, but I'm deeply puzzled by ongoing attempts to deny the dark side of the southern inheritance.
Respectfully,
Michael Morris


cajiedog - 11/18/2003

The Simpson's Get It Right

Anyone familiar with the adult TV cartoon The Simpson's had to have seen the one when Hafu, the immigrant from India who works in a quickie convenience store, got his citizenship. The interviewer ask what was the reason the "Civil War" was fought. Hafu started out saying, "tariffs and high taxes on the Southern exports and government control and----", he was cut off by the interviewer, "just say slavery".

"OK, slavery" he passed. It is funny how a seemingly ridiculous cartoon show that does show stereotypes all over the place can get that right when our highly educated history professors seem to miss it totally. But then Hafu was educated in a third world country wasn't he.


Cajiedog - 11/18/2003

Not ONE SINGLE Southern city on here.

The Country's Most Segregated Cities
By Stephanie A. Crockett, BET.com Staff Writer

Posted Nov. 4, 2002 -- Legal separation of the races has long been over, but we're still living separate lives. Here's a list of the country's most segregated cities. Do any of them surprise you? Hit the Discuss Now button and tell us why or why not.

10. Philadelphia

9. Chicago

8. New York City

7. Buffalo-Niagra Falls, N.Y.

6. Cincinnati

5. Newark, N.J.

4. St. Louis

3. Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria, Ohio

2. Detroit

1. Milwaukee-Waukesha, Wis.

Why are we still separating ourselves? Shouldn't we be able to live, work, go to school and church together? Tell us what you think.

They need some pickup trucks with Confederate Flags.


Cajiedog - 11/18/2003

John Taylor Of Caroline, Virginia 1753-1824 (my 1st cousin married to my 2nd cousin Lucy Penn (daughter of John Penn the signer from North Carolina)-note he died in 1824 proof these troubles were brewing for quite awhile before 1861).

"Fearing the growing prominence of the Federal government, he was one of the early advocates of states' rights, and of a Southern Confederacy. He believed that the Hamiltonian capitalism was a threat to agriculture, particularly because it was producing a 'paper aristocracy' whose power was derived from the manipulation of credit."

A Southern Reader, Willard Thorpe, Alfred A. Knopf, 1955, page 173.


AN FLOWER - 11/15/2003

Today we hear that same statement, that "all men are created
equal," dinned into our ears again and again over television,
over radio, and in the newspapers, and by means of every
other Jewish communication media. Being hammered into our
brains day after day, the young people especially, are
beginning to believe it. The objective of the Jews, of
course, is to get us to accept the niggers as our equal, get
us to inter-marry. They want to mongrelize the White Race,
and to pull it down to somewhere near the shameful level of
the jungle dwelling cannibals themselves.


Barbara Cornett - 11/3/2003

NOT ME


Barbara Cornett - 11/3/2003

WE AMERICANS ARE SUPERIOR


Barbara Cornett - 11/2/2003

I just came aross this article and thought someone might want to comment

McCrumb's newest book examines Civil War loyalties, misconceptions
By MARTI DAVIS, martidav@comcast.net
November 2, 2003

The divided loyalties that set brother against brother and turned friends into enemies during the Civil War in the mountain South is the setting for "Ghost Riders," a just-released novel by best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb.

McCrumb lives in Virginia just five miles from the Tennessee border, surrounded by the mountains where her novels take place. She will be the featured speaker today at the East Tennessee Historical Society's "History for the Holidays" book fair. McCrumb will discuss "Ghost Riders" at 2 p.m. More than two dozen regional authors also will attend the book fair.

McCrumb was motivated to write "Ghost Riders" by the sometimes puzzling importance the Civil War holds in the minds of present-day residents of Appalachia.

"If the money has stayed in the same families," the forefathers of today's working class were far more likely to have supported the Union, McCrumb said. "They didn't own slaves and didn't pay tariffs. The only thing they paid cash for was salt and nails," and many weren't ready to fight and die for the wealthy flatland planters.

This misunderstanding of Confederate flag wavers was illustrated at a recent book signing for "Ghost Riders." McCrumb was approached by a man wearing a cap adorned with the Confederate flag. "It's my heritage," he said, adding that his ancestor fought with the 3rd North Carolina regiment in the Civil War. She suggested he take a seat. "The 3rd North Carolina was a Union regiment," she said, leaving the man stunned.

McCrumb researches each of her novels in painstaking detail, hoping not only to entertain her readers but also to educate them.

"Appalachia is still the most misunderstood region in the country. People unfamiliar with the region still associate its people with the 'green-toothed' savage hillbillies that came from the woods in 'Deliverance,'" she said.

McCrumb favored the name "Rank Strangers" for her Civil War novel, referring both to the rank odor of soldiers living too close to each other and the distance differences in military rank imposed on former friends and neighbors. She was overruled by her editors, who chose "Ghost Riders" instead.

McCrumb, who lives and works on an 80-acre farm overlooking the Appalachian Trail, is already hard at work on her 18th book.


Christopher L. Stacey - 11/2/2003

First of all, I don't appreciate being called a liar. Second of all, I am well read on the topic of slavery. I happen to be a ph.d student in history, and my major field is the antebellum south. On the subject of slaves leaving the plantation, read Drew Fausts's "Mothers of invention." which discusses the slave exodus during the Civil War, and how Confederate women attempted to deal with the loss. Slaves didn't rebel because they DID NOT HAVE TO; they simply left the plantations--and in droves. Your point on slave uprisings is an interesting one. Most historians agree that if the southern u.s. would have demographically resembled the west Indies (other plantation societies which were 80-90% black), the U.S. too, would have been plagued by slave uprisings. And I absolutely don't know where you are getting your information on slavery during the Revolutionary era. As Sylvia Frey austutely argues in "Water From the Rock," The Rev. War caused slavery to all but disappear in the North. Most northern states enacted gradual emancipation laws or outlawed slavery through the courts. Below, I've listed a bibliography on the topic of slavery. Most posters here, unfortunately, will discredit these works as somehow being part of a "grand yankee conspiracy" or "victors myth" to destroy the "real truth." On the topic of not being enlightened, my only response is touchee.

Forgive my placing these books in quotes; this system is not exactly word perfect.

U.B. Phillips "American Negro Slavery" (1918) probably an interpretation lots of folks here are fond of.
Elkins, Stanley, "slavery" (1959)
Stammp, Kenneth "The Peculiar Institution" (1956)
Genovese, Eugene. "Roll, Jordan, Roll (1974); "Fruits of merchant Capital" (co-authored with Elizabeth Fox) "The World the Slaveholders Made" (1969)
Foner, Eric. "Emancipation and its Legacy" (1983)
Genovese, Elizabeth Fox. "Within the Plantation Household" (1988)
Dusinberre, William. "Them Dark Days" (1996)
Oakes, James. "The Ruling Race" (1982)
White, Deborah Gray "Aren't I a Woman?" (1985) about the eexperience of female slaves
Faust, Drew Gilpin "Mothers of Invention" (1996)
Fogel, Robert and Stanley Engerman "Time on the Cross" (1974)
Joyner, Charles. "Down by the Riverside"
Stevenson, Brenda "Life in Black and White" (1997)
Blassingame, John. "The Slave Community" (1972)
Owens, Leslie Howard. "This Species of Property" (1976)
Levine, Lawrence. "Black Culture, Black Consciousness" (1976)
Gutman, Herbert. "The Slave Family" (1976)
Johnson, Walter. "Soul By Soul" (1999)--you wouldn't like this
one, it outlines the interstate slave trade in the antebellum
south.
Berlin, Ira. "Many Thousands Gone"
Wade, Richard. "Slavery in the Cities"
This list mostly covers the antebellum era; for the colonial these works stand out:
Jordan, Winthrop. "White Over Black" (1968)
Morgan, Edmund. "American Slavery, America Freedom." (1976)
Handlin, Oscar and Mary. "Origins of the Southern Labor system."
an article (1955)
I could go on and on and on, but I hope you get the point. And yes, I have read each and every one of these works. Most, if not all of these works are on every comprehensive exam reading list for the aspiring historian wishing to complete a degree program in the history of the Antebellum South at any credited university.







Cajiedog - 10/30/2003

to the stealer of names - Blowing your itty bitty bigoted mine away.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/30/2003

very interesting too!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/30/2003

Josephine Lindsay Bass


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/30/2003

The New American Vol. 19, No. 19
September 22, 2003
Table of Contents More on Race in America


Acknowledging Black Confederates
by Jodie Gilmore

Despite differing definitions of "soldier" and questions about motivation, the historical record is clear: Many black Americans supported the Southern cause.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2003/09-22-2003/vo19no19_confederates.htm




Cajiedog - 10/29/2003

The above post may be interesting, but it certainly wasn't written by me


Cajiedog - 10/28/2003

The Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Myers

October 23, 2003
228-388-9074 or 1-800-570-3818


jmyers@beauvoir.org


Dr. William Cooper will discuss latest book, "Jefferson Davis, The Essential Writings"


Biloxi- Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library with the financial support of the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council, present a lecture by Dr. William J. Cooper, Jr. on his latest book, "Jefferson Davis, The Essential Writings". This free lecture will be held in the Presidential Library theatre on November 15, 2003 at 7:00pm with a book signing and reception at 8:15pm.

The Beauvoir Lecture Series presents authors and historians, with the intent to educate and enlighten guests on various aspects of Jefferson Davis and the War Between the States. This latest lecture will highlight Dr. William Cooper, a professor of history at Louisiana State University and his latest book, "Jefferson Davis, The Essential Writings". This work is a collection of writings gathered from "Papers of Jefferson Davis", a multi-volume edition of letters and speeches published by the Louisiana State University Press. This work presents the many facets of Jefferson Davis from his letters to his sister during college, major speeches on the subjects of the Constitution, and slavery, his farewell address to the U.S. Senate and his inaugural address as the Confederate president, to letters from prison to his wife Varina. Dr. Cooper will be discussing this fascinating look into the man, Jefferson Davis.

Dr. Cooper is also the author of "Jefferson Davis, American", winner of the 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography. He currently lives in Baton Rouge.

This lecture is free and open to the public and will be held on November 15, 2003 at 7:00pm in the Presidential Library Theatre at Beauvoir. There will be a book signing and reception at 8:15pm. For more information about this event please call the Tours and Programs office at 228-388-9074 or 1-800-570-3818.

Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library is a national historic landmark property of the Mississippi Division, United Sons of Confederate Veterans. It is located on US Highway 90 in Biloxi, Mississippi.


2244 Beach Boulevard • Biloxi, Misssissippi 39531 • 228 388-9074

A national historic landmark property of the Mississippi Division, United Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc.

(Varina Howell Jefferson 1826-1906, a grandaughter of Richard Howell, Governor of NJ from 1792 to 1801, died in NY City and was buried in Richmond, Virginia beside her husband, President Jefferson Davis; 1st Lady of the Confederate States of America and later Author in New York City.

A daughter of the South and the Confederacy; she was living with her father William Burr Howell in Natchez, Mississippi a good friend of Jefferson Davis. Her father's brother had also migrated to Mississippi from New Jersey: ORDER OF FIRST FAMILIES OF MISS. Page 39: Charles B. Howell: He resided in Jefferson Co., MS in 1805. He was born in Trenton, NJ and died in Jefferson Co., on 22 Sept. 1822. He married Mary Green in Jefferson Co., MS on 15 Apr. 1804. NEW JERSEY SETTLERS: Vol. II, page 398: The Desendants of William Howell of Wales (121).

In late life Lady Varina was offered a goodly sum for this property but turned the offer down and led with her heart, she donated the home to the Confederate Veterans who lived there in their last days.)



cajiedog - 10/28/2003

MLK never said a word about the Confederate Flag, state flags, monuments, school and street names, bridge names being changd.

"This request came our way.

I am writing to inquire whether you or your associations have any information about Black Confederates or can advise as to where I may obtain such information.

I am an American of African extraction and a descendant of slaves. I am currently collecting data on Black Confederates in preparation for a class on the Civil War I am teaching to my students at a predominately-Black high school as part of my teaching internship.

My aim with this class is to dispel the myths that have attached about the Confederacy in the minds of Black youth. Contrary to popular myth, the Civil War was not about slavery per se but rather ideology, particularly the right of the American South to be masters of its own destiny.

Slavery was on the decline in the South during the Civil War and would have eventually ended. Lincoln used the "slavery" issue as a propaganda ploy to convince Northern abolitionist Whites to join the Union cause and to encourage slave revolts. What is not known, and sadly so, is the fact that Blacks actually fought for the Confederacy: not because they were forced by their masters to fight, not because they were fighting to maintain the institution of slavery, but because they actually believed in the Confederate cause.

That the Civil War remains misunderstood after all these years is a mystery to me. What I learned, and what Black folks have learned, about the war was indoctrination from a Northern point-of-view. It was not until College that I learned some truths that are not so self-evident in history classes. I believe they are truths that should and deserve to be told and have decided that it should begin with me.

Regardless of one's disposition on race, it greatly disturbs me that we have a region of the country that still cannot decently mourn its honored war dead for fear of being labeled a "racist". And it is all about ignorance, ignorance acquired upon the foundation of indoctrination. I want to challenge my students to be "students" of that important epic in American history. I want to challenge them to learn the truths about the South, what it means to be a Southerner, and Southern Heritage.

I propose that had Robert E. Lee and Nathan Bedford Forrest been given roles that are more prominent during reconstruction, the racial animosity that lingers today would not have occurred (at least not to the extent that it persisted). I want my students to look at the Confederate flag as not a symbol of fear and intimidation but as a symbol of freedom and liberation. Blacks carried that banner, too. It cannot be that they did so in vain.

Being a Louisiana Native, I am aware of several Black Confederate regiments from that state, as well as Georgia. I am anxious to know, however if these are isolated incidents or representative of the Confederacy as a whole.

Any information that you may be able to provide will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,"
name withheld for protection (sans Reconstruction days)



cajiedog - 10/28/2003

Sounds like you are claiming to speak for others to me. Who, What, and Where are the GREAT MANY in your posts.

"that accords with the feelings of a great many viewers and historians (including many Alabamians, for whom you claim to speak),"

I can tell you for positive with proof that many and I mean many do not agree with your post (including many Alabamians).

"Just In from Mobile:
Gentlemen,
Last Friday was an eventful day. The Confederate Assault Vehicle, CAV for short arrived unannounced in downtown Mobile at about 5:45 P.M. This is a 26 foot parade/recruiting/protest float. Cars containing Confederate agents moved on it's arrival so we could park directly across from the Museum of Mobile entrance. The Southeastern Museum Convention was having it's last evening affair at the museum, with 700 attendees from across the South, hosted by Mobile's most popular cultural bigot at the moment, George Ewert.
Museum workers and officials crowded at the windows upstairs and down, and spilled into the street to see the Confederate Assault Vehicle, with it's new decorations saying; "Diversity---fire Ewert!" We, the Concerned Citizens of Mobile with Confederate Heritage busily raised 11 American Confederate Flags in between waving at our surprised, and captive audience.

We went into the auditorium where Ewert was holding court. He tried to act nonchalant as we waved at him. He immediately diverted traffic by conventioneers so that they did not have to pass us on admittance to the museum. This put them crossing a dark courtyard at night, even more curious at what was going on 'out front?' Two television stations came by to capture the first sighting of the Confederate Assault Vehicle and send hope to the citizens of Mobile, suffering under political correctness, and living in fear that their heritage was in danger. Museum officials called the Mobile Register to say that we embarrassed our city and our Confederate Heritage. But since Mr. Ewert has declared that there was no Confederacy, what does he know? We choose to let our ancestors judge for themselves, when we meet across the river. This broke the story finally to the public.
The highlight of the evening was when 10 or 12 different groups of out of town convention guests posed in front of our 26 foot long, "Diversity--fire Ewert!" CAV. You see, like tourists everywhere, they had cameras to capture memories with. After two hours, our lead scout blew Dixie on his horn, and we dissappeared into the unknown from whence we came like Confederate guerillas.
But seriously gentlemen; we accomplished several things. We kept the skeer' on Ewert, lest he think we will ever forget. We conducted an efficient operation to educate the public, many of whom had still not heard of Ewert's bigotry. We launched the boycott of the museum, the joke being attendance will be cut in half because one of the two people going in every day will not go. We showed the city that the fire has not been taken out of us with a few soothing but deceptive words. We gave the museum directors and workers across the South a lesson in what awaits them if they show bigotry towards Confederate Southern Heritage. And we vindicated our ancestors, letting them know they have not been forgotten after 140 years. Here's to the next 140 years! May there still be some who stand like those warriors did in Mobile last Friday against enemies of the South.
To those who fought in this campaign: I will not thank you as I can not thank you. What you did, you did for your ancestors. May they thank you one day. What I can say is that my respect for all of you can not be measured, and I will never forget those who were willing to stand for truth this day. To those who could not make it; I hope you can know the feeling one day. When planning and in route to protests, I am cautious, worried, and even a bit jittery. But every time I leave, it is with a feeling of deep pride. I am thankful that I can count myself to have been born among you, members of one of the greatest cultures the world has known, heirs to a great history. May those who deny that history be granted fair payment by a fair God.
Thank You and Dixie Day

IN THE SPIRIT OF MLK LET US MARCH!

"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people...
Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors, from PUBLISHING with the
utmost freedom...nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberty by
any pretenses of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often
used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery, and
cowardice."-- John Adams



cajiedog - 10/28/2003

THE POLICEMAN AND THE MUSEUM DIRECTOR

From: UNRECONSTRUCTEDB@aol.com


Letters to the editor

The policeman and the museum director.

The Confederate Heritage position in the Ewert controversy has yet to be heard from. I hope the editors will begin to remedy this by printing my letter.

The situation with George Ewert as museum director hinges on one issue and one issue only. In October of 2001, it was discovered that a police officer with 13 years on the force in Mobile, spewed racial views on the radio while on duty. On learning of this, the Mobile City Council broke its rules of procedure to pass a resolution at their next meeting. They condemned this behavior and called for all the discipline available. It was unanimous, and each councilperson took his turn renouncing the incident. What the police officer did was express his First Amendment rights, and in so doing, exposed his bigotry. He broke no laws, but he did break his agreement to serve and protect ALL the citizens of Mobile equally. We totally agree with the council sentiments that this behavior had 'no place among city employees,' and; 'every citizen of Mobile is entitled to the same service and respect.' Partly as a result of this, the city council amended it's mission statement last April to say they respected the "dignity, culture, and heritage of all Mobilians."

What George Ewert did in expressing his culturally bigoted views towards Mobilians who are proud of their Confederate Heritage is exactly the same as the police officer, although towards a different group. You may attempt to downplay it based on your personal preferences, but it won't work. There are some important differences however. The policeman's voice went out to dozens, while Mr. Ewert's invectives went out to tens of thousands. The policeman apologized and had remorse, while Ewert, defended his actions, showed no remorse, and instituted a campaign with his left-wing friends defending his behavior. This was a first offense by the police officer, while Mr. Ewert was warned eight months ago, when he was quoted as museum director in the Gainesville (Georgia) Times. In that interview he said; "racism is inherent in Confederate symbols" and thus they "should not be a symbol of heritage" to anyone. I called him and told him his remarks were prejudicial and improper because of his position. He responded by writing even more cultural prejudice that has raised the current situation to a public one.

Mr. Ewert is entrusted to keep the history of all Mobilians. At our founding, that is a story of the Native Americans and French. At the time of the Second War for American Independence, that is a story of Confederate Mobilians and slavery. By his words and deeds, Ewert has proved himself incapable of keeping the history of Confederate Mobile. He has shown bias, or cultural bigotry towards one group, whose history he is charged to keep. This, like the police officer has broken his agreement to protect the history of ALL Mobilians. Ewert has shown no remorse, and indicates his actions will be continued. For this, and this alone, George Ewert should be terminated from his position as Museum director of the city of Mobile. To do anything different only proves that a double standard exists downtown, a fact that is only too obvious to anyone going to council meetings. If Mobile does not get its house in order, and carry out the new mission statement, it will continue the decline that is you can hear in the footsteps of those who leave town as soon as they become financially able. All we have ever asked for is the fair respect necessary for inclusion.

We demand equal treatment for ALL Mobilians. To do that in this case requires that Ewert, or anyone else showing bigotry be terminated.

No changes without permission

Ben George D.V.M., commander
Lee-Moses-Dixon Vindicator Camp #408
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Mobile, Alabama



Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/28/2003

YOU RAT!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/28/2003

The Celts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were noted for the martial ferocity of their women, as noted by Agricola and Hadrian, in the Tain bo Coulaigh, and in many other ancient citations. The most salient example was the Warrior Queen Boadacea, destroyer of two Roman legions, who lead her army from the front, driving her three-horse chariot.

Her name today is remembered in the Southern adjective "boadaceous", for strong, audacious and courageous. I do not believe that this expression is much used outside the South, but in the South it may be applied to both men and women, the men perceiving no sli


Barbara Cornett - 10/27/2003

Thank you for that info! I am going to find a copy and will get back to you about it!


Barbara Cornett - 10/27/2003

I look forward to reading it. I hope you don't fault the rest of the American people in regard to Jewish people because the American people have supported Jewish people and continue to do so. Black people have been in the US since its founding and they have never even been on a Presidential ticket.

Harkin is a real, genuine democrat and a good man. Lieberman is a zionist republican. Paul Wellstone could have been on the ticket with Gore and gotten support so I hope you aren't spinning things since I've seen that you have a penchant for melodramatics when it comes to Jewish issues and are extra sensitive.

Consider the topic heading of the Ewert article, those who were critical of Ewert were labeled "neo-confederates". Did you hear us whining about the unfairness of that by HNN?

Ebert stated that people who liked "Gods and Generals" were Civil War buffs who didn't watch movies! As tho southern people who are interested in our history and movie goers are mutually exclusive. Now what kind of thinking is represented by that statement? He made it sound like Civil War buffs are weirdos or something. Would he have said the same thing if the movie were about the Nazi holocaust? Are those interested in the nazi holocaust and movie goers mutually exclusive? The civil war is about US history.

Sometimes life is not fair.


Barbara Cornett - 10/27/2003

I am referring to the Bush White House when I say that our government has been hi jacked by Zionists and I stand by that statement. Ariel Sharon does as he pleases and the US votes down any and all UN Resolutions that would contain Israel.

There are Jews in Congress who fully support and do what is in the best interest of Israel rather then the US and I would say that the current policy benefits them.

I have to look no further then Joe Lieberman who is a Zionist or the Jews at PNAC to show that the White House policy benefits Jews in the US. A zionist in the US is anyone who puts Israel before the interests of the US and that includes a lot of Jews in government.

Last night after the democratic debate Fox Network had Bill Kristol to spin the debate for them. I couldn't watch 30 seconds of that man whom I despise and think should be tried at The Hague along with Bush and all of his inner circle. The things that they are doing are on the same level as what Hitler did and the only reason no one steps in and brings the US to justice is because they don't have the military power to take us on and do something about our crimes. It is outrageous that Bill Kristol is treated as legitimate while someone like David Duke is rightly marginlized. What is the difference between them? Kristol is evil.

Jews in America are acting as horribly as Jews in Israel. They are murderers and ethnic cleansers just as Hitler was and I have a right to be upset at what they are doing in my name and with my money.

PNAC has hi jacked the White House which is following a policy that benefits NO ONE except Israel and Jews like him and of course energy and business.

If you are an American Jew who is against everything that is happening then you would not be included in that comment.

Certainly my family gets zero benefit from any of this and in addition to having to sacrifice at home in every area where money is needed we are also being put out as targets for terrorists that have been brought to this country because of our policy toward Israel.

Millions protested this war and it was known all along that the reasons for taking us into war were based upon a lie but the Zionists did everything against our wishes anyway and I consider that a hi jacking.

Sharon and the White HOuse Zionists are acting as quickly as they can to carry out their agenda in case Bush loses the next election and they know that most people in America are against what they are doing and so is the world.

When Bush recently visited Australia on the pretext of thanking them for their help in support of Bush policies, Bush and Laura and Howard and his wife stood at the top of the steps of Air Force One and were photographed waving as tho they were waving to supporters and that photo was on the front pages of papers across the country and around the world when in fact there were only US officials and the White House press corp they were waving to.

Bush was carefully kept away from the protesting crowds just as he is in this country.

The world is angry with Israel and they will probably pay for what they are doing.

The only Americans who benefit are Jews. None of the rest of us benefit and we have a right to be angry at what is happening. If you as a Jew protest what is happening that does not change the facts of anything that I have said.

It would be madness to refrain from criticizing Jews. Italians are not running the white House and doing these things. Rednecks did not come up with a policy to rearrange the middle east and shock and awe the Arab world. Greeks are not doing these things. What do you expect people to say? Jews are not above it all and don't deserve any special treatment. PNAC planned this policy for 10 years and hated Bill Clinton because he wouldn't carry it out for them. PNAC is now in control of our government and that means Jews benefit from what is happening.


Paul Harvey - 10/27/2003

Mr Griffith:

Coming from someone who wants a respected museum employee fired merely for writing a movie review that accords with the feelings of a great many viewers and historians (including many Alabamians, for whom you claim to speak), I would be careful before you start calling others "bigoted" or "intolerant." The fault here lies not in our stars, but in yourself.




F.H. Thomas - 10/27/2003


I was delighted to find that our learned colleagues in World Lit have made "The Tain" (tr: Thomas Kinsella, Oxford University Press, reissued 2002, price 18.95) into a new required text, with 120 copies in the UC bookstore.

IQ's seem to be rising all around us. It's almost scary. Enjoy.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/26/2003

Ms. Cornett,

I, like you, am of the opinion that the levers of this country's foreign policy are in the hands of a group of people whose loyalties are not first and foremost to the United States. I do think you are misusing the term 'Zionist', however. Zionism is simply the belief that Jews have the right to political and national sovereignty in the Land of Israel. Whether Wolfowitz, Feith, Pearle, et al are Zionists is irrelevant. What they are, for sure, are ingrates, and damn near traitors.

As for this comment:

"No matter how much I try to explain he never understands how I feel about having the country hi-jacked and used by zionists on behalf of Jews and Israel."

Well, when you put it like this, it's small wonder that Mr. Dresner fails to "understand" where you're coming from (or maybe he does understand, all too well). Pray tell, Ms. Cornett- how exactly does the U.S. government act on behalf of Jews, to the exclusion of gentiles? Give me one example, and don't say "Israel", either. I'm not an Israeli. None of that four billion sent to Tel Aviv annually finds its way into my pocket- heck, it leaves my pocket, same as yours. The only "benefit" I get is reading comments like yours about how Jews have "hijacked" the country.

Just one example, Ms. Cornett. If you can think of one.


Jonathan Dresner - 10/26/2003

Ms. Cornett,

Lieberman didn't win a presidential election: he was the VP nominee on a ticket that stumbled (because they could and should have done much better) into what was effectively a tie, which is something our current political system does not handle well (though I do agree that the Supreme Court acted improperly and politically). Had Lieberman been at the top of the ticket, I don't think it would have been all that close.

But there is another point of agreement. Had Harkin been on the ticket instead of Lieberman, I think it would have been a stronger team.... You'll probably enjoy my next article.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/26/2003

I am signing off, but will be checking back to disclaim the messages the theif and coward post in my name on this board.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/26/2003

If the FBI was too hard on him you will have to wait 50 years to prove that.

I have read what we do know and he had training in Russia, He had very close ties to the marxist, communist party here and aboard.

It has been shown that the communist marxist socialist plan to change America was targeted at black churches. The scope of this plan and training may be learned from a once radical reformer and civil rights marcher, David Horowitz (lives in Caifornia, sometimes appears on TV, his ads were banned from in some very large university newspapers - you may have heard of him) and others. so much for free speech, only for the chosen ones.

When I went to school our standards were much higher than they are today...............including our morals and our disipline.

When you get time look into the DIXIECRATS platform of the 60s or 70s, the one Trent Lott mentioned at his friends party, you know the line he said that got him axed. So much for freedom of speech, yea right, only for the chosen ones.

well nuff said - bye


Ralph E. Luker - 10/25/2003

Ladies, If "WE AMERICANS ARE SUPERIOR," how can we also at the same time be "hi-jacked"? Supermensch bound in servitude?


Mike Griffith - 10/25/2003


I think what the FBI did to Martin Luther King was wrong.

For all his faults, I think Dr. King did a lot of good. On balance, I think his efforts were a plus for blacks and for America as a whole.

Mike Griffith


Barbara Cornett - 10/25/2003

Josephine I feel the same way you do about our foreign policy and how it does not reflect the needs or interests of southern people. It doesn't serve anyone's interests but ExxonMobile and Israel.

I feel like my country has been taken over by Zionists but making these statements gets me into trouble with Mr Dresner who thinks I'm anti-Jewish. No matter how much I try to explain he never understands how I feel about having the country hi-jacked and used by zionists on behalf of Jews and Israel.

We southern people also have to contend with the fact that southern white Christian/zionists are supporting the Bush administration. Supporting them even tho they are doing nothing for them.

If you agree with me about the middle east then you surely should not have supported Bush. Even his own father has turned on him and given Ted Kennedy a prestigious award for his political work which is totally opposite of Bush Jr. Bush is a disaster.

The Supreme Court is not supposed to decide elections.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/25/2003

GOD BLESS USA.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/25/2003

P. S. I donot think it is fair or just for our Government to have sealed the FBI-CIA records of Martin Luther King for 50 years.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/25/2003

I can't let this go without one more bit of information you may not be aware of.

Jim Crow laws were taken right out of the North's book.

from the North! That's right folks, the South didnot invent them - they were put in place after the yoke of Reconstruction was thrown off and were sanctioned by the North, because it worked there and allowed them to live with each other.

Wasn't it Lincoln himself who said blacks and whites should live apart. It was Lincoln, himself, who made plans to do just that!

Reconstruction is so overlooked as key to our present day issues by historians, media, etal - except for mud slinging as Shelton evidenced, i doubt there will ever be real dialogue addressing these issues between the races for a long long time to come.

I do agree that Jim Crow went on too long and Martin Luther King was right in his protest and demand for changes. But MLK was not the poor suppressed hero some proclaim, in fact he was quite well off, respected and honored in the community. According to Rev Abernathy's book (a must read-his side kick)the movement was stolen by the Chicago Black Activists thugs of that day who continue the exploitation of his name and fame.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/25/2003

Dear Barb, i was struck by your post, how much we think alike on The South's early history and how different we think on the present issues.

I voted for Bush so that Gore would not win. I have been an independent for about 10 years (since Ross Perot days), and switched my registration from Democrat to the Southern Party of Florida. I don't agree Bush stole the election at all, by looking at the map of the Red and Blue he won hands down. I don't want our country run by big cities. In speaking with upstate New Yorkers that is exactly where they find themselves - they have no say so in their state - New York City because of its size and population controls everything.

I agree with you that Palestine certainly has not gotten a fair shake from Israel. A few years ago, way before 9/11, I told my son Israel was going to get us in a 3rd world war - he scoffed at me, called me racist.......that is the power of their perpetual victim proproganda.

Palestine does not have any atomic bomb, they were not a threat, they live in poor conditions and Israel should stay confined to their original territory and get out of the way....America is hated because we support them.

I do not think we should be giving our hard earned money to Israel - while many are howling about the money we will spend in Iraq not a peep about the huge amount we have been giving Israel for years and years.

Need I point out that the Confederate States of America would not have been entangled in all these foreign domestic fights. They already knew what comes of this from their ancestors experience in the old country.

As to your take on Zionists, etc - I have no knowledge of these labels but you may be right! I have gut feelings of who controls the $$$$$ and thus controls the media. The powers behind the scences are very likely jewish.

That the South is still as diversified as ever is evidenced in our different opinions on these subjects.

josie






Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/25/2003

Dear Barb, i was struck by your post, how much we think alike on The South's early history and how different we think on the present issues.

I voted for Bush so that Gore would not win. I have been an independent for about 10 years (since Ross Perot days), and switched my registration from Democrat to the Southern Party of Florida. I don't agree Bush stole the election at all, by looking at the map of the Red and Blue he won hands down. I don't want our country run by big cities. In speaking with upstate New Yorkers that is exactly where they find themselves - they have no say so in their state - New York City because of its size and population controls everything.

I agree with you that Palestine certainly has not gotten a fair shake from Israel. A few years ago, way before 9/11, I told my son Israel was going to get us in a 3rd world war - he scoffed at me, called me racist.......that is the power of their perpetual victim proproganda.

Palestine does not have any atomic bomb, they were not a threat, they live in poor conditions and Israel should stay confined to their original territory and get out of the way....America is hated because we support them.

I do not think we should be giving our hard earned money to Israel - while many are howling about the money we will spend in Iraq not a peep about the huge amount we have been giving Israel for years and years.

Need I point out that the Confederate States of America would not have been entangled in all these foreign domestic fights. They already knew what comes of this from their ancestors experience in the old country.

As to your take on Zionists, etc - I have no knowledge of the labels but I have gut feelings of who controls the $$$$$.

That the South is still as diversified as ever is evidenced in our different opinions on these subjects.

josie






F.H. Thomas - 10/25/2003


Occasionally the scar tissue which often forms over unpleasant memories in the course of time can be removed for a moment, and all of it is as clear as when it happened.

My most difficult memory of that war was afterward, the embarassed silences which formed when the subject was mentioned, and the hostile attitudes which some expressed later. But that was not universal by any means.

When I landed at Seatac, and transferred to a civilian airliner (United, I think), the check in clerk asked "Vietnam?", and I told him "yes". I did not know what to expect, but when I got on the plane I discovered that he had put me in first class, to be met by a crew who all thanked me for my service, treated me like a king, and managed to land me in Chicago as stuporously drunk as I have ever been, but truly feeling appreciated.

It is this latter memory which your remarks returned to me.




Barbara Cornett - 10/25/2003

You are forgetting that Lieberman did win in the last presidential election and he and Gore had it stolen from them by the 5 felons on the Supreme Court and the crooks who now illegally occupy the White House.

I supported Gore until he chose Lieberman and then I switched to Ralph Nader and the Green Party. After realizing that my vote for Nader would put Bush in the White House I voted for Gore/Lieberman.

One reason people don't like Lieberman is that he famously came out on tv agreeing with the republicans while they were bashing Clinton and seeking to get him impeached while all the rest of us were fighting furiously to save Clinton. Thats when I first heard of him. He made his name off of targeting Clinton and made it known at that time how conservative he is. He is really a moderate republican like so many democrats today. Gore wanted to distance himself from Clinton so Lieberman made the perfect choice but as it turned out Gore should not have distanced himself from Clinton and Lieberman hurt him.

I think it would be as possible to elect a Jew as a woman or a black person. Anyone who gets elected has to have a great personality or name recognition like Bush and Schwartznegger or have great charisma like Clinton. If a Jewish person like that came along then that person could get elected, especially if the media people liked them.

Jewish people like Lieberman may play very well with southern Christians if they ran as republicans. You have to admit that people in this country strongly favor Israel and Bush will count on that and things are not as bleak for Jews as you seem to think.

I think people see Jews manipulating behind the scenes such as when they turned against Jimmy Carter and when they silenced Howard Dean and that serves as an indication of their power and also shows how they use that power. If Carter and others had been allowed to treat both sides the same in the middle east then 9-11 may never have happened. Dean has a right to let people know where he stands on that issue. So people have reasons to be cautious about Jewish power. We shouldn't bring terrorism to our shores. We shoudn't encourage it elsewhere. We should reign Israel in.

There is an absence of democratic values among the democratic party now and Dean, Kucinich, and Edwards are popular because they represent the real values of democrats as opposed to the other candidates who are not that much different from republicans.

Democrats are doing nothing in WAshington. Republicans are fighting to end SS, they are rearragning the middle east, they are attacking labor and they are giving away public money to the rich corporations. All very bold and radical policies. They have token resistance from democrats. If they fail to privatize SS then they simply wait and attack again at a later time. They are relentless and evenutally they get their way.

The democrats do nothing. They could be attacking bank card companies that commit usury. They could make demands on the corporate media which use our public airwaves for free and spew propaganda. They could have voted against the resolution giving Bush the power to start a war. They could support universal health care. They do nothing. That is how Dean was silenced. The democrats act like republicans.

The person I would most like to see in the White House is Tom Harkin of Iowa. He is one of my favorite democrats and he is consistant in his pro people policies. He was the best candidate when the Clinton cyclone came onto the national scene and he was lost in all of the tv hype and glitz. Its a shame that we never actually get real debates about issues because of the corporate media and good men like Harkin do not get the chance to serve. He would have been much much better then Clinton.

Senator Hollings from SC is a good democrat but he is retiring. Senator Byrd has made historic speeches and fought really hard to defend the Constitution against the Bush adm but he has gotten no attention from the media and precious little attention from the progressive internet which doesn't like to admit that a progressive can actually be from the south. HNN should do articles about Byrd's speeches and how the Bush WH is trashing the Constitution.

I can't really think of a prominent Jewish person to run for President either but I do think Jews are well represented in Congress and have greater numbers relative to their numbers in the population.

I also think that the current White House will give amunition to people who would think twice before voting for a Jewish person.

When the atmosphere changes in the US and a new administration comes into office and the emphasis is on restoring and rebuilding the US and trying to pay off the massive debt created by this adm, Israel will be very vunerable and an easy target. The republicans will probably use fixed Diebold voting machines to steal another four years and keep their wars going until we are in ruin.

My favorite Jewish person is Al Franken. Maybe he should run for President, he could do a better job then bush is doing.


Mike Griffith - 10/25/2003



Your picture of race relations during Reconstruction is one-sided and incomplete. You might read Charles Adams' book WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS, especially chapters 9 and 10, and Lloyd Paul Stryker's book ANDREW JOHNSON: A STUDY IN COURAGE, pp. 220-230, 440-456, 524-534, and especially 781-804. There is much more to the story than what Foner presents. Violence came from both sides, and in many cases former Confederates were the innocent victims. Some Reconstruction officials incited former slaves to hate all white Southerners and manipulated them in other unethical ways for political gain at the expense of the previous citizenry.

And, by the way, how about the racial violence in the North? How about the hundreds of blacks who were killed in race riots, lynchings, and other forms of racial violence in the Northern states, even during the war? For that matter, how about the race riots that have broken out in NORTHERN cities just in the last 50 years? New York, Washington D.C., Cincinatti, Boston, etc., etc. How about the **thousands** of complaints of policy brutality against blacks in NORTHERN cities? How about the recently exposed 20-some-year systematic framing of black males in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia police department? HUNDREDS of black men were framed and wrongly imprisoned by the Philadelphia police department and by the Philadelphia "justice" system. Do you remember this story, which hit the news about five years ago? How about the recent wave of racial killings in New Jersey and New York? I lived near Boston for three years and recall how angry the black community was over repeated cases where Boston policemen shot and killed young black *unarmed* teenagers with the excuse that they "felt threatened" or "thought they saw a gun." I recall one case where a white Boston policeman shot and killed a young black boy who was hiding out of fear under a car. The policeman said he thought he "saw a gun" in the young boy's hand. And on and on and on and on and on and on I could go.
Sadly, our nation hasn't overcome the problem of racism. And, frankly, the South is tired of being the scapegoat and the whipping boy on this issue. Racism has always been a severe problem in the North, and remains so to this day. I would argue that race relations were actually better in the South than in the North prior to Reconstruction.

[[[ As to where my head was when I posted the Articles of Secession, I thought it was to allow the Confederacy to present their own defense of secession, rather than the one people such as yourself or Lord Acton decide they really intended. ]]]

I think you're talking about the Ordinances of Secession. Even one of those ordinances mentions economic complaints, and two of the other ordinances mention opposition to coercion and state sovereignty. Further, most of the ordinances say nothing about slavery.

When we turn to the Declarations of Causes of Secession, we see A NUMBER OF REASONS given for secession: Failure to enforce the fugitive slave law, state sovereignty, a state's right to resume the powers of government, the dispute over the extension of slavery, Northern failure to adhere to the Constitution, Northern attempts to incite violent slave revolts, and complaints about unfair federal economic policies. It is simply and demonstrably false to say that the only reason the South seceded was to protect slavery.

Whatever the causes of secession, secession and the war were two separate events. Secession did not cause the war. There was no need for a war just because the South had peacefully and democratically separted from the Union. The North could have allowed the South to go in peace. The Confederacy wanted good relations with the North. The problem was that Lincoln and the Republicans refused to allow the South to go in peace.

I agree with what abolitionist and Republican leader Horace Greeley said not long before the war began:

"We hope never to live in a Republic where one section is pinned to the other section by bayonets."

And I also agree with what none other than William Seward told the London Times on April 4, 1861:

"It would be contrary to the spirit of the American Government to use force to subjugate the South."

None other than ardent abolitionist Lysander Spooner said the South should be allowed to go in peace because it had THE RIGHT to do so. Spooner, even though he praised John Brown's raid and despised the South, said after the war that the North had fought for the principle of coercion, for the idea that "men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them criminals and traitors" (Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, EMANCIPATING SLAVES, ENSLAVING FREE MEN, p. 205).

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/25/2003


[[[ To Mr. Griffith. I find amazing your claim that your opponents are one sided bigots. ]]]

I didn't say this.

[[[ Some perhaps are, ]]]

I'd say that *some* Lincoln/Union defenders exhibit bigotry toward Southern heritage. I've never said that all my opponents are one-sided bigots.

[[[ but you yourself have done little more than replaced one simplistic morality tale (?Lincoln?s war of emancipation?) with another (?Lincoln?s imperial invasion against a democratic, Jeffersonian South?). ]]]

Well, I'm sorry, but it *was* an invasion of a democratic, Jeffersonian nation. Fact is fact.

The Confederacy was virtually identical to the U.S. as it existed under the Articles of Confederation and to the U.S. as it existed under the Constitution until about 1832.

The U.S. Constitution not only strongly protected slavery, as even Lincoln admitted repeatedly, but it required the return of fugitive slaves, it permitted the slave trade to continue for decades, and it only recognized slaves as counting for 3/5 of white men for the purpose of determining Congressional representation.

Although the Consitution was not nearly as overt about slavery as was the CSA constitution, it strongly protected the institution. This was exactly why so many abolitionists, such as William Lloyd Garrison, *condemned* the U.S. Constitution. And this is why some African-American ultra-leftists so strongly condemn our founding fathers as racists and why they condemn early America as "a racist regime."

[[[ I might point out my position may condemn the South, but it hardly lionizes the Union. You seem incapable of such ambiguity. ]]]

Why do you say that? Have you read any of my articles, which I've cited four or five times? Have you visited my Civil War site? I know that on at least one occasion in this forum I've said that I have my own criticisms of the antebellum South and of the Confederacy, but that they're not based on the mythology that the North was quick to spin after the war.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Jonathan Dresner - 10/25/2003

Ms. Cornett,

No, I can't (I'm a political maven, not a wonk or junkie; I can't even tell you for sure who the Jews in the Senate are, though I'm sure I could google it up quickly enough), but even if I could, no they couldn't. Not at present, anyway. Lieberman was pushing it with the VP slot, but there are far too many people who think like you do about Jewish loyalty and Jewish influence, not to mention a lot of other anti-Jewish ideas out there. The most recent opinion polls I've seen don't put the number much over 10%, but if you factor that into a tight presidential campaign, it's hopeless.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/25/2003

Your problem is that you keep reading what you want to so that you can make a knee jerk put down - you are fighting the truth because the truth is just too painful for you and you balk at anything that does not agree or make you comfortable with your accepted view, you just won't go through the painful truth and get to the other side.

Since you are citing all the atrocities by whites in your post, I would respectfully ask have you ever read anything about the black on white atrocities in the South?

Again your one-sided views seem to show that you don't and you haven't by what you cited - is that all you know of RECONSTRUCTION?.

All this is a matter of record - but nowadays you only hear the one side like yours from the goofy liberals. This makes me angry because there is so much more to this than you goofy's cite.

Try reading just a few pages out of the book "The Tragic Era" The Revolution after Lincoln by Claude G. Bowers; pub: 1929 by The Literary Guild of America. It won't cause you near as much pain as it did me. Imagine living under those horrific suppressed conditions - many couldn't and left their homes, they moved West and some out of the country. Some of my South Carolina cousins, the Pressleys, Doziers, went to California, became judges and were much esteemed and honored there as just and fair in all their dealings.

It was the reporting of these atrocities and horrific conditions by blacks on white Southernors that finally by the late 1870s the northern citizens were aroused to our plight and they rose to the occasion by assisting us in overthrowing this horrendous yoke the government had placed around our neck. By that time the theives had plunged us in to horrific debt - which we assumed and by hard work freed ourselves.

I believe it was in Colfax, Louisiana where the white people finally had enough and rose up and slaughtered their persecutors, you forgot that one, but then the NAACP has South Carolina on the griddle keeping them in your mind.

You Wrote: "I also regret the atomization of knowledge in the Social Sciences. As I've tried to make sense of that sentence in your post, I believe you are suggesting that some sort of specialist could attest to your intelligence?"

no I was referring to you and those like you - who have tunnel vision. I gave you an out!


Barbara Cornett - 10/25/2003

Can you tell me the names of some Jewish people who you think would make good presidents and if you think they could win an election?


Jonathan Dresner - 10/25/2003

Ms. Cornett,

I went to google.com, and entered as search terms "governor phil bredesen religion". The first link that came up was the National Governor's Association bio, followed by some old campaign material, both of which clearly stated his religion and religious background.


Barbara Cornett - 10/25/2003

Thank you again for those suggestions and I will try to find the books! I am not a historian and the things you take for granted that people know are mostly new to me. So much for my cultural literacy!

Bill Clinton has expressed an interest in forming a book club and I really wish he would because I would appreciate having a chance to find good books worth reading which is difficult for me to do.

So anytime you want to drop the title of a book or make a historical reference about people or places please feel free!!


Barbara Cornett - 10/25/2003

Where did you find the information about the governor's religion? As far as I know this issue has never come up anytime during his terms in Nashville or during his campaign for governor. He's from New York and when I couldn't find his religion in his bio then I automatically assumed he was a godless heathen. ;0)

Holding religious beliefs and actually putting them into practice are two different things. If another President took office and changed policies and Israel was no longer in the news everyday then the Christian Zionists would move on to something else, whatever the rightwing and the media wants them to think about. They are just like the rest of the country and have no memory. If only the enemies we have made could have such short memories.


K. A. Shelton - 10/25/2003

"Would he have been hung like Booth would Davis have become an icon like lincoln." Your post Oct. 21, if this was another hijacked message I apologize. The woman hung was Mary Suratt.
I would direct you to the wealth of literature on lyncing, amongst it works by Glenda Gilmore (a delightful Southern lady herself) and Leon Litwack. Ida B. Wells began her campaign against the same in response to a lynching that began with an attempt by Southern store owners to destroy a black cooperative grocery store. Mob killing as a phenomenon should also be separated from the practice of ritualized murder (with the use of exaggerated levels of violence, desecration of the corpse, public spectacle, and the taking away of photographs and body parts as souverners) practiced in parts of the South. the numbers of killed in the 1930s run (as I recall, though I may be remembering something else)to about 3000. I would suggest this far outstrips the admittedly bad conditions in the North. Even southerners at the time were defensive about it.
For the period of Reconstruction, the Klan murdered Arkansas Congressman James Hinds, and three members of the SC legislature in 1866. 1868, in Camilla Georgia, a white mob fired on a black electoral killing roughly 20 blacks. New Orleans, a mob destroyed a Republican newspaper, and went on a spree in the surrounding fields, killing about 200 blacks, in order to intimidate them from the polls. Black legislator Richard Burke was murdered in 1870. Jack Depree had his throat slit and was eviserated in Monroe County, MS. Andrew Flowers, who had the temerity to win an election against a white man was publically whipped. 1869, the Klan beat George Moore and raped a girl at his house after he voted the radical ticket. Eric Foner estimates 1/10 of black delegates to the 1867-68 constitutional convention suffered some form of violence. 1870, a white mob attacked a Republican rally in Greene County, AL and murdered four blacks. After an election in Laurens County, SC 13 blacks were murdered. (Foner, Reconstruction, p. 342, 426-428)
As to where my head was when I posted the Articles of Secession, I thought it was to allow the Confederacy to present their own defense of secession, rather than the one people such as yourself or Lord Acton decide they really intended.
I also regret the atomization of knowledge in the Social Sciences. As I've tried to make sense of that sentence in your post, I believe you are suggesting that some sort of specialist could attest to your intelligence?


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/24/2003

Thank you Mr. Thomas for your kind words and I will find the book and read it soon. A few years back I read a most interesting one which started with the migration below the Swiss Alps of the Celts - and yes a woman was the leader and she had a horse - the tale relates their experiences and settlement around Spain where they acquired too many cattle who ate them out of house and home - some had to leave, thus the celts made a sea voyage and landed in the British Isles - this book was well researched by a noted author of Celtic history, altho the name escapes me now - you're right about the women.....there is much info in this book about their religion (druids)and lifestyle as well.

I also read somewhere that the Celts migrated as far as Egypt - therefore their descendants can be found in many places besides Ireland.

I am very particular about the books I read and it is a compliment to you that I will definitely take your reccomendation.

josie


Jonathan Dresner - 10/24/2003

Ms. Cornett,

According to the best information I can find on the Internet, your governor was Presbyterian-born and is now a practicing Catholic. Not Christian?

Nor do I believe that my argument about the intrasigience of Christian Zionists is bigoted: They may not realize the immediate costs of their position, but from what I can see they see this as an opportunity to broaden their support for Israel rather than narrowing it. There are a lot of reasons to think that people's ideas would change if they were presented with a different set of "facts" but we clearly disagree on what those facts are. I think your assumption that the Zionist position of evangelical Christians is epiphenomenal rather than fundamental calls their faith into question, whereas I'm taking their faith as genuine. A bit scary, perhaps, but genuine.



Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/24/2003

oh well Shelton, i knew when you through up the secession articles where your head was.

It just so happens that Social Science until it was broken into bits and pieces and shredded out to specializers would have clearly shown what I have.

