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Clyde Wilson

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Calhoun and the 21st Century

In 1957, Senator John F. Kennedy issued a report on the five most important Senators in United States history. He included John C. Calhoun, and while he understood the historical controversy it might create, Kennedy insisted that Calhoun's "masterful" defense "of the rights of a political minority against the dangers of an unchecked majority" and "his profoundly penetrating and original…
Brion McClanahan
September 8, 2022
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The Better Men

John William Corrington (1932—1988) of Louisiana was a prolific author of poetry, stories, and novels. And, as with Faulkner, making a living in commercialised American “culture”  required him to expend talent in Hollywood on movie and television scripts. Corrington has received some recognition, but no less an authority on Southern literature than M.E. Bradford has said that his reputation falls…
Clyde Wilson
August 22, 2022
BlogClyde Wilson Library

Emancipation and Its Discontents

There is an interesting little noted fact of African American history that would alter current standard views if it were ever to be properly recognised.  The U.S. African American population was in many measurable respects worse off fifty years after emancipation than it had been before the War Between the States. The census of 1900 showed that the average life…
Clyde Wilson
August 12, 2022
BlogClyde Wilson Library

George W. Kendall of New Orleans–America’s First War Correspondent

In the long range of history the war correspondent, a journalist embedded with a fighting army, is a fairly recent development.  George Kendall was the pioneer.  He was  with Winfield Scott’s army during the U.S/Mexico War 1846—1848, from Vera Cruz to Mexico City.  Like the soldiers he faced sickness and was wounded. His 215 dispatches from Mexico were the primary …
Clyde Wilson
August 5, 2022
BlogClyde Wilson Library

My Life as a Southern Historian–Becoming Nobody

As we progress into old age, our perspectives tend to change. Things that occupied most of our active life--accomplishments and “the bubble reputation” are seen to be  less important than family and friends. I suspect that even accumulating money loses some of its flavor as the years move on, although I don’t really know about that. This reflection is provoked…
Clyde Wilson
July 29, 2022
BlogClyde Wilson Library

A View of the Constitution

From the 2004 Abbeville Institute Summer School. St. George Tucker is a significant member of the Revolutionary generation, the Founding Generation, and he was looked to by Jefferson and Madison as the judge of Jeffersonian democracy, the man who saved the judiciary from false doctrines in his View of the Constitution and his other writings. Tucker’s View was published in…
Clyde Wilson
July 18, 2022
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Randolph Shotwell in War and Prison

We live in a regime with an industrial output of lies about Southern history, so we should let our forebears speak for themselves whenever we can.  I have been reporting  on little known  Southern books and here is another. Randolph Shotwell in the 1880s put together some materials for his an account of his extraordinary life,  using his diaries, letters…
Clyde Wilson
June 17, 2022
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Recommended Books about the South and Its History

A friend recently asked me for a list of good books about the South and “the Late Unpleasantness” which he could share with his two sons, one of whom will be entering college this fall, and the other who will be a high school senior. I began naming some volumes, at random. But my friend stopped me in mid-sentence and…
Boyd Cathey
May 31, 2022
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In the Saddle with Stonewall

The best of the many Confederate memoirs, in my opinion, are those of General Richard Taylor (Destruction and Reconstruction) and Admiral Raphael Semmes  (Memoirs of Service Afloat and Ashore). There are also many excellent women’s diaries and memoirs, perhaps a subject for another occasion.  Taylor and Semmes were men in high places, intelligent and experienced, keen judges of character, and…
Clyde Wilson
May 13, 2022
BlogReview Posts

Arm in Arm

A review of Arm in Arm (Mercer, 2022) by Catharine Savage Brosman Our conscious civilisation begins with Homer and is firmly anchored in Virgil, Dante, the French troubadours, and the Viking bards.  Its deepest expressions are in verse.  William Faulkner may have had something like this in mind when he  lamented that he was “only a failed poet.” That is…
Clyde Wilson
May 6, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XX

William Gilmore Simms, Part 2 The Green Corn Dance Come hither, hither, old and young--the gentle and the strong, And gather in the green corn dance, and mingle with the song-- The summer comes, the summer cheers, and with a spirit gay, We bless the smiling boon she bears, and thus her gifts repay. Eagle from the mountain, Proudly descend!…
Clyde Wilson
April 22, 2022
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A Dangerous Rock Rolling Down Hill

Part 6 in Clyde Wilson’s series “African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. “He who controls the past controls the future.  He who controls the present controls the past.”  George Orwell “Live asses will kick at dead lions.”  Admiral Raphael Semmes In the long run of history, the story of…
Clyde Wilson
April 11, 2022
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Emancipation After the War

Part 5 in Clyde Wilson’s series “African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Early in Reconstruction the staunch Unionist William Sharkey was appointed governor of Mississippi by Andrew Johnson.  Sharkey said that he believed that half the African American population of the state had perished in the war.  This may not be…
Clyde Wilson
April 5, 2022
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Emancipation

Part 4 in Clyde Wilson’s series “African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Many Americans doubtless tend to assume a rosy view of emancipation, of brave boys in blue rushing into the arms of newly freed slaves to celebrate the day of Jubilee while handing out Hershey bars to children. Nothing could be further…
Clyde Wilson
March 29, 2022
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A War to Free the Slaves?

Part 3 in Clyde Wilson's series "African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective." Read Part 1 and Part 2. In 1798 Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Taylor: “It is true that we are completely under the saddle of Massachusetts and Connecticut, and that they ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings as well as exhausting our strength and substance.” He added…
Clyde Wilson
March 22, 2022
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Lifetime Bondage

  Part 2 in Clyde Wilson's series, African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective. Part 1 can be read here. Life was tough for everyone in the America of the 1600s and 1700s.  The 1800s saw some improvement which led people to entertain the idea of enlightenment and  progress in living conditions. Southerners were as much conscious of and happy about a…
Clyde Wilson
March 15, 2022
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African-American Slavery in Historical Perspective

Our culture’s indifference to the past---which easily shades over into hostility and rejection---furnishes the most telling proof of that culture’s bankruptcy. ---Christopher Lasch The purpose of education is to free the student from the tyranny of the present. ---Cicero The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn. ---Cicero Introduction The slavery that…
Clyde Wilson
March 10, 2022
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Two Southern Heroes

The Adventures and Recollections of General Walter P. Lane, A San Jacinto Veteran  (1887) John Salmon Ford, Rip Ford’s Texas  (1885, 1963) Our forebears of the antebellum South are being subjected to  pervasive dishonest slander (by both left and right) these days.  Brave and honourable people who did far more than their fair share in the creation of the United…
Clyde Wilson
February 22, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XIX

A Series by Clyde Wilson. WILLIAM GILMORE SIMMS (1806-1870) of South Carolina, amazingly prolific novelist, poet, essayist, lecturer, historian, critic, and editor, has been rightly called "The Father of Southern Literature." Without question Simms is the most important Southern writer of the 19th century after Poe. Without question Simms is in every way one of the most important American writers.…
Clyde Wilson
February 10, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XVIII

