Coming to a Theater Near You …

OMG CSA

You wish. Some do.

I wonder why he’s not African American. After all, isn’t that what we’re told? That many, many African Americans fought for the Confederacy? Or does H. K. Edgerton play Over One Cannoli, the wise sage who will distribute encouragement and advice for $20,000 (or to have his face on another t-shirt)?

Can someone tell me whether H. K. is sitting atop a Confederate grave?

July 22, eh? Maybe this is to mark the 149th anniversary of John Bell Hood’s efforts to defend Atlanta. But we know how that movie turned out.

… followed by …

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210 thoughts on “Coming to a Theater Near You …

  1. You’ve done better, Mr. Simpson. In fact, when you stray into attempts at satire, you often fail miserably.

    • Coming from you, that’s both a real compliment and absolutely meaningless. Of course, the poster was devised by your like-hearted fellows, so I think you had better take up your complaint with them, especially as you like to sue people. We wouldn’t want you to confess to being a hypocrite, right?

      • Hmmmm. I see you’re not up for constructive criticism. OK. I was merely observing that Crossroads, as a blog, is better when you stick to the war rather than stray into these meaningless satirical swipes at people who you obviously perceive as disagreeing with your views. For me, I think attempting to smear folks who disagree with your interpretations of history, as opposed to the history itself, as neoConfederates and such does you no justice and, frankly, undermines your better work.

        You are free, of course, to take that observation for what you deem it to be worth.

          • Actually, Mr. Simpson, I enjoy your stuff that’s war related. I don’t comment but regularly read them. My only bone to pick with you is when you go off on these tangents into what can be described as modern politics.

            I note that rather than simply addressing my comments you chose to go after me personally. You certainly are free to do so because I have, without question, made mistakes that I readily admitted to making.

            I gladly accept your constructive criticism of me and you are certainly free to ignore mine, I, however, still think your war related posts are far more interesting than tilting at imaginary neoConfederates.

              • My pleasure. For what it’s worth, I’d never heard of SouthernNationalist.com until I saw your original post. I categorically reject such nonsense. I give them no more credibility than any other fringe group. By advertising for them, as I thought your original post did, you merely help them spread their nonsense. I am at a loss as to why you would want to do that.

                • Exposing what a group has to say in the light of day is not advertising for them. I would think a lawyer would know that. I suggest you worry more about what some so-called proponents of Confederate heritage say (and how it tends to cast a shadow on the whole enterprise) than getting upset with some Yankee who simply brings it to light.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing these clips from Gone With the Wind. I believe this was Atlanta after Sherman burned through it? or was he yet to come? What a gallent soldier he was. All that man needed was a match. I have read where some are trying to clean him up a bit, saying he never set all those fires.

    • Rhett and Scarlett are fleeing an Atlanta set on fire by retreating Confederates. Could you identify the fire damage committed by Sherman when he entered Savannah? And let’s not forget it was Bobby Lee’s boys who set fire to Richmond in April 1865.

      • I’m not anywhere close to being a historian not even an amateur. But I have hiked, kayaked across Georgia, stopped and took time to explore a lot of the local histories where Sherman marched. I also had ancestors that lived along the path. I have also sat many hours in the Georgia archives reading everything I could find written during and after the time the march took place by the people who were there, even writings from the Northern solders. Sherman didn’t do near the damage many people seem to think.In fact I live on the path his right wing took. There are several antebellum houses around.

        • Has it ever been said that Sherman burned every last stick of wood on his march to the sea? Of course there are antebellum homes still standing. Not every one was in his burning path. Sherman does get the credit for buring Atlanta–I just gave it to him-sadly for him, he has his reputation . Does anyone know if Sherman ever expressed any regrets for his bonfires? It escapes me, but it seems that I have read somewhere that he made such statements to Grant. It is to his credit if he did.

            • Of course, statements like that are ridiculous. I would not believe them either. No one would. No matter what you say, Sherman was an incendiary, equal to Nero. As for it being said that he ‘burned everything in this or that county’, in most cases it was true. Do you think he and his army just marched across Georgia like children playing at war? No, it was war and his mission was to do all he could to bring it to an end. The great aunt of a now dead friend stood on her front porch and shook her fist at him and told him who she was. There were West Point connections, He did not burn her home. He showed some discretion.
              It is going to take more than you folks, to change our minds. We are going nowhere. We are here to stay and love the Confederacy, warts and all. Get used to it. it gives you all something to write about. I do like to read the most notable blogs. Always wise to hear what the other folks think.

            • The following are from Chapter 12 of *War Like a Thunderbolt* by Russell Bonds who footnotes his sources. (I cannot provide page numbers because I own the Kindle version).

              The North Georgia towns of Rome, Cassville, Cartersville, Kingston, Acworth, Dig Shanty, and Marietta had been substantially if not completely destroyed.

              As for the burning of Atlanta, “eleven-twelths of the downtown area” was destroyed. “…estimates of the number of houses burned range from 3.200 to 5,000; only 400 were left standing.”

              One Wisconsin soldier wrote, “The cruelties practiced in this campaign towards citizens have been enough to blast a more sacred cause than outs. We hardly deserve success.”

                • Brooks, you must have read the comment by the soldier from Wisconsin. That is condemnation enough. He was there, saw it, noted what he thought. Surely it gave him no pleasure to say it. It has balanced the argument.

                  • I don’t see how a quote from one soldier “balances an argument,” unless one’s predisposed to credit that comment and slight others. It’s well known that Sherman’s officers and men had differing points of view on his policy of destruction and the behavior of the soldiers. After all, I have soldier quotes describing the massacre at Fort Pillow, but I don’t see those folks who claim there was no massacre stand back and say it balances the argument. They look to discredit the quote.

              • Thanks for your post. It is necessary to have a fair and balanced approach. There was a lot of piling on–re the Confederates. Sherman earned and deserved his reputation.

          • Sherman’s bark was far, far worse than his bite. But it says something about how his marches were more psychological warfare than anything else that they continue to reside in the minds and memories of many people.

            So you’re right about his reputation. It simply outstrips the reality.

            • I agree. The memory of Sherman’s burning of Atlanta and March to the Sea has steadily been exaggerated to the point where acts of destruction in Georgia during the war are incorrectly attributed to him. When Hood occupied the Atlanta defenses he ordered the destruction of a number of houses that were in the way of the breastworks; his troops also set fire to parts of the city as they were evacuating.

              I’ve heard it said that the reason no Civil War period structures exist in Atlanta is because of Sherman. But the fact is that a large proportion of Atlanta’s buildings were still standing when his armies set off for Savannah. They’ve been destroyed since the end of the war.

              I think your reference to it as psychological warfare is spot on. Sherman’s campaigns in Ga. and the Carolinas are significant for the damage they did to the Confederate psyche; they showed that the South was not invincible after all—and that her armies could not protect their own citizens. The Lost Cause reaction has been to replace the Southern antebellum belief in its military superiority with a claim to moral superiority. That’s still evident today.

            • He was da man for sure. He and Grant grasped that McClellan never did — when it becomes a war of attrition, and that was the only possible way the south could be brought to its knees, total war is the quickest way to get it over with.

        • Charles, you are right. If you haven’t read it already, there is a book published by Louisiana State University Press called “Marching with Sherman: Through Georgia and the Carolinas with the 154th New York” by Mark Dunkelman.

          http://www.amazon.com/Marching-With-Sherman-Conflicting-Dimensions/dp/0807143782/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

          The author’s great grandfather marched with Sherman, and he decided to follow the exact path of his ancestor, stopping along the way to interview everyone who had ancestors living in the path to find out their own side of the story. Actually, according to the stories of the locals along the way there was surprisingly little destruction, especially when you compare it with the movie. It was destructive, but mostly of military targets.

          My son has a agricultural development in Congo, and some of the reports he gets from his area, especially around election times, really make Sherman’s march look pretty mild. It was basically a propaganda move — and it that, it was very successful.

        • @Lovejoy, as a former resident of Georgia, I’m not really sure where you have been, but the atrocities of Sherman’s March are very evident along his path of destruction before and after Atlanta. I see you wear glasses maybe they were smudged, or you weren’t paying attention, traffic along 75 can be distracting. In Gone With The Wind, Rhett Butler even notes that the Confederates were burning the munition & military stores to keep the Yankees from getting them, now to the distortion in regards to Uncle Billy he deserves the guilt of his presence for those actions. That being said it doesn’t change the fact that Sherman’s Bummers were also a murderous, thieving, rapacious, arsonists lot as documented by their own hands and bears witness to their deprivations. From Adairsville and Rome, to Atlanta and Savannah, and lest we forget Columbia, there are numerous monuments of their destruction just following the remains of chimneys along the railroad lines and adjacent homes and communities where they passed.

          • ” but the atrocities of Sherman’s March are very evident along his path of destruction before ” Which is why there are no antebellum buildings left in Georgia.

    • The fact that he left anything behind is more than that nest of treasonous hyenas deserved. I was much more pleased how they made the capital of succession burn in South Carolina. Much better work.

      • Not all in Georgia supported secession, a lot of civilians were caught up in a political situation they didn’t create and a war they as civilians didn’t start. There were those in Georgia that didn’t support secession or the Confederacy. I think Sherman knew that and realized that after the war we would all be one nation again and have to live together once again. I don’t think Sherman saw any thing productive in an indiscriminate destruction of civilians or their property. In my opinion Sherman always seemed to see the big picture and realized how he conducted himself and his army would have an effect on not just the war but the future of the Union post war. He expressed that in several of his letters. I had two great grandfathers surrender to Sherman in NC, one in Phillips Legion cavalry and the other in the 10th Confederate cavalry. I feel as did Johnston and the other surrendering Confederates, that Sherman treated his defeated foe with respect and dignity.He also issued the surrendering Confederates rations , that was an act of respect and dignity.

        • Mr. Lovejoy, not all Virginians supported secession, either. It was not until President Lincoln called for 75,000 men to invade the south, that Vilrginia finally voted to seceed. I do believe, that had he lived, the south would not have suffered as much during reconstruction. He did want to ‘bind up the nation’s wounds.’ It would have been a battle for him, against the likes of Sumner and Stevens. .Yes, I had to learn that in sophmore E nglish in a small southern town. It was a beautiful addrews, and that is what I was taught, strange as it may seem. I never hated him. I digress.

            • Think what you will. Possibly Lincoln would not have embraced the Forrest that you perceive. Be sensible. I never said that he would. I do not agree with you about the KKK. No need to try to tell you that it was founded due to reconstruction. I had family who endured it. What the KKK became in the 20th century was quite different from its inception. I am not a part of the so called “More Confederate than Thou” group , heritage groups so named by a friend, therefore, I think I can express myself with some sanity.

              • Betty, white supremacist organizations first appeared before Congress had composed a postwar Reconstruction policy. Indeed, it was postwar violence committed by white southerners that contributed to the passing of the Reconstruction Acts in 1867 and 1868. One of the great myths of Reconstruction is that republican policy in Washington sparked white supremacist violence. It’s the other way around. Between the Black Codes and the violence against blacks in 1865 that escalated in 1866 (see Memphis, Norfolk, and New Orleans for examples), southern whites who sought to restore the old order played right into the hands of Sumner, Stevens, and others who wanted a more demanding policy … and even then, they did not get their way.

                It isn’t an issue of think what I will. It’s an issue of what’s there in the historical record. By the way, Reconstruction was fairly gentle in Virginia.

          • Betty , I was just posting what my observations on Sherman’s March to the Sea and where my research has led me. Sherman seemed mostly interested in armories and supply warehouses, not civilians. Most of the live stock complaints were from some of the larger planters.Neither Wheeler’s men or any of Sherman’s army seemed interested in taking from or molesting the smaller planters or farmers. He left the state capital building intact and other important buildings. As I said “I’m not anywhere close to being a historian not even an amateur” , just did a lot of research.

            • Charles, I am certainly no learned historian. I do love the history of the South, and ardently wish the war had never happened. As I have posted before, Southerners still tend to bristle at the mere suggestion of criticism of their ancestors. It is a Southern thing, as you must have observed, being a Southerner yourself. Re my saying I wish the war had never happened, I do not believe it was fought over slavery, although the ire that had been aroused in north and south might have been a factor. I am glad for the 13th and 14th amendments –now watch me beattacked-they are what ended slavery. This is only the opinion of a southern housewife who reads a lot of books. It was also the end of the tarriffs imposed upon the south. Let me end while I am still ahead.

          • Oddly, as we know, not all of them voted for secession even after Lincoln called for 75,000 troops in response to the treasonous attack on a U.S. military installation by those engaged in an illegal rebellion. Of course, many of the Virginians who still opposed secession from the United States lived in a certain corner of the state. And we also know how that one ultimately worked out….

            • Mr. Confoy-in answer Woyour question, ‘How do youinvade par tof the United States with A Unitedstates Army’? Well, it happened, if you want to believe tthat the seceded states were still part of the United States.

          • That should read the Virginians who agreed in with secession….because there 48 counties in western Virginia who disagreed and remained loyal to the Union….you may have heard of the resulting state.

            • Mr. Buchanan, of course I know that part of Virginia seceded, and became West Virginia. Didn’t i just say that not all Virginians were in favor of secession?