I didn't call you names why do you call me names. At least my education is above that.

It is not true that we lynched blacks for what you say - some were lynched for murder, rape, etc - so were some whites - recently a town was ready to lynch a fellow named Peterson for killing his wife in California.....

you threw that out with no citation or proof! You have been reading to many comic books.

Alas, you did not ready my post very well, I said a woman was hung for conspiracy! drat it now who is the buffon - go back and reread it.

your last message is really absurb, you do need a rest.






Barbara Cornett - 10/24/2003

I'm sorry if I have offended you Mr Luker and I know that you are upset with me. The fact is anti semitisim is rampant and on tv every single day, all day long. It is proudly embraced and broadcast around the world by the US with absolutely no embarrassment. It is the policy of our White House and the President advocates it with vigor. Its victims are Arabs.


Barbara Cornett - 10/24/2003

I am speaking as plainly as I know how and I'm not trying to be evasive. I realize I cannot get into your mind and know what you think or feel so therefore I cannot say what you fear or how you regard SPLC. I must therefore rely upon what you say and accept that and show respect for how you feel. That seems appropriate when dealing with another individual is it not. If it were an organization or a movement then I would respond acccordingly.

The heart of my problem are the ones in control of the White House and who have the support of the Congress and about 50% of the citizens. Many of whom would change their opinions if they were in possession of the facts.

The Christian right and the Christian Zionists are a problem and I do not know how to fight the powerful media that leaves them to rely upon their superstitions and dogma. If they could see the political facts and leave aside their religious beliefs then the White House would lose most of its support and our policy toward Israel and the Palestinians could change and become fair and equal. That means therefore, that Zionists have power that is given to them by southern Christian-Zionists. Do you take issue with the way I see this situation?

I do not believe that convincing Christian Zionists to change their political views is impossible in spite of their beliefs about God's plan regarding Israel when Jesus returns. In the absence of information and facts and with all of the selling of the war and support for Israel on tv combined with their religious beliefs there is nothing to deter them from zealous support of the White House. If they were given facts however, they are as capable of reason as anyone else. Or as easy to influence, however you choose to see it. You are being a little bigoted yourself there, are you not??

If Christians have power in government and American cultural life that is because they are the majority. You are a minority, remember? Thats why I don't want to become a minority in my own country!

My own Governor, Phil Bredesen TN, is not a Christian or a believer.

I personally would not vote for a Jewish person unless I knew for certain that their loyality was to the United States and this country alone. Joe Leiberman is a Zionist and I would never vote for him. I would have voted for Paul Wellstone. I think that most progressives feel the same way. Most people that I encounter supported Wellstone but don't like Lieberman.

The truth about Christmas. You would encounter more obstacles among business then you would from Christians if you wanted it removed as a federal holiday. There were fewer then 100 people who supported Judge Roy and his 10 commandments and according to wsws.org those were bused in from around the country. Christians can accept a seperation of chruch and state. Christmas has more to do with Santa Claus then it does with Christ these days.

I'm sure a Jewish president could be accomodated regarding lighting the national tree.

How much of this administration's policy is being dictated by Christians? You tell me. As far as I know there are only Zionists in charge other than Ashcroft.

I am not baiting anybody. I just thought it was ironic that you should claim that Jews are threatened and SPLC made you feel more secure, at a time when Zioists had taken over the White House and taken us down a ruinous road based upon the most outrageous lies that have ever been told in order to sell their war and policies and ethnic cleansing against truly defenseless people. At a time when the White House policy is that Arabs are being disappeared and tortured at Gitmo. I thought it was insensitive of you.

The time to fear is when the government, not a few rabble rousers or nutcases, implement a policy against a minority. Like the Zionists in the White House are doing to Arab Americans.


Jerry West - 10/24/2003

-
The above post may be interesting, but it certainly wasn't written by me. Maybe the basketball player did it. At least it wasn't some neo-Nazi drivel. :)


Jonathan Dresner - 10/24/2003

Ms. Cornett,

I'm not going to apologize for appropriately characterizing your very carefully worded evasions. Though I appreciate your little nod to my SPLC position.

But, I think we might be getting at the heart of your problem. You're trying to figure out how to turn Christians against "Zionists" and "retake" power that "the Jews" now hold.

You have one impossible task and one "not a problem."

The impossible task is convincing Christian Zionists to not support Israel because supporting Israel is not in the best interests of the US (you believe). True Christian Zionists don't really care what's in the best interests of the US: they're goal is the redemption of the world, and a little political contradiction isn't going to stand in their way.

As far as the question of the power of Christianity and Christians in American society, enough is enough. Maybe you aren't exaggerating the power of "Jews" in government, by you sure are underestimating the power of Christianity in US society and politics. Can you name an atheist in the US House or Senate or in a Governor's mansion? Could an agnostic be elected President? Could a Jew? Could Christmas be removed as a federal holiday because it's religious? (Could a Jewish President even refrain from lighting the Lincoln Center Christmas tree?) This country has a long way to go before Christianity is even close to being "marginal." How much of this administration's domestic policy is being dictated by Christian groups? (answer: everything that isn't dictated by free-market business groups)

I understand your frustration at our current administration, but ethno-religious baiting is not the answer.


Jerry West - 10/24/2003

-
Mike Griffith wrote:

One can say that if there had been no slavery, *secession* probably wouldn't have occurred. But slavery really had nothing to do with the war itself. Secession and the war were two separate events.

JW:

You make my point then try to refute it.

Simply put:

There was a war because the North took action against the South which had secceded.

No seccession, probably no war, at least not in 1861

The issue that was the catalyst for seccesion was slavery, look at the history of the preceeding decade or more.

No slavery probably no seccession, at least not in 1861

Ergo, no slavery, no civil war in 1861

All of the othr arguments about who, what and why are interesting and part of the mix, but slavery was the trigger that lead us to war. Without that issue yet with all the others I think that things might have played out differently.


K. A. Shelton - 10/24/2003

I had been debating with myself whether to write a final post, and against my better judgment decided to. While I’m tempted to keep going, I’ve committed a week entirely outside of my own research interests to this stimulating debate, and must return to the project at hand. This is not to be taken as conceding any point not explicitly surrendered. In ending my role in this debate, I have also had to answer three questions:
Do I feel any less convinced as to my general argument? No.
Do I feel I could better state or document said interpretation? Short of changing the topic of my dissertation, no.
Do I feel that, if I were to do the above, I would be able to move my opponents one iota, no.
Thus further debate is largely pointless. A few parting shots though (I can’t resist):
To Mr. Griffith. I find amazing your claim that your opponents are one sided bigots. Some perhaps are, but you yourself have done little more than replaced one simplistic morality tale (“Lincoln’s war of emancipation”) with another (“Lincoln’s imperial invasion against a democratic, Jeffersonian South”). I might point out my position may condemn the South, but it hardly lionizes the Union. You seem incapable of such ambiguity.
To Ms. Bass, you are a buffoon. Mr. Griffith and others may be wrong, but they are intelligently wrong, you’re simply wildly ridiculous. Booth was not hung, he was shot by federal soldiers while trying to escape a barn they had him holed up in. They probably would have hung him, had they taken him alive (just as the South hung every slave who dared to claim the same rights secessionists did, and, unlike the South, against an undemocratic system), but that is beside the point. Also, it is not “our homework” to document your assertions, that is the first rule of historical methodology. Given your generally dodgy approach to historical accuracy, I’m not willing to accepting anything you claim to know on faith.
Well, that’s the sum of it. Good day.


Michelle Barrington - 10/24/2003

1. Would a poor factory worker living in a slum want to be a well-treated slave or a poor free citizen? HMMMMMMM

If you think slavery was so bad, you are obviously not very well-read on the subject. There are several excellent books availble that will help you understand that which you rail against. Knowledge will turn the light on for you.

2. Slaves (even well-treated ones) attempted to gain their freedom every chance they got--hence, the mass exodus from plantations during the Civil War.

An obvious lie. And where were the slave uprisings during the War, while all the men were away?

3. Finally, what is this continuous obsession with depicting slavery as somehow an acceptable institution? Makes one wonder.

The obsession with presenting slavery as evil only in the antebellum SOUTH is the more obvious point. Slavery existed in all 13 original colonies, and continued to exist in the North throughout the War. If it were so unacceptable, then why is it protected in the Constitution? And why did the US Congress offer a bill to protect it for all time in 1862? Now THAT makes one wonder, doesn't it?


Michelle Barrington - 10/24/2003

If the Constitution gave the States or the Federal government the power or authority to meddle in the affairs of the individual States, there would have been NO ratification. Can you picture Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, etc lining up to sign an agreement that would allow "the States" to invade others to force their will or social experiments on them? Don't make me laugh.


Michelle Barrington - 10/24/2003

It is a constant source of amazement to me how some people go to such great lengths to invent reasons why the facts should be twisted to fit what they want to hear. If the very words from the mouths of those whose experiences you seek to understand are not good enough for you, then I suggest you return to your coloring book and bore us no longer with your manufactured version of history. We are interested in the truth, not your fantasies of whips and chains. If ex-slaves say they were happier as slaves, I think that ample evidence that the so-called "horrors" of slavery must not have been as far-reaching as yankee apologists claim. And if free blacks were permitted to apply to become slaves, that would be unthinkable if your version of slavery were true. Face it, you have become a disciple of Harriett Beacher Stowe, the ultimate propogandist.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/24/2003

Mr. Thomas, Look at Mr. Griffith's _first sentence_: "The Confederacy was a peaceful, democratic nation." What begins in a lie cannot end in the truth.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/24/2003

Ms. Cornett, Your display of anti-semitism in these discussions is an embarrassment. It taints everything you say. Dr. Dresner was kind enough in reply to you. If _you_ were Jewish, would you want to have anything to do with someone who spews the bigotry you do? Think about it.


F.H. Thomas - 10/24/2003


How many memories you inspire...

One unique aspect of the Vicksburg fortifications is the fact that many are still there, including gaps created by mining, paths cut into the "downwind" side, and rifle pits.

I imagine that those around Washington were greater, but I do not believe that there is even a vestage, except perhaps out around the Naval Observatory.


Mike Griffith - 10/24/2003


[[[ Similar attacks were made, as I argued, against those who supported greater or equal rights for African Americans over the next century. I was contrasting Lincoln?s abuses towards the press during the war (an act no one defends, any more than they do Wilson?s similar actions during WW I) with the South?s long tradition of violence against ?troublemakers? on racial matters. ]]]

And this is an unfair, invalid comparison. First off, there were numerous race riots in NORTHERN cities before the war, and also plenty of cases of abolitionists being whipped, tarred, and otherwise abused in NORTHERN cities as well. During the war, dozens and dozens of blacks were killed by racist mobs IN THE NORTH.

And it certainly wasn't CSA policy to shut down hostile newspapers, to jail critical newspaper editors, to jail dozens of state legislators (as Lincoln did), nor to prorogue legislatures because they had pro-peace majorities (as the Republicans did in Illinois and Indiana).
I don't care how one wants to duck and dodge, the simple fact of the matter is that the CSA showed more respect for civil rights and the rule of law than did the Union. This isn't even a close call. But Union defenders won't admit this because it might raise questions about who was really fighting for government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm



F.H. Thomas - 10/24/2003


Since everyone reads Caesar, Tacitus, Agricola and Hadrian, I won't mention them again.

But by all means get the recent recompilation and retranslation of the "Tain bo Coulaigh", or "Cattle War of Cooley", which is just wonderful. This book is often called "The Illiad of Ireland", but minus the stilted but poetically lovely speech of the Greek classic. The opening scene about an argument over property between a King and Queen is to die for, and to me says volumes about the relative roles of men and women in Gaelic society of the day. I sometimes feel that sexual mores, and the male female nexus were more advanced back then. This society was contemporaneous with the Greeks, but was ahead in its treatment of women (or should I say women's treatment of men?)

For Boadacea, there are many books, including but not limited to the Roman sources, and her story has been novelized a couple of times-take your choice. There may even be a B movie or two.

Very glad for your interest, energy and intelligence.



Mike Griffith - 10/24/2003


[[[ I agree with Mr. Thomas that it would have been better had this war not happened at all. ]]]

I agree completely. I think slavery would have died a natural death. If there had been no war, race relations would not have been poisoned by Reconstruction, and needless to say over 600,000 soldiers would not have died, another 400,000 would not have been wounded, and the South would not have been ravaged and raped.

[[[ And whether the North was justified in maintaining the Union by force depends on one's views of the the nature of the contract between the states and the right of secession. ]]]

Even a staunch Unionist like President James Buchanan said in his last message to Congress that the federal government did not have the constitutional authority to use force against the seceded states. Another advocate of permanent Union, President Franklin Pierce, denounced the war as wicked and unnecessary, and for this he was branded a "traitor" and was nearly arrested on Seward's order.

[[ Perhaps we would have a better and safer world today had the Confederacy been allowed to stand and perhaps yet another country or two been formed independent in the West. The US would not be such a giant and disrupting element on the world stage. ]]]

I think the the CSA and the USA may have reunited after slavery died out and after the big-government policies of the Republicans of that day were rejected. But, the South had serious objections to Northern governmental policies like high tariffs, corporate welfare (known back then as "internal improvements"), federal expansion at the expense of state sovereignty, federally protected monopolies, and so forth. So the CSA may have decided to remain separate from the USA.

[[[ As for slaves cheering the secession, so what? Does that prove anymore than people anywhere in coercive societies cheering when it is expected that they will do so? Who knows why they were cheering in the street. Has anyone ever looked into that item? ]]]

Many slaves felt a sense of being Southern somewhat similar to what Southern whites felt. For many slaves, any enemies of their masters were also their enemies. And when some slaves got a taste of brutal treatment from Union soldiers, their feelings for the Southern side were solidified. Of course, there were other slaves who held different views, and thousands of slaves did in fact flee toward Union lines.

[[[ As for the reams of material asserting that the South did not fight FOR slavery, that does not disprove that slavery was not the cause of the war. The question to answer is if there had been no slavery, would there have been a civil war in 1861? ]]]

The direct, primary cause of the war was the North's refusal to allow the South to go in peace. Large-scale fighting started when Northern armies invaded the Southern states.

If the CSA's first act had been to announce a program of emancipation, does anyone seriously think Lincoln and the Republicans would have then allowed the South to go in peace?
One can say that if there had been no slavery, *secession* probably wouldn't have occurred. But slavery really had nothing to do with the war itself. Secession and the war were two separate events. During the four months when Buchanan was president during secession, there was no war because Buchanan didn't pursue a hostile, confrontational policy toward the CSA--he didn't threaten an invasion if tariffs weren't paid, he didn't try to provoke an attack, and he had no desire to use force against the seceded states (in fact, as mentioned, he noted that the federal government had no right to use force against the seceded states). I believe that if a true constitutionalist statesman had been president when the South seceded, there would have been no war. The CSA certainly didn't want war and tried hard to avoid it.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


F.H. Thomas - 10/24/2003


I echo your eloquently expressed thoughts, sir.


Barbara Cornett - 10/24/2003

Mr Dresner where did I say that the Jews control the world? That is resorting to cliche for you to make that statement and falls back on Jewish propaganda.

It is a fact that Zionists are in control in Bush's White House and whoever sits in the White House is indeed the most powerful man in the world so Jews are exercising quite a bit of power and it is being felt around the world.

I didn't exagerate the power that Sharon now has because of this White House either. I regret the way that these people are using their power which I'm sure you do too.

I didn't exagerate the power that Jews have in our government and in politics either. They recently used that power to silence Howard Dean. If I am wrong about that please correct me.

When people have and exercise power they rightly become targets of people with opposing views. There is debate about everything an elected official does because that is the way a democracy works. When Zioists carry out pro Isralie policies while holding office in the United States they rightly become targets for doing that since they should be doing what is in the interest of the American people and not the Israeli people.

Jews cannot stay above the fray and exercise the kind of power that the Zionist White House is exercising. It comes with the territory.

I can understand your stance in defending Jews because I defend the south in the same way. I don't agree with or defend the Christian right and their support of the Zioists but I get angry when Jewish people or people from NYC attack the southern Christian right and that give me a glimpse of why you take exception to my attacks on Jews.

I guess this is sensitive material and it should be handled very carefully. Everyone has a right to equal and fair treatment.

If you feel that the SPLC is defending your security then you should be allowed to have your feelings and beliefs which are legitimate.

I still am left with the fact that the Zionists in the White House are carrying out a policy that is bankrupting our country as they try to rearrange the middle east and I need an argument against the Christian/Zionists in the south. What would you suggest I say to southern Christians when I argue against their support of Zionists? How can I argue against them without being perceived as attacking you?

The problem is that most people think we attacked Saddam because he gassed his own people, attacked us on 9-11, and funded terrorists. I am responding to an editorial by a columnist in the local paper which stated these very things.

When you have to start from there how do you explain Leo Strauss to them? These are people who have been conditioned by popular culture to hate Arabs and they call them ragheads and camel eaters and other delightful names and who know absolutely nothing about Arab culture. Muslims are rightly outraged that the term 'Islamic terrorist' has been coined which only makes matters worse for them. Then these Christians supposedly get upset because Saddam gasses these ragheads and act as though no other atrocities happen around the world. Its all so convoluted and I resent that Zionists take advantage of this situation. How can I explain the horrors of what Zionists are doing to people who think Jews and Israel can do no wrong. It is very frustrating.


Barbara Cornett - 10/24/2003

Thank you! and thanks for giving me more interesting history to research and read about. I love it!


David Weber - 10/24/2003

Dr. Ben George,
Thank you for telling the rest of the story! All members of the SCV in Texas would stand with you on this issue. Many of the comments in this exchange of thought have been as you put it acts of cultural bigotry. I always find the concepts of the cultural elitists to be unworthy! It is so very sad that many of them have degrees and positions that allow them to continue their ruse upon trusting people.

Most of the history I have learned comes from taking time to find out which side of the fence writers are on. Many expouse what is academicaly correct based on the current belief. These beliefs seem to be founded on political grounds. Left against right and also just plain delusion. Honest workswould take an issue apart piece by piece instead of the broad sweep.

New myth making seems to be in vouge. Therefore the movie Gods and Generals, which is entertainment first, must be attacked to keep people from exercising their brains and taking an interest in history.

Heck, I have read six or more books on Lincoln even though I have read at least six others that calling him a tyrant. I make up my own mind. There is ample evidence that Lincoln set a tone for our goverment that is much in effect today. His treatment of the Constitution is documented and it was not good. "Union" at any cost!

David N Weber
Taylor, Texas


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/24/2003

It has been said that the reason we lost the war was that Lee, et al were too civil, too moral.......

It has been said, Had they opted for guerilla warfare, the North would have grown tired of this and would have let us go.

My ancestor Gen. Taylor of Kentucky (descendant of Pres. Zachary Taylor) commander of the Western Theater surely was not ready to lay down their arms and surrender when Lee was forced to.

Neither was Chief General Watie, CSA, of the Indian Nation in Oklahoma - who paid deadly by the loss of their land takover in the free land rush of 1890.

At Shreveport (my home town named after Capt. Shreve who dislodged the great barrier reef on the Red River) we had sucessfully kept the yankees at bay. While the yankee army occupied and made waste of most of Louisiana None had made it to Shreveport and NE Texas where the command was ready for them.

Fort Humbug sat high on the banks of the Red River and had successfully turned back the yankees - without firing a shot - using logs which appeared to be cannons below. (a US Veterans hospital now sits on that site).

I concur that had we resorted to guerilla warfare in every nook and cranny of the South we had a chance to finally exhaust them.

However, they would have killed many more civilians in the process - ex. Missouri - our people were starving and exhausted and really wanted an end to this horrific invasion - they wanted peace, little did they know what the new US government had in store for them for the next 15 years and beyond - little did they envision that in the year 2003 their ancestors would be attacked and degraded, their heritage trashed by people like EWERT,BROWN, THOMASON. If they had they would be fighting still........




Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/24/2003

A free America really a cash cow to be milked by the English.......much better and cheaper than war....???????????

My ancestors came here to get away from England's opressive Rulers - was lincoln's war another arena of the Scots, Irish, border wars as some have suggested?




Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/24/2003

The answer is YES! There are Others on this board who are certainly better than me to respond to your message, but as a grass roots self taught citizen it is my humble opinion that:

The difference in culture and philosphy of the two fractions is best described by Lord Acton. (read his views and reports)

The Hamiltonian view of the NE had long been seeking expansion and control of the central government. They opted for a bigger and more powerful central government.

While the Jeffersonians of the South viewed the concept of States Rights and little involvement in our affairs by a central government as the very foundation of our contract with each of the states;

thus the reason for the union and our revolution and dissolution with England was viewed very differently by the powers that be and the peoples of the South. The twine shall never meet - and thus the War and lincoln's election as president came into being.

As a aside - I speculate that England powers that be, even after they lost the War of 1812, never intended to let America go its own way - and perhaps they reasoned (Roman decendants they are)that $$$$$ would keep us together and they would benefit just the same or even more. Consider the greenback, printing money, banking, the North embraced all were concepted by England.

The war waged on the South by lincoln, et al was very Romanesque (i coined a new word).

josie


Jerry West - 10/24/2003

Vicksburg was a case of "fixed fortification" such as was around Washington DC and
Richmond, Va. This kind of fortification was not at all unusual. A better example
might be Chancellorsville where Anderson fortified the "Zoan Church line" to be
used as a base of maneuver for the rest of the army. These "field fortifications"
were also not new, but had not been used extensively before, mostly because the
range and firepower of pre ACW weapons did not require it. "Digging in" really came
into its own when the shoulder fired weapons of the infantry outranged the
cannister firing artillery (which occured with the introduction of rifled muskets
to replace smooth bores).


Jerry West - 10/24/2003

-
I agree with Mr. Thomas that it would have been better had this war not happened at all. And whether the North was justified in maintaining the Union by force depends on one's views of the the nature of the contract between the states and the right of secession. Perhaps we would have a better and safer world today had the Confederacy been allowed to stand and perhaps yet another country or two been formed independent in the West. The US would not be such a giant and disrupting element on the world stage.

As for slaves cheering the secession, so what? Does that prove anymore than people anywhere in coercive societies cheering when it is expected that they will do so? Who knows why they were cheering in the street. Has anyone ever looked into that item?

As for the reams of material asserting that the South did not fight FOR slavery, that does not disprove that slavery was not the cause of the war. The question to answer is if there had been no slavery, would there have been a civil war in 1861?


Ralph E. Luker - 10/24/2003

Good Lord! Ms. Bass has said that my "liberal skin is showing." I am so ashamed!


Jerry West - 10/24/2003

-
Thanks Brenda,

But, I asked for it, I lived through it and I came out in one piece (more or less, not counting Agent Orange, jungle rot and what other microbrial tropical flora and fauna that was acquired). There was no sacrifice for me. On the other hand I have friends who did make sacrifices and I will never forget them.


Brenda C. - 10/24/2003

Dear Jerry and F. H.,
I have read thru all the posts and come to find that you two, along with Dave, served our country during the Vietnam War.

I would like to personally THANK YOU for your service. It is beyond my comprehension the great sacrifice you all made. May God bless you.

God bless you and your families,
Brenda


Brenda C. - 10/24/2003

"Certainly,I, Lieutenant, 1st Infantry Division, Viet-Nam, 1966-7; Capt., 101st Airborne, Viet-Nam, 1969-70..."

Dave,
First of all, I have enjoyed reading your comments.

However, I really just want to take an opportunity to THANK YOU for serving our country during the Vietnam War. God bless you for your courage, service and sacrifice.

God bless you and your family,
Brenda



Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/23/2003

what a laugh

there is no comparison to filing secession papers and 9/11

destroying a building and killing 3000 people like 9/11 terriorist.

DID WE DO THAT? I never heard we did.

WHO? WHEN? WHAT? WHERE?

your liberal skin is showing


Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


[[[ It would be good to remember that your own celebration of the secession process excluded the wishes of a very large part of the population of the South. ]]]

Yes, and whose side do you think the slaves were cheering for in the Revolutionary War? Why do you suppose slaves flocked by the tens of thousands to the British lines? I think you get the point, which is that one could say with equal accuracy that the colonies seceded from Britain against the wishes of the vast majority of colonial slaves.

Further, I don't know where I've "celebrated" secession. If I had been alive in 1860, I would have been a cooperationist. I would have suggested that the Southern states at least wait to see how Lincoln would govern and how he would treat the South. Of course, when Lincoln supported the confiscatory Morrill Tariff, that alone would have made me think twice about Lincoln's intentions. Then, when Lincoln called for an invasion of the seceded states, I would have joined the Confederacy or left the country.

My main point about secession is that the South had the right to secede. The right of secession was recognized by Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, the Hartford Convention, William Lloyd Garrison (of all people), Timothy Pickering, William Rawle, John Tyler, and even Daniel Webster, among many others. America herself was founded on the principle of the right of secession. Let's remember that initially the colonies tried to obtain independence through peaceful means. There was only a war because England wouldn't allow the colonies to go in peace. Texas, too, was founded on the right of secession.

If the Confederacy didn't have the right to exist because of slavery, then neither did colonial America and neither did the United States.

[[[ That, I think, is what you call my prejudice against the South. ]]]

No, it was things like your comparing pro-Confederate arguments with Hitlerian views that I had in mind.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


The CSA had no intention of invading Cuba. Again, Patrick addresses this in JEFFERSON DAVIS AND HIS CABINET. The CSA explained to Cuba that, yes, at one time the South had wanted to Cuba, but only to counterbalance the growing power of the free states, but that after secession there was no need for this and that the CSA had no hostile intent toward Cuba.

Jaffa and others cite fire-eaters and other hardliners and then pretend as if that was Confederate policy. This is misleading. The fact of the matter is that at Montgomery the radicals were trounced and pushed aside. The fire-eaters were defeated because most Southerners didn't agree with them, but one would never know this to read Jaffa.

Regarding Fort Pillow, I'll repeat my point that even assuming everything you say is correct, I would still argue that overall CSA forces were guilty of far fewer war crimes than were Union forces. This isn't even a close call, in my opinion. In the vast majority of cases, Confederate soldiers observed the rules of war, and most of the abuses that they did commit came toward the end of the war, after they and Southern civilians had been subjected to innumerable acts of cruelty and barbarism by Union forces.

You might read Thomas Keys' book THE UNCIVIL WAR: UNION ARMY AND NAVY EXECESSES IN THE OFFICIAL RECORDS. Keys documents from official Union sources scores of war crimes by Union soldiers.

In my reading of letters from Union soldiers, I've come across several cases where some Union soldiers felt sick and ashamed of what they were doing in the South and were worried that they'd be hung or jailed if too many people found out what was going on.

Sherman, for one, knew exactly what was going on, and in later years, after the war, admitted that his actions in the South violated the rules of war that had been taught at West Point.
Lincoln knew what was going on because he authorized it. One of his generals resigned in protest. A few other Union generals privately expressed revulsion at Lincoln's "total war" policy.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Ralph E. Luker - 10/23/2003

You didn't like it when Palestinians danced in the streets after 9/11. You really are a stitch.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/23/2003

Wrong again Luker - A northern newspaper reported from an observer who toured the South as a spy after the secession exclaimed

that the negroes were dancing in the streets along with the white people - a joyous party was going on in every place he visited by blacks and whites.

I don't have the exact reference at my fingertips, but alas i cannot do all your homework for you.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/23/2003

Oviously I didnot write this - I wish Luker would quit it - you know darn well this is not my post!

Stop stealing my name you thief and coward!


F.H. Thomas - 10/23/2003


Thank you for your learned remarks, in which I find little to dispute.

The overwhelming central evil of all slavery was and is, the simple lack of freedom to leave, which anyone would freely stipulate, and the desire for freedom is universal. But, I think you may have missed my point.

My point was what happened after 1865, to those freed slaves. All of the factual information available paints a picture of abject misery. Let's face it, there are few worse things than sharecropping in a dead economy. Looking forward to today, I see a strong echo of that misery in any black ghetto.

My suggestion is that much of that misery could have been avoided had a political rather than a military process been used to achieve that eventual freedom, as happened in all the other slave countries in our Hemisphere.

This argument may be beyond the ken of Mr. Luker, who seems to have a vested interest in war and death, but given that my family lost 2 for the North, and 2 for the South, in that awful war, I admit to a personal reason as well as an intellectual reason for wishing it had never happened.

Thank you again for the substantive contributions you have made to this discussion.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/23/2003

Refresh my memory of Mr. Thomas's devastating attack on me, if you will, Mr. Thomas. He lost me somewhere in his dialectic that I am a leftist who is not really a leftist, a feminist who is not really a feminist, a supporter of civil rights who is not really a supporter of civil rights ... Untangle that for me, if you think it is so cogent. It mystifies me. Nor do I understand the reference to Dershowitz, at all.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/23/2003

Mr. Griffith, your reminder to Mr. Thomas that freedmen undoubtedly preferred freedom to conditions of life in slavery is helpful. His love of slavery tends to carry him away. It would be good to remember that your own celebration of the secession process excluded the wishes of a very large part of the population of the South. That, I think, is what you call my prejudice against the South.


F.H. Thomas - 10/23/2003


I am not sure exactly what you object to in my comment, since you provide nothing to support your contention, and appear to simply want to get a rise. I am too old for Red Guard tactics, Mr. Luker - they are too boring and predictable for me.

I therefore suggest that perhaps what my namesake Stephen has to say about you is correct: that you start with convenient self-serving myths and work backwards to "history". I was not convinced until this outburst on your part. But be careful. Look at the trouble Mr. Dershowitz is in for that same approach.




Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


[[[ "Freedom" was an almost unmitigated economic, social, and personal disaster for former slaves, taken as a group. ]]]

Yes, but most of them, if given a choice between continued freedom or a return to slavery, surely would have opted for continued freedom. Most human beings prefer to be poor, hungry, and even homeless as free men and free women than to be fed, clothed, and housed as slaves.

Many slaveholders simply couldn't understand this, and that's why they were so upset and baffled when so many slaves fled, or **tried** to flee, during the war.

I might add that the exact same thing happened during the Revolutionary War. Tens of thousands of slaves fled to British lines during the fighting. Not a few British commentators noted that most of the colonial leaders who were pushing for "independence and liberty" were also slaveholders.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


[[[ At first, I thought that Hitler had returned and was publishing nonsense in your names this time. I begin to suspect that F. H. Thomas and Mike Griffith actually believe this nonsense. ]]]
Would you mind detailing, with evidence, what points in my list are "nonsense"? Did you even bother to read the supporting articles that I cited, one of which consists almost entirely of quotations from recognized scholarly texts on the Civil War, including two books by James McPherson?

The kind of reflexive intolerance and distortion that you display is part of what Hitler was all about. If you exhibited this attitude toward another culture or people, many would immediately accuse you of bigotry and hate-mongering, not to mention gross distortion and falsification.

Your attitude and approach certainly seem like abject bigotry. When you encounter anyone who defends the Confederacy to any substantive degree, you suggest they are fascists who are following in the footsteps of Hitler. This is revolting. It's also grossly unfair and totally unwarranted.

I'm just wondering: Do you have the same vicious attitude about colonial America and about the United States under the Articles of Confederation? If not, why not?

For that matter, how about the New England states during all the decades they had slavery and fugitive slave laws, and during the many decades thereafter when they continued to jealously protect and make huge profits from the overseas slave trade?

Indeed, aren't you upset that the British didn't win the Revolutionary War, since Britain was leading the fight against slavery, since Britain vigorously attacked the slave trade on the high seas (while the U.S. didn't), since American slaves flocked to British lines during the war, since the British promised freedom to slaves who would fight for them, since most of the leading colonial independence leaders (i.e., our founding fathers) were slaveholders, and since Britain abolished slavey in 1833?

Just so as to leave no room for more distortion, let me make it clear that nothing I've said above is intended to express any kind of approval of slavery. Anyone who reads my writings will see immediately and clearly that I believe slavery was wrong and that I'm certainly glad it was abolished. I shouldn't have to say this, but some of you folks twist any argument for the South as some kind of evidence that the person is an apologist for slavery.

My point is that if one were to carry your anti-Southern arguments to their logical conclusion, one would have to similarly condemn and smear colonial America, the New England states as they existed for many decades, the U.S. under the AOC, and the U.S. under the Constitution for decades. One would also have to lament the fact that the British didn't win the Revolutionary War.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Ralph E. Luker - 10/23/2003

At first, I thought that Hitler had returned and was publishing nonsense in your names this time. I begin to suspect that F. H. Thomas and Mike Griffith actually believe this nonsense.


F.H. Thomas - 10/23/2003


"Freedom" was an almost unmitigated economic, social, and personal disaster for former slaves, taken as a group.

Their diet went from 3300 balanced calories before to 2200 unbalanced, afterward, life expectancy dropped by 10 full years, medical care virtually disappeared, and disease, ignorance and hunger became the norms. It's hard to appreciate freedom when you are either starving, feverish, or dead.

This downfall has lasted to this day, in many tragic ways. One might reasonably assert that ghetto blacks are worse off today than their ancestors were during slavery, since they have the added burdens of drugs, broken families and crime to deal with.

This happened not because of "racism", but because the Southern economy was 50% destroyed, and everyone was affected. Occupation and Reconstruction policy made it even worse than it was even after Sherman and Grant had destroyed so much.

The last country to abolish slavery in the Western Hemisphere was Brazil, in 1885. No one seriously entertains the thought that the US would have been the last holdout in this matter, so let us posit a voluntary US abolition of slavery in 1880 or thereabouts, which was the date by which most other American states (Jamaica, Cuba, most island nations) abolished slavery.

If there had been no Civil War, blacks could have continued to enjoy their relatively high standard of living and lifespan, race relations might today be radically better, (perhaps as they are in Brazil), 600,000 lives would have been spared, and the coarsening of American morals, which lead to the destruction of the plains Indians, could have been avoided. The cost of these benefits would have been delaying emancipation by only 15 years.

Was the war worth it to former slaves and the country generally? I believe that any reasonable man would tally the costs and say that it was a raw deal for all concerned, slaves particularly.













Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


Ron Maxwell struck a nerve when he compared Ewert's attacks and comments on Southern heritage to Stalinist and Maoist reeducation. Southerners and other Americans who reject the smearing and demonization of the Confederacy would like to see more scholars admit the following well-documented facts about the Confederacy and the antebellum South:

1. The Confederacy was created with the support of the overwhelming majority of Southern citizens.

2. The Southern states seceded in a peaceful, democratic manner. In fact, the manner in which the Southern states seceded closely resembled the manner in which the U.S. Constitution was ratified.

3. The Confederacy sought peaceful relations with the North. Indeed, the Confederacy offered to pay the Southern states' share of the national debt and offered to pay compensation for all federal installations in the South.

4. The Confederacy did not start the war and did not want to fight the North. The incident at Fort Sumter was no excuse for Lincoln to launch an invasion of the South. Lincoln provoked the incident so he could use it as an excuse to launch an invasion. Even after that incident, Jefferson Davis made it clear the South wanted peaceful relations with the North.

5. The percentage of Southern citizens who supported secession was considerably larger than the percentage of colonists who supported independence from England.

6. The Southern states did not secede merely to protect slavery. As a matter of fact, by seceding they had little hope of ever recovering future runaway slaves and no hope of expanding slavery to other territories. Some Northern abolitionists actually favored allowing the South to go in peace because they believed (with some justification) that it would hasten slavery's demise.

7. Four of the Confederate states clearly did not secede over slavery but over their belief that it was illegal and unjust for the federal government to invade the Deep South states. In Tennessee, the first referendum on secession was **defeated** rather handily. But, after Lincoln made it clear he was going to use force, another vote was held, and this time secession won by a solid majority.

8. Opposition to unfair federal economic policies was a major reason the South seceded, as is plainly evident from reading newspapers and other documents from that era.

9. The Southern states did not engage in "rebellion" or "insurrection." They posed no threat to the federal government and had no desire to overthrow the federal government. They merely wanted to peacefully and democratically leave the Union and to form their own country.

I document these facts in three articles in particular:

"From the History Books"
"The Confederacy, the Union, and the Civil War"
"Missing History"

These articles can be found at my website (address given below).

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


[[[ _First_, Heritage is an honored and revered past -- it is a past as we would like it to have been. ]]]

"A past as we would like it to have been"?! "As we would like it to have been"? That's all heritage means to you? That certainly explains your approach to Civil War history. Let's see what some dictionaries have to say about the meaning of "heritage":

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
HERITAGE:
a : something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor: LEGACY, INHERITANCE b : TRADITION

From the Cambridge Dictionary:
HERITAGE
"features belonging to the culture of a particular society, such as traditions, languages or buildings, which still exist from the past and which have a historical importance: 'These monuments are a vital part of the cultural heritage of South America.'

The Confederate flag, for example, is a tangible part of SOUTHERN HERITAGE.

[[[ "heritage" is _not_ a synonym for "history." ]]]

I agree that "history" is not really a synonym for "heritage"--I meant to edit that statement but didn't because I was rushed. What I intended to say is that history is a key part of heritage. You can't really have heritage without history.

[[[ I know Professor Harvey rather well and I can assure you that he is not ignorant, he is not a bigot, and he is not intolerant. You owe him an apology for those labels and libels. ]]]

I just have to wonder why Mr. Harvey keeps pretending not to grasp the simple, basic point that no one is saying Ewert can't express his views, but that Ewert should not have cited his official position when he voiced his views, and in one interview not only cited his official position but presumed to speak for the people of Alabama by saying "we" shouldn't view the Confederate flag as an honorable part of our heritage.

Harvey and several others here keep falsely claiming that Ewert is being attacked merely because he voiced a negative view of Southern heritage.

What worries me and others is that Ewert still has not really apologized nor admitted he acted improperly. When a minister voices a political view and cites his official position, people naturally wonder if he's speaking for his church, if his board of directors has authorized him to say what he's said, and some people might even assume this to be the case. When an Army general expresses a view about a political or historical matter, and then cites his official rank and position, people naturally wonder if he's voicing the official U.S. Army position, and some people might assume this is the case. You see, that's why people who hold positions in government institutions are supposed to be careful when they speak for public consumption.

To repeat a point that shouldn't need repeating: If Ewert had merely voiced his views as a private citizen, he would have done nothing inappropriate. Everyone's entitled to voice their own views. But when he then cited his official position as director of a government-run museum, he crossed the line.

Now another point is that as the director of a government-run museum in the South, when he makes such strident, harsh
comments about a part of Southern heritage that many if not most Alabamians view as honorable, it is perfectly fair for Alabamians to wonder how fairly and honestly he's portraying the South's side of the story at the museum. Sorry, but when you work for the taxpayers, as he does, you have an obligation to show some sensitivity and fairness to their desires. If a museum director in Israel expressed the Arab view that Menachim Begin was really a terrorist and that the state of Israel was the cause of all the problems in the Middle East, I dare say he'd be fired the next day.

If Mr. Ewert wants to smear and demonize the Confederacy, I suggest he get a position at a taxpayer-funded museum in the North, where his views would be much more acceptable to those who pay the bills.

[[[ _Second_, your simple point is not the same simple point which others in this discussion have made. For many on your side of the debate, Mr. Ewert is a diabolic influence whether he identifies himself as the director or the Museum of Mobile or not. That would be the position of Ms. Bass, for example. Professor Harvey wasn't addressing you alone, as his words, which you quote, make perfectly clear. ]]]

Come on, can you at least be honest about what Harvey said, for goodness sake? Harvey specifically claimed that I held the views he was characterizing. Do I need to quote what he said? It's in this thread. Didn't you already read it? Let's look at it:

[[[ Since Ms. Bass is having trouble with logic, here is her logic, and that of Mr. Griffith, in dumbed-down form:. . . . ]]]

"AND THAT OF MR. GRIFFITH. . . ." Are you going to engage in Clintonese and deny that Harvey was clearly and plainly including me as holding the views that he went on to characterize?

The first two points of his three-point characterization, which are the ones at issue, bear no resemblance I've said on this subject.

Can you folks admit ANYTHING?

[[[ _Third_ I'm glad you agree that Professor Harvey's summary of the third point is accurate. He and disagree with you. Is it possible for you to disagree with someone without libeling them? ]]]

How exactly have I "libeled" him? I've expressed the view that his comments on Southern heritage and his replies in this forum suggest to me that he is intolerant and hateful toward those who disagree with him about the Confederacy. I stand by that opinion, and that is not "libel." Or do we need to consult the dictionary about the meaning of "libel" now?

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Ralph E. Luker - 10/23/2003

My dear, you really must stay away from that eggnog.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/23/2003

Exactly not, Mr. Griffith. Whatever Professor Harvey is, he isn't ignorant and you might just learn something from him.
_First_, "heritage" is _not_ a synonym for "history." Heritage is an honored and revered past -- it is a past as we would like it to have been. "History" worthy of the name is a critical engagement with the past which acknowledges -- more than that --which insists that we must not ignore flaws. It is the failure of non-historians in this discussion to understand the vital difference between history and heritage which we've stumbled over time and again in these discussions. I know Professor Harvey rather well and I can assure you that he is not ignorant, he is not a bigot, and he is not intolerant. You owe him an apology for those labels and libels.
_Second_, your simple point is not the same simple point which others in this discussion have made. For many on your side of the debate, Mr. Ewert is a diabolic influence whether he identifies himself as the director or the Museum of Mobile or not. That would be the position of Ms. Bass, for example. Professor Harvey wasn't addressing you alone, as his words, which you quote, make perfectly clear.
_Third_ I'm glad you agree that Professor Harvey's summary of the third point is accurate. He and disagree with you. Is it possible for you to disagree with someone without libeling them?


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/23/2003

IN WATERLOO US casualties WAS 200OOOO DEADS.


Mike Griffith - 10/23/2003


[[[ Since Ms. Bass is having trouble with logic, here is her logic, and that of Mr. Griffith, in dumbed-down form:
1) I have my own definition of "Southern Heritage."
2) Mr Ewert, although a native of Mobile and a competent and successful employee, differs from my personal neo-Confederate vision of Southern Heritage.
3) Therefore, Mr. Ewert should be fired. ]]]

This is rude, ignorant polemic. I don't know whose posts you've been reading, but you surely didn't get this nonsense from my posts.

1. "Heritage" is practices and information from the past, a synonym for "history." It's a neutral word. That's all I've said. The Confederacy is part of that heritage, like it or not. It's part of our history, and many of us think it's a proud part.

It seems in your book anyone who objects to seeing the Confederacy demonized and smeared is a "neo-Confederate." You are as bigoted and intolerant toward those who disagree with your views on the Civil War and the Confederacy as the worst fire-eating neo-Confederates whom I've encountered (most of whom, by the way, view me as a traitor or as a spineless Southerner).

2. You must have a reading problem. Let me try to a "dumbed-down" version of my already simple point: I have no problem with Ewert expressing his negative views on the Confederacy and on Southern heritage. The problem is that after smearing and demonizing the Confederacy, he then cited his official position as the director of a government-run museum. THAT's the main problem here.

The other problem is that he is so strident and unfair in his attacks that it's fair to ask if Alabamians can trust him to fairly and accurately present the South's side of the story.

And if Ewert is such an expert, as you seem to think he is, one wonders how he could say "Gods and Generals" depicts Lee and Jackson as impossibly pious. Is he not aware of just how deeply religious these men were?
3. Well, you got the last point right.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


David N Weber - 10/22/2003

Paul,
Your input on the movie review and the comments by Mike Griffin are way off base. You are not making rational sense!

The review begins by trying to insult the intelligence of every Southerner! Ewert goes out of his way to make anyone who wrote a positive review appear just plain stupid. You can not deny that the wording in his review is hateful and he ment it to be so. He is so angry about opposing points of view he can barley stan it.

You are wrong and you don't care!

David Weber
Taylor, Texas


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

I wish to correct a possible misrepresentation to the readers of what I meant by "At a $1000 a pop sometimes $2000 they were a protected species."

The term species (we are all a speci)was intended to mean peoples, and not a racist comment - the word came to mind as the situtation of protection was very like the protection of the present by enviornmental groups.

Just A few instances of this as recorded is below:

Slaves were not allowed to go into or work in the swamps of Louisiana; poor whites went instead and died of malaria, etc.

Slaves were not allowed on the docks to lift heavy bales or crates at the ports. Poor whites did this.

The song tote that bail.....came into being long after Lincoln's
War.

The Disney movie "Song of the South" has been banned in our schools, movie theaters in fact everywhere - you can only get a copy in England. Yet it is a cheerful loving movie of our black peoples in the South. WHY?

Jancie Rogers Brown (black), an Alabama native, Justice in California is a heroine - she is presently being lynched by liberals. This really calls to mind RECONSTRUCTION in the South when northern blacks disparaged black Southerns, took over the reins of the Southern states and ran up an enormous debt due to waste and theft; we finally regained control in the 1880s with the help of Northern people - Douglas downgraded and disparaged Booker T. Washington. Write your Congressman to vote for her being seated on the Court. Watch it on C-Span.



Mike Griffith - 10/22/2003


And let's also keep in mind that in an earlier case a NORTHERN Congressman punched a Southern Congressman.

Also, Senator Stephen Douglas, from Illinois, was so angry over Sumner's vile remarks about Butler that he raised the possibility that Sumner should be kicked "as a dog."

Back then honor, especially within a family, was very important. I can't say that I approve of what Preston Brooks did, but Sumner's revolting comments certainly constituted "fighting words."

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

Sorry you don't know what (sp?)meant in my message.

(sp?) means don't have time to look up the correct spelling.

I am sure you got the gist.

From all your posts it appears that you must really be doped up or blown up with your own hubis!


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/22/2003

Mr. Shelton,

A tiny bit of clarification here...

It should be said that South Carolina congressman Preston Brook's caning of Charles Sumner was prompted not by Sumner's denunciations of slavery but by remarks the Massachusetts senator made about South Carolina senator Andrew Butler, remarks which Brooks, a relative of Butler, found personally insulting.

Also, the Confederate general you are thinking of is Kirby Smith, the commander of the trans-Mississippi region (Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, known by the end of the war as "Kirby-Smith-dom").


F.H. Thomas - 10/22/2003


Morris Dees, this is my last warning.


Mike Griffith - 10/22/2003


[[[ You want Ewert fired and you want your own neo-Confederate mythologies enshrined at the Museum. ]]]

Where on earth do you get this from anything I've said? You people are so filled with unfounded rage and hate against the Confederacy that you can't even sit down and calmly read what someone with an opposing view has to say without twisting it beyond recognition.

I have said I want to see a BALANCED presentation, not a one-sided smear of the Confederacy.

[[[ Fine. But please, please don't lecture us about "intolerant" and "bigoted" liberals as you have above. After this sorry episode in Mobile, it insults our intelligence. ]]]
I find it hard to believe that you folks can't grasp the simple point that no one is saying that Ewert can't voice his view but that he shouldn't have voiced his view **and then cited his official position as director of a government-run museum.** This is a simple point, yet you folks continue to pretend that it's being suggested that Ewert be fired just because he voiced his opinion.

When I was in the Army, I was free to voice my opinion, but NOT if I cited my rank and position in the Army. Anyone serving in a government position knows, or certainly should know, that you don't make public statements in your official capacity unless you have permission to do so. If Ewert had said what he said as a private citizen, there would have been no problem. The problem came when he cited his official position, which implied official endorsement of his views. Surely you can grasp this point, can't you?

Another problem that many have with Ewert is that he is so strident, vehement, and unfair in his denunciations of Southern heritage that many doubt he is fit to be the man who's supposed to ensure that Southern heritage is fairly and accurately presented. One can hold strong views, but when it becomes obvious that someone is so rabid in those views that he can't put aside his bias when serving in an official position, then there's a problem. And, in the eyes of many Alabamians, this is the problem with Ewert.

Finally, by no stretch of the imagination am I a "neo-Confederate." I just happen to be an American who understands that the traditional version of the Civil War and of the Confederacy is full of errors and distortions. I have my own criticisms of the antebellum South and of the Confederacy, but they are not based on the myths that the North was quick to spin after the war in order to justify Lincoln's illegal and unnecessary invasion and the terrible destruction and bitterness that it caused.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm



Mike Griffith - 10/22/2003


[[[ Second, my point as to the Confederate press, as well as Harry Jaffa?s, was that there was no free press where slavery was concerned. ]]]

During the war, one of the papers in MISSISSIPPI advocated abolition in order to save the Confederacy. Some Southern newspapers supported the drive to grant freedom to slaves who served in the army. Also, one wonders who John Letcher, an avowed, unapologetic ABOLITIONIST, was elected governor of Virginia just before the war.

In the North, however, once the war started, there really was no free press when it came to the view that the South should be allowed to go in peace and/or that the North's invasion was unjust and illegal.

The bottom line is that the Confederacy did not shut down 200-300 newspapers and jail numerous newspaper editors, but the North did.

Nor did the Confederacy jail members of a state legislature to prevent them from voting in an "unpatriotic" manner. Nor did the Confederacy suspend habeas corpus nearly as much as did the North. Nor did Southern governors unethically prorogue their legislatures after THE PEOPLE had elected unfriendly majorities, which was what happened in Illinois and Indiana, with Lincoln's blessing.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm



Ralph E. Luker - 10/22/2003

Ms. Bass, I loved your word "unirrequivocally" in an earlier post. Is it pronounced "uni-rrequivocally" or "un-irrequivocally"? I'm certain to be in a conversation in the next day or so in which I will find it absodispensable. Professor Harvey found a logic where there was only rant. You forgot to thank him. Do find those meds you've misplaced.


Paul Harvey - 10/22/2003

Mr. Griffith:

You want Ewert fired and you want your own neo-Confederate mythologies enshrined at the Museum. Fine. But please, please don't lecture us about "intolerant" and "bigoted" liberals as you have above. After this sorry episode in Mobile, it insults our intelligence.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

Somewhere in this board in one of the messages the Assasination Attempt by Dahlberg was played down - Just reflect that the North attempted assination first! And Dahlberg was given a heros funeral.

What if Dahlberg had succeeded and assassinated Pres. Davis and all his cabinet, including Judah Benjamin, the only Jew to hold office in America. Would he have been hung like Booth would Davis have become an icon like lincoln.