A series by Clyde Wilson HENRY ROOTES JACKSON (1820—1898) of Georgia was a lawyer, judge and poet. He was U.S. Minister to Austria/Hungary 1853—1858 and was well-known for prosecuting Yankee slave traders trying to import African captives into Atlanta shortly before the war. He was Colonel of the 1st Georgia Volunteers in the Mexican War and fought in the Confederate…
Clyde Wilson
February 4, 2022
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The Achievements of M.E. Bradford

By Forrest McDonald and Clyde Wilson. These essays were originally published in the Fall 1982 issue of Southern Partisan. A review of M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution. Marlborough, NH: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982 and M.E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution. La Salle, Ill.: Sherwood…
Abbeville Institute
February 3, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XVII

A series by Clyde Wilson Thomas Holley Chivers (1809—1858) of Georgia was a physician and poet and a friend of Edgar Allan Poe, who encouraged him. He published over 10 volumes of poetry and plays but was largely forgotten until rediscovered by 20th century critics. Chivers believed that  good poetry was a result of “divine inspiration.” Faith Faith is the flower that…
Clyde Wilson
January 28, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XVI

A series by Clyde Wilson. LOUISA  SUSANNAH  CHEVES  McCORD  (1810—1879) of South Carolina  was one of the most outstanding women of 19th century America.  She was the daughter of Langdon Cheves, who had been Speaker of the U.S. House of  Representatives and had held other important posts.  In the antebellum period, while a plantation mistress, she published poetry, strong polemical…
Clyde Wilson
January 21, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XV

A series by Clyde Wilson Alexander Beaufort Meek,  Part  2 The Rose of Alabama I loved, in boyhood's happy time, When life was like a minstrel's rhyme, And cloudless as my native clime, The Rose of Alabama. Oh, lovely rose! The sweetest flower earth knows, Is the Rose of Alabama! One pleasant, balmy night in June, When swung, in silvery…
Clyde Wilson
January 14, 2022
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XIV

A series by Clyde Wilson ALEXANDER BEAUFORT MEEK (1814-1865) of Alabama. Meek was one of the most prominent citizens of antebellum Alabama--judge, orator, international chess master, and historian of the early days of his State. He also published two volumes of verse. Selections are from The Songs and Poems of the South (1857). COME TO THE SOUTH Oh, come to…
Clyde Wilson
January 7, 2022
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Thomas Moore, RIP

In August, Thomas Moore, novelist and founding Chairman of the Southern National Congress, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Aiken, South Carolina at the too-early age of 73. Tom was South Carolina-born, a graduate of the Citadel and had an M.A. in National Security Affairs from Georgetown University. He worked for 25 years in powerful circles in Washington in…
Clyde Wilson
November 1, 2021
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Rebirthing Lincoln

A review of Rebirthing Lincoln, A Biography (Southern Books, 2021) by Howard Ray White I have always been skeptical of historical mysteries.  We know that there have been people who claimed to be the French Dauphin and the Russian Princess Anastatia, who somehow survived their reported demise.  At least six people claimed to be Jesse James, and there are those…
Clyde Wilson
June 15, 2021
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Daybreak in Dixie

Daybreak in Dixie:  Poems of the Confederacy by Linda Lee. Privately published, 2019. For those of us who value the history of our Southern people, these are the worst of times.  Public discourse is pervaded by a Cultural Marxist hysteria that wants what we love to be dead, forever.  I rightly use the term Marxist because the campaign against us,…
Clyde Wilson
April 27, 2021
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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
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Don’t Watch This Film

“The Burning of Atlanta,” 82 minutes. Produced and directed by Christopher Forbes.  2020. I have written a great deal on the Abbeville Institute site in the past  on the portrayal of the South in films. I have tried to keep up with the subject.  So, I took this from the shelf in fond anticipation. Few times in my life have I…
Clyde Wilson
February 26, 2021
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Followin’ the Cotton

(Mrs. Holley was the third generation of a Southern family in California.  She wrote this on being able to return permanently to the South.) The cotton fields grow row after row, we saw them from Grandad's back seat,The twins and I arms and legs stuck together in the dawg days summer heat. The cotton fields grow row after row, we…
Ruth Ann Holley
February 2, 2021
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Whatever Happened to History?

According to a recent poll, 72 per cent of Americans think that we are now in the “worst” period of American history.  Polls are dubious things and the great historian John Lukacs has questioned whether there really is any such thing as “public opinion.” But this poll simply supports what we already knew about pervasive historical ignorance, which is exhibited every…
Clyde Wilson
January 18, 2021
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The South Was Right! (Again)

The South Was Right! by James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy. New Edition for the 21st century.  Shotwell Publishing, 2020. In 1991 the Kennedy brothers first published The South Was Right!, a classic that can be considered a key document in the modern movement of Southern awareness and activism.  With a second edition in 1994, the book has sold an astonishing 180,000 copies.…
Clyde Wilson
November 24, 2020
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The Grand Alliance, a.k.a. The Deep State

The pattern for modern American politics was set by Lincoln and his cronies in the 1850s—1870s, although it took an immense war against other Americans to make it stick.  The pattern involved making the federal government (not the “Union” or the Constitution) the center of power and the fount of good (and goods).  This meant, in everyday terms, that the…
Clyde Wilson
November 16, 2020
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We’ll Take Our Stand

It is not often enough, but I do set aside blocks of time to express gratitude to God for all the many blessings He has bestowed on me in my lifetime. There are many things I have missed out on, or simply fouled up royally, but the stars aligned in mid-October and I had the good fortune of being able…
Joshua Doggrell
November 12, 2020
Review Posts

New Confederate Territory

A review of Cleburne: A Graphic Novel (Rampart Press, 2008) by Justin S. Murphy and others. The graphic novel is a major feature of literature in these times.  Southerners can indeed be happy that the Confederacy has entered this field in grand style.  Murphy is a nationally notable animator, writer, publisher, composer, and prize-winning dramatist from Florida.  As a youth…
Clyde Wilson
August 25, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XIII

A series by Clyde Wilson MIRABEAU BUONAPARTE LAMAR (1798-1859) of Texas moved from his native Georgia to the Texas Republic in 1835. He took a conspicuous part in the Texas War of Independence and was cited by Sam Houston for outstanding bravery at the Battle of San Jacinto. Lamar served in the Texas government and followed Houston as President. He…
Clyde Wilson
August 13, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XII

A Series by Clyde Wilson THEODORE O'HARA (1820-1867) of Kentucky. "The Bivouac of the Dead" is often thought of as related to The War of 1861-1865. Like the "Star-Spangled Banner" it was confiscated for the North. Theodore O'Hara was a Confederate officer. (He was with Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston when he was fatally wounded.) He wrote the poem about 1850…
Clyde Wilson
August 6, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part XI

A Series by Clyde Wilson EDGAR ALLAN POE,  Part 2 Sonnet – To Science Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!   Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,   Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,   Who wouldst not leave him in his wanderingTo seek for treasure…
Clyde Wilson
July 30, 2020
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The Real Legends and Lies of the “Civil War”