        • What you’re saying here closely matches what Marszelek said in his excellent biography of Sherman. For the most part, the really offensive depredations against civilians were committed by the bummers, who were mostly men who were AWOL from Sherman’s armies, along with some deserters from Hood’s army as well. They were a lot more brutal than Sherman wanted them to be, of course, but I think one reason he didn’t do more to stop them was because, at that moment, they were doing mainly what Sherman wanted done–taking Georgia out of the war.

    • The older movies frequently have mistakes such as those–it’s like the WWII movies made in the 1960s, like “The Battle of Britain,” where all the women sport modern hairstyles! That’s not to say that “Gone With The Wind” isn’t a great movie, of course–it’s still spectacular, even today.

      Today’s filmmakers have access to more merchants who make really accurate replicas of historical clothing and hats–even though their movies may not end up being as memorable as the old ones.

      • Of course, you have to surmount Ms. Mitchell’s misty-eyed salute to a society that was in the habit of buying and selling human beings and occasionally beating them for trying to learn how to read.

        • That’s true; Gone With The Wind certainly isn’t an accurate or complete picture of the South during that period.

          • GWTW was a romantic novel, set in the War Between the States. II did not attept to be a mighty tome of history

            • I agree Betty, I grew up in the area GWTW was about. I remember hearing the same thing. I never remember anybody claiming it was history. I remember being told numerous times and it was the belief of all I remember being a romantic novel. .

              • I’ll agree with that, too. Mitchell based her novel around stories she’d grown up with and characters she’d invented, set against the backdrop of real events that took place around those characters, as John pointed out. The resulting picture painted by it reflects how Southerners of the 1920s-30s viewed the war and that time period. Since it is a historical fiction novel, I don’t condemn GWTW for not painting the whole picture–the purpose of my earlier comment was to acknowledge the fact that it isn’t the whole portrait. My father’s family grew up in Georgia, too–in Columbus (the real home of Coca-Cola!)

            • Not the point, Betty. It painted an image – and frankly neither the novel nor the movie were accompanied by some large print disclaimer for the masses to whom they were marketed. It was set against a backdrop of real events, such as the Civil War, the reading of casualty lists from Gettysburg, and the defense and fall of Atlanta. That’s called historical fiction, meaning it blended fact and fantasy. Unfortunately, it didn’t separate from “fact” the ridiculous portrait of Plantation Land with all the happy slaves.

  3. Something needing pointed out also , in a latter part they hide up under a railroad bridge, impossible. The Western and Atlantic railroad between Atlanta and Macon via Jonesboro is built on the Gulf-Atlantic natural divide. No creeks or streams run under the tracks and there are no bridges.

  4. Russell Bond in War Like the Thunderbolt describes the making of the scene in the last video posted. This is the burning of Atlanta by the retreating Confederate troops, not Sherman. I find it odd that people complain today about the burning of Atlanta by Sherman when the Confederates were willing to do what Sherman did in order to keep Confederate goods out of the hands of the Yankees…and risking the rest of the city in the process. But then again Confederates burnt many things between Atlanta and Savannah that Sherman gets credit for…if we are to believe the primary sources…but then that is when history gets complicated and our neo-confederate hysterians cannot be confused by the primary sources.

    • I read about a case during the march in Tennille Georgia of a cotton warehouse burning. It was never decided if it were some of Sherman’s men or the drunken night watchman falling asleep with a lit pipe. On Cumberland Island Ga the planters burned their own cotton to keep it from near by Union ships.

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  6. Mr. Lovejoy, the refugees weren’t hiding under a railroad bridge. The W&A’s Southern terminus at the time was Atlanta. It ran north, not South, from there. In the escape from Atlanta scene, Rhett Butler says they will have to get to Tara by the only road the yankees haven’t cut yet — the McDonough Road, which runs South out Atlanta. There are numerous streams and creeks in that area, likely tributaries of the Flint and Ocmulgee Rivers.

    If I’m remembering correctly, the bridge is depicted as a wagon/buggy bridge in the movie. There are sound effects of rolling wagon wheels in that scene and perhaps men walking/marching — perhaps even shadows of men marching with weapons (bayonets) upright, and a wagon wheels rolling past. Although I may be remembering the shadows and sound effects from a different scene, as it was raining when the escapees hid under the bridge, so there would have been no moon to cast shadows. But then, cinematographers and lighting directors don’t always allow themselves to be hemmed in by realism…

    • Connie, I stand corrected I thought I remembered it being RR bridge, It’s been some time since I’ve seen the movie. I was raised in the Jonesboro area, but only seen the movie a few times. I have had to explain to many when visiting Jonesboro there is no real Tara. I was thinking about the old Macon and Western Railroad loop that left zero mile post and looped through what later to be called the White Hall Pass that will lead to old Mcdonough road. I have always thought that the Mcdonough road route out of Atlanta would have been the most dangerous. Of course the movie was filmed on a Hollywood set. July in Georgia can be very trying. Heat humidity, red dirt and with a good rain red mud.. :-)

    • I meant the Macon and Western Railroad not the Western and Atlantic. It latter became part of the Central of Georgia, then the Southern and now Norfolk Southern. Lot of RR names to keep up with :-)

  7. Betty, should this read WHITE southerners ?

    “As I have posted before, Southerners still tend to bristle at the mere suggestion of criticism of their ancestors.”

    • Wow!! Really?!?!?!? You have to throw up racism with every comment a southerner tries to make? Just like Betty, I am very proud of my southern ancestors that fought in the War, and I’ve done the research – they were just normal farmers that did their own work, they didn’t own a single slave, not the ancestors in western South Carolina or in Alabama, either. I even have copies of some of their letters during the War that my great-great grandmother kept, not one mention of slaves or darkies or preserving white southern way of life – they were just normal letters, so-and-so is well, we don’t get enough to eat, we miss home, send us coats or blankets, so-and-so got wounded in the last battle, etc.

      Since Mr. Simpson has also been posting about past New York Islander Stanley Cup victories, I could just as easily say “shouldn’t that read WHITE hockey players?” and make him sound just as racist. I don’t buy into all the neo-Confederate crap, especially the “Flaggers”, but I am still proud of my Confederate ancestors enough to join the UDC. I joined because I love learning about the War Between the States and I truly want to honor the memory of these Confederate men who stood up to fight for a cause they believed in, whether it was tarifs, or slavery, or not wanting the federal government tramping on your land and making war with you and your neighbors.

      Quit trying to make us all out to be n—-r-beating morons.

      • Kyle Opkoso, who really came into his own in the playoffs this year, is African-American. And, if you looked at the Edmonton bench in the 1983 clips, you would have seen Grant Fuhr, a goalie who is African-Canadian (Fuhr appears at one point when Edmonton starter Andy Moog went down).

        However, I take your point. In fact, most southern whites (including most southern whites who are interested in the Confederates in their family tree) do not abide certain behavior by extremist groups. I have often observed that one of the traits of Tony Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic is that he looks for extreme cases, leaving one to think that they are representative. That said, I’m sure we know of other cases where unrepresentative people are held up by others as representative.

        Although I wonder about the struggle within the SCV, most SCV members I know simply don’t fit the image projected by the leadership. In the case of the UDC, we;;, I’ve spoken before the East Tennessee branch, so I can’t be accused of being hostile to a group where my wife could be a member.

        • Let’s not forget about Joel Ward on the Caps, http://capitals.nhl.com/club/player.htm?id=8468208

          And Brooks is definitely right that “most southern whites (including most southern whites who are interested in the Confederates in their family tree) do not abide certain behavior by extremist groups.” This southern white with potential Confederates in his family tree considers them to be traitors just like the rest and thinks that the south got what was coming to it.

          • Mr. Confoy, I hope you keep your parts in the North or wherever you abide. You would not like us, and we certainly would not like you. Man, you are filled with hate. The WAR is over. The wounds still need binding and folks like you are no help.

            • 150 years later and their wounds still need binding? Whose wounds? Maybe if southerners had taken the John Mosby and William Mahone then we wouldn’t still be hearing this nonsense.

                • Mr. Confoy, you have only to read the posts on this blog to know of what I write. After all these years, there is still great animosity. I think Southerners have done pretty well in the past 150 years. Most of the War was fought down here–we were invaded, you see– 51 per cent on Virginia soil. You should know how the entire south was ravaged. My people made it back, with no help. No Marshall Plan. In every war since the WAR, southerners have defended this country with honor. They do like to fight. We have our heroes. The south has attracted many people fro other part of the country. They like it down here. Do you?

                  • No wonder there are still “wounds” for some people. After 150 years you still labor under the delusion that the southern states were “invaded”. It was an unlawful rebellion against the United States of America, initiated by the fiction of “secession” and the attack upon a U.S. military institution.

          • Well, we also have PK Subban, Evander Kane, Emerson Etem, Ray Emery, etc., etc., etc. In fact, this year’s first overalll draft pick may end up being Seth Jones….

          • My error. You claim to be a southern white man, Big deal. I wonder what any potential Confederates in your family branches would think of your remarks? You are a caution. (southern expression) Not to worry. I doubt there are any.

            • Not caring, my grandparents on both sides of the family were racists. The ones from the North and the ones from the South. I may still love their memory, but I never will accept their views as anything but wrong.

              • Maybe your folks were racists, and you are far superior to them, Get the idea out of your teeny brain that all of us are racists. You are the one who brought racism into this thread.

                You judgemental little cad.

              • Interesting my grand parents were southern liberals and leftist. They were also anti-Klu Klux as were my parents. Both my Georgia grand parents were born post war of confederate solders and slave owners. My Georgia grand parents because of age passed before I was born, but I did know a lot about them I remember as a child I use to find elderly people and ask questions about what I called the old days set and listen to them for hours. I had several elder great aunts and uncles still around , born 1890′s that knew my great grand fathers and other confederate vets. When asking what they said about the Civil War I got this response, “people back then didn’t take about things like that around us kids.” Only a few non war and battle related stories passed down.

          • How do you feel justified in considering them traitors when the US government never even made that claim? It wasn’t until AFTER the War thatsecession was determined to be illegal. And the federal government had imprisoned Jefferson Davis for 2 years and never charged or tried him in a court of law for treason. In fact, NO Confederate was EVER charged, tried, or found guilty of treason. So NONE of them were actually traitors according to the federal government. Are you saying that you have more insight and legal expertise than the United States judicial system?

            By the way, you shouldn’t just prune off an entire branch of your family tree just because you think there might be Confederates lurking. You may be surprised to find one of those few southern unionists – they’re fairly rare but they do exist, just like black Confederates and black hockey players. ;-)

            Plus, there was also Anson Carter and Mike Greir who played for the Caps.

              • The Confederate States of America was our country, Under President Lincoln, we were invaded, in answer to one of your previous remarks. tt was not treason when we seceeded, and was not deemed so until after the WAR ended. But why do I try to tell you history, you know it all.

                  • Mr. Watson, we do not celebrate the assassination of President Lincoln. It was a shameful and horrible thing that Boothe did. We are ashamed of it. I never fly the Confederate Battle Flag, becauseI think it belongs on Confederate graves in a Confederate cemetery. I do not agree with the Flaggers who want it on every pole in the county. You are a rude and insulting person. I will not call you a gentleman, I have read this blog, and have enjoyed it. I do feel it is a blog that should be addressed by those of a like mine. It is so easy to see the agenda.

                  • Mr. Levin, I can only say the term is a southern thing. So, then, Liincoln invaded his own country.
                    I know we must irritae you. I read how shamefully and hatefully you were addressed re your paper on visiting the Confederate Chapel. Again, that behavior is not representative of us or we or whatever. We say ‘We when we refer to the Confederacy. I know we are citizens of the USA

            • First, several Confederates were indicted for treason, including Lee himself.

              As to why these trials never came off, that appears to have been a matter of policy. Oddly enough, Andrew Johnson, who was fairly soft on white southerners in other ways, was very much a treason guy when it came to high-ranking Confederate leadership.

              Do you think O. J. Simpson killed someone? Do you think he’s a murderer? He was tried and found not guilty, so …

              Very good on the Caps.

              • Brooks, this is your blog, and you can post whatever you want, and I certainly do not have to read it, but when you compare O J. Simpson to Lee and Davis, it is just too much for me to bear. And it is not because he is black, Mr. Confoy. He was quilty as sin of murder.

                As for why the Confederates were never tried, the Federal Government did not have a case.

                • You are entitled to your opinion as to whether the federal government had a case. The government disagreed. The key issue involved whether jury nullification would prevail, as (in the eyes of some) it did in the OJ case. People need to do a little reading on the case and why it was dropped. As for Lee, thank Ulysses S. Grant that he was no tried.

