Identify Yourself

Tell me … do you identify as Yankee, Confederate, or any other contemporary classification common to the Civil War era (Copperhead, southern Unionist, freedperson, etc.)? If so, why, and how does that shape your understanding of the period? If not, why not, and how has that shaped your understanding of the period?

94 thoughts on “Identify Yourself

  1. James F. Epperson February 7, 2016 / 10:00 am

    I’m just someone interested in that particular period of American history.

  2. Michael William Stone February 7, 2016 / 10:14 am

    As a Brit, I’m not too deeply committed.

    I first encountered it at age 13, through a short book on the subject by Sir Winston Churchill. This triggered a passionate interest, but had its drawbacks in that, despite admiring Lincoln, he wrote the military side of the war largely from the viewpoint of General Lee, so saddling me with a pro-Confederate bias which took some decades to wear off.

    These days, I would probably class myself as a “conservative unionist”. ie not desiring a Confederate victory, but highly sceptical of the chances of Reconstruction making much headway, and wishing that the Southern leadership had had the sense to refrain from seceding, even if this meant slavery continuing a bit longer. Sorry if that upsets any Black subscribers, but I tend to feel that saving the country from war should have been a higher priority.,

    • Mark February 7, 2016 / 1:05 pm

      But those who agitated for war over the slavery issue thought saving the country without slavery meant losing it. The charge of not trying hard enough in find a solution short of war is normally made against the evil Northerners and Lincoln. However this ignores the seriousness of the attempts that were made, that always foundered over the issue of slavery.

  3. Shane February 7, 2016 / 10:48 am

    Nebraskan and Westerner, and therefore I feel a particular sense of sorrow about the Indian Wars and the failures of the civil rights movement in my home state and region. I’m only considered a Yankee when abroad and I don’t know anyone who considers them self a Confederate, Copperhead, or Southern Unionist. I mostly only hear about freedman at church, where the shackles are spiritual.

  4. Lyle Smith February 7, 2016 / 10:57 am

    I don’t think I identify with any particular side of the Civil War today. I recognize my ancestors who were Confederates. I don’t hate them, but I am proud of the fact they lost the war.

    However, as a child, growing up in rural Louisiana I only ever played as a Confederate. Interestingly, from a very early age (like at the age of five or so) I recall recognizing there was a racial element to the conflict and that the Confederates weren’t on the side of the black folk. Having close black friends growing up I remember having to play mind games with myself in rectifying this issue while playing as a Confederate.

  5. Mark February 7, 2016 / 1:23 pm

    I’m from the Old Northwest, what is called the midwest now, like Grant and Lincoln (though the latter was born in Kentucky I think). I guess I consider myself a just a plain Unionist. When I read in soldier’s diaries how many joined the fight to oppose a war intended to break up the “best government there ever was” I identify with that sentiment. I identify with the abolitionists too. So I don’t see it as a sectional thing. For me it isn’t a sectional thing, but a moral/political matter as it was by my reckoning for those of my political stripe at the time.

  6. Mike C. February 7, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    As a native Hoosier with my direct ancestors fighting for the United States, I’ve always viewed the war from a Northern perspective, which makes it a bit odd for me since I teach the Civil War in a Southern state, and have no sympathy for the Confederate perspective. I’m upfront with my students that that is my perspective and that I cannot really help it. I’m always rooting for the blue team. Yet, I’m very document-focused in my course, so I let the students exactly what all the major players said at the time, so they can develop their own understanding of the war and its causes.

  7. Tybalt February 7, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    I identify as a Jeffersonian. Accordingly, I firmly believe in the natural, inalienable, and sacred right to alter and abolish governments, and the companion inalienable right to be governed by consent. This means I am sympathetic to the Confederate position, though I do not claim to be a Confederate.

    • Mark February 7, 2016 / 10:51 pm

      I am sympathetic to the Confederate position to exactly that extent as well, but since that view was a view of natural rights that were common and not unique to them as you’re indicating, and since most who identify as Confederate today don’t seem to stop there, I don’t think it is very accurately called the “Confederate position”.

      • Tybalt February 8, 2016 / 7:03 pm

        Well, I certainly never claimed that the right to political independence was unique to 19th century Confederates. For goodness sake, I explicitly referenced Jefferson, and at a minimum that immediately implicates Washington, Franklin, Adams, and all the Founders who affected the separation from the Mother Country. As for the comment that contemporary Confederates “don’t seem to stop there” I don’t know what that means.

  8. Richard February 7, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    I’ve thought about this before and really don’t know.

    I do identify as a Kentuckian. Most of my friends and others I’ve asked dsy Kentucky is in the South, so perhaps I’m a southerner, though I don’t identify myself as such. I live in the northernmost part of the state and have wot parked for most of my life in Concinnsti, which is probably Midwestern.

    The only ancestors I can find in the war all fought for the Union, but I have several ancestors who owned slaves, including one from a family whose members fought for the union.

    I suppose that could make me a Southern Unionist, but I can’t say I identify myself like that. I basically identify myself with my state, not a region, but does that have any ties to the states’ rights theories?

    I still see slavery as the issue that caused the war, but the idea that some people thought that staying in the Union would protect slavery is one that comes to mind when studying Kentucky more than when I read of other locales. Is that what my ancestors believed? Perhaps this self-identification just helps me think more about how difficult it was for some people to choose a side. It wasn’t an easy decision for all.

  9. Matt McKeon February 7, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    I’m from New England, so I guess I’m a Yankee, but Yankee here has a very specific meaning: WASPs, so I’m a Yankee everywhere but at home.

    As far as identifying in the CW, I believe, like Lincoln, that all men are created equal. The Confederacy was a disastrous, but all too possible wrong turn for the United States, and the world.

  10. Michael Lynch February 7, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    None of the above, because it’s 2016.

  11. bob carey February 8, 2016 / 4:15 am

    Being born and raised in Albany N.Y. I suppose I would tend to identify with the Union, although not a strict Yankee as that term was used to identify natives of New England.
    As an Irish-Catholic I probably would have been a Democrat, as I think the Republicans of the era had Nativists’ leanings and the Northern wing of the Democratic Party welcomed the Irish. If for no other reason than to control their votes. All things being equal, if I was alive during the Civil War era I would be a “War Democrat”.
    I would credit my father, for instilling in me an interest in history. He encouraged all of his children to be independent thinkers, thus I was not influenced too much by the “Lost Cause” in my formative years. I seem to remember that the primary and secondary textbooks of the 50’s and 60’s had an abundance of “Lost Cause” leanings which I always questioned, much to my teachers’ chagrin.
    Great thought provoking topic.