I caught a snatch of news the other day that, even with all that is happening in our time, stunned me. It seems that Hollywood is gearing up its machinery to produce entertainment about “Confederate War Crimes.” This so contradicts the historical record that it can represent nothing but willful ignorance, dishonesty, and malice.  For Hollywood, anything they don’t like…
Clyde Wilson
July 16, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part X

A series by Clyde Wilson EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809--1849) of Virginia was the great creative genius of 19th century American literature in poetry, fiction, and criticism. Although accidentally born in Boston and spending part of his foreshortened life earning a living in New York, Poe was, and unequivocally considered himself to be, a Southerner. In all his career he was…
Clyde Wilson
July 2, 2020
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An Interview with Clyde Wilson, Part III

“Southerners who still value their heritage but don’t know what to do about it in such a hostile environment. They are our audience.” DM: What is your best short answer to people who say the War for Southern Independence was all about slavery and nothing but slavery? Should we come at this from an offensive posture, rather than being defensive,…
Clyde Wilson
June 16, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part IX

A series by Clyde Wilson EDWARD COOTE PINKNEY (1802-1828) of Maryland was born and partly raised in England where his father, William Pinkney, was the U.S. Minister.  After publishing a good deal of poetry, he attempted to join the Mexican Navy during that country’s war of independence. From this venture Pinkney returned home to Baltimore, his health shattered.  He continued…
Clyde Wilson
June 11, 2020
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An Interview with Clyde Wilson, Part II

I hope you all enjoyed Part 1 of my interview with Dr. Clyde Wilson. In this installment, the Carolina lion talks about his years in Chapel Hill, decimates modern higher “education,” explains his journalistic background, discusses his seminal academic work, gives Calhoun his due, and even offers some advice to today’s students. DM: Was your bachelor’s degree in journalism? And…
Dissident Mama
June 8, 2020
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An Interview with Clyde Wilson, Part I

I first met Dr. Clyde Wilson in February 2018 at an Abbeville Institute conference in Charleston. I had been reading his many works since I began becoming more intellectually curious about Southern tradition, the War, Reconstruction, and the New South, my own Confederate ancestry, and what it all means for the world today. Once you crack the veneer of the…
Dissident Mama
June 1, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part VIII

A series by Clyde Wilson RICHARD HENRY WILDE (1789--1847) of Georgia gave up a successful career as lawyer and Congressman to pursue the Muse in Europe. This poem, though perhaps out of fashion, was praised by Byron and was long immensely popular in the English-speaking world. The Yankee black-face minstrel show impresario Stephen Foster "appropriated" some of the lines and…
Clyde Wilson
May 28, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part VII

A series by Clyde Wilson WASHINGTON ALLSTON (1779--1843) of South Carolina was one of the most important of early American painters.  The first two poems were written in response to his first viewing of major artistic works in Italy. On a Falling Group in the Last Judgment of Michael Angelo, in the Cappella Sistina How vast how dread, o'erwhelming, is…
Clyde Wilson
May 21, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part VI

A series by Clyde Wilson FRANCIS SCOTT KEY (1779-1843) of Maryland.  The story is well known how Key composed "The Star-Spangled Banner" after he witnessed the repulse of the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbour in 1814. It casts an interesting light on the official U.S.  national anthem when one notes that Key's grandson, Frank Key Howard, was…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part V

A series by Clyde Wilson Homage to Revolutionary Heroes DOLLEY PAYNE MADISON (1768—1849) was the wife of President James Madison.                              Lafayette Born, nurtured, wedded, prized, within the pale Of peers and princes, high in camp---at court--- He hears, in joyous youth, a wild report,Swelling the murmurs of the Western gale,Of a young people struggling to be free!   Straight quitting…
Clyde Wilson
May 7, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part IV

A Series by Clyde Wilson UNKNOWN WRITER, 1781 The Battle of King’s Mountain 'T was on a pleasant mountainThe Tory heathens lay,With a doughty major at their head,One Forguson, they say.Cornwallis had detach'd himA-thieving for to go,And catch the Carolina men,Or bring the rebels low.The scamp had rang'd the countryIn search of royal aid,And with his owls, perched on high,He…
Clyde Wilson
April 30, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part III

EBENEZER COOKE (fl. ca. l 680s--1730s?) of Maryland is a major figure in Colonial American literature. He is best known for the long satirical poem “The Sot-Weed Factor.”  (The sot-weed is tobacco, mainstay of the Southern and American economy in the colonial period, and the factor is a figure long familiar in the South---the merchant who sold and exported the…
Clyde Wilson
April 23, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part II

JOHN COTTON (fl. 1660s – 1720s) was an early settler of Virginia, never to be confused with the awful Cotton family of Massachusetts. In 1814 an anonymous poem about Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia (1676) was found among some old mss. and subsequently published. It was long regarded as an anonymous treasure of American colonial literature. Twentieth-century poet and critic Louis…
Clyde Wilson
April 16, 2020
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Southern Poets and Poems, Part I

A Series By Clyde Wilson If the South would’ve won, we’d’ve  had  it made." --Hank Williams, Jr., of Alabama “The South’s  gonna do it again."--Charlie Daniels  of  North Carolina 1 INTRODUCTION This collection is made, not from the viewpoint of a critic of literature, but that of a student of history interested in how the experiences of the Southern people…
Clyde Wilson
April 9, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XV

21.   Faulkner in Film   Southern viewers must naturally be interested in what Hollywood has done with America’s greatest 20th century writer, William Faulkner of Mississippi. **Intruder in the Dust (1949).  Perhaps the most faithful of all Faulkner’s work on film, and a realistic portrayal of Southern life in the early 20th century.  An old lady (Elizabeth Patterson) and two boys,…
Clyde Wilson
March 26, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XIV

19.  Our Speech The experts will tell you that there is more than one Southern accent.  This is true, but they all gather together as a marker of Southern that has been widely recognised for a long time---like barbecue.   For Hollywood a Southern accent usually is outre’, a sign of ignorance or villainy as discussed in preceding chapters. On the…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XIII

18.  World War II and Other Wars “To deliver examples to posterity, and to regulate the opinion of future times, is no slight or trivial undertaking;  nor is it easy to commit  more atrocious treason against the great republic of humanity, than by falsifying its records and misguiding its decrees.”      –Dr. Samuel Johnson American wars are started by bankers and…
Clyde Wilson
March 12, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XII

16.  EXECRABLES. The Worst Movies about the South: A Small Selection The competition here is fierce. We can only provide a sample of some of the worst.  A few examples out of a vast field, many of them presenting a ludicrously distorted South.  (X)  The Southerner (1945). This movie was made by a famous French director while a refugee in…
Clyde Wilson
March 5, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide Part XI

15.  Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Southerners:  Films for the Family The major movie stars of the 1930s through the 1970s came from the East and Midwest.  Nevertheless, there was a strong presence of native Southerners in the top ranks:  Oliver Hardy, Ava Gardner,  Randolph Scott, Joseph Cotten, Jeffrey Hunter,  Miriam Hopkins, John Payne (an almost forgotten Virginian star of film…
Clyde Wilson
February 27, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part X