                  • Strange as it may seem to you, I and many others think that General Grant offered gracious and generous terms at the surrender, Never was it more clearly portrayed that in the movie, “Lincoln.” I would assume that he had conferred with President Lincoln on those terms?
                    I think Grant was a wise man. There were bonds from their days at West Point between many of the officers, north and south. Not that that had anything to do with Grant’s decision. He knew it was right. He was very generous when the R. E.Lee Camp,No 1, Old Soldiers Home in Richmond was built.. He made $500.00 donation, at a time when his funds were low. I believe his memoirs were being published, and he drew a check against that. It has been said the he gave the pump organ in the Confederate Chapel, that I will pay on Memorial Day when the Lee-Jackson Camp N.1 has its annual program there. There were several reunions there of Union and Confederate Veterans. Seem they did better than we are doing today

  8. Secession was considered illegal at the time of the ratification of the Constitution. It was brought up multiple times as was nullification, but every time it was condemned as illegal. Unfortunately by 1861 threats involving secession had been made so many times that many people had begun to think of it as possible and that the federal government would not use force to prevent it from happening. Obviously force was used and rightfully so. Force had been threatened on multiple occasions to prevent secession, so the gamble that it would not happen failed.
    It was never a right for any state to secede and still is not without the consent of the federal government.
    The CSA was never a country. It was only a section of the country where some of its inhabitants were illegally rebelling against the lawful government of the United States. The rebellion was put down with force. Prosecuting those that committed treason was never done and I think that was a good thing. The rebellion was over and there was nothing to be gained by it. It was time to move on and heal. Unfortunately that process was delayed for several reasons.

  9. For reaction to rebellion earlier in our history look to Say’s & the Whiskey rebellions.

    The Federal government always reacted strongly rebellions…recall it was the Federal government who intervened at Harpers Ferry.

  10. It’s the Betty and Debbie show. Although, they do sound like others you have allowed to post on your blog under different names. It’s nice that Betty does realize where she is, “….Brooks, this is your blog, and you can post whatever you want,….” It’s another case of “don’t confuse me with the facts”, just let me make myself look more and more stupid. You can bet they both celebrate the date of Lincoln’s assassination and fly the CB to mourn the surrender at Appomattox. Slavery apologists at their finest !

    • Wait a moment. Debbie and Betty are welcome here. I love their passion for history. We don’t always agree, but that is just fine, and both of them are open to reason and evidence. If you disagree with them, set forth why.

      I don’t for a moment confuse them with certain other folks. Nor should you.

      Let’s turn down the heat and lower our voices. We may then be better able to listen.

      • Brooks, thank you so much. I am going to stay off for a bit, as I have already almost been ugly. Yours is an interesting blog, and I so not expect you to think as we do. Different parts of the country have different ways about them. I am sureyou have become aware of that.

        I am still going to read you, however.

      • Thank you for the gentlemanly defense Dr. Simpson. I read all sorts of material about the War – I prefer reading from the Confederate perspective due to my many ancestors and distant cousins (I like to find out where they were and what experiences they had), but I also read general and battle histories that cover both sides. I try not to get into the politics, though. Slavery was a difficult enough issue then that even the end of the War didn’t solve much in peoples’ minds or attitudes and even after the Civil Rights movement there has still been a struggle about racial issues. It’s not something I’m going to solve overnight, nor do I want to. Maybe I’m just being delusional, but I only tend to focus on the individual battles and the lives of the common soldiers. Most of my kin were privates throughout the whole war so I’m not much into just reading about the generals. I don’t try to re-fight the War or lament that the Confederacy lost. The end of slavery was a good thing for our country and the War helped to speed up the process that probably would have taken several more decades to die out on its own. But if I have an appreciation for General Forrest because of his amazing non-West-Point-trained generalship, why do I have to be labeled a “racist” because he was also a leader of the KKK after the war? If Mr. Confoy can love the memory of his grandparents without having to accept their racist views, then why can’t I be afforded the same consideration in regards to the Confederacy? I don’t try to “advance the colors”, claim that “the South was right”, or attempt to “restore the honor”, but I do try to protect the Confederate soldiers and their memorials from those who would destroy them, sweep them under the rug, and pretend that the Confederacy never existed (like the New York lawyer that’s trying to get rid of the Leesburg monument or the guy petitioning for the removal of the Stone Mountain carving). I have not attempted to attack anyone on this post, just to defend myself and my ancestors from being called “racist”. If anyone feels that they were attacked by me, then I am truly sorry. I also apologize for not knowing about the indictment of Lee and others – very few of my readings have advanced into the Reconstruction era.

        By the way, I do have an Abraham Lincoln Christmas ornament that my father-in-law gave me (from the White House collection), but I usually put it on the backside of the tree. I also have a large picture on my wall of Lincoln, McClellan and McClellan’s staff in October 1862 after the Battle of Sharpsburg. A friend, who knows nothing about the War gave it to me, but I love the picture because McClellan’s ineptness intrigues me and this makes him my favorite Union general. :-)

  11. If there’s something to be learned from the American Civil War it is that secession and war are not good ways to settle differences. War brings more change than the changes people are trying to prevent. I’m currently reading T.H. Breen’s “The Marketplace of Revolution” and there are a lot of quotes from around 1750 that could easily be said by people of any generation and era. Those that don’t like change generally are conservative and those that do like change or at least are part of the change tend to be more liberal. That is just a quick generalization.

    In any event as change was coming in an America that was debating the role of slavery within an empire of liberty, one group that steadfastly resisted change eventually embraced secession as a means to prevent the changes that would result with slavery’s expansion being checked in the American West. The other group or groups countered with war as a means of political expression although it can be pointed out that both North and South used war so pointing fingers really doesn’t do any good.

    The results were terrible. The changes feared by the South occurred beyond their wildest dreams, but massive changes also occurred in the North as well. The repercussions from that conflict are still echoing today. Here we are 150 years later and instead of using this anniversary to reinforce the hard learned lessons of that terrible and needless conflict we keep fighting it over and over.

      • You’re most welcome. I feel that we often refight the war when there is no need. The people in the past made it clear to us in 1860-61 why there was a war. For us to ignore the facts just makes the picture muddier than it should be. One thing that needs to be brought up and explored is that while the war did begin because of slavery, the men on both sides fought for all kinds of reasons that in some cases have very little if anything to do with slavery.
        While looking at a book covering how black men and women of that time viewed the war, it was clear to them that the outcome of the war would decide the fate of slavery. White men and women on both sides saw it that way as well in some cases while others did not. There just are no absolutes when it comes to why the men fought.
        Again, we’re left with a huge lesson from this war that is not being heeded in this day and age. I have often argued with people from the Tea Party and when we get past the rhetoric it is really obvious that we all have so much in common that it is really idiotic that we let the rhetoric of left/right divide us like it does.
        Another thing that we often fail to realize is that the people of the past did things for reasons they thought were perfectly acceptable in their day and age. The age of the Civil War is an alien past to us no matter how much we seek to understand it. Rather than judge the men and women of the past, we really just need to try to understand their motivations for their actions. They acted within the defined parameters of their era and there is nothing we can do to change what they did. Instead, we’re left with the repercussions of what they did and that is where we all find some common ground.

        There is no more Confederacy. There is no secession, no nullification, and no interposition. Slavery and indentured servitude has ceased to exist. Racism and bigotry while still existing are condemned in this country. Women have the greatest amount of rights in history (I’ll let the argument on complete equality go on somewhere else!). The past is the past and one day our present will be someone else’s past, and it will be just as alien to them as 1860 is to us.

        • Mr. JD, I know the Confederacy is gone. We love its memory. I say so frequently. sometimes not very nicely, that one has to be a southerner born and bred in the briar patch to feel the way we do. We are a strange mixture. I daresay that most, while loving the memory of the Confederacy are glad that slavery is ended and fervently wish it had never been.

    • Excellent comment, Jimmy Dick. Your insights into the unintended consequences of succession and war are both interesting and valid, especially so when one turns the clock back to circa 1776 and considers these points within the context of the American Revolution. I am currently reading Kevin Phillip’s 1775: A Good Year for Revolution and clearly many of the underlying political, economic and social factors which divided the United States eighty years later during the Civil War (and some to the present day) were right there at the time of its creation. Although most people today regard the Revolution as first and foremost a struggle by the inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies for freedom and independence from the British sovereign, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that in reality it was at least as much of a fight amongst colonial Americans (Civil War I, perhaps?) who were divided against one another along various fault lines which keep re-emerging later through the course of American history.

      • Good points, John. For my BA, I did my senior paper on the Loyalists of the American Revolution, in the context of how they were viewed by historians–specifically how and why those views changed between 1776 and today.

        The Revolution was perhaps more of a civil war than the 1861-65 conflict. Economic factors, as well as old ethnic, political, and social rivalries between different groups of colonists, had much to do with their allegiance to one side or the other.

        • These are solid points. If one looks primarily at the “hotbeds” of Virginia and Massachusetts, one gets a skewed perspective on the unity of the colonies in the rebellion against GB (and in each of those two colonies, there were strong mercantile/commercial interests at odds with the Mother Country). Colonies like NY, NJ, the Carolinas, and even Penn. had significant populations who resisted severing ties. And, as we know, especially in the southern colonies “neighbor feuds” flared, with groups picking a bigger “side” in the war. It truly was our first “civil war”.

          • @John Foskett—That’s all correct. In some cases, colonists even switched sides depending on whose army was currently winning in their region—this was usually where those “neighbor feuds” were a big factor. You also have the poorer Scots who settled in South Carolina’s upcountry. While they had no love for George III, they had even less for their richer neighbors in Charleston, who considered themselves socially superior.

            Quite a few middle-and upper-class merchants favored loyalty to the British because their trade depended on them–of course this would come up again in the War of 1812.

            It’s interesting that there were Loyalists of every social and economic class, and in large numbers. As far as I know, the best estimate is still the “1/3, 1/3, 1/3″ put forth by many historians: 1/3 wanted independence, 1/3 loyalists, and 1/3 might be swayed to either side.

      • There is no doubt about it that a lot of colonists used the Revolution as a means to settle old scores. There were serious class issues and grudges which often defined what side some families fought for in both the Revolution and Civil War. We should always remember that people often do what they do based on their interests. James Madison recognized this as do most really good politicians.
        Interests played a strong role in the Antebellum era in the election process which is why you saw political divisions ebb and flow. Some people blame the War on Lincoln’s election, but they don’t realize that interests shattered the unity of the Democratic Party which enabled Lincoln to win the election. When a political party is that deeply divided, it creates a vacuum for the other party (at least in more modern politics) to fill. This is nothing new and it wasn’t new in 1860 either. Just look at the Federalists in 1800.

  12. Correct, Brooks ! My apologies.

    I do object to their callous use of racist and racism. My post: Betty, should this read WHITE southerners ?

    “As I have posted before, Southerners still tend to bristle at the mere suggestion of criticism of their ancestors.”

    Elicited the following response: “Debbie Page

    Wow!! Really?!?!?!? You have to throw up racism with every comment a southerner tries to make?”

    With millions of black people in the South today, I would say she was definitely referring to WHITE southerners.

    And maybe ad hominem attacks such as this one on Michael Confoy:

    “Betty Giragosian

    Maybe your folks were racists, and you are far superior to them, Get the idea out of your teeny brain that all of us are racists. You are the one who brought racism into this thread.

    You judgemental little cad.”

    And this comment:

    “Betty Giragosian

    Why do you insist on being racist?”

    I don’t know who it was directed at !

    On the plus side she does think Grant was a wise man and Lincoln’s assassination was “…a shameful and horrible thing…” So there is some common ground ! (Even though I may be rude and insulting) :-)

    • Mr. Watson, You certainly implied racism to my female mind. . Perhaps you did not mean it. We live in an idiotic politically correct society, and every word is watched carefully. Of course, I did mean white southerners–we have always been thought to be ancestor worshippers. My question ‘why do you insist on being racist’ was not directed toward you. It was Mr. Confoy. Right now, I am replying to you, but the form says I am talking to Mr. Dick. I should have addressed my question by name. Mr. Confoy was most unpleasant. He is probably a good and decent person You can see that tempers flare over the WAR 150 years later. I have said before that I wish the WAR had never happened. I do not believe it was fought over slavery, and I do think the the 13th Amendment ended it, not the WAR, and am thankful for the 14th Amendment, that guaranteed citizenship to the former slaves-God knows their lives were difficult enough even with the 14 Amendment– Mr. Dick has just posted a fine article that I wish I could claim as my own. My apology for saying you are rude and insulting. I was mad at you. You apparently were mad at me.

      • Betty, the Civil War was fought because several states in the South attempted to secede from the Union. Why did these states make that attempt ? Have you read the Declaration of Causes (SC, MS, GA, TX) at Jim Epperson’s fine site ?

        http://civilwarcauses.org/plat.htm

        You will see their overriding reason for secession was to safeguard the institution of slavery. Lincoln may have fought to preserve the Union but the South fought to be sure slavery and their way of life would continue.

        Plus, I’m not mad at you ! :-)

  13. Mr. Confoy, “attack” is a synonym for invade, per Dictionary.com. The US Army can certainly attack — i.e., invade — a US state or states … and we might see that happen if things keep going like they are…

    kevlvn, citizenship in the Confederate States of America is not necessary for a person to identify with Confederates.

    Mr. Foskett, a society did not buy and sell human beings. A society did not beat anyone for trying to learn how to read.

    Corey, two cities — or even a few more — that burned because Confederates burned armaments or other material that would have helped the union army if they’d possessed it doesn’t begin to equate with this:
    http://mybacksass.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_24.html

    Andy Hall, I’ve seen it claimed many, many times that the north invaded the South for the purpose of freeing the slaves. People on both sides get things wrong, but only the mistakes make by pro-Confederates are deemed “ridiculous.”