  12. Brad February 8, 2016 / 6:04 am

    How about American. The only ones who seem to call people from the North “Yankees” are certain people from the South.

  13. John Foskett February 8, 2016 / 6:29 am

    “Yankee” – i.e., I identify with the United States, which fought a war against an unlawful rebellion. It is, indeed, 2016 but my family has a long history on these shores serving under that flag (including my ancestor Isaac in the Army of the Potomac), so it comes quite easily. I would like to add kudos to Shane for acknowledging the wrongs in the “Indian Wars”. As a guy with a large amount of Wyoming connection, that was something my country undertook for which it owes a large, unpaid debt. As opposed to fighting and winning the Civil War and ending a horrific institution in the process.

  14. Having been introduced to the concept of “intersectionality” I will keep it simple by saying I identify as Black, African-American, American, New Yorker, and so on.

    Given my political sensibilities, I will respond those who claim sympathy with “the Confederate position.”

    To me, that is the equal of claiming sympathy with the NAZIs’ “position”. We are not interested in preserving the nation through the cost of our blood and the scars upon our skin, and we would raise the cost of our continued enslavement by slitting the throats of any Con-symp that either kept us in our chains or sought to put them back on us. Better that the U.S. be destroyed in a civil war and cease to be a blight on the Earth than it continue to exist as a genocidal slave nation. I am quite sure that this continent’s native inhabitants would not take umbrage at my rudely expressed views. The U.S. is not God’s gift the world that brings succor to the Earth’s White inhabitants while it proves itself to be a murderous horror to all others. The Earth does not need such a nation, and if that genocide and slavery are to be its access way to existence then it is nothing but a befouling scourge upon humanity and a curse to its claims of providential mandate.

    Be righteous, or be gone!

    • Michael William Stone February 9, 2016 / 1:00 am

      “Be righteous, or be gone!”

      Oh dear!

      By that principle, the human race would be all but extinct.

      • Let me make myself very, very clear. Sympathy for the “Confederate position”= sympathy for the re-enslavement of persons of African descent, and the imposition of all means of its necessarily violent project upon persons of African descent. I strongly defy anyone to make an argument for the “Confederate position” while simultaneously and very rigorously arguing against its defense of chattel slavery. You cannot support the “Confederate position” and refute its essential definition: a racist slave-state economy, created and enforced by cruelty and violence. You cannot make “citizens” of such a state without simultaneously requiring that a portion of humanity unfortunate enough to be trapped within its agricultural, industrial, or private gulags be regarded as the property of other human beings, and that such a state of property status is written within the “race” of one, and this for the benefit of both them and their masters.

        And certainly one cannot hope to implement such a conditionality without being willing live with the fact that the victims of such a state may be disinclined to cooperate, AND that such disinclination will find its eventual expression.

        I am not interested in picking up an M-16 to fight evil around the world, and that is not the point here. I am merely here to rain the parade of Confederalist claptrap by reminding all that there are persons on the other end of that project who will not see this as merely an academic exercise to be discussed politely in the comments sections of one the best “accessible intellectual” (my term) websites around. [This site joins “tressiemc”, “Corey Robin”, “Working Class Perspectives”, and “Crooked Timber” as my go-to places for thoughtful posts by working scholars] What some defend is as a “position” is both treason and a massive human rights violation, and we need to be reminded of that. For some, it is just exploring an idea; for others it is a reminder that some still cannot see what history would now render as a crime against humanity as exactly that.

        As for my, “Be righteous, or be gone!” I remind all that we have a choice in many of our actions and if you cannot choose not be a friend to humanity then you place the rest of us at risk. My call for righteousness is not religious (I am an atheist) nor does it reference any “personal” morals (who gives a damn which consenting adult you sleep with or if you stole a paperclip from the office?). Rather, my definition of righteousness begins with compassion for others – and that puts out of reach any “principled” defense of the “Confederate position”. If one thinks that such a defense is possible, then go for it. Just don’t expect that polite language combined with the name dropping of historic figures will fool the rest of us. We know a defense of the gulag and the bullwhip when we see it and we will call it out.

    • BorderRuffian February 9, 2016 / 9:59 am

      “To me, that is the equal of claiming sympathy with the NAZIs’ ‘position’…”

      Descendants of Confederate veterans actually fought against Nazis during WWII. Most of them probably had sympathy with the “Confederate position.”

      • jclark82 February 10, 2016 / 12:10 pm

        You’re probably correct in that regard, that said it doesn’t make their sympathy with the confederate position right.

    • Joshism February 11, 2016 / 8:36 pm

      You can empathize with someone’s situation without actually agreeing with how they react to that decision.

      Furthermore, I think your argument smacks of Privileging The Present.

      • Donald Pruden, Jr. a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 12, 2016 / 7:53 am

        Uh, huh.

        So how do you respond to the slave era’s contemporaries — including those who were able to flee from bondage — who issued passionate, articulate, thoughtful and well-argued positions against the institution of chattel slavery? Are you so obtuse as to think that anti-slavery thought is a feature — and thus a luxury — of the present and post-slavery moment? Do historical agents of that era suffer from the pathology of “privileging the present”?

        YOUR “position” smacks of protecting crimes against humanity if they happened to certain populations and took place long “enough” ago in the past.

        • Joshism February 17, 2016 / 8:54 pm

          “So how do you respond to the slave era’s contemporaries — including those who were able to flee from bondage — who issued passionate, articulate, thoughtful and well-argued positions against the institution of chattel slavery?”

          Those arguments existed in that time, but were not widely accepted. And many of those who opposed slavery did so for reasons other than belief in black equality.

          “YOUR position smacks of protecting crimes against humanity if they happened to certain populations and took place long enough ago in the past”

          Define “protecting”?

          What Edward The Black Prince did to the French in the Hundred Years War makes Sherman look like a wimp. What both sides did to each other in the Thirty Years War would also be considered war crimes today. I’m sure there were people before 1648 who articulated the idea that we shouldn’t rape, pillage, plunder, and murder civilians in a war. Terrible things in an era when such terrible things were commonplace and widely accepted. You can’t convict someone for a crime they committed before said crime became illegal.

          To put it another way: Irish Catholics and Protestants murdered each other in the late 20th century over religion. Pedro Menendez murdered French Hugenots in Florida in 1565 because they were Protestant and he was Catholic. Both involve white Christians killing other white Christians because they are of different denominations. Neither is morally right, but the difference is that by the late 20th century the human race has evolved enough that most people accept that the idea of Catholics and Protests murdering each other is a terrible thing whereas in the 1500s it was commonplace and generally accepted.

          Condemning everyone in history who did something that is now widely considered immoral and unethical effectively condemns all of history as evil.

