Maybe … if you decide to find your perfect mate here.
Love is in the air. But, looking at the pictures … weren’t there black Confederates, too?
Maybe … if you decide to find your perfect mate here.
Love is in the air. But, looking at the pictures … weren’t there black Confederates, too?
It amuses me when people who claim to be familiar with my writings claim that I have asserted that there were no African Americans in Confederate service, and that none donned the uniform of a Confederate soldier. Such claims reflect poorly on their ability as researchers and call into question their own interpretations of historical evidence.
So let me complicate their lives still more. On May 27, 1862, James A. Garfield, an officer attached to the headquarters of the 20th Brigade, wrote home to his beloved wife Crete about Jim, an African American who had come into his lines the previous January 10 at the conclusion of the battle of Middle Creek, Kentucky. I’ll let Garfield tell the tale:
Note that Jim was the servant of an officer, but that when Garfield encountered him, he was in uniform and carrying a weapon. Would that make him a deserter? A prisoner? Or simply a fugitive slave?
You can find this letter on page 102 of Frederick D. Williams, ed., The Wild Life of the Army: Civil War Letters of James A. Garfield (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1964).
And that’s not all. The following March Garfield told his wife that at the battle of Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, on March 5, 1863, it “appears that the rebels had two Negro regiments against us in that fight.” It would be interesting to see whether the Confederate generals at that engagement, including Earl Van Dorn and Nathan Bedford Forrest, made mention of those regiments, which would have been cavalry regiments.
Enjoy a happy new year.
Last month, in the wake of the presidential election, a reporter for CNN.com asked me to comment on the argument that explanations of Donald J. Trump’s victory that tended to emphasize the role of racism, sexism, and other expressions of prejudice in accounting for the Republican success in the Electoral College might soon give way to another narrative that closely resembled what the writer terms the Lost Cause explanation of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
That piece, with my small contribution, appears here.
To be sure, I think an explanation of Trump’s triumph that rests primarily on charges of racism, sexism, and so on in the American electorate is incomplete and flawed. There were plenty of reasons why Trump defeated first his Republican primary challengers and then Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. The list is too long to discuss in exhaustive fashion, but one can focus on Trump’s successful appeal to a sense of grievance, Clinton’s campaign management, the ways in which Vermont senator Bernie Sanders exposed weaknesses in the Clinton appeal that proved useful to Trump, and so on. In critical states Trump’s emphasis on jobs and attack on globalization, open borders, and free trade struck a chord with voters, much to the surprise of Democratic strategists and more than a few pundits who never quite saw what was coming. When asked to predict the outcome, I thought that Clinton’s win would be far narrower than some people were predicting, and events in the last week of the campaign suggested to me that there was cause for worry in key states. Trump ran the table in critical battleground states, and the (perceived) upset was complete.
Nor do I think that all of Trump’s supporters are racists, sexists, homophobes, white supremacists, or whatever. That’s nonsense and a poor way for Democrats to try to explain away defeat. That said, to deny that people who are open (and not so open) about being racist, sexist, homophobic, white supremacist, and so on flocked to Trump in large numbers is hard to deny (we’ve covered several of them in this blog). Nor is it easy to deny that many Trump supporters who proclaim that they do not share such attitudes and who resent being cast into a basket of deplorables (a turn of phrase that rightly came back to haunt Clinton as an example of stupid and mindless elitism) have remained rather quiet about signs that some people who have expressed what many find to be bigoted views have risen to places of power and influence in the incoming administration. One does not have to be a bigot to be complicit in bigotry, and those folks will find themselves in increasingly uncomfortable situations if they are sincere about what they believe … or maybe they haven’t been so sincere in the first place. We’ll see.