Unirrequivocally (sp?) NOT! that is why we sought the DIVORCE!

The South was more tolerant and diversified than the North - Respect and honor was based on ones actions and not greenbacks. And to this day in the South it is what you do and not what you say. Your actions........that tell the tale.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

HOW, WHEN, WHAT, WHERE you wrote: Since Ms. Bass is having trouble with logic, here is her logic, and that of Mr. Griffith, in dumbed-down form:

I am no dumber than you Mr. High and Mighty - you can't see the Trees for the Forrest or the Forrest for the Trees.

Ha you wrote:

1) I have my own definition of "Southern Heritage."
2) Mr Ewert, although a native of Mobile and a competent and successful employee, differs from my personal neo-Confederate vision of Southern Heritage.
3) Therefore, Mr. Ewert should be fired.

I guess you can't read my post or you have so little understanding of what I am talking about it would take a brick bat to dent your skull.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

COWARD COWARD COWARD COWARD COWARED COWARD COWARD COWARD COWARD

CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN

stealling someone else's name and using it proves you are a THIEF AND A COWARD

TOO CHICKEN TO USE YOUR OWN NAME!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/22/2003

you presented a concise argument so concise that you are right back to square one - Slavery was the cause of the War. WRONG

I am not going to personalize or psyhcoanlyze (sp) you as you have attempted to do of me.

Although some of your points are undisputably true you place to much emphasis on them and underplay or undermine the real reasons for lincoln's war.

Fact is if keeping slaves was the real issue then there is no issue thus no war because lincoln vowed he would not disrupt the practice of slavery and this was also agreed by the house and the senate!

There is certainly Time enough to go to War when and if the north did indeed free our slaves without any compensation to their owners. But this did not happen! If you want to keep slaves just stay in the union. Also, another option is to stay in and bide your time - string along while you prepare for War -which we did not....

Fact is we were sick and tired of their gubbing hands taking everything we paid in; sick and tired of their rhetoric, sick and fed up with the distortion of our liberties and meddling with our soverignty. We wanted a DIVORCE!

“As regards slaves in the South - and their extension into other new states, I contend the movement of slaves bottled up in the South was not a good thing and had they been allowed elsewhere new opportunities would have unfolded for them.” I’m not sure what you are saying here.

Use your imagination - you have a large black population in a confined area. Remember Meriwether and Clark had a slave with them when they made the great trek across this country.

What I am saying is that the Missouri Compromise of 1850 was the death toll of the union.......for more reasons than one.....

Not allowing the slaves to migrate and their owners into any new undeveloped territories resulted in always finding work for them to do and often the same work. Resulting in much less opportunity for them. And As they multiplied this grew more and more difficult to do. So by denying them access to the rest of America they were bottled up in the South - It was us and them with the north constantly meddling and the NE constantly thinking how superior and better they are.

I suspect had they been turned loose earlier, allowed to occupy the land and live anywhere they choose, they would have been anniliated like the Indians. At a $1000 a pop sometimes $2000 they were a protected species.

You must walk in their shoes if you expect to understand the blacks and the whites of that time and not judge them by todays standards. That is what I do and that is why you misinterpret me.

You did not answer my question.

WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE? HOW WOULD YOU HAVE HANDLED IT?


F.H. Thomas - 10/22/2003

battles:


(1) Normandy and battle of France -- 1944 29,000
(2) Battle of the Bulge 1944/45 19,000
(3) Okinawa -- 1945 12,000
Off the top of my head," as Cliff said, I'd guess Normandy,
Iwo, and Okinawa. US casualties on Iwo were more than the whole
Japanese defending force (20,000), the first time that had
happened. Figures for Okinawa seem to vary from book to book, but
I recall 12,000 - 15,000 US dead including on ships. As for
Normandy, it depends on when you consider that battle to be over--
it could be considered to be 6-8 weeks.

If you count POWs as casualties, the Phillipines with about 20,000
U.S. POWs should get into the top three -- maybe number two.
--


Ralph E. Luker - 10/22/2003

Professor Dresner,
You may be right. I was hoping that she might be brought up short and think about what she had said. It is pitiful.


K. A. Shelton - 10/22/2003

I finally figured it out! You are unaware what century you are living in. When, therefore, I describe the beliefs of Southern whites 1800-1860, you believe that refers to you.
Southern society in the antebellum period, the decades leading up to the Civil War, believed that the existence of African slavery served to promote equality among whites. A few quotes, most recycled, because I‘m too tired to walk to the library tonight:
"Democratic liberty exists solely because we have slaves . . . freedom is not possible without slavery." Richmond Examiner, 1856
“My residence in Europe has satisfied me that this institution of ours, called slavery, has had an agency in shaping our institutions which few of us in the South sufficiently appreciate. The presence of the black race in the United States enabled white man to treat as his equal all his own race.” (Papers of John C. Calhoun, p. 65)
“Many in the South once believed that it [slavery] was a moral and political evil. That folly and delusion is gone. We see it now in its true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the world.” John C. Calhoun (Works, III, p. 180)
Those are the beliefs of your ancestors. In as much as your posts have suggested you disagree with such sentiments, you disagree with your ancestors. I was not suggesting that slavery lifts you up today, slavery has been abolished for almost 140 years.
As to the remark about Georgia in the 1750s, you have it backward. Georgia was originally founded in the 1730s as a buffer against the hostile Spanish in Florida. As such, slavery was prohibited for security reasons. The problem was, without slavery, the colony stagnated, so the colonists began petitioning for the right to admit slaves into the colony. About the year 1750, it was granted, and Georgia began importing slaves. The growth in slave populations in the continental United States had primarily (as I understand it) to do with more favorable disease environments, and the fact that those colonies tended to get the cast-offs of the West Indies slave trade, and therefore included more women.
“We didn’t bring the slaves here.” If by “we” you mean you and me personally, that is certainly true. If you mean those living in the Antebellum period, that is also true (the Atlantic slave trade was abolished around 1800). If you mean Europeans, or whites, well of course “we” did, who else do you think did? As to the duty to “civilize” Africans, slavery did more damage to that than anything else.
“As regards slaves in the South - and their extension into other new states, I contend the movement of slaves bottled up in the South was not a good thing and had they been allowed elsewhere new opportunities would have unfolded for them.” I’m not sure what you are saying here.
As to Forrest, the only question seems to be his own complicity in the crimes of his soldiers, not the fact of the crimes themselves. Many of the dead were found to have powder burns around their wounds, which is what happens when you discharge a firearm extremely close to your target (like with the muzzle pressed against the body).
The gist of my posts is that, while there were economic grievances between the North and the South, outside of the Nullification Crisis, they never rose to a threatening level. Since the 1840s, especially with the rise of militant (or in Southerners’ words, “fanatic”) abolition, many in the South came to believe (rightly or wrongly) that there was a conspiracy in the North to abolish slavery. It was a threat they recognized in the attempts of Free Soilers to limit slavery geographically. Southerners, slaveholder and no, had long built their sense of identity (their sense of what the South was) around the institution of slavery and the racial hierarchy it maintained. Abolition, therefore, did not simply threaten their property in slaves, it threatened the very fabric of their society. The South without slavery would have ceased to be the South. When Lincoln - a member of a party formed in part from old Free Soilers, a party that contained outspoken opponents of slavery such as Charles Sumner - was elected, they came to the conclusion that that conspiracy was now in charge of the executive branch, and that it was only a matter of time before it moved to abolish slavery. That provoked the lower South to secede, which set all events into motion. While it is true that in the waning days of the war the Confederate leadership was willing to try anything to avoid defeat, including emancipation and the use of black soldiers, I think it is more telling how much opposition they met with, even in the face of having no other options.


Paul Harvey - 10/22/2003

This post represents my opinion only, and should not be construed as the opinion of my wife, my parents, my past and current employers, the chair of my department, or the sentiments of the state of Colorado generally. There, is that clear enough?

Since Ms. Bass is having trouble with logic, here is her logic, and that of Mr. Griffith, in dumbed-down form:

1) I have my own definition of "Southern Heritage."
2) Mr Ewert, although a native of Mobile and a competent and successful employee, differs from my personal neo-Confederate vision of Southern Heritage.
3) Therefore, Mr. Ewert should be fired.

That's your argument. It's sort of like saying, the Governor of my state disagrees with my views on water policy in the West as well as our tax to support open space (which I have articulated editorially), and so do some people here locally, therefore I should be fired.

As for historical analogies, Mr. Griffith, the entire basis of Mr. Maxwell's defense involved a bizarre invoking of "re-education" camps. I'm not taking it literally, I'm simply pointing out how absurd and offensive is such reasoning. My god, this is a movie review we're talking about. I would say the same thing with your frequent references to "hate" and "pc liberals" and all the usual cliches.

Mr. Ewert wrote a cogent and strongly worded review. Any 3-year old knows it was his view. I also understand that Ewert wrote some sort of letter of apology, absolutely not necessary but probably wise on his part. By your standards, no one with a job would be able to say anything at all because someone could construe it as the opinion of his/her employer. I don't know what is your employer, but if I did I would (following your reasoning) start harassing them now and demanding your dismissal for holding historical views contrary to those that I hold. Can't you find better ways to spend your time?


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

(I have quoted Southerners to this effect as well: that the social system of the South promoted the equality of white men by denigrating blacks. Of course, much of the same thing occurred in the North, but slavery was not considered necessary to doing so there. Most Southerners believed slavery was necessary to the maintenance of a system of racial hierarchy to which they were committed. I am truly happy that you find the beliefs of your ancestors offensive - I’m not thrilled by the attitudes of many of my own - but you must understand that they were quite proud of their beliefs.)

you lost me here, I never said I found the beliefs of my ancestors offensive - how did you get that out of what I wrote.

And I don't believe that white people were ahead because they made sure blacks were below - whites were ahead because they had a headstart in their culture of a 1000 years.

The fact that I am born white and a native of the South is by the grace of GOD a happening I had no control over. Whatever curcumstances I was born into was not my doing and had they been more adverse my charge would have been to EVOLVE into the best that I could be - which Plato, Socrates, the Bible et al would certainly agree...

Even in the 1750s Georgia wrote the King requesting to not send anymore slaves; Virginia about the same time requested Slavery be outlawed. As Fogel proved because of the decent treatment afforded slaves they multiplied, whereas in South America and the Caribean most didn't survive past age 30.

We didn't bring the slaves here and we didn't profit from doing so, but because we were here it became our job to bring them along help them evolve and live side by side with them after others brought them here. Now what was the best way to do that?

Do you have a better plan? And if all the smartest and brightest didn't come up with one - WHY NOT?

(besides many blacks did acquire wealth, become business owners, and became esteemed people in their communities where they were allowed to flourish as they pleased. I know because I knew them)


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

[[[ Exactly not, Mr. Griffith, and that is the point. The Confederate battle flag does not represent a "self-evident" "Southern heritage" any more than Jerry Falwell speaks for all of historic Christianity or Adolph Hitler embodied all that is German. ]]]

You're comparing apples and oranges. The Confederate battle flag is undeniably *a part of Southern heritage.* And many if not most Southerners believe it's an *honorable" part of our heritage. It represents honor, courage, limited government, the rule of law, a Jeffersonian respect for state sovereignty, sacrifice, and fidelity to the form of government that our founding fathers established.

[[[ You cite a couple of "well rounded" African American figures in a tediously long movie and claim that the whole dreary thing represents the South. ]]]

I've done no such thing. You must be thinking of someone else.

[[[ If it ever did, its long and well gone. ]]]

That's your view, and you're welcome to it. I presume, therefore, that you're equally negative about the New England colonies (which had slavery, fugitive slave laws, and made fortunes off the slave trade), about America under the Articles of Confederation (ditto), and about America until 1865 (including, of course, the several Northern states that had repressive black codes that banned blacks from even moving into their borders, that banned them from voting, from testifying in court, from owning property, and so forth). In fact, I presume that you wish the British had won the Revolutionary War, since the British offered freedom to slaves who fought for them, since slaves flocked to British lines by the tens of thousands, and since England abolished slavery in 1833. Isn't it a shame that the British lost?

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm



Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

Hi, you sir certainly do have a handle on words better than me - there is so much in your post my mind is boggled. could you break it down in simple separate messages dealing with each subject?

the gist i get is that you still insist slavery was what it was all about. correct me if I am wrong.

As to the Quote about Forrest & Fort Pillow - it was a melee for sure, and there were many differing accounts, which is normal for witnesses to see differently during the siege.

At any rate the US Union Government under Lincoln after an investigation did absolve Forrest of any charges.

As regards slaves in the South - and their extension into other new states, I contend the movement of slaves bottled up in the South was not a good thing and had they been allowed elsewhere new opportunities would have unfolded for them.

As to Cuba, etc - if the union had let the South go, they could have gone forward with their plan to annex CANADA!

thank you,

josie


Ralph E. Luker - 10/21/2003

Exactly not, Mr. Griffith, and that is the point. The Confederate battle flag does not represent a "self-evident" "Southern heritage" any more than Jerry Falwell speaks for all of historic Christianity or Adolph Hitler embodied all that is German. You cite a couple of "well rounded" African American figures in a tediously long movie and claim that the whole dreary thing represents the South. If it ever did, its long and well gone.


Jonathan Dresner - 10/21/2003

Dr. Luker,

The real problem with Ms. Cornett is that she isn't drunk, and I don't think she's stupid. I think she really believes that "the Jews" control the world. That's what frightens me.


Jonathan Dresner - 10/21/2003

Ms. Cornett,

You appear to be unable or unwilling to distinguish between the actions of individual Jews and the hatred that some people feel towards all (or nearly all) Jews. As a Jew, I have no control over the actions of other Jews, nor do I necessarily benefit from them. But as a Jew, I am held responsible for them. As a Jew, there are people who would hold me personally responsible for the harm they feel (rightly or wrongly) other Jews -- which becomes "the Jews" -- have done.

Just because there are idiots out there who can't tell the difference between me and Paul Wolfowitz, doesn't mean that they're right. Just because there are people too stupid to distinguish between a small multi-ethnic political conspiracy and a diverse religious community doesn't mean that they're right. Just because Ariel Sharon is getting what he wants (more or less) doesn't mean that's good for Israelis. Just because I don't stereotype others as representatives of uniform groups doesn't mean that others don't do it to me.

Most of your other points are terrible analogies (KKK in government, Irish terrorism, Israelis fleeing the site of a deadly terrorist attack) and I really don't have the time or energy to deal with them right now. It probably wouldn't help anyway.


K. A. Shelton - 10/21/2003

First, for the umpteenth time: I am not arguing the Union or Lincoln fought to free the slaves. Nor do I doubt that Lee was generally progressive on the issue.
The problem with postwar recollections, whether of Confederate leadership or of the soldier you cite, is that nobody was willing to fight for slavery after it had been abolished. The issue had been well settled by then, and many people wrote memoirs after the war in which they made statements explicitly at variance to what they were saying at the time of the war. This was the origins of the “Lost Cause.” I have presented a wealth of citations as to how they defended secession at the time, granted mainly from Southern leaders. This leaves you with the following problem: if Southern soldiers fought only to defend their homes against a Northern invasion, an invasion in response to secession, and the Southern leadership seceded overwhelmingly over the issue of slavery (as the evidence of their own statements suggest), then the Confederate leadership led the Southern people into war against the federal government over something in which they did not believe. I don’t actually believe this, but it would necessarily follow.
However, as a thread from last week argued, slavery was seen as necessary and good even by those who did not own slaves. I have quoted Southerners to this effect as well: that the social system of the South promoted the equality of white men by denigrating blacks. Of course, much of the same thing occurred in the North, but slavery was not considered necessary to doing so there. Most Southerners believed slavery was necessary to the maintenance of a system of racial hierarchy to which they were committed. I am truly happy that you find the beliefs of your ancestors offensive - I’m not thrilled by the attitudes of many of my own - but you must understand that they were quite proud of their beliefs.
Patrick Cleburne was born in Ireland and came to the South as an adult. Ireland, as opposed to the American Irish, had a long tradition of anti-slavery dating back to O’Connell.
As I have also said before, the “South” did not exist in the colonial period. Loyalties were generally to Britain or to individual colonies, and the economic and social variation amongst the colonies does not permit of such a simple bifurcation. Southern nationalism and identity was born out of the period after the Revolution. As I have stated elsewhere, republicanism undermined the traditional defense of slavery accepted in all the colonies, and many states did emancipate when there was no economic reason to do so. Ironically, the country as a whole saw a subsequent hardening of racial attitudes. The fact of there being free states, however, and of an antislavery critique which had not existed in the colonial period, made those states which retained slavery increasingly defensive. Southerners consistently over-estimated abolitionist sentiment in the North. The idea of the South was therefore created around a new system of slave apologetics, which defined slavery as a positive social and moral good, and the South as a society uniquely shaped by its benefits. The “South,” remember, was synonymous not with the agricultural regions of the U.S. but with the slaveholding ones. It was slavery which was the South’s “peculiar” (which at the time meant unique or exclusive to, rather than odd) institution.
Finally, if you think there is money in being a historian I love to know where.


K. A. Shelton - 10/21/2003

First Jefferson Davis was not the entire Confederacy, any more than Lee was, or any more than Lincoln was the Union.
Second, my point as to the Confederate press, as well as Harry Jaffa’s, was that there was no free press where slavery was concerned. It is almost unimaginable that a Southern congressman would have threatened to lynch a NH senator over any other issue, but one Southern congressman did savagely beat Senator Sumner for a speech against slavery. Similar attacks were made, as I argued, against those who supported greater or equal rights for African Americans over the next century. I was contrasting Lincoln’s abuses towards the press during the war (an act no one defends, any more than they do Wilson‘s similar actions during WW I) with the South’s long tradition of violence against “troublemakers” on racial matters. It is worth noting that the Confederacy altered the language on the right of petition in order to allow the reinstitution of a gag rule on slavery, should it ever become necessary. The South was just as willing to restrict speech it found dangerous, and in peace as well as war.
I did not mean to say the CSA had active plans to annex Cuba, and am not surprised that Davis, when it was clear he had a fight on his hands, was not interested in starting any additional wars. Such dreams, however, were held by Southerners (which is why Davis had to assure Cuba in the first place). In fact, I would quote a book you seem quite familiar with, William Cooper’s Jefferson Davis, American: “[President Franklin Pierce] and his advisers [of which Davis was a “central player”] shared an ardent desire to reach a goal that had eluded administrations for decades - the acquisition of Spanish-owned Cuba, the Pearl of the Antilles. . . . Some underscored its strategic location as making its annexation essential; many southerners saw it as a perfect new slave state, for slavery already existed on the island. Davis held both views, and, indeed, believed possession of Cuba imperative for the South.” (265) Cooper argues “the use of armed force was not ruled out.“ It is intriguing to think what peaceful secession would have brought about.
As for the use of black soldiers. Remember the North did use black soldiers when it became militarily necessary. The South, however, even in the face of a defeat that would have meant emancipation anyway, could not muster the support to do so (however close the vote), until it was too late. When Davis first considered it in January 1864, he took the advice of members of the army. “Deeming it to be injurious to the public service that such a subject should be mooted, or even known to be entertained by persons possessed of the confidence and respect of the people,” he silenced all discussion of the matter. When it was subsequently reconsidered, Howell Cobb declared: “the day you make soldiers of them is the beginning of the end of the revolution. If slaves make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong.” (Cooper, 517) This is the context in which you also have to understand the offer to emancipate in return for recognition. By this point it was well understood that the Union was on the road to emancipating, while the Confederacy was exhausted. Saving slavery was no longer an option, only the Confederacy’s saving itself. That many Southerners saw such an act as constituting a disavowal of why they fought the war is the important point.
I never said that no one in the South was complaining about the tariff, or certainly that none argued for states’ rights. What you can’t ignore, though, hunt and peck among speeches all you like, is the dominance of slavery among the grievances listed in the states’ articles of secession. A refusal to enforce fugitive slave laws and a coming attack on slavery by a Republican dominated federal government was the violation of states’ rights to which they were almost always referring. They were also the closest claim they could make that the constitution had in fact been violated, justifying secession. The constitution does grant Congress the power to pass a tariff. Equally important, to downplay slavery (as I have said before) is to ignore the explicit issue of every major sectional fight starting with the Missouri Compromise. The tariff drops off the map after Nullification, and even you state the Morrill tariff wouldn’t have passed if the South remained in the Union, where they controlled half the Senate. Nobody was shooting each other over the tariff in Kansas. As to the reasons of the Northern states, you fail to see they would not have considered secession at all if had not been for the lower South.
And yes Ms. Bass, I do take the reasons the states gave for seceding as a pretty good guide for why they seceded, or at least as the reasons they could all agree upon. I certainly take them as a far better guide than the distaste for those reasons of a person living close to a century and a half after the fact. Your comparison to Ted Kennedy is absurd, Kennedy belongs to the Senate and opposed the war, his statements are not direct evidence of why the President Bush supported it. And just to interject a separate point here, Ms. Bass. Your passion for this subject is clear, and I fully support people writing with passion, and humor, and even anger (as long as there is some scholarly meat behind it). But once you’ve finished writing, please take a deep breath and proofread your post. None of us is perfect on that score (myself least of all), but your syntactical and grammatical train wrecks are becoming increasingly incoherent. I think we are all writing in order to be understood.
I’m not precisely sure where your long discussion of the attack on Fort Sumter actually disagrees with mine. In fact, I recall agreeing with you in my post. As to DiLorenzo’s book, its creative use of evidence is more than well documented, but let’s move to the first inaugural. Lincoln’s speech does not make sense if one adopts your interpretation. As I have already shown, the most commonly stated concerns of the seceding states as articulated in their own public statements were the fugitive slave law and the presumed intention of the Republicans to destroy slavery. The first dozen or so paragraphs are directed towards alleviating those fears. Lincoln’s assurances to the South with respect to their most commonly stated complaints make no sense if his intent is to threaten them later on. Lincoln then argued that the Union was perpetual (or at least would require the consent of all parties to dissolve) and thus secession illegal. Then we get to the two paragraphs in question. You only cite the second, but the first is necessary to its proper understanding. It reads “I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.” When, therefore, Lincoln goes on to state: “In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.” it is clear that by this he means nothing more than the afore said conduct of his office, without recognition of the act of secession, and in maintenance of the Union. In the next paragraph he declares his (no doubt equally insidious) intention to continue delivering the mail. But, having devoted four paragraphs to this purpose, he then moves on to other subjects, specifically dismantling the argument for secession. Lincoln also does grant that “If, by mere force of numbers, a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might in a moral point of view, justify rebellion - and certainly would, if such rights were a vital one.” I would suggest this language, when understood in context, is far closer to Jefferson than the Secessionists, who generally refuse to break down the origins of government further than the states. But to return to the main point, I would agree that Lincoln doubted the prospects of a peaceful reconciliation, but he is clearly avoiding anything outside the normal operations of the federal government, in order to force the South to make the first move (which is the whole point with regards to Sumter).
Also, your argument that Lincoln was responding to northern industrialists would only work if there were evidence Lincoln ever planned to accept secession. Perhaps there is, feel free to cite it.
Also, there is a difference between a constitution that grants no power to effect slavery, and a constitution that specifically marks slavery out for protection, and then extends that to the territories. It is equally the ambivalence (or even hypocrisy) among the Founders that makes the Declaration of Independence a document of world historical importance, transcendent of the limitations of its author, while the various articles of secession are a racist putrefaction of the same, hopelessly mired in the worst aspects of a bad cause.
There is a debate as to whether Forrest specifically ordered the massacre at Fort Pillow, accounts differ. There is no question that it occurred. To quote a letter by Sgt. Achilles V. Clark, Confederate 20th Tennessee to his sister a week after the attack: “The poor deluded Negroes would run up to our men and fall upon their knees and with uplifted hands scream for mercy, but they were ordered to their feet and then shot down. The white men fared but little better. Their fort turned out to be a great slaughter pen. . . I with several others tried to stop the butchery and at one time had partially succeeded but Gen. Forrest ordered them shot down like dogs, and the carnage continued.” Forrest is also know to have issued statements to several Union forts to surrender if they wished to be treated as POWs, and told the commander at Fort Pillow, that if he refused to surrender “I cannot be responsible for the fate of your command.” A commander who repeatedly declares his refusal to take prisoners, whose men finally end up slaughtering surrendering soldiers, has certainly lost the presumption of innocence in my book.(quoted in Hurst, Nathan Bedford Forrest) Finally Confederate Lieutenant General Kirby (I may be remembering the name wrong) is known to have hung several black POWs. It may not have been universal, but it was clearly done.


F.H. Thomas - 10/21/2003


Thank you for bringing that out-on point as always.

I understand that Grant was boarding the train to relieve Thomas in person, when he was handed a dispatch noting that Thomas had already pushed 8 miles through Confederate lines, held the town, and was turning to complete the envelopement.

The politics of Grant-Sherman-Thomas versus Lee-Jackson-Longstreet shows why Lee was so successful, and Grant lost so many lives. Thomas, by comparison to Sherman, installed loyalty by never throwing his men into a meat grinder, and by decentralizing tactical control.






Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

I said,

"In fact, in two of the Upper South states, the initial votes on secession, whether in convention or by popular vote, all went against secession. . . ."

Actually, this was true in ALL FOUR of the Upper South states. Initially all of them voted, either in convention or by popular vote, against secession the first time around.

Mike Griffith


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

I'm reminded of the fact that in one school district the principal who suspended a student for wearing a T-shirt that had a small Confederate flag on it was an avowed lesbian whose car had a bumber sticker that read "If it smells like Fish, eat it."

Often times these PC liberals who scream about tolerance and plurality are the most intolerant, bigoted people you'd ever want to meet.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

Let's try this again: I said:

"I'll repeat this point again: The problem with what Ewert did was *not* that he voiced his opinion, but that he did so and then cited by official position as museum director, which he had no right to do. He does not speak for the entire museum, nor does he have the right to do so, and he doesn't speak for the museum's board of directors. When he cited his official position, that applied official endorsement for his views."

That should read:

I'll repeat this point again: The problem with what Ewert did was *not* that he voiced his opinion, but that he did so and then cited his official position as museum director, which he had no right to do. He does not speak for the entire museum, nor does he have the right to do so, and he doesn't speak for the museum's board of directors. When he cited his official position, that implied official endorsement for his views.

Mike Griffith


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

[[[ No, Mr. Griffith, it's NOT obvious that the comparisons were merely "rhetorical," they were in fact central to the essay, and re-emphasized in the concluding paragraph. . . . ]]]

Oh, ok, well, if you want to believe Maxwell literally meant to say that Ewert is another Mao or Stalin, that's up to you. If you're determined to infer that meaning, no one can stop you.

[[[ Your argument boils down to this: Ewert is not allowed to present a reasoned (and very commonly held--look at the nearly univeral panning of this dreadful film) opinion because he is employed by the Museum -- unless, of course, he wants to opine a view that accords with one very particular view of "Southern heritage"-- and therefore should be fired. ]]]

I'll repeat this point again: The problem with what Ewert did was *not* that he voiced his opinion, but that he did so and then cited by official position as museum director, which he had no right to do. He does not speak for the entire museum, nor does he have the right to do so, and he doesn't speak for the museum's board of directors. When he cited his official position, that applied official endorsement for his views.

[[[ I suppose Mr. Ewert's actual performance and competence at his job (which, judging by the acclaim given to the Museum, are evidently very high) have nothing to do with whether he should keep his job? It's about one's historical political correctness, not one's competence, right? ]]]

Historical political correctness is what Ewert is all about. His review of "Gods and Generals" literally oozes with animosity toward Southern heritage.

[[[ Mr. Griffith, who was it, precisely, that put you in charge of defining what is "Southern heritage"? ]]]

Umm, I haven't pretended to speak for the state of Alabama by citing my official position, as Ewert did. No one needs to define what "Southern heritage" is, since that's a self-evident term. The issue how we are to think of that heritage, whether we view as honorable or dishonorable, praiseworthy or disgraceful.

[[[ And who put you in charge of decreeing that Ewert hates the South? ]]]

He surely seems to hate Southern heritage. He thinks we shold disown it, and in one interview he said "WE" shouldn't honor Confederate symbols.

[[[ And who put you in charge of deciding whether Mr. Ewert has performed well in his job at the Museum? ]]]

Uh, I don't recall claiming to be in charge of this function. But, I do happen to be a taxpayer and a resident of Alabama. And I'm disappointed when I see the director of a large museum in Alabama smearing and demonizing Southern heritage.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm





Jesse Lamovsky - 10/21/2003

Ms. Cornett,

Mr. Dresner has already stated that he agrees with much of what you say regarding the Middle East. What else do you want from him? Some kind of admission that every problem this country has is the fault of Jews? Is there such thing as collective responsibility? Jews are not the Borg, Ms. Cornett. There are about five million of us with minds of our own. I don't care for the Wolfowitzes and the Pearles any more than you, but aside from stating our opposition, there's not a whole lot Mr. Dresner, or I, or anyone else, can do about them.

I agree with the basics of a lot you say as well, and I appreciate your support for what I wrote on this article. But tell me, Ms. Cornett- how do you inject bashing of "Jews" and "Zionists" into a forum devoted to the myths and realities of the Civil War? What is it with you?


Ralph E. Luker - 10/21/2003

Mr. Thomas, Not quite yet! At least the Southern con-man, Morris Dees, understands that "Southern" does not mean "white." The neo-con men and women on this list (I need not name you -- you know who you are!) haven't quite got that fixed in their hard little heads yet. Do it now.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

I would be interested in knowing if you jumped into the frey and gave support to those that have been demonized ie, John Rocker, Trent Lott or Russ Limbaugh or any of the folks who have been fired for having a Confederate sticker on their tool box!

Your logic escapes me. It has been shown that Ewert does not take his fiduciary responsibilties seriously and thus his great fault is his blantant South bashing, biting the hand that feeds him, so even if he has the right to say whatever - he should not be the Director of A Southern Museum in a Southern City. He is clearly ignorant of Southern Heritage and has a very one sided view, furthermore his association with the Southern Poverty Law Center is certainly suspect as to his intentions in the future.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/21/2003

Mine as well, as much for his nature as his considerable martial skills. The irony concerning his great victory at Nashville was that he almost didn't get the chance to fight that battle- Grant, exasperated over postponements in Thomas's attack plan due to weather, and fretting that Hood's army would bypass Nashville completely and invade Kentucky, nearly replaced him with "Black Jack" Logan, the Illinois political general. Before Grant gave the replacement order, Thomas's attack went in. Suffice to say that by the time the battle was over, any plans of firing George Thomas had been firmly shelved.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

In a book "The Civil War and Reconstruction", the authors J. G. Randall, Late Professor of History at the University of Illinois, and Donald David, Professor of History at Princeton University stated: "The men of the South who had a proprietary interest in slaves constituted a minority, while those who owned enough Negroes to support sizable plantations were confined to a few thousand families. The total number of slaveholders in 1850 was only 347,525 out of a total white population of about six million in the slaveholding states. Half of these owned four slaves or less; holders of more than 50 slaves numbered less than 8,000; and holders of more than 100 slaves numbered less than 1800...In speaking therefore of the class known as 'slave magnates' one is dealing with a group so small as to be comparable to the millionaires of the following century." That's not quite what most of the "history" books or the television shows tell us. Stop and look at the figures again. Slaveholders were a distinct minority in the South.

According to the Kennedy Brothers in their book "The South Was Right", they estimated from 70-80% of the Confederate soldiers and sailors did not own slaves. They stated: "Who in his right mind can honestly claim that the Southern soldiers and sailors, the vast majority of whom were not slave owners, went to war against a numerically superior foe and endured for long years of hardships, all in order to allow a few rich men to keep their slaves? Yet the Yankee myth of history has been so pervasive that this is the message that our children usually receive from the educational system paid for by our taxes."

The Kennedys quote the testimony of a Confederate soldier who said: "I was a soldier in Virginia in the campaigns of Lee and Jackson, and I declare I never met a Southern soldier who had drawn his sword to perpetuate slavery...What he had chiefly at heart was the preservation of the supreme and sacred right of self-government...It was a very small minority of men who fought in the Southern armies who were financially interested in the institution of slavery."

In his book "Myths of American Slavery" author Donnie Kenned tells us that: "General Robert E. Lee was so much opposed to slavery that he freed his slaves long before the War for Southern Independence, yet he fought for his state and the South during the war." Yet, Ulysses S. Grant, who fought for the North, and whose wife held personal slaves, did not free those slaves until forced to do so by the Thirteenth Amendment, which was passed after the end of the war.

"I know a lady who teaches social studies in a school in one of our Southern states. She has encouraged students to take an interest in their family histories and she told me once that one of her students, who happened to be from the North, had let her borrow the book "The Last Full Measure" which was written from the Northern perspective. In commenting on this book she wrote me and said "Amazing how those guys from Minnesota only talked about coming south to put down the rebellion. The author plainly states that slavery wasn't an issue for them." Even Abraham Lincoln said much the same thing. He said if he could "preserve the Union" by only freeing some of the slaves and not others he would do it, and if he could preserve the Union without freeing any of the slaves he would do it. If you take the trouble to do a little digging through old books, you will find that a great many in the North could have cared less about slavery one way or the other."

No one is defending the institution of slavery, but I think the truth does need to be told about all the different reasons for the war, and most of our "historians" in this day and age are not bothering to do that. No money or fame in telling the truth. Therefore, our children grow up ignorant of what the real issues of the war were. And. lets face it, that ignorance is mostly by design rather than by accident. A student that has no true picture or concept of what it was really all about is potential putty in the hands of the guilt manipulators that tell him or her that they are, somehow, responsible for slavery and should, therefore, be willing to pay reparations to those that have never been slaves. Let's face it, in our day, bad history may well be part of the scam. In addition this is harmful to the black population making them perpetual victims forever and the prey of manipulators. Rev Jesse Petersen (black) of California clearly states this issue before us and is being oppressed by black activist. Check him out and you will clearly see he is worthy of your support.

The creation of American Liberty, the very principles upon which our country was founded, is so deeply tied to Southern Heritage that an understanding of Southern Heritage is required to understand American Liberty. (G.Washington, T. Jefferson, Edmund Pendleton, Patrick Henry, and thousands of others and their descendants.......)

So what does this all tell you? It simply says that neither the Republican nor Democratic candidates understand the principles upon which our country was founded. The only thing important to them is the party label of any candidate. The only thing important is controlling the ever growing size of local, State and federal government.

Be careful and get to know the candidates running for any, and i mean any office in local, state and US government elections.
Only vote for those who have demonstrated that they understand the principles upon which our country was founded and demonstrated that they will standup and fight for those principles.


F.H. Thomas - 10/21/2003


If academic disputation is indeed an important path to wisdom, then we are surely all wiser for the responses to this article, if not the article itself.

For myself, the endless PC culture wars for financial gain by groups such as SPLC is the most despicable component of modern American society. I see the outcome of this interchange as paving the way for the departure of open America-haters such as Morris Dees from our national dialog. Getting rid of the outright SPLC racism against Southern Whites is an admirable first step leading to that end.

Nonetheless, I have learned much from those holding the opposite view, as well as from my ideological allies, and welcome them all. It is only freely, openly and together that we progress.


Paul Harvey - 10/21/2003

Mr. Griffith:

This post is an expression of personal opinion, and should not be construed as representing the views of the University of Colorado, where I am employed, or of my alma mater Oklahoma Baptist University and the University of California Berkeley, nor of Belmont College, where I once taught, nor of the Pew Foundation, which has funded my research, nor of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which has done the same, nor of Pike's Perk Coffee Brewing Company, which I frequent nearly daily to get my caffeine fix, nor . . . ..

No, Mr. Griffith, it's NOT obvious that the comparisons were merely "rhetorical," they were in fact central to the essay, and re-emphasized in the concluding paragraph.
These comparisons form the central argument of Maxwell's essay. The comparisons and analogies are, to repeat, some of the ugliest slanders I have ever seen in an historical discussion.

Your argument boils down to this: Ewert is not allowed to present a reasoned (and very commonly held--look at the nearly univeral panning of this dreadful film) opinion because he is employed by the Museum -- unless, of course, he wants to opine a view that accords with one very particular view of "Southern heritage"-- and therefore should be fired.

I suppose Mr. Ewert's actual performance and competence at his job (which, judging by the acclaim given to the Museum, are evidently very high) have nothing to do with whether he should keep his job? It's about one's historical political correctness, not one's competence, right?

Mr. Griffith, who was it, precisely, that put you in charge of defining what is "Southern heritage"? And who put you in charge of decreeing that Ewert hates the South? And who put you in charge of deciding whether Mr. Ewert has performed well in his job at the Museum?




F.H. Thomasf - 10/21/2003


Interesting. Applying the principle of cui bono, it appears that all of these outrageous mis-citations are coming from someone who wishes to demean the pro-South side in this debate.

Morris Dees, stop it right now!

And while you are at it, get some honest work.



Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

[[[ In other words, Mr. Griffith, do you agree with Mr. Maxwell that Mr. Ewert is a Stalinist/Maoist henchmen? I've seen some poor arguments and outrageous historical analogies before on my student papers, but this one wins the award for the worst on record. ]]]

Maxwell's point is that Ewert wants Southerners to hate their past and that he paints a distorted, false picture of Southern heritage. Obviously, his comparisons to Mao and Stalin were rhetorical.

If Mr. Ewert had merely expressed his views as a private citizen, that would be one thing. But for him to cite his official position was inappropriate. And how can Southerns have any confidence that Ewert will fairly present the South's side of the story when Ewert has made it clear he despises Southern heritage?

Yes, I would fire him and get someone who was more balanced and credible.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Paul Harvey - 10/21/2003

Mr. Griffith:

You find Maxwell's response "superb." Does that mean you agree with his implication that Mr. Ewert is a member of a "praetorian guard" who have set up "re-education camps," and that he has set up a "brave new school for children so that Alabamians can be taught to hate their past, to reject their ancestors, to condemn and even to forget their history."

Also, since Ewert's job was in jeopardy merely for expressing his opinion of a film, does that mean that those who called for his head (the local SCV and others) were "as Alabamians and Americans" merely out to "protect intellectual freedom" against the "cruel legacy of the Soviets and Red Guards"?

In other words, Mr. Griffith, do you agree with Mr. Maxwell that Mr. Ewert is a Stalinist/Maoist henchmen?

I've seen some poor arguments and outrageous historical analogies before on my student papers, but this one wins the award for the worst on record.

Paul




Barbara Cornett - 10/21/2003

yeah right, and I do so appreicate your concern for my public disgrace. I was raised a Southern Baptist and I will debate the dogma with you anytime anyplace.

How much sense does it make for these rabid rightwingers who know a little about the Bible to stand with Zionists and Israel in everything they do? They think Jews are going to hell but want to fight for Israel. they think God needs their help to bring about the end times. How bright is that?

If that is not bad enough they think God is using George Bush to bring about His will upon earth. If God really wants to bring glory to Himself by using a humble instrument on Earth He could go back to using a jackass. I mean a real jackass of the equestorian variety.


Barbara Cornett - 10/21/2003

Mr Dresner there are people in the US like Timothy McVeigh and we know what they are capable of doing. I acknowledge such people exist. They represent sick individuals and their acts are hated by all of the rest of society. You can't hold a whole society hostage because of acts of solitary people such as them or the DC snipers.

In a sense that is what SPLC does and it is so perdictable and sickeningly politically correct in its speech and agenda that it makes me think of it as an opposite to Uncle Tom.

The next time a terrorist acts, which of these groups do you think is likely to strike. The ones you listed?

Fox reported after 9-11 that Israelis were stopped fleeing the WTC. They along with the bin laden family were allowed to go on their way and we have heard not a word about it again. woe unto anyone who even goes near that story. How do you think that makes me feel?

Will you acknowledge that Jews, whether you agree with their philosophy or not, are the ones who are creating conditions that encourage terrorist acts? Therefore it is these Jews, and not these other groups that are the threat to security. Just because there are potential Tim McVeighs, who have acted one time, does not change the reality of the situation today.

Jews hold power in government, the KKK does not. Jews are openly advocating their policies to the approval of almost 50% of Americans, the neo-nazis are subject to universal public derision. Will you acknowledge the implications of that?

The majority in America represents English and Irish. The majority did not bring about terrorist acts by the Irish Republican Army. Will you acknowledge that and therefore the power that the minority group you belong to has in America and how that reflects upon your constant claims that you fear for your security?

I would also point out that when you talk about the security that SPLC brings to people you are talking with regard to yourself and all other Jews along with other minorities. Then when we start talking about Zionists, Israel and the policies of PNAC suddenly you are not part of a group. Isn't that called having your cake and eating it too?

If you want me to see the men in Bush's inner circle as individual Americans and not place them in any particular catagory, then you must give up thinking of yourself as part of a minority. When you become just another American like me, then you will be the same as me. Thats how it works. You can't have it both ways.

The men in Bush's inner circle are not acting like someone like me though are they? They are not representing all Americans. They are acting as a particular minority group. Therefore it is not fair for you to say that I think according to tribal identification since policies are being carried out that reflect tribial identification.

You also give a distored view of the gains that are being made on behalf of Israel and the closeness of Bush and Sharon. Iraq was a major threat to them and now Iraq is gone and they have changed their military because they don't have to deal with Iraq any more. They are attacking Syria because they couldn't force our hand there and will drag us into that with them. It is because of the US that they refuse to make peace with the Palestinians because they know we are behind them 100%. The US recently refused to back a UN resolution regarding some Isralie outrage, I can't even keep up with UN resolutions regarding them and it never shocks any more to see what Israel does and the US defends. will you acknowledge that this situation represents the unique power of the minority that you belong to? Don't be shy.


Alec Lloyd - 10/21/2003

Indeed, Thomas is one of my favorite commanders.


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

This is really twisting things. Buchanan did not intend to "praise" Hitler. If you read the entire article, it's clear that he was just contrasting Hitler's determination and courage with the spineless, indecisive actions of England and France. One can note that Hitler possessed courage and decisiveness without "praising" him. Buchanan also made it clear that Hitler was a murderer, a racist, and an anti-Semite:

". . . Hitler was indeed racist and anti-Semitic to the core, a man who without compunction could commit murder and genocide. . . ."

That doesn't sound like "praise" to me.

I don't subscribe to all of Buchanan's views, and I agree he has made some unfortunate comments in the past, but it is going way over the line to falsely claim Buchanan admired or praised Hitler. In context, he did no such thing.

Mike Griffith


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

[[[ In regard to your seccession documents posted - there is a website with nothing but that is supposed to be the sum total of why we left the union and is supposed to prove it was all about slavery. ]]]

What's odd about that argument is that complaints against unfair economic policies are cited in two of the Declarations of Causes of Secession and in one of the Ordinances of Secession. So on that basis alone one can't say that slavery was the only reason the Deep South states seceded.

And what about the four Upper South states? They clearly didn't secede only or even mainly over slavery. They initially declined to secede, and only decided to join the Confederacy after Lincoln announced he was going to launch an invasion. In fact, in two of the Upper South states, the initial votes on secession, whether in convention or by popular vote, all went against secession, in Virginia by a margin of two to one. However, after Lincoln left no doubt he was going to use force, new votes were held, and they all went heavily in favor of secession. In Virginia the vote was nearly 4 to 1 for secession, and in Tennessee in was 2 to 1.

So it's a little hard to understand how anyone familiar with the facts could claim that the Southern states seceded only over slavery. One can't even say this about the seven Deep South states, much less about the four Upper South states that later joined the Confederacy.

I suspect that critics prefer to ignore the fact that there was much more involved with secession than just slavery because it makes it easier for them to smear and demonize the Confederacy.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

Sorry, I didn't mean to repeat that message something happened.

In regard to your seccession documents posted - there is a website with nothing but that is supposed to be the sum total of why we left the union and is supposed to prove it was all about slavery. When I wrote him and pointed out this was hardly the whole picture - and a one-sided view - he advised me to send him whatever and he would see about including it......well you guys don't want to do the work - it really is interesting and I am sure if you try harder you will be rewarded with the TRUTH!

If I take Ted Kennedy's or any of the democrats recent rantings in the senate, would that be the sum total of why we have the Iraq War?

Of course not


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

For Starters: you are wrong about the Fort Pillow incident - Forrest did not such thing - this has been PROVEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN

sorry i don't have the reference handy, but you could research it you know.

BTW Forrest among many great accomplishments, Forrest saved Selma, Alabama from being burned to the ground!

He also had black Confederate soldiers in his regiment who were treated equally. Even in 1880 in Memphis, Tennessee he had black friends who honored him for his service to the black community.

A good book to read about Patrick Cleburne is "Stonewall of the West" - I sure hope they get his buckle back - EWERT is delifintely not taking care of our artifacts. BTW Patrick Cleburne never owned any slaves he was a merchant and then lawyer in Helena, Arkansas, an immigrant from Ireland.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

For Starters: you are wrong about the Fort Pillow incident - Forrest did not such thing - this has been PROVEN OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN

sorry i don't have the reference handy, but you could research it you know.

BTW Forrest among many great accomplishments, Forrest saved Selma, Alabama from being burned to the ground!

He also had black Confederate soldiers in his regiment who were treated equally. Even in 1880 in Memphis, Tennessee he had black friends who honored him for his service to the black community.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

How dare you - I have written no hatred on this board!

you don't seem to be able to handle the TRUTH and retort with usual liberal barage of accusations instead of facts.

I you don't have a point to make with a source or a repectful question to ask, do not post behind my messages with slanderous words. If you do they will be ignored.

Josephine Lindsay Bass
Confederal Southern American





Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

Somebody STOLE MY NAME! THIEF THIEF THIEF THIEF


Ralph E. Luker - 10/21/2003

Ms. Bass, Add THE RACIST and THE FUNDAMENTALIST to my list. You've been in your cups again. I am in no meaningful sense of the word a "fundamentalist." Ask my fundamentalist friends, they will assure you about that and by the way you need to learn to spell the word. Call me a racist if you will -- I've been called worse by people who know better. You are right about one thing. I do have cancer and, like everyone else, I will eventually die. Before I go, I'd like to know the source of the hatred which you vent on these boards.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/21/2003

Ironically, your words are as meaningless and powerless as you are in the real world, yet they possess the negative energy to destroy you from within.
You are your own cancer--and your only victim.


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

Maxwell's article is very well-written. I congratulate Maxwell on a superb article.

Maxwell touches on a key point in noting that critics would rather dwell on the horrible aspects of slavery, even though the relationships depicted in the film were more common, especially among families who only owned a few slaves.

For all their talk of tolerance and avowed opposition to hate, I find that in some cases critics of Southern heritage are the ones who are intolerant and downright hateful.

I'm fairly new to the subject of the Civil War. Less than a year ago, I was a strong critic of Southern heritage, and I viewed the Confederacy as an early version of the Third Reich. I had no patience with those who defended the South and Confederate symbols. I didn't think such symbols should be displayed in any official setting. When I finally began to do some serious research on the Civil War, I realized that my negative attitude toward Southern heritage was unfair and largely unfounded.
As I began to take part in online discussions on the Civil War, I was surprised to find pro-Unionists who were as dogmatic and intolerant as the worst Southern fire-eaters whom I had encountered. To be sure, I received heated criticism from Southern fire-eaters for my support of affirmative action and minority set-asides, for my defense of Dr. King, for my defense of the NAACP, and for my criticisms of how blacks have been treated in America. But, I also received equally vehement criticism from Northern fire-eaters for daring to note that it seemed undeniable that the North was the aggressor, that the Confederacy was not the evil empire that I had been led to believe it was, and that the North's invasion of the South was brutal, illegal, and unnecessary.