    Mr. Confoy and Mr. Dick, only those who owe allegiance to the US can commit treason. Once the Southern states seceded, Southerners no longer owed allegiance to the United States. A person who does not owe allegiance to, and is at war with, the US is an *enemy*, not a traitor.

    (As an aside, the US Navy does not name its vessels after enemies OR traitors but two of its earliest nuclear subs were named the USS Robert E. Lee and the USS Stonewall Jackson. There were two other US Navy vessels named for Stonewall Jackson. (The launch program of the former depicted General Lee in his Confederate uniform, and the bow of the latter was painted with elements of the Confederate battle flag.)
    http://navsource.org/archives/08/641/0860129.jpg
    http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/photos/stonewall_jackson.jpg

    The 10th Amendment states, “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.” The powers prohibited to the states are identified in Article I, Section 10 of the US Constitution. Secession is not among them. The power to prohibit secession is not listed among the powers delegated to the United States.

    Mr. Simpson, the fact that the Southern states had been put under a military dictatorship and that lawlessness was rampant in the land also had something to do with the rise of the KKK. As former slave Prince Johnson noted, “I have seen a many patrol in my life time, but they never did have enough nerve to come on us’s place. Now the Ku Klux was different. I have ridden with them a many a time. It was the only way in them days to keep order.” http://msgw.org/slaves/johnson-prince-xslave.htm

    Mr. Lovejoy, Sherman also wrote a letter saying, “I am now satisfied that slavery is not the cause but the pretext” for “these important defections” (i.e., secession). He said secession illustrated the weakness of the government that portended violent change.

    Mr. Confoy, military hostilities ended 148 years ago, but the northern exploitation of the South extended far beyond that, and I am as incensed over what was done to the South after the was as I am about the war itself. Southerners were left holding the bag for their state government’s carpetbagger debts long after the war. This was not war debt. This was debt created by carpetbag governments after the war.

    Sharecropping, company stores, and other forms of indebtedness (economic slavery) for both blacks and whites continued for decades, even generations. One economic policy that enriched the north and kept Southern industry (and Southern workers) poor was discriminatory freight rates. It was a policy of private industry (the railroads) but it was permitted by the feds, and it took the feds to end it … in 1953. http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cescott/freight.html

    Yes, pellagra, rickets, ringworm — epidemic among both black and white in the impoverished, sharecropping, South decades after the war — is nonsense, and the Southerners who suffered them are worthy of your ridicule…at least, the white ones.

    BTW, the terms “racism” and “racist” have become meaningless, because they have been stretched to cover whatever beliefs, attitude or behavior the accuser wishes. I’ve had people tell me it’s racist for a white man to marry a white woman… Would you agree with that?

    • Your blaming the North for the South’s “poverty” after the civil war is absurd. The South was richer in 1875 than in 1860, and richer in 1900 than in 1875. It continued to fall behind the North, because while the North spent large sums on education, built great cities, engaged in commerce, improved its roads, and invented things, the South did nothing but same old, same old. That is, raising cotton, tobacco, and sugar.

      Of course, trading in all your greenbacks for confederate currency and putting all your pre-war profits in slaves didn’t help.

    • .”a society did not buy and sell human beings. A society did not beat anyone for trying to learn how to read”. Actually, Connie, none of that would have happened if the “society” hadn’t tolerated, approved, and even rewarded it. For the same reason. the Nazi death camps would never have existed if the “society” hadn’t tolerated or approved them. You’re smarter than that. I know you are.. .

  14. You can quote the 10th Amendment to Hell and back and you will never do anything to prove that it justifies secession because it does not. Secession is not allowed under the US Constitution and the ratification debates proved that. If you want to live in a country that allows secession then go find one and move to it but quit lying to people that secession is legal. That is exactly what it means…a giant lie just as moronic as the Lost Cause.

    • Don’t you know that the Constitution starts off with “We the States” and therefore the power to absolve oneself from it belongs to the state? Isn’t that what James Madison, Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor argued before Lincoln? Personally I think Jackson’s and Taylor’s solution to what they would do themselves to the nullifiers in South Carolina was the correct solution. Especially if Taylor had not insisted on fresh fruit, this might have well happened and stopped things in their track right there.

  15. Connie, the Southern states or more accurately those that fought for the South in the rebellion were traitors. They were always citizens of the United States no matter what you say they were. You have an opinion and it is wrong. You have a seriously distorted vision of American history and a really bad grasp of the US legal system. The Confederacy was never a nation and no matter how many times you say it was, you can never make it one. I suggest you stick to writing fiction. Wait, you wrote fiction all over this page. You always stick to writing fiction.

  16. Mr. Dick, if you will, please advise me of the Article, Section and Paragraph of the Constitution that delegates to the United States the power to prohibit secession and the Article, Section and Paragraph of the Constitution that prohibits secession to the states. I’m not asking what somebody said in the ratification debates — I’m asking about the Constitution itself.

    In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson established that people are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that governments are instituted to secure those rights. One right he specifically identifies is the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and create another that suits them better. (This statement — and more importantly, this right — both predates and transcends the US Constitution.) The only time that Americans attempted to exercise this right, the government that was supposed to secure it for them made brutal war on them instead.

    Is it your position that the people were endowed with this right before the USA was founded, but not afterward? That the government that is supposed to secure rights for the people is justified in depriving them of this particular right?

    • Read Article 1 and its various sections, including references to “rebellion” and “insurrections”. By the way, the AWI, which the neo-Confeds love to point to as an analogy, was a ‘rebellion” and an “insurrection”.. Read also the prohibitions in Art. 1 on the states – then connect the dots.

    • The Declaration is just what it is, a declaration of independence. It is nothing more and nothing less. The people of 1776 read it, agreed with it, and forgot it. It was only many, many years later that it was turned into something with a different meaning.
      Secession is not in the Constitution because it was clear to the people that wrote it that there would not be any secession. The power of the government comes from the people, not the states. Jefferson disagreed but if you look at the list of delegates to the Convention you’ll note that Jefferson wasn’t there. He was in Paris. Madison and Adams both told Jefferson that he was wrong about the Constitution. Interestingly, for everything that Jefferson wrote, he did something else. He used the power of the federal government in coercive manners to enforce federal laws. His strict constitutionalism went out the window fairly quickly because he found out just like every single president we have ever had found out that the Constitution doesn’t cover everything. It was never meant to. If you would study the ratification debates you would understand that.
      PS: The Constitution was ratified as is. No amendments. No conditions. No strings attached. That was the only way it could be ratified and it was done so as such. The argument that Virginia or New York put limits on the Constitution is extremely erroneous as any serious scholar will inform you.
      The Supreme Court has made it perfectly clear how secession is interpreted. It is plain as day. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but stop lying about secession being legal. It is not legal and it will not happen.

      You’re only dredging up the usual crap about secession which has been ridiculed left and right and proven to be wrong on multiple occasions. Are you that stupid that you’re going to keep repeating your same old tired and completely erroneous garbage over and over?
      You’re starting to prove Forrest Gump right, “Stupid is as stupid does.” If you insist on being wrong, that’s your choice.

      • In addition to the insightful points you and others make here, there’s the element of common sense. When an organization consists of voluntary membership whose members may withdraw, the organic documents address the right to withdraw. We see this every day in the ever active world of college sports conferences, which recognize the right of a school to withdraw and impose a financial penalty on that right. The Constitution says nothing about it. As I’ve noted, however, Art. 1 clearly authorizes measures to defeat “rebellions” and “insurrections” and bars the individual states from entering into “alliances” and “confederations”. .As I’ve also pointed out, the Declaration was an act of “rebellion”/”insurrection” by the colonies against GB. When it comes to this issue, what you get from the neo Confeds is either fiction or crickets.

  17. rcocean, could you direct me to substantiation for this (with dollar amounts) — “The South was richer in 1875 than in 1860…” A link will do, or a book title, or whatever documentation you can provide.

    Also, trading greenbacks for Confederate currency occurred before the war. I’m talking about what happened, in addition to that, after the war.

    You say, “…the North spent large sums on education, built great cities, engaged in commerce, improved its roads, and invented things, the South did nothing but same old, same old. That is, raising cotton, tobacco, and sugar.”

    The South had to rely on raising crops after the war because that was the way the “partnership” between north and South had been set up at the beginning of the republic.
    See http://www.etymonline.com/cw/economics.html
    Scroll down to the subheading,”Was the South economically backwards?” —

    “The role of the South was to devote itself to pouring out the raw material for New England’s looms and for the bulk of America’s export trade. This was laid out by Alexander Hamilton’s “Report on the Subject of Manufactures” (1791, the blueprint for young America’s economic program), and enshrined in Henry Clay’s “American System,” enacted in the mid-1820s with the support of Midwestern farmers as well as North Atlantic manufacturers.”

    These roles had held sway in both regions for generations; the South’s role wasn’t something that the region could turn on a dime, particularly when it was in a state of devastation caused by war. Remember, this “partnership” (which greatly benefited the north) was still rocking along right up until the war.

  18. And after the war…

    rcocean, did you read Professor Carole Scott’s essay on freight rate discrimination? IMO, you can’t read that objectively and conclude that blaming the north for the South’s (post-war) poverty is absurd. The reason the South continued to “fall behind” in the areas of education spending, city building, commerce, road building, and invention is largely because it was poor, very poor. And according to Scott, it stayed poor because, “Northern capitalists concentrated on the exploitation of the South’s plentiful natural resources. Northern owners of southern plants confined them to the crude processing of raw materials, shipping them North for final fabrication. Since the essence of this primitive type of industry is the payment of low wages, the South was mired in poverty.”

    Scott quotes Georgia Gov. Arnall: “…the only way the few textile mills in the South could stay in business competitively with their Northern counterparts was by paying low wages, requiring the workers to live in mill villages owned by the companies and requiring high rentals from the workers, requiring the workers to trade with the mill commissaries on credit terms which were much higher than offered by non-company stores, to use child labor and other devices….”

    Meanwhile, while blacks and whites across the South were increasingly developing nutritional deficiency diseases linked to poverty and nine year old “breaker boys” were working in West Virginia coal mines, Cornelius Vanderbilt was building “The Breakers” in Rhode Island, which no plantation house in the South could compete with for sheer ostentation, and his fellow robber barons in the northeast were ushering in the Gilded Age.

    Though Scott’s essay focuses primarily on textiles, the same discrimination in shipping applied to the steel industry in Birmingham. I don’t know how many other industries this applied to, but Scott mentions that the governor of Vermont feared that lower freight rates in the South would enable Georgia’s marble industry to destroy Vermont’s (i.e., he was afraid of fair competition and a level playing field)..

    The ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission, 1887 – 1996) permitted this discrimination, so Gov. Arnall took the South’s case to the Supreme Court in 1944. Professor Scott concludes, “…not long after the Supreme Court agreed to accept Arnall’s case, the ICC announced that it had decided that the higher rates in the South and West and higher rates between them and the Official Territory constituted undue and unreasonable prejudice and disadvantage; therefore, they violated the Interstate Commerce Act, and, in 1947, the Supreme Court upheld this decision. However, freight rate discrimination (which cost Southern shippers $28 million a year) did not end until 1952. (I earlier said 1953, but it was actually the year before).

    I was three years old when this Reconstruction-style exploitation of the South and its people ended.

  19. There are a few problems with the discussion of secession here. Obviously regions can secede and establish new countries, sometimes after violent wars, other times through negotiation. Sometimes through both war and negotiation.

    To gain international support, secession movements have typically demonstrated a history of oppression by the central government. In 19th Century writing there were volumes of discussion of the “Irish Problem” and the “Greek Problem” long before there was support for the secession movements in these countries. There was also a widespread recognition that the people of these regions suffered either discrimination or persecution within their own territory at the hands of the central government.

    In 1860 America, the year that South Carolina seceded, there is no evidence to demonstrate that white Southerners were an oppressed people. Many of the wealthiest men in America were Southerners, White Southerners occupied a disproportionate number of seats in both houses of the Congress, and eight of the previous 15 presidents were white Southerners-a number out of all proportion to their share of the total population of the United States. In addition, pro-slavery ideology gave Southern white interests a majority of the Supreme Court and White southerners had the power to block anti-slavery and other hostile legislation in the Senate. Ironically, it was only the withdrawal of white Southerners from these branches of the Federal government that provided the majorities needed to pass the XIII, XIV, XV Amendments and the Confiscation Acts and various Civil Rights Acts of the wartime and post-war eras.

    Absent a showing of a history of discrimination, secession might be justified if it can be established that a regime in power is illegitimate or particularly oppressive. At the time South Carolina seceded, the Buchanan administration was in power. It had been in power for four years without its legitimacy being questioned. While white Southerners may have objected to the election of Lincoln, they did not consider the 1860 vote a “stolen election”. In fact they denounced Lincoln’s triumph as emblematic of hostility of Northern voters to the expansion of slavery. No act taken by the Lincoln administration could have justified South Carolina’s secession for the simple fact that Lincoln was not in office when South Carolina seceded.