12.   Southerners in the Late 19th  and Early  20th Centuries **The Yearling (1946).  This is an all-time favourite about family life on the Florida frontier and a troublesome pet deer.  Seldom noticed is that the father, Gregory Peck, is a former Confederate soldier.  The film is based on the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  Another fine Rawlings book about her…
Clyde Wilson
February 20, 2020
Review Posts

How to Study History

A review of How to Study History When Seeking Truthfulness and Understanding: Lessons Learned from Outside Academia by Howard Ray White Howard White has written a dozen or so highly original books on the War Between the States (Bloodstains, The C.S.A. Trilogy, and others). In the midst of a very successful career as a chemical engineer, he was drawn to the…
Clyde Wilson
February 18, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part IX

11.  Post-bellum and Westerns There  are two  interesting,  important,  and  little  noticed features of films about  the South  in the  period  after the War for Southern  Independence.  First, until recent times they generally portray the mainstream view of “Reconstruction” as corrupt and oppressive that prevailed before the Marxist coup in American history writing.   Carpetbaggers are shown as vicious, greedy, and…
Clyde Wilson
February 13, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part VIII

10. Spielberg’s  Lincoln (X)  Spielberg’s Lincoln.   Life is short.  Although I am a devoted   if amateur student of Hollywood’s treatment of the great American War of 1861-65, I intended to spare myself the ordeal of Spielberg’s Lincoln.   However, the honoured editor of America’s bravest and best journal (Tom Fleming of Chronicles) instructed me to go.  I have always found such…
Clyde Wilson
February 7, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part VII

9. Confederate Hollywood  From the beginnings to rather recent times portrayals of Confederates have been a mainstay of American cinema.  After all, the Confederacy is a rather large and interesting slice of American history.  Given the virulent malice today against everything Confederate, it might surprise many folks to see that during Hollywood’s Golden Age an astounding number of major stars…
Clyde Wilson
January 30, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part VI

8. The War for Southern Independence (continued): Fantasy and Fraud Scorcese’s Gangs of New York (2002) Martin Scorcese, in an interview, candidly described his Gangsof New York, as an “opera.”  He had been asked whether the event s portrayed were true to history.  I took his reply to mean that the events of the movie were selected and organized for…
Clyde Wilson
January 23, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part V

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films.  The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable.  Avoid at all costs  7. The War for Southern Independence (continued):  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly **Searching for…
Clyde Wilson
January 16, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part IV

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films.  The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable.  Avoid at all costs  6. The War for Southern Independence **Gone with the Wind  (1939). What to say about this…
Clyde Wilson
January 9, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part III

5. Spielberg’s Amistad (1997) If Amistad is not yet a household word like ET or Jurassic Park, it soon will be with the power of Steven Spielberg behind it.  (When I started this review awhile back, that was my first sentence, but I may have been wrong.  Late reports indicate the box office is lagging.)  Amistad is really two movies.…
Clyde Wilson
December 19, 2019
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part II

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films. The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable. Avoid at all costs                                 3. The Colonial and Revolutionary South Colonial and Revolutionary Southern history does not have a…
Clyde Wilson
December 12, 2019
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part I

A man only has room for one oath at a time.  I took an oath to the Confederate States of America.” John Wayne, The Searchers “We are going to hit the Yankees where it’ll hurt him most---his pocketbook.” Van Heflin, The Raid “I’m sure glad I aint a Yankee.” Randoph Scott, Belle Starr “I ain’t never been ‘round no Yankees…
Clyde Wilson
December 5, 2019
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Whatever Happened to Democracy?

Those of us whose experience goes back a way into the last century, can remember when “democracy” was the main theme of American discourse.  A million tongues proudly and repeatedly declared that America was the Democracy, exemplar and defender of that sacred idea to all the world.  Hardly anyone dared to question that sentiment.  It saw us through two world…
Clyde Wilson
October 7, 2019
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Guelzo Uncovered

I recently read a report of a professor who declared that he had come sadly to the conclusion that the Founding Fathers had been all wrong in the government they created.  I don’t remember the name or place of this professor.  Whether he had ever contributed anything to scholarly knowledge was not stated, but is doubtful.  He probably suffers from…
Clyde Wilson
September 23, 2019
Review Posts

The C.S.A.

A review of The C.S.A. Trilogy (Independent, 2018) by Howard Ray White. A beautiful thought experiment for Southerners. The year is 2011, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Confederate States of America.    Celebrants are gathering in the capital, Davis, located where Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee come together. Confederates have every reason to celebrate. They have a free, prosperous,…
Clyde Wilson
August 27, 2019
Review Posts

Punished with Poverty

A review of Punished with Poverty: The Suffering South-Prosperity to Poverty & the Continuing Struggle (Shotwell, 2016) by James Ronald and Walter Donald Kennedy This is one of the most important works of American history that  has appeared in many a year.  If enough Southern people could absorb the lesson of this book, it would bring about a complete reorientation…
Clyde Wilson
August 13, 2019
Review Posts

Jeffersonians Against Imperialism

J. William Fulbright, The Arrogance of Power, 1966 and The Price of Empire, 1967 Robert C. Byrd, Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency, 2004 Known and celebrated as a “liberal” during the Vietnam War era, Fulbright was actually a quite independent-minded public figure.  In some respects he represented a remnant of the Southern Democratic Jeffersonian tradition, and he…
Clyde Wilson
July 30, 2019
Review Posts

Loosiana Poets

A review of Louisiana Poets: A Literary Guide, (U. Press of Mississippi, 2019) by Catharine Savage Brosman and Olivia McNeely Pass. The poet and the scholar are reportedly different sorts of people. Rarely do you find high performance in both roles combined in one person. Catharine Brosman has done it. The only other example I can think of is the…
Clyde Wilson
June 4, 2019
Review Posts

Adventures in the Southwest

A Review of Doniphan’s Expedition, Containing an Account of the Conquest of New Mexico . . .  by John T. Hughes.  Cincinnati, 1847 and Reid’s Tramp, or a Journal of the Incidents of Ten Months Travel Through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Sonora, and California by John Coleman Reid.  Selma, Ala., 1858. The Mexican War and its aftermath turned American attention…
Clyde Wilson
May 21, 2019
Review Posts

Remembering Mel Bradford

A review of A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements (Missouri, 1999) by Clyde N. Wilson, ed. Clyde Wilson, Professor of History at the University of South Carolina and editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun, has assembled and introduced this collection about a man notable, among other things, for his own affinity with Calhoun and…
J.O. Tate
May 6, 2019
Review Posts

Historical Consciousness

A Review of Historical Consciousness, or The Remembered Past (Schocken Books, 1985) by John Lukacs In the introduction to the new edition of his Historical Consciousness (first published in 1968), Professor John Lukacs observes of the body of academic historians, circa 1960’s: “They were interested in their profession, without paying much, if any, interest to the nature of their profession.” If…
Clyde Wilson
February 12, 2019
Blog

John C. Calhoun’s Foreign Policy: “A Wise and Masterly Inactivity”