They won't come out and say this, but I get the impression that many critics of Southern heritage just don't care how disgracefully Northern armies behaved in the South because the outrages were done against Southerners, as if Southerners were subhumans who deserved to be subjected to a barbaric invasion.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Dr. Ben George - 10/21/2003

Ben George, commander
Lee-Moses-Dixon Vindicator Camp #408
Sons of Confederate Veterans
-----------------


Ben George's response to politically correct historians about George Ewert

Mike Thomason has a title called historian, and a degree that supports that. From his writings, I would suggest that he violates the first rule of historians; an obligation to tell the truth. He assaults me and "my ilk,' to use the phrase George Ewert did, another lettered historian who is entrusted to keep the history of the people of Mobile. He has pre-judged me without having any information to do so, which is the definition of prejudice, mistake number two. He has more facts wrong than right. I have never seen New Jersey, the place he assigns as my birth. He has no knowledge of my education as regards history or anything else. He has incorrect knowledge of policy suggestions we have made to the museum, as we have made none at this point. The items he speaks of came from a completely different source, but Mr. Thomason has profiled or stereotyped those who are proud of Southern Heritage as being all alike, probably down to the worst individual he can imagine in what seems to be a quite fertile imagination.
In October of 2002, a Mobile police officer was heard on the radio splurging hateful, racial invectives towards Mobilians who are black or African-American, as you prefer. He said he did not intend to expend energy protecting them from a coming storm. The next week, Mobile's city council broke it's rules of procedure in order to pass a resolution condemning this behavior and calling for the most punishment allowable. It was unanimous, and from the facts I know, I am in complete agreement. One phrase of the resolution said all Mobilians were entitled to the same respect and service from their city's government. Again, I agree. We lobbied city officials over the next four months to pass a resolution, which changes Mobile's mission statement, and simply enacts into law, these sentiments. It was also passed unanimously by all seven councilmen and the mayor. Among other things it says:
: "We respect the dignity and worth of our citizens and value the diversity of culture, heritage, and history in our community.... The intent of this mission statement is to ensure that we are as inclusive as possible in ALL (emphasis in original) of our actions that affect the quality of life for ALL of the citizens of Mobile."
We are proud of this accomplishment and call it "The Mobile Solution." It is simply based on three words; Everybody Gets Respect. We intend to brag about it cross the state, the South, and the nation. All people who obey the laws and pay taxes in a community have the same rights to celebrate their culture, heritage, history, religion, etc. It is a shame that in America, a land of theoretical freedom and liberty, that this needs to be said.
George Ewert was quoted about ten months ago as Mobile's museum director in the Gainesville (Georgia) Times. He said, and I paraphrase, 'racism is inherent in Confederate symbols, and they should not be considered a symbol of heritage by anyone.' I called him and told him it was improper for him, a man whose job is to keep the history of ALL Mobilians to have those opinions, and to use his position as museum director to foster them. He told me about his first amendment rights. He also told me that he did not consider the Confederacy to be a country. I told him he was wrong, and he was obligated to keep all the history of Mobile, including Confederate history honest. Then, up pops Mr. Ewert's movie review (?), called 'Whitewashing the Confederacy.' Well the name's Ewert, not Ebert! The SPLC is not a movie watcher's guide, it is an organization that has attacked Confederate Heritage at every opportunity.
Mr. Ewert's piece is not a review. It is his first amendment expression of cultural bigotry towards all things Southern, and towards all who celebrate them as a part of their heritage. He implies that only neo-Confederate white supremacists could like it. He questions the religious character of Lee and Jackson, something I have personally never witnessed. He uses other prejudicial, bigoted words like hogwash, ilk, wildly unrepresentative, ponderous, stilted, preposterous, and flawed. He quotes selectively from the three most liberal papers in the U. S. to attack the movie. We consider Mr. Ewert to have broken his civic trust to show equal fairness to all Mobile's citizens and their history very similar to what the policeman did with his racial invective. The policeman broke his trust to serve and protect ALL Mobile’s citizens. Both broke no laws. Both exercised their first amendment rights. By expressing their true feelings, both should be thanked, and both should be fired!
Mayor Dow requested an apology from Mr. Ewert. Surprisingly, he did not get it. What Mayor Dow and the citizens of Mobile got was a four or five sentence note that said he (Ewert) was exercising his rights as a private individual, did not say he would desist, but then said if anyone was offended, he apologized. Mayor Dow's letter correctly pointed out that Ewert exercised insensitivity and bad judgment, should be more careful in the future, and should clear future pieces with the mayor's office and the museum board. I still believe that Mayor Dow should have, without question fired George Ewert. I believe Ewert's lack of remorse is still another reason he should be fired. I won't go into other reasons, such as the museum attendance is terribly poor, they do not have a complete inventory. They have lost items of importance, and de-acquisitioned others such as Gen'l Patrick Cleburne's sword buckle. They also have no plans for changing exhibits. Mr. Ewert himself told me that, as regards the Late (and ongoing) Unpleasantness, "where there are historical points of contention, both sides should be discussed." This is a policy that, clearly he is not following. This is why we have called for a boycott of the museum until these issues are addressed. We ask you to go to http://www.mobile.org , and tell Mayor Dow and the council what you think. Personally, I believe he is at least trying to address the concerns of the Southern Heritage community.
Finally, Mr. Thomason is shocked at the thought that it may be possible to eventually tell the story of the Second War for American Independence from the point of view of Mobilians in Mobile's museum. Perish the thought! Mr. Thomason needs lessons (I'm in the book) in gathering information, telling truth, showing respect for our diversity, and not having a monopoly on history because of his degree. If Mr. Thomason can review Mayor Dow's letter to Ewert with anything resembling an open mind, he will see that the mayor and council are practicing the Mobile Solution, and attempting to show respect for all cultures in our city. While I do not think they went far enough, I applaud their words and actions, which only seek inclusion for ALL, including Southerners, African-Americans, and even cultural bigots like George Ewert and Michael Thompson. I wish you all a Dixie Day!

Ben George D.V.M.,commander
Lee-Moses-Dixon Vindicator Canp #408
Sons of Confederate Veterans


***********************


The Real Deal on the museum of Mobile

From: UNRECONSTRUCTEDB@aol.com


Boycott the Museum of Mobile

The Real Deal on the Museum of Mobile

Welcome visitors and citizens. Here it is-the Real Deal

Mobile's Museum occupies the city hall of Mobile during the Second War for American Independence. It's Director, George Ewert, sits in the former mayor's office, and is a cultural bigot who would like to direct "a re-education camp for adults and a brave new school for children so that Alabamians can be taught to hate their past." These are the words of Ronald Maxwell, the director of the movie “Gods and Generals." What Mr. Maxwell does not know, but Mobilians do, is that Mr. Ewert has many other historically incorrect, but politically correct views such as, "the Confederacy was not a country." When Mobilians ask him about his radical cultural bigotry, he is quick to champion his first amendment rights and accuse them of "stirring things up." We need not remind you that with rights come responsibilities, but we do need to remind Ewert.

Mr. Ewert was hired only after educational requirements were reduced so as to make him technically qualified for the position. It is our opinion that he remains unqualified to be the museum director of any entity that purports to tell the truth about history.

We are proud of our city, and it's museum, and invite the Southeast Museum Conventioneers to visit it. But we have called for a boycott of the museum until our history is addressed responsibly. Until the citizens of Mobile can once again approach those in charge of it's history in a positive way to exchange information in an attempt to improve this jewel in the crown of pearls of Mobile we will keep it boycotted. Telling the truth will start with having a director who agrees to do so, or with Mr. Ewert giving a real apology to the citizens of Mobile as he was asked to do by our mayor. What Ewert responded with was anything but an apology, and is only another reason he should be dismissed!

We applaud our mayor's request that Ewert apologize, and abide by the new mission statement of the city of Mobile, respecting all our cultures, all our heritage. This is the Mobile Solution: Everybody Gets Respect!

If you take nothing else home from the convention, take the Mobile Solution home, and respect all your history. And now, a few facts:

Under Ewert, admissions to the new museum have dropped below any worst estimates given. Attendance at the museum is one third that of Fort Conde, our welcome center down the street.

Under Ewertism, a sort of historical Stalinism, citizens of Mobile can not have their concerns addressed by him, and can not address the museum board either.
Under Ewertism, items in the old museum have been lost, and remain lost even after many attempts to find them. Case in point, the Confederate portrait that was formerly hung in the front of Mobile's old museum is lost. Efforts to locate it have failed to date. This is akin to Stalin rewriting history by erasing photos of individuals in historical group portraits.

Under Ewertism, a complete inventory of museum treasures does not exist. He admitted it! What does exist is in at least three known mediums. This is the second responsibility of a director, the first being to tell the truth. If you do not know what you have, how can you protect it? And what mechanism exists to prevent future losses such as the one just described?

Under Ewertism, the Mobile Museum has the first choice in being the prime depository of C.S.S. Alabama artifacts (not a country?), but may lose this opportunity if Ewert chooses not to meet requirements. A fact Mobilians have much reason to be concerned about.

Under Ewertism, Mobilians have reason to believe that any item donated to the museum may be de-acquisitioned due to low revenues, tight budgets, and a director who has a special bigotry towards a certain period of Mobile's history. Tell us about Confederate (not a country) General Patrick Cleburne's buckle, sent to his fiancé after his heroic death, and later donated by her family to the city, only to be sold out to a private collector. Over 90% of Second War for American Independence items are in storage, without a complete inventory. They have high monetary value. Will they soon be lost? Ewert won't meet to discuss the issue. Mobilians want Cleburne's buckle back, Mr. Ewert, and you gone!

Sorry, we must end this due to space, but trust us, there is much more!
Paid for by Friends of the Flag, 7 N. Bayous Street, Mobile, Alabama. We dare defend our rights!

email Mayor Mike Dow and thank him for asking George Ewert to be tolerant.
Tell him Ewert must be fired!
mayor@ci.mobile.al.us is his address, or http://www.mobile.org to access city council


***********************


Jonathan Dresner - 10/21/2003

Ms. Cornett,

Ironically, I mostly agree with your recommendations. I've said before that the US could do much more to motivate a peace settlement in the Middle East (though I think there needs to be more motivation on both sides, not just Israel). I've said before that we need a truly imaginative and aggressive alternative energy policy.

I agree that PNAC is an insidious group whose plan needs to be brought out into the light and discouraged. But I don't think the linchpin of that plan is Zionism, no matter how you define it: I think the policy of supporting Israel but not actually providing a path to a solution is a deliberate decision to maintain tensions in the Middle East so as to allow the US to become more powerful relative to the resident powers in the region, Israel included (If I were Ariel Sharon, I'd be deeply disappointed with the unwillingness of the US to address the supporters of terrorism or to fund initiatives that would reduce social stress in the Palestinian population. But then if I were Ariel Sharon Israel would be dismantling settlements and negotiating with any Palestinian leader who'd sit at the same table with me in hopes of creating alternative leaders to the Fatah). I think PNAC is precisely what it says it is: a group devoted to establishing US dominance over vital strategic resources and regions for the purpose of maintain US economic and political dominance in the world. Not to help the Jews, but to support US economic and political elites of all religious and tribal affiliations.

I think your emphasis on tribal identification is obscuring your ability to understand what is going on in the world. In fact, I might go so far as to say that your focus on Jewish actors makes you a victim of a deliberate campaign to divide us along ethnic lines, weaken civil society, so as to make us easier to rule. Jews as a group are entirely expendable to the elites represented by the PNAC neo-conservatives.

And I don't think you understand what it means to a Jew to realize that there are groups like the World Church of the Creator or the Aryan Nation or the KKK active in your own town, growing in the prisons and on the internet. I hope you don't ever have to feel that fear, but I do wish you would acknowledge that it is a real and legitimate concern.


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

For some reason this forum's software deleted all the comments that were cited inside quotation arrows in my first reply. I'm going to redo my reply and use a different quotation method:

[[[ Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Confederate Constitution explicitly protected the institution of slavery, and made it all but impossible for individual states to abolish (to repeat an earlier post, so much or states rights). ]]]

Even Lincoln repeatedly admitted that the U.S. Constitution protected slavery. That's why the 13th Amendment was needed in order to abolish slavery legally. The only difference was that the U.S. Constitution wasn't as overt about it, but the degree of protection was identical in terms of protecting slavery where it already existed.

There are different views on the degree to which the Confederate constitution protected slavery in relation to states' rights. Some claim individual Confederate states were still free to abolish slavery, while others claim they weren't. Even during the war, Confederate states jealously guarded their prerogatives against usurpation by the national government. One thing is a matter of record: At the Confederate constitutional convention in Montgomery, Alabama, a proposal that would have barred free states from joining the Confederacy was *defeated.*

With all due respect to Harry Jaffa, the fact of the matter is that Jefferson Davis did not shut down a single newspaper, even though several of them attacked him bitterly and falsely. Even one of the historians who appeared on Ken Burns' documentary "The Civil War" acknowledged that the South not only had a free press during the war, but a *vibrant* free press at that. In contrast, Lincoln and his generals shut down over 200 newspapers and jailed numerous editors for expressing "unpatriotic" views. For Jaffa to cite hyperbole given in the heat of a debate as evidence that the South suppressed freedom of the press is rather weak. The historical record shows the Confederacy permitted a strongly independent press.

The CSA had no plans to invade or annex Cuba. The Confederacy made this clear to Cuba. Patrick covers this in JEFFERSON DAVIS AND HIS CABINET. Jefferson Davis would not have sanctioned any such action anyway.

[[[ You mention, rightly, the plan by Southern leaders (when the only other option was defeat, governments often do weird things to survive) to offer black soldiers freedom in return for military service. You fail to mention that it was never adopted, for reasons best summed up by the North Carolina Standard in Jan. 17, 1865 "it [the use of black soldiers] is abolition doctrine . . . the very doctrine which the war was commenced to put down." ]]]

A few points in reply: One, the vote was extremely close, so the forces pushing for emancipation in exchange for military service were strong and clearly growing. Two, Davis still worked to have slaves granted freedom for military service, which shows he believed strongly in this. Three, yes, nations consider many options when faced with destruction or severe loss, such as when Lincoln, under intense pressure from the Radicals, finally began to consider an emancipation statement in the face of an increasingly difficult military situation. Four, Davis and other key leaders were prepared to abolish slavery outright in return for British and French diplomatic recognition. Five, if the war had continued, all indications are that the push to enlist slaves as soldiers in exchange for freedom would have succeeded.

[[ Your reading of Lincoln?s first inaugural adopts DiLorenzo?s bizarre argument. Lincoln was not threatening the South with taxation. ]]]

I see nothing bizarre about DiLorenzo's point, and your argument ignores the plain sense and pretty clear English of Lincoln's inaugural address. Lincoln said, plainly, that only two things would trigger an invasion, and that one of them was a failure to pay the tariff. Given the fact that the virtually Southless Congress had just markedly increased the tariff, with the Morrill Tariff bill, how can you say the South wasn't being threatened with taxation? Indeed, the South was being threatened with egregiously high taxation, much higher than the over-taxation that caused the Nullification Crisis of 1832. Lincoln's position on Sumter only began to stiffen when Northern industrialists and newspapers began to voice fears over the recently announced low Confederate tariff. When Lincoln met with a delegation from Virginia, he repeatedly expressed concern about a loss of tariff revenue. Northern newspapers wondered aloud what would happen to the North if the South could trade directly with Europe and weren't burdened with the federal tariff. Even Taussig admits that the South paid a disproportionate share of the tariff.

One cannot ignore the fact that Southern newspapers, for years, had been filled with loud complaints about unfair federal economic policies. Several Southern leaders had given long speeches on this subject--I quote from a few of them in "The Confederacy, the Union, and the Civil War" at:

http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/4claims.htm

In his famous secession speech to the Georgia legislature, Robert Toombs spent the first half of the speech citing economnic complaints as reasons for secession. In his first speech to the provisional Confederate Congress, Jefferson Davis likewise cited complaints about unfair federal ecnomic policies; he also spent a great deal of time on the doctrine of states rights.

To argue that opposition to federal economic policies was not a major factor in secession is to ignore the historical record. Indeed, one Southern leader in Congress said the South was just as concerned about unfair economic policies as it was over slavery (see my above-mentioned article).

[[[ Lincoln understood (as you have correctly pointed out with regards to Ft. Sumter) that he needed the South to make the first move, if he was to obtain popular support for the war. Lincoln did not recognize secession, so he basically announced his intention to govern as if the South had not seceded. No formal invasion left the South with two choices: let the federal government function, and watch secession sentiment fizzle over time, or bring matters to a head through violent opposition. They chose the latter. ]]]

This is like saying a man who gets bumped on the shoulder has the right to whip out a shotgun and shoot the person who bumped him. Lincoln's manipulation of the Sumter incident was rife with fraud and deceit. There was no starving garrison. The South tried for weeks to arrange for the peaceful evacuation of the fort, and was repeatedly promised by Seward that this would be done. Lincoln's "relief convoy" included several warships and thousands of armed troops, and was preceded by a curt letter to the governor that basically said "we're coming to resupply the fort and if you try to stop us we'll blast you."

Even then, the Confederates gave the Sumter garrison advance notice of the attack. During the bombardment, when it appeared that a fire on the fort would burn out of control, the Confederates stopped and offered to help put it out. Not a single federal soldier was killed in the attack, not one. And, when the federals surrendered, the Confederates permitted them to surrender with full military honors and then let them go home in peace. That incident was no excuse to plunge the nation into war.

[[[ Your argument also ignores one of the most egregious atrocities of the war, which was not Sherman?s foraging (the destructiveness of which recent historical work has shown was greatly exaggerated, particularly to housing). . . . ]]]

I've read some of that historical work, and I'm not impressed with it. I think "whitewash" would be a better term for it. By any decent, honest standard of warfare, and certainly by the standards accepted in that day, Sherman's ravaging of the South was immoral and cruel. Sherman himself later admitted that his army's actions violated the rules of war that were taught at West Point, rules that could justify hanging if violated.

[[[ but the decision of some Southern officers not take to black prisoners of war. ]]]

This point has been exaggerated by most authors. There were many black prisoners of war in Southern POW camps. We should also keep in mind the brutal way that thousands of slaves were treated by Union soldiers, and that some slaves were forced to serve in the Union army against their will. One doesn't have to spend much time in Southern journals from that period to find account after account of Union soldiers taking slaves with them against the slaves' will.

[[[ This led most notably to a Confederate force under General Nathan Bedford Forrest massacring black soldiers at Fort Pillow as they tried to surrender. ]]]

Even taking into account this incident, and assuming as true all the Union claims about it, I would still argue that as a whole Confederate forces conducted themselves far more honorably than did Union forces.

And one more point that I didn't address in my first reply:

[[[ First, to call the confederacy the most democratic of governments is to ignore its denial of even the most basic of civil and human rights to a sizeable section of its population (black slaves). ]]]

You could say the exact same thing about the U.S. for decades and also about colonial America. And I again point out that by late 1864 key Confederate leaders were prepared to abolish slavery in order to save the Confederacy. This clearly shows they viewed independence as being more important than slavery.

Confederate citizens enjoyed every right that we enjoy today, if not more. They were also far less taxed, they had more control over their children's education, and they had much less governmental interference in their lives.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/21/2003

>

Even Lincoln repeatedly admitted that the U.S. Constitution protected slavery. That's why the 13th Amendment was needed in order to abolish slavery legally. The only difference was that the U.S. Constitution wasn't as overt about it, but the degree of protection was identical in terms of protecting slavery where it already existed.

There are different views on the degree to which the Confederate constitution protected slavery in relation to states' rights. Some claim individual Confederate states were still free to abolish slavery, while others claim they weren't. Even during the war, Confederate states jealously guarded their prerogatives against usurpation by the national government. One thing is a matter of record: At the Confederate constitutional convention in Montgomery, Alabama, a proposal that would have barred free states from joining the Confederacy was *defeated.*

With all due respect to Harry Jaffa, the fact of the matter is that Jefferson Davis did not shut down a single newspaper, even though several of them attacked him bitterly and falsely. Even one of the historians who appeared on Ken Burns' documentary "The Civil War" acknowledged that the South not only had a free press during the war, but a *vibrant* free press at that. In contrast, Lincoln and his generals shut down over 200 newspapers and jailed numerous editors for expressing "unpatriotic" views. For Jaffa to cite hyperbole given in the heat of a debate as evidence that the South suppressed freedom of the press is rather weak. The historical record shows the Confederacy permitted a strongly independent press.

The CSA had no plans to invade or annex Cuba. The Confederacy made this clear to Cuba. Patrick covers this in JEFFERSON DAVIS AND HIS CABINET. Jefferson Davis would not have sanctioned any such action anyway.

>

A few points in reply: One, the vote was extremely close, so the forces pushing for emancipation in exchange for military service were strong and clearly growing. Two, Davis still worked to have slaves granted freedom for military service, which shows he believed strongly in this. Three, yes, nations consider many options when faced with destruction or severe loss, such as when Lincoln, under intense pressure from the Radicals, finally began to consider an emancipation statement in the face of an increasingly difficult military situation. Four, Davis and other key leaders were prepared to abolish slavery outright in return for British and French diplomatic recognition. Five, if the war had continued, all indications are that the push to enlist slaves as soldiers in exchange for freedom would have succeeded.

>

I see nothing bizarre about DiLorenzo's point, and your argument ignores the plain sense and pretty clear English of Lincoln's inaugural address. Lincoln said, plainly, that only two things would trigger an invasion, and that one of them was a failure to pay the tariff. Given the fact that the virtually Southless Congress had just markedly increased the tariff, with the Morrill Tariff bill, how can you say the South wasn't being threatened with taxation? Indeed, the South was being threatened with egregiously high taxation, much higher than the over-taxation that caused the Nullification Crisis of 1832. Lincoln's position on Sumter only began to stiffen when Northern industrialists and newspapers began to voice fears over the recently announced low Confederate tariff. When Lincoln met with a delegation from Virginia, he repeatedly expressed concern about a loss of tariff revenue. Northern newspapers wondered aloud what would happen to the North if the South could trade directly with Europe and weren't burdened with the federal tariff. Even Taussig admits that the South paid a disproportionate share of the tariff.

One cannot ignore the fact that Southern newspapers, for years, had been filled with loud complaints about unfair federal economic policies. Several Southern leaders had given long speeches on this subject--I quote from a few of them in "The Confederacy, the Union, and the Civil War" at:

http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/4claims.htm

In his famous secession speech to the Georgia legislature, Robert Toombs spent the first half of the speech citing economnic complaints as reasons for secession. In his first speech to the provisional Confederate Congress, Jefferson Davis likewise cited complaints about unfair federal ecnomic policies; he also spent a great deal of time on the doctrine of states rights.

To argue that opposition to federal economic policies was not a major factor in secession is to ignore the historical record. Indeed, one Southern leader in Congress said the South was just as concerned about unfair economic policies as it was over slavery (see my above-mentioned article).

>

This is like saying a man who gets bumped on the shoulder has the right to whip out a shotgun and shoot the person who bumped him. Lincoln's manipulation of the Sumter incident was rife with fraud and deceit. There was no starving garrison. The South tried for weeks to arrange for the peaceful evacuation of the fort, and was repeatedly promised by Seward that this would be done. Lincoln's "relief convoy" included several warships and thousands of armed troops, and was preceded by a curt letter to the governor that basically said "we're coming to resupply the fort and if you try to stop us we'll blast you."

Even then, the Confederates gave the Sumter garrison advance notice of the attack. During the bombardment, when it appeared that a fire on the fort would burn out of control, the Confederates stopped and offered to help put it out. Not a single federal soldier was killed in the attack, not one. And, when the federals surrendered, the Confederates permitted them to surrender with full military honors and then let them go home in peace. That incident was no excuse to plunge the nation into war.

>

I've read some of that historical work, and I'm not impressed with it. I think "whitewash" would be a better term for it. By any decent, honest standard of warfare, and certainly by the standards accepted in that day, Sherman's ravaging of the South was immoral and cruel. Sherman himself later admitted that his army's actions violated the rules of war that were taught at West Point, rules that could justify hanging if violated.

>

This point has been exaggerated by most authors. There were many black prisoners of war in Southern POW camps. We should also keep in mind the brutal way that thousands of slaves were treated by Union soldiers, and that some slaves were forced to serve in the Union army against their will. One doesn't have to spend much time in Southern journals from that period to find account after account of Union soldiers taking slaves with them against the slaves' will.

>

Even taking into account this incident, and assuming as true all the Union claims about it, I would still argue that as a whole Confederate forces conducted themselves far more honorably than did Union forces.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm



K. A. Shelton - 10/20/2003

From the top.
After 1800, manumissions declined precipitously, many Southern states making it more difficult to manumit or free slaves. SC restricted the practice in 1800. In 1802, Georgia limited the power to free slaves to the legislature, denying it to owners. Virginia’s law of 1806 required all freed slaves to leave the state. In 1807, Kentucky prohibited the entrance of free blacks into the state, Delaware did the same in 1810, and Georgia taxed those entering at $20 a head. The general exception was for a slave who revealed a rebellion, and in those cases the law usually required the freed slave to be transported out of the state. (taken from Peter Kolchin‘s American Slavery, and Ira Berlin‘s Slaves Without Masters)
I can’t speak to the plot on Jefferson Davis’ life; but, given the fact that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, your argument is odd. Personally, I’ve never had much sympathy for the idea that killing those who command armies is more immoral than those who serve in the field.
Same goes for your description of Union POW camps. Surely you have heard of Andersonville.
John Brown was a bloody, messianic loon, but support for him by a small circle of abolitionists was the exception to the rule. Most abolitionists were evangelical Christian reformers (many of them Quakers) who eschewed violence in favor of sentimental “moralsuasion.” John Brown’s slaughter of a family in Kansas was certainly appalling, but so was pro-slavery forces’ burning of Lawrence about the same time.
While we are on the subject of slave rebellions, however, it is worth asking all you natural right of rebellion loving Jeffersonians to explain why Virginia was not obligated to emancipate in response to Gabriel Prosser‘s Rebellion in 1800 (I focus upon this one because there is still a debate whether Denmark Vesey’s rebellion was real, and Nat Turner’s brings up a host of moral issues). When asked whether he had anything else to offer the court, one of Prosser’s officers famously replied that he had nothing more to offer than General Washington would have, had he been captured by the British. He was promptly hung. Why are their struggles for liberty - against a far more tyrannical system - not legitimate?
Finally, (and again, I only discuss such matters when someone else brings them up) as to your suggestion that the South is currently subjugated, take a look at the Federal budget sometime. Consistently, Southern and Midwestern states receive more federal money than they pay federal taxes, while the coasts experience the opposite (my own state of MA gets about $.80 back on the dollar). That means we pay to support you, particularly in the form of agricultural subsidies. I find it ironic that the most conservative section of the country also comes the closest to a centrally planned economy. This is completely aside from the South’s over-representation through the electoral college and the rotten-borough system of the Senate.


Kasper - 10/20/2003

http://www.al.com/opinion/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/opinion/1066555071127600.xml


F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


I am not sure that I always concur with Mr. Shelton's conclusions, but wish to express the utter joy with which I welcome his extremely learned and prolific use of citations, mainly from primary sources. Such learning is an enormous asset to HNN, and I can readily accept the difference of viewpoint we may sometimes have as to what all of this adds up to.

I particularly appreciate the recitation of the Nathan Forrest episode at Fort Pillow. Forrest is an enigmatic character who needs better coverage. However, the atrocity mentioned should come as a surprize to no one. Forrest massacred everybody, white or black, on a number of his forays.




F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


You would absolutely be correct about Suffolk County, sir, and I welcome the correction.

I was trying to use physical proximity as a metaphor for philosophical and economic proximity, something which must be done with care, with such sharp-eyed reviewers.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/20/2003

Mr. Thomas,

Would I be correct in saying that George Thomas hails from Suffolk County, which is actually in southeastern Virginia, not northern Virginia?

That having been said, you're absolutely right about General Thomas's skill as a defensive fighter- a skill matched only by his Southern doppelganger, James Longstreet.

Also, while Mr. Lloyd is correct that not a few Southerners stayed loyal to the union (particularly if they hailed from the Appalachian areas of east Tennessee and North Carolina, there were also Northerners who fought in gray, the notable examples being Confederate adjutant general Samuel Cooper (New Jersey), Vicksburg defender John Pemberton (Pennsylvania), Bushrod Johnson (Ohio), and Archibald Gracie (New York).


K. A. Shelton - 10/20/2003

The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then a free, sovereign and independent nation, the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states thereof,

The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits-- a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.

By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.

The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.

These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of administration.

When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.

The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions-- a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color-- a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments.

They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a 'higher law' than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.

They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.

They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offenses, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.

They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.

They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.

They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.

They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.

And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.

In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons-- We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.

Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.


K. A. Shelton - 10/20/2003

The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic. This hostile policy of our confederates has been pursued with every circumstance of aggravation which could arouse the passions and excite the hatred of our people, and has placed the two sections of the Union for many years past in the condition of virtual civil war. Our people, still attached to the Union from habit and national traditions, and averse to change, hoped that time, reason, and argument would bring, if not redress, at least exemption from further insults, injuries, and dangers. Recent events have fully dissipated all such hopes and demonstrated the necessity of separation. Our Northern confederates, after a full and calm hearing of all the facts, after a fair warning of our purpose not to submit to the rule of the authors of all these wrongs and injuries, have by a large majority committed the Government of the United States into their hands. The people of Georgia, after an equally full and fair and deliberate hearing of the case, have declared with equal firmness that they shall not rule over them. A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia. The party of Lincoln, called the Republican party, under its present name and organization, is of recent origin. It is admitted to be an anti-slavery party. While it attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose. By anti-slavery it is made a power in the state. The question of slavery was the great difficulty in the way of the formation of the Constitution. While the subordination and the political and social inequality of the African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding States of the original thirteen. The opposition to slavery was then, as now, general in those States and the Constitution was made with direct reference to that fact. But a distinct abolition party was not formed in the United States for more than half a century after the Government went into operation. The main reason was that the North, even if united, could not control both branches of the Legislature during any portion of that time. Therefore such an organization must have resulted either in utter failure or in the total overthrow of the Government. The material prosperity of the North was greatly dependent on the Federal Government; that of the the South not at all. In the first years of the Republic the navigating, commercial, and manufacturing interests of the North began to seek profit and aggrandizement at the expense of the agricultural interests. Even the owners of fishing smacks sought and obtained bounties for pursuing their own business (which yet continue), and $500,000 is now paid them annually out of the Treasury. The navigating interests begged for protection against foreign shipbuilders and against competition in the coasting trade. Congress granted both requests, and by prohibitory acts gave an absolute monopoly of this business to each of their interests, which they enjoy without diminution to this day. Not content with these great and unjust advantages, they have sought to throw the legitimate burden of their business as much as possible upon the public; they have succeeded in throwing the cost of light-houses, buoys, and the maintenance of their seamen upon the Treasury, and the Government now pays above $2,000,000 annually for the support of these objects. Theses interests, in connection with the commercial and manufacturing classes, have also succeeded, by means of subventions to mail steamers and the reduction in postage, in relieving their business from the payment of about $7,000,000 annually, throwing it upon the public Treasury under the name of postal deficiency. The manufacturing interests entered into the same struggle early, and has clamored steadily for Government bounties and special favors. This interest was confined mainly to the Eastern and Middle non-slave-holding States. Wielding these great States it held great power and influence, and its demands were in full proportion to its power. The manufacturers and miners wisely based their demands upon special facts and reasons rather than upon general principles, and thereby mollified much of the opposition of the opposing interest. They pleaded in their favor the infancy of their business in this country, the scarcity of labor and capital, the hostile legislation of other countries toward them, the great necessity of their fabrics in the time of war, and the necessity of high duties to pay the debt incurred in our war for independence. These reasons prevailed, and they received for many years enormous bounties by the general acquiescence of the whole country.

But when these reasons ceased they were no less clamorous for Government protection, but their clamors were less heeded-- the country had put the principle of protection upon trial and condemned it. After having enjoyed protection to the extent of from 15 to 200 per cent. upon their entire business for above thirty years, the act of 1846 was passed. It avoided sudden change, but the principle was settled, and free trade, low duties, and economy in public expenditures was the verdict of the American people. The South and the Northwestern States sustained this policy. There was but small hope of its reversal; upon the direct issue, none at all.

All these classes saw this and felt it and cast about for new allies. The anti-slavery sentiment of the North offered the best chance for success. An anti-slavery party must necessarily look to the North alone for support, but a united North was now strong enough to control the Government in all of its departments, and a sectional party was therefore determined upon. Time and issues upon slavery were necessary to its completion and final triumph. The feeling of anti-slavery, which it was well known was very general among the people of the North, had been long dormant or passive; it needed only a question to arouse it into aggressive activity. This question was before us. We had acquired a large territory by successful war with Mexico; Congress had to govern it; how, in relation to slavery, was the question then demanding solution. This state of facts gave form and shape to the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the North and the conflict began. Northern anti-slavery men of all parties asserted the right to exclude slavery from the territory by Congressional legislation and demanded the prompt and efficient exercise of this power to that end. This insulting and unconstitutional demand was met with great moderation and firmness by the South. We had shed our blood and paid our money for its acquisition; we demanded a division of it on the line of the Missouri restriction or an equal participation in the whole of it. These propositions were refused, the agitation became general, and the public danger was great. The case of the South was impregnable. The price of the acquisition was the blood and treasure of both sections-- of all, and, therefore, it belonged to all upon the principles of equity and justice.

The Constitution delegated no power to Congress to excluded either party from its free enjoyment; therefore our right was good under the Constitution. Our rights were further fortified by the practice of the Government from the beginning. Slavery was forbidden in the country northwest of the Ohio River by what is called the ordinance of 1787. That ordinance was adopted under the old confederation and by the assent of Virginia, who owned and ceded the country, and therefore this case must stand on its own special circumstances. The Government of the United States claimed territory by virtue of the treaty of 1783 with Great Britain, acquired territory by cession from Georgia and North Carolina, by treaty from France, and by treaty from Spain. These acquisitions largely exceeded the original limits of the Republic. In all of these acquisitions the policy of the Government was uniform. It opened them to the settlement of all the citizens of all the States of the Union. They emigrated thither with their property of every kind (including slaves). All were equally protected by public authority in their persons and property until the inhabitants became sufficiently numerous and otherwise capable of bearing the burdens and performing the duties of self-government, when they were admitted into the Union upon equal terms with the other States, with whatever republican constitution they might adopt for themselves.

Under this equally just and beneficent policy law and order, stability and progress, peace and prosperity marked every step of the progress of these new communities until they entered as great and prosperous commonwealths into the sisterhood of American States. In 1820 the North endeavored to overturn this wise and successful policy and demanded that the State of Missouri should not be admitted into the Union unless she first prohibited slavery within her limits by her constitution. After a bitter and protracted struggle the North was defeated in her special object, but her policy and position led to the adoption of a section in the law for the admission of Missouri, prohibiting slavery in all that portion of the territory acquired from France lying North of 36 [degrees] 30 [minutes] north latitude and outside of Missouri. The venerable Madison at the time of its adoption declared it unconstitutional. Mr. Jefferson condemned the restriction and foresaw its consequences and predicted that it would result in the dissolution of the Union. His prediction is now history. The North demanded the application of the principle of prohibition of slavery to all of the territory acquired from Mexico and all other parts of the public domain then and in all future time. It was the announcement of her purpose to appropriate to herself all the public domain then owned and thereafter to be acquired by the United States. The claim itself was less arrogant and insulting than the reason with which she supported it. That reason was her fixed purpose to limit, restrain, and finally abolish slavery in the States where it exists. The South with great unanimity declared her purpose to resist the principle of prohibition to the last extremity. This particular question, in connection with a series of questions affecting the same subject, was finally disposed of by the defeat of prohibitory legislation.

The Presidential election of 1852 resulted in the total overthrow of the advocates of restriction and their party friends. Immediately after this result the anti-slavery portion of the defeated party resolved to unite all the elements in the North opposed to slavery an to stake their future political fortunes upon their hostility to slavery everywhere. This is the party two whom the people of the North have committed the Government. They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees it its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers.

The prohibition of slavery in the Territories is the cardinal principle of this organization.

For forty years this question has been considered and debated in the halls of Congress, before the people, by the press, and before the tribunals of justice. The majority of the people of the North in 1860 decided it in their own favor. We refuse to submit to that judgment, and in vindication of our refusal we offer the Constitution of our country and point to the total absence of any express power to exclude us. We offer the practice of our Government for the first thirty years of its existence in complete refutation of the position that any such power is either necessary or proper to the execution of any other power in relation to the Territories. We offer the judgment of a large minority of the people of the North, amounting to more than one-third, who united with the unanimous voice of the South against this usurpation; and, finally, we offer the judgment of the Supreme Court of the United States, the highest judicial tribunal of our country, in our favor. This evidence ought to be conclusive that we have never surrendered this right. The conduct of our adversaries admonishes us that if we had surrendered it, it is time to resume it.

The faithless conduct of our adversaries is not confined to such acts as might aggrandize themselves or their section of the Union. They are content if they can only injure us. The Constitution declares that persons charged with crimes in one State and fleeing to another shall be delivered up on the demand of the executive authority of the State from which they may flee, to be tried in the jurisdiction where the crime was committed. It would appear difficult to employ language freer from ambiguity, yet for above twenty years the non-slave-holding States generally have wholly refused to deliver up to us persons charged with crimes affecting slave property. Our confederates, with punic faith, shield and give sanctuary to all criminals who seek to deprive us of this property or who use it to destroy us. This clause of the Constitution has no other sanction than their good faith; that is withheld from us; we are remediless in the Union; out of it we are remitted to the laws of nations.

A similar provision of the Constitution requires them to surrender fugitives from labor. This provision and the one last referred to were our main inducements for confederating with the Northern States. Without them it is historically true that we would have rejected the Constitution. In the fourth year of the Republic Congress passed a law to give full vigor and efficiency to this important provision. This act depended to a considerable degree upon the local magistrates in the several States for its efficiency. The non-slave-holding States generally repealed all laws intended to aid the execution of that act, and imposed penalties upon those citizens whose loyalty to the Constitution and their oaths might induce them to discharge their duty. Congress then passed the act of 1850, providing for the complete execution of this duty by Federal officers. This law, which their own bad faith rendered absolutely indispensible for the protection of constitutional rights, was instantly met with ferocious revilings and all conceivable modes of hostility. The Supreme Court unanimously, and their own local courts with equal unanimity (with the single and temporary exception of the supreme court of Wisconsin), sustained its constitutionality in all of its provisions. Yet it stands to-day a dead letter for all practicable purposes in every non-slave-holding State in the Union. We have their convenants, we have their oaths to keep and observe it, but the unfortunate claimant, even accompanied by a Federal officer with the mandate of the highest judicial authority in his hands, is everywhere met with fraud, with force, and with legislative enactments to elude, to resist, and defeat him. Claimants are murdered with impunity; officers of the law are beaten by frantic mobs instigated by inflammatory appeals from persons holding the highest public employment in these States, and supported by legislation in conflict with the clearest provisions of the Constitution, and even the ordinary principles of humanity. In several of our confederate States a citizen cannot travel the highway with his servant who may voluntarily accompany him, without being declared by law a felon and being subjected to infamous punishments. It is difficult to perceive how we could suffer more by the hostility than by the fraternity of such brethren.

The public law of civilized nations requires every State to restrain its citizens or subjects from committing acts injurious to the peace and security of any other State and from attempting to excite insurrection, or to lessen the security, or to disturb the tranquillity of their neighbors, and our Constitution wisely gives Congress the power to punish all offenses against the laws of nations.

These are sound and just principles which have received the approbation of just men in all countries and all centuries; but they are wholly disregarded by the people of the Northern States, and the Federal Government is impotent to maintain them. For twenty years past the abolitionists and their allies in the Northern States have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions and to excite insurrection and servile war among us. They have sent emissaries among us for the accomplishment of these purposes. Some of these efforts have received the public sanction of a majority of the leading men of the Republican party in the national councils, the same men who are now proposed as our rulers. These efforts have in one instance led to the actual invasion of one of the slave-holding States, and those of the murderers and incendiaries who escaped public justice by flight have found fraternal protection among our Northern confederates.

These are the same men who say the Union shall be preserved.

Such are the opinions and such are the practices of the Republican party, who have been called by their own votes to administer the Federal Government under the Constitution of the United States. We know their treachery; we know the shallow pretenses under which they daily disregard its plainest obligations. If we submit to them it will be our fault and not theirs. The people of Georgia have ever been willing to stand by this bargain, this contract; they have never sought to evade any of its obligations; they have never hitherto sought to establish any new government; they have struggled to maintain the ancient right of themselves and the human race through and by that Constitution. But they know the value of parchment rights in treacherous hands, and therefore they refuse to commit their own to the rulers whom the North offers us. Why? Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.

[Approved, Tuesday, January 29, 1861]


K. A. Shelton - 10/20/2003

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.


K. A. Shelton - 10/20/2003

The people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, on the 26th day of April, A.D., 1852, declared that the frequent violations of the Constitution of the United States, by the Federal Government, and its encroachments upon the reserved rights of the States, fully justified this State in then withdrawing from the Federal Union; but in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States, she forbore at that time to exercise this right. Since that time, these encroachments have continued to increase, and further forbearance ceases to be a virtue.

And now the State of South Carolina having resumed her separate and equal place among nations, deems it due to herself, to the remaining United States of America, and to the nations of the world, that she should declare the immediate causes which have led to this act.

In the year 1765, that portion of the British Empire embracing Great Britain, undertook to make laws for the government of that portion composed of the thirteen American Colonies. A struggle for the right of self-government ensued, which resulted, on the 4th of July, 1776, in a Declaration, by the Colonies, "that they are, and of right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; and that, as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do."

They further solemnly declared that whenever any "form of government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government." Deeming the Government of Great Britain to have become destructive of these ends, they declared that the Colonies "are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."

In pursuance of this Declaration of Independence, each of the thirteen States proceeded to exercise its separate sovereignty; adopted for itself a Constitution, and appointed officers for the administration of government in all its departments-- Legislative, Executive and Judicial. For purposes of defense, they united their arms and their counsels; and, in 1778, they entered into a League known as the Articles of Confederation, whereby they agreed to entrust the administration of their external relations to a common agent, known as the Congress of the United States, expressly declaring, in the first Article "that each State retains its sovereignty, freedom and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right which is not, by this Confederation, expressly delegated to the United States in Congress assembled."

Under this Confederation the war of the Revolution was carried on, and on the 3rd of September, 1783, the contest ended, and a definite Treaty was signed by Great Britain, in which she acknowledged the independence of the Colonies in the following terms: "ARTICLE 1-- His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz: New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, to be FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof."

Thus were established the two great principles asserted by the Colonies, namely: the right of a State to govern itself; and the right of a people to abolish a Government when it becomes destructive of the ends for which it was instituted. And concurrent with the establishment of these principles, was the fact, that each Colony became and was recognized by the mother Country a FREE, SOVEREIGN AND INDEPENDENT STATE.

In 1787, Deputies were appointed by the States to revise the Articles of Confederation, and on 17th September, 1787, these Deputies recommended for the adoption of the States, the Articles of Union, known as the Constitution of the United States.

The parties to whom this Constitution was submitted, were the several sovereign States; they were to agree or disagree, and when nine of them agreed the compact was to take effect among those concurring; and the General Government, as the common agent, was then invested with their authority.

If only nine of the thirteen States had concurred, the other four would have remained as they then were-- separate, sovereign States, independent of any of the provisions of the Constitution. In fact, two of the States did not accede to the Constitution until long after it had gone into operation among the other eleven; and during that interval, they each exercised the functions of an independent nation.

By this Constitution, certain duties were imposed upon the several States, and the exercise of certain of their powers was restrained, which necessarily implied their continued existence as sovereign States. But to remove all doubt, an amendment was added, which declared that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people. On the 23d May , 1788, South Carolina, by a Convention of her People, passed an Ordinance assenting to this Constitution, and afterwards altered her own Constitution, to conform herself to the obligations she had undertaken.

Thus was established, by compact between the States, a Government with definite objects and powers, limited to the express words of the grant. This limitation left the whole remaining mass of power subject to the clause reserving it to the States or to the people, and rendered unnecessary any specification of reserved rights.

We hold that the Government thus established is subject to the two great principles asserted in the Declaration of Independence; and we hold further, that the mode of its formation subjects it to a third fundamental principle, namely: the law of compact. We maintain that in every compact between two or more parties, the obligation is mutual; that the failure of one of the contracting parties to perform a material part of the agreement, entirely releases the obligation of the other; and that where no arbiter is provided, each party is remitted to his own judgment to determine the fact of failure, with all its consequences.

In the present case, that fact is established with certainty. We assert that fourteen of the States have deliberately refused, for years past, to fulfill their constitutional obligations, and we refer to their own Statutes for the proof.

The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.

The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.

Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.

We, therefore, the People of South Carolina, by our delegates in Convention assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, have solemnly declared that the Union heretofore existing between this State and the other States of North America, is dissolved, and that the State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world, as a separate and independent State; with full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do.

Adopted December 24, 1860


K. A. Shelton - 10/20/2003

[this was actually intended as a response to Mr. Griffith’s previous post, but this string is less cluttered]
First, to call the confederacy the most democratic of governments is to ignore its denial of even the most basic of civil and human rights to a sizeable section of its population (black slaves). Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the Confederate Constitution explicitly protected the institution of slavery, and made it all but impossible for individual states to abolish (to repeat an earlier post, so much or states rights). Article I, sect. 9, 4 of the Confederate Constitution reads: “No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed.” Art. IV, sect. 3, 3 reads, in part, “In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government; and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States.” Southern proslavery apologetics, moreover, proclaimed Southern republicanism to be dependent upon the institution of slavery. I have previously quoted Confederate VP Alexander Stephens “Its [the Confederate government] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition." To this I add Andrew Donalson’s Sept. 27, 1848 letter to Calhoun “My residence in Europe has satisfied me that this institution of ours, called slavery, has had an agency in shaping our institutions which few of us in the South sufficiently appreciate. The presence of the black race in the United States enabled white man to treat as his equal all his own race.” (Papers of John C. Calhoun, p. 65) See my previous post form more of the same.
Your claim of the Confederacy’s freedom of the press also runs into problems. While free on many political issues, the South had long violently opposed any discussion of abolition as seditious. To quote a story recited by historian Harry Jaffa, in his debate with Dilorenzo, “I’m reminded that in the Congress, just before the Civil War, the Senator from New Hampshire, I think, made an anti-slavery speech, and a Senator from Mississippi, not Jefferson Davis, invited him to come down to Mississippi to make that speech, promising to see that he was hanged from the highest tree in the forest. The Senator from New Hampshire invited the Senator from Mississippi to come to New Hampshire where he would be given a respectful hearing in every township in that State.” Most famously, a SC postman publicly burned abolition pamphlets he discovered in the mail, and Southern legislators demanded (and got) a Gag Rule in the U.S. Congress prohibiting any and all discussion of slavery by that body This proved part of a long Southern tradition of intimidation and violence in racial matters, which extended well past the war, through the several incarnations of the Klan, lynch law, and up to the attacks upon civil rights workers in the 1950s and 60s (when it again became necessary for the federal government to intrude and protect the rights of life, speech, press and assembly of U.S. citizens).
As for the peacefulness and good conduct of the South in the war. This ignores first of all the “Purple Dream” of many Southern leaders to extend their slave empire through the annexation of Cuba and Mexico. This also answers a previous post of where slavery was supposed to expand into. Your argument also ignores one of the most egregious atrocities of the war, which was not Sherman’s foraging (the destructiveness of which recent historical work has shown was greatly exaggerated, particularly to housing) but the decision of some Southern officers not take to black prisoners of war. This led most notably to a Confederate force under General Nathan Bedford Forrest massacring black soldiers at Fort Pillow as they tried to surrender.
Lincoln’s “total war,” while containing many abuses, was ultimately remarkable only as America’s first industrial age war. It was certainly no worse in its abuses than either of the two world wars. Most importantly, those abuses ended with the war, unlike the above mentioned abuses of the South. The peace granted to the South was historically generous: the states were restored to full political liberties under the constitution, and there were no mass trials or executions of confederate leaders (a handful lost the right to vote temporarily). The presence of federal troops was necessary to restore order (surely present experience in Iraq suggests the potential problems of combining military defeat and emancipation, without any established ruling authority). The “despotism and cruelty” of Reconstruction largely consisted in the federal government’s desire to stop the South in its various attempts to rob blacks of their political and legal rights, and restore them back to some form of coercive labor. President Johnson, himself a Southern and a racist, opposed Reconstruction precisely for going in those directions. I might here also mention the argument I once heard from an economic historian that was precisely Federal interventions into southern society, both the Civil War and civil rights, that saved the south from third world style colonialism. Such societies are marked by massive inequalities of wealth, a racial caste system, and a political system dominated by a narrow oligarchy with little interest in investing in the education of their society’s “human capital.” It was precisely the federal government’s repeated (if unsustained) attacks on this system, forcing the South to dismantle slavery, to protect voting rights, and to educate the bulk of its population (which the recent vote in Alabama shows is still not a priority) which made the South resemble Latin America far more a century ago then it does today.
To repeat, yet again: no one in this debate (that I recall) has argued that the North fought the war to end slavery, or for any other reason than preserve the federal union. Lincoln did not believe he had any constitutional authority to touch slavery where it already existed (and neither, by the way, did abolitionists, who believed the constitution to be a proslavery document). You can save yourself the carpal tunnel syndrome from tilting against that windmill. Your reading of Lincoln’s first inaugural adopts DiLorenzo’s bizarre argument. Lincoln was not threatening the South with taxation. Lincoln understood (as you have correctly pointed out with regards to Ft. Sumter) that he needed the South to make the first move, if he was to obtain popular support for the war. Lincoln did not recognize secession, so he basically announced his intention to govern as if the South had not seceded. No formal invasion left the South with two choices: let the federal government function, and watch secession sentiment fizzle over time, or bring matters to a head through violent opposition. They chose the latter.
I have argued, in keeping with Eric Foner’s classic study of the Republican party, that Republican antislavery sentiment consisted in geographically restricting slavery, but that it was understood (by Republican and Southerner alike) that this would result in the ultimate withering and extinction of slavery where it already existed. Free Soiler David Wilmot argued “Keep it within given limits, . . . and in time it will wear itself out. Its existence can only be perpetuated by constant expansion.” Horace Greeley: “to restrict Slavery within its present limits, is to secure its speedy decline and ultimate extinction.” Carl Shurz: “the clearest heads of the slaveholding States tell you openly that slavery cannot thrive, unless it be allowed to expand. . . . Well then, . . . pent it up!” (quoted in Foner, Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men, p. 116) Before the war, it was the Free Soilers and Republicans who had the peaceful and constitutional plan for the end of slavery, and the South that fought to prevent that from occurring. The idea that the Confederacy was formed primarily as an act of states rights was a myth begun when (well after the war) many Confederate leaders wrote their memoirs and needed to defend their actions in a manner free from the taint of slavery.
Yes, there were Southerners with concerns about slavery, and no, slave owners were not widely sadists. There were even Southern abolitionists, such as the Grimke sisters. Despite these private opinions, there was no (and could be no) organized emancipation movement in the South. The Grimkes did all of their emancipation work in the North. You mention, rightly, the plan by Southern leaders (when the only other option was defeat, governments often do weird things to survive) to offer black soldiers freedom in return for military service. You fail to mention that it was never adopted, for reasons best summed up by the North Carolina Standard in Jan. 17, 1865 "it [the use of black soldiers] is abolition doctrine . . . the very doctrine which the war was commenced to put down."
As it is abundantly clear that many of my opponents have not read the articles of secession issued by the states, I shall present some of them in separate postings. Your picking and choosing of economic reasons as “among the reasons for secession” buries the larger argument, and you might have noted that every one of the Crittendon Compromises deals with slavery. Please note in the following posts: 1) the distinction most often made between the two sides was not North and South, but slave-holding and non-slaveholding states 2) that only Georgia gives any appreciable space to economic grievances, and ultimately even they conclude that “While it [the Republican party] attracts to itself by its creed the scattered advocates of exploded political heresies, of condemned theories in political economy, the advocates of commercial restrictions, of protection, of special privileges, of waste and corruption in the administration of Government, anti-slavery is its mission and its purpose.” 3) that, whatever Lincoln’s actual intent, the overwhelming opinion of these states is that the Republican party intended the abolition of slavery 4) that, with some exceptions for Georgia, every grievance against the federal government is in some way tied to an attack or failure to uphold the institution of slavery. The Confederacy was not embarrassed by its motivations, it stated them openly and unapologetically.
Finally, I might note that ignoring slavery requires one to ignore the entire antebellum period. To take an alternate example, the events leading up to the American Revolution (the Stamp Act, the Townsend Duties, the Tea Act, the Boston Tea Party and resulting Intolerable Acts) all had to do with the power of British Parliament to tax the colonies. The participants declared this as their concern explicitly in their writings. In contrast, with the exception of the Nullification Crisis (which, interestingly, pitted SC against a Southern president), the major political events of the Antebellum period (the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, the Gag Rule, Kansas-Nebraska, Bleeding Kansas, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the Dred Scott Decision) all had explicitly to do with slavery. To make your argument work, you basically have to ignore the entire preceding forty years of U.S. history.


