Monthly Archives

March 2021


Gomer Pyle and the Music of Southern Poverty

Sometimes, you need to go halfway around the world in order to make a point, especially if the point to be made is not a simple one.  This is one of those times.  Also, it’s probably past time that I should explain the difference between a Yankee and a Northerner.  “Northerner” is a geographic term that refers to anyone not…
Tom Daniel
March 31, 2021

John C. Calhoun: American

No American is more vilified than John C. Calhoun. A recent biography has labeled him the American "heretic," and it has become fashionable to blame every political problem in American on this long deceased statesman. Is this true or fair? Calhoun was well respected during his lifetime and served in almost every important position in the United States government. He…
Brion McClanahan
March 30, 2021

Beginning with History

Any fool can write history, and many do.  Please do not assume that I mean by this statement to vaunt the “expert” and slight the amateur.  In writing history the amateur is sometimes gifted, and there is no more pestiferous fool than the smug, pretentious “expert” who thinks of his own mind as the repository of ultimate truth.  What a…
Clyde Wilson
March 29, 2021

Podcast Episode 254

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute March 22-26, 2021 Topics: Robert E. Lee, Ty Seidule, Southern Manners, Southern Tradition, Southern Politics, Decentralization
Brion McClanahan
March 27, 2021

Southern Reflections on Being Neighborly

A white house sits on the outskirts of a small town in upstate South Carolina. It is modest in both size and appearance, and rather old, and in front of it next to the highway is a large cross which appears to have taken some money and effort to erect. There is a sign which invites any passerby to stop…
Tom Hervey
March 26, 2021

Our Other Man in Charleston

Published in 2016, the book Our Man in Charleston tells the story of Robert Bunch (1820-1881), the British consul in Charleston, South Carolina, who is described in the subtitle as “Britain’s Secret Agent.”Bunch was not, for the most part, a secret agent, but he did somewhat covertly keep his government informed about conditions and developments in South Carolina. In correspondence…
Karen Stokes
March 25, 2021

Dixie, Quo Vadis?

Many today feel that true Southerners living in the eleven States of the former Confederacy are, in many ways, once again fighting for their very existence and face the dismal prospect of the South they once knew becoming, as in Margaret Mitchel’s classic novel, a dream that will all too soon be gone with the wind.  Virtually everything they now…
John Marquardt
March 24, 2021
Review Posts

Secession’s Magic Numbers, Part II

A serial review of books numbering the States after a dissolution of the Union. A review of Around the Cragged Hill: A Personal and Political Philosophy (W.W. Norton, 1993) by George F. Kennan and The Nine Nations of North America (Houghton Mifflin, 1981) by Joel Garreau. Although his suggestion that the United States might be better off breaking into 12…
Terry Hulsey
March 23, 2021

Robert E. Lee and (Woke General) Please Like Me

Ty Seidule's mea culpa memoir, Robert E. Lee and Me, has generated the predictable supporters: mainstream media outlets, leftist dominated history departments, and neoconservative "intellectuals." This says more about Seidule than his book. He just wants to be loved. On the other hand, his book is a collection of half-truths and cherry picked propaganda designed to meet his "opinion" of…
Philip Leigh
March 22, 2021

Podcast Episode 253

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute March 15-19, 2021 Topics: John C. Calhoun, Woke Politics, Southern Tradition, War Crimes
Brion McClanahan
March 20, 2021

I Listen

I read this piece to the Jackson Writers Guild a year ago. Since then, we’ve not been able to meet. Here it is again. A southern writer can collect more stories from a back-porch conversation than from hours of creative writing instruction or a ten-day cruise through the Panama Canal. It’s especially true on Friday night when everybody kicks backs,…
Averyell A. Kessler
March 19, 2021

Honoring Calhoun

Editor's Note: This speech was delivered before the Senate on March 12, 1910, at the dedication of John C. Calhoun's statue in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol. Address of Mr. (Henry Cabot) Lodge, of Massachusetts, United States Senate, 1910 Mr. PRESIDENT: When the senior Senator from South Carolina (Mr. Tillman), whose illness we all deplore, did me the…
Henry Cabot Lodge
March 18, 2021


For some time now I have had a passion for classic films, in particular those films that portray sympathetically and with historical accuracy the Southland, and, more particularly, events of the War Between the States. I can remember going to the old Village Theater in Raleigh and, with my parents, seeing a re-screening of “Gone With the Wind.” And around…
Boyd Cathey
March 17, 2021
Review Posts

The Greatest of All Leathernecks

A review of The Greatest of All Leathernecks (LSU Press, 2019) by Joseph Simon. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in eastern North Carolina along the Atlantic shore or was blessed to wear the insignia of the United States Marines is well-aware of the name John A. Lejeune.  In this biography by Joseph Simon we are introduced to…
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
March 16, 2021