The dominant powers in American discourse today have succeeded in confining the South to a dark little corner of history labeled “Slavery and Treason.” This is already governing the public sphere of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Such an approach not only libels the South, it is a fatal distortion of American history in general, and, I dare say, even of…
Clyde Wilson
January 23, 2019
Blog

Trump Agonistes

The presidential election of 2016 gave promise to be a watershed in American politics. Donald Trump appeared, a non-politician and rich enough to support his own campaign without selling himself to the usual special interests. He collected all the right enemies. He deflated a whole platoon of Republican celebrities down to their actual pigmy size. He vanquished them by something…
Clyde Wilson
January 16, 2019
Review Posts

Cracks in the Treasury of Virtue

A review of Division and Reunion: America, 1848-1877, by Ludwell H. Johnson, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1978. 301 pages; and The Secret Six: John Brown and the Abolitionist Movement, by Otto Scott, New York: Times Books, 1979, 375 pages. It was Flannery O'Connor who remarked, in one of her short essays, that people will believe anything about the…
Clyde Wilson
May 29, 2018
Blog

Texas Vs. The Pacific Coast: Explaining The Yankee Mindset

I recently traveled to Texas to speak about South Africa, at the Free Speech Forum of  the Texas A & M University. To travel from the Pacific Northwest all the way to College Station, Texas, without experiencing more of the Lone Star State was not an option. So, after driving from Austin eastward to College Station (where I was hosted…
Ilana Mercer
May 21, 2018
Blog

On Remaining Humble in Modern Academia

After reading Richard Weaver’s monumental work Ideas Have Consequences last semester I was struck with one characterization of the “ideal man” that has since been shaping the way I look at my own academic future. For a young seminary student like myself pursuing “Christ-likeness” was a given, but my eyes were never fully open to what that meant in relation…
Jonathan Harris
May 18, 2018
Blog

When Historians Lie

Eminent historian Dr. Clyde Wilson in one of his many books on American history expresses this sentiment about the "old-style history:" History is not an expression of abstract laws, or the record of progress. It is a description of the actions of men, of life, which in turn is an expression of the (partly unknowable) mind of God. The historical…
Jonathan Harris
April 11, 2018
Blog

Look Away

A bit of free verse to address our current situation, which is probably not as good as I think it is.  It marshals various lines from Donald Davidson’s poems.  As Faulkner said, all of us writers are really only failed poets. You, Mel Bradford, told Of remembering who we are. A time has come When answers will not wait. But…
Clyde Wilson
December 15, 2017
Blog

Is the South Celtic?

There is a popular theme embraced by many that the uniqueness of Southern culture is explained by its “Celtic” origins in opposition to the “Anglo-Saxon” foundations of the North.  This thesis has been expressed strongly in such works as Grady McWhiney’s Cracker Culture: Celtic Ways in the Old South, Jim Webb’s Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America, and James…
Clyde Wilson
November 13, 2017
Blog

Hollywood Before the “Hate Confederate” Movement

From the beginnings to rather recent times, sympathetic portrayals of Confederates have been a mainstay of America cinema.  An astounding number of major stars without any Southern background have had no objection to favourably portraying Confederates (and other Southerners).  It might be noted that two of the major figures of early American film, D.W. Griffith and Will Rogers, were the…
Clyde Wilson
September 27, 2017
Review Posts

How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America

A review of How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America by Brion McClanahan, Regnery History, 2017. A thinking American must choose between Hamilton and Jefferson, whose contrary visions of the future were contested in the first days of the Constitution. If you are happy with big government, big banks, big business, big military, and judicial dictatorship, then you have Alexander Hamilton…
Clyde Wilson
September 19, 2017
Blog

American Presidents, Slavery, and the Confederacy

The current pogrom against Southern history and symbols ignores the influence the South and the institution of slavery had on most American presidents. American history would not be the same without it. If the current goal is to purge any reminder of slavery and the Confederacy from the public sphere, then nearly every American president would have to be withdrawn…
Clyde Wilson
August 30, 2017
Review Posts

Nullification

A review of Nullification: Reclaiming the Consent of the Governed by Clyde Wilson, Shotwell Press, 2016. As a young conservative, I came across ideas like nullification and states’ rights, during my studies. But they were always passed over, as if they didn’t mean anything anymore. When I read Robert Bork’s excellent book on Originalism, I never saw his unquestioned and…
Christopher McDonald
August 22, 2017
Blog

The New Guns of Honor?

Most of the world knows of the Hollywood Celebrity “Martin Sheen,” (born and baptized Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez). Much of the world knows that he portrayed General Robert E. Lee in the film “Gettysburg.” I am even on record mildly complimenting his performance. Of course, nobody today can possible represent Lee, but I thought Sheen did better than Robert Duvall…
Clyde Wilson
August 14, 2017
Review Posts

The Yankee Problem in American History

A review of Clyde Wilson, The Yankee Problem: An American Dilemma (Shotwell Press, 2016). The Yankee Problem An American Dilemma by Clyde Wilson consists of 12 sections, four of which involve book reviews (half of them devoted to biographies of the Beecher family or the family of John Adams), four of which directly address the devilish nature of that New…
Charles Steiner
August 1, 2017
Blog

You Are Deplorable

Presented at the 2017 Abbeville Institute Summer School. You are deplorable. It is worse than that.  If you are Southern or interested in the South you are the most deplorable of all the deplorables.  There is no place for you among the enlightened and virtuous people of 21st Century America. But perhaps there is a certain advantage to being an…
Clyde Wilson
July 24, 2017
Blog

A Rebel Born

Foreword for A Rebel Born: A Defense of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate General, American Legend, by Lochlainn Seabrook, Sea Raven Press, 2010. There is a story that a year or two after the great American war of 1861–1865, a visiting Englishman asked Gen. R.E. Lee, “Who is the greatest soldier produced by the war?” It is reported that Lee without…
Clyde Wilson
July 13, 2017
Blog

The War Between the States: Who were the Nazis?

Anyone who has been paying attention has heard many times the assertion that the flag of the Southern Confederacy is equivalent to the banner of the Nazi German Reich.  That this idea should gain any credit at all is a sign of how debased American public discourse has become by ignorance, deceit, and hatred. To make an obvious point:  The…
Clyde Wilson
June 14, 2017
Review Posts

Music from the Lake

A review of Music from the Lake and Other Essays by Catharine Savage Brosman (Chronicles Press, 2017). Catharine Savage Brosman is a treasure of Southern literature.  Although much of her work shows her solid Colorado Rocky Mountain upbringing, somehow I do not think she will mind being placed in Southern literature.  Most of her career was spent in New Orleans…
Clyde Wilson
June 7, 2017
Blog

“Contextualizing” History

Statement about the “slavery the sole cause of the war” plaque affixed to the Confederate soldier monument in Gainesville, Florida. I have been asked to comment on the recent fad of “contextualizing” historic monuments as it relates to the Confederate soldiers’ memorial at Gainesville. What I have seen of the proposed plaque amounts, it seems to me, to an attempt…
Clyde Wilson
May 31, 2017
Review Posts