Michelle Barrington - 10/20/2003

You seem to have gotten the point, exactly, sir.


F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


It is counterproductive to mischaracterize either Hitler or Buchanan. Let's describe 'em as they were or are, please.

A couple of comparisons:

Hitler was elected in 1932, in depression. He brings Prof Hjalmar Schacht, the greatest hands on economist of the century, into his government. By 1936 his economy was growing at 11%, with zero unemployment. That's pretty good economic performance.

Roosevelt was elected in 1932, in depression. He brings a gaggle of warmed over communists into his government. By 1936, no net GNP growth had taken place, and unemployment hovers at 12%. Piss poor, by comparison, I think you will agree.

I do not say this to promote Hitler as a great statesman, or to forgive him other things he did later, but your insistence on childish mischaracterizations contrary to certain facts is simply wrongheaded. You will never convince anyone that way.

Buchanan is arguably right when he characterizes Hitler as the best public speaker of the century, (though I might cast my vote for Martin King or Churchill instead.)

But Buchanan has a perfect right to say that. One gets the impression that you would rather have politically correct assessments than true assessments. (Or, perhaps you are simply playing devil's advocate, in which case you got me.)

When you are on message, you exhibit persuasive skills which are truly gifted. I suggest that you give the PC stuff a rest.



Mike Griffith - 10/20/2003

>

In some cases, yes, it was. As an institution, it was wrong. But most slaves were not mistreated, and in many cases good relations existed between slave and master.

"Slavery and Southern Independence"
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/chamberlain.htm

< I don't think it's a bad thing to show that Lee and Jackson were christians (so were many other Americans at that time) or that some Confederate leaders has problems with slavery, but the fact remains that they still served Jeff Davis's slavocracy. >>

Jefferson Davis pushed to free all slaves who served in the Confederate army, even if they served in non-combat roles. A little later, Davis was prepared to abolish slavery outright in exchange for European diplomatic recognition in order to save the Confederacy.

I invite you to read my post "Jefferson Davis and Racism." Davis was a kind, decent man who treated blacks with respect and who received their respect in return.

>

Or one can do the reverse, that is, one can focus on a few bad things and make a good whole look bad.

< I don't think showing the Confederacy's treatment of blacks and the centrality of slavery to it is demonizing or smearing the it, just giving the complete picture. >>

The problem is that only the negative aspects of this treatment are usually shown. And it should be kept in mind that Davis was prepared to abolish slavery in order to save the Confederacy, which shows that independence was more important than slavery.

< I understand that Confederate forces took anti-black action on a number of occasions including sweeping northern areas for "escaped slaves". >>

Do you have any idea how NORTHERN forces treated slaves? You should read James McPherson's research on how Union soldiers treated runaway slaves--rape, torture, and impressment of men into the army. Are you aware that many slaves were *forced* to serve in the Union army against their will, and that a few thousand blacks fought in the Confederate army? Are you aware of the repressive black codes that Northern states enforced? Some Northern states wouldn't even allow a black to move into the state and wouldn't allow blacks to own property, nor to vote, nor to serve on juries. One European observer noted that racial prejudice was stronger in the North than in the South. Some free blacks moved back to the South after having moved to the North because they found the racial atmosphere worse in the North.
Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/20/2003

>

You might read Frank Owsley's book PLAIN FOLK OF THE OLD SOUTH.

Mike Griffith


F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


Thank you for your commentary. A small rebuttal, if I may:

"The economic benefits of the ante bellum South were spread more unevenly, from what I gather, than in the rest of the US."

Actually, the economic benefits were quite favorable to slaves. They ate better, lived longer, had better clothing and housing, and much better medical care than the average Northern worker.

"Slaves weren't even allowed to read! There were very specific laws against slaves learning or being taught to read. Slaves learning and anyone teaching slaves to read were liable to well thought out sets of penalties state by state."

Look into those laws. There are exceptions for trade (carpentry, masonry, coopery, clergy, music, art, medicine, accountancy, blacksmith, etc) and managerial positions, which permitted reading, and in fact required it. On a large plantation, these positions averaged 25% of total staffing-a large pool of literates. You also must agree that since the Ibo and Yoruba strains of African Americans, though far from a majority, were literate and Christian since the Portugese arrived in the Sixteenth century. "Souls from the right bank, slaves from the (warlike muslim) left bank" was the saying, I believe.

The Southern black overseeer, which was the norm, was a superb manager, by comparision to anything. He was required to keep current with State agricultural board standards, which were quite advanced. From this, the productivity of Southern farms was 1.8 that of Northern farms, and by far the best in the world. That productivity was the economic basis for the good material treatment which slaves received.

One has to say, however, that the fact that the slave could not leave is nonetheless an overwhelming condemnation of slavery, even if things were not so bad down on the farm.



F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


Based upon your indirect smear attack on Ms. Bass, do I understand that you are a member of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Disinformation Division?


F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


George Thomas, namesake of my younger brother, though a very, very distant relative, was an outstandingly effective Union General, both on offense and on defense. That alone made him special. What made him more special was that his family's plantation was not very far from Lee's, in Northern Virginia.

At Chicamagua, his defensive skills turned a route into a victory, much as Jackson did at first Manassas. At Lookout Mountain, his men pissed off Sherman by refusing to stop their attack, thereby collapsing the Southern center. (Sherman wanted the glory.) At Nashville, his magnificently planned set piece offensive battle, and the subsequent pursuit collapsed Southern resistence in central Tennessee. He was a hell of a warrior, although almost crippled by back problems.

But, he was an exception as well. I do not believe that many from the South went North, to the contrary in the case of Maryland, which sent as many regiments South as it did North (2 each).

The Virginia Thomas family refused to even talk to him right up to his death. They would answer questions by saying he was dead, and for his part, when he was assigned, he insisted that it be to the West, not to Virginia.

I would agree with you that the war should never have been fought, if I understand your implication.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/20/2003

Mr. Thomas,
Of course, you are correct. It would be good to avoid ranting at others as if they were THE NEO-CONFEDERATE, THE YANKEE, THE JEW, THE SOUTHERN WOMAN, THE LEFT, THE RIGHT, or whatever.


F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


Careful with the personal attacks as a means of argumentation. Not only does it make it sound as if the speaker grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but it brings his argument into question as well. In Rhetoric or debate class, "ad hominum" (or "ad feminem" in this case) is a principal logical fallacy. Let's keep it to the subject, shall we?


Alec Lloyd - 10/20/2003

It isn't as simple as you lay out. Many southerns remained loyal to the Union, placing their allegiance to country above that of their home state. This was true for general officers as well as common footsoldiers.

There was a tension, a case of conflicted loyalties. Had he remained loyal, Lee would most likely have inflicted far less harm on Virginia. A swifter war would have caused less loss of life and devastation.

As I said, that is why these leaders get more attention. I have every right to disagree, though I think that places you in a very small minority.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/20/2003

Ms. Cornett, Are you the threatened minority you think you are?


F.H. Thomas - 10/20/2003


The Celts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland were noted for the martial ferocity of their women, as noted by Agricola and Hadrian, in the Tain bo Coulaigh, and in many other ancient citations. The most salient example was the Warrior Queen Boadacea, destroyer of two Roman legions, who lead her army from the front, driving her three-horse chariot.

Her name today is remembered in the Southern adjective "boadaceous", for strong, audacious and courageous. I do not believe that this expression is much used outside the South, but in the South it may be applied to both men and women, the men perceiving no slight for the implied comparision to this remarkable woman.

It is good to see that it can be so aptly applied to Mesdames
Bass, Barrington, and Cornett, whose feminine perspectives, delivered with both learning and fire, have contributed so much to this thread. Old cultural norms can mean a great deal. Thank you, ladies.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/20/2003

Mr. Cornett,
I was merely suggesting that you might want to refrain from embarrassing yourself. You seem to know little about either Judaism or Christianity and should perhaps not attempt to speak on behalf of either Christians or Jews.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/20/2003

Friend Dave,

I liked the East Timor comparison. And yes, it is important to remember that non-economic factors (religion, patriotism, and other bonds perhaps less well recognized) can be perceived as rational.

I do think that economics, perhaps in a way more felt than expressed, was one factor for non-slaveholding whites to support the South (though they provided nearly all the Unionists, too). And economics, in a far more focused way, was a clear motive for slaveholders.

But in both cases the economics had become intertwined with visions of what a good society was. And a large majority of southern whites in 1861 thought of their society as good.


Barbara Cornett - 10/20/2003

PS

Mr Luker it is so typical of republicans to come out and make grand pronouncements such as when you characterized my comments as rants.

The thing for you to do is to take issue with my statements and demonstrate that they are nothing but rants and save your O'Riley moments for someone who would appreicate them.

FYI Jews and Zionists do not apprecaite Christian beliefs which state that Jews will go to hell because they do not accept Jesus as the savior. They rightly wonder at the rightwing christian support of Zionists. I guess they don't know that Christianiny and working class conservative views have nothing to do with logic or reason or facts. I'm sure they are finding out about it though.


Barbara Cornett - 10/20/2003

Mr Luker, are you asking me to have mercy on Mr Dresner? Poor defenseless Mr Dresner, its so unfair of me to take advantage of someone who is weaker minded and unable to defend himself. Thank god he has you and SPLC.


Barbara Cornett - 10/20/2003



Mr Dresner, please tell me exactly who benefits from our current foreign policy.

Please tell me if Sharon is happy with our current foreign policy.

Please tell me who planned the current policy for the last 10 years?

Please tell me what the philosophy of Project for the New American Century is.

Please tell me how many people in Bush's administration are members of PNAC.


I think we should change our policy toward Israel. I think we should demand that they make peace and refuse to give them finanicial aid until they do. I think we should have a policy toward the middle east which treats both Arabs and Jews equally.

I think the US should make an effort to implement and find new sources of energy. We should make the same efforts to find other sources of energy as we did in making the effort to put a man on the moon and if we do that then we can stop our dependence on middle eastern oil.

The point of all of this is that you are not the threatened minority that you enjoy casting yourself as.



Ralph E. Luker - 10/20/2003

Could be eggnog. Could be hot toddies. Could be bourbon. The effect is known to be much the same.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

West Virginia, through the intervention of an invading Union Army, seceded from Virginia and was unconstitutionally admitted into the United States on June 20, 1863, six months after the final Emancipation Proclamation was issued, it entered as a -- slave State.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

In a letter dated January 31, 1864, General W.T. Sherman elaborated on how all Southerners may be treated under these instructions. He wrote: "the Government of the United States has…any and all rights which they may choose to enforce war, to take their lives, their homes, their lands, their every thing…to the petulant and persistent secessionist, why death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of, the better". Six months later, June 21, 1864, Sherman added Southern white children to that "class of people…who must be killed or banished".

With this official license to kill and destroy, wanton destruction -- including raping, pillaging, plundering, and arson on unprecedented scales -- was unleashed upon Georgia and the Carolinas by General Sherman, upon the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia by General Sheridan and upon the western counties of Missouri by General Ewing.

Under Lincoln, "the Stars and Stripes" became a symbol of political assassination as well. The instructions found on the body of Colonel Dahlgren after he and many of his men were killed in their failed raid on Richmond, March 3, 1864, revealed his mission was to assassinate President Jefferson Davis and the entire Confederate cabinet.

What of the approximately 180,000 blacks, mostly Southern slaves, who rushed to join the Union army, Northern whites will ask? Did they not fight for freedom under "the Stars and Stripes"? Did they?

In May 1862, Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon Chase received this report: "The negroes were sad…Sometimes whole plantations, learning what was going on, ran off to the woods for refugee…This mode of [enlistment by] violent seizure is repugnant."

In a communiqué to General Ulysses S. Grant, General John A. Logan noted: "A major of colored troops is here with his party capturing negroes, with or without their consent….They are being conscripted."

From Tennessee, General Rousseau to General Thomas: "Officers in command of colored troops are in constant habit of pressing all able-bodied slaves into the military service of the U.S."

From Virginia, 1864, General Innis N. Palmer to General Butler: "The negroes will not go voluntarily, so I am obliged to force them…The matter of collecting the colored men for laborers has been one of some difficulty…They must be forced to go,…this may be considered a harsh measure, but…we must not stop at trifles."

From South Carolina, August 16, 1864, General Hunter, (the same officer who had earlier issued an emancipation order that was countermanded by Lincoln) issued an order from the headquarters of the Department of the South at Hilton Head declaring: "All able-bodied colored men between the ages of eighteen and fifty within the lines of the Department of the South, who have had an opportunity to enlist voluntarily and refused to do so, shall be drafted into the military services of the United States, to serve as non-commissioned officers and soldiers in the various regiments and batteries now being organized in the Department."

From the Memoir of General W.T. Sherman; "When we reached Savannah we were beset by ravenous State Agents from Hilton Head, South Carolina, who enticed and carried away our servants and the corps of pioneers [i.e. laborers]…On one occasion my own aide-de-camp…found at least a hundred poor negroes shut up in a house and pen, waiting for night, to be conveyed stealthily to Hilton Head. They appealed to him for protection alleging that they had been told they must be soldiers...I knew that the State Agents were more influenced by the profit they derived from the large bounties than by any love of country or of the colored race."

As late as February 7, 1865, Lincoln wrote to Lieutenant-Colonel Glenn operating in Kentucky, that "Complaint is made to me that you are forcing negroes into the military service, and even torturing them".

This is the history of "the Stars and Stripes" those Northern whites who attack, or condone the attack, upon the Confederate Battle Flag choose to ignore.

If as these Northern whites demand the Confederate Battle Flag should be banned on the ground it is a symbol of a country which recognized slavery as a legal institution, what of "the Stars and Stripes"? The Confederate States of America existed for just four years. By the logic of their argument, "the Stars and Stripes" must be banned because it, too, is a symbol of a country which also recognized slavery as a legal institution. And not for four years, but for eighty-five years prior to the birth of the Southern Confederacy -- and for more than half a year after that Confederacy had been crushed.

Northern whites should not dismiss the idea that "the Stars and Stripes" could be banned. In October 1996, in an article for The Atlantic Monthly, Conor Cruise O'Brien, called for the removal of Thomas Jefferson from the pantheon of American heroes because the author of the Declaration of Independence was a "racist". That same month, in the Washington Times, Richard Grenier, after comparing Jefferson to Nazi Gestapo chief, Heinrich Himmler, demanded that the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC be demolished "stone by stone". In November 1997, the black-controlled New Orleans school board had George Washington's name removed from a local elementary school because Washington was a slave owner.

Well, "the Stars and Stripes" was the flag of Washington and Jefferson. If official recognition can be withdrawn from two of the Founding Fathers, why not withdraw it from their flag as well? Such a demand, in fact, has already been made. "The Stars and Stripes" was temporally removed from two schoolrooms -- one in California, the other in Michigan -- in response to the demand of Third World militants who claimed that the flag was a symbol of "racism" and "oppression".

As Third World immigration undemocratically transforms the United States from a European-American majority nation into a European-American minority nation, the demand to ban "the Stars and Stripes" -- because it is a symbol of "racism", "oppression", "white supremacy", "Eurocentrism", "exclusion", "intolerance", etc. -- will grow.

If, or when, the "Stars and Stripes" is banned, Northern whites will have no one to blame but themselves. For in their unjustified attack upon the Confederate Battle Flag, they have provided the very arguments that most effectively undermine the legitimacy of "the Stars and Stripes".
http://www.vdare.com/fallon/confederate.htm

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Chronicles - July 17, 2000

ATTACKING THE CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG:
An Example of Northern White Hypocrisy
by Joseph E. Fallon

This is my flag, This is my heritage....

How dare anyone utter the words that I am anything but a badge of courage and honor. I carry the weight of a nation on my entire existence, My battle worn colors may have become faded and tattered in time, but I still shine brilliantly within the hearts and souls of millions of true Southerners world wide.

I marched proudly before my soldiers and sailors on thousands upon thousands of battlefields in bloody battles and skirmishes alike in those four short bloody years. Names such as Mine Run, Shiloh, Manassas, Vicksburg, Fredericksburg, New Bern, Cedar Creek, Gettysburg and Appomattox.

I carry the blood stains of thousands upon countless thousands of brave Confederates who gave there very all. Names like Henry Adkins, Ira Collins, Alexander L. Hensley, Matthew C. Wells, Mary Jane Pittman and so many others.

I carry the sweat of young boys, old men, and Yes even those brave women who dared all; by wearing the uniforms of gray and butternut and every shade in-between, so many who bravely carried me into harms way time and time again and never once faltered in their pride and devotion to me nor the cause.

I carry the bitter tears of defeat heavily upon my existence and the joys of pride and jubilation in victory, the tears of thousands and thousands of loved ones who gave there very all to save me both on the battlefields and back home awaiting my return.

I carry the hopes that I can lead these brave souls against insurmountable odds time and time again, with the hopes of victory some day. I carry on my battle torn fringes of glory and honor a hope of, A day of Respect, A day of understanding, A day of acceptance for what I truly am.

I carry the dreams of a nation of living in peace among good honest God fearing Southern men, women and children, A dream to prosper and live with out bitter prejudices among all men.

I carry the blood, sweat, tears, hopes and dreams of a nation.

This is my Flag and My Heritage, Where my beloved men of unbelievable Courage, Gallantry and Honor once carried me with pride, those very same who gave there lives time and time again to protect my honor and dignity from my enemies.

No man has the right to even touch the helm of my sacred battle scared tattered remnants other than the thousands of brave men who carried me as a badge of honor and courage into battle, or those ancestors who follow in there foot steps with pride and devotion to those Veterans in the generations upon generations since those days gone past.

I am a badge of Honor, I am not a symbol of hate and dishonesty. How dare anyone one disgrace my name nor the gallant men who once carried me proudly into battle.

So the next time you think of showing disrespect to me, my Confederate Flag and my Southern Heritage, remember one simple thing.

Even though I choose to honor my Confederate Ancestors, Please show me, my flag, and my heritage the same respect you would show any other proud American.

Remember this:

I am a very proud American just like you.

You will never, not now, nor never in 10 million years to come; take away my Confederate Flag nor my Southern Heritage nor Southern Pride away from me!!!

THIS IS MY FLAG

THIS IS MY HERITAGE!!!!!!!!

Written by: Michael D. Kendrick
Commander 2nd. Brigade Va. Div. SCV
Va. Div. SCV Recruiting Officer
1st. Lt. Commander Amelia Minutemen # 1999


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Just How many non-slaves or whites do you know that could read back then? (by 1860)

How many could read or write after 1865?

Just when did a school in the distance of the neighborhood or farm actually come about?

Just when were school buses sent around to collect children to take them to school?

I have seen a lot of wills, and deeds signed with an X.

My ggrandfather had 12 children, he was a farmer, all graduated from school in the 1880s in North Alabama - the girls were proficient in music.

North Alabama was overrun early in Lincoln's War; they lived thru the occupation and the union soldiers used the church house, and tore it up.

My gggrandfather who was once a Justice of the Peace, he arrived in Huntsville in 1808, signed the union pardon with an X, because he refused to sign his name - I have a copy.

People should quit judging the past by todays standards!


Jonathan Dresner - 10/20/2003

Ms. Bass,

There have been a whole series of postings on this board much like this one: poorly written racist garbage posted under the name of someone who has recently written legitimate messages on the board.

I trust that the editors of the site will do to this message what they have done to the others: delete it, leaving no trace but a bad taste in our mouths.

I am starting to think that these messages aren't even posted by individuals: the repetitive nature of the posts and the stolen identities suggest to me some sort of net-bot, trolling the web for discussions of the confederacy, or slavery, or similar topics, and plucking names off the board to get around membership limits or automatic content filters. Note the deliberate mangling of the words in the title, which would defeat almost any automated censor.

It is a terrible thing, to have your identity stolen, particularly for such stupid and objectionable use.


Josh Greenland - 10/20/2003

Ralph, is eggnog especially popular in the South?


Josh Greenland - 10/20/2003

Well good for you, Ms. Bass! You managed to vilify me without directly or honestly replying to anything I've written in this thread. I think your post is an excellent example of the neo-Confederate movement's inability to hold its own in the marketplace of idea.


Josh Greenland - 10/20/2003

"Our Southern Civilization and Culture was on a very high level at the time of the war, and was wrecked and destroyed by Lincoln's invasion and cultural genocide,..."

And what a culture it was! The economic benefits of the ante bellum South were spread more unevenly, from what I gather, than in the rest of the US. My understanding is that only the planters, their bankers and favored dependents were well off. I'm sure these people were the overwhelmingly disproportionate beneficiaries of the old South's high culture.

Slaves weren't even allowed to read! There were very specific laws against slaves learning or being taught to read. Slaves learning and anyone teaching slaves to read were liable to well thought out sets of penalties state by state.

I did an Altavista search on this string: "South laws teach slaves read", which created this URL:
http://www.altavista.com/web/results?q=South+laws+teach+slaves+read&kgs=0&kls=1&avkw=aapt

What this search yielded is site after site discussing the prohibitions against teaching slaves to read in the ante bellum South. Pardon me if I don't think much of the Old South's culture.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

somebody stole my name!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

go here to find out about Morris Deas - he was in the group that brought suit to remove the Ten Commandments that Judge Moore at placed in the courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

The Church of Morris Dees
By Ken Silverstein
Harper's Magazine, November 2000
How the Southern Poverty Law Center profits from intolerance
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a3e5cb925c4.htm

Southern Poverty Law Center printed EWERT's now famous hate South bashing article.

EWERT is not any better than John ROCKER or Trent LOTT - fire him!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

You Want to know about the Southern Poverty Law Center and Morris Deas. Deas was one of those who brought suit to have Judge Moore's Ten Commandments removed from the Court House in Alabama. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a racket; they invent boogie men and innocent people send them money for their causes - boy are they worth a lot of dollars. You know how big the KKK is - it is very very very small and headquarted in Illinois.

Deas is like a buzzard bird on a telephone line waiting to swoop down and get something going to cash in - just like the real estate birds when property is depressed.

A researcher sent me this info: "Given the fact that all factions of the KKK total between 3000 and 5000 members nationwide, I would be willing to bet that there are no more than 100 in all of Georgia. You must also remember that a significant number of these paid memberships are by Federal, State, and Local authorities obsessed with keeping an eye on them. Then there are the private espionage groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, that depends for its livelihood on finding a Klansman under every bed, that also "infiltrate" these groups through paid memberships. So, hardcore actual Klansmen in Georgia, probably about 50.

As far as quoting Mark Potok, the so called "expert" on hate groups and "heritage" groups is concerned, he is a rather pathetic source. I know, I know, all you denizens of the media put great stock in whatever he says and whatever he chooses to write, but you never seem to realize that Mark Potok, Morris Dees, etc., all depend on frightening people into donating to them so they can continue being multimillionaires. Remember shortly after the OK City bombing the SPLC set up the alarm that there were as many as 100,000 heavily armed white men about to sweep out of the hills and take over the country. One of those groups they cited was the Minnesota Militia.
Checking this out further I discovered that the "militia" consisted of two brothers and their cousin. Up until recently the SPLC listed a group called the Hammerskin Nation as operating in my hometown, Apple Valley MN. As I am
relatively new to Apple Valley (less than two years now) I asked people who have lived here over 20 years when AV was almost totally farm land. No one has ever heard of the Hammerskin Nation. If you visit the SPLC website you will still see that they list Panzerfaust Records as a "hate group" located
in Newport. I've checked this out, and discovered that Panzerfaust Records is run by two, count them two, guys out of the garage of one of them. I concede that more than one could be considered a group. As for the other "groups" listed for Minnesota, no one I've been in contact with know much about them or they operate out of a PO box. In order to pad out their
number of "hate groups" the SPLC was, for a rather long time, contained a number of these entires "group with unknown name at unknown location" on their website. Now I see they just picture a green maptack that is labeled "other." I guess "group with unknown name at unknown location" was just too obvious."

Go here to read about Morris Deas and learn about him!
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a3e5cb925c4.htm

Deas got the idea from the Zionist and parlayed it into a multi $$$$$ business.

THE ADL AND "HATE SYMBOLS"
by Al Benson Jr.
We have recently been informed that the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) has,as part of its web site, a section having to do with hate symbols of various organizations. It was recently reported that the ADL has added the Confederate Battle Flag to their list of hate symbols. This coming to light so soon after the Southern Poverty Law Center issued its "report" on Confederate
"hate groups" is really not surprising at all. It is all part of the same anti-Christian, anti-Southern pogrom of ethnic cleansing designed to expunge Christian, Southern culture from off the face of the earth and replace it with something most of us would rather not think about."









Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

I live too close to Wynn and pray he does not get elected to anything - He has missed the point - that Mobile is paying Ewert
with their tax dollars and while he may say what he pleases in his own name he cannot put the Museum and the City of Mobile after his signature.

Since Wynn missed this, Lord knows what he will do and say for the City of Rockledge.

Dr. Bass, CSA
Cape Canaveral, FL


Ralph E. Luker - 10/20/2003

Ms. Cornett,
Professor Dresner has been very patient with you and your rants. You should consider laying off the eggnog and ranting less because you display a considerable bigotry. I say that as a Southern, evangelical Christian Republican man who has been critical of the SPLC. You criticize it for all the _wrong_ reasons.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

My opinion is that it is not a better place - Our Constitution was taken over by a few who changed it forevermore. Lincoln through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights out the window! We now have an empire and owe the government(KING)

We have been in one WAR after another with somebody ever since. Our Presidents have more power than ever, our courts are a mess, the few shreds of the bill of rights we have left have been fought for by Southern Democrats.

From 1861 to 1877 no Southernor was allowed a seat in Washington.
So all the bills, laws, amendments, etc were passed by a handful of NE and new states. And all the crooked railroad, Indian Killing and banking was not done by us! Once we got back in our Southern representatives have worked with a vengence to reclaim our rights. Why do you guys keep electing Southern Presidents? Cause you know it is true we lost the War but we but we were right about central government!

Lincoln is best known by the rank and file as "the Great Centralizer" - In "The Real Lincoln" p. 254-256: "The First INCOME TAX in American History was signed into law by Lincoln; on 1 July 1862, Lincoln signed a tax bill that filled more than seventeen triple-column pages of very fine print. The bill contained 119 different sections, imposing hundreds of excise taxes, stamp taxes, inheritance taxes, gross receipts taxes, and license taxes on virtually every occupation, service, and commodity in the entire economy."




Ralph E. Luker - 10/20/2003

With all due respect, Ms. Bass, you should lay off the eggnog.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

why in the world would you post anything about Gods and Generals on this board since you haven't seen it and you know nothing first hand about it - you are a product of our dumbed down school system that does not teach you to think for yourself, to experiment and pursue all sides of an issue before coming to conclusions.

or maybe you are just a bigoted prejudiced South hater!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Yes and Thank God we can and do or you wouldn't have a shred of our CONSTITUTION and BILL OF RIGHTS left!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Fact is slaves in the South if freed had to show they were able to support themselves, their families, to be responsible citizens. This was the criteria all white people had to live by as well. In other words not a burden to society! Many of them just couldn't do it - and when Lincoln freed them and turned them out he said "let them root hog or die" and that was their rapid downfall; many had been taught trades by their masters but now there was no money they could earn so these tradesman did not teach their children - so all our ancestors had worked day and night to teach and train them for 200 years to improve their lot went down the drain. Check out New Orleans for information of the black, and people of color who had the most sophisticated society ever and i mean ever atained by blacks in this country. All destroyed by Lincoln et al.

Another thing you are leaving out - the insiting by NE abolitionist with leaflets dropped and missionaries sent to press blacks to rise up and murder their masters and the masters families in their beds. And don't forget John Brown, the murderer who tried to incite blacks to rise up and kill all whites. Be sure and find the info about the prominent money men in the North who paid him and then cooked up a scheme to murder the Governor of Virginia!

The rhetoric by these NE peoples, who BTW did not have that many followers was Horrific, harsh and evil towards the Southern People and we are pretty much at that same stage now! Their ignorance of the South then cannot be an excuse now!

And don't forget the other assasination attempt on Jeff Davis in Richmond by Dahlberg - who had spent time in Natchez at his yankee Uncle's (he became a Confederate) home and plantations - was given a heros funeral! While they hung a women in Washington for comspiracy in Lincoln's demise. And the horrid treatment our POWs received in El Mira, New York and Point LookOut MD and OH and IL - food withheld, clothes withheld in freezing weather when it was available - What hyprocrisy!




Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Yes do cite Frederick Douglas and the fact that he learned from his master and their families, went North, became RICH - and built a house just like theirs!

yea he was sure mistreated


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

And oh there is much more - Fort Sumter sat right in the middle of Charleston Harbour and was used to collect TAXES

Lincoln was moaning about "where would the government get its money" - this was a war about money - Charleston and New Orleans had the largest ports in AMERICA - the tax rates on all our goods far exceeded anything the Northeast were paying

furthermore these tax moneys were sent up NE for their manufacturing improvements - so Southernors were financing practically the entire country.

Read "When in the Course of Human Events" by Charles ADAMS - a NE renowned hisotrian. Not like the proprogandist THOMASON and BROWNE and EWERT


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Thank you Long Island, NY - I concur

It is an OUTRAGE and this museum director should be removed just like Trent Lott was!


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

You haven't even seen the movie and your comments show you are one of the most bigoted uneducated person i have ever seen post to a message board. So you take their word for whatever and decide because it is favorable to the Southern People you want see it or read anything that will enlighten your itty bitty mind.

What prejudice you have - see what I mean about Thomason and Brown types - they don't teach you to think - they teach you to parrot what they say.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Mike, I have also studied and read much of what you have and people you see why we should dump the historians - you have to teach yourself and your children the truths folks because you will not get it from these two or others like them in any school in this government controlled land of America.

Our Southern Civilization and Culture was on a very high level at the time of the war, and was wrecked and destroyed by Lincoln's invasion and cultural genocide, the occupation and controll extends to this day and is perpetuated by socialist, markist historians like Thomason and Brown.


Josephine Lindsay Bass - 10/20/2003

Michael Thomason, Professor of History University of South Alabama and Richmond F. Brown Associate Professor of History
University of South Alabama - keep these names out front, now we know what is wrong with Alabama -

I am a 69 year old Confededrate Southern American who has just learned in the past 10 years what a glorious heiritage and peoples we descend from - the cream of the Southern crop was killed off by Lincoln and his troops, yes killed off by conscripts and nobodys he paid to fill up his army. The correct name for this war is Lincoln's War - as was Napoleon's war - a war that killed 600,000 men and 50,000 Southern women and children - all for control of the MONEY.

These two with their labeling - neo confederates - sounds like a dirty word they are uttering should be FIRED along with that disrespectful rude lying muesum director.

My Confederate Alabama pioneering ancestors are rolling over in their graves - we will not stand for these insults.

Write the Mayor and demand respect from this City of Mobile for our honorable moral, ancestors who suffered so much at the hands of these war mongers - It is Historians like these two that have distorted the true history of the South and who teach our children to be ashamed of their wonderful moral ancestors.


Josh Greenland - 10/20/2003

"The intolerance shown toward "Gods and Generals" is unfortunate and yet revealing. It's almost as if some critics object to any movie that doesn't demonize and smear the Confederacy at every turn. Heaven forbid that people find out that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were devout Christians or that some Confederate leaders wanted to see the slaves freed."

Slavery was a horror. I don't think it's a bad thing to show that Lee and Jackson were christians (so were many other Americans at that time) or that some Confederate leaders has problems with slavery, but the fact remains that they still served Jeff Davis's slavocracy. One can focus on a few small things and made a bad whole look better. I don't think showing the Confederacy's treatment of blacks and the centrality of slavery to it is demonizing or smearing the it, just giving the complete picture. I understand that Confederate forces took anti-black action on a number of occasions including sweeping northern areas for "escaped slaves".

It's funny you mention Robert E. Lee, who was by all accounts an extraordinary individual. I recall a documentary on the Civil War that had him saying, after it was over, that the worst mistake he ever made was pursuing a military education.


Josh Greenland - 10/20/2003

So, what?

I think based on Buchanan's praise of Hitler and a number of other his actions that Pat Buchanan is a crypto-fascist and is a great potential danger to this country.

But what you think is up to you.


Mike Griffith - 10/20/2003

I don't think any rational person denies that slavery as an institution was wrong and that it needed to be abolished. But if we're going to talk about slavery, let's be honest about it.

1. A good number of slaves willingly remained with their masters even when they had the chance to go free.

2. Most slaves were not mistreated.

3. Many slaves and masters formed relationships of mutual respect and even friendship.

4. Union soldiers frequently confiscated slaves against their will, i.e., they forcefully apprehended and removed slaves who did not want to leave their masters.

5. Some of the slaves who fought for the Union army were forced to do so.

6. A large number of slaves were able to earn money and some enjoyed a substantial degree of autonomy.

7. Slaves who became too old to work were almost always cared for by their masters.

8. Most slaves had a material standard of living that was better than that of a large number of immigrant industrial workers in the North.
All this being said, slavery was still wrong, no matter how humanely it was usually administered. The abolition of slavery was the one good thing that resulted from the war. I believe slavery could and should have been abolished in a much different manner, but at least the slaves were free.

What is so sad is that the slaves quickly learned that most Republicans really didn't care about them, as evidenced by the fact that Republicans cut and ran in 1877--and this after so many Republicans had gone to the South and pitted blacks against whites and manipulated blacks for political gain.

Many if not most Republicans, the Radicals in particular, used the issue of slavery as an excuse to push for the ravaging and subjugation of the South. Some of the Radicals themselves were racists who wanted nothing to do with blacks.

I discuss these and other related issues at length in "Slavery and Southern Independence" at:

http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/chamberlain.htm

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/19/2003

I have found that many liberal critics of Southern heritage are as intolerant, rabid, and reflexive as the worst fire-eating neo-Confederate whom I've encountered.

Until less than a year ago, I held very negative views about the Confederacy and Southern heritage. Then, during a Christmas visit to my mom's house, my mom dropped the bombshell on me that my ancestors fought for the Confederacy. That discovery made me decide to do some research on the Civil War. I started by reading standard, pro-Union works like McPherson's THE BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM and ORDEAL BY FIRE, Allan Nevins' THE EMERGENCE OF LINCOLN, and William Klingaman's ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND THE ROAD TO EMANCIPATION. Even those books contained many facts that contradicted the standard version of the war that I was taught in school. When I read some avowedly pro-Confederate books like James and Walter Kennedy's THE SOUTH WAS RIGHT and Jefferson Davis's THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT, I was astonished at what I learned.

Dozens of books and articles later, I'm still reading and find the subject as fascinating as I did when I started reading about last Christmas. I'm afraid I'm hooked for life.

Anyway, as I've taken part in various online discussions, I've been struck by how rigid, rabid, and overheated some pro-Union posters can be. They won't concede a single negative point about the Northern position--no matter how obvious it is. They're as extreme in their position as are some fire-eating neo-Confederates. Some of these folks won't even admit the North was the aggressor or that slavery wasn't the only reason the South seceded.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Jonathan Dresner - 10/19/2003

Ms. Cornett,

I assure you, if "Jews like me" were actually running this country, US foreign policy would look very, very different. Nor do I think that current US foreign policy is actually in the best interests of Israel, so I can't accept your argument that "Zionists" are running the US for Israeli benefit. I do agree that US foreign policy has something to do with our current problems, but I think the link between Israeli support and anti-US terrorist attacks are overstated.

I have spoken out against anti-Arab hysteria, as have groups of which I am a member. So has the SPLC, for that matter, even if you missed it.

If you think Jews are this powerful, and this harmful to US policy, you probably would support efforts to remedy the situation. What did you have in mind? SPLC monitors groups that advocate some pretty thorough solutions: perhaps you should check their lists and join a few of them.

Perhaps you could explain why the most openly and fervently Christian and Anglo president in recent history is following the advice of "Zionists" who are, in your theory, against everything he stands for?

Perhaps you'd like to explain how you can tell the difference between a "good Jew" and a "dangerous Zionist"?


Mike Griffith - 10/19/2003

< I never saw the movie, but if what Ewert said about it was true, I have no problem with his review. The neo-Confederate movement exists mostly to promote falsehoods and I think any major motion picture that attempts to rehabilitate the Confederacy SHOULD be criticized. >>

Even if the movie is accurate and also gives time to the opposing view?

The intolerance shown toward "Gods and Generals" is unfortunate and yet revealing. It's almost as if some critics object to any movie that doesn't demonize and smear the Confederacy at every turn. Heaven forbid that people find out that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were devout Christians or that some Confederate leaders wanted to see the slaves freed.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/19/2003

< I never saw the movie, but if what Ewert said about it was true, I have no problem with his review. The neo-Confederate movement exists mostly to promote falsehoods and I think any major motion picture that attempts to rehabilitate the Confederacy SHOULD be criticized. >>

Even if the movie is accurate and also gives time to the opposing view?

The intolerance shown toward "Gods and Generals" is unfortunate and yet revealing. It's almost as if some critics object to any movie that doesn't demonize and smear the Confederacy at every turn. Heaven forbid that people find out that Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were devout Christians or that some Confederate leaders wanted to see the slaves freed.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Mike Griffith - 10/19/2003

Jefferson Davis was a kind, decent Christian who treated blacks with respect, and they showed him respect in return. Davis was also a genuine war hero in the Mexican War, and he served with distinction as Secretary of Defense under President Franklin Pierce. I would like to focus on Davis's relations with blacks.

I start with an observation that historian William J. Cooper makes in his best-selling biography of Davis entitled JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN:

"Without question he respected individual blacks and in turn received their respect. His dealings with his slave James Pemberton and with Ben Montgomery as both a slave and a freedman illustrate such a relationship. Inviting Davis to attend the Colored State Fair in Vicksburg in 1886, Montgomery's son Isaiah said he knew Davis would have an interest 'in any Enterprise tending to the welfare and development of the Colored people of Mississippi.' 'We would be highly pleased to have you here," Isaiah Montgomery asserted, " and he closed 'with best wishes for your continued preservation.'" (JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN, Vintage Books Edition, New York: Vintage Books, 2000, pp. 690-691)

When Davis had to leave his plantation suddenly in order to go to Montgomery to assume duties as the Confederate president, "He made a touching farewell speech to his quickly assembled slaves, who responded with expressions of devotion. . . ." (Rembert Patrick, JEFFERSON DAVIS AND HIS CABINET, Louisiana State University Press, 1944, p. 27).

The year before Davis died, he received a letter from one of his former slaves, James H. Jones, who had since become a Republican and had had a successful career in the intervening fifteen years. Jones told Davis, "I have always been as warmly attached to you as when I was your body servant" (Cooper, JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN, p. 691). Jones went on to say that he always defended Davis from "any attack of malicious or envious people." Another one of Davis's former slaves, Robert Brown, fiercely defended Davis after the war. In fact, in one instance, when Brown was traveling with Mrs. Davis and the children on a ship headed to New York, a white man approached Brown and began to attack Davis's character--Brown became so angry that he punched the man. The captain of the ship was called, and when he heard the full story of the incident, he said Brown's action was justified and demanded an apology from the man whom Brown had punched.

At a time when many Americans, in all parts of the country, still opposed allowing blacks to testify in court, Davis favored allowing them to do so. He expressed this view in a letter to his wife in which he also expressed concern about the welfare of their former slaves:

"I hope the negroes' fidelity will be duly rewarded and regret that we are not in a position to aid and protect them. There is, I observe, a controversy which I regret as to allowing negroes to testify in court. From brother Joe [Joseph Davis], many years ago, I derived the opinion that they should be made competent witnesses, the jury judging of their credibility." (JEFFERSON DAVIS: PRIVATE LETTERS 1823-1889, selected and edited by Hudson Strode, New York: De Capo Press, 1995, reprint, p. 188)

In another letter to his wife, Davis again spoke fondly of his former slaves:

"Their good faith under many trials, and the mutual affection between them and myself, make me always solicitious for their welfare. . . . (Felicity Allen, JEFFERSON DAVIS, UNCONQUERABLE HEART, University of Missouri Press, 1999, p. 419)

Few people know that Davis and his wife informally adopted a mulatto (half-white-half-black) orphan during the war. For those who care to know, the child looked like a young African-American boy, except that his skin was slightly less dark than the skin of most other black children; his facial features and hair were clearly African-American. Mrs. Davis rescued the young boy from a cruel guardian and brought him with her to live at the Confederate White House in Richmond. His name was Jim Limber. Davis and his wife raised him as one of their own children. Jim Limber and the other Davis children played together as normal siblings. Even in family letters, Jim's new family spoke lovingly of him, and he expressed his love for them.

Davis treated blacks with respect, and many blacks knew it. During a trip through the western part of the Confederacy, Davis got off his train at Griswoldville, Georgia, in order to meet with a group of slaves who had gathered in the hope of seeing him. These men worked at a local pistol factory and had come to the train station because they wanted to meet Davis. Informed of the gathering, Davis got off the train and circulated among the group, shaking each hand and speaking to each man individually (Cooper, JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN, p. 494). When Davis returned to Richmond, Virginia, after the war, he was not only cheered by whites but also by blacks. One observer noted that Davis was "greatly touched" by the sympathy shown to him by the blacks in the crowd. In fact, some blacks climbed up on his carriage, shook and kissed his hand, and called out "God bless Mars Davis" (Allen, JEFFERSON DAVIS, UNCONQUERABLE HEART, pp. 486-487).

Critics will reply that Davis believed in white supremacy, that whites were superior to blacks. But these critics almost never explain that nearly all Americans in that day believed the same thing. This was true of the average man on the street right up to the nation's leaders in all parts of the country. For example, prominent Northern politicians like Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas repeatedly said they believed whites were superior to blacks. Fortunately, we have come a long way since then. But I don't think it's fair to condemn Davis because he held racial views that were shared by nearly all white Americans in his day. Cooper does a good job of putting Davis's racial views into their proper perspective:

"At the end of his life, Jefferson Davis believed unequivocally in the superiority of his race. He also had serious reservations about black people ever achieving any kind of equality with the superior race. Yet he was no race-baiter or racial demagogue. . . . His conviction about the innate supremacy of his race did not require hatred or viciousness. . . .

"While not all Americans joined his embrace of slavery, few dissented from his belief in the superiority of the white race, an outlook shared by almost all white Americans as well as Western Europeans." (JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN, pp. 691, 704)

Although Davis defended slavery prior to and during the war, he also admitted slavery had its "evils and abuses" (Kenneth C. Davis, DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THE CIVIL WAR, New York: Avon Books, 1997, p. 156). Furthermore, toward the end of the war **Davis led the fight to grant slaves their freedom in exchange for military service.** When the Confederate Congress began to debate a bill that would allow slaves to serve in the army, Davis insisted that slaves who performed this service be granted their freedom, even if they didn't serve in combat roles. Davis wrote to Governor Smith of Virginia that he promised ". . . to seek legislation **to secure unmistakably freedom to the slave** who shall enter the Army with a right to return to his old home when he shall have been honorably discharged from the Military Service." (Cooper, JEFFERSON DAVIS, AMERICAN, p. 557, emphasis added)

The Confederate Congress proceeded to pass a bill that permitted slaves to be enlisted into the army, but the bill did not guarantee emancipation. In response to this, Davis tried to ensure that emancipation would be rewarded for faithful military service "by having the War Department regulations governing the enlistment of slaves **require that masters consent to freedom before slaves could be enrolled**" (Cooper, p. 557, emphasis added). Davis could have easily just signed the bill and done nothing more, but he didn't. Instead, he went out of his way to try to ensure that slaves would receive emancipation for faithful military service.

Finally, it should be mentioned that in late 1864, Davis was prepared to abolish slavery in exchange for European diplomatic recognition in order to save the Confederacy. Davis informed Confederate congressional leaders of his intentions, and then sent Duncan Kenner to Europe to make the proposal. Davis even made Kenner a minister plenipotentiary so as to ensure he could make the proposal to the British and French governments and that it would be taken seriously.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Barbara Cornett - 10/19/2003

Mr Dresner, please forgive me for calling you by your first name.

Here is what you said

quote
It must be nice to be part of the great majority. It must be nice to know that no mass movement can truly succeed without the support of people like you. It must be nice to be so unconcerned about neo-Nazis, Nativists, Christian Identity Warriors, radical Black separatists, KKK spinoffs, anti-semitism and race purity rhetoric. But we don't all fall into that comfortable category. Some of us are in a much more vulnerable position: clearly different, small minorities. And the SPLC is on our side: monitoring (and taking legal action where appropriate) against those bigots who would turn majorities against minorities. So go ahead and consider them extreme, but remember: the great atrocities of the 20th century were committed by groups that were once "fringe" and "radical" and "unthreatening."
unquote

You cannot be unaware of the fact that a very small minority of Zionists have taken over the greatest nation on earth and are using it to their own ends against the will of the majority.

The bottom line is, and the obvious thing that I was not going to say is that the only people anyone has to fear today are Jews, just like you, who have control of the power of the US gov.

I am completely unconcerned about neo-Nazis, Nativists, Christian Identity Warriors, radical Black separatists, KKK spinoffs, anti-semitism and race purity rhetoric.

Perhaps you could tell me why you are so concerned about them.

Not one of those people threatened Jimmy Carter that he would not win reelection because he insisted on treating Jews and Palestinians equally. Not one of them silenced Howard Dean when he said we should treat Jews and Palestinians equally. Not one of them has the power to bring about policies that invite terrorists into the US to kill 3000 innocent people.

The English/Irish majority in the US never got so involved in foreign policy that we caused the Irish Republican Army to commit terrorist acts in the US.

I am not trying to deflect any discussion.

You said that the SPLC is on the side of minorities against the majority if someone attempted to stir them up against the minority and cast yourself as a minority that was grateful for that even though you have never been in danger in the US.

I merely pointed out that that is not true about SPLC. The whole country has been stirred to hatred against the Arab minority. What has the SPLC done? Any US citizen who even looks Arab is being targeted and disappeared and it is cruel for you to state that the responsiblity lies with Amnesty International.

I just wondered why you would say what you did since it is glaringly obvious that it is the minority Zionists who are bringing about this hatred toward Arabs and causing problems. It is the Zionist minority that is to be feared. It is very ironic and seems to be a little insensitive for you to talk about being concerned because you are a minority.

It is the Arab minority, not the Jewish minority who has real and concrete reasons to be afraid and who have no security while the SPLC does nothing and I think you know that. The majority have been stirred to hatred by the minority. The miniority that you belong to.

How angry must the Iraqis be and the whole Arab world as they witness the US take their oil resources and plunder their country? I can only imagine their anger and I don't blame them. The Zionists are killing and terrorizing them and then rubbing their noses in it using the same hatful tactics of Ariel Sharon. Our troops were trained in how to deal with Arabs by Isralies. I am a member of a majority. I don't like what is happening. I'm not able to stop it. so much for your statements about needing to be a majority to bring about policies. I am also furious at what is happening as Zionists destroy and plunder this country just as they are doing elsewhere. Is the majority turning on Zionists? Hardly, but the whole world is watching.

The ones that are to be feared are not the radical and hate groups that you mentioned in your post. They are Jews like you are they not?

Even tho Jews are a minority you are at the helm of the greatest and most powerful country on earth. I will not deny you that. You should think very carefully about it however, because if the time ever comes again when Jews are a target I will not forget what Jews have done when they get the opportunity. I am not talking just about Israel even though they are a rogue nation that engages in ethnic cleansing, refuses to abide by UN Resolutions and who use military weapons against a defenseless people and engages in agressive war.

I am talking about what is happening here in the US and at Gitmo. I am talking about the policies of PNAC.

Einstien's wish was for Jews to be able to live in any country and be productive citizens just like every other citizen. I know that many Jews have served with honor in government over the years. In this way they acted just like any other American.

The Zionists who are now carrying out our foreign policy are the most horrible thing that could have happened to us and they are doubly horrible for Jews. Even the innocent Jews will have to pay for what Zionists are doing right now which is the most radical policy that anyone could possibly imagine and which trashes the US Constitution and breaks international laws.

The tragedy is that the whole world would love and support Israel and Jews if only Israel would be a democratic and good nation instead of being that in name only. Jews are revered in the US and not just because of their PR machines but for other reasons such as what they have suffered throughout history. Jews have the good will of the people of the world and they are trashing it and throwing it away along with the good will that was held for the US after 9-11.

Energy companies, the military/industrial complex and Zionists have come together to make a horrific combination that is causing needless death and destruction and inviting terrorism to the US. Thousands and thousands of tons of depleted uranium have been used in Afganistan and Iraq. We do not yet know the extent of the holocaust we have caused. This is not being done by any majority, it is being done by a minority. I am a member of a majority but I couldn't stop them. This cannot be lost on you Mr Dresner. Your comments about SPLC are phony.

The lesson is that it is not the numbers of the people involved that is to be feared, it is the intent of the few who control them that is the danger to security. as if you didn't already know that. It must be nice to be a Jew in America.


F.H. Thomas - 10/19/2003


"And what is scarier, many of them are registered voters and reproduce."

My personal award for the single funniest line in the responses to this article. I will pass that one on, with your permission?


F.H. Thomas - 10/19/2003


Do you actually work for the SCLC, tryng to drum up business?