    Finally, even if somehow a sufficient set of causes justifying secession could be set out, they would not justify the unprovoked attack on a Federal installation such as took place at Fort Sumter. That violent act was designed to bring on war and it in fact began the Civil War. At the time, Lincoln had been in office only for a matter of weeks. He had taken no violent action against white Southerners. There had been no “Bloody Sunday”, no arrest of white Southern leaders, no assassinations of secessionists such as would usually justify a resort to deadly violence.Nor had the white Southern leadership exhausted all non-violent paths to secure their ends. In fact, the leaders of the new Confederacy viewed the use of spectacular violence as a way of forcing the hands of the white slaveholding leadership of the Upper South and Border States. The attempted slaughter of the United States soldiers at Fort Sumter was militarily unnecessary from the perspective of the the Confederate leadership, but it was politically effective “propaganda by the deed” that would unilaterally plunge the nation into war.

  20. Mr. Dick, you say secession and war as if they’re one thing, or indivisible. They are not. The Soviet republics seceded without war with the Soviet Union. If the union had let the South go in peace, there would have been no war.

    Mr. Foskett, the society you referred to as the one Margaret Mitchell wrote about was the South, Confederate society, correct? But northern society also tolerated, approved and rewarded slavery… in fact, financed it and benefited greatly from it.

    Horrific child abuse occurs in the United States. Is that because society tolerates, approves and rewards it, despite laws prohibiting it? Just because horrible things occur, that doesn’t mean society approves and rewards it. Besides, the abuses you speak of were not prevalent in slavery. Critics of the Confederacy like to focus on the abuse and portray it as if it was the whole (like your post on it did), but it wasn’t. (I’ve even had one critic say a slave was not capable of telling the difference between being raped and not being raped.)

    I would like the specific Articles, Sections and Paragraphs. The actual text prohibiting secession in those passages would be nice, too. But identifying them by Article number, Section number and the first few words of the paragraph would be sufficient.

    Mr. Young, the way I read the Declaration of Independence, the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and create another that suits them better doesn’t suddenly come into existence when a government becomes oppressive or abusive. Jefferson says governments should not be changed for light or transient reasons, yes, but he also says the right of altering or abolishing the government should be exercised when the government simply fails to secure the rights of the people.

    The Southern states wanted to leave the union. Departure, withdrawal, walking away — these are not acts of aggression. The northern states and the feds didn’t want them to leave, and fought to prevent them from leaving.

    The feds should have vacated the forts in South Carolina after the state seceded. They should have taken the money the Confederacy offered for federal property and left. Their continued presence there was intended as a provocation but the attack on Sumter killed no one and threatened not a single person in any northern state or the District of Columbia. If the federal soldiers had left, either before or after the shelling, there would have been no war — unless you want claim that the Confederate army would have chased them back to the union to start a war because they wanted war so bad?

    One thing I’ve rarely seen discussed is why the federal government and northern states even *wanted* the South to remain part of the nation. To read what northerners thought of Southerners (rich, arrogant planters, helpless slaves [even abolitionists didn't think much of black folks, if Julia Ward Howe's version of the Cornerstone speech is anything to judge by] and slow, ignorant everybody-else), seems like they would have been overjoyed to let the Southern states leave the union.

    The departure of the Southern states did not destroy the union, or even try to, as is often claimed. The remaining states could certainly have constituted a union, a united nation. It seemed to function well enough without the Southern states during the war. So why the horrific war to keep a despised part of the union in the union?

    • Go read the ratification debates and stop inventing excuses for secession. You’re lying to people about it. You’re been answered repeatedly in numerous blogs yet you still continue to lie about this subject. It was clear to the people in 1788. I’m sorry if you aren’t intelligent enough to understand this simple concept, but then all you do is write fiction.

  21. Thank you, Betty. Of course I will honor and remember Confederate soldiers, but some commenters here may be surprised that I also honor US soldiers, except for those in the union army — from the revolution to Afghanistan. I don’t always wholly support the missions their government sends them on, but I can separate the soldiers from their government’s missions, easily, although I’m told I cannot, or must not. I particularly honor the soldiers of my generation’s war, Vietnam, and I will especially remember the uncle I never knew, who the family believed for 60 years died in a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. We found out a couple of years ago his plane had been found crashed into the side of a mountain in New Guinea, and he was coming home. I was recovering from surgery at the time of his return and could not travel to north Georgia for his funeral, which I still regret.
    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/jan/31/remains-wwii-gunner-chastain-flown-home/
    http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/11244337/article-Farewell-to-World-War-II-soldier–Airman-Berthold-Chastain-is-buried

    • Of course you honor all soldiers in every war, and so do I.Interesing story about your uncle. The south has never failed to rally to the defense of our country. Have a gracious Memorial Day.

  22. There was no oppression by the North because Southerners had control of the Federal government for most of the pre Civil War period. The states rights argument is pure garbage. The party that isn’t in power always advocates for states rights then uses the power of the federal government to enforce its will on the country when it gains power. It doesn’t matter which party either. Only the Lost Cause fools believe the oppression lie.

  23. Ms. Chastain, you wrote:

    “Mr. Young, the way I read the Declaration of Independence, the right of the people to alter or abolish their government and create another that suits them better doesn’t suddenly come into existence when a government becomes oppressive or abusive. Jefferson says governments should not be changed for light or transient reasons, yes, but he also says the right of altering or abolishing the government should be exercised when the government simply fails to secure the rights of the people.”

    Whether Jefferson believed as you claim, the Declaration itself assumes a high threshold before departure is justified. The Declaration says:

    “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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.”

    So, the Declaration says that leaving the British Empire is justified because the British government had become “destructive” of the rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. It also says that the colonies had suffered a “long train” of “abuses and usurpations” which had placed the colonies under “absolute despotism.” These were a series of actions dating back nearly a decade under which the powers of colonial legislatures were taken away, charter rights were suspended, and Boston was placed under partial military rule. None of these things had been done to South Carolina at the time of its secession or to the states that formed the Confederacy at the time they created their institutions.

    The Declaration then says that “The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.” Can you really claim that the Buchanan administration had established an “absolute tyranny” over the South?

    The Declaration then gives a bill of particulars of abuses by the crown. All are pretty serious. Had anything been done to any of the seceding states by the Federal government at the time of South Carolina’s Articles of Secession that rose to the level of abuses charged in the Declaration? Here are the charges:

    ” To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
    He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
    He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

    Quite clear that the Declaration assumes a high degree of outrageous action by the central government to justify leaving the empire.

    You write: “The Southern states wanted to leave the union. Departure, withdrawal, walking away — these are not acts of aggression”. You neglect the violent attack on a Federal installation by thousands of men acting on behalf of the confederated states.

    I also note that the Declaration goes to great lengths to recount years of peaceful attempts to redress grievances. No such attempt was made with the month-old Lincoln administration before Sumter was bombarded.

  24. “rcocean, could you direct me to substantiation for this (with dollar amounts) — “The South was richer in 1875 than in 1860…” A link will do, or a book title, or whatever documentation you can provide.”

    I suggest you look at the dollar amounts brought in by the Cotton, and Tobacco crops in 1860 vs. 1875 or 1900 or at the railroad mileage in the south for those years, or agricultural statistics (Livestock owned, farm machinery, etc.). I’d provide a link if I could but there’s no one single “GNP” stat.

    “Also, trading greenbacks for Confederate currency occurred before the war. I’m talking about what happened, in addition to that, after the war.”

    But you can’t separate out what happened DURING the war and its effect on Southern prosperity after the war. I’m not talking about the damage done by the Union armies, which was rather minor, but the damage the South DID TO ITSELF. You can start by spending 4 years raising corn instead of cotton, and waging war instead of earning a wage. While the North continued to engage in commerce, build railroads, and settle the West, the South was using all its time and energy in war. You can add that the South, foolishly, plowed its pre-war profits back into slavery and real estate speculation instead of building industries and railroads. And when slavery ended, all that “Capital” was gone with the wind. Worst of all, the South exchanged all its greenbacks and US currency for confederate ones, and took wartime profits and put them in Confederate bonds. Result: the bankruptcy of Southern banks, and reduction of currency in the Postwar South to almost zero. Finally, a lot of Southerns had pre-war training in only one job: Slave management. By 1865 this job was obsolete but many didn’t have the ability or desire to get a new one. Result: A falling standard of living.

  25. Mr. Dick, is your comment about oppression addressed to me? Because I don’t think I have claimed oppression by the north before the war. If Pale Moon’s word search function is accurate, I haven’t used that word at all in this thread.

    • I can’t keep track of all the threads in this posting anymore. All you are doing is dredging up the same old garbage that has been repeatedly debunked over and over by historians, Connie. I’m just going to do what I do in my history classes. Until you provide me with real proof that rebuts what actual scholars and historians have proven with reams of primary source documents and facts don’t waste my time with inane trash.

      You waste people’s time with your lies. You never use context in your lies either. When your lies are rejected and shown to be lies you just continue to keep on saying them hoping that you will say them enough so that people believe you. You’ve certainly said them enough for you to believe them.

      One thing I’ve noticed with the Lost Cause and its supporters. They just make up garbage and spew it out. Historians spend insane amounts of time in order to develop real history while the Lost Cause crew spends about five minutes inventing fake history.

      You’ve been proven wrong by some pretty intelligent people yet you continue to be willfully ignorant.

  26. With this response to “Mr. Dick” you make my point Ms. Chastain. The Declaration of Independence lays out a long “train of abuse” by England as justification for a break. It describes substantive acts by the British government that Americans unsuccessfully sought redress for. It claims actual oppression as the cause of the war.

  27. Mr. Young I think you are looking at this through a narrower perspective than I do. It isn’t just Lincoln or Buchanan who should be considered, IMO, and not just the time period of their office. It wasn’t just the federal government that Southerners wanted to get away from, either. It was the whole north. Sectionalism had been going on for a long time.

    Not all the states issued secession declarations, but those that did (especially Georgia’s and Mississippi’s) declared the causes which impelled them to separation, and for people who aren’t too blinded by the references to slavery, there are other grievances identified in the documents that sound like very good reasons for wanting to separate.

    Another difference between the colonists and the Confederates was the type of government they were trying to separate from. I’ve never seen an explanation from anyone for why the founders, after a long, horrific war to be free of a tyrannical crown, would turn right around and put the states back into such a prison — and frankly, I don’t think they did. It looks like the states were voluntarily joining a voluntary union. I think this is what Sherman perceived as weakness that would require violence to correct. But it is only weakness to someone who believes authoritarian top-down government is superior to a voluntary alliance of free and independent states. If that’s true, why fight to leave Britain in the first place, which was apparently a very effective authoritarian top-down government?

    The attack on Sumter was not a function or component of secession. It was a response to the refusal of the federal military to leave *after* South Carolina seceded. What was the point of federal troops maintaining a presence in the fort, anyway, if not as a provocation? I mean, what other possible function would they be there to carry out, after South Carolina’s secession?

    You didn’t address my question about why the union even *wanted* to prevent the South from leaving. I would really like to hear your thoughts — or anybody’s — on that subject.

    • Ms. Chastain,

      I’ll address, in no particular order, a few of the points you raised.

      1. A simple unilateral declaration of independence has rarely created a new nation. Typically, since the progenitor state always objects to the separation, the matter is subject to negotiation, litigation, or international arbitration. The other alternative is war, which is the choice made by the white leaders of the Southern confederated states. They chose violence over more prosaic means to force the hands of fence sitting elites in slave states beyond the seven that had seceded. They wanted to use violence to galvanize men who in less violent times would have preferred to maintain the status quo by essentially blowing the status quo up. The Confederacy would have been impossible without the four post-Sumter acquisitions, and those four would likely not have joined the Confederacy without the train of events Sumter set in motion.

      2. The president takes an oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The preamble of course refers to the formation of “a more perfect union” as a principal aim of the Constitution. supporting disunion would betray this oath.

      3. Opposition to secession is at least as normal an instinct in the American as the desire to acquire new territory was. To protect itself from much stronger foreign powers, the United States needed heft.

      4. The invitations from the Confederates to European powers to intervene, in violation of the Monroe Doctrine, introduced a dangerous element that threatened to turn the Western Hemisphere back into a battleground for European ambitions.

      5. Once entropic forces were unleashed, the United States might soon be the Divided States. Why stop at two republics out of one? Soon the US could look like Germany before unification.

      6. The US had a strong anti-slavery movement. The possibility of the South capturing Cuba and extending slavery into Mexico and Central America was frightening and repugnant to many Americans.

      7. Most of the Confederacy at the time of Sumter had been acquired by the common treasure or blood of Americans. Alabama did not “join the Union” it was created by the United States out of a territory of the United States. The issue of indemnification?

      8. A seceding region never simply takes over the property of the “mother country” without risking war.

  28. rcocean, so you can’t provide me with substantiation that the South was richer in 1875 than in 1860. Telling me to look at this or that is not substantiation. Yes, a lot of the South’s wealth was a wartime loss — but the South would not have had to spend time, effort and money waging war if it had not been militarily invaded. That’s like telling a woman, “Honey, your dress wouldn’t have got dirty and torn and need to be replaced if you hadn’t fought the man who attacked and raped you and stole your purse…”

    It’s probably futile to ask, but how many were “a lot” of Southerners who had pre-war training in slave management and where can I look to verify this?