A Better Guide Than Reason

A Review of M.E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution. 1979. The world's largest, most ancient, and most exemplary republic observed its bicentennial not long ago. One would expect such an occasion to be a time of rededication and renewal, of restoration and recovery. Instead, we had a value-free official celebration that was expensive, dull,…
Clyde Wilson
May 17, 2017
Blog

High Tech Hunley

As the slow process of excavating the marvel continues, more and more revelations are coming to light about the technical sophistication of the H.L. Hunley, the world's first successful submarine. This prompted a U.S. government historian to declare, according to the newspapers, that the discoveries are surprising and that "we" will have to revise our ideas about Confederate technical backwardness.…
Clyde Wilson
May 8, 2017
Review Posts

The Imperial Penman

A Review of The Imperial Presidency, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. 504 pages. The title gives us a fleeting but instructive glimpse at the curious rhetorical operations which flourish in this as in Mr. Schlesinger's other writings. "Imperial" from the pen of a historian and linked with "Presidency." disposes the reader to expect a carefully…
Clyde Wilson
April 26, 2017
Blog

The Mind of the Old South

A review of All Clever Men, Who Make Their Own Way: Critical Discourse in the Old South, edited with an introduction by Michael O'Brien. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press. 1982. 456 pages. The intellectual history of the South is yet to be written. This assertion bootlegs two assumptions that do not go unchallenged. The first is that there is something…
Clyde Wilson
April 19, 2017
Blog

Jefferson New and Improved

I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just. — THOMAS JEFFERSON A Review of In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson, by Noble E. Cunningham. Jr., Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1987. 414 pages. With the exception of the driven and depressed Lincoln, no major figure in American history is in…
Clyde Wilson
April 12, 2017
Blog

Southern Heritage Then and Now

Order of the Southern Cross Banquet, Sons of Confederate Veterans National Reunion, Asheville, North Carolina, August 1, 2003 As the direct descendant of a private in the 42nd North Carolina and a sergeant in the 20th North Carolina, I am honoured to talk to a group descended from notable officers in our War of Independence--or the War to Prevent Southern…
Clyde Wilson
March 22, 2017
Blog

Coit’s Calhoun

Want to learn about one of the greatest statesmen that the United States has ever produced?  Then get hold of John C. Calhoun: American Portrait by Margaret Coit. When this beautifully-written book received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1951, it was generally agreed that Coit had redeemed Calhoun as a major and admirable, even heroic, figure in American history.  Even…
Clyde Wilson
March 17, 2017
Blog

Films from the South

Like it or not, movies are the main art form of our time, the story-telling medium that reaches the largest audience and captures the attention of us all, high and low, wise and foolish. It is also true that movies, like literature and architecture, reflect something of the soul of the particular nation that produces them. If so, we indeed…
Clyde Wilson
March 6, 2017
Blog

New England Against America

The Fiction of Mr. Simms gave indication, we repeat, of genius, and that of no common order. Had he been even a Yankee, this genius would have been rendered immediately manifest to his countrymen, but unhappily (perhaps) he was a Southerner His book, therefore, depended entirely upon its own intrinsic value and resources, but with these it made its way…
Clyde Wilson
March 2, 2017
Review Posts

The American President: From Cincinnatus to Caesar

The great body of the nation has no real interest in party. — James Fenimore Cooper, The American Democrat, 1838 The American presidency offers many fascinating questions for historical exploration. And by historical exploration I do not mean the all-too-common form of pseudohistory that puts the presidential office at the center of our expe­rience as a people. That scenario in…
Clyde Wilson
February 23, 2017
Blog

Explaining Trump to the Brits

Of the four Christmas cards I received from the UK this past December, three of them had the same request:  explain the Trump phenomenon. This is my reply: America has had a bloodless revolution.  It remains to be seen what will really happen once the New People take over Washington.  No doubt much can (and maybe will) go wrong, but…
Joscelyn Dunlop
February 21, 2017
Blog

Union or Else

In 1864, General William T. Sherman wrote to a fellow Union officer that the “false political doctrine that any and every people have a right to self-government” was the cause of the war that had been raging in America since 1861. The general was forgetting, or ignoring, that this very “doctrine” had led the American colonists to declare their independence…
Karen Stokes
February 17, 2017
Blog

The Continuing Relevance of Calhoun’s Wisdom

I am always glad to talk about my favourite subject–-John C. Calhoun. I think it will become apparent that what he has to say has some relevance to our topic “Building Communities of Resistance”—and perhaps in surprising ways that have little to do with the familiar lessons of State rights and nullification. By the way, despite what you may hear…
Clyde Wilson
February 8, 2017
Blog

Calexit: California, Adios!

It seems that out in California an impressively large number of people are petitioning for a referendum on secession.  While I don’t think much of their motive, I say more power to them. The motivation is, of course, fear by California leftists and foreigners that the 2016 federal election has deprived them of the excessive influence they have exercised over…
Clyde Wilson
January 30, 2017
Blog

A Bow to the Ladies

A review of Understanding Mary Lee Settle, by George Garrett, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. 1988, 187 pages. One useful way to distinguish between types of novelists is to characterize them as either intensive or extensive. An intensive novel, much the more com­mon variety in modern times, deals with a small segment of individual experi­ence and consciousness, wringing from…
Clyde Wilson
January 25, 2017
Blog

Recovering Southern History

Every historian has a viewpoint, shaped by his own background, values, and perception of the present. The relationship between background and viewpoint is not necessarily simple. As in the case of Supreme Court nominees, one cannot always predict in advance in what direction a historians background, modified by research and thought, will lead. At any rate, we properly measure a…
Clyde Wilson
January 18, 2017
Blog

Differences

How much better off the American people would be if they could learn the difference between: *investors and speculators *the Constitution ratified by the people of the States and the one promulgated by federal judges *education and training *necessary taxation and an oppressive burden *national defense and foreign interventionism *law enforcement and war *justifiable borrowing and destructive, irresponsible debt *entertainment…
Clyde Wilson
January 11, 2017
Blog

Tar Heel’s Revenge

  An article by a Canadian historian in a recent issue of the North Carolina Historical Review lays to rest an old canard—the charge that during the War for Southern Independence North Carolina soldiers were notable for desertion. After an exhaustive study of all available records, Professor Richard Reid concluded that it simply is not so. North Carolina had more…
Clyde Wilson
January 4, 2017
Blog

I Am So Old I Can Remember When….