          • John Foskett February 18, 2016 / 3:19 pm

            Yeah, right. So I need to just “understand” the milieu of those who committed genocide in the American West during the 19th century or in the Holocaust. Different times, after all. Or do we get to single some out….

          • rcocean February 18, 2016 / 9:09 pm

            “Condemning everyone in history who did something that is now widely considered immoral and unethical effectively condemns all of history as evil.”

            Hey, what’s the use of studying history if we can’t feel smugly superior to people in the past?

  15. rcocean February 8, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    “Better that the U.S. be destroyed in a civil war and cease to be a blight on the Earth than it continue to exist as a genocidal slave nation.’

    Yes, its quite easy to say that. There’s plenty of injustice in the world in 2016, but strangely I don’t see many people grabbing M-16’s and going off to stop the bad guys. Guess its different when its your own life on the line and not 500,000 dead men from the past.

    • jclark82 February 10, 2016 / 12:22 pm

      I joined the Army to do just that, that was my choice to willingly risk my neck for principles. That said those who choose not to are just as entitled to their opinions.

  16. Tybalt February 8, 2016 / 4:04 pm

    I suppose I would also identify as a Calhounist, as I think his political theories were developed more fully and expressed more elegantly than Jefferson’s. Nevertheless, I am especially enamored of Jefferson’s perspicuous commentary denying the right of the dead to rule the living. It is an aspect of political and constitutional theory that Calhoun did not delve into, though Thomas Paine certainly did (and he agreed with Jefferson). All of this leads very naturally and very directly to supporting the Confederate cause.

    • Jimmy Dick February 8, 2016 / 7:50 pm

      The problem with that is that you are missing what Thomas Jefferson would do about Constitutional matters upon his return to the United States and assuming the position of Secretary of State in 1790. He deferred Constitutional matters to James Madison because he recognized Madison as the expert on those areas. Jefferson’s ideas on government were not the ones that would be imbued in the United States government. James Madison’s were.

      It also helps to know that Madison rejected secession as being constitutional and he also rejected the compact theory. Jefferson may have favored the compact theory, but that was soundly rejected by the rest of the nation and on multiple occasions by the US Supreme Court. Jefferson had a lot of ideas. Some were good. Some were not.

      Read what James Madison had to say about the subject in his reply to Jefferson on 4 Feb 1790. Keep in mind that Jefferson had nothing to do with the writing of the Constitution. Then consider what Jefferson said to Madison in response to the 4 Feb 1790 letter. At that point it begins to come clear that Jefferson’s thoughts were discarded.

      • Tybalt February 9, 2016 / 8:32 am

        Jefferson’s political principles have never been discarded. Indeed, we celebrate them every Fourth of July. As for Madison as a secessionist, remember that no less a constitutional authority than Akhil Amar has explicitly stated that the transition from the AoC to the Constitution was an act of secession. Inasmuch as Madison was at the forefront of that secession, that would necessarily make Madison one of the leading secessionists of his era. Also remember that Madison emphatically adhered to the compact theory of Union. In the Virginia resolution of 1798 he explicitly declared:

        “That this Assembly doth explicitly and peremptorily declare, that it views the powers of the federal government, AS RESULTING FROM THE COMPACT to which the states are parties…”

        And this is really just the tip of the iceberg regarding compact theory. Until the Civil War, it was commonly understood that the Constitution was a compact. In fact, the ratification of Massachusetts openly declared that the Constitution was a compact. it wasn’t until after the war that it became fashionable to deny this.

        • Jimmy Dick February 9, 2016 / 12:11 pm

          Nice try. Madison rejected the compact theory with the Nullification Crisis. He rejected secession as well. Furthermore, it was NOT commonly understood that the Constitution was a compact prior to the Civil War. I already told you that the compact theory was rejected by the SCOTUS multiple times. Just because the traitors wanted people to believe the compact theory idea doesn’t mean it was accepted by all. You may have noted that the majority of the people in the United States including the slave states rejected secession and the compact theory. Only a minority believed the lie. Only a minority believe the lie today.

          You also make the major error of trying to make Jefferson into a secessionist. You forget history via Jefferson’s actions as president along with Madison’s. Both men used the power of the federal government in ways that countered their writings in those resolutions. Actions speak louder than words. Jefferson was a monumental hypocrite in that regard because he constantly wrote one thing and then did another. He had a lot of ideas, but he didn’t follow through on most of them. So if you want to be a Jeffersonian, you can write a lot and then do something else.

          • Tybalt February 9, 2016 / 3:04 pm

            So with the explicit words of James Madison staring you in the face, and with his bold and decisive actions in leading the secession from the Articles of Confederation likewise staring you in the face, you simply decide to ignore it all and declare that Madison neither advocated the compact theory of union nor led the secession of 1787-’88? And by the way, when you say “the traitors wanted people to believe the compact theory” are you referring to Washington, Adam, Franklin, and Jefferson for the traitorous acts they perpetrated as they separated from Great Britain?

          • rcocean February 9, 2016 / 5:28 pm

            The problem is the Constitution is silent on secession. You can read it both ways.depending on your POV. One wonders why if it was such an important issue, why neither side prior to the Civil war proposed a constitutional amendment clarifying the situation. Nor did Lincoln go to the SCOTUS for a ruling during the civil war. And the Confederate Constitution says nothing about secession. Again, you would think that the issue would be important enough to write a few words in their new constitution.

            This just indicates to me that the whole “Constitutionality of secession” was not really important enough to either side.

          • Jimmy Dick February 9, 2016 / 8:17 pm


            This is relatively easy to explain. What you have done is select what you want from Madison and Jefferson without looking at the details and the wider context of their bodies of work. Yes, Madison wrote the words you quoted in 1798. However, in looking at James Madison and his life, you might notice that he lived many years after 1798, passing away in 1836. Thus, Madison lived a very long life, 85 years of age. His experiences and view of the nation over time changed his way of thinking if indeed he really meant what he wrote in the Virginia Resolution.

            You quote words from 1798 to support your position. I am looking at what Madison wrote in the 1830s during the Nullification Crisis when he completely repudiated secession, nullification, and the compact theory. I also look to his actions as President of the United States of America when he also acted in ways that contradicted what he wrote in 1798 and were much more in line with his thoughts in the Constitutional Convention and Ratification process. This brings me to the point which must be considered when discussing the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Did Thomas Jefferson and James Madison mean what they wrote in those Resolutions or was it political rhetoric meant to challenge the Federalists?