But, in this season of greetings and giving, I share with you a note I received less than an hour after I was notified that CNN.com had posted the piece:
You must not have a whole lot of niggers living out there in Arizona near you because back east these devils rob, shoot, kill, rape and destroy just about most of our communities in our portion of the country. They make life hell for not only the majority here in America but also themselves. They have no idea why they do the things they do, let me fill you in mr. social scientist, it’s millions of years of instinct with this race! No one anywhere in the world over pays them any mind in the civilized world and nor do they allow them to have any say in government or rule of law in any other country than the USA and with good reason. Their own people sold them into slavery to begin with. I don’t hate them nor anybody for that matter, I just really pity them but myself unlike people like you living in only the bubble of the USA think that we as a nation need to sell our future down the drain to temporarily appease them. You need to take in reality and look long term, not what is going on right now, the latest fad or the next few years. CNN is shit hole and can’t be trusted with anything real to begin with, it’s a propaganda channel that drives an agenda for the elite, the elite’s kids star on their show.
Stop hating yourself and start standing up for the majority in this nation. You leave anything to the africans and civilization ceases to exist! So, when you apply a label to ME, please remember to label me as a “REALIST” They don’t want to hear the truth but the truth is they are subversive and slowly but surely destroy America. I have no problem with Latino people nor any other race of people on the planet, they are an asset to our nation! They work and they take care of their families, two things niggers don’t do at all and their instinctual, primitive behaviors are the driving factors to the plethora of their problems. One would think they own NO mirrors as they could then look into them to see where their problems come from? I use the word “nigger” as this is what these people call each other.
MY FREE SPEECH!
Rarely has someone so effectively made the point about the beliefs of some Trump supporters as in this note.
I do resent being called a social scientist, although I have used the social sciences in my work. And, please, it’s Dr. Social Scientist, if you must call me such.
I’ve always thought that such rants are evidence that proponents of white supremacy are actually insecure folks who fear that they are examples of inferiority, as indeed they are. So be it. I guess they acknowledge that they need white supremacy to survive.
Every once in a while an advocate of Confederate heritage, usually (although not always) from Virginia, decides to share with the online world their opinion of me (somehow these people never confront me directly face to face, even when they claim afterwards that they were there … not exactly a tribute to Confederate courage). What follows is fairly typical, and in many ways representative, of what some folks think of me.
Brooks Simpson, another Yankee Miscreant and troublemaker
Brooks Simpson, as he has done for years, writes all sorts of blogs, a book, and otherwise adds trash to the world. This man who has rambled around from pillar to post, cannot find happiness in the truth about the South, Southern people, and the unjust war designed solely to stop Southern Independence, Independence from his ancestors, Northern miscreants, thieves, liars, and a power hungry Abraham Lincoln, who wanted more than anything to achieve an all powerful central government, and to end the lawful states rights of the South. Yes, Brooks has tried, he attempted to write about Lincoln in a good light, just as others have portrayed the greatness of Adolph Hitler. You see, Hitler learned from Lincoln, not the other way around. Lincoln was not a man of peace, but an opportunist who wanted power. He disliked black people, DID YOU ALL GET THIS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN DID NOT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE, HE WANTED THEM REMOVED FROM THE UNITED STATES IF HE COULD FIND A MEANS TO DO SO, THIS IS THE REAL ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Now after witnessing the awful history of the majority of blacks in America, seeing how little the majority of them have progressed in society and have demonstrated little sign of ambition, or interest in progress, civility, and an appreciation of law and order, i can understand why Lincoln wanted them gone. Simpson you may write this as how I see the majority, Majority, of not only America’s blacks, but of the world’s blacks, as this apparent genetic trait has been so demonstrated since records have existed, so Lincoln was right in his desire to have them gone, and I am sure you do too.
In addition to the manner of most blacks, again, not all blacks, we also have in America the Liberal, left leaning, liars, the miscreants, the Marxist’s and political correct supporters of Socialism, and all other anti Christian and evil views and ideas that are directly in opposition to God and what is good and right. Simpson, Andy Hall, and a whole group of mostly Northern born miscreants whom are so poisoned with the knowledge of what the North did in their animal like, greedy overbearing desire for power and riches as they invaded the South in 1861. They cannot defend what these barbarian ancestors of theirs did, or how they too did hated blacks, but just a Hillary and the Democratic party in America today, they too, do not like blacks, but act as if they do so as to keep the blacks voting for democrats, and thereby allowing them (democrats) to stay in power. But again, deep down, Simpson, his followers and kin folks, are poisoned genetically, and today are ashamed of their Northern ancestors actions and ways, and want to erase this by spreading lies about the South and the Southern people of the past and the present.