—there was no television; and then when there was one station on two hours a day. —newspapers were locally owned, had lots of locally written literate material, and even had intelligent independent commentary on the editorial page. —a male American seen carrying an umbrella would have been ridiculed and probably beat up. —most people had not been up in an…
Clyde Wilson
December 20, 2016
Blog

Harvard Confederates

A review of Crimson Confederates: Harvard Men Who Fought for the South, By Helen P. Trimpi, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 380 pp. Someone, perhaps it was Thomas Carlyle, wrote that “History is the essence of innumerable biographies.” While that description does not cover all the duty of historianship, it is true in an important sense. History that becomes too…
Clyde Wilson
December 14, 2016
Blog

Liberal and Conservative

The terms “liberal” and “conservative” were usable signs in a society in which the state was governed by politics. They are of little use the in 21st century United States because “politics” no longer plays any significant role in governance. In a dynamic and free republican society, citizens of similar ideas, values, and interests, and even inherited allegiances and inclinations,…
Clyde Wilson
December 8, 2016
Blog

More of the Way We Are Now

Show me a nasty feminist and I will show you a little girl with a disappointing father.The Transportation Safety Administration confiscated my two-inch cigar cutter at the airport the other day. An acquaintance got on the plane with his pocket-knife. It’s all part of the vital global war on terror.Congress has just voted $8 billion for “improved port security.” Contractors…
Clyde Wilson
November 30, 2016
Review Posts

Up at the Forks of the Creek: In Search of American Populism

Editor's note: With the rise of "populism" around the world, we should revisit the history and origins of American populism. In "Populism" we are confronted with a term that raises so many different connotations in different minds that we well may wonder if the term is usable at all. It is not quite as bad, in this respect, as democracy—a…
Clyde Wilson
November 16, 2016
Blog

Sherman’s March

The History Channel’s recent presentation of "Sherman’s March" has been rightly drawing a lot of criticism from those of us who care about such things. In theory, historical events should become clearer as time passes and the controversies they involved grow less heated. But that is not the case in regard to the War to Prevent Southern Independence—because the myth…
Clyde Wilson
November 9, 2016
Blog

Jacobin Yankees

Martin Scorcese, in an interview, candidly described his new film, "Gangs of New York," as an "opera." He had been asked whether the events portrayed were true to history. I took his reply to mean that the events of the movie were selected and organized for dramatic emphasis and were not to be taken as literal factual record. And, indeed,…
Clyde Wilson
November 2, 2016
Blog

Lincoln Follies

A few of us now decrepit pre-Reagan “conservatives” can remember the brief flicker of hope of saving the republic that we had around 1980. Around about that time we were heartened by the founding of the Washington Times, which, it was thought, might become an effective foe of the mainstream media—despite its connection with the vile Moonie cult. Like everything…
Clyde Wilson
October 26, 2016
Blog

Goodbye, George

An American president can wreck his country and blow up the world, but he cannot recreate either of them. ---Chilton Williamson A recent book on the George W. Bush presidency is called A Tragic Legacy. But tragedy suggests the fall of something high and noble. There never has been anything high and noble about Bush. His career began as low…
Clyde Wilson
October 19, 2016
Blog

Review: Reinventing the South: Versions of a Literary Region, by Mark Royden Winchell

Chronicle’s most distinguished contributing editor, can be relied upon, always, to tell it like it is. He is doing just that when he writes in a  blurb to Reinventing the South:“these essays are splendidly written—mercifully free of contemporary critical jargon and easily accessible to the good and serious reader.”  And he amplifies this description of Professor Winchell's work with “high intelligence…
Clyde Wilson
October 12, 2016
Blog

If This Be Treason….

The polls show that 33 per cent of the public still gives Dubya Bush a favourable approval rating.  Who could these people be? Some of them, no doubt, are well-meaning dupes in the early stages of Alzheimers. But there is a hard core of latent fascism out there. Though they deviously misuse the idea to slander opposition, leftists are not…
Clyde Wilson
October 4, 2016
Blog

Allegiances

William Faulkner of Mississippi was the greatest writer produced by the United States in the 20th century.  His craft was fiction, but like any great writer he was a better historian and  philosopher  than  most  who  wear  those  labels .  I  was  reminded  of a nonfiction piece of Faulkner’s recently when the hoopla erupted about some of the pampered and…
Clyde Wilson
September 28, 2016
Review Posts

John C. Calhoun: Anti-Imperialist

The mission of the Abbeville Institute, to redeem what is worthwhile in the Southern tradition, is an embattled one. The dominant powers in American discourse today have succeeded in confining the South to a dark little corner of story labeled “Slavery and Treason.” This is already governing the public sphere of the Civil War Sesquicentennial. Such an approach not only…
Clyde Wilson
September 22, 2016
Review Posts

Rethinking the War for the 21st Century

(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia) ****How Should 21st Century Americans Think about the War for Southern Independence? **** We human beings are peculiar creatures, half angel and half animal, as someone has said. Alone among creatures we have a consciousness of ourselves, of our situation, and of our movement through time. We have language,…
Clyde Wilson
September 14, 2016
Blog

Call Me Simple with Strange Words for Strange Days

Call me simple... But I don’t understand: Why the government spends billions on welfare but people keep saying hunger is a big problem. Why the government spends billions on education and the population gets dumber and dumber. Why the government spends billions on “intelligence” and defense but could not prevent 9/11. Why pointless filthy language has taken over in popular…
Clyde Wilson
September 7, 2016
Blog

More Deja Vu, circa the George W. Bush Years

Twenty-three Republican Senators joined a large majority of Democrats to vote for the Bush bill to amnesty millions of present and future illegal aliens. The bill passed the Senate 62–36. The Republican Senators supporting amnesty and future immigration increases were from Maine (2), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio (2), Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Arizona,…
Clyde Wilson
August 31, 2016
Blog

Filmlog: Three for the Resistance

World War II has provided a vast amount of material for cinema in Europe, America, and Japan. Some if this is superb. Much of it is hokey entertainment and propaganda. We perhaps did not realise how hokey until the horrors of D-Day were portrayed in Saving Private Ryan. That useful dose of realism deserves to be set off against Stephen…
Clyde Wilson
August 24, 2016
Blog

Your Future as a Terrorist

The Homeland Security apparatus has garnered quite a bit of attention lately for a paper that identified anti-abortionists, anti-immigrationists, and war veterans as terrorist suspects. (I thought “profiling” was forbidden, but in that matter, as so often these days, it would seem that some people are more equal than others.) Some Republican politicians are playing at outrage and demanding an…
Clyde Wilson
August 17, 2016
Review Posts

A Southern Political Economy vs. American State Capitalism

General Lee was a soldier and leader of men, not a politician. Although several of his decisions as soldier had an important political impact in American history, he seldom discussed such matters. An exception is his correspondence with the British historian Acton shortly after the war. Acton had spent a long career studying how constitutional liberty had gradually developed as…
Clyde Wilson
August 10, 2016
Review Posts

American Culture: Massachusetts or Virginia

Delivered at the 2016 Abbeville Institute Summer School. A Frenchman has observed that the qualities of a culture may be identified by two characteristics--- its manners and its cuisine. If that is so, then we can safely say that the United States, except for the South, has no culture at all. Aside from the South the only American contributions to…
Clyde Wilson
August 3, 2016
Blog

Shakespeare and the Earl of Oxford

Perceptive and insightful people have known through the centuries that William Shakespeare could not possibly have written the plays and sonnets that had been attributed to him, beginning with certain suspicious posthumous folios. That uneducated hayseed from the North Country about whom very little is known! And, for Heaven's sake, an actor to boot! Impossible! There must be a mystery…
Clyde Wilson
July 27, 2016
Blog