            This is a question which has been brought up many times by historians. Obviously, we cannot go back and ask the two men, but in looking at the broader scope of their histories, we see several things stand out such as Madison’s actions and words later in life. We also see the undeniable fact that the rest of the nation rejected those Resolutions utterly. Only when those that wished the workings of the federal government to be different borrowed those Resolutions would they acquire any support later. You can look up the information yourself in the Library of Congress.

            The most interesting part of this is in the analysis of the compact theory itself. Go on the Internet and you will find all kinds of websites on it, most of whom are not scholars, but instead people who like to cite the Resolutions to support their modern political ideology. Almost none of those sites mention Madison rejecting those Resolutions later in life. Oddly enough, one site did bring it up, but the article that did so rejected Madison’s thoughts because they didn’t fit into what the author wanted. He stated that Madison was wrong to reject nullification, the compact theory, and secession because that would make the federal government stronger than the individual states. Yet, that is precisely what James Madison was doing in 1787 in Philadelphia.

            Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, etc. were traitors to the British by the very definition of the word. However, they had a real legitimate gripe with the British government and it is well documented. The slave owners did not have a legitimate gripe with the United States government. They were traitors to the US by the very definition of the word. Don’t try to compare the Founders with the Confederates. The differences are extremely vast. The Founders had honor. The Confederates threw theirs away.

  17. jclark82 February 8, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    While I think of myself as an American of the 21st Century when it comes to my war mindset leads me to identify as a Kentucky Unionist with a strong abolitionist bent. I have no use, respect or love for the Southern Confederacy.

    I try to remain impartial and view the war from the lense of a man in the 21st Century but I cannot divorce myself from what the rebels believed. The fact the confederacy was nothing more than armed treason in the name of slavery is something I will not condone or respect.

    I served this country in the U.S. Army in order to defend the Constitution and its principles, the confederacy went entirely against those tenets.

    Jerry Sudduth Jr.
    Frankfort, KY

  18. Pat Young February 8, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    Apart from baseball, Yankee around here on Long Island means WASP from New England with the understanding that Ct is not part of New England.

    The Civil War era term people sometimes apply to me is Irish Catholic, so I guess that is the only one I would use.

  19. TF Smith February 8, 2016 / 7:20 pm

    Setting aside any question of where my ancestors were at the time (not in the southern US) from a cause and comrades point of view, the big green (blue at the time) machine would have be my “tribe,” presumably.

  20. Jimmy Dick February 8, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    I consider myself to be a citizen of the United States of America. As such, the regional distinction is unimportant. The regions to me have more to do with geographical concerns. The use of Yankee and Southerner have more to do with the Us versus Them divisions than actual realistic application in modern life. The more I examine the regional identity politics, the more I see that they are meant to divide people and prevent them from identifying as an American first.

  21. Leo February 9, 2016 / 8:54 am

    I’m an American.

  22. Neil Hamilton February 9, 2016 / 10:31 am

    Professor Simpson,

    The first 18 years of my life I lived in Franklin County just south of Columbus, Ohio, in a small towns never over 200 people in number. A big trip for me and my family was driving into downtown Columbus to go to the Lazarus department store. Then I graduated high school at 18 and joined the U.S. Army in July of 1971.

    My first experience outside my home state was Ft. Dix, New Jersey, for basic training. I was NOT impressed. I then went to Ft. Devens, MA, and was met with what I then consider much regional hostility. Again, not impressed. Then I went to Turkey, my first overseas assignment. Two years later, I returned to MY country and have been what I have known all along.

    I am an American. Not a Yankee from up North, nor a Rebel from down South, but an American. I found this out as no one in Turkey or Okinawa or Germany ever once asked me what region of the United States I came from. And I was pretty sure no terrorist would take the time from killing me to ask me if I was from the North or the South and spare my life based on what answer I would give.

    Therefore, I am an American, with all the social and historical baggage that title entails.

    Been nice talking to ya.

    Neil R. Hamilton

  23. Tony Gunter February 9, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    I identify with the Covenanters. GO CLAN MACKENZIE!!!!!!!

  24. Pam February 9, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    I am an American. I never owned slaves, and I never was a slave. But I can empathize with him. As hard as it is, I try to view the war objectively. 19th century America would probably astound us if we dropped in. I can’t imagine an entire society thinking it was ok to own men , women and children outright. Moreover, I can’t imagine fighting for it. That’s the way it was though. If you were brought up that way why would you think its wrong? The institution was even justified via religion. I think I would rather die than not be in control of my body, or to be able to protect my own , or prohibited to move freely, or to speak my mind. Furthermore if I were a slave I don’t think I would care if the whole country blew up because of the meanness and atrocities perpetrated on a people . What puzzles me, is that some people did understand the wrongness of it and stood up against it. So in one sense it is hard to excuse a slave owner. The problem I see today is that many people cannot or will not put themselves in the place of a slave. Slaves were stripped of their identities and their stories and their lives go unreported. Therefore there is a lack of empathy on behalf of the slaves. Their stories need to be told and researched and taught. As if being owned wasn’t bad enough, slaves that left their plantation to follow the Union armies had a tough time. There was sickness and death without proper care or food. Union commanders were not given definitive policy or resources to handle this influx. In many cases the slaves were not treated any better by the Union soldiers then they were at home. It’s not as if they could just take a train and go up north where they were not welcomed. They started off with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Our country really needs to accept this part of our history and stop candy coating it because it happened and we are still feeling the effects from it today. Please excuse to run ons I am dictating into my snazzy phone.

  25. Tybalt February 9, 2016 / 11:16 pm


    It is perfectly true that Madison’s political and intellectual legacy is tarnished by the hypocrisies and contradictions he demonstrated as an addlepated octogenarian. But it is also true that in the full vigor of his intellectual prime he was a dedicated secessionist. Given the choice, I’ll take Madison in his prime. I do however agree that the difference between the Confederates and the Founders is vast. In the case of the founders, they perpetrated treason on the baseless petty complaint that their taxes were too high. The Confederates merely exercised their constitutional right to political independence; all they wanted was to be left alone. In the case of the Founders, there were utterly without honor, and in the case of the Confederates, they embodied honor in every particular.

    • Donald Pruden, Jr. a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 10, 2016 / 7:24 am

      “The Confederates merely exercised their constitutional right to political independence; all they wanted was to be left alone. In the case of the Founders, there were utterly without honor, and in the case of the Confederates, they embodied honor in every particular.”

      “….To be left alone” to beat, rape and burn. To scald, to salt wounds, to flay, to press into unrecompensed labor, to sell their own rape-produced offspring as chattel, to pray to their god over the horror-stricken screams of their hopeless and hapless victims.

      …To separate slaves’ families, to fetter their bodies with cowbells, shackles, spiked neck-collars.