The BIG LIE IS THAT DEMOCRATS, INCLUDING HILLARY AND THE LIBERAL LIARS DO NOT LIKE BLACKS, THEY SIMPLY USE BLACKS FOR THEIR OWN POWER, AND ANOTHER FACT IS THAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU, BROOKS SIMPSON, ATTACK OTHERS IN THE SOUTH WITH YOUR HATRED, IS BECAUSE WE, ANCESTORS OF GOOD AND HONORABLE SOUTHERN PEOPLE, DEMONSTRATE THE TRUTH ABOUT LINCOLN, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE UNLAWFUL, BARBARIC, UNCIVIL, ACT’S THAT LINCOLN AND THE YANKEE ARMY AND YOUR PEOPLE, THOSE WHO INVADED THE SOUTH, THOSE WHO BURNED THE HOMES OF CIVILIAN NON COM-COMBATANT’S, THOSE WHO LOOTED THE PERSONAL VALUABLES FROM THE INNOCENT SOUTHERN PEOPLE, AND THE YANKEES WHO BURNED THEIR CROPS, BARNS, STABLES, WRECKED THEIR FARM EQUIPMENT, RAPED THEIR WOMEN, BURNED THEIR WAREHOUSES, MILLS, AND PLACES WHERE THEY OBTAINED FOOD TO EAT, YANKEE’S WHO SHELLED CITIES FILLED WITH WOMEN AND CHILDREN, AND KILLED MANY THOUSANDS OF NON COMBATANTS, AND WHO WERE THE CAUSE OF MORE THAN 600,000 DEATHS AND INJURIES, AND THEN AND NOW USE SLAVERY AS A COVER-UP REASON FOR WHAT THEY DID TO THE SOUTH AND TO THE SOUTHERN PEOPLE, WHICH WE ALL KNOW THAT THIS IS A LIE, JUST AN EXCUSE FOR LINCOLN AND YANKEES TODAY. SO, BROOKS SIMPSON, ANDY ” and all the little follower ” HALL, and the other morons whom I will not waste the effort to name, as they are ZERO’S in every respect, all follow Brooks Simpson, as he is the man in their eyes. The author of BULLSHIT, the point of attack on the Virginia Flagger’s, whom I SUPPORT 100%. SIMPSON, AND ALL THESE LEFT WING PUSSY’S SAID WE WOULD NOT SUCCEED IN GETTING CONFEDERATE FLAGS RAISED, WELL DICKHEADS, MANY ARE FLYING AND MORE FLAGS ARE BEING PREPARED TO GO UP, SO YOU AND ALL OF AMERICA WILL SEE THEM. Yes, Simpson and his moron followers hate having the spotlight of truth concerning the facts, the reasons and the causes for The War For Southern Independence told. Imagine a group of American states, who got so unhappy with the Federal government’s dishonest, illegal actions toward them, that they desired to stop being a part of it. That was what happened, as the corrupt Northern leaders, the greedy businessmen and politicians, were stealing from the Southern states, and treating them unlawfully as they taxed, and stole from them. So in making this new nation separate from the YANKEE MISCREANT DEVIL’S, they were attacked and killed, robbed, raped, and harmed in every manner.
So here in 2016, as the great grandsons of the yankee animals, continue the same greedy dishonest practice as their ancestors once did, to lie, to attack the South and Southern groups and individuals in a new manner, to support the actions of some who deface Southern leaders and monuments, to lie about our Southern people and the facts about the war Lincoln led against the South, and now these grandsons of Northern Pissant thieves, arsonist’s, robbers, rapist’s and murderer’s want to try to make their actions seem just, but in all of the world and for all times past, and future, this can never be accomplished, as it is what it was, an EVIL ACT, BY EVIL PEOPLE, BEGINNING WITH ABRAHAM LINCOLN WHO IS TODAY ALONG WITH ADOLPH HITLER AND OTHERS IN A BURNING HELL WHERE HE AND ALL LIKE THEM WILL APPROPRIATELY END UP.