F.H. Thomas - 10/19/2003


Thanks. You may well be right.

Actually, my "source" in this case is the historically interesting novel, "Cold Mountain" which I have cross checked against my Kentucky / Western Virginia relatives, who believe it pretty accurate. It's being made into a movie, (and probably butchered in the process.)

Regarding Quantrill, and the run-up to the battle of Antietam, there's an interesting story told about his unpleasant cousin Mary, of Fredericksburg, Md., regarding Barbara Fritsche. Kyle Anderson, Jackson's adjutant, and a consummate southern gentleman, was with the troops as they marched through town.

Mary Q placed 6 prominent American flags in her yard, and stood outside defiantly. When Anderson tipped his hat to her, she stated "You salute your country's flag, Sir?", to which he replied "Not the flag but the lady, madame". This was the real confrontation which, much mangled, became the Whittier poem "Barbara Fritsche", and which made Whittier's career.

Fritsche, who was 95 and frail, could not get around enough to do what she is reputed to have done, but as the little girl from Lancaster who sung so beautifully for the Continental army at Valley Forge, and was a lifelong friend of Washington, she was a revered figure in town. The townspeople detested Mary Q, and, according to this story, persuaded the first reporter on the scene to change things, with Jackson for Anderson, Fritsche for Quantrill, and a rifle volley thrown in.

This is one of my favorite apocriphal stories, which I have been unable to either prove or disprove. Maybe the ones you can't get an answer to are as meaningful in some ways as those you can.


F.H. Thomas - 10/19/2003


Egregio Professore:

With your past principled statements on Sharon's visit to Temple Mount, Israeli torture, the Settlements, and Dershowitz' plagiarism (which favored Zionism) neither I, nor I believe, Ms. Cornett, would ever consider you a Zionist, rather to the contrary.

There is a conundrum here which needs settling, however, and for which the help of all good men and women is needed, and that is the use of "permanent victim status" from the holocaust, to provide political cover for the human rights crimes of Zionism.

This conundrum has been best and most succinctly been expressed by Professor Norman Finkelstein, of de Paul University:


http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/id137.htm


ps: Superb article on constitution writing! The students in that seminar must have had a ball. Despite my advanced years, I'd like to have sat in. I know I would have been smiling. Your seminar, it seems to me, is what higher education is all about.



Chris Danielson - 10/19/2003

You're welcome. Again, I would raise the question of context, which I think has been sorely lacking in the discussions of evidence in this whole controversy. You might want to also look at reports of Union commanders complaining about thousands of slaves following their armies in an attempt to escape Confederate guerrillas and to gain their freedom, even if the Union officers and soldiers did not want them around and mistreated them. I can find other examples to counter your stories of docility, if you wish. And please don't cite Stanley Elkins - every historian since the 1960s has been tearing him down, even more than Fogel and Engerman. I also recall that many slaves eagerly petitioned the Freedmen's Bureau for their own land to farm (not a return to a plantation, mind you, but independent yeoman status) and settled on the land Sherman set aside for them during the war, until Andrew Johnson revoked the order and forced the freedmen off so the planters could get the land back (I would agree with you in your earlier comments that this was a bad part of Reconstruction for black people). On the other hand, I am glad to see that you are citing qualitative data.


F.H. Thomas - 10/19/2003


Thank you for a substantive work which would have been better suited as the article itself.

The Civil War myths we are still fighting today began long before Fort Sumpter, and benefit enough special financial interests that they have proven resilient.

Nonetheless, they will fall, thanks to the kind of scholarship you have put on display here. Please, when you again do an essay of this length, and quality, put it on its own thread.


F.H. Thomas - 10/19/2003


"I raise a glass to you, my friends,
as we try to understand, these
things that we have been through,
in the communion of the damned".


Mike Griffith - 10/19/2003

You are sick. If anyone is "sub-human," you would be the "prime" (pun intended) candidate for that designation.

By the way, I guess you're not aware that as a Semite, Christ's skin was hardly what you'd call lilly-white.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/19/2003

So what?


Josh Greenland - 10/19/2003

I never saw the movie, but if what Ewert said about it was true, I have no problem with his review. The neo-Confederate movement exists mostly to promote falsehoods and I think any major motion picture that attempts to rehabilitate the Confederacy SHOULD be criticized.


Josh Greenland - 10/19/2003

http://www.realchange.org/buchanan.htm#hitler


Jerry West - 10/19/2003

-
3d Mar Div, I Corps December 1965 - July 1967, last six months as a FO.


Jonathan Dresner - 10/19/2003

Ms. Cornett (when did we get to be on a first name basis, I'd like to know?),

You're right, you don't come right out and call me a Zionist. But it was an easy mistake to make: your use of a parallel structure to my post makes it *look* like you are calling me a zionist, but certainly gives you room to claim otherwise.

And then in your reply you say "I never called you a Zionist. I am not going to state the obvious either." This implies, to me, that you do think I am a Zionist, that it is too obvious to be worth saying. But you still haven't said it.

Nor have you actually addressed the issue in my original comment: you tried to deflect the discussion into comparative evil, implying (not saying, of course) that anti-semitism, anti-immigrationism, white-power-ism is less problematic than Israeli actions and therefore not worth discussing.

You should be in the public relations/speechwriting business. You've got a real talent for rhetoric.


Barbara Cornett - 10/19/2003

I can't get too upset with you because I confess I have been a troll myself in my history on the net. It can be a lot of mischievious fun! Try to be a little more funny and a little less obvious is my only suggestion to you. we could use a laugh about right now.

mispaling is not funy to me tho and its a little too easy. It also gives away that you are not from the south since you are obviously mispelling on purpose. ;0)


Barbara Cornett - 10/19/2003

Jonathan reread my post. I never called you a Zionist. I am not going to state the obvious either.


Charles R. Reeves II - 10/18/2003

No one that is as bias and unwilling to search for the truth has any right to be connected with ant museum. This is how history is officialy distorted and the truth suppresed. Shame on you all. Go read Lincoln's speaches and comments befor you sling any more mud. Bet you voted for that murderer Bill Clinton too.
Charles R. Reeves II


Mike Griffith - 10/18/2003

The Confederacy was a peaceful, democratic nation. The Confederacy tried hard to avoid war with the North, and it continued to express its desire for peaceful relations with the North even after the Fort Sumter incident (which, by the way, Lincoln himself later indicated he provoked). The Confederacy came into being with the support of the overwhelming majority of Southern citizens and via the democratic process. In fact, the process by which the Southern states seceded closely resembled the process by which the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The Confederate government was an elected, republican form of government, with a Congress and an executive branch and a Jeffersonian respect for states rights. The Confederacy enjoyed a vibrant free press, even during the darkest days of the war. By any fair, honest comparison, the Confederacy was one of the most democratic nations on the earth in its day, and even in comparison to many nations in our day.

In contrast, the government for which Northern troops fought waged a brutal, inhumane form of "total war" that violated accepted rules of warfare (even those taught at West Point) and that resulted in the deaths of some 50,000 Southern civilians. The government for which Northern troops fought invaded sovereign states that merely wished to be left alone and that had tried to establish peaceful relations with the North, had offered to pay their share of the national debt, and had offered to pay compensation for all federal installations in the South. The government for which Northern troops fought found it necessary to trampel on civil rights before and during the war, shutting down over 200 newspapers, jailing dozens of newspaper editors, and allowing the military to try and imprison civilians even in areas where civil courts were still in operation (a policy that the U.S. Supreme finally and belatedly declared illegal one year after the war ended). The government for which Northern troops fought established a virtual dictatorship over the South for twelve years after the war, a regime that was so blatantly unconstitutional and oppressive that even President Andrew Johnson denounced it as despotic and cruel.

The argument that the Confederacy was all about slavery fails to take into account the fact that four of the eleven Confederate states initially remained in the Union and that they only joined the Confederacy after Lincoln made it clear he was going to use force against the seceded states. Also, a number of Confederate leaders, including Robert E. Lee, Duncan Kenner, John Letcher, Judah Benjamin, George William Smith, Patrick Cleburne, and Stonewall Jackson, believed slavery was evil and/or hoped to see the slaves freed, and some of them even advocated abolition.

What is often lost in discussions on secession and the war is an analysis of why the North refused to allow the South to go in peace. In his book FORCED INTO GLORY: ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S WHITE DREAM, African-American scholar Lerone Bennett proves beyond dispute that Lincoln had no intention of disturbing slavery, that he only began to move toward making emancipation a war aim under intense pressure from the Radical Republicans, and that he even sought to undo the Emancipation Proclamation almost as soon as he issued it. Charles Adams shows in his book WHEN IN THE COURSE OF HUMAN EVENTS that Lincoln's stance against secession hardened after the Confederacy announced its low tariff rate and after Northern business interests began to express concern over the Confederate tariff. Indeed, in Lincoln's inaugural address, he said nothing about any desire to wage war to end slavery--in fact he repeated is pledge that he had no intention of disturbing it. Instead, Lincoln said there would be an invasion, not over slavery, but only if the tariff ("duties and imposts") wasn't paid or if the federal government wasn't permitted to occupy and maintain federal installations in the South. One Northern newspaper expressed the view that the real reason the Southern states seceded was that they wanted to be free from the federal tariff and profit from their own lower tariff. Two of the seven Declarations of Causes of Secession and one of the Ordinances of Secession cite unfair federal economic policies as being among the reasons for secession.

At the Confederate constitutional convention a proposal to prohibit the admission of free states into the Confederacy was *defeated.* As early as 1862 Confederate diplomats in England were indicating the Confederacy would be willing to abolish slavery in exchange for diplomatic recognition. In 1864 Jefferson Davis proposed having slaves serve in non-combat roles in the army and that those who did so be freed when they finished their enlistment. By late 1864, key Confederate leaders, including Jefferson Davis, were prepared to abolish slavery in order to save the Confederacy.

I'm very glad slavery was abolished, but I don't agree that we had no choice but to fight a bloody war to end it. When the slaves were freed, no compensation was paid to the Southern slaveowners, yet even Lincoln had said this should be done. After all, Northern slaveholders had been allowed to obtain compensation for their slaves when the Northern states abolished slavery. Halfway through the war, the Radical Republicans made the forceful, uncompensated abolition of Southern slavery a war aim, over the objections of Lincoln himself. Many of these same Republicans were known to hate the South and to hold racist attitudes themselves. They didn't really care about the slaves, but they used slavery as their justification for ravaging and subjugating the South. Every other nation on earth where slavery existed managed to abolish the institution peacefully. It's interesting to note that few of the more responsible Northern abolitionists said the South should be allowed to go in peace because they felt this would hasten the demise of slavery. Again, I'm glad slavery was abolished--I think that was the one good thing that came from the war. But I believe slavery could and should have been ended peacefully. Yes, this would have taken longer, maybe a lot longer, but it would have saved the lives of over 600,000 soldiers and the lives of over 50,000 civilians, and it would have avoided a cruel war that devastated the South for decades and that still causes bitter feelings to this day. If a true statesman had been president in 1861, I believe war could have been avoided. I'm reminded of the fact that Lincoln derailed a compromise plan in Congress that would have avoided war and kept the Union together, i.e., the Crittenden Compromise. In fact, after Congressional Republicans blocked the compromise plan, on orders from Lincoln, they then blocked a proposal that would have allowed the people to vote on the plan in a national referendum. Personally, I believe the Confederacy would have abolished slavery before the turn of the century.

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/18/2003

I was under the impression that "bushwackers" were pro-Confederate guerrillas operating out of Missouri (Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson, for example).


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/18/2003

Mr. Greenland,

I'm aware that Louis Farrakhan once referred to Hitler as a "great man", but I'm not aware that Mr. Buchanan (who argues against American involvement in WWII; not German victory) said the same thing. Could you please elaborate? Because I have my doubts here.


Jonathan Dresner - 10/18/2003

Ms. Cornett,

Actually, the SPLC has listed the JDL as a dangerous group for as long as I've been reading SPLC reports. Defending civil rights against the government is mostly Amnesty International's job, but organized citizen movements with anti-Arab beliefs (most of which seem to be spillover from anti-Jewish beliefs) are listed in the SPLC reports.

And calling me a "zionist" doesn't make it so. Yes, I'm Jewish. But if you assume anything else from that, you are engaging in precisely the kind of stereotyping which I fear.


Barbara Cornett - 10/18/2003

It must be nice to be a Zionist. It must be nice to know that the Zionist movement can succeed without the backing of the majority in the US or the rest of the world. It must be nice to fit into that category.

The small minority of Zionists who have taken over the country and broken international laws are the ones who are making others unsafe.

Is the Southern Poverty Law Center bringing suits on behalf of Arabs being rounded up and disappeared and tortured at Gitmo?


the great atrocities of the 20th century were committed by groups that were once "fringe" and "radical" and "unthreatening."

Could someone explain to me why self proclaimed aryan supremeists are considered taboo at the very moment that the US White House supports and carries out ethnic cleansing of Arabs at home and abroad?

How are Zionists different from Aryans?

The Arabs are not my enemies and yet I will have to pay for a war that is killing them and that is happening against the will of the majority by an adm that stole the white house.

The SPLC is a joke. It bases its existance upon maintaining a stereotype of southern people. Arabs are a minority in the US and I don't see SPLC rushing to defend them.


Barbara Cornett - 10/18/2003

Sorry! I never saw the article that was taken down that you refer to. My mistake.


Barbara Cornett - 10/18/2003

ms cornett never said anything about a lynching not taking place.


Jonathan Dresner - 10/18/2003

It must be nice to be part of the great majority. It must be nice to know that no mass movement can truly succeed without the support of people like you. It must be nice to be so unconcerned about neo-Nazis, Nativists, Christian Identity Warriors, radical Black separatists, KKK spinoffs, anti-semitism and race purity rhetoric. But we don't all fall into that comfortable category. Some of us are in a much more vulnerable position: clearly different, small minorities. And the SPLC is on our side: monitoring (and taking legal action where appropriate) against those bigots who would turn majorities against minorities. So go ahead and consider them extreme, but remember: the great atrocities of the 20th century were committed by groups that were once "fringe" and "radical" and "unthreatening."


Nick Wynne - 10/18/2003

If Ms. Cornett did not think the lynching occurred, she must have missed the early '80s. Morris Dees sued the Klan over the lynching, won a mega-million dollar lawsuit and eventually took their headquarters and property in lieu of cash.


F.H. Thomas - 10/18/2003


Thank you both for sharing these "remembrances", as MacArthur once described them, of the "low, mournful mutter of the battlefield". I find it remarkable that this exchange was able to take place without alcoholic assistence, (or did it?).

I was a "Dai Ui" in 1969-1970, with IFFV Task Force South artillery, as FSCO. As I recall, I was one of those strange folks who became more calm and reasonable, the more chaos there was around me. I always prayed for those whom I or others sent out from the world. It was something like, "Dear God, accept his soul", very brief, the same one as I used for our guys.

The last time I said that prayer was about a month before rotation, when 20 sappers got inside our wire at LZ Betty, Phan Thiet, April 1970, on a night when I was duty officer. Almost all had been found and killed, and I was walking the perimeter. I found a young soldier in one watchtower who was paralyzed with fear, shaking and crouching against the forward sandbags.

While I was squaring him away, I saw a very slight movement, like a shadow, in the wire about 15 m away. It turned out to be a sapper, who had apparently made his move after it was all over. Without thinking how terrible a shot I was with that weapon, I fired at him with my .45, and somehow hit his right temple. I prayed for him, in the usual way, and thought then about what in his life he might be missing, wife, career, etc., and felt the deep regret which I still feel today.

My dad was terribly wounded during WW I, five rounds from a German 7.5 mg, but had the highest respect for the Germans, not, perhaps, in the same way as our Border Scots forebears did when they used the sculls of their fallen adversaries as drinking cups, to borrow from their courage.

On the Civil War side, I can not recall either my Aunt Nitty, on my mother's side, or Aunt Margery on my father's side, the designated family historians, ever mentioning that inter-regional animus was a part of their baggage afterward. It may well have been, however. I have read some diary entries of the surviving members of the Irish units which were annihilated at Fredericksburg, and can say without reservation that they were affected by that horror for life.

Thanks, again. If at any time you are in the Cincinnati area, look me up, and we can do this again, with a little alcohol.



Ralph E. Luker - 10/18/2003

Ms. Cornett, Among others, I requested the removal of the post to which you refer. It was posted in the name of David Toifel, though it may not have been posted by him. The same post appeared on the discussion of the China article, where it was attributed to Garry Perkins. Do you think it likely that exactly the same words/same message were hatched in in two different brains at exactly the same time? What a coincidence! You may wish to discuss racist hate-speech and should feel free to do so on these boards, but it really doesn't need to be exemplified here. Very commonly, the hate is attributed to someone other than the person posting it. That could be done to you, as well.


Barbara Cornett - 10/18/2003

what happened to David Toifel's post about being an aryan racist? I posted a reply to it and I think it should be discussed.

We are not children here who have to be protected from ugly words. We should be able to find the deeper meaning behind words and discuss them if they are relevant and I believe his words are relevant to this discussion.

He made the point that white people are becoming a minority in the world. Does that have no meaning or relevance when discussing the history of the nation they founded?

Is it somehow unseemly to discuss this issue? Why? Is it not a historic subject?

Who controls what we get to discuss and what we are not allowed to address? It is not fair.

If his words were wrong then leave them on the board and allow us to demonstrate thru ideas and words that they are wrong. Deleting them from the board proves nothing except that someone else controls the posts and the forum.

That is the source of southern anger and outrage. We control nothing. We have no voice. We are silenced. We are forced to accept someone else's views of things. We have no say in our own country.

What are you afraid of? whoever you are that deleted his post. I thought that words were more powerful then swords. Don't you think you can defeat him with words?

He had a right to be heard whether or not he had skill in how he defined his feelings and situation. Making a statement that white people must declare aryan superiorty is a call for help. You silenced his call and prevented us from helping him and dealing with his pain and resolving these issues for the benefit of all of us and for the healing of our society.

I hope you take joy in your power over this board. Perhaps it will compensate for what you lack in other areas.


F.H. Thomas - 10/18/2003


I understand that "bushwhacker" describes a deputy military policeman in the 1864-65 period, who would try to find deserters by riding the highways, whacking the bushes to find them. If so it ties into the civil war theme rather well.



Barbara Cornett - 10/18/2003

David a lot of people are going to think that you are just another southern white male racist. I hope that people can put aside their eagerness to react in that way and take some time to think about what you are saying and to see and feel your sense of desperation as I do.

I feel the same way you do. I don't think I would call it being racist against other people who are different tho and I think you may phrase it in that way because you understand that that is how others will view it no matter how much you try to convince them otherwise.

Jews are not racist when they try to carve out a place where they can belong and where they can realize their potential and their dreams.

We are not racist when we try to hold on to a place that is our dream and our land and our home.

Everytime I watch a movie or a tv show I see dark, ethnic looking and sounding people. I never see myself reflected in popular culture unless its country music. That sort of thing can be upsetting and scientific people should consider its effect.

Zioists have taken over our government. when Jimmy Carter tried to treat both the Palestianins and the Jews alike and bring peace to the middle east during the Camp David talks, Jews became upset and vowed to see him defeated for reelection. when Howard Dean spoke about treating Jews and Palestininas equally and fairly, Pelosi and others immediatedly silenced him.

No wonder you have ambiguous feelings about Jews! Given what is happening in our government. I have stated before that the current policies do not benefit my family at all and that we are forced to pay with our money and our blood for something that has absolutely nothing to do with us. We are right to fight against it.

We must not allow this situation to cause us to come to be racist or to hate Jews but we must deal with it by coming up with new political ideas and finding ways to change policy such as supporting people like Kucinich or Edwards. There are many Jewish people who are against Zionism and the current gov policy and you can read about them here

http://www.jewsagainsttheoccupation.org

http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com/

You should never fall into the realm of mindless racism or hate people to compensate for feelings of inferiority or powerlessness. You have to deal with this by attempting to be more rational. Not because racism does not work. It does work just as you have said and people use it against us all the time. You should avoid it because it accomplishes nothing and makes you feel bad about yourself. You should persue another road which will find positive results and not waste energy on mindless useless hate.

I think this is why people in the south have a viseral reaction to people like Ewert and what he has done. He gets offically recognized and validated. We get called racists and we get marginlized and labeled which renders us powerless. We feel insulted by HNN which we now view as being against us since it shamelessly and gleefully and openly supported Ewert.

The ideas put forward by Ewert are not living ideas. They are fixed ideas. Which render us southrnres powerless and leaves us without a voice.

It is good to talk about these things because I believe it helps people come to grip with these issues and to resolve things in a more productive manner. The last thing we should do is to shy away from talking about this.

I believe that mine and David's feelings are valid and should be addressed by everyone and acknowledged so that we can try to work it out in hopes of a favorable outcome.

I apprecate input from others so that I can work thru my feelings and opinions. I do not want my thoughts to be set in concrete.

I am feeling and wondering what the hell is happening to our country. The United States is a nation in decline. Zionists are forcing bankrupting policies on our country with reckless abandon as though they want to bring us down! Christians are fighting in the middle east. Isreal tells us to go to war with Syria, when we balk they say they will attack Syria themselves and force our hand. China is breathing down our necks and they have the goal of building a space station and putting men on Mars.

None of what is happening in our country is for the benefit of the US or our people.

Muslims will outnumber the English in London before long. Mexicans come here and demand jobs, healthcare and education. What would happen if I went to Mexico and demanded that Presidente Fox give me a job and healthcare and housing? Mexicans come here and make demands and my family has to pay for it all. Israel makes demands and my family has to pay for it all. A mexican woman actually used an interperer and asked a democratic candidate a question at the CNN debate! Amazing!

Believe me David, I feel your pain. What can an Italian from NYC know of how we feel? What can a Jew possibly know of what we have lost? What does a Mexican give a shit about us when they flow across our soverign borders and make demands? To top it all off they actually look down their noses at us!!! How enraging!

NYC controls our media and generally defines us and the direction of our country.

We need a major cable channel to get our message out. We need a great white hope. we need to take our country back. We need the best schools in the country in the south. We need culture centers, research and scientific centers. We need to start again and build up the south and make it the place where people decide the direction of our country or at least have an equal voice in things.

People are bending over backward in the south to prove that we are not racist. while we are doing that the Mexicans keep flooding in. not because they want to become americans but because they want to plunder. The plunder of the poor mexican hordes and the havoc they will reek on our culture.

When you say the word racism it is a call for white people to take back our country for we alone know what we are losing. We alone once built it and owned it. Saying the R word is a way of calling on people to stop trying to prove we're not racist which is hopeless and useless anyway. As long as we are doing that we are losing everything.

I hear you. I get the sense that we alone really care about the United States. I feel overwhelmed with all kinds of different people and cultures who seem to have taken over everything and who treat me like I'm from a foreign country.

I don't think that aryans are a superior race. I think that aryans from the british isles have mingled blood anyway. Iran is an area where aryans originated, someone please correct me if I'm wrong. Perhaps I shouldn't say this in a forum of historians!

I think that talking about aryan superiority is a way for a beaten people to cope with what has happened to us. I certainly think we have a right to take pride in who we are and we should not allow anyone to silence us.

Maybe we are like the neaderthals and will become extinct. I perfer to look at what aryans have done throughout history and what we have contributed and think that we not only can survive but that we can thrive and continue to play a significant role in life on planet earth. Then its to infinity and beyond! ;0)

Being able to survive means being able to adapt to change. We have to find a way to live with the conditions as they exist today and we must find ways to take our country where we want it to go rather than merely reacting to things. We have to let the past go. We have to look to tomorrow.

I'll bet that the US will make it to Mars first. I'll bet that a white woman will be the first to step a foot onto the surface of Mars!

We may be down David, but we're not out. Our people live all across the US. The south is like a third world country, we lose our best and brightest but at least they go on to do great things in this world and they represent us and who and what we are. I have a cousin who has written textbooks for colleges and she, along with others, has written a textbook for the Harvard business school. She is now working in the Department of Health and Human Services. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and has taught at Boston College. The point is, she went off up north. ;0(

We're still here David, but God help anyone who underestimates us. We are the white people of the south. The world has not heard the last from us. We will not be denied. This is our country. We have the US Constitution running in our blood and we will not allow it to be trampled for long. Our country depends upon us. We will rise to the occasion. After all we are aryans!

If you take part in this forum you will see that people listen to you and that you are not invisible. When you feel like you are a part of things and that you have a voice it tends to ameliorate your upset and sense of isolation.

How southern people react to our situation today is an important part of any historical record. We are the living results of the War Between the States and reconstruction.

We cannot relagate ourselves to history though! We have to move forward. What to do now. Thats the question. Leave aside your pain and find a policy and a plan! Thats the ticket!


Mike Griffith - 10/18/2003

To: Professors Mike Thomason and Richmond F. Brown, University of South Alabama

Dear Professors Thomason and Brown:

I would like to comment on the letters you posted on the History News Network in which you defended George Ewert and urged Mobile's mayor and city council not to dismiss him.

I think you're missing a major point about the problem with what George Ewert did. If he had written his review of "Gods and Generals" and attacked Confederate heritage in the capacity of a private citizen or even in the capacity of a university professor, that would have been one thing. But for him to say what he said as a public servant, as the director of a government-run museum, and thus imply official status for his views, was inappropriate. Ewert should not have cited his position as director of the Museum of Mobile when he wrote his review.

Further, in March a regional newspaper contacted Ewert and asked his opinion, as museum director, about Confederate symbols. Ewert said all Confederate symbols are all inherently racist and are not something "we" want to celebrate as a symbol of heritage. Many if not most citizens of Mobile would view such comments as inappropriate, not to mention unfair and insulting, and many if not most citizens in the rest of the state would probably view his comments in the same manner.

I take issue with some of your statements about Ewert's critics. You say his detractors are trying to rewrite history, that they are "propagandists for a long discredited myth." I would argue that those who defend the traditional interpretation of the Civil War, and in particular those who insist the war was fought over slavery, are the ones who are advancing a myth.
The war was fought because the North invaded the South. The war occurred because the North refused to allow the South to go in peace. If the North had not invaded the South, there would have been no war. The South wanted peaceful relations with the North, and continued to express its desire for peace even after the Fort Sumter incident. The Deep South states did in fact secede mainly (though not only) over slavery, but secession and the war were two different events. What's more, the Upper South states of North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Virginia initially declined to secede, and only decided to join the Confederacy after Lincoln made it clear he was going to launch an invasion--they believed it was unjust and illegal for the federal government to use force against the states that had already seceded. Even Lincoln's predecessor, President James Buchanan, said in his final message to Congress that the federal government had no constitutional authority to use force against the seceded states.

One of you said, "Dr. George's people, and some like-minded citizens on the board, also want to completely overhaul the museum's Civil War exhibit. It will be called The War Between the States; the Confederacy, is to be the Second American Confederacy (the first was the US government under the Articles of Confederation) , and the exhibit will stress Southern virtue and that war had nothing to do with slavery. That is just for openers!" I'd like to comment on each of these points:

One, the designation "War Between the States" is in fact more accurate than the "Civil War," since this was not really a civil war. The South did not try to overthrow the federal government, and posed no threat to the federal government. In fact, as mentioned, the Confederacy sought peaceful relations with the North. Moreover, the Confederacy offered to pay the Southern states' share of the national debt and to pay compensation for all federal facilities in the South. A civil war is when two sides are vying for control of the government. This was not the case in the war between the North and the South.

Two, it's perfectly accurate to call the Confederacy the Second American Confederacy, since the U.S. government under the Articles of Confederation was undeniably a confederacy. In fact, the U.S. government is called a "confederacy" and a "confederation" in the Articles of Confederation themselves, and many early American leaders referred to the government as a "confederacy." It should be remembered, too, that the Confederacy's official name was the "Confederate States of America." Note the "of AMERICA." So the Confederacy was in fact an "American confederacy," and it was in fact the second such confederacy.

Third, with regard to slavery and the war, slavery, in terms of being any kind of a direct cause, did not really have anything to do with the war. If the Confederacy's first act had been to announce an emancipation program, Lincoln and the Radical Republicans still would not have allowed the South to go in peace, and no one who has done any serious reading on the subject can credibly deny this. Lincoln had absolutely no interest in freeing the slaves, and he said so in the plainest English possible. Moreover, Lincoln doggedly resisted the Radicals' effort to make emancipation a war aim. Lincoln only issued the Emancipation Proclamation under intense pressure from the Radicals. What's more, African-American scholar Lerone Bennett, in his book FORCED INTO GLORY: ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S WHITE DREAM (Johnson Publishing, 2000), establishes beyond dispute that Lincoln worked to nullify the proclamation almost as soon as he issued it.

I think it is very unfair to label the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate and racism. Confederate leaders like Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E. Lee, to name just a few, showed the utmost respect for blacks, slave or free. Years after they were free, Jefferson Davis's slaves continued to speak of him with kindness and admiration, and they were quick to defend him against critics. Davis and his wife even informally adopted a mulatto child and raised him as one of their own, until they were forced to give up custody of him after the war. Stonewall Jackson earned the respect and love blacks who knew him because of how he treated them. One of the first persons to donate money for a proposed statue honoring Stonewall Jackson was a black minister who remembered how kind Jackson had been to blacks when he taught a black Sunday school before the war. And years before the war Robert E. Lee said slavery was a moral and political evil. In private Confederate government meetings, Lee urged that slavery be abolished, and later he publicly called for enlisting slaves as soldiers and for granting them freedom in exchange for their service. There were plenty of other Confederate leaders who favored emancipation in various forms, including Patrick Cleburne, Duncan Kenner, Judah Benjamin, John Letcher, and George William Smith. It's worth noting that by 1864 key Confederate leaders, including Jefferson Davis, were prepared to abolish slavery in exchange for European diplomatic recognition in order to save the Confederacy. This shows that independence was more important to them than the continuation of slavery. These are facts one rarely hears about from those who falsely say the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate and racism. Rather than give a balanced view on the subject, most critics prefer to merely cite Alexander Stephens' "cornerstone speech."

Finally, I might add that I say these things as a political centrist who supports affirmative action and minority set-asides, and as someone who has worked with local NAACP members to expose police brutality against minorities. And I also say them as someone whose ancestors fought for the Confederacy.

I thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Mike Griffith
Civil War website
http://ourworld.cs.com/mikegriffith1/id163.htm
http://michaelgriffith1.tripod.com/griffitharticles2.htm


F.H. Thomas - 10/18/2003


An excellent post, made the more convincing by the heat with which its learning was delivered.

Please continue to weigh in. I learn from you, which is supposed to be the purpose of this site, although I cannot say that of certain other contributors. Besides, Ms. Cornett is outnumbered.

The "evil South" hypothesis is one family of myths whose day is soon coming, but not early enough for me.


F.H. Thomas - 10/18/2003


Thank you for a wonderful post, full of learning, and effective disputation. The "Slave Narratives" had slipped my mind, but are a compelling primary source in this question.

They dovetail very well with the many complaints in the reports of the Union military regional commanders after the war to the effect that many slaves could not be persuaded to leave many plantations, until forced to do so.

Thanks again.


F.H. Thomas - 10/18/2003


Thanks to the learned gentlemen of this sub-thread, for dealing with this nuanced and complex issue so realistically, and with such brilliance. All will benefit when the current myths are recognized as such, and allowed to die the death they should.

Mr. Lamovsky correctly judges that slavery was on the defensive throughout the world in 1861. The last country to peacefully abolish it in this hemisphere was Brazil, in 1885. This point was ably elaborated by Mr. Weber.

Lee followed the example of many others, including Jefferson Davis, by gradually freeing his slaves, as they achieved enough education and skill to survive in the economy. The day before he rode across the Potomac to tender his resignation, he granted manumission to one Leven Jones, who then re-entered the economy as a free saddler, a good trade in those days.

One really has to weigh the 600,000 dead, the 2 million wounded, the coarsening of American society, the subsequent vicious subjugation of the West, and the devastation of the ecomomy of the South for 100 years, against the freeing of 2,000,000 people 20 years earlier than they would have been freed anyway, particularly given that those people fared so badly.

Thanks again for some really wonderful scholarship.


Barbara Cornett - 10/18/2003

When I made the statement that Ewert was no Roger Ebert it was a figure of speech, meaning that Ewert is not qualified to be a movie critic.

It was not intended as any kind of statement regarding how I felt about Ebert. I usually check his reviews before seeing a movie and that is how I came to the conclusion that he does not pan bad movies and I figured he has no other choice if he wants to keep his job since most hollywood movies are bad these days.

He lowered his standards to keep his job. How long would he last if he told the truth? True to form he didn't give a critique of Gods and Generals as a movie but he conforted everyone with cloying political correctness mostly because as every good writer knows his audience, he knows his.

Regarding whether or not the movie might have its own political agenda I would say so what. Its a movie. Not a documentary or historical document. Its not a textbook. Its producers are not recomending it to classrooms across America for its educational value. Its entertainment. Ewert was the one with a political agenda.

I suppose historians must love the subjects they study or at least I hope they do and would therefore have to have some attachment or involvment but they should not get so involved that they cannot be objective.

I stand by my statements about liberals who have a fixed idea about certain things and a kneejerk reaction to certain subjects that doesn't always make sense according to the facts. Many people have a fixed view of the south and they hold on to it come hell or high water. I wonder about the reasons for their investing in these views and I think they need the south as a comparison to showcase their own sterling liberal credentials which serves as a great source of pride for them, even if it is phoney.

There were 11 democrats who voted in the Senate against giving bush the 78 billion dollars that he asked for to rebuild Iraq. How liberal can these a$$holes really be. Why should I be impressed at their posturing when it comes to blacks if they can turn around and do to Iraqis things that I see as criminal and sinful.

BTW, you should all read the speeches of Robert Byrd who has spoken consistantly in his fight to defend the Consitution of the United States of America agasint the onslaught of George Bush. Byrd is a man with a memory of who we are and what we are supposed to stand for. I know he is a man of another time when we lived under Jim Crow but he is also a man who knows that Israel is a foreign country and that America does not wage agressive wars. Hollings and other southerners were also among the 11 democrats.


Maevin Eugene Henley - 10/18/2003

I do not suggest that the director of the Mobile museum be fired.I do not suggest that he be deprived of his free expression. I DO suggest that his"review" is a thinly veiled attempt to use his good office for bigotry.
I`ve read his opus. I`ve read his defense from "history defenders" calling themselves professors.So they may be.Evenhanded they are not.
Bigotry,black on white,or white on black is still bigotry.
Please do not try to mask it with a "review". Some sheeple are misled. I`m not one of them. Methinks that the director tries too hard to discredit.It`s shameful,just as shameful as the bigots who still discredit the very necessary and correct movement led by Martin Luther King. Bigotry cannot hide behind copious hateful verbiage and become poetry. It`s still trash talk.
Marvin Henley
Long Island


Joe Ringhoffer - 10/18/2003

Once again the focus has drifted from the issue that has those of us here in Mobile upset. Ewerts speaking for Mobilians,incorrectly at that, and Thomassons' lies of ommission and down right untruths in his letters and postings. If employees on the city dole are going to speak for the citizenry by attaching their title as such they should suffer the consequences.


Josh Greenland - 10/18/2003

"There you go again, Ralph, freaking out calling Phyllis Schafly & Pat Buchanan extremists. They are Americans holding to traditional American values."

I don't consider German Naziism to be an American value. Pat Buchanan vociferously defended a number of accused Nazi war criminals, without any appearance of caring about their innocence or guilt, when he was Pres. Reagan's spokesperson, and he has praised Hitler as a great man.

I understand that a well-respected cirriculum put together by a part of the federal government was shot down by criticism from Phyllis Schlafly's group the Eagle Forum -- because it didn't take into account Nazi or Klan viewpoints. This was during the Reagan or Bush Sr. administration. (More well-known than this is the Eagle Forum's hoisting of "White Power" signs in protest against the Houston International Women's Year conference of 1978.)

I guess your idea of American values and mine are different.


Jerry West - 10/18/2003

-
Michelle Barrington wrote:

Our boys fought for the principles the country was founded on, the North fought to conquer us for financial gain....

To say that the War for Southern Independence was fought over slavery is like saying the Revolution was fought over tea.

JW:

What soldiers fight for and what wars are about can often be two different things. And if one were to survey the reasons for fighting you would probably find a number of different reasons from different participants.

To determine if the root cause of the Civil War was slavery ask the question: if there had been no slavery would there have been a Civil War in 1861?

Jesse Lamovsky wrote:

Again, I don't think many of the 90% or so of white, non-slaveholding Southerners fought for the institution. I believe most of them simply fought because they felt they were under invasion from an aggressing power.

JW:

You are probably right, but that leaves unaddressed the reason for the conditions that lead to the invasion that people fought against.

JL:

I may be speculating here. But at bottom, I believe that this country did itself very little good, black and white, by simply smashing slavery by force, as well as the society that succored the institution.

JW:

On the other hand one could argue that little good was done by a segment of the country hanging on to a dying institution, particularly one that was becoming seen as evil, instead of making the changes necessary to avoid the military conflict.

Alec Lloyd wrote:

The Confederacy, unlike the United States as a whole, was dedicated to the preservation of slavery. One cannot ignore that signal distinction.

The US tolerated it as an evil without an easy solution; the South enshrined it in law....

JW:

Sometimes Alec and I agree. :)

JL:

Perhaps we're focusing too much on slavery and too little on the basic question: did the Confederacy have a right to secede from the union?

JW:

That is a good question, and separate from the causes of separation. It goes back to the earlier topic of whether we have an instance of treason or not.

I must say, there has been some very interesting discussion here and informative.



Chris Danielson - 10/18/2003

The slave narratives, my dear, (yes I have read them) have been criticized by a number of historians (go check some journals if you don't believe me) for the way in which they were carried out. The interviewers were asking elderly slaves in the midst of the Great Depression (which scholars like Harvard Sitikoff, in a New Deal for Blacks, and Patricia Sullivan, in Days of Hope, show hit southern blacks particularly hard due to the bias of New Deal relief programs and the resistance of southern politicians to aiding African Americans) if they preferred slavery, which most of them only had a childhood recollection of living. Also, the interviewes were mostly white, and in the Jim Crow America of the 1930s, black people had a way of telling white people what they wanted to hear. I can see how a proslavery apologist would take them at face value without considering the context of the 1930s. As for your comment on voluntary enslavement, I would certainly like to see any records of white people serving as chattel slaves in the antebellum South (I don't think Jeff Davis or James Henry Hammond would have endorsed that). Instead of trying to defend the practice of slavery, why don't you instead go back and look at the evidence? For every WPA slave narrative you cite, I can cite slaves who deserted to Union lines to escape bondage. I can cite Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northrup, Sojourner Truth, or others who escaped slavery and told of its horrors. Or do those slave voices and actions not matter to you? If you choose to be narrow-minded and ignore evidence that slaves didn't like slavery (since you apparantly think they did), that's your problem.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/17/2003

Slavery is comparable to TV and tea? You don't like Yankee meddlers with the slave South?

Whoa, Nellie! What have you been smoking, chld?


K. A. Shelton - 10/17/2003

First, complaining that Ewert is emotionally involved or politically motivated is truly calling the kettle black, as is watching you turn a 180 on your opinion on Roger Ebert purely on the grounds of his analysis of Gods and Generals. I cannot speak to the film itself, which I have not seen. You also seem oblivious, however, to the possibility that the movie might itself contained a political agenda at odds with historical fact. That was Ewert’s argument. You can respond either by arguing it does not contain such an agenda, or that it is in fact historically accurate, but simply suggesting Ewert is some South-smashing liberal is not very useful.


K. A. Shelton - 10/17/2003

As I suggested in my previous post, the threat was not just an act of emancipation (which, however illogical, many did clearly believe was coming). Rather, it was the danger that the geographic containment of slavery (which the proposed amendment would have allowed) would have killed slavery off. As I mentioned in previous posts, the Confederacy made it practically impossible for a particular state to abolish. When states rights and slavery came into conflict, it was the latter that surrendered to the former.
To a previous response, it was not my position that people do not fight wars for reasons other than personal survival, or that one can not make moral judgments (though I think it is difficult to make judgments that were not in the vocabulary of the time, for example, charging the ancient Romans with war crimes. While racial equality was a fringe idea, antislavery was a real minority position). I was simply stating that looking for a single, overriding meaning to a war ignores the ability for both sides to fight for different reasons, or groups within those two sides to bring their own concerns in.
I will return the thanks concerning over-reaching as to my own point about the antebellum South's uniqueness. I should have said the Atlantic slave system instead. I was more seeking to suggest it was unique to the larger history of slavery. But I will maintain that the South was elaborating (if not unique) an increasingly atypical argument. Pro-slavery apologists in the Antebellum period went beyond arguing that slavery was constitutional, historical, or even economically necessary, to claiming it as the foundation of Southern republicanism, by alleviating class tensions. Slavery, and therefore abolition, meant a hell of a lot more to Southerners in the 1860 than it would have to the Greeks in 400 B.C.


Barbara Cornett - 10/17/2003

Oh no! I should have checked with Ebert before I said that! ;o)

He is mainly a Hollywood parasite, since nothing that comes out of Hollywood is fit to watch any more unless you're a teenage boy, so who needs critics anyway.

I had an opportunity to see Gods and Generals but I didn't think I could sit thru it to tell the truth! Dealing with the Civil war and things southern is not Hollywood's forte. I figured it would be anything but historically accurate, which is another reason why Ewert never should have written about it.

Of all the conversation about and the efforts by a lot of intellectuals to write the great american novel, it was written by Margaret Mitchell. I surely don't want to read it again, but she couldn't miss with that subject.

It would be nice if a movie maker could do justice to the Civil War. The question would be, how would Ebert know!



K. A. Shelton - 10/17/2003

I assume that Michael’s Barrington’s remark was directed towards me, so I shall answer it. I never suggested the American Revolution was “about” slavery (did he pay attention to any other part of my post?), nor would I make such an absurd argument. Rather, I argued that republicanism (the system of government which replaced British Imperial rule) made intellectually problematic the traditional defenses for slavery. Some colonies, in consequence, abolished, while others were forced to elaborate a new (and increasingly racial) system of proslavery apologetics.
I would also say that suggesting the Civil War was fought over states rights is much closer to your comparison about tea. States rights to do what? When last ditch compromises were suggested in the wake of secession, they involved constitutional amendments about slavery and the fugitive slave act, not the tariff or states rights abstractly considered. Read the Crittendon compromises. A few quotes from those Southerners you wish me to speak with:
"Democratic liberty exists solely because we have slaves . . . freedom is not possible without slavery." Richmond Examiner, 1856
"We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing."
Atlanta Confederacy, 1860
"African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism." Later in the same speech he said, "The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States." Alexander Kett, Congressman, SC
"Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it." Ibid, at secession convention
“Its [the Confederate government] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition." Alexander Stephens, Confederate VP
"it [the use of black soldiers] is abolition doctrine . . . the very doctrine which the war was commenced to put down." North Carolina Standard, Jan. 17, 1865
"If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule -- it is a question of political and social existence." Alfred P. Aldrich, SC legislator
"the moment this House undertakes to legislate upon this subject [slavery], it dissolves the Union. Should it be my fortune to have a seat upon this floor, I will abandon it the instant the first decisive step is taken looking towards legislation of this subject. I will go home to preach, and if I can, practice, disunion, and civil war, if needs be. A revolution must ensue, and this republic sink in blood.” SC congressman James Henry Hammond
[taken from The America Civil War Homepage, and checked with sources where possible]
As you can see, states rights and the fear of tyranny are there, but that tyranny and threat is the one directed against slavery.


David Toifel - 10/17/2003

The Southern people fought because they wanted their own country, it's that simple. They were also tired of Northern exploitation via the tariff, and feared a slave uprising backed by Northern churchmen which would have been death to either the Southern white or the Southern black. I hope they also fought because they were tired of being chained to the never ending Northern self serving vision of themselves as the all knowing blessed.

David Toifel


David N Weber - 10/17/2003

In 1787 when the Constitution was adopted the issue of slavery was important to the Northern States as well as the Southern States. All thirteen states ratified the Constitution.

Starting in the 1830's agitation on the issue of taxes almost broke the United States. There were an equal number of Northern and Southern States. The pressure to admit "slave " states became an issue. The North saw that to gain control of the central government they had to stop "slave" states from being created.

It became a political point of interest to stop slavery. As the "slave state" issue became more pronounced Northern States voted to end slavery and the abolitionists were financed by nothern industialists to open the West to free white labour.

Northern States began to thwart laws designed to protect slavey. Issues of control of the territories, Northern States breaking of slave laws, direct interference in slavery by the abolitionists, high protectionist tariffs and central government spending on internal improvements are all issues of "States rights".

Taxes and goverment spending are Constitutional issues. Violation of slave laws was also a Constitutional issue! Slavery was certainly "the foundation" by which the first seven States found a common bond to secceed.

The fact that Lincoln was for high tariffs and government spending on internal improvements (the new railroad to California) were known. (The fact that Lincoln's underwriting of railroads in Illinoise nearly broke the State could come into play) The concept that Lincoln's Whigg ideas and platform did not reflect Southern political thought and his defense that the federal government should control the type of people settling the western territories signaled his election as the end of Southern control of the central government.

Equilibrium would be broken. The central government would not be based on southern ideas, Constitutional issues, States Rights Issues! Lincoln was not on any Southern States ballot.

His election saw the end of everything that the South held dear. The idea that the South caused the War Between the States is not an absolute truth. The attack on Fort Sumter did not cause the war. Lincoln's call for 75,000 troops caused the war. His violation of the Constitution pushed four States to the Confederacy. His inaugural speech sent a clear message that Fort Sumter would collect the tariff on all imports to South Carolina.

More then 600,000 troops were killed or died in this war. 360,000 Yankees and 258,000 Southeners. 204,000 died in battle and 389,000 from disease. two million Northern troops and 750,000 Southern troops fought in the war and almost equal numbers were kept prisoner and died as POW's.

The reconstruction of the South in the five Military districts brought on by the Radical Reconstruction Congress poured salt in the wounds of the South. Mr. Ewert's historical Myth of the "Civil War" is the Northern myth. I hope some day that the different sides will be able to print a real history on the "late unpleasantness" and put the "late war" to rest, I doubt it.

David Weber
Taylor, Texas


Bushwacker - 10/17/2003

He, like so many of his cohorts are the ones that are full of crap.Notice that everyone that gives Gods and Generals a thumbs up is either a "far right winger" or they belong to a "hate" group. That is the typical leftist response: Attack and discredit even to the point of libel.


David Toifel - 10/17/2003

I serve on the Board of Directors of the Museum of Mobile and have spoken to George Ewert many times. I disagree with many of his assumptions about the War Between the States, and I think he has every right to write a critical review of any movie he wishes. The review is not the problem, but his attack on people who like the movie and his position concerning their motives and supposed agendas. Mr. Ewert hand has been slapped because he is intolerant by his own admission and writings. His job in Mobile is to present the story of our citizens throughout our city's 300 year history, not to inject his own view of what people of our different historical periods believed.

If you rush to defend him, you defend a bigot. If we are to have a civilized society respect must be shown those with whom we disagree. I have done my best to show Mr.Ewert respect, regardless of my disagreements with him. He does not have a pass to attack people because they are white, honor their Confederate ancestors, consider the Civil War a illegal war fought by the Northern Union, or any other unpopular belief. Liberals have no dispensation to be intolerant bigots.

David L. Toifel
Mobile, AL


Michelle Barrington - 10/17/2003

Nonsense. The same logic could be used to claim that Americans are dying in Iraq to protect television.

Slavery was a fact of life since the creation of the United States. All 13 colonies were slave holding and yet I have yet to hear one of the so-called experts make the claim that the American Revolution was about slavery.

Our boys fought for the principles the country was founded on, the North fought to conquer us for financial gain. Saving the Union? Don't make me laugh. No one in their right mind makes the claim that our victory in the American Revolution was the destruction of the British Empire. Likewise, the South's separation from the troublemakers and plunderers in the North would not have resulted in the destruction of the Union.

To say that the War for Southern Independence was fought over slavery is like saying the Revolution was fought over tea. Trivializing is not good history, but the sanctimonious yankee lie marches on, eh? Many of the "experts" on this forum sound like the blind men trying to describe the elephant. Want to know why Southerners fought? Just ask us! We are the descendants of these brave men, and have their own letters and diaries to tell us. And yet many profess to know differently, despite the abundance of proof in their own words. Besides, how would a non-Southerner know anyway? Guesswork is not good history, but it sure displays yankee arrogance. They were misguided enough to think they were fighting to maintain a voluntary union by the point of the bayonet.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/17/2003

Ms. Cornett,

You might be interested in reading Roger Ebert's review of Gods and Generals on the Chicago Sun-Times website. Like Ewert's, it is almost entirely based on political prejudices. Perhaps someone should tell Mr. Ebert that he is no George Ewert!


F.H. Thomas - 10/17/2003


Thank you for your comments. A brief rejoinder:


"First of all, it seems that many who ponder the topic of slavery do not realize the breadth and scope of the literature."

F & E spend approximately half of their work in dealing with and demolishing all the major well-intended, but professionally inadequate works on slavery and economics. Remember, they don't hand out those Nobel Prizes for junk science.

"Secondly, I find it quite intriguing that those who wish to depict the institution as benign are quick to cite Fogel and Engerman. These same folks, who I label "modern lost causers," also have the propensity to quote William A. Dunning when discussing Reconstruction."

This is getting pretty close to race baiting. If you have a point, make it with the blessing of all, but for God's sake stay away from these dreary piles of ponderous steaming implications.

"Yes, there were some benevolent masters, and yes, comparatively speaking (in a new world context) American slaves were better treated (diet/living conditions). But to compare their legal and social condition to that of free workers smacks too much of defending an institution long dead (George Fitzhugh made the same argument). Yes, slaves made the best of an otherwise hopeless situation..."

I really doubt that you have read this book, except perhaps to cherry pick some arguments. If you had, you would know that, at most large plantations, the general manager (overseeer) was black, and that they were damned good, as were the middle management, out producing Northern free farmers by 1.8 to 1, per capita, the best in the world at that time. The high standard of living which that productivity brought was lost after that war, and no one suffered more than blacks.