      …To have slaves diagnosed by them with the diseases of “dysaesthesia aethiopica” and “draeptomania”, whose cure is the imposition of ever more brutish labor and, if the disease persists in the face of the masters “kindnesses”, more of the bullwhip administered upon the slave’s body and a more liberal salting of the scars produced thereby along with the loving removal of afflicted Negroe’s toes.

      These constitute the well-deserved “honor” that the Confederates embody and these are among their “particulars”.

    • Jimmy Dick February 10, 2016 / 7:46 am

      Looks like there is no point in me continuing this conversation with a person who has no interest in history and displays an inability to learn.

      • Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 2:52 pm

        I know exactly how you feel.

        • Jimmy Dick February 10, 2016 / 5:24 pm

          I doubt it. You are bringing up lost cause trash and lies. You pick and choose what you want from history and ignore what you don’t like. That shows you are not a historian and are only blowing hot air. However, I’m sure you are just going to run your lying mouth some more which is what lost causers do when they have nothing to back up their lies.

          • Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 9:05 pm

            I see you are doing the dishonest cherry-picking at which you are so adept. But the fact that you are reduced to the ugly type of deceptive verbal-vomiting you rely on to sustain your emancipation mythology and pack of lies on which it depends it perfectly predictable.

          • Jimmy Dick February 10, 2016 / 10:06 pm

            Repeating what I say isn’t going to help you accomplish anything. We rely on facts in the historical profession. You tried to cherry pick and you got called out on it. It’s your usual MO. If you can’t use facts to support your crap, then run off and play with the rest of the Causers and their fantasies. It is the only thing you are good at.

  26. Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    ” To scald, to salt wounds, to flay, to press into unrecompensed labor, to sell their own rape-produced offspring as chattel, to pray to their god over the horror-stricken screams of their hopeless and hapless victims.

    …To separate slaves’ families, to fetter their bodies with cowbells, shackles, spiked neck-collars.”

    You are, no doubt, describing how African slaves were treated in Africa. But if you interested in discussing slavery in North America, I suppose we should begin by discussing how all those slave got here in the first place. Any ideas?

    • Jimmy Dick February 10, 2016 / 5:25 pm

      Could you please toss out some more lost cause lies so we can see your ignorance on full display? Or do you want to start using your real name instead of hiding behind an alias like you do the lies?

      • Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 8:03 pm

        And can you please toss out some more emancipation myths and lies so we can see your special brand of ignorance on full display? Or do just want to continue hiding behind the pack of lies you constantly spew?

        • Jimmy Dick February 10, 2016 / 10:03 pm

          Oh, what’s the matter? Just going into denial now like you usually do once your lies are exposed for the trash they are? As usual you cannot prove anything so you fall back to your same old crap. You’re a one trick pony and always have been. I also notice you like to hide behind another alias because you are too chicken to give your real name. That’s what I expect from trash.

          • Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 10:59 pm

            Still spewing your worthless lies? So very sad. And so very typical that you are instantly reduced to a vulgar, unrestrained temper tantrum when your pack of lies are revealed to be nothing more than sewer content. Pure rot. But then again, that is to be expected from filth.

          • Jimmy Dick February 11, 2016 / 9:10 am

            Once again you offer nothing but your mouth. Strange how every time you try to pass off something to support your lies it gets hammered and reveals how little you understand of history. Apparently you don’t like historians who use facts.

    • Donald Pruden, Jr. a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 12, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      At this link one will find an extremely well-assembled collection of references regarding the “AFRICAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE SLAVE TRADE” [capitalized in the title of the citation list]:

      Now I know that some suspect parties will and, with little editorial integrity and much strategic semantic distortion, pick and choose (and intentionally misapprehend) those pieces that will likely serve the interests of those who seek to disregard the historically real phenomenon of White supremacy and scientific racism as ideological defenses of the enslavement of Africans in the Western World. The goal in such a project is to implicate “Blacks” as a distinct, undifferentiated, and homogenous group whose essential and savage nature includes a lack of humanity so deep that they would sell each other into slavery for a few trinkets and shiny baubles.

      I won’t waste time on refuting such patent nonsense but would ask the serious reader to peruse the reading list for whatever strikes her curiosity. Let me only state that African involvement in the slave trade is true – but it ain’t what some lazy and, well, racist minds, think it was. But it is worth noting that some who raise the issue are often very interested exonerating Whites (Why? Who says being White was proof of evil intent, and why are some Whites so thin-skinned on the issue of European and Euro-American participation in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade that calling up African participation in the trade is issued as some kind of “defense”? Of what, exactly?)

      Tybalt, you write: “You are, no doubt, describing how African slaves were treated in Africa.”

      I am describing how they were treated in the Americas (Africans did not salt wounds inflicted by bullwhips, neither did they forge and affix the shackles, nor create intricate religious and political ideologies that defended slavery as God’s will or as a beneficence to its victims, or diagnose them with non-existent mental illnesses) but it is worth noting that such treatment of Africans in Africa continued well beyond the legal end of slavery. I recommend “King Leopold’s Ghost”, and you can read of the brutal savagery against the African committed by the European colonial/imperial agents of the Belgian Congo. There is even photographic evidence of the violence including pictures of some of the most chilling postcards you will ever see.

      In the early 1990s I was a graduate student in the Cinema Studies Dept. in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Part of my tuition was covered by work-study programs. As such, I worked in the NYU Law Library cellars copying reams of articles for the University’s law students at the request of its professors. On of the bennies of the job was that I could take home excess copies of the NYU Law Journal free of charge before they got pulped. Anyway, during my waits for the copy machines to finish their work so that I could then bind the copies I would cross the cellar hall into a glass and dark-wooded room and see the old law books on the stacks. I took one off its shelf (I chose one for the State of Mississippi, and the laws therein were published before 1865) and read it. In this book were descriptions, written in the driest of near-Hegelian legalese, of the legal sanctions in place to protect the institution of slavery and the social and political supremacy of White persons living in Mississippi. The wide berth given to American Whites to enforce their superiority over American Black slaves was simply breathtaking. In effect, if not in actual fact, every White male was a slave master, even if he did not own a single Negro. Violence against a Black slave by a White man was viewed under law as an offence only against the slave’s legal (and, of course, White) owner. I recommend anyone who can do so to visit your college’s law library. You will be shocked at what you will find in the law books there. We may have cause to conclude that no Africans were involved in the writing of these Laws, nor in their implementation.

      You continue: “But if you interested in discussing slavery in North America, I suppose we should begin by discussing how all those slave got here in the first place. Any ideas?”