Culture War

Transcend yourself and join in the universal struggle to bring about the self-transcendence of all men! –Karl Marx Culture, as the term is used in America in our times, covers a vast territory with ill-defined frontiers. There is primitive culture (flint spearheads, animal and human sacrifice). There is high culture (Shakespeare, Michelangelo). There is, or used to be, folk culture…
Clyde Wilson
July 14, 2016
Blog

American Counter-Revolution

A Review of The American Counter Revolution: A Retreat From Liberty, 1783-1800, by Larry E. Tise, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1999, 634 pages. A good historian ought to make it clear where he is coming from rather than assume an impossible Olympian objectivity. Then, if he has handled his evidence honestly, he has fulfilled the demands of his craft—whether or…
Clyde Wilson
July 4, 2016
Blog

Q&A on Nullification and Interposition

Q: What can I read that can give me a serious overview of the true impact of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 on South Carolina? A: I think the question of the impact of the protective tariff on South Carolina is the wrong question to ask. It is something of a diversionary tactic, for reasons I will try to…
Clyde Wilson
June 29, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXXVI

In fact, capitalists have no objection to federal meddling.  They just want it to be such meddling as puts money in their pockets. Nothing more.  Ever.--Fred Reed The market is wonderful, but it is not everything.--Clyde Wilson Order is the first need of the soul.--Russell Kirk I am for peace:  but when I speak, they are for war.--Psalms 120:7 The…
Clyde Wilson
June 22, 2016
Blog

Why They Hate Jefferson

A Review of The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution, 1785-1800, by Conor Cruise O'Brien, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996, 367 pages. What a marathon of Jefferson-bashing we have had in the last few years. This book by the "global statesman" O'Brien follows several other critical biographies, all of which have been highlighted in the fashionable reviews.…
Clyde Wilson
June 15, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXXV

These Haters seem to want to destroy anything and anyone they can tie to slavery. . . . Let’s bulldoze the Washington monument and the Jefferson Memorial.--Henry Eversole I just don’t understand why people would choose to go the Washington & Lee and then complain about Lee.--Jason Moyer It is a flaw of the deeply self-interested men of the world…
Clyde Wilson
June 8, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXXIV

A pioneer creates a new country from foresight, courage, and hard work.  An immigrant takes advantage of what the pioneer has created.   I suppose now we really are “a nation of immigrants.”--Clyde Wilson The prejudice of race appears to be stronger in the States that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists . . . .--Alexis de…
Clyde Wilson
June 1, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXXIII

I am not a Catholic, but I just have to admire all of this Pope’s meticulously photographed and internationally broadcast acts of humility.--Conservative Pundit Do you think the Civil Rights Act would have passed in 1964 if most Northerners had thought that it would apply to them and not just to the South?--Clyde Wilson The Massachusetts Kennedys are better than…
Clyde Wilson
May 25, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXXII

I believe that the American South, the last bastion of Christianity in the West, will have a special role in the final chapter of history.--Anne Wilson Smith I just may take a tomahawk to the next person who tells me this is a nation of immigrants.  I want them to have the authentic experience. --Alice Teller Fact is, we NEED immigrants…
Clyde Wilson
May 18, 2016
Blog

The Imperial and Momentary We

This piece was originally published in Chronicles Magazine, October 2012. “O Fame, O Fame! Many a man ere this Of no account hast thou set up on high.” —Boethius “It is a kind of baby talk, a puerile and wind­blown gibberish. . . . In content it is a vacuum.” —H.L. Mencken on Warren G. Harding’s speeches Americans are a…
Clyde Wilson
May 13, 2016
Blog

Shades of John Brown

Southerners who honour their Confederate forebears have often been admonished:  “Get over it.  You lost!”    The admonishers often do not follow their own advice.  As a modest but earnest  advocate  of Southern heritage, I  have quite often been threatened, usually anonymously, with harm to my person and a renewal of the  extermination campaign against my people.  I once received from…
Clyde Wilson
May 4, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXXI

Moving from arrogance to masochism,  Europeans  have  endeavoured to chase away their old feelings of ethnocentrism , all the while flattering similar sentiments in other races and cultures.   Great efforts have been made to break the course and  coherence  of  time in order to stop Europeans from finding their likeness  in images of their ancestors, to strip them of their…
Clyde Wilson
April 27, 2016
Blog

New From Southern Pens, Part 4

A new contribution to Southern literature from one or both of the Kennedy brothers, authors of the classic The South Was Right! and other good books, is always a cause for celebration. The latest, Uncle Seth Fought the Yankees by James Ronald Kennedy, does not disappoint. Uncle Seth, a Confederate veteran, in about 100 easy lessons, gently educates the young…
Clyde Wilson
April 20, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXX

The Western intellectual knows,  or  rather thinks he knows, what others do not.  He rarely considers reality as such. . . . He thinks in terms  of  concepts and abstract models.  The reasoning  does  not start with the observation of events , but with  the invocation of a formula or a theoretical concept  issued  by a theoretician  whom he considers…
Clyde Wilson
April 6, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXIX

In a PC world, humor is a capital offense.   --Taki Happiness is never an accident.  It is the prize we get when we chose wisely from life’s great stores.  --Irene Dunne,   citing advice from her  Kentucky father There is no such thing as being too Southern.    --Lewis Grizzard “The war between the Yankees and the Americans.”  --Granny  Clampett  on the …
Clyde Wilson
March 30, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXVIII

Education is a vast sea of lies, waste, corruption, crackpot theorizing,  and  careerist  logrolling. --John Derbyshire A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is still putting on his boots.  --Mark Twain The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those, who, in times of great moral crisis,  maintain  their neutrality.  --Dante They change their sky, not…
Clyde Wilson
March 23, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Calhoun’s Carolina

John C. Culhoon. Culhoon is the right pronunciation by the way. John C. Culhoon was an upcountryman. We upcountry people tend to suspect Charlestonians, like Dr. Fleming, of being somewhat haughty and dissipated. Calhoun studied law briefly in Charleston and found a bride here, and he stopped off when he couldn't avoid it on his way to and from Washington,…
Clyde Wilson
March 18, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXVII

“My name’s Anderson.  They call me Bloody Bill.   Going to  Kansas to kill Red Legs.  Want to come along?”    Clint Eastwood replies:   “I reckon I will.”   --“The Outlaw Josey Wales” The success of equality in America is due, I think, mainly to the circumstance that a large number of people, who were substantially equal in all the important matters, recognized that…
Clyde Wilson
March 16, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Why The War Was Not About Slavery

Conventional wisdom of the moment tells us that the great war of 1861—1865 was “about” slavery or was “caused by” slavery. I submit that this is not a historical judgment but a political slogan. What a war is about has many answers according to the varied perspectives of different participants and of those who come after. To limit so vast…
Clyde Wilson
March 9, 2016
Blog

What is PC?

This talk was delivered on Friday, February 26, 2016 at the Abbeville Institute Conference "The PC Attack on the South." We are here to deal with the PC attacks on Southern