"1. Would a poor factory worker living in a slum want to be a well-treated slave or a poor free citizen? HMMMMMMM "

Read Maslow: when there is no food, nothing else matters. Given food, other things become important again. Read Dickens. How free was Bob Cratchett, whose family was starving? Read Hugo: how free was Jean Valjean? Read "Fatal Shore", about the populating of Australia with 75% losses. You cannot compare the brutal world of 150-200 years ago with "Leave it to Beaver".

"2. Slaves (even well-treated ones) attempted to gain their freedom every chance they got--hence, the mass exodus from plantations during the Civil War. "

Nope. No such exodus, and further more blacks fought for the Confederacy than for the Union. The North American model for slavery placed a high reliance upon using a very gentle regime with many benefits, to increase loyalty, improve productivity, encourage children, and especially to eliminate the need for expensive police forces, such as the black "Maroons" in Jamaica, who beat the crap out of anyone who got out of line, or killed him. There were no Maroons here, and further Simon Legree was a fictional character.

"3. Finally, what is this continuous obsession with depicting slavery as somehow an acceptable institution? Makes one wonder.
Finally, save for one thesis (that slavery was a profitable endevor), most historians of slavery recognize that there are much more accurate, and in my opinion, reasonable interpretations of slavery available."

Where are these books? Slavery is one of those areas where myth pervades, as in most cases where the aggressor wins and feels the need to justify all of the horrible killing which resulted from his actions- not exactly a new concept in human history. Myth is sand in the gears of history, and must be expunged. The great conspiracy you hypotheticize comes down to just that.

On the other hand, the restraint of one person by another, whether by enslavement, endenture, imprisonment, or death is the most inhuman act which can be inflicted, regardless of benefits. I wonder if you are as concerned about the Sudan, where it is still being practiced.

On another matter altogether, we may just have a black Pope on our hands, Archbishop Aninze of the Ibos, a Nigerian. I am not hoping for any early change, but if it does happen, I would welcome this saintly and learned man's ascension.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/17/2003

Mr. Lloyd,

Again, I don't think many of the 90% or so of white, non-slaveholding Southerners fought for the institution. I believe most of them simply fought because they felt they were under invasion from an aggressing power.

Also, I believe that the fears you expressed; that slavery would have "survived and perhaps expanded" are a bit unfounded. Slavery was a dying economic system even in 1861; another generation might have been all it took for the institution to die completely. What kept slavery alive was the South's near-monopoly on the world cotton market, but this monopoly would have come under threat in the post-war years anyway (new cotton production areas in British colonies, such as India and Egypt; political pressures from European progressives to ease reliance on slave-picked Southern cotton). As far as expansion was concerned, there really was precious little area in which to expand by 1861. Arizona and New Mexico (claimed for the Confederacy) were not fertile ground for the slave economy, due to climate, the presence of hostile Indian tribes, as well as free settlers who were almost invariably hostile to slavery (if only for the old Republican notion that it would degrade white labor). These same conditions apply to Texas.

I may be speculating here. But at bottom, I believe that this country did itself very little good, black and white, by simply smashing slavery by force, as well as the society that succored the institution. The history of race relations in this country, post-1865 ought to tell us that much, at least.

Jesse Lamovsky


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/17/2003

Mr. Lloyd,

With all due respect, I don't see many of the contradictions you see in the motives of Southern generals. Take Robert E. Lee, for example:

Lee, it is fairly well known, considered slavery to be, in his own words, an "abomination". He was not a politician, and to the best of my knowledge did not spend a great deal of time ruminating on the exact causes of secession, or the nature of Confederate governance (considering that his armies were as often as not outnumbered two-to-one by a better equipped, better fed, better shod foe, it's hard to blame him for deferring to more pressing matters). But his motivation for fighting in gray was crystal-clear: the defense of Virginia, his home state. Fighting for the union would have meant riding at the head of invading armies, laying waste to his home state, and this, to Lee, was unthinkable- the real treason, a betrayal to his home and his people. He explicitely stated, in fact, that he would not fight, save "in defense of his home state".

There is little need to psychoanalyze the motives of Confederate leaders; at least not Lee. Lee fought to defend the place he called home. Virginia, regardless of its pecularities (i.e. legalized slavery) was his home, as it was Jackson's home, and JEB Stuart's home, and the home of countless other Confederate luminaries. I think we can safely say the same for hundreds of thousands of other soldiers who wore gray and butternut.


David N. Weber - 10/17/2003

Mr. Ewert holds a public position! His review is not written in the nicest of termes! He writes it for a very opinionated publication. The Southern Poverty Law Center's reputation is based on defining their idea of hate groups. Many of which I concur on, but others are questionable. Sometimes their politics shows. Currently the SPLC is taking aim at the Sons of Confederate Veterans and anything Southern, such as the battle flag and Dixie. As there is an all out war on the battle flag going on Mr. Ewert has taken a side.

The SPLC has made it obvious that they do not like the SCV.Dees is attempting to distroy the SCV. Therefore by association his not to nice openion in the SPLC publication will draw some negative remarks.

I have read everything posted so far on the History News Network about this issue. Very interesting thoughts are being expressed.

I do believe that some people are a little overboard. Michael Green's posting on the Sons of Confederate Veterans is a good example.

David Weber
Taylor, Texas


Alec Lloyd - 10/17/2003

The Confederacy, unlike the United States as a whole, was dedicated to the preservation of slavery. One cannot ignore that signal distinction.

The US tolerated it as an evil without an easy solution; the South enshrined it in law.

Subsequent Confederate actions, such as promising death to any Blacks taken in arms against the Confederacy, only reinforced the nature of this evil.

No moral person can defend this institution, nor have anything but amazement that people were willing to fight and die for it.

Yes, not all southerner fought for slavery explicitly, but that was the net effect of their allegiance. Were the Confederacy to succeed, slavery would have survived and perhaps expanded. Its defeat was a victory for humanity.


Alec Lloyd - 10/17/2003

Yes. Longstreet is also a fascinating historical figure, particularly in light of his criticism of Lee and the interplay between him and the other commanders.

Don't get me wrong; many of the Union commanders have compelling stories, but they simply don't embody the same contradictions. Here you have men of faith, profoundly moved by religion yet at the same time fighting for a monstrous regime dedicated to the inequality of man.

As I said, I'm more interested in the Union perspective, but that makes me somewhat of a minority. I admit this because, frankly, the story of farm boys or tradespeople taking up arms for their country is neither new nor unique in American history. As remarkable as the career of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is, he is not alone is being a man of letters transformed into a man of war.

What is unique is the idea of career soldiers turning against their country; of men of devout and deeply-held faith turning against their oaths and even their own convictions (few southern commanders seemed to have many nice thing to say about slavery, for example).

That contradiction is what draws such interest. Racism or a latent desire to "win" the Lost Cause has little, if anything to do with it.


Barbara Cornett - 10/17/2003

Joe I think you make a good point. In dealing with the history of the Civil War era, we have to deal with every aspect and that includes all of the symbols of the times.

Ewert seems to be inappropriately, emotionally involved. He seems to be trying to say, by his actions and words, that southern people are racist TODAY and make the point that in contrast to them, he is politically correct, which is self serving and in bad taste to say the least.

How are Southern people supposed to simply erase something from our history and pretend it never happened? It did happen. This is our heritage.

In researching our family's roots we discovered that one of our relatives died in a Union POW camp from a wound in his foot. The symbols of the Confederacy are part of my family.

Why can't people like Ewert, deal with history in an objective manner rather then becoming emotional about it. We are not talking about policies that are being advocated today. We are talking about history.

I think he is asking for trouble when he gets emotionally involved and starts talking about history as though it is something that he is involved in today. It is not about what his policies and beliefs are today regarding slavery or black people. Its about history, which he is supposed to be objective and factual about.

Political correctness has no part in telling history. Someone should tell him that he is no Roger Ebert. Grandstanding is not something that is to be admired in someone who is supposed to be a historian. Is he planning on joining the other democrats running for President or something? Maybe he's planning an appearance on Oprah.




Michelle Barrington - 10/17/2003

"My personal hunch would be that a free laborer in 1850 or 1860 would not trade his freedom, even under a harsh capitalist economy, for enslavement."

-How wrong can you be. Several States had laws on the books for permitting a free man to apply to become a slave of a particular master. Some perferred slavery to poverty. Also, check out "The Slave Narratives", compiled by the Federal government in the 1930's. Interviews with former slaves reveal many who perferred it to life after the War, and some even long for the old days. Brutal? Inhumane? Reprehensible? Why be so narrow-minded. Let the slaves speak for themselves. The TRUTH will surprise you.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/17/2003

In what way, exactly, was the Confederacy a "monstrous regime"? Because it protected the institution of slavery? That would make the United States from 1789 until 1865 a "monstrous regime". The same goes for God only knows how many societies stretching back to the beginning of time; including the Athenians, the Roman Republic, the Davidic Kingdom of Israel...

It's easy to employ emotionalism when discussing the Confederate States. But it's not as if Jeff Davis and Co. invented human bondage out of whole cloth in 1861. Perhaps we're focusing too much on slavery and too little on the basic question: did the Confederacy have a right to secede from the union? If it was over slavery, so be it. Did they have the right?


Ralph E. Luker - 10/17/2003

Dave, You named them. I didn't. Should I assume from your first paragraph that you think there are no Americans on the Right who have earned credit as extremists? Good Lord, Dave, you need to be more careful about the company you keep.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Alec,

One presumes that the Catholic Longstreet is to be included in "and co." No?


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

There you go again, Ralph, freaking out calling Phyllis Schafly & Pat Buchanan extremists. They are Americans holding to traditional American values.

But having recently dropped "The Washington Times," I'll go along with you on it, as long as you don't label "Insight" magazine,"WorldNetDaily.com," "FrontPageMagazine.com," & "The American Rifleman" magazine, flagship publication of the Nat'l Rifle Assn. extremist.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Greg Hanson,

Thanks mucho for yor posting re: proposed 13th Amendment. Yeah, yeah, slavery was the issue, eh? If & when in Colorado Springs, please do give me a jingle & I'll be pleaed, regardless I'm formally a Prohibitionist, to buy you a drink. Tea?


Greg Hanson - 10/17/2003

Below is the text of the proposed 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed by the Senate on March 2, 1861, after it had passed in the House of Representatives. This amendment was supported by Lincoln. If the South was fighting only over the issue of preserving slavery, all they would have had to do is stay in the union and ratify the amendment. Slavery would have then been enshrined for all time as a legal institution. This should put to rest the idea that the most important issue was slavery. Matter of fact freeing of the slaves was only a war measure almost two years into the war, and actually freed no one at all as the Emancipation Proclaimation only freed slaves in terrority the U.S. did not control, it did not free them in territory the U.S. did control.

Article Thirteen

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/17/2003

Mr. Thomas,
Take up the cause of the survivalists, Phyllis Schafly, Pat Buchanan, the Mooney Times, etc., if you will. There are those of us who think they punch the extremist numbers pretty well. The SPLC is no extremist organization. It has simply lifted Morris Dees into the brackets Alabama taxes at 3%, well above impoverished Alabamans who are taxed at 12%. He actually has his allies in the state's conservatives and libertarians who defeated tax reform in Alabama.


Joe Ringhoffer - 10/17/2003

The real issue here is that Ewert signed his name AND POSITION when writing an article he claims was strictly a personal endevor. Dating back to March, he was contacted by a regional newpaper and asked his opinion as MUSEUM DIRECTOR about Confederate symbols. Ewert claims that they are all INHERENTLY RACIST and not something WE want to celebrate as a symbol of heritage. This, to the majority of citizen in Mobile, is something that disables him from creating an unbiased display of the Confederate States of America. Now you know the rest of the story.


F.H. Thomas - 10/17/2003


I thank everyone for their learned and humorous comments:

The things I found least visible in the SPLC web pages were The South, Poverty, and Law, except of course as ancient history. Their "big threat of the quarter" was a survivalist running for mayor of a small town in Idaho. Sheeesh!

Consider who the SPLC treats as an "potential threat", "enemy", "hate group", etc:

Pat Buchanan
Mel Gibson
Anyone who opposes "Cultural Marxism"
Ben George
Phyllis Schlafly
American Enterprise Magazine
Christianity, in general (based upon characterizations)
The South, and its males (based upon characterizations)
Libertarians, in general
The Washington Times
Lee
Jackson
All Confederate Groups, apparently without exception
(This is not a complete list)

Respectfully, with those "enemies", this organization can only be called extreme.

It is not surprising that this offensive article came out of the SPLC. Everything else they publish is equally on the fringe.

This organization appears to be a leftist anachronism kept alive on life support by big money from the West Side of Manhattan. Let it die a peaceful death, and let Mr. Dees get honest work.



NYGuy - 10/17/2003

Since the Internet has become so explicit I believe it is almost impossible to be shocked anymore whether it is vile language, nudity, racism etc. So try as he may Hitler cannot exceed what is already out there. On the other hand he does provide some comic relief and is a joke just like his namesake as he struggles to put together a coherent message.

I believe that you should know your enemy and Hitler is the perfect example of who that is. So let Hitler struggle to get attention, and let us have a contest to see who can create the biggest laugh at his expense. In this high-pressure world he provides a punching bag that will help us all get rid of our tension.

Hitler, tell us the one about your slave and death camps and how you got the world’s attention with your enlightened ways. I thought you were great as Charlie Chaplin. And I say bravo to your friend Il Duce who I am sure is in the wings. What great leaders. Remind the younger generation of your accomplishments that lead to that well know phrase, “Never again.”

And now some German has trained a dog to imitate you. What hero worship.

Tell us more of your ideas. The world is waiting.


F.H. Thomas - 10/17/2003


Perhaps a night at Carnival will relieve your overburdened mind.

By the way, I thought Mengele was the one who went to Brazil?



NYGuy - 10/17/2003

Bogash,

Thanks for confirming what I knew. But this is getting serious when they steal the name of one of the most prominent posters on this board.

I like your new name, it has a bit of dash to it.:)

Cheers


F.H. Thomas - 10/17/2003


Indeed, things are messy in the tangled web of history, much as some would like to assert that it is all very simple.

I enjoyed your comment and would like to hear more.


Alec Lloyd - 10/17/2003

When you say "recent" you mean events that transpired more than 30 years ago.

Politics have nothing to do with it.

The fact remains that Lee, Jackson and co. are interesting to historian precisely because of the contradictions they embodied. They were also highly skilled. People are naturally drawn to success rather than failure, which is why Lee has more biographers than Burnside.

If you want to debate the politics of racial division, we can do so, though I will point out that the Democrats' hands are far dirtier (one reason I quit the party). That discussion is immaterial to the point at hand, however.

Simply: Confederate generals are more interesting. Lee and Jackson present far greater enigmas than Sherman and Grant (partly because the latter two wrote autobiographies). It's that simple.


Bogash Zorq - 10/17/2003

-
Maybe it is the basketball player, it sure isn't me. I dropped a note to the moderator at the time of the silliness, so hopefully the mess will be wiped out this morning.

I look on it as something like the digital version of pulling wings off of flies. :)

Bogash, if you are curious, is one of my literary characters, thought I would just toss it in for a kick.

JW



Jonathan Dresner - 10/17/2003

Aryans (if by that you mean caucasians) are a minority in the world now: roughly a fifth of the world population (twice that if you include South Asians like Indians; over 50% if you include the Indo-European peoples in the Middle East, aka the Semitic races).

If, by Aryans, you mean that Nordic ideal master race, though, dream on: it never existed. Northern Europeans are a mix of Aryan (the same people who colonized and dominated India) and the pre-existing European population, followed by incursions of Mediterranean DNA under Roman and Catholic influence and a dash of Semitic Jew (as some Jews were assimilated and converted and absorbed into Christian populations over the centuries). You might also want to take into account a few waves of Slavic migration and invasion over the millenia.

You Aryans never could quite figure out who you were.... How can we oppress you if we can't identify you?


NYGuy - 10/17/2003

Translation: How to be a monkey in 20 different languages.

Brillant.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/17/2003

Well, I guess we make too much of the "southern strategy?" Discard your party's recent history when it's inconvenient if you will, but southern reaction--based on racism--is what propelled the modern GOP to power whether some of you Republicans like it or acknowledge it or not. My hunch is you like it, know it, and just won't admit it.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/17/2003

Outstanding! I now hope that all those righteous right-wing free marketeers out there will now be marching in solidarity with Bolivian peasants?

In fact, the South fought to defend a racial elite enriched by a colonial economy--export monoculture, dependence on extraterritorial capital, and servile labor.

But your sentiments would warm those anti-globalization hearts everywhere! Welcome to the club!


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Jesse,


There are more members of the KKK than you indicate--if one accepts the standards of old stuffy Conservatives (much as I am today) of yesteryear. In its earliest days the Peace Corps was sometimes referred to as the "KKK," "Kennedy's Kiddie Korps." Well, stuff them, the Peace Corps has done a great job for forty-two years & counting.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Jerry,

It is easy to identify with your great-uncles. They're my kinda people. For instance, today I retain a mild fondness for the South Vietnamese people, but an enduring hatred for the Party types, except for some of those who were soldiers as well as belonged to the Party,Giap,for example.

:-))) But as a Christian I run into problems with my hatred, admonished to pray for my enemies. Once I told a Jesuit I wasn't able to pray for Viet Communists. He said I should pray to become able to pray for them. Maybe so, but I've put that notion on the back burner for a while.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Dear F. H. Thomas,

Thank you for this interesting essay, interesting in part 'caz our family hails originally from the Lowlands, albeit there is an unrelated Highland clan of Livingstons. Perhaps a mite oddly, while unrelated, both bands stood for the Catholic & Stewart causes during the disturbances of the Reformation.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Friend Chris Stacy,

Perhaps there were, as you say, some benevolent slave owners, but the way the system operated intended as profit-making the odds would seem to dictate most slave owners weren't benevolent--excepting Washington & Jefferson, of course. :-)))


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Friend Wm Leckie,

You were flabergasted by racism's pervasiveness? Does this help explain it: Liberia's constitution stipulates that no-one except a Negro may own real property in Liberia? In short, racism isn't unique to the South. Or to the U.S.,for that matter. But then, there is good reason for that stipulation in the Liberian constitution--so that foreigners won't buy up the country.


Jerry West - 10/17/2003

-
Dave wrote:

Some folks marvel that the War Between the States yet engenders strong feelings,

JW:

My great-uncles in PA would not eat biscuits because they were southern, yet they owned property in Georgia and Florida. Go figure.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Friend Oscar Chamberlain,

It seems recent experience, in East Timor with its more than a quarter of a million lost in its secession effort, for instance, offers support for your, "people will not support secession and war over time and with their own lives without something resembling a rational reason." This assuming that the preservation of one's religious faith & one's culture is worth fighting and if necessary dying for. Although the secular mind may think not, some of us do think so.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Jerry,

This to me is one of the most interesting subjects for discussion thus far found on "HNN."

Some folks marvel that the War Between the States yet engenders strong feelings, especially Down South. That darned war cost our family dearly. As said before, four of five boys, including my father's grandfather,were KIA. Moreover, a daughter & the father of the then family died on successive days in April, 1863--at a guess by disease, but by who knows what.

Although I've lived in the South only when posted there a couple of times when a soldier I strongly oppose the deconstruction of the South's history and heritage--the attacks upon the battle flag of the Confederacy, for instance. But I'm generally not going to be in-your-face about it to someone Colored. While they have a right to resent how their ancestors were brought to these shores, the South has a right to preserve the memories of its culture, as out-of-fashion its culture is today.


Dave Livingston - 10/17/2003

Friend K. A. Shelton,

Thank you slowing down my (whilst evidently tackling two of us at once)hyperbole of "millions" to a perhaps more accurate 600,000. But does that 600,000 include civilian deaths--Sherman's brutal march to the sea, the depredations of irregulars, etc.?

Presentism? Maybe so. Nonetheless, there's no way I'd send my sons to fight for a cause I deemed dishonorable.

The complaint about racial slavery is valid, but it doesn't quite allow for cultural differences in the 19th Century & now.

Certainly,I, Lieutenant, 1st Infantry Division, Viet-Nam, 1966-7; Capt., 101st Airborne, Viet-Nam, 1969-70, agree with your contention that wars as far as the troops are concerned, aren't "about" this or that broad abstration. For the troops involved war mainly is about going home as quickly as possible, attempting to stay alive, keeping one's comrades alive, but the concepts duty and honor do fit into the equation.

On the other hand, although those on our side were no angels, it was evident the Communists were in moral terms an enemy worthy of fighting. For instance, as brutal as the South Viets were reported to be, the Communists were worse. For one thing, the Communists were in the habit of murdering our wounded, when they over-ran our aid stations.

In fact, Fr. Charles Watters, serving as a chaplain with the 173rd Airborne was of two chaplains, both Catholic priests to be awarded the Medal of Honor in 'Nam. One of the factors that led to his award was that at one point he picked a rifle dropped by a trooper & fought successfuly as an infantryman in an effort to prevent the enemy from oveer-running an aid station, as he well knew, where our boys would have been murdered had the Communists taken the aid station.

Was racial slavery really unique to the South? What about the West Indies and South America?


NYGuy - 10/17/2003

Rick,

"Apologies to all."

NYGuy

I do not accept your apologies if only for the reason that I don't believe it is necessary. You and HNN do a great job and the old idea of "possibly getting one wrong" as the basis for criticism, is in my opinion overreacting.

I know the shock with which I first saw this hate filled post and I had many ideas on how we should deal with it and I did not have a clear idea of what to do. It was not a decision to be made lightly and I am sure you and the staff of HNN had similar concerns. Knowing the problems of technology I accept your explaination of a mechanical problem and not one of ideology.

I think what is important here is that you, HNN and those who post on this board want nothing but the best in honest debate. Your response shows you agree with us and we agree with you.

I would only add that I don’t know if this is the last of this incident. Hopefully it is. But, if such hate filled posts begin to appear on HNN I think it is just as much our responsibility to say, “No, we are civilized, educated people and we will resist such hatred, just as it is for you and HNN to also demand that such hatred be stopped. We both have a vital interest in this topic and we must join together to keep this board honest.

Again, thank you for responding. I do have an interest in the China situation since I believe it foreshadows forces that will greatly determine our future.

Thank you again and the best to the hard working people at HNN.

Cheers



EDITOR'S RESPONSE - 10/17/2003

Apologies to all.

The China article was removed by accident. It is now restored to the home page.

The editor (me) was using 2 different computers to post articles. In switching from one to the other I neglected to update the home page on my hard drive when updating the Breaking News entries.

Thus did the China article disappear.

As for offensive posts. There are too many posts to review. When offensive ones come to my attention I take them down if I feel that they violate our standards, as outlined in FAQ's.

Rick Shenkman
Editor


Jerry West - 10/17/2003

-
Dave,

I assume you wrote your reply prior to reading all of the posts on the topic. My answer for the most part can be found here:

http://hnn.us/comments/20316.html

If you want to take it up from there, I'm game, but start a new thread at the bottom of the page, its easier to keep track of. :)

PS: My grandmother's uncle commanded the 31st Indiana Infantry and her father served in the regiment. Perhaps they came up against your relatives at Fort Donaldson or Shiloh or one of the the other battles in the west. Their grandmother lived in Georgia. My grandfather's father served with the 1st PA Volunteers.


NYGuy - 10/17/2003

Thank you JD,

I thing you have contributed to what is possibly a misunderstanding because of different treatment by HNN. On the more serious issue of "hatred" I thing that you, Ralph and I agree. It may be a rare agreement, but hopefully it says that we disagree on our ideas not our preducices.

In reviewing my response I hope no one thinks I was making a distinctiion between the racial content and the use of the name Hitler. Both are equally offensive and to be condemned.

Cheers and good work and I see that you got another accolade on your work from FH Thomas. Very impressive.

Cheers and all the best.

NY Guy


Jonathan Dresner - 10/16/2003

Dr. Luker,

Actually, I think what NYGuy is questioning is the fact that the China article disappeared from the HNN home page, while this article did not. I was wondering that, myself. Being in Hawai'i (six hours behind EST), I missed the entire episode, posts and removal, but the Chinese in Space article, which I had hoped would actually generate some interesting discussion of both China and space, was gone, accessible only through the archive search page. There weren't even any "COMMENT REMOVED" markers for clues (I assume, from what I'm reading, because even the name posted was offensive).


K. A. Shelton - 10/16/2003

Clearly, we could swap quotes concerning federalism all week. So let’s get started. The Preamble to the Constitution reads “We the People.” Patrick Henry may wished it to have read “We the States,” but that was why he was an anti-federalist.
I also can’t help but notice a certain contradiction in you desire that we avoid bias and presentisms. Your assertion that no one would send a child to fight and die for slavery is the epitome of presentism. I would not send a child to die for my faith, territorial expansion, or national honor (as distinct from national defense), but I have no doubt that many people at different times and places have. The point of many of the posts presented here - which you have dismissed rather than critiqued - is that antebellum Southerners very much did believe that slavery was something worth fighting and dieing for, and were not ashamed to admit it.
I would argue that wars are not novels and are rarely “about” anything, the very concept causes one to avoid more specific and useful questions. I also do not recall anyone here arguing that the Union fought for any other reason than preserve the Union, or trying to revive Lincoln as the great emancipator, that is your strawman. I have said only that Southerners believed emancipation was Lincoln’s plan. That said, one does have to understand (as Eric Foner made clear many years ago) that limiting the geographic limits of slavery was never simply about that. Both Republicans and Southerners believed that, in order to survive, slavery had to expand. Republicans hoped if it was confined, it would wither and die a peaceful, constitutional death. The Republican’s hope was the South’s nightmare. Again, the North did not fight to end slavery, but the South very definitely believed that secession was necessary to preserve slavery.
Next a few odds and ends. The “Damn Yankees will have the “of millions on their souls forever”? Correct me if I’m wrong, but the combined death total of the Civil War was roughly 600,000. Also, as to your “slavery was dieing anyway” argument, I find it interesting that Fogel is quoted endlessly by your side on nutrition, and never on his point that “the death of slavery was an act of ‘econocide’ a political execution of an immoral system at its peak of economic success.” (WC or C, p. 410) The Emancipation Proclamation did only free slaves in a limited way as a war measure, but that argument cannot be applied to the 13th amendment which abolished it everywhere after the war was effectively won.
Finally, it is unquestionably true that slavery has existed in far more times and places than the antebellum South. What was (if not unique) at least “peculiar” to that time and place was racial slavery, the belief that slavery was ordained for Africans by God and nature. This idea hardened in the Antebellum period for good reason. Slavery was both legal and ubiquitous throughout the American colonies, but colonial society was also based upon hierarchical relations of dependence: king-subject, patron-client, master-servant, etc. of which owner-was merely the most extreme form. The Revolution changed this. Every state north of Maryland and Delaware emancipated, and Virginia debated it. John Adams, John Jay, Gourvernor Morris, Benjamin Franklin and James Otis all (with varying degrees of intellectual honesty) spoke out against slavery. Washington manumitted his slaves and Jefferson . . . well Jefferson probably more wanted to be freed of his slaves than to free them, but the difficulties were there for him too. The slave trade was also put on the course to extinction. It was South Carolina and Georgia that made it clear they would not be a part of any union that threatened slavery (a threat SC carried out seventy years later). Republicanism, by removing “natural” social hierarchies between men, required the degradation of black’s humanity in order to create a new “natural” hierarchy that would permit slavery (there was even a quack doctor who made his career arguing that whites and blacks were separate species).
Now I know the counter argument is that the North emancipated because they no longer needed inefficient slave labor their industrial economy. The Lost Cause has to be the only place where reductionist Marxism still has currency. While this might work if the North had emancipated in the 1840s, and not even really then, it does not explain why a mainly agricultural north, with a spreading, overwhelmingly agricultural west, and no sudden spikes in urbanized immigration that I’m aware of, felt the need to emancipate in the years after the Revolution. Slavery was still a profitable institution, and an important labor source in states such as New York and Pennsylvania. The basic flaw is in reading the North and South into the colonial period. In the Eighteenth Century, SC looked more like the West Indies than the Chesapeake, and the distinctions between New England, New York and Pennsylvania were as great as those between them as a group and Virginia. It was the retention of slavery that defined Southern identity in an increasingly self-conscience and defensive way, and I would suggest that North as a source of identity has always existed more in the minds of Southerners than anywhere else (but perhaps that’s just tonight’s game talking).


Dave Livingston - 10/16/2003

Barbara yelps about a lynching that evidently didn't occur. Here's a story about academia some folks perhaps won't appreciate: When about my age twelve my family lived about a half block, one of those very short smalltown blocks, from the high school in a town in SE Kansas.

One day, cira 1952, a teacher in the high school did something to get himself tarred, feathered & run out-of-town.

I asked my father what the guy had done. He refused to tell me. I asked him a second time, he again refused to tell me. I knew better than to ask him a third time. Whoee! No way!
:-))). To this day, I do not know what the fellow did. Nor dio I want to know. The point is, small towns will not abide nonsense that folks in cities endure. Small town justice often is rogh & ready. Indeed, there's no doubt in my mind if that high school teacher had returned to rown for any reason, he'd been strung up.

Perhaps some here are old enough to recall in a small town in Missouri about thirty, thirty-five years ago the town bully was blown away whist sitting in his car at a stop light. His wife claimed so & so blew him away, but a dozen or so witnesses said, "That couldn't be, because he was with them at a picnic." The F.B.I. went into town to solve the case based on the premise that the bully's civil rights had been violated. As far as I know, the case remains unsolved. As said above, small towns (generally) don't abide evil or foolishness.


Dave Livingston - 10/16/2003

One way some Coloreds (Black is a generational politically correct term used mostly by youndger folks, as I learned a year or so ago, when a Liberian friend, Ph.d, U.C.L.A. rejected use of the term Black in our conversation, calling himself colored) found freedom after the war was here in the West, where evidently a lot of them became cowboys.

Still don't like the term "Colored?" As far as I know, the premier Colored civil rights group is still known as the NAACP, not the NAABP.


Dave Livingston - 10/16/2003

Jesse,

Thank you for this little breath of objrective truth. Of course, the revisionists will modify their version of reality in the holy name of "All truth is subjective," which is utter nonsense.

Those who claim the states of the South did not have the right to leave the Union argue against plain common sense. Because I join a business partnership does require me to remain a partner for life, or until the other partner(s) say I may walk away from the business. The belief the states, the creators of the creature, union, were perforce made subject to their creature once it was made flies in the face of human experience. One a citizen of the U.S. is not a creature of the state, the state does not own one. One may quit the U.S., give up one's citizenship any time, as long as one leaves its borders and gives up its protections, is outside its jurisdiction.

P.S.: I ask your pardon for my frequent typos. They derive largely to my made in haste one finger hunt & peck typing, made in haste because if kicked offline brfore typing whatever it is I lose it all and have considerable effort wasted.



K. A. Shelton - 10/16/2003

The words were Lincoln’s. My point is that a willingness to yield to the majority is necessary to democracy (again, outside of those rights specifically withheld from public interference), because the alternative is the minority holding the majority hostage by the threat of dissolving the government. Anarchy comes because there is no essential difference between a section of the country walking away when its suits it, and an individual deciding they are no longer under the laws of a government when it’s to their interest (such as when they‘ve committed a crime).
The fact that Lincoln’s name was not on the ballots in the South, was (as I understand) another case of the South’s undermining democratic processes. Even if they had, it could only have added to Lincoln’s victory (granted probably not by much), not altered the outcome of the election. Had Douglas not appeared I might have seen your point. I cannot agree, therefore, that the fact that Lincoln failed to appear on the ballot in the South made him effectively the same as George III. If you accept the legitimacy of the process (which the South did for over sixty years), then you cannot opt out merely because the decision goes the other way. The South voted in the 1860 election, long after they guaranteed the Republicans would be excluded from the ballot. They rejected the results when it became clear they had not won, not because they felt the process had been corrupted and their rights violated.
I would point to the actual language of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson wrote: “that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends [the preservation of the rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness], it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,” and that “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes . . . But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.” This is not the same thing as saying that individuals are free to enter or exit a polity based upon momentary whim or interest.
I cannot speak knowledgeably to Lord Acton, but I would suggest recent history contains more than a few examples of progressives romanticizing awful systems they have not bothered to fully understand. Also, it strikes me as teleological to interpret the Civil War in terms of post-New Deal debates over the power of the central government, puffing up the states‘ rights arguments over those concerning slavery.
I’m also enjoying this debate in its many forms.


Dave Livingston - 10/16/2003

Oh my golly, whatcha been sniffing, Jerry? These united States were established as a union of soverign states--SOVERIGN, albeit statists soon morphed thsat concept into a strong national government. The United States is a creature of the individual states. The individual states had (and have) a legal right to withdrawn from the thing they made.

The claim that slavery was the issue is refuted by the Tyrant Lincoln's Emacipation Proclaimation, by which slaves in only the South were declared free. Those held slave in Northern-held areas did not receive their freedom via the Proclaimation, which was an economic weapon of war.

In the years 1861-5 our family then farmers in Tennessee, offered up the lives of four of its five sons, who were KIA (Killed in Action) defensing the South. Anyone who thinks our family paid that price oin blood in order to keep slaves down on the farm never has had children. Nonetheless, there is some truth to the charge that as a matter of course those fighting for the South were defending slavery.

Not to defend slavery, nonetheless those who call themselves historians should be aeare that our cultural bias of today has not in relative terms long existed. There were slaves in virtually every culture, on every continent since has walked this earth. And it yet exists in The Sudan, evidently in Saudia Arabia and in other lands.

Those sweet agarian reformer, the Communists, practiced slavery in the Gulags and reportedly in camps and factories in China and North Korea at this very moment. In Islamic lands forced child labor is not uncommon. The point is, a self-righeous assumption that slavery, the South's peculiar institution, was horribly unique to the South are all wet. Evidently, if the North had just bidded its time, slavery, essentially uneconomical, would have died out in the South, but of course greedy Northern businressmen resenting competion, via tariffs instituted economic warfare against the South, forcing the South to seek relief through seccession. But the North with more manufacturing strength and manpower was able to conquer the South. The Damn Yankees will have the blood of millions on their souls forever.




NYGuy - 10/16/2003

Ralph,

I believe there is some misunderstanding. I believe I already made my outrage known in my response to the "hate filled post". It was not only the racial content but also the use of the posters calling him/herself Hitler. If this were in Germany I understand this would be a punishable crime.

What my last comment referred to then was the “authors” and how their “articles” were treated differently. Now I can grant that the message on the Civil War board was clearly visible all morning while the message on the China board had already been removed before 6 am EST today, so it is possible you may not have seen that one. The China article was published about the same date as the Civil War article, but the China article has been archived and that is the basis of my comment about the fairness to the author.

In my response to this repugnant post I also used the words hate speech and told of my anguish about how to deal with it all morning.

I do understand we may agree on some issues but I hope we can say we agree on this issue.

It is always nice to read your thoughtful remarks.

Cheers and good work.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/16/2003

I, for one, asked for the removal of the post in question. I do not believe that racial slurs need to be tolerated here, particularly as titles to posts which have nothing more to say than what is conveyed in the title. If it cannot be said in reasonable language, I'm not sure it needs to be said. I see no unfairness in that policy to the author of the article in question. Authors of articles deserve the benefit of reasoned debate in language which doesn't necessarily drive away a significant audience. The post in question was way off-subject, as were other posts elsewhere on HNN which advertised sexual enhancements.


Alec Lloyd - 10/16/2003

Mr. Leckie, do not be so sweeping in your conclusions. Many Republicans (remember us, the party of Lincoln?) don't have much use for the Glory of Old Dixie. Personally I find it immeasurably dull and have more interest in the Union commanders than the southern ones.

Part of the fascination with Lee, Jackson, etc. stems from the contradiction they embodied. Lee was perfection itself, yet he fought for a monstrous regime. This is a fascinating contradiction, and one of the reason southern generals get all the good press.

It's that simple.


Alec Lloyd - 10/16/2003

Let's face it: "Gettysburg" was a train wreck. Most Civil War reenactors laught at it and I expect "Gods and Generals" gets the same treatment. I haven't seen the film and can't even bring myself to rent it.


NYGuy - 10/16/2003

Thanks Oscar,

If nothing else the author of the article should not be punished, that is only fair. Using different criteria on different topics not only creates confusion, but raise more questions than it should.

There is no question this is not an easy problem but it does merit further discussion.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/16/2003

I agree 100%

I have trouble telling what the HNN rules are. Sometimes things disappear. At other times the offenseive comment is gutted but the name of the sender left along with a message saying that the comment was removed.

I can sympathize with HNN editors if they are simply having trouble finding a consistent way to deal with these hatemail, over-the-top libels, etc. I would have trouble, too.

But in that case, say so--and maybe set up a Forum and ask for advice.

I think it would be interesting and maybe even useful.


Ralph E. Luker - 10/16/2003

The problem with the Southern Poverty Law Center isn't that it is in any meaningful sense "extremist." It does some legitimate work. The problem with the SPLC is that it exploits decent and humane sensibilities, raises enormous amounts of money, and does precious little to have any beneficial effect in ameliorating Southern poverty. Liberals and radicals can find much more worthy organizations to remember in their wills. Morris Dees should get off the philanthropic dole.


NYGuy - 10/16/2003

Early this morning two hate messages were posted on HNN but handled in different ways.

At about 4:26 am one appeared on the site for the article on China’s first man in space flight. Instantly that article was prematurely relegated to the archives, but the vile quote remained.

Earlier about 4:15 am the same post was put on the Civil War site and allowed to be displayed all morning. There were two replies to the hate speech quote, and the article on the Civil War was not taken off and put in the archives.

This afternoon the hate posts on both articles were removed, along with any responses.

Meanwhile, the China article remains in the archives while the Civil War article is current. I believe the role of China in the world is increasing and the flight suggests both benefits and problems that we will all face in the future.

It would be interesting to know how you arrived at your decisions and if you saw fit to give then it would be interesting. But my real question is why should the China article be treated differently. It could just be a case of mechanics but I think, it should be restored if for no other reason that the author deserves that courtesy shown to others.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/16/2003

Mr. Shelton,

Your argument makes a certain amount of sense, but it should be pointed out that during the 1860 election Abraham Lincoln didn't even appear on the ballot in most Southern states. Lincoln- the Republican Party as a whole, in fact- was scarcely a more viable representative for the South than George III was for the American colonists in 1775.

Also, I simple don't see why secession inevitably would lead to despotism and anarchy (the war itself led to depotism and anarchy, but not the act of secession itself). Lord Acton, no friend of despots himself, believed that Southern secession was in fact a vindication of small-"r" republican ideals. By seceding, Southerners rejected the notion of the unitary, all-powerful central state forged by Lincoln and his European counterpart, Bismarck. And it was the all-encompassing central state that would prove to be the greatest enemy of freedom and peace in the 20th century.

By the way- lots of intelligence and cogency in this string, by everyone involved.

Jesse Lamovsky


NYGuy - 10/16/2003

FH

Just a note to say how much I enjoyed your article as well as all the points of view expressed on this subject. How intense the feelings are on this matter was brought home to me last night. But, let me digress for a moment some other history.

I was attending the presentation of a plaque by the NYC DAR to the Kosciuszko Foundation on 15 East 65th Street, which will be displayed on the entrance to the building. During the American Revolution Koscuszko played a vital part in the defenses at the Battle of Saratoga, and he helped lay out the fortifications at West Point.

One of the reasons I am digressing is that a major battle raged within the DAR on the wording for the plaque since questions were raised on how to present his rank. Was he General Kosciuszko or was it to be Brevard (Honorary) General. LTG Ambassador Edward L. Rowny, who worked with MacArthur on the planning of the Inchon invasion, presented the problems he faced when he undertook to solve this problem. He said that at first 7 historians said it was General, but one disagreed in favor of Brevard. At this point the research was expanded and resulted in a 14-page analysis of the subject. It was pointed out that there were many nuances in the report, but in the end it was decided to use General. During his presentation Ambassador Rowny spoke of the Kosciuszko memorial at West Point and another one place at the site of the former home of General Gates on the East side of Manhattan. In NYC the Kosciuszko name is most recognized for the Kosciuszko Bridge that connects Queens and Brooklyn.

Following the ceremony I searched out a friend who was a member of the Sons of the Confederacy. I told him about the disagreement on the Civil War, and learned a valuable lesson, it better to view the controversy in writing rather than in person. The feelings are very intense and the arguments are varied. Needless to say I thanked him and made a quick retreat.

My grandfather was with the 45th NY which was one of the German units on the right flank of the Union Forces that bore the brunt of Jackson’s brilliant maneuver and resulted in the German’s being harshly criticized and their abilities questioned.

I am not completely sure of what you are saying, but I think it is that we can still admire outstanding men. I agree with you on Lee and Jackson as well as on the soldiers on both sides of the war. I thought the allies gave that type of grudging admiration to the Desert Fox.

Cheers


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/16/2003

First of all, there is almost no viable Ku Klux Klan element in the United States anymore (maybe 2000 over all; an old jokes goes that half of them are gas station attendants and the other half are FBI informants). The Nazis have always been a fringe group, way beyond the pale (though from the hysteria drummed up over these groups by Morris Dees and the ADL, you'd never know it). The Klan and neo-Nazis have always been a strawman, a way for Mr. Dees to raise gobs of money from liberals who apparently quake in fear at the notion of a rising Fourth Reich right here in the USA. He then uses the cash to attack targets on the mainstream right that he considers "extremist" (which for Dees means anyone to the right of Nancy Pelosi, basically).

The SPLC has the Ludwig von Mises Foundation, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, and the Rockford Foundation listed as "extremist" groups that "spread bigotry and discredited ideas". The foolishness of these kinds of characterizations, the scare headlines (INTO THE MAINSTREAM, and a picture of Hitler on the cover of the Intelligence Report, for example)... this itself is extreme, if only extreme mendacity and foolishness. Mr. Thomas is right.


Chris Danielson - 10/16/2003

Well, the agenda comes forth I see.


F.H. Thomas - 10/16/2003


I refer to Archbishop Francis Arinze, an Ibo of remarkable intelligence and persuasive skills, possibly exceeding your own, from the most literate region (100%) in Africa. Arinze has led the Islamic-Catholic reconciliation movement for the Vatican.


David Salmanson - 10/16/2003

What makes the SPLC extremist? I know of them from their anti-Nazi and anti-Klan activities.


F.H. Thomas - 10/16/2003


My father’s family, from Pennsylvania, lost 2 young men in blue, cousins, to this evil war, and my mother’s family also lost two, in butternut, from the beautiful hills of far Southwestern Virginia, a father and his son. One could say therefore that I have no horse in the race between liberals who disparage the South, and those more sympathetic, who value and love its culture.

But these four dead had a common bond, in that all were Scotch-Irish, and for that reason I would like to weigh in, in answer to the disparagement of Lee and Jackson, and of the South generally, which the article and some respondents have ventured, and the comments upon “testosterone”, etc. clearly made by a young man who has never been to war, and has not a clue as to how it feels. Testosterone as causus belli only works in the fevered Hollywood imagination. Actual warriors are more worried about pissing themselves. Their motivation is usually to protect, the family or extended family, from a threat.

The following will be rendered in broad strokes, intentionally so, for brevity.

The Scots borderlands region is among the most fought-over in the world. The land is fertile and rolling, and the gateway to Scotland to the North. The Gaelic offshoot “Picts” (from Latin, “to paint”) who made jewelry and ornate weapons which have been found in Chinese imperial tombs, indeed went into combat with their faces painted with woad, a bright blue vegetable substance, to display their reverence to the goddess Aria. They also fought naked, except for shield and sword, and spiked their hair (ALL their hair) with lime to honor their equivalent of Helios. They notably met the Romans, and for the most part prevailed, ergo Hadrian’s wall. The Romans used a portentous word, “indomitus” (without master), to describe these valiant, fearless, and independent people. Hadrian and other Roman observers noted that the women often fought as well as the men.

Religious practice morphed into a Christian cross, with special reverence for Mary, when St Colomba and his Irish monks, accompanied by an entire invasion of an Ulster Irish tribe called the “Scotti”, sailed up the Clyde in the sixth and seventh centuries to occupy southwestern Scotland. Eventually, the two cultures merged.

Then came Norse “vikking” invasions, which despite language differences, also merged very quickly into what was once called “…this cloying and delicious culture”. When the Normans invaded England, they were inordinately lucky, in that Saxon King Alfred had just fought off a Danish invasion in the North, and his men had marched the entire length of the country and back. Because of that luck, they won against long odds, but inherited a huge problem: Scotland.

Edward I, the “Longshanks” of “Braveheart”, first sought to solve this problem by forcibly moving Welch lowlanders into the Scottish lowlands, as a buffer, in the 13th century. Among those moved in were the parents of William Wallace, (the name means “Welchman”), and many named Blackburn, Thomas, Lee, Jackson, Coulter, Doctor, Morgan, etc. Thomas, a prototypically Welch name, would not exist in Scotland had this forced migration not taken place (“The Welch Wars of Edward I”, though written from the English side, based on the chronicles, is a still good source). The transplanted Welch instantly assimilated, within one generation, with well-known results.

Edward then sought to win by fighting, which at first went as poorly for him as it had for Hadrian, a thousand years before. Eventually he won, sort of, but the problem continued until 1688. With William of Orange’s victory over King James at the Boyne in Ireland, a catastrophe for the lowland Scots ensued. William forced many lowland Scots to migrate to Northern Ireland, as a bulwark against the Catholic Irish. (Starting to sound familiar?)

This one foul act of William’s was to have momentous import to the United States.

Most of those said “to hell with this”, and as soon as they could, bought passage to America. Their names are, every one, inscribed on a great obelisk just outside of Belfast, a total of 343,000, the only place I know where you can do genealogy outdoors. This is a relatively huge population given the known tendency of the Scots to procreate abundantly. These were the Scotch-Irish, who have made such an impact upon American society, particularly the South and West. Many ended up in the north as well, where they shared influence with Germans, the second largest ethnic group, English, and others. The emigration from Ulster went on continuously until about 1724, then slowed, but the deed was done. My father’s family came over in 1707, mostly, and my mother’s in 1724, mostly. Lee’s family and Jackson’s arrived during this period.

Because of the Scottish innovation of universal literacy around 1650, these displaced people were well able to bring their culture with them intact.

Fast forward to the run-up to the Mexican war. Lee had been first in his class at West Point, and instantly mastered everything. Jackson was equally good at everything but math. He struggled because he was admitted, not having had the prerequisites. He was a genius at tactics and strategy, and picked up by intuition the importance of the little things, which mean so much, such as speed, surprise, and maneuver.

During the war, Lee performed with his usual intellectual brilliance, but Jackson was generally recognized as the most valiant American in the war. During the final assault on Mexico city, Jackson pushed his artillery battery far out onto the causeway linking the island city to the shore, under deadly fire which killed or wounded most of his men. Meanwhile, he poured cannon and grapeshot into the Mexican defenders until their line broke. At one point, Jackson, wounded, was the only man standing. This was a portent.

On to the civil war: Jackson’s defense against a numerically superior Union assault against his position at first Manassas gives him his name of “Stonewall”, and his brigade the “Stonewall brigade”. His valley campaigns were things of beauty, based upon speed, reconnaissance, maneuver, and Confederate valor. His infantry became known as “foot cavalry”, because of their ability to move 35 miles in a day, where the norm was 15-20. The extra walking led to many lives saved, for the South, and they knew it.

Jackson’s greatest achievement was the victory at Chancellorsville, which was certainly the most perfect envelopment in American military history, perhaps until MacArthur at Inchon. At a commemorative unveiling of a statue in Alabama 10 years after the war, the minister who led prayers said, “Lord, when thou didst decide that the South was not to win the war, thou hadst first to remove thy servant Stonewall”. Jackson was and is rightfully revered in the South. He was a brilliant man, tactically the most brilliant, and deserves whatever is said of him.

Lee, for his part, was less brilliant tactically, but was amazingly skilled at the cosmic balances of politics, logistics and personnel, which so bedeviled his northern counterparts.

Lee had the perfect combination when he had his dour Dutchman, Longstreet, and Jackson to call on. Longstreet was the master of the defensive battle, and Jackson the master of maneuver. Lee’s perfect gentlemanliness, and intellectual brilliance made the contrary personalities work together. His management of the War cabinet was likewise flawless, even the difficult but brilliant Judah P. Benjamin. MacClellan should have been so good. I note that, following First Manassas, Lee’s beautiful home across the river from Washington, was used as a Union cemetery in such as way that it could never again be his home, yet he never complained to anyone openly of his grief. This is the Custis-Lee mansion in the center of Arlington National Cemetery today. Like Jackson, Lee deserves the reverence, which the South conferred upon him.

These two men, and to a lesser degree Grant, Thomas, and Sheridan on the other side, perfectly exemplify their ancient traditions, which it is often easier to find in the American South than it is in Scotland today. When Jackson annihilated army after army sent against him in the Valley Campaigns, one thinks of Hadrian, Edward I, and so many others experiencing the hell of military defeat in the Scots borderlands.

This is a tradition well worth keeping alive. I have checked the targets of the original review carefully enough to understand that these SPLC extremists speak for no one, but only against the South generally. In my mind the gentleman in question should not only be dropped from his museum job, but from his day job as well. His offense? Culture war waged against the very culture, which gives him sustenance.


mike thomason - 10/16/2003

Perhaps only four people signed up to speak to the council, but many more emailed city officials demanding Ewert be didiplined or fired. There was enough pressure to get the man reprimanded and I think if he had not written a letter , fired. Oh, there was a controversy and still is, believe me!


Barbara Cornett - 10/16/2003

I am wondering why HNN decided to get involved in this situation?

According to the article stating that Ewert gets to keep his job, there were only 4 people who were supposed to speak at the city board meeting seeking to have him fired. Four whole people.