I think someone’s upset. But I do appreciate the admission of the writer that he believes black people are inherently inferior to white people. Not all of the people who share that belief are so candid.
One correction of fact concerning yours truly: I never said the Virginia Flaggers (or any other Confederate heritage group) would not succeed in raising Confederate flags on privately-owned land. In fact, I pointed out that this was one area where they could guarantee being successful (especially when the folks providing the land share the racial attitudes of the author of this piece, as is clearly the case in two instances). Whether such actions have made any difference is another question altogether, given the failures of Confederate heritage advocates elsewhere.
… although this one is about writing history and biography. It appeared on C-SPAN 2 this past weekend.
Last week I was honored to be part of the Lincoln Legacy Lectures at the University of Illinois Springfield. Allen Guelzo and I spoke on aspects of Lincoln and Reconstruction … well, except for the fact that Allen was under the weather, and so our host, Michael Burlingame, read Allen’s paper. Anyway, here it is.
I found this video of Indiana governor Mike Pence’s visit to Gettysburg earlier this month to be an interesting overview of what Indiana regiments did at the battle … and John Hoptak did the NPS proud, as could be expected.
There is nothing quite like being a call-in guest on Phoenix morning radio while looking at Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield.
It’s an interesting life.
Whenever a museum recording the history and culture of its subject opens, we are eager to see the stories they tell, in large part because musums are more than the mere display of artifacts. Museums, like books, tell stories, and all narratives are inherently interpretive and represent choices with consequences.
Not everyone will agree with the result, as we saw at Gettysburg when the new visitors center and museum opened several years ago. I understood and sometimes agreed with the critics of the museum, although I think some of those criticisms were overstated. At the same time, I knew that the museum was tasked to do something more than to recount the events of July 1-3, 1863, and November 19, 1863, in isolation, bereft of any context. Yet I also knew that the context would represent interpretive choices that would be open to analysis and criticism.
So it comes as no surprise that some people are not too keen on everything they’ve seen in the Smithsonian Institution’s new museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Of especial note is the claim made in some corners that the museum more than slights the career of current Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, supposedly, one infers, because of Thomas’s conservative political views.
You know what’s going to follow this report: whining about political correctness and the supposed political agenda of supposedly left-wing academics made by right-wing scholars, buffs, and “observers” (advocates) who claim that their adherance to their own political points of view is an expression of their dispassionate objectivity about the American past. We’ve seen that exercise in projection all too often.
Having not yet visited the museum (I haven’t been to DC since it opened, but it is first on my list for my next visit), I can’t testify as to the particulars of the case. Nor do I know how the museum treats other divisions among African-Americans over time, whether it be Frederick Douglass versus Martin Delaney, Booker T. Washington versus W. E. B. DuBois, or Martin Luther King, Jr., versus Malcolm X, all of which have been traditional (and overused as well as sometimes distorted or misunderstood) ways to view aspects of African American history. And that’s just for starters.
That said, one hopes that in recognizing the diversity of the American past through focusing on the African American past, the museum also embraces telling the story of the diversity within the African American past … and present. Part and parcel of that discussion is an exploration of black conservatism as demonstrating that African Americans are far from a unified bloc when it comes to many issues. At the same time, one should not make more of something than is appropriate … we’ve seen that in the discussion of whether Africans Americans served in significant numbers as soldiers in the ranks of the Confederate army. I note that when it comes to that issue, those gallant defenders of historical accuracy often shed their disguises to suggest that, regardless of what Confederates themselves said at the time, such people were soldiers and should be recognized as such … a position that reflects their own presentist attitudes and political agendas. Others just let that issue go unexplored lest they offend their fellow travellers.
Not that we’re about to hear those storied critics of political correctness hold themselves to the same standards they demand of others. No way. Otherwise we might have heard a reaction to this.
So let’s actually visit the museum before we pass judgment. Otherwise we’re little more than a clipping service bound to our personal prejudices.