    It’s really unfortunate that you can’t provide substantiation that the South was richer in 1875 than in 1860 (or even 1865) because they would’ve had to have been enormously rich to just break even after the debt piled up by carpetbagger governments — for little to no benefit of the states and their citizens, but to considerable benefit of the carpetbagger legislators and their cronies.

    According to a speech in Congress by Rep. Daniel Voorhees of Indiana, an anti-war Copperhead, aka the “the Tall Sycamore of the Wabash,” the list below shows two figures following the name of each state, the first being the debts and liabilities of each state immediately following the war, and the second being the debts and liabilities of each state in 1872, after carpetbag rule… (In today’s era of trillion dollar debt, millions doesn’t look like much, but back then it was staggering.) If anybody has substantiation disputing these figures, I’d be happy to take a look at it.

    Alabama,
    5,939,654.87
    38,281,967.37

    Arkansas,
    4,036,952.87
    19,761,265.02

    Florida,
    221,000.00
    15,753,447.54

    Georgia,
    nominal
    50,137,500.00

    Louisiana,
    10,099,074.34
    50,540,206.91

    North Carolina,
    6,330,200.00
    34,887,467.85

    South Carolina
    5,000,000.00
    39,158,914.47

    Mississippi,
    nominal
    2,000,000.00

    Tennessee
    20,105,606.66
    45,688,263 .46

    Texas,
    nominal
    20,361,000.00

    Virginia,
    31,938,14150
    45,490,542.21

    And this is just the official plunder by carpetbag legislatures. It doesn’t include the countless vultures who descended upon a helpless, gutted South and bought up its vast, virgin forests for pennies an acre and its cotton mills, lumber mills, its business and industry for a few cents on the dollar and then paid generations of Southerners, black and white, slave wages to work them. These wage slave/taxpayers, who were paid barely enough to survive, had mountains of debt heaped upon then by carpetbagger legislators.

    Mr. Voorhees’ scathing speech about the Republican plunder of the Southern states can be found here, starting on page 382. I believe it is about fourteen pages long.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=yU4-AAAAYAAJ&pg=PA382&lpg=PA382&dq=Plunder+by+the+Republican+Party+Voorhees+March+23+1872&source=bl&ots=KVWy9_-qVW&sig=s7v5HJZuejr1HAqxgbyj5ajk3-o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bMGhUdS6Gqe70QHcroHoBQ&ved=0CDcQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Plunder%20by%20the%20Republican%20Party%20Voorhees%20March%2023%201872&f=false

    You mentioned that the north spent large sums of money on education and imply that the South did not — instead, doing the “same old, same old — raising cotton, tobacco and sugar.

    However, Rep Voorhees somehow uncovered the information that Georgia had apparently sneaked around and started an *education* fund. In the same speech, he said, “By the constitution of Georgia, the poll tax of its people is made a part of the common-school fund, and set aside as sacred to the cause of education. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars had accrued from this source when the ill-omened Legislature of 1868 convened. Before it finally adjourned this whole amount provided for the cause of learning and human progress was swept away. Not a single dollar was left. An appropriation for their own expenses placed it all in the pockets of the members, clerks and other officials. They took this money, belonging to children white and black, as pay for their own base services in the cause of universal destruction, bankruptcy and misery.”

    On the Abbeville Institute website, a document titled Reconstruction: An Overview contains this: “Henry Clay Warmoth was from Wisconsin. He was cashiered from the Union Army. He became the Reconstruction governor of Louisiana. The governor’s salary was $8,000 per year. Every year that he was governor, he banked over $100,000 in income. The carpetbag/black legislature in South Carolina quadrupled taxes on the devastated people and spent more money for cigars and whiskey for itself than the entire state budget in 1860. All of the Southern legislatures gave immense sums to private corporations for railroads that were never built. Federal courts refused to allow these debts to be repudiated and South Carolina did not finish paying off the fraudulent carpetbagger debt until 1955.”

    The barbarous war on the South, the plunder afterward, the holding the region in economic peonage for generations, the poverty, the poverty-related diseases, the official fraud, the piling up debt on generations of Southerners, the ridicule and contempt for Southerners in the nation’s popular culture — nothing justifies that. Nothing. Not secession. Not the shelling of Sumter. Not the pretended cause of freeing slaves. None of it justifies the union army’s mere presence in the South, let alone the damage done during and after the war.

    • Nice numbers. When you use context to explain them they fall into place and show that your accusation doesn’t really stand up well.
      Basically the South relied on an agricultural base built on slave labor for its wealth. The war caused industries using cotton to find other sources thus lowering the value of King Cotton. Furthermore, the Panic of 1873 devastated cotton prices yet again which is where you really start to see some problems with your numbers. Add in the ridiculous methods used in calculating taxation of the rich elites and you start to see why larger deficits were ran up. Basically the rich exempted themselves from fair taxation, but then that is nothing new in American history or for that matter world history.
      There was definitely graft and corruption but then that was going on in the North too. This was the Gilded Age when Capitalism finally shrugged off the last links of mercantilism at the expense of the working class.
      The South basically screwed itself by starting the Civil War. Had it not done so who knows what would have happened? Your analogy is as usual idiotic because the destruction of the South was in no way comparable to rape. You’re just trying to make it seem like the South was a victim when the South was the aggressor. The proper analogy would be, “You wouldn’t have got your ass kicked if you hadn’t attacked that person.”

      • Nice, short but effective. If the south had gotten the full force of what the radical Republicans wanted, perhaps they might not have been so quick to implement Jim Crow. Maybe there would not have been so much “strange fruit” hanging from the trees.

  29. Mr. Dick, I’m stating my opinion. It is not for you to say that my stating my opinion is lying. I don’t accept that something becomes truth just because some historians reach some sort of consensus about it. (I also see them disagreeing about this “truth” from time to time.) Besides, with historians (and historiographers) much of “history” is actually “interpretation” of events that nobody today witnessed; and viewed through filters and perspectives nobody back then could have had.

    I never use context? I believe I’m about the only one who has backed up my opinions in this thread with links. Little if any of the documentation (the context) I’ve asked for from others has been forthcoming.

    Mr. Young, yes, Jefferson laid out a long train of abuses on the part of the crown, but every instance of separation need not be — in fact, cannot be — identical to the reasons why the colonies separated from Britain. It is up to the people seceding to decide whether their reasons are sufficient. (And the entity they seek to separate from will most assuredly disagree, regardless of how sufficient the reasons seem to those seeking separation.) Moreover, the secession of the Southern states was not merely over what had happened in the past and what was happening at the time, but for the “long train of abuses” it portended for the future. (“Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it,” said Mississippi’s document.)

    • You never use context. You invent things or just rehash the same old garbage over and over again when you’ve been shown what it correct. Your facts are usually not facts. The few good ones you present stand out of context. No one can give you want you want to hear so you refuse to accept the truth.
      Again, learn some actual history instead of the Lost Cause lie and you might figure out where you’re wrong. Until then stop lying to people. Yes, I say lie because when someone ignores factual based evidence in favor of fiction and tries to pass the fiction to others as truth, then that person is lying.

      You are a liar.

      • WOW–Mr.JD–I might as well admit it–I am so old that I am still shocked to see it written that a man calls a woman a liar–

        • When a woman like Connie says nothing that is based in truth and says everything that is incorrect and keeps repeating the false statements over and over again despite the fact that she has been proven wrong every single time on multiple blogs by a lot of people you have to just say the obvious.
          Connie Chastain is a liar. At this point I’m beginning to doubt her sanity so I may have to amend that in the future to saying she is suffering some kind of delusion rendering her incapable of taking care of herself and hopefully she will be getting the mental care she obviously needs before she harms others.

        • Betty: Welcome it as fair and equal treatment. I believe that a lady ought to be paid the going rate if she’s as qualified as any man doing her job, ought to have an equal opportunity to be elected President, ought to be called a genius if she discovers a cure for cancer, and ought to be called a liar if she’s lying about something..

    • To leave the United States before Lincoln even took took office because of the ““long train of abuses” it portended for the future” is not to cite actual abuses, as Jefferson did, but to fantasize. Starting a war over an “anticipatory breach” seems inhuman.

  30. Mr. Dick. The context of the numbers is carpetbagger legislatures who used their time in office to enrich themselves — massively — at the expense of several future generations of Southern taxpayers who, at the same time, were being deliberately impoverished by post-war economic policies designed to stifle the development and growth of Southern industry.

    If the Southern army had jackbooted over the north, burning cities by the dozen, and factories and homes and barns and crops in the field and killing livestock, if Southern soldiers had swarmed through every state in the north stealing everything from food to jewelry to silverware, you could call the South the aggressor. As it was, there were thousands of battles from minor skirmishes to days-long heavy combat, and virtually all of them were on Southern soil. The vast majority of the soldiers who made war on the Confederacy were from elsewhere; they came to a region and to states where they did not live to kill the people who lived there and devastate their land. Confederates were defenders fighting an invader.

    The union was the aggressor, because the response to Sumter (which killed nobody and neither harmed nor threatened a single soul in any northern state) — i.e., total war — was massively incomprehensible overkill. Whatever misfortune the South brought on itself, it was minor compared to the deliberate and prodigious destruction of the union army and the policies and of the federal government and northern industry.

    I’m still hoping somebody will address my question of why the north even wanted the South to remain in the union — why they weren’t overjoyed to see the Southern states secede and thus remove the stain of slavery from the righteous union. Would you mind answering that? Anyone?

    • Ms. Chastain, you wrote:
      “I’m still hoping somebody will address my question of why the north even wanted the South to remain in the union —”

      Perhaps you did not see my post above on why people opposed secession:

      2. The president takes an oath: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The preamble of course refers to the formation of “a more perfect union” as a principal aim of the Constitution. supporting disunion would betray this oath.

      3. Opposition to secession is at least as normal an instinct in the American as the desire to acquire new territory was. To protect itself from much stronger foreign powers, the United States needed heft.

      4. The invitations from the Confederates to European powers to intervene, in violation of the Monroe Doctrine, introduced a dangerous element that threatened to turn the Western Hemisphere back into a battleground for European ambitions.

      5. Once entropic forces were unleashed, the United States might soon be the Divided States. Why stop at two republics out of one? Soon the US could look like Germany before unification.

      6. The US had a strong anti-slavery movement. The possibility of the South capturing Cuba and extending slavery into Mexico and Central America was frightening and repugnant to many Americans.

      7. Most of the Confederacy at the time of Sumter had been acquired by the common treasure or blood of Americans. Alabama did not “join the Union” it was created by the United States out of a territory of the United States. The issue of indemnification?

      8. A seceding region never simply takes over the property of the “mother country” without risking war.

      I would also add (ex post facto?) that in most Southern states majorities opposed secession if you assume that most enslaved people were not particularly strong supporters of the CSA.

  31. Oh bullshit on the Sumter crap. You know for a fact that Davis ordered the attack and started the war because the support for the Confederacy was plummeting like a rock. If you don’t understand that simple and easy concept you have no business even opening your mouth. All you do is repeat the same old crap in post after post.
    The south screwed itself and its people. Get it into your head that the South was not justified in its attempt at secession. Stop lying to people.

  32. The answer to secession is that we are in a union. If one state can leave what is there to prevent states from coming and going as they please? They would use secession as a threat to force their will on the rest of the states much like the south did. As you may have read about in the old textbooks you are stuck with there was a war that ended the concept of secession for once and all.

    The end result is the same as it was when the ink was drying on the US Constitution after each delegate signed it. Secession is unconstitutional. Federal law is superior to that of state law. The Union is permanent. There is no more discussion on that subject. If that is too difficult for you to grasp, then you need to leave the conversation to others that are far better equipped to handle it than you are, Connie.

  33. Another point I forgot to mention. While many slave holder were poorer after the war, the average Black person was Much, Much, richer. In 1860, a slaveholder could work a field hand 300 days a year to produce a couple bales of cotton worth $100 at a cost of $25 in bacon, cornmeal, molasses, two pairs of shoes/clothes and some basic medical care. After the war, the freed blacks had no interest in working 300 days a year from sun up to sun down, and wanted a lot more than $25/year to pick cotton. Result: Blacks worked less and got a higher standard of living. Black women didn’t have to slave 12 hours a day in the fields, Black kids weren’t out in the fields at 10 years old. And they were finally given some (if inadequate) amount of schooling. Which is why the “Carpetbaggers” increased the debt. Before the Civil war there were no public schools for poor kids – black or white in the South.

    • That’s right–and on top of that, the land owned by the wealthy planters was assessed well below its actual value in the antebellum South. Thus, the planter was making a fortune but was not obligated to put much of that money into the local community in the form of schools and other improvements. It’s part of the reason why the South was stagnant compared to the rest of the country. In the end, slavery proved to be a terrible handicap to the South overall–it kept the region rural and largely prevented the rise of a skilled labor class.

  34. So what it boils down to is that the north didn’t believe it could make it as a nation by itself. It feared it would fall apart. However, states wouldn’t be able to “come and go as they please.” A state might leave by secession (since the Constitution doesn’t prohibit that, despite what has been said here), but it couldn’t rejoin the union at will, because there is a very clear process for admitting a state outlined in the Constitution..