Crimes Against Humanity

It is time to consider the crimes committed against Southern prisoners of war by their federal captors. In 1903, Adj. Gen. F. C. Ainsworth estimated that more than 30,000 Union and 26,000 Confederates died in captivity (that is 12% died in the North and 15.5% in the South). However, the numbers and the death rate of Confederate prisoners were vastly…
Valerie Protopapas
March 15, 2021

Podcast Episode 252

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute March 8-12, 2021 Topics: Cancel Culture, Yankees, VMI, Civil Rights, Andrew Jackson
Brion McClanahan
March 13, 2021

The Termite Infestation of American History

As part of its campaign to pander to the important and urgent needs of African-Americans with extremely divisive yet ultimately performative identity politics, the Biden-Harris administration has announced that it will resume Barack Obama’s decision in 2015 to remove Andrew Jackson from the twenty-dollar bill and replace him with Harriet Tubman. Jonathan Waldman’s celebratory and condescending column in The Washington…
James Rutledge Roesch
March 12, 2021

Yankees 38, VMI 3

The Virginia Military Institute, ever the underdog. . . . For longtime VMI football fans, the above score may be all-too-painfully reminiscent. I recall the first time I heard of VMI. It was a University of Maryland vs. VMI football game in 1971. I was captivated by VMI from then on and began there as a “Rat” five years later.…
Forrest L. Marion
March 11, 2021

Now Is The Best Time To Be Southern

These past several years, we Americans have been living in an accelerating anti-cultural vortex. Day by day the Yankee juggernaut gains steam. Once content with carpetbombing Hanoi and Baghdad, the Yankees are now taking their civilizational demolition derby back South, where it all began. Topple the Southern statues, spraypaint the Southern monuments, mock the Southern accents and folkways, and cancel…
Jason Morgan
March 10, 2021

A Yankee Who Understood Southerners

“Dear me, what’s the good of being a Southerner?” asks one of the characters on the very first page of Henry James’ nineteenth-century novel The Bostonians. Though this question may not be the most important theme of James’ widely-hailed book, the idiosyncrasies and paradoxes of the South serve as a backdrop for the entire story. Indeed, James, a native New…
Casey Chalk
March 9, 2021

German POWs and Civil Rights

I have written here before about my beloved hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama.  Forgive me if you’ve read this before, but Tuskegee was unique among small rural Southern towns because of its large, well-educated, and fairly empowered Black population.  I wish I could find the reference source for this data, but years ago I read that the Black-to-White ratio in Tuskegee…
Tom Daniel
March 8, 2021

Podcast Episode 251

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, March 1-5, 2021 Topics: Cancel Culture, Political Correctness, Southern Tradition, Southern Literature
Brion McClanahan
March 6, 2021

A Look Into Our Future

Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked? Ecclesiastes 7: 13 Scott Howard, in his book The Trans-gender Industrial Complex, says on pages 164-5: The so-called Enlightenment made man the center of the universe, a premise no less ridiculous than the not-long-discarded geocentric theory. When man is the center of the universe, he is God -…
H.V. Traywick, Jr.
March 5, 2021

Power School Wisdom

During last week’s ice storm misery, I thought a lot about my southern upbringing and the good things I’ve received from my small, poor state with a jagged past and uncertain future. I received many of these gifts from loving parents, my scamp of a grandfather, and friends, but also from enthusiastic Sunday School folks, teachers, and pearls of Power…
Averyell A. Kessler
March 4, 2021

The Lord Gives

It was a late night in Boone County, Arkansas when me and my newly married wife attended a party not far from our home in Lead Hill. The ol' boy that invited us had built a fire and we were all sitting around, drinking and telling stories, feeding the fire and enjoying the camaraderie, when his granddaughter walked out with…
Travis Holt
March 3, 2021

Total War in Georgia

In June 1863, Fitzgerald Ross, a British military man who was collecting information about the war in America, paid a visit to Richmond, Virginia, the capital city of the Confederacy. There he met with some high officials of the government, one of whom was Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin. Ross described their meeting his 1865 book A Visit to…
Karen Stokes
March 2, 2021

Racism and Reputation

Two terms that are tossed about with great liberality today are “racist” and “white supremacist.”  Like other words with specific definitions, such as “fascist” and “Nazi,” these labels are losing their specific social, economic, political, and legal meaning, and have essentially become nondescript slurs thrown at anyone a Progressive disagrees with.All of these words are routinely used against those who…
Rev. Larry Beane
March 1, 2021