This seems like some kind of setup to me. A big stir naming Sons of the Confederacy, wild eyed neo-confederates and a southern lynch mob who were attempting to rewrite history, going after a poor, innocent historian who was only doing his job.

It certainly should give pause to wonder about the people at HNN.


David Salmanson - 10/16/2003

Can you explain why you conider the Southern Poverty Law Center extremist? They are mostly famous for shutting down various Klan and Neo-Nazi groups by winning civil judgements for victims.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/16/2003

Mr. Wright,

I certainly don't disagree with the basics of what you're saying. I think we would disagree on means, and on the power of the federal government to bring about these kinds of reconciliations (whether gov't has the legal power to do so, or even the ability to do so). I think your comment on the dangers of hagiography in history is spot on as well.

By the way, I'd like to apologize for my part in getting this exchange off to such an intemperate start.

Jesse Lamovsky




K. A. Shelton - 10/16/2003

I agree that treason is probably not the best context in which to discuss secession. I would maintain, however, that comparing a rebellion against a monarchy and highly undemocratic legislature (Parliament, with one house made up of titled aristocracy and the other elected according to a rotten borough system with an extremely exclusive property qualification), a government in which the colonies had no representation, to secession from a government where the South was over-represented by means of the senate, is deeply problematic. Ultimately, the South seceeded to avoid the results of a free and fair election (unless, of course, you count the number of ways in which the South already subverted democratic liberties and constitutional processes, such as their afore mentioned policing of the mails). Such an act is not a celebration of liberty, but (as Lincoln argued in his first inaugaral) a demand that the majority succumb to the will of the minority outside of an area protected by the mutually agreed to social contract (i.e. the constitution). Answering democratic processes with such an "I'll just take my ball and go home then," action must lead (again quoting Lincoln) either to despotism or anarchy.


Chris Danielson - 10/15/2003

The citation is on p. 145 in Time on the Cross, and refers to the Barrow plantation. The authors cite .7 whippings per hand, per year, and claim that half of all the slaves were not whipped during that two-year period. They admit that this is their only example and that reliable data is sparse, but then on the next page they decide to generalize in the absence of evidence that "some masters were brutal, even sadistic, most were not." A number of reviewers have criticized Fogel and Engerman for their use of narrow examples in their conclusions about discipline, nutrition, etc. Check JSTOR for some of these criticisms, for prominent historians like Bertram Wyatt-Brown and Herbert Gutman have criticized the books. Fogel and Engerman see the cup half full - half were not whipped. As Howard Zinn pointed out, this also means that a slave was whipped every four or five days, with the full knowledge of the other 199 on the Barrow plantation (People's History of United States, p. 168). I suppose it is how you look at it - but although we cannot quantify the psychological damage and fear that the slaves experienced from watching their fellows in bondage being flogged, does that mean it is irrelevant? I maintain that qualitiative accounts are not less relevant than quantitative accounts. As for the breakup of the marriages, do you really think enslaved families comforted themselves that they had statisitical averages on their side that rendered their dissolution unlikely? Again, the fear. A reverse could be the slave revolts of the South - they were statistically rare, but the fear of them ran deep in the white South. See Stephen Oates, The Fires of Jubilee, for example.

Your marriage comment is bizarre. Yes, slaves married. They had ceremonies, as Eugene Genovese has pointed out. However, planters gave the approval for adult slaves to marry. I do not recall that factory bosses in the North or in Europe controlled their workers' marriages. And the marriages were not legally binding - to make them legal would be to recognize that the slaves could enter a legal contract on their own, which they could not do as chattel. The lack of legality of slave marriages is one reason why so many slave husbands and wives legally married in the wake of emancipation.

Regarding religion, read Al Raboteau's book Slave Religion - there was the religion the masters imposed on their slaves and the religion they practiced in secret, which retained some African traditions and differed from white Protestant Christianity.

Regarding my comment on white violence, I see you avoided answering or even considering it as a factor in reducing the lifespan of black southerners, but some other responders raised the same point I did. My point is not did Fogel consider it in his evidence, but is it factor in reducing lifespan? I think it merits study, even if Fogel does not examine it. I also maintain that slavery was a bigger disaster for black southerners than the attempts at freedom they got during Reconstruction. The abandoment of the freedmen by the North after 1877 and the return of the white Redeemers to power in the South was the real disaster for black people.

Regarding the contest we can get into on how brutal systems were, I think that is merely an example of comparing one tragedy to another, like comparing the Middle Passage and the Holocaust. I could cite other examples to counter yours, such as the infant mortality rates (roughly 90%, using quantitative data) on antebellum rice plantations in South Carolina (William Dusinberre's Them Dark Days). This board would then become a ping-pong game of attacks, and I am not really interested in that. I do not know or care why you are making the arguments you make or whenether you have political biases that are influencing you (we all do to some degree), but my point is to remind you that fundamental differences separated free and slave labor. If you think that slavery was somehow better because of a factor like caloric intake, go right ahead. My personal hunch would be that a free laborer in 1850 or 1860 would not trade his freedom, even under a harsh capitalist economy, for enslavement. Regarding your comment on the "truth", it implies you think qunatitative studies hold a higher relevance than other data. You may believe that, and Fogel may believe that, but most historians would disagree, myself included. To paraphrase Gutman, slavery is more than just a numbers game.


Christopher L. Stacey - 10/15/2003

First of all, it seems that many who ponder the topic of slavery do not realize the breadth and scope of the literature. Secondly, I find it quite intriguing that those who wish to depict the institution as benign are quick to cite Fogel and Engerman. These same folks, who I label "modern lost causers," also have the propensity to quote William A. Dunning when discussing Reconstruction.
Yes, there were some benevolent masters, and yes, comparatively speaking (in a new world context) American slaves were better treated (diet/living conditions). But to compare their legal and social condition to that of free workers smacks too much of defending an institution long dead (George Fitzhugh made the same argument). Yes, slaves made the best of an otherwise hopeless situation, but the question you have to ask yourself is:
1. Would a poor factory worker living in a slum want to be a well-treated slave or a poor free citizen? HMMMMMMM
2. Slaves (even well-treated ones) attempted to gain their freedom every chance they got--hence, the mass exodus from plantations during the Civil War.
3. Finally, what is this continuous obsession with depicting slavery as somehow an acceptable institution? Makes one wonder.
Finally, save for one thesis (that slavery was a profitable endevor), most historians of slavery recognize that there are much more accurate, and in my opinion, reasonable interpretations of slavery available.


Jerry West - 10/15/2003

-
Jesse Lamovsky wrote:

The act of secession was not treasonous. Just as the free and independent states peaceably entered into a voluntary union in 1787, so they were free to peaceably leave the union.

JW:

I won't disagree with that using your premise. However, if one believes that the act of union created a bond greater than the mere association of sovereign states and that maintaining that bond provided greater security for all members, then breaking that bond and endangering others without their consent could be seen as treachery.

Granted we can argue whether this is the case or not, but if those who took up arms against the Union were "Americans" in the sense that is commonly used today, it is not a stretch to consider their act as treason.

Do you suppose if California or Washington or any other state were to unilaterally declare their independence from the Union today and send their forces against federal installations on their soil there would be no cries of treason from much of the rest of the country?

JL:

This was the view of the men who took the Southern states out in 1860 and 1861.

JW:

Yes, but that is only one view. What about the folks who opposed them? I seem to recall that it was characterized as a rebellion, and we do call it the Civil War more often than not.

And how do we classify those who sell national secrets to foreign powers with the sincere belief that they are actually serving the greater long term interest of the country?

Treason or no, as this discussion illustrates, may well be more relative to one's viewpoint than anything else.

JL:

The slave issue may have made an attempt at secession by Southern states inevitable. It did not, however, make the war itself inevitable.

JW:

I agree, but although it did not make it inevitable, I believe it was the root cause. Had there been no slavery, thus no hot contention over it for years before the war, would there have been a civil war in 1861?


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

You're absolutely on point here.

And I recall being amazed by something else--NOT meant to defend the South or slavery, but which struck me at the time as unusual. Not happy with Richard Wade's study of the urban slave South, I started digging into the material here in St. Louis on race relations in the 1850s. Basically the city had what might be called a "northern" large immigrant population of Irish and Germans, a stong nativist movement, and a very small black population--as I recall, about 1,400 slaves, rather more free persons of color. It was the major center for "political antislavery" and in Francis P. Blair, Jr. and B. Gratz Brown leading advocates of emancipation with colonization. For the 1960s, when not much had been unearthed about the subject, I struck gold: The documentary residue was thick, and the antislavery controversy dominated the local papers.

The state of Missouri had essentially the same codes regulating free blacks as most other southern states, its being based on Virginia statutes. Two things stood out: St. Louis had no major incidents of anti-black mob violence in a period that saw northern cities with comparable black populations experience highly destructive rioting, and the enforcement pattern of the free black statute and ordinances was highly selective, limited to transient males among whom was a group of "repeaters" associated with river commerce--indeed, most of the city's free blacks were not subject to their enforcement until a a pro-secession state legislature enacted a police reform bill for the town and the governor appointed a "secesh" police commission in the midst of the secesion crisis.

On that score, it was possible to trace the licensing of free blacks over a quarter-century, and it tended to spike at times of major antislavery debate. To summarize--I concluded that slavery had the consequence of determining black status even for workingclass immigrants, those most prone to react with violence toward blacks in northern cities with black populations as small, despite public rhetoric that would horrify modern readers. (I'll spare you quotes from memory.) My inference: In an otherwise disorderly city, slavery did maintain a perverse kind of social order that cut across social and ethnic and partisan divides among whites. Indeed, I suspect it was recognized as the most important mechanism for achieving order by both slavery's partisans and its opponents, who saw no alternative but colonization or the extinction blacks as they compared their fate explicitly to the destiny of the Indians. The city's largest slaveowners constantly suffered their wards running off, both pro- and antislavery politicians campaigned loudly on racist platforms, and yet...In fact, one can find very few episodes of social violence in St. Louis in the 1850s--one major "Know Nothing" riot--as opposed to a kind of "unfocussed" violence.

Now, St. Louis was an unusual city and I wouldn't want to generalize from it except tentatively, but it seems to me to offer a pretty good case for what was at stake in April 1861 in the minds of whites contemplating the disposition of the "peculiar institution." And why non-elite southerners fought for it. 35 years ago, I looked at that material and just revised my whole outlook on what makes the American psyche tick...


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/15/2003

Race is certainly a critical key. I should have focused more attention on it in my summary. The intense belief in the differences between races and the visceral distate for miscegenation united most southern and northern whites.

Still, it does underscore the point that non-slaveholding whites perceived advantages in slavery, advnatages they believed were based on fact.

Must pull myself from discussion for now and turn to classes on Early National period and World War II.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

Didn't mean to sting...But there are useages and ideas that seem to be in the Zeitgeist, call'em viruses or memes, though unlike Dawkins I think we're willful enough to vaccinate ourselves or seek voluntary treatment!

I also really do think race is the key to opening up the box here. I recall as a grad student being absolutely flabbergasted by its pervasiveness--race as an issue, or rather, its role in the antislavery controversy from the local level on up. It parallels southern free Negro laws and slave revolt paranoia. Free Laborites won the mayoralty here in the 1850s, marching with banners reading, "White Men for Our City and Our City for White Men." All of which is old stuff now, but back in the 60s it was rather jarring. So, too, was the recovery of urban racial violence in the antebellum North. Anyway, without racial caste and assuming the hierarchy and happy agrarian order that southern partisans seem to yearn for, there wouldn't have been much for anybody in Dixie to beat the drums for.

I shifted regional perspectives because you mentioned coming up in Texas. Once again, from up here, the fight for Texas independence is seen as a cause of liberty, inspired by Clio's whiggish advance--though Santa Ana liberated slaves on his march north, and from the perspective of Mexican history the Texan revolt was in some ways just one of several wars of national consolidation in Mexico's post-independence era, though a failure. Hey! You think that might explain Tom DeLay's and Karl Rove's efforts to create an American PRI?


K. A. Shelton - 10/15/2003

I recall reading for a class many years ago (if I were not several states away from my file cabinet, I'd dig it out) a passage from the diary of a non-slaveholding southerner, from roughly right after the 1860 election. He delivered a long description of his own nightmare of emancipation (again he clearly sees emancipation as Lincoln's intent, true or not), in which blacks and whites sit together at the same table, intermarry, etc. Even more than southern beliefs that emancipated blacks would form roving gangs of banditti, or simply wander off into the woods and leave the south laborless, the diary encapsulates the importance of slavery even to those who did not own slaves. Lincoln's famous remark (which reads so ugly today) that he did not understand why not wishing to hold a black woman as a slave necessarily meant he wished her as a wife, speaks to the same point. The ideology of racism, which united most Americans of the period, was unmaintainable to Southern eyes, without the institution of slavery. This likewise helps explain the extraordinary insult that the Confederacy felt at the Union's use of black soldiers, leading to the Fort Pillow massacre.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

Life is always complicated.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/15/2003

William,

Fun discussion. And important.

Of course there was Unionist sentiment in the South. I'm from Texas, too. Much of my mother's family came from Van Zandt county--though I don't think they were there when people in the region declared the "Free State of Van Zandt" during the Civil War. The South was not monolithic. And it became less so when a class-skewed draft was introduced in 1863.

Likewise Northern sentiment was divided, ebbing and flowing with the tide of the war and with the war's evolution to a war over slavery.

I think nearly eveyone tends to look at the antebellum South through a lens formed by later events. The best of us try to correct for it, but some distortion inevitably remains.

From my perspective, it seems best to assume that people will not support secession and war over time and with their own lives without something resembling a rational reason. And by that light, the vote of the German you mentioned was also rational. (Whether good or evil, wise or foolish is something else again.)

Many whites considered slavery less evil than coexistence with free blacks, and they considered slave ownership as a matter of (white)individual choice. That may be irrational, but given that premise, much of what follows makes sense.

I am a bit stung by the "pop consensus" label. The relationship betwen slaveholders and yeomaen was complex and dynamic. I used voting as an example to show that I did not consider the yeomen to be other the planters' thumbs not as a complete description of their society.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/15/2003

Why complicate things? Most Southern whites (the 90% or so that did not own slaves) probably fought because they felt that their land and their homes were under invasion, and they felt compelled to resist this invasion.


F.H. Thomas - 10/15/2003


God bless the man who knows how to ask the simple, obvious question. As I believe I mentioned to Mr. Danielson, both groups were cast from a tolerable life into economic hell.

One horrible statistic I can't get out of my mind was the Louisiana board mills, for building, which went from 187 prewar to 11 afterward. Over 50% of the Southern economy was annihilated.

In terms of diet, the larger drop was for the black, who had a pretty good diet before that war, and a bad one afterward. For the "poor white (t-word)" things were bad on both sides of the war, but worse afterward.

It does not look much like Uncle Tom's Cabin, does it?


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

Well, I don't want to go down the treacherous path of defining or assessing what's rational or not; behavioral economists, God bless'em, are doing a pretty fair job of analyzing just what you describe; I recall talking with an elderly German, disabled on the Eastern Front, who told me when I asked why he'd voted for Hitler, "Because he promised us jobs," and I suppose his support for the Nazis was quite rational.

In the American South I suspect that race was crucial to sustaining a Herrenvolk democracy and I also suspect more than a residuum of that mentality persists today. It might have been quite rational to participate in such a mindset, though the essentially liberal prescription you offer as a way to have expressed discontent seems pretty abstract to me, and too closely tied to the free market and "public" or "rational" choice pop consensus that seems still, alas, to be with us. Off the top of my head, I can't spin out a conclusion about electoral behavior antebellum, to my regret.

And once again, I have to stress that support in the South for secession and the Confederacy was not unanimous. Another war leader my ancestors fought under, Sam Houston, was run out of Austin because he was opposed to the deal. My library and notes are right now in transit or I'd dig out and list some recent work on resistance to the Confederacy within its domain, especially in the uplands of states like Mississippi and Alabama. Anyway, my point is that we cannot asume that the South was monolithic in its enthusiasm. You can begin to argue postwar reaction led to something like it, though, and a projecting back of it on the moonlight and magnolias. Or, as Tom Lehrer put it more accurately, "The land of the boll weevil/Where the laws/They are medieval/And the honeysuckle clutters up the vine." To greatly oversimplfy, I suspect that both popular and scholarly perception of the conflict have been shaped by post-Reconstruction reaction.

Race was not the only issue involved, either. Once again, northern labor relations played a role as well in the creation of a romantic image of the war--I find Heather Cox Richards right on target on this score.


F.H. Thomas - 10/15/2003


Thanks for catching my typo, and for your comments.

I made a search on the citation about lashes, and could not find it in the book. Could you provide the chapter (or figure)?

Regarding the other points:

"I also seem to recall that factory workers could not be sold against their will,"

I grant your point. In fact, I did grant your point. This is the obvious great criticism one makes against this reprehensible institution, material well-being notwithstanding.

"seperated from their families,"

Fogel, to my satisfaction, establishes that this was a rare occurrence. Why? Bad for morale, and bad for productivity. Unlike the Caribbean cane plantations, which treated their slaves miserably, the US South found it economically and perhaps morally better to treat them well, materially.

"or denied legal marriage"

To the contrary, marriage was central to the slave system, much supported and encouraged. The marriages were Christian, recognized, and recorded. The records later found their way into Dr. Fogel's computer tapes, where they were analyzed.

"or religious freedom,"

Freedom, perhaps not, but expression of religion was mandatory and pervasive. Most Southern whites then were as strongly religious as they are today, and thought it sinful to deny anyone, even a slave, the benefits of that religion.

"Also, did he consider that the reduction in lifespan of black Americans after the war may have been from in part from white terrorism and violence?"

Actually, he attributes it primarily to a reduction in diet from 3300 per day, in a balanced diet, to about 2300 per day, in an unbalanced diet, and to a lack of good health care. Southern Reconstruction was a disaster for black and white alike.

"It is interesting, I think, how quantitative studies and historians sometimes seem to forget that they are not dealing with numbers but actual human beings."

Indeed, but not, I believe, in this case. Fogel has a heart, as obviously do you, in spades. But his loyalty as a fine economist is to the truth.

To counter point, get a copy of "Fatal Shore", and read it one weekend. It tells the story of much greater sins than these, visited upon inmates from debtors prisons sent to Australia, with death rates of 70-75%. Imagine 200 lashes with a military flail, which had diamond shaped metal pieces, each of which lifted a chunk of flesh with every lash.

Thanks again.


mike thomason - 10/15/2003

Mr Ewert is a native Mobilian, not from New Jersey as one of his "heritage-loving" critics is. He knows this place and its people. He is not an outsider, but a southern boy, as is Dr. Wynne and many of us who are determined to defend his right of Free Speech, and history's right to accuracy. The South should have room for discussion without threats.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/15/2003

I have no desire to romanticize that war. In that we are one. It was a ghastly conflict for all the reasons you mention and more.

Nor would I want to create a new stereotype of happy white yeomen dancin' round the massa's house. If massa' ran for Congress, they were quite capable of voting against him if they did not like what he was doing.

But I don't think one can explain the war, and the willing participation of so many, as simply delusional (or simply idealistic.)

And while I like your quote about Americans being an "unsettled people," I still contend that rational reasons existed for non-slaveholding whites to support the Confederacy. And the rational can buttress the irrational (whether testosterone or a vauge unsettledness) in both conscious and half-conscious ways.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

Thanks for the elaboration, though I won't get into the matter of happy, grateful yeomen living by those paternalistic plantation owners!

But, focussing on the motivations of southern soldiers is too restrictive: Why did Union troopers fight and die also? Surely not because they were grateful to a Dickensian class they worked for! I'm inclined--avoiding speculations about the behavior of young men in large masses--to speculate that there was something deeply disturbed in in US society, that race was something of a foil for it, that--to borrow from my old mentor we were an "unsettled people."

Romanticize it all we want, the Civil War was a miserable, bloody, seedy and grim affair on both sides, nothing to cherish in civic memory, conducted with an intensity that still amazes and appalls me. Not far from where I live were prison of war camps where, to the consternation of William Torrey Harris, the school superintendant, executions were regularly carried out in sight of his schools; outstate Missouri was almost Balkan anarchy. I think we recall the war in a perverse way that developed in the late 19th century and still persists; it's nothing to celebrate.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/15/2003

More on why whites who did not own slaves fought. (I'm going to refer to these whites as yeomen just to save typing energy)

The common white bond was one factor in getting yeomen to enlist; and teenage testosterone another. A thid commonly mentioned is that most of the fighting occurred in the South, and that made yeoman feel like they were defending themselves.

However, these understate the fact that most whites in the South were pretty satisfied with the way things worked.

Taxes were low, and in at least some of the southern states, a head tax on slaves further lightened the tax load on yeomen.

While yeomen resented plantation onwners if they acted too much like superiors, the better (or smarter) of the owners helped nearby whites by marketing yeoman cash crops along with their own and by serving as sort of a rural supply depot. In short owners subsidized and eased yeoman relations with the market system. (By the way, this is one reason there were fewer large towns in the South)

Slavery also protected yeomen from copetition with free blacks. Yeoman fear of blacks combined bigotry with the fear we often see in immigration debates: that they'll take the low paying jobs, take less money for their crops and ruin the life for us.

How conscious were yeomen of all this when they enlisted? It varied, I'm sure. But they felt like they were fighting and dying for something worth the sacrifice. And that something included slavery.


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

Ms. Cornett, in brief: White males maintained their illusion of equality with the maintenance of a slave regime. And not all whites joined the Confederate Army to fight for their "rahts." There were resisters. One untold--or unabsorbed--story is the contribution of anti-Confederate militias to the demise of Dixie. Finally, you must not know many teenaged boys--they never saw a war they didn't want to fight. Unlike our contemporary neocon warriors, who never heard a shot fired, young men provide a readily available pool of cannon fodder for just about any kind of craziness. I know. I used to be one!


William H. Leckie, Jr. - 10/15/2003

I suggest that defenders of the Mobile regime--especially those more intemprate right-wingers who've commented so far--read Clement Eaton's classic Freedom of Thought Struggle in the Old South. Reading this HNN offering and the posted remarks reminded me of Yogi Berra's remark about "deja vu all over again." Now, my own southern bona fides are solid: there's a photo of Lee on my desk here, I have forebears who charged up Little Roundtop, but the unpleasant facts remain that the South--like all slave societies in the past--could not tolerate a genuine "public sphere" because it was based on a despotism of property in human beings, and its contemporary avatars still carry on the authoritarian attitudes of those of fought for the Lost Cause.

The mirror image of their position, interestingly to me, was that of the African American students I taught years ago at an inner city community college in St. Louis. They were utterly skeptical of the notion that the North went to war over slavery, and no matter how relentlessly I pressed home the anti-black hostility that fueled the political antislavery movement in the West I got into deeper trouble; how antagonism toward the plantation as "a breeder of negroes," as The Daily Missouri Democrat, their city's leading free laborite organ, put it, revealed the same nervous preoccupation with white men's rights as that of white southerners just confirmed their assumptions. They, like some of the reactionary contributors to this discussion, thought it was all just economics. What dismayed me most was my inability to convince them that, to use anconservative mantra from the 80s, "ideas matter," and that values, ideals, do, too. They were as thoroughly imbued with the half-baked, reductionist notion of rationally calculating free marketeers as any third-rate white male MBA in the 'burbs.

God and Generals isn't just an awful film: It's also part of that romanticizing of the Civil War that emerged after Reconstruction, a sentimentalizing propelled by hostility toward not just blacks but urban labor, and which really hasn't changed much since. My take on the conservative movement in the US since the Reagan years is that--exploiting reaction to the Civil Rights Movement--it has successfully nationalized much of the agenda of the post-Reconstruction South while still working out strategies to undo the consequences of major institutional consequences of equal rights for minorities; this, by the way, is one of the things that has motivated conservative school "reform" policies; we haven't come along way from the sectarian private schools that popped up all over the South after Brown v. Topeka Board.

Likewise, the hysteria in Mobile carries on that grand southern tradition of quashing anything that violates the orthodoxy of an inherently repressive regime that confiscated abolitionist literature in antebellum southern mail. Now, if the right wingers wish to advocate the integrity of an agrarian society dependent on "extraterritorial" capital to devote itself to monocrop exports produced by servile labor and sustained by violence (I am amazed they would--as one has here--alluded to how much better off slaves were than their counterparts elsewhere--U. B. Phillips lives?)--which to say, a backward colonial regime now gussied up and modernized by corporate marketing methods by such as Fox News or Limbaugh or the RNC--that's cool. But the fools who still extend the despotism of property by tarring its critics ought to also have the backbone to not whine and throw hissy fits at its opponents, and it ought to be called what it is: a regional, agrarian authoritarianism that has been nationalized and ought to be fought. One way is to restore to popular memory the southerners who actually resisted secession and organized to fight it--they hold a potential popular lesson for us all.


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/15/2003

Like Gerry Regan, I would also like to see the lifespan numbers for southern whites. However, on the surface, the conclusion that the lifespan of African-Americans who were alive at the end of the Civil War declined seems reasonable.

Hunger grew in the South in the last two years of the Civil War. There were major crop failures in 1865 and 1866. Most blacks wanted to remove themselves from the plantations, but often had no safe place to go. Many went to towns and cities. Life in what we might now call shantytowns on the edge of poor southern cities was pretty hard.

The black codes in that two year period made possible the use of black prison gangs on plantations. I don't know how many blacks were forced to serve in that manner, but the likelihood is that treatment was far worse than on a pre-war plantation.

One must also remember the terrorism campaigns that began in the late 1860s. I don't know if the numbers killed and injured would affect the statistics, but it was another terrible stress as African-Americans sought to create an equal place for themselves with little economic and political backing. Part of the price of that hardship may have been a shorter life.

Also, the 1850s was a time of considerable propserity in the South and a little of that largesse probably trickled to the slave population in the form of better clothes and a better diet. A comparison from earlier decades might lead to somewhat different conclusions.

Finally, as one of the other writers above pointed out, any comparison with factory workers must begin with a reminder of just how horrible factory conditions were. Likewise, any comparison must remind us that slavery, even under a comparatively benign master, had cruelties--both physical and mental--that went far beyond clothes and diet.


Barbara Cornett - 10/15/2003

How do you explain the fact that many people joined and fought for the confederacy who didn't own slaves?


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/15/2003

Mr. West,

The act of secession was not treasonous. Just as the free and independent states peaceably entered into a voluntary union in 1787, so they were free to peaceably leave the union. This was the view of the men who took the Southern states out in 1860 and 1861. If we are to assume that the original Constitutional arrangement between the states was not coercive in nature, we must believe that the states had (and have) the same freedom to leave the union as they had to enter the union. Therefore, neither secession, nor resistance to the Federal invasion, should be considered treasonous. And it should be pointed out that the Confederates did not attempt a Mussolini-style 'March on Washington', or a coup, or any other direct attempt to unconstitutionally change the leadership of the United States Government. That definitely would have been treason.

The institution of slavery did play a role in the decision to secede, at least on the part of the first seven departing states. At bottom, economic issues powered the initial secessions (as well as the Northern attempts to reverse them), and yes, slavery was tied in to all this. I haven't denied this before, and won't now. The slave issue may have made an attempt at secession by Southern states inevitable. It did not, however, make the war itself inevitable.


Jerry Wright - 10/15/2003

I am responding again to Mr Lamovsky, although this thread may be of some interest to others
Mr. Lamovsky,
I don't deny that there were many factors involved in the Civil War. I know the view that each state was sovereign and had come together in a voluntary association was common (and still exists). John Calhoun with his "interposition and nullification" doctrine many years before the War is an example
But no other factor has a lasting legacy from the War like racism, slavery's stunted grandchild. This is the biggest smudge on the American shield and the biggest challenge we have to get this country to live up to its ideals. We are not a homogenuous country like Japan. Our challenge is to secure the blessings of liberty for all. That, in my view, is more important than whether we honor our Confederate ancestors or not. It's harder to tell the truth about today if we soothe ourselves with past legends. Robert E Lee was a great man and so was Thomas Jefferson. Some people would like to say that Jefferson was just no damn good because he had slaves and had children by slaves. But there were great contributions that he made. He did well by the understanding of his times, and I believe he had some conscience about slavery. We've moved on a little bit but we have far to go. Making our ancestors moral paragons may be detrimental to our progress as human beings.
I value your right to speak your mind just as I value George Ewert's.
Irrelevantly, Jerry Wright


K. A. Shelton - 10/14/2003

To begin, the great thing about Mr. Thomas' remark is that it is impenetrable to debate. One could respond with citations from the various secession debates showing that it was slavery, and not the tariff, that dominated their minds, we could even go on to show (as W.C. Davis has) that the Confederacy subsequently passed roughly the same tariff that supposedly so angered the South; but all of this would be to miss the point. We already know wars are about economics. We can therefore safely dismiss the remarks of the participants (except where “real” statements of economic interest reveal themselves beneath the superstructure of culture and ideology), simply construct a plausible economic rational, and – voila – the event is explained. Also, to blame the Civil War (or more specifically Emancipation) for the fact that former slaveholders treated former slaves even worse than before is beneath contempt.
As to miss Cornett, the historical profession has such a high opinion of itself for a simple reason. At their best (though, admittedly, this is not always the case) historians formulate interpretations after donating considerable time ensconcing themselves in the surviving record of the past. Having mastered the documentary and other evidence, they apply to it methods borrowed from the social sciences and elsewhere, which seem to aid most convincingly in explaining the events and phenomena. Few historians would be so arrogant as to claim their interpretation to have ended all debate (except on fairly narrow points), but they do demand that they be challenged on the basis of new evidence and more convincing analyses. When, therefore, a critique is leveled which consists of little more than calling professional historians know-it-alls and smarty pants, they tend to not only be shocked at the anti-intellectualism (the polite term for self-important ignorance) but to dig in their own heels. Lastly, I don’t recall anyone but Ms. Cornett bringing up “backwardness” - and would not have intruded the matter otherwise. Given that she has mentioned it, however, has anyone seen where Alabama ranks in the nation in education?
Finally, my two cents on the question at hand. While the North did not fight a war to end slavery (though they did fight a war that ended slavery) the South clearly fought a war (from their prospective, the only one of use in assigning motivation) to protect and expand their peculiar institution. The secessionists purposefully eschewed the natural rights language of the Declaration of Independence (I don’t have the exact quote, but former SC congressman J. H. Hammond once referred to Jefferson’s statement of the equality of man as among the stupidest things ever written), in favor of the argument that the Constitution was a compact of the states. They did this because the latter argument, by keeping the states intact, preserved state institutions (i.e. slavery), removing the tricky issues created by returning to a state of nature. The framers of the Confederacy then (from W.C. Davis) made it nearly impossible for a state to abolish slavery within its own borders (so much for states rights). The only principles which the formation of the Confederacy held to consistently were the institution of slavery, and the maintenance of racial hierarchy.


Gerry Regan - 10/14/2003

I'd also want to look at any comparative change in the lifespan of white Southerners in that time frame before trying to draw any conclusions about the war's impact on the health of black Southerners. The thesis put forward though is thought-provoking.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/14/2003

Mr. Chamberlain,

You're points are correct, and I don't disagree that slavery, of the perceived defense of the institution, played a role in the decision of the first seven states to secede and form the Confederacy (I acknowledged as much in my opening post).

(William Sherman was serving as the superintendent of the Louisiana Military Institute at the time that state seceded, and at the time he warned his Southern friends that, without the protection of Federal laws, the South would help destroy the very insitutions it sought to defend. How right he was)

F.H. Thomas is salient in pointing out the disparities in tariffs paid by North and South. At the time, before the income tax, tariffs were the main source of revenue for the Federal government, so the status of the tariff was a contentious point indeed. South Carolina almost seceded in 1832, largely over tariff rates the state found objectionable.

Which brings us to another point- that although South Carolina was the first state to actually secede from the union, consideration of this action was not new. Representatives of the New England states seriously considered secession during the War of 1812, a war that was deeply unpopular and economically devastating to that region. Even Democratic New York mayor Fernando Wood mulled over the idea of pulling the great metropolis out of the union and setting up shop as a "free city", in the tumultuous days of 1861.


Jerry West - 10/14/2003

-
Jesse Lamovsky wrote:

The Confederate states did not commit treason, in any sense of the word. They did not attempt to overthrow the government in Washington D.C and seize power. Instead, the individual states of the South sought to peaceably leave what they saw (and what many people, North and South, saw at the time) as a voluntary union of states.

JW:

That is one way to spin it. Of course if one does not view the succession as legitimate then the taking up of arms against one's country might be considered treason.

JL:

Did the Confederate states leave the union out of a desire to protect their societies, one of the features of which was slavery? Yes. But we must remember that, ....

JW:

Was it about slavery or no? Ask the question, had there been no slavery would there have been a civil war in 1861?

Did Lincoln start the war? Ask the question, if the states had not rebelled would there have been a war?

Lincoln may have fought the war to preserve the Union, but why did the Union fracture? I will admit that my readings on the Civil War are not current, but it seems to me that the economic issues and state's rights issues had slavery at the root.

JL:

Someone could explain to me just why allowing the Confederacy to leave the voluntary union in peace and setting up their own country is such an odious concept.

JW:

It is not, but that has nothing to do with the points here.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/14/2003

Mr. Wright,

We're not simply talking about a movie review here. Had Mr. Ewert confined his review to the quality of the acting, the script, and the other cinematic merits and demerits of Gods and Generals, I doubt there would have been a problem. But he didn't. Instead he complained about the film because it didn't suit his particular ideology. Why is it so appalling to Mr. Ewert's supporters that adherents of an opposing view might take exception?

Your comment about the (supposed) African-American view of the war has zero relevance whatsoever. The war had a particular effect on the status of blacks in this country, to be sure. But stating that 'for them the war was about slavery; others who love justice would agree' has no bearing on what we're talking about. In 1863, the state of West Virginia was created as a result of the inhabitants of the western part of Virginia rejecting the secession agreed upon by their Tidewater neighbors. Should we state that the Civil War was 'fought to create West Virginia'? And no, Mr. Wright, I don't see much "justice" in invading armies burning and destroying everything in their paths, demolishing a society, killing off a quarter of Southern men of military age, and then abandoning the region and its people, black and white, to a century of penury and backwardness. Even if, almost by accident, this war of aggression freed the slaves (never mind that every other Western country freed its slaves peacefully, and an independent Confederacy probably would have done the same within a generation). And the mass rape of black women during the burning of Columbia by Sherman's army was just one instance of callous, inhumane treatment of African-Americans by the Northern invaders.

As far as your last paragraph is concerned, Mr. Wright, I invite you to hunt through any of my previous posts, looking for evidence that I smiled upon the lynchings of blacks and Jim Crow laws. Same old stuff: if you don't think annihilating the South and killing off its best and brightest was just fine and dandy, you must be some kind of racist. Not only are you slanderous, but worse, you're unoriginal. And please, save the 'good ole' states rights'stuff. I'm a Northern boy.

Jesse Lamovsky




Chris Danielson - 10/14/2003

I also recall Fogel (not Fogler) said something about a slave being whipped .7 times or some such, and seemed to think this indicated a relative lack of abuse by the slaveowner. I wonder, pray tell, how much does .7 lashes hurt? I also seem to recall that factory workers could not be sold against their will, seperated from their families, or denied legal marriage or religious freedom since they had basic rights of citizenship, which southern black slaves did not have. Also, did he consider that the reduction in lifespan of black Americans after the war may have been from in part from white terrorism and violence? It is interesting, I think, how quantitative studies and historians sometimes seem to forget that they are not dealing with numbers but actual human beings.


F.H. Thomas - 10/14/2003


Economics in one form or other caused all modern wars, and most of the ancient ones as well.

The fundamental economic conflict here was complex, but at its root was the conflict between a protectionist manufacturing North needing high tariffs to survive, and an agrarian South which could not sell its exports (Cotton, Tobacco) overseas (England and Germany) without allowing in imports from those countries. Since the North had 60% of the voters, it forced matters its way, leading to eventual secession.

In 1860, 40% of the population, in the South, was paying 70% of the federal taxes, and they knew it. These were mainly tarriffs, but I wonder what would happen if such a disparity existed today.

Cotton was the big catalyst, together with the shifting of slave populations from tobacco cultivation in Virginia and the Carolinas, further South to Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas, for cotton cultivation.

The landmark pair of books on this ecomomic reality was Prof Fogler's "Time on the Cross" and "Without Consent or Contract", for which he received the Nobel Prize in economics. They are still a compelling read. These works were controversial because they clearly showed that slaves were better off materially than Northern industrial workers, and in fact very successfully ran most large plantations, except for the overwhelming central fact that they could not leave if they wanted.

We do however, have to remember this was the time of industrial horrors described graphically by Hugo and Dickens, of systemic mistreatment of factory workers and the unemployed.

The war lowered the standard of living in the South by about 30%, and the standard of living of former slaves even more. In fact Prof Fogler tracked a reduction of 10 years in the average black lifespan - quite tragic.

Thanks to this thread for dealing with this highly nuanced situation for the most part very intelligently.


Nick Wynne - 10/14/2003

I find Ms. Cornett's allegations that "Mr Wynne's attitude is exactly the kind of thing that makes southern people dig in their heels and refuse to budge regarding situations such as this" humorous since my family has lived in the south since the mid-1770s. Why bring up a lynching? Because when I was living in Mobile, the town was aghast that a young African-American lad had been lynched. THAT WAS SOMETHING GET UPSET ABOUT AND DESERVING OF TIME AND SPACE IN NEWS MEDIA. My point is that people should be concerned about something tangible and horrible, not a squabble about such an insignificant thing as a movie review.
The ability to express an opinion--whether you disagree with it or not--is in the very finest southern/American tradition. Even southerners of the period expressed sentiments similar to those written by Mr. Ewert. That is a heritage worth protecting and projecting, not some senseless attack on an "opinion."
Ms. Cornett wants us to believe that "As a southern person I want to learn the facts about what has happened and I want history to be presented in a factual manner." God help us all when the "factual" manner goes against mythology!


Jerry Wright - 10/14/2003

Mr. Lamovsky wants both sides (many sides?) of the issue presented. We are talking about a movie review after all,
and in reading one we expect to get the reviewer's opinion.
Whether the reviewer wants to be balanced is up to him or her.
This review was published at a website of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Why were Sons/Veterans poking around there unless they were looking to be offended? I don't go to Rush Limbaugh's site or O'Reilly's because I know what I'll find there. It's not as though Mr Ewert published his "screed" in the Register. Although I don't know why he couldn't--I have read much there to offend me--but other folks have a right to their opinions although I believe a lot of them are destructive.
The Sons/Veterans apparently want free rein for their opinion, and no contrary opinions expressed, and don't have any conscience about bullying people to get their way.
I believe the average African American knows the truth: before the Civil War his ancestors were slaves, and afterwards they were not. For them the war was about slavery; others who love justice would agree.
When Reconstruction ended (because of Rutherford Hayes' unholy bargain with the state of Florida to win the Presidency)Southerners installed a kind of quasi-slavery by intimidation, depriving black citizens of voting rights and barring them from all but the most menial jobs I guess they were just exercising them good ole states rights--no animosity, no sir. And lynching--was that just an extreme exercise of states' rights, so blacks and people who believe in the Bill of Rights wouldn't miss the point? So segregation laws weren't about segregation and lynching wasn't really about lynching, and so on and so on...

Jerry Wright
My permission is granted to distribute this message


Barbara Cornett - 10/14/2003

Jesse if I could I'd reach right out into cyberspace and kiss you.


Barbara Cornett - 10/14/2003



Mr Wynne's attitude is exactly the kind of thing that makes southern people dig in their heels and refuse to budge regarding situations such as this.

No one appreciates it when people act superior and as though they alone are in possession of the truth. You will get nowhere telling people in Mobile that they must do as you suggest or else they will be considered backward by the rest of the world.

In essence what you are saying is that the people of Mobile are already considered backward by the rest of the world and it therefore makes it easy for jerks like you to bully them into going along with whatever you say.

The winners of wars are the ones who get to write the history books.

I hope Mr Ewert gets fired and sent packing. Its for his own good. He can leave the backward Mobile and head home to the very progressive New Jersey and with God's help he can stay there. I can promise you he won't be missed in Mobile.

If people in Mobile are happy then why the hell should people like Ewert and Wynne care? I am of the opinion that they do not care. They just want to lord it over other people and play the role of exalted historian. Well I'm not impressed.

Mr Wynne's comments about a lynching in Mobile is designed to make southern people feel ashamed and cowed and it is smearing the south. "A" lynching? Why would you even bring up "a" lynching? Its not as though that kind of thing happens everyday. A murder or hate crime could happen anywhere. You cannot use a horrible murder to blackmail people into doing as you wish. Would you use such an argument against the state where Matthew Shephard was murdered and accuse them of being backward?

Such horrible hate crimes are terrible things and southern people are as outraged by these acts as all other Americans and Wynne is misrepresenting the facts when he makes statements that suggest otherwise. He should get his own facts straight before he lectures anyone else.

As a southern person I want to learn the facts about what has happened and I want history to be presented in a factual manner. The bottom line here is however, I will side with the groups who want to get rid of Ewert. Why? Because I feel baited, thats why.

Netanyahu said on tv that Hollywood should make a movie about Arafat. Why do you think he said that? If Jews and others are allowed their movies and propaganda then it is the height of hypocricsy for HNN to come out here and make a big deal about Gods and Generals and I resent the hell out of it.


FIRE EWERT AND SEND HIM BACK TO NEW JERSEY!!!


Oscar Chamberlain - 10/14/2003

Certainly, the people who ordered secession did not see themselves as traitors. Whether they were traitors, in fact, I will leave to others.

Jesse makes a good point about the reason that the last four states seceded. However that still leaves the first seven. For them, the right to maintain slavery and the right to expand slavery into any territories that they chose were central to their decisions.

The compromises offered by southern representatives in the winter of 1860-61 were intended to maintain those rights by bringing the constitution closer to Calhoun's concept of Concurrent Majorities, a concept consciously intended to maintain the South's slave institutions.

Lincoln rejected this, in part because it would perpetuate slavery, mostly because he believed it would weaken the Union.

Lincold did indeed choose war to surrendering the Union as he (and a majority of northerners) understood it.

The first seven southern states chose war rather than remain within a Union in which the long-term existence of slavery was doomed. The last four chose war against the Union over war to preserve the Union.

"And the War Came."


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/14/2003

Mr. Fought,

Other Federal forts in the South were given over to state authorities without firing a shot. Robert Anderson's garrison was deployed at Fort Sumter for no good reason other than provocation, and Lincoln's insistence on resupplying the garrison was simply a way to maneuver the South Carolina- not North Carolina- militia into firing the first shots (by the way, there were no casualties during the bombing of Fort Sumter. We're not exactly talking about Pearl Harbor or September 11 here). Whereupon Lincoln and the Republicans would have their war.

The real start of the war was not the firing upon Fort Sumter anyway. The war began in earnest with Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers to crush the rebellion in the South (which pushed Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina right out of the union and into the Confederacy). During the four years of war, almost without exception, the North acted as the military aggressor, invading the South, burning farms and towns. Had it been up to the Confederate authorities, there would have been no war. The decision to prosecute the war, no matter how destructive and devisive it had become, was made in Washington D.C., not in Richmond.

And no, Mr. Fought, I don't believe that metaphysical ideals like "holding the union together" were worth the tremendous amount of physical destruction, loss of life, and bitterness that the war caused. Someone could explain to me just why allowing the Confederacy to leave the voluntary union in peace and setting up their own country is such an odious concept.

I stand by my first post. Under no definition can the secession of the states of the South be seen as treason.

Jesse Lamovsky


Barbara Cornett - 10/14/2003



Thank you for your comments Jesse.


John G. Fought - 10/14/2003

Mr. Lamovsky, pray tell us all just how and when President Lincoln started the Civil War. Many of us up North are under the impression that hostilities began when a few citizens of North Carolina (and thus of the United States)fired on Fort Sumter at about 4:30 AM on April 12, 1861, after several months of deliberate provocations, including seizure of the other United States forts around Charleston harbor, and after having rejected its commander's offer to evacuate the fort on April 15 if allowed to do so in safety, and unless newly ordered by Pres. Lincoln to remain. Anderson sent this offer to them in writing very early in the morning of the 12th, and it was read by the rebel commissioners. Perhaps you regard the continued efforts of the Lincoln administration to hold the country together as an intolerable provocation, in the same spirit that leads certain criminals to regard all victims of their aggression as 'asking for it'.


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/14/2003

First off, it should be pointed out that nobody is trying to eject George Ewert from his tenured position at South Alabama. The objection is merely over his post as director of the Museum of Mobile.

And to say the least, Mr. Ewert and his supporters are being disingenious in their protests. George Ewert is a regular contributor to the Intelligence Report, the online propaganda organ of the Southern Poverty Law Center (talk about extremist). His review of Gods and Generals was nothing but a political screed disguised as a review. Here we have a left-wing ideologue, acting as director of a museum, in the Deep South, that deals with the Civil War, that most prickly of topics. He doesn't expect to get some negative feedback from time to time? Maybe if George Ewert can't take the heat, he should exit the kitchen.

And quite frankly, I'd be interested in hearing from the other side on this issue (Mr. George and the "neo-confederates"), as well as Mr. Ewert and his allies. Of course, displaying both sides of the story would be contrary to the cherished leftist notion of "inclusiveness" (meaning, lots of different people agreeing on one issue, with contrary opinions silenced or marginalized), and it might cut against the arrogant, ignorant, and hateful groupthink evinced on this post. We couldn't have that, could we?

Jesse Lamovsky


Jesse Lamovsky - 10/14/2003

Mr. West,

The Confederate states did not commit treason, in any sense of the word. They did not attempt to overthrow the government in Washington D.C and seize power. Instead, the individual states of the South sought to peaceably leave what they saw (and what many people, North and South, saw at the time) as a voluntary union of states. As for this statement:

"Anyone who argues that the Civil war was not about slavery is either ignoring history or engaging in some pretty heavy spinning of it."

...well, that's not exactly true, either. Did the Confederate states leave the union out of a desire to protect their societies, one of the features of which was slavery? Yes. But we must remember that,

1.) The Confederacy did not start the war; Lincoln did
2.) Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee did not secede because of slavery. These states seceded in response to Lincoln's post-Sumter call for 75,000 volunteers to crush the secession movement in the South. Rather than let their blood and treasure be employed as weapons in a war of coercion against their fellow Southerners, the legislatures of these states voted to leave the union.
3. Lincoln, whose Administration started the war and continued it, deaf to Confederate peace overtures and dissention in the North, did not prosecute the war because of slavery.


John Cuepublic - 10/14/2003

Without the steadfast refusal by southern states to limit the expansion of slavery, there would not have been a Civil War. The Confederacy lost that war, and America is a better place because it lost. There is no shame in honoring the bravery of confederate soldiers but there is also no useful purpose served by attempts to restart the war with character assassinations of historians.


C. Terentius Rufus - 10/14/2003

Merely from a cinematic aspect "Gods And Generals" is a bad film.


Nick Wynne - 10/14/2003

October 15, 2003

Dear Mayor and Council Persons:

In reviewing the various articles and letters regarding the current dispute over George Ewert's review of Gods and Generals, I find it difficult to believe that the city government of Mobile has actually injected itself into what is essentially an on-going argument between two sides of an intellectual controversy. It would seem to me that any efforts of the Mayor and Council dedicated to "resolving" this dispute would be best spent on improving the economic opportunities and social/cultural conditions of the great city of Mobile. Certainly, no effort by any party will resolve this dispute. It has been going on for more than a century and will continue forever.
Mayor, I understand your consternation over the outcry generated by a city employee, but, like "family members," your employees are not always willing to submit to "parental" wishes. Sometimes members of our families actually exercise their constitutional right to free speech, regardless of the temporary anguish it causes. Despite your momentary discomfort, I would urge you to consider this entire incident as proof that Mobile is a city that can and does entertain divergent views on many subjects. As a former resident of your city, I think this kind of intellectual uproar presents the city in a much better light than the controversy that raged in the early 1980s when the city was embarrassed by a lynching. Mr. Ewert's position on the importance of slavery as a cause of the Civil War is certainly the prevailing view in the academic/scholarly community and his views would not be considered extreme by any serious student of this conflict. Indeed, as the author of several books on southern history, I would be disturbed if Mr. Ewert's position was any different. To disagree with extremists on any topic is not a good reason to be threatened with a loss of livelihood, reputation or position. Any involvement by the City of Mobile in this argument will only give credence to the stereotype of your city as a hopelessly backward, intolerant and repressive municipality.
I can only hope that you and the Council will not submit to the tyranny of an outspoken group of zealots and will not sacrifice George Ewert on the altar of the Lost Cause. I saw the movie and I thought it was pitiful. I am currently a candidate for the City Council of Rockledge, Florida. I would like to think that the South has moved past this kind of public pressure campaign that demands "a person's head for voicing disagreement." I would hate to think that my city's elected officials would stoop to getting involved in a patently apparent example of the exercise of free speech and historical self-denial.
My advice to you and the Council is to invite both parties to discuss their differences over a beer. If Mobile is to be seriously regarded as a desirable location for new residents and businesses, I think you need to take a mature, adult attitude toward this flap and treat it as it is--a intellectual disagreement. As far as I can determine, this matter is "much ado about nothing."

Thank you,


Nick Wynne, PhD
Rockledge, FL


Donna Roper - 10/14/2003

I don't understand why that movie is so sacred that NO criticism is allowed. I know a fellow who was an advisor/re-enactor for the movie who was very disappointed in the final result-- should we hunt him up and see if we can get him in trouble too?


Jerry West - 10/14/2003

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Anyone who argues that the Civil war was not about slavery is either ignoring history or engaging in some pretty heavy spinning of it.

The South should recognize the war against the Union for what it is, the most vile treason in US history, and erect statues everywhere to Grant and Lincoln for forgiving them so magnanimously.


Michael Green - 10/14/2003

I hope that all of us are aware that this is not a fringe group. There are many southerners--and some northerners--who actually believe such garbage. And what is scarier, many of them are registered voters and reproduce.

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