    Mr. Young, the secession declarations did cite specific, existing reasons. The experience of Southerners with existing conditions gave them reason to believe what would result in the future. They weren’t fantasizing. BTW, they didn’t “start a war,” they seceded. The war started because the union did not want them to leave it.

    I’m somewhat amazed by the instances in this thread where people seem to incapable of distinguishing between secession and war.

    The federal law that is superior to state law (1) does not prohibit the power of secession to the states and (2) does not delegate the power to prohibit secession to the federal government. If I keep saying the same thing over and over, it’s simply to restate my positions or opinions that have not been refuted, except with other people’s opinions.

    The question of secession, the legality of it, or the people’s right to do it, as endowed by their Creator, was “settled” in this country by a horrific act of bloody tyranny, followed by several generations of political and economic oppression. Rights endowed by the Creator don’t “come and go,” they exist constantly — it’s just that they are ignored, suppressed or violated by most of the governments of man, including the US government (because power corrupts). It is particularly appalling because the US government was created to be the antithesis of authoritarian, top-down governments.

    Mr. Dick, Davis ordered Sumter fired upon because the federal soldiers in it refused to leave. I do understand your claim about Davis starting the war; I just don’t agree with it. And your next statement, “If you don’t understand that simple and easy concept you have no business even opening your mouth,” is a marvelous example of one who pretends to respect the Constitution disrespecting one of its most sacred principles — free speech. It is perhaps one of the clearest, most precise and succinct illustrations of the Yankee mentality — deciding what others ought and ought not to be allowed to say, based solely on your opinion. That mentality and what it resulted in drove the Southern states out of the union to begin with.

    Certainly the South made some mistakes, but it didn’t “screw itself and its people.” The union army, the federal government and lots of arrogant people in the north, who exhibit the same attitude you do, did the screwing.

    • Try using common sense. The Consitution doesn’t expressly bar secession because it doesn’t recognize secession. The Framers weren’t idiots setting up a complicated federal structure and governmental apparatus which could be rendered a nullity overnight by the whims of a couple of states who fell under the control of some lunatics. There were only 13 states at the time. These wise and experienced men would have arranged an “exit penalty” or some such if in fact this was nothing more than the Pac 12 conference. Instead, they provided no safeguards against “secession” because they simply didn’t recognize it. They were careful, however, to address “rebellions”, “insurrections”, and “treason”. :See Art. 1. But feel free to assume that they were all wasting their time in Philadelphia by protecting a concept that never even got mentioned. “I’ll have what you’re having….”.

  35. rcocean, the whole South was poorer after the war. Your concept of the “higher standard of living” to be found in sharecropping is appalling. Slaves were “freed” into a land with a devastated economy, which those with power intended to keep as devastated as possible for as long as possible. And the economic devastation lasted decades. You cite statistics with no source… The following is paraphrased from James Webb’s “Born Fighting”, which shows how sharecropping, which had developed immediately after the war, was “serving” sharecropping farmers (and how the region as a whole was faring) sixty years later (his source was a study by the FDR administration):

    ========
    Tenant farming and sharecropping had evolved from two post-civil war realities — the first that many large plantation owners were left with plenty of land but no capital or labor to work it. Hundreds of thousands of former slaves and impoverished white were willing to work but had no land. The result was the crop sharing system. These practices fell even harder on tenant farmers and sharecroppers due to the fragility of the Southern banking system. As the report indicated, lacking capital of its own, the South had been forced to borrow from outside financiers who have reaped a rich harvest in the form of interest and dividends. At the same time, it has had to hand over the control of much of its business and industry to investors from wealthier sections. Although the region contained 28% of the country’s population in July 1937, its banks held less than 11% of the nation’s bank deposits.

    In 1937, thirteen southern states had 36 million people, 97% of whom were native born. With 28% of the country’s population, it had in the words of the report [commissioned by FDR], only 16% of the tangible assets, including factories, machines and the tools with which people make a living. With more than half the country’s farmers the South had less than 1/5th of the farm implements. In 1930 there were nearly twice as many Southern farms of less than 20 acres as in 1880. (It was being carved up into smaller and smaller portions).

    Of vital importance, the educational base of the South had been decimated. Illiteracy in the South was almost 5 times as high as in the north central states, and more than double the rate in New England and the mid-Atlantic states. In 1936 the Southern states spent an average of $25.11 per child in schools, at the same time the average child enrolled in New York state had $141 spent on his education.

    In 1937 the average annual income in the South was only 314 while the rest of the country averaged 604, nearly twice as much, even in the middle of a depression. An actual majority of the farmers in the South did not own their own land, instead having to operate as tenant farmers or sharecroppers. Tenant farmers averaged $73 for a years work. Sharecroppers varied from $38 a year (a dime a day) to $87, depending on the state. While few black families were on the high end of the economic scale, it would be wrong to assume, as so many social scientists of today immediately do, that they alone dominated the low end. As the report mentioned, white and negroes have suffered alike. Of the 1,000,831 tenant families in the region, about 66% were white. The south’s population at that time was 71% white. Approximately half the sharecroppers were white, living under conditions almost identical with those of negro sharecroppers.
    ========

    A dime a day to live on … very

    I have already addressed some of the reasons for this economic state in the South: (1) the discriminatory freight rate policies that suppressed economic development and that remained in place until 1952; (2) state debts created by carpetbagger legislatures of such staggering amounts, it took generations of Southern taxpayers, many of whom were farmers that live in poverty, as described by Webb, and could little afford to pay taxes; and, as noted, South Carolina’s carpetbagger debt was not paid off until 1955; and most of this debt was created for the personal enrichment of the individuals running the carpetbagger governments; (3) the looting of education funding by carpetbagger legislatures and (4) the ownership of Southern business and industry by yankees who came South after the war, and paid their Southern employees slave wages…

    As Dr. Clyde Wilson has noted, while Virginians gave away their western lands for the joint enjoyment of all Americans, and Southerners labored to erect a limited, responsible government, New Englanders were demanding a reserve of land for themselves in Ohio, instituting a national bank and funding system by which their money-men profited off the blood of the Revolution; passed the Alien and Sedition laws to essentially force their narrow ideological code on others; opposed the Louisiana Purchase, and demanded tariffs to protect their industries at others’ expense. One of the first laws passed by Congress was a measure to continue the British imperial subsidy for New England fisheries.
    This is why today wealthy Harvard University receives from the treasury a 200 percent overhead bonus on its immense federal grants, while the impoverished University of South Carolina receives only 50 percent of its much smaller bounty. (Dr. Wilson’s essay was written in the 1990s, but I cannot imagine this has changed much since then.)

    As Dr. Wilson notes, “This profiteering through government … has always been accompanied by a moral imperialism and assumptions of superiority that are even more offensive than the looting. … It is from this that the South seceded.”

    Indeed. (And yankee moral imperialism and assumed superiority are as offensive today as they’ve ever been.)

  36. Federal soldiers didn’t have to leave federal territory in their own nation when ordered by an illegal government in rebellion against the lawful government of the United States.

    Freedom of speech allows you to lie. Telling you that you’re a liar is nothing more than the truth because you lied repeatedly in this post of yours just like you do all the time. You have no business opening your mouth because all that comes out is lie after lie. That’s why I really don’t pay any attention to you or anything you say or write because it’s all a giant work of fiction and lies.

    Yes, the South screwed itself. You can’t figure that out until you learn the truth because you’re blind to what happened in the past. Quit lying and start learning.

    • Mr. JD–I believe Connie was quoting from James Webb’s book. Do you know who he is? He is a former Secretary of the Navy. He received the Navy Cross for bravery, He is in the United States Senate. He is our Senator from Virginia. Connie is not a liar. I grew up in the south, and am quite old. I remember the share cropping system and the tenant farmer system. We had our own land which my grandfather farmed. His daddy was a WBTS veteran, wounded twice. Fortunately, I have lived long enough to see a flourishing southland, becoming inundated with new citizens. Why are they here? They like it down here. They like our right to work laws. Industry is ours. I have no desire to secede from the United States. I hope and pray that in time, we can vote the bad out, get the good in, and turn our country away from the direction it is being taken. I still cannot get over a man calling a woman a liar. I guess I am a relic from the old days.

      • Betty: Nobody questions Jim Webb’s patriotism or courage. Those attributes however, don’t make him qualified to speak authoritatively on this topic. I assume you’re familiar with Dr. Clyde Wilson, who Connie also quotes and who is a member of the von Mises Institute and is closely affiliated with a number of “conservative” political causes. Always be skeptical of “experts” like Dr. Wilson whose opinions are heavily colored by a plitical slant. And rest assured, I have the same view regarding “experts” who are extensively involved in “liberal” political causes, as well.

        • Mr. Foskett, if’ Sen. Webb’s or Professor. Wilson’s writings are in error, point out the errors. Pointing out that Webb is not a historian doesn’t tell me what he got wrong. (Mr. Mackey, can you tell us what history he got wrong?) Pointing out that Wilson has political leanings you disapprove of — or even that they color his writing — does not tell me what he got wrong.

          • Mrs. Ward, my post was a reaction to his being held up as an expert and what was posted as substantiation for his expertise. Why should we accept him as an authority?

      • I know who James Webb is. I think he is a very nice man. However, that doesn’t mean Webb is or has been right on everything. The sharecropping and tenant system benefited the elite class of the south for a century. It was practically another form of slavery. You know why the South is benefiting now when it didn’t for so long? Because laws were passed that ended much of the elite classes control of the South. Roosevelt had to contend with Southern Democrats who hated a lot of the programs he put into place. Those Southern Democrats held the South back for generations in order to make their own personal profits. Today those men are now Republicans and they’re trying to do the same thing.
        Fortunately for you, enough intelligent people are around and as they move South where it is warmer and that is the main reason they go south, they want things that those Southern Republicans don’t want. So eventually your states will go blue or the Republican party will eject the conservatives Teabaggers who are ruining everything and real change will occur.
        You still haven’t addressed the fact that the South gets more from the federal government than it gives out. Just wait, the sequester is really starting to hit home and it’s hitting the South especially in military communities. All brought to you by Teabaggers who have created a complete fiction about the national debt.
        The South got better when the Civil Rights movement came along and liberated millions of people from the oppressive Jim Crow regime put into place by Southern elites. Education for everyone has helped transform the South into a rich area. Doing what should have been done for two centuries also helped and that was to switch from agriculture to industrial sectors of business. One problem the South faces due to climate change is a water issue. Business sectors in the North are working on transforming the ruins of the rust belt along the Great Lakes into areas where heavy industry is shifting to because it needs water. That has nothing to do with anything other than a natural resource. The South has one natural resource and that is warmth from it’s climate. That’s a powerful draw, but business tends to also move around based on labor costs. The cheap labor in the South was a powerful draw as well, but that trend has also ended. Right to work really doesn’t mean much as fewer workers are in unions. Here in Missouri they did all they could for business and industry still left for overseas locations. Of course now those industries are wanting to come back because they found more problems that money can’t solve overseas such as a lack of an educated work force capable of turning out a quality product plus ungodly amounts of graft and corruption.

        • Mr.JD-So you are the one qualified to speak to all that is wrong with the south. Your conversation fairly reeks with your contempt. I see you are from Missouri. That is a long way from Virginia.
          I also see that you are liberal democrat. The worst thing that ever happend to theU SA. We are almost lost as a nation becasue of the policies of the democrat party. Please, stay away from us. We have been invaded by enough leftwing come heres. Save me Lord jesus.

          • How in the world has the US almost lost because of liberal democracy? Liberal democracy is what won the Revolution and established this country. It won WWII. Conservatism has cost this country so many lives it isn’t funny. Conservatism is directly responsible for the 2003 Iraq War which gained us nothing and is still costing us lives and billions of dollars.
            Conservatism got us the American Civil War and destroyed the South. Sure, love that conservatism because today’s version of it embraces a fictional past that never existed.
            Liberalism is the future of America because it embraces the changes that are occurring. You can’t stop the changes. It is impossible.

            • Mr.JD–a friend one told me never to discuss politics, religion or the family doctor. I am not going to discuss it with you. As for Mr. Webb–I am not promoting or defending his ability to reason, to write a book or two, or to have the intelligence to discuss history, He needs no defense from me. I did not even vote for him. He was a good senator. I guess I have a soft spot for heroes.
              As for saving the south, we have had an influx of folks who want to live in the south only in the past generation. My people made it on their own. If our economy and life style were so bad, whey did they choose to come here? The unions have only recently begun to shrink. Our right to work laws have been a lure to busniness and manufacturing.

              • It’s the same thing as what is going on out west. They call if Californication where California residents retire and move to other states, but then want the same type of services that California had. The same thing is going on in the South. Very few people move because of state government actions. They move for jobs, climate, lower costs of living or family reasons. Once they move they tend to like to change the area they’re in to resemble home in some fashion. Changing the state services is one of the ways they do that. So while more people are moving South, I expect to see more political change in the South.

                Also remember something very important. People moving from the North to the South do not embrace the Lost Cause myth although there are always the few that do. These people are speaking out when textbooks get the facts wrong like the did in Virginia about Black Confederates. These same people are criticizing the state when they try to force religion into the public schools. We’re in a process of political change and I expect to see the South begin to lose the solid red look before too long. You’re seeing this happen in Virginia and Florida right now.