      Yeah, one. They were put on ocean-going ships, built by Whites, piloted and maintained by Whites, insured by White-owned insurance corporations and upon arrival to American shores, sold by Whites to (almost exclusively) other Whites. They were captured by both Africans – often as spoils of inter-tribal indigenous national wars – and sold to Europeans, as well as kidnapped by Europeans with the assistance of Africans who were often in conflicts with the eventual captives’ tribal nations. Please read the essays at the link for more details (and controversies).

      Here is my question to Tybalt. Would you care to explain why the White Europeans and the White Americans would be so willing to participate in the slave trade – after all, and to re-phrase your question, how does it happen that all of these captives landed in climes dominated solely by Whites – and for extra credit would you be willing to explain the Whites’ treatment of American Blacks under slavery?

      Thank you for your time.

      • Tybalt February 12, 2016 / 9:04 pm

        Sure. But after you explain to me why Black Africans and Black Benins were so willing to participate in the slave trade. After all, these were Black Africans selling, dooming, and condemning Black Africans into the horrors of the Middle Passage and a lifetime of bondage. And for extra credit, would you be prepared to explain how Black Africans treated Black African chattel slaves under slavery?

        Thank you for your time.

        PS- It must have been interesting reading the old Mississippi slavery statutes. Did you also have an opportunity to take an old law book off the shelf, choosing one from New York (written in the driest Hegelian legalese, of course), which described the legal sanctions in place to protect the institution of slavery and the social and political supremacy of White persons living in New York? Surely right there at NYU such information would have been readily available, right? Did you repeat the exercise and read the statutes which governed the slave trade in New York? I betcha they too, were written in the driest Hegelian legalese.

  27. Pam February 10, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    I wonder what this group would think if they time traveled to the south in 1855 as a Black person? There’s the question. Would it be ok from that perspective to let slavery linger on just a little longer?

  28. Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    Yup, that’s the question alright. But which slave state would we time travel back to? Kentucky perhaps? Maybe Missouri? Maryland? Delaware? And since we are time traveling, can we go back to, say, 1830, and visit the slave states of New York and New Jersey? Can we time travel back even a little further to perhaps 1807 and sail out of Newport, Rhode Island, on a slave-trafficking expedition to West Africa? Maybe we can sail out of Boston on a slave ship too?

    That, to me, would really be interesting.

    • Nancy February 10, 2016 / 9:42 pm

      While you’re at it, visit the state legislatures in the northern states, and listen to them outlaw slavery. No state, north or south, legalized slavery in the first place — it was simply there since the days of the British Empire. Slave labor could be used in industries and mining, as well as agriculture, but northern states did not want to keep slavery. Think about that.

      • Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 10:51 pm

        Oh goodness yes. In specific, I will visit the racist, all-white, Illinois legislature in 1858 so I can observe as they elect white-supremacist Stephen Douglas to the United States Senate. Perhaps Douglas won them over with this speech (audience response in parentheses):

        “…I ask you, are you in favor of conferring upon the negro the rights and privileges of citizenship? (“No, no.”) Do you desire to strike out of our State Constitution that clause which keeps slaves and free negroes out of the State, and allow the free negroes to flow in, (“never,”) and cover your prairies with black settlements? Do you desire to turn this beautiful State into a free negro colony, (“no, no,”) in order that when Missouri abolishes slavery she can send one hundred thousand emancipated slaves into Illinois, to become citizens and voters, on an equality with yourselves? (“Never,” “no.”) If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire to allow them to come into the State and settle with the white man, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible to office, to serve on juries, and to adjudge your rights, then support Mr. Lincoln and the Black Republican party, who are in favor of the citizenship of the negro. (“Never, never.”) For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. (Cheers.) I believe this Government was made on the white basis. (“Good.”) I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity for ever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians, and other inferior races. (“Good for you.” “Douglas forever.”)

        Presumably, the all-white legislature was wearing slave-grown cotton shirts, puffing on slave-grown tobacco, sipping slave-grown coffee, and dashed with slave-grown sugar when they elected the white-supremacist Senator pledged to keeping Illinois a white-supremacist society. So yeah, let’s climb aboard the time machine and go.

        • Brooks D. Simpson February 11, 2016 / 12:02 am

          FWIW, the Illinois legislature reelected Douglas on January 5, 1859.

          Most people understand that one could be a white supremacist or harbor racial prejudices and still oppose slavery. Douglas was not among that number, but when you decide to reply to a statement about outlawing slavery with one about northern racism, you simply dodge the argument. Please remind us of which southern state legislature outlawed slavery prior to 1860. Thanks.

          • Tybalt February 11, 2016 / 11:24 am

            That’s easy; the Union slave-state of Kentucky. Oh, no wait. Slavery was legal in Kentucky right up until the Southern states ratified the 13th amendment making slavery illegal throughout the entire U.S.

          • Brooks D. Simpson February 11, 2016 / 12:28 pm

            As you say, Kentucky was a Union state. Not a northern state. Same goes for Delaware, not too far from where you live. And recall why southern states participated in the ratification process.

          • Jimmy Dick February 11, 2016 / 12:33 pm

            I notice Kentucky did not secede nor wage war against the US to prevent slavery from ending. The majority of its fighting men fought to preserve the Union which as it turned out brought about the end of slavery.

            You didn’t answer Dr. Simpson’s question either.

          • Brooks D. Simpson February 11, 2016 / 1:31 pm

            I don’t expect him to do so. At some point trolls go away.

  29. Pam February 10, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    Ok Tybalt. Pick a spot and tell us all about your surroundings, your health, your family, your aspirations for your children and your future?

    • Tybalt February 10, 2016 / 11:21 pm

      Surroundings? The Union slave-state of Kentucky? Health? OK, I suppose, but the master sometimes beats his slaveshere as severely as George Washington beat his slaves at Mt. Vernon. Family? Single. But the master has been sexually assaulting the daughter of fellow agricultural laborer, maybe as bad as the way Thomas Jefferson abused his underage female slaves. Aspirations? Maybe escape to the North, but the closest Northern State is Illinois. And I can’t go there, because under the white-supremacist Illinois Constitution, it is illegal for blacks to live there (they even put it in their Constitution-can you believe it?!). Things look bleak here in the Union slave-sate of Kentucky, that’s for sure.

      • Mike February 11, 2016 / 11:41 am

        You seem to be fixated on ” the north was just as bad as the south ” as if two wrongs make a right.Are you intentionally missing the point ? As an adult male human being how would you feel if some one was lashing you with a whip ? How about working for no pay ? Seriously, slavery in any time or place is simply wrong. I was born American and Identify myself as a member of the human race.