                Unions have been shrinking for years and that is largely a self inflicted wound in my opinion. Right to work is nothing more than giving away all the gains that labor made over a century so that big business can reap more profits while wages stagnate. Record corporate profits, low wages, record corporate avoidance of taxes, record corporate money spent in politics. It’s the Gilded Age all over again. Who pays the price? The people of this country. When union membership was high and taxation was high this country enjoyed one of the golden ages albeit not for everyone due to Jim Crow laws etc.

      • “I believe Connie was quoting from James Webb’s book. Do you know who he is? He is a former Secretary of the Navy.”
        —–
        Which gives him no particular expertise in history.

        “He received the Navy Cross for bravery,”
        —–
        Admirable, but still does not give any particular expertise in history.

        “He is in the United States Senate. He is our Senator from Virginia.”
        ——–
        That will come as news to Tim Kaine, the man who took his place in the US Senate. Even as a former senator, though, that gives him no particular expertise in history.

        “Connie is not a liar.”
        —–
        I happen to agree that Connie sincerely believes what she is saying.

        • Nkice of you to say that. Much better han calling her a liar. Sen. Webb is qjuite a historian, has authored several books. On what do you base your learned expertise in history?

          • I don’t claim a learned expertise in history, Ms. Giragosian, and if anyone quoted me as an expert I would seriously look at them askance. Mr. Webb is not a historian either. He is a novelist who has also written a couple of autobiographical reflections on things he has done in addition to Born Fighting. Can you name any other books actually requiring historical research he’s authored?

            • I imagine the senator would enjoy this trivia, if he happens to read it. No,Mr. Mackey,I cannot think of another book that he has written. No matter, IMHO his opinion is just as qualified as any other opinion expressed on this wall. In fact, most of what is posted here is really just opinion. So you are not an expert, and Senator Webb is not an expert, making your opinions of equal value.

              • Absolutely true, ma’am. Yet Mr. Webb was held up as an expert we should believe. I see no reason to privilege his opinion over anyone else’s, yet that is exactly what we’ve been asked to do.

                • Mr. Mackey, I don’t know who held up Sen. Webb as an expert. I have done several word searches on this thread, and I find no claims from anyone that he is an expert. I simply cited him as a source for certain figures and information upon which I partially formed my opinions. I have asked for proof that he and Prof. Wilson are wrong in their writings. None has been forthcoming.

                  More than anyone else on this comment thread, I have provided links to sources that provide information on which my opinions are based — which is more than Mr. Dick or Mr. Foskett or several other critics of my comments and opinions have done. (For example, Mr. Dick’s opinion that “…the people of 1776 read [the Declaration of Independence], agreed with it, and forgot it. It was only many, many years later that it was turned into something with a different meaning.” Not a single source cited for the forgetting, or the changing of the meaning, or who did the changing, and how it was wrought…. I wonder if, during the fighting of the revolution, they ever got bewildered about why they were fighting, if they had clean forgot about about the document that started the fight…)

                  Mr. Dick, you don’t like Mr. Leigh’s 1956 source? Can you tell us what is faulty about it? What is your reason for believing that more recent literature is more reliable? As a matter of fact, since you haven’t cited any sources for anything you’ve posted in this thread, why don’t you identify some of them, with dates of origination so we can see for ourselves whether they are reliable or not?

                  Secession (a form of altering or abolishing government) is a right of the people, endowed by their Creator. As for the moral authority of it… Secession hurt nobody in the north; even the attack on Sumter killed nobody, and hurt or even threatened nobody in the union. The military invasion of the Confederacy killed hundreds of thousands, maimed thousands more, laid waste dozens of entire towns and communities, deprived people of food and medicine and the basic necessities of life, precipitated a lawless military dictatorship and led to economic oppression of several generations of Southerners — and that’s just an overview.

                  • Links to what? More garbage? Pick up a history book and read it. Start with ones written by actual historians and not two bit hacks trying to create a version of American history that never happened. Try some Gordon Wood, John Ferling, Richard Beeman, or many others. You’re stuck looking at American history through the narrow minded and extremely biased version of those that advocated secession. The Declaration is virtually ignored until the late 1820s when John Calhoun dredged it up in an attempt to justify his political desires….another lousy originalist concept that was rejected. You don’t get the big picture here do you?
                    Most of the soldiers in the Revolution were fighting for all kinds of reasons just like soldiers in every way and including today. Some fought for ideas, but most fought for other reasons. For many it was the first job they had ever had.
                    Check out some modern book on how slavery was viewed. I believe you should read Walter Johnson’s Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Trade Market or his new book, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom. As for Cohn, I’ll let those that specialize in Reconstruction address that. Cohn was not a historian, but rather a lawyer. The view of the Reconstruction era has undergone significant review since 1956 and should be examined with more detailed information.

                    You just really like people who say what you want to hear. That’s a huge problem for you because what you want to hear is just flat out wrong. I don’t know why you suffer your delusions, but you should seek some professional help.

                    If you can’t read the laws of this country and figure out that secession has always been unconstitutional then you have a problem with grasping the obvious. Try reading about the ratification of the Constitution and you will find that the issue was addressed right there and it was well known in 1788 that secession was not part of the deal nor was the new government a confederation. No matter how much you wish to say it was otherwise, the facts will always prove you wrong.
                    Read Pauline Maier’s Ratification and start learning.

                    • Mr.. Dick, I’ve asked you or anyone to prove wrong just two of my sources cited here. You haven’t. Nobody has. You have offered no substantiation for any of your opinions. “Try some Gordon Wood…” etc., is not citing a source. You still provided no source for your claims about the Declaration being forgotten.

                      I would say the same thing about you — you like writers who reinforce what you already want to believe. As for what I want to believe being flat out wrong, you certainly haven’t established that You’ve expressed that opinion (repeatedly) but that’s all it is.

                      We aren’t governed by ratification documents. We’re governed by the Constitution (well, not so much anymore, particularly with the current administration) and as I have noted several times, secession is not a power prohibited to the states, and the power to prohibit it is not delegated to the federal government. No matter how much you express your opinion otherwise, it’s just not there.

                    • Pauline Maier writes about the Declaration being a forgotten document on pages 162, 168-69 of American Scripture. David Armitage writes about it in Declaration of Independence: A Global History on pages 87-88. John Ferling notes it was largely forgotten in Independence on pages 355-56. Wood notes on page 307 of Empire of Liberty that the 4th of July was used by the Jeffersonian-Republicans as their national holiday and linked it with the Declaration due to Thomas Jefferson’s authoring of the document while the Federalists celebrated in kind with Washington’s Birthday. On page 641 he notes that only Jefferson’s party celebrated the document in any fashion and only due to Jefferson. Other than that it was ignored.
                      The facts are clear. These historians have dug through countless primary sources in their works and they’re not alone in these assessments of the Declaration’s past.

                      Secession is prohibited to the states. No matter how many times you say otherwise it will be prohibited. I don’t care how many times you say it is legal, you will be wrong. Seek professional help for your delusions, Connie.

                  • Well, Mrs. Ward, perhaps you should consider that one can claim someone is an expert without using the exact term, “expert.” I don’t dispute that you have provided materials in support of your claims. Again, my comments are concerning Mr. Webb’s being held up as an expert. I would point out also that if you didn’t consider him an expert you wouldn’t have quoted him, would you?

                    • Mr. Mackey, it is possible to not be an expert and still be a good reference … if the non-expert’s source is itself reliable. I believe Sen. Webb’s source (or one of them, anyway) was a study by the FDR Administration. I’ve never run across anything indicating that the study was unreliable.

        • Pretty much everything that Webb and Chastain said about sharecropping and the reconstruction era is consistent with Chapter 8 of *The Life and Times of King Cotton* by David L. Cohn, published by the Oxford University Press in 1956.

          Rather than disparage the authenticity of Webb’s commentary, why not identity points that you think are erroneous?

    • Mr. Dick, I’ve stated my opinions. You do not have a corner on the truth. You can tell me what I may or may not say or write, as much and as long as you wish; but you do not have the authority to do so. I am going to say and write whatever I want.

      And for somebody who doesn’t pay attention to anything I say or write, you have certainly posted to me a lot in this thread.

      The South made some mistakes; it did not screw itself. It was invaded and laid waste by the union and kept in economic peonage for several generations afterward. I know it’s unpleasant to acknowledge that your city-on-the-hill country could exhibit such an unrighteous streak, so you do everything you can to not acknowledge it. But your blind spot where the US is concerned is part of what renders you unqualified to judge my opinions and tell me what I may or may not believe and say.

      • Oh, you can have your opinions as you certainly do. However, the fact remains that you are completely wrong on many issues and mostly on your history. Your failure to understand basic facts is your own problem but unfortunately you wish to trumpet your poor understanding of what happened in the past to everyone.

  37. By the way Connie, why are you in my country? You don’t like so why are you here? All you do is lie about the past to try to convince others that secession is legal when it is not. If you don’t like the United States you can leave. Go somewhere else and try to resurrect the fictional version of the past that you love so much. You’re not going to cause secession in the United States.

      • Mr. Foskett, secession is for people, plural — or a people — not individuals. What you’re asking about is expatriation. I’m not interested in leaving the United States because that is where the South is located, and I would have to be dynamited loose from the South. It is my home and I love it profoundly. My roots run very, very deep here and they are unseverable. I felt a belongingness to the South long before I was able to articulate it; starting probably at age three or four. Thinking yourself a Southerner because you went to college in the South, or had Southern professors or got transferred here by your company or whatever, does not even begin to approximate the extent to which my identity as an individual was shaped by and is melded with my home region.

    • Your country? It’s mine as much as it is yours, Mr. Dick. You’re welcome to try to find any place where I have said or implied I don’t like it. I’m basically indifferent to it, though I don’t like some things that have happened here (and some that are happening now) — really, really don’t like them. But that’s not the same thing as not liking the country. I simply acknowledge certain flaws in the country which demonstrate that the north had no moral authority to invade and make war on the South — over slavery or secession or whatever other Southern faults people mistakenly believe(d) were justification for the union’s subjugation of the South.

      • The north didn’t invade the South unless of course you mean the North was forced to restore the lawful government of the United States in areas where traitors were illegally attempting secession.
        The South had no moral authority to attempt secession.

  38. .One last question–who on earth are these people addressing these subjects? They are very angry.
    So filled with hate and anger, after all these years. Don’t you ever get tired of it all?

  39. Mr. Dick, thank you for the sources. That Americans “forgot” the Declaration doesn’t make the document in error about the Creator-endowed rights of the people.

    Secession is prohibited to the states not legally, by the Constitution, but by a government that established the prohibition — in violation of the Constitution — by violence, war and killing.

    • Sorry Connie, I’m tired of trying to teach a brick how to swim. Secession is prohibited because it was recognized during the ratification process as being unconstitutional. Again, the people of 1788 knew that and you still don’t like that fact so you just keep right on lying to people.
      I can’t help that you’re stuck on the Declaration, but then you will always seek to use anything to justify your ideas. You only use the same old tired excuses that have been repeatedly debunked by historians. The Declaration was what it was. A declaration of independence. That’s all it was. Its ideas have lived on and transformed the world and this is beyond arguing. However, that never has justified secession and never will. The South was not being oppressed by the North. You lack context every time you try to argue that point.

      • Connie’s commitment to the principles of the Declaration is rather limited. Her beloved Confederacy, after all, did not want to discuss the proposition that all men are created equal.

        • @ Brooks “Kettle” Simpson, your memory seems rather limited as well, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”! Maybe before you throw stones of distortion, you should reconsider the Unions views on discussing equality, and re-watch Spielberg’s “Lincoln” again. Hypocrisy remains the gift that keeps on giving… The question of equality remains an essential part of our sociopolitical phenomenon. Why haven’t you posted anything regarding Turkey and your familiarity with that countries issues?

          • More pebbles being tossed by Mr. Lucas. Do your homework before declaring what I have said and not said in print. Do you act this way at your little museum? Are you afraid to broadcast your views on your website advertising your little business? Why? Are you a coward?

            “Stones of distortion”? Are you saying that the Confederacy was founded upon the notion of human equality? Seemed Alexander H. Stephens disagreed. What do you know that the vice president of the Confederacy did not?

            I’ve let you play here because it seemed a good idea to let people see the mindset of certain people. I think that mission has come to an end with my return to the United States. In the meantime, you need an extreme makeover.

      • Mr. Dick, I have made numerous references to the Constitution, as well, so I think your perception that I’m “stuck on the Declaration” is perhaps the result of selective inattention. I believe I have also noted — or if I haven’t, I’m noting now — that given your blind spot where the union is concerned, I find you unqualified to dictate to me what I must and must not believe about history.

  40. Mr. Simpson, the United States government had been demonstrating the same limited commitment to the principles of the Declaration for several decades.They not only did not want to discuss the proposition that all men are created equal,but had enshrined the inequality in Constitution.

    • You are aware that the United States government prior to the Civil War was dominated by the same white southerners who, when they lost control of that government and feared that they would thus lose slavery, attempted secession, right? Or do you deny that white southerners had anything to do with the American republic prior to 1861?

      Try harder.

    • And she says what was expected of her! No disappointment from the Cherry Picking Queen of the Lost Cause.

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