        • Tybalt February 11, 2016 / 2:59 pm

          Actually it goes the other way. In other words, it is you who seems to be obsessed with the idea that “the south was just as bad as the north”, as if that somehow justifies northern social behaviors. So then ask yourself, are you, in point of fact, deliberately missing the point of all this? Dou you somehow think that because racism and injustice existed in the south that it therefore excuses and justifies the racism and injustices of the north? We do agree, of course that slavery and slave-trafficking are profound wrongs regardless of where they are practiced.

    • Tybalt February 12, 2016 / 1:01 am

      I certainly agree that the union slave state of Kentucky did not separate itself from the United States, and that it did not wage war against them to prevent slavery from ending. Indeed, and as I have said before, Kentucky decided the best way to prevent slavery from ending was to remain firmly planted in the United States, where slavery had always been legal. But more to the point, no state or union of states ever waged war against the United States to prevent slavery from ending. The Confederate States of America, however, did find it necessary to wage a war of self-defense against the United States. And more specifically, that war was fought because the United States violated the territorial integrity of the Confederate States and also refused to recognize their political independence. It certainly had nothing to do with preventing slavery from ending.

      • Jimmy Dick February 12, 2016 / 10:42 am

        Better check your history before you open your mouth and lie. The CSA attacked the United States at Ft. Sumter. The CSA had absolutely NO legal right to exist. Plus the CSA was founded on the protection of slavery. So right there all you did was lie using the same old lost cause crap which is based on more lies.

        You just keep repeating these lies over and over again and can provide nothing to prove your point. You do this all the time under various aliases. Reply all you want, I’m not going to respond to your lies any more. The facts have proven you wrong every time. If you want to reject the facts, that is your problem and your self-delusion.

        • Tybalt February 12, 2016 / 12:02 pm

          How very, very, predictable. You started your violent, wild-eyed, foaming-at-the-mouth tirade with a pack of lies, and finished it with a pack of lies as well. Congratulations. But because I am feeling especially magnanimous today, I will, for your general edification, correct a few of the more egregious errors contained in your senseless diatribe.

          1. The CSA had a perfect legal right to exist. More specifically, the states which had dissolved their political connection to the United States were perfectly free, and had every right under justice and nature, to enter into whatever political alliance they chose (if it helps, think in terms of the colonies when they dissolved their political connection to Great Britain).

          2. The United States of America had NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to violate the territorial integrity of the Confederate States of America

          3. The CSA was founded for the specific reasons promulgated in the Preamble of its Constitution. It had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with slavery.

          Now then, as your comic-book understanding of history and constitutional law has grown increasingly tiresome, please do carry through with your “threat” to never reply to me again. As you have “threatened” this many time before, I would appreciate it if you finally followed through on it. Thank you.

          • Jimmy Dick February 12, 2016 / 5:57 pm

            And so predictable of you to continue to lie. Your first point is wrong and you have been proven wrong multiple times on this blog in the past. Come on Caldwell, get it straight. It would be nice if you could educate me, but that is beyond your limited intelligence.

            That means point two is wrong as usual.

            And for three, read the damn document where it talks about slavery. Then read the secession declarations where the secession delegates state in clear language beyond any doubt that they were seceding over slavery.

            Then come back here and run your lying mouth again.

            If you were in my class you would be failing. You could go to the deans and complain, but to get the grade changed you would have to show clear proof that you were right. You could not do that because the proof states otherwise. They would laugh you out of the room. Of course, you are not interested in learning. A college campus is anathema to you.

            But you don’t care do you? All you want to do is lie to yourself, but no one here is buying it. They never do. I just like pulling your chain to watch you sputter and repeat yourself.

            So here, it’s your turn. Come on, lie to us some more. Say some more lost cause stuff you can’t prove. Repeat yourself again. We’re waiting.

  30. Scott Ledridge February 10, 2016 / 8:29 pm


    I’m proud to be from the South. I love the South. I have no desire to be anywhere else. Tennesseean with strong Kentucky roots.

    But, I’ve come to find that some don’t consider me “Southern” because I don’t toe the “heritage” line. Even arguing against it.

    • Tybalt February 13, 2016 / 2:06 am

      Oh Jimmy, you are too, too funny. Even your empty threats about not replying to me are bald-faced lies. Ya know how you can tell when Jimmy Dick is lying? His lips are moving (or he is typing a post to a blog site). Lol. So once and for all, get this through your thick, doltish, unlettered, brainless head; The War for Southern Independence had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with slavery. It was fought because certain Southern states dissolved their respective political connection to the United States, and in response, the United States assaulted them (again, think in terms of King George’s response when the slave-trafficking colonies in British North America dissolved their political connection to Great Britain). If you can’t handle that, tough sheets. Because the never-ending stream of shameless bald-faced lies you tell can’t change that irrefutable fact. Neither can that absurd farce of yours whereby you hilariously describe the conflict in terms of some sort of ridiculous emancipation mythology. Pure rot is what that is.

      But for grins and giggles, and to really get you wound up, please do the following:

      1. Show me where the Constitution prohibits a state from dissolving its political connection to the United States

      2. Show me the Act of Congress which made it illegal for a state to dissolve its political connection to the United States

      3. Show me the oath of perpetuity in the ratifications of the original 13 states

      4. Show me the provision in the respective Acts of Congress declaring the admission of any of the other states was “perpetual”

      5. Lose some weight. And for chrissakes, stop lying.

      • Jimmy Dick February 13, 2016 / 5:27 pm

        Aww, poor little Caldwell can’t do anything but sputter his useless lies. What’s the matter, baby? Got tired of having your lies smacked down? Got tired of being proven wrong?

        So here you are again asking for proof after you have been given it multiple times by multiple people. Sorry. Read a history book or two. Try reading some of Brooks’ for a change. You could read some of what Amar says too, but you only cherry pick what you want. I watched the man lecture on the subject and he said secession isn’t part of the Constitution. He also talked about the Constitution and its creation as a process and that’s where you fall short. You don’t want to hear anything that refutes your beliefs. Too bad.

        Do your own research. Prove that what you say is factual. You made claims time and time again and have been proven wrong. Bring something new to the table.

        You can’t do it. You don’t have the intelligence. That’s what I expect from a troll like yourself. That’s the sign of someone being too ignorant to realize they are wrong. But go ahead, repeat yourself.

        Or say something with actual factual information. You won’t because when you try you get proven wrong.

          • Tybalt February 13, 2016 / 8:36 pm

            Oh dear, I must have really touched a nerve! Four, count ’em four, successive posts in response to my one. And each post a Jimmy Dick classic; characterized by wild-eyed hysteria, bald-faced lies, violent paroxysms, incoherent rambling, willful ignorance, deplorable dishonesty, vulgar ranting, grotesque hypocrisy, and semi-literate syntax. I haven’t’ seen him this foaming-at-the-mouth rabid since someone posted a link to a paper he authored openly acknowledging that the colonies seceded from the British Crown. The funniest though, is that in my last post I explicitly stated that I would really get him wound up. Like taking candy from a baby. Lol.

            Anyway Jimmy, in all your red-faced hysteria you still haven’t shown so much as a single legal source, not a single one, which declared and established that a state could not dissolve its political connection to the United States. Until you do that, despite your hilarious toddler-like temper-tantrums, you will continue to get crushed and humiliated by me in these debates.

            PS- Didn’t I tell you to stop lying?

          • Brooks D. Simpson February 14, 2016 / 7:07 am

            And with that we bring this latest exchange to an end. Some people have been confusing it with the Republican presidential debates.

  31. neukomment February 11, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    I have considered from time to time changing my handle to “The Unrepentant Yankee”. All my family were Northern born Unionists and I can’t prove it but I suspect one branch moved from Ontario, Canada to the Michigan/Ohio line in the mid 1850’s to assists in the underground railroad. One of my Uncles was with Custer at Gettysburg. A couple of other Uncles were with Grant at Vicksburg. One Uncle did time as a POW at Andersonville and was one of the lucky ones who survived though his health never really got back to “normal”. My Great Grandfather was with Thomas at Nashville when John Bell Hood got whooped good, and after the war he was a life long Republican from what had been a Democrat family.

    I was raised in the era of “Lost Cause” dominance. My disillusionment with that view came when I felt like I was suppose to somehow apologize for my great-grandfathers, (3 who served in the US Army) service in the Union cause. Uh.. Pardon me… I don’t think so… (Nor did my people rape your women…)

    But what if I had been born and raised in the south? What if my ancestors had fought for the confederacy? If I had lived in the slave holding section of the country back in the 1850’s, what would I have done? I can not honestly answer those questions. I want to hope I would have still been a Unionist and abolitionist, but such wishful thinking belies the realities of how upbringing and culture shape and influence our views, and is also a projecting back from where I am 150 years later in the 21st century.

    In the end, they fired on our flag. We responded accordingly. No apology….

  32. Joshism February 11, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    I identify as a Yankee to anyone with a Confederate flag, but that’s about it. I’m anti-South, but not pro-North. I grew up in and have spent most of my life in Florida, but my parents weren’t born here which is a great way to learn to like neither the South (rednecks) or North (snowbirds from NYC and Baaaw-stin).

    I’ve never had any love for the South. I’m anti-slavery of course, but the Lost Cause arguments never swayed me. States Rights? One of my earliest political stances, upon which I have never wavered, is that states do not have rights. There is nothing about the antebellum South that has ever seemed appealing to me. So while I think I’ve come to understand alot about Southerners during the Civil War and respect the decision to fight and die for what one truly believes in, I never have been and never will be sympathetic to the South or the Confederates.

  33. Al Mackey February 13, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    I’m an American living in 2016. I don’t understand why someone living in 2016 would want to identify themself as someone from the 19th Century. Yet for some reason there are people who do so.

    • Jimmy Dick February 13, 2016 / 8:22 pm

      Wouldn’t that mean they would have to admit the world has changed and has left the past where it belongs…in the past? They’ve built a fictitious world out of imaginary beliefs. To admit the changes would destroy those beliefs and their self-identity.

  34. rcocean February 16, 2016 / 9:12 pm

    Some very interesting responses so far. I’m always astounded at how many people get involved in Civil War history,but don’t seem to actually care much about History and the people who lived in the past. Civil war History just seems to be a way to push their present day ideology or God knows what. I wonder why some of the more extreme types – on both sides – don’t spend more of their time at Democrat Underground or a Right wing site. Seems to make more sense go where you can fight about racism, sexism, etc in 2016 without using the Civil War as a Proxy.

  35. Shoshana Bee February 17, 2016 / 12:10 am

    Plain and simple: Student. I don’t even like avitars that much, because folks start unconsciously identifying me as some decrepit old general. As soon as there is emotional investment via some sort of vicarious identity, out goes the logic, so I will stick with Student.

  36. Leo February 23, 2016 / 10:11 am

    This is why I not confederate:

    If you want to know why so many people think we need to change our state flag, look no further than the photo above. This was an entry to our contest asking readers to propose new state flag designs. I’m sharing it because I want people to see the shocking crap that still exists, that some people in our state still believe to be “funny.”

    It’s one of the most despicable things I’ve seen in a long time. We had a few despicable entries and some accusing us of stirring the race pot. One person went as far as to say that if we’d just shut up about the flag that “all the blacks would shut up about it too.”

    We need a new state flag every Mississippian can look at and be proud of. We don’t need one that is clearly divisive, not to mention offensive to many.

    It was disappointing to see Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, back away from his earlier declaration that Mississippi needed to change its state flag. Instead of exemplifying courage in the face of possible political retribution, Gunn joined other state leaders kicking the can down the road and saying, “Let the voters decide.”

    That’s fine. Let the voters decide. But if we get this kind of crap submitted as a contest entry, just think of the nastiness that will arise during a campaign to change the state flag.

    Our lawmakers can stand up and do what is right — which is to unite the state under a banner that appeals to all Mississippians — or they can continue to allow our state to be divided by a symbol that has become synonymous with racism. The history of the symbol be damned; only a fool would say today that society does not associate the confederate symbol with the legacy of slavery and racial divisiveness.

    And if you don’t believe me, take a look at that photo above. Tell me that’s not racist. Tell me that something as simple as a drawing contest should raise anyone to draw such an offensive image. Tell me that the defense of any symbol — in this case the confederate symbol — should stir such racist expressions.

    Then tell me our current state flag has nothing to do with race.

    • Laqueesha March 8, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      Of course it has everything to do with race. It was created in 1894, four years after the segregationist Democrats created a new state constitution to institute Jim Crow segregation and disenfranchise black voters. If “Redemption” had never happened and the Republicans maintained control of the state, the current state flag would not exist, simple as that. The segregationist Democrats chose a Confederate state flag because they believed in the same thing the Confederates did, white supremacy (which is not a term that I use lightly).

      Racism aside, I object to the flag on grounds that I am a loyal American and the state flag represents the Confederates, traitorous enemies of my nation, who murdered my countrymen. Simple as that.

  37. Laqueesha March 8, 2016 / 8:01 pm

    I am a Virginian. I’m also a loyal American. There, I guess you could say I’m a Southern Unionist, had I been alive during the war.

  38. The Lamp March 9, 2016 / 9:22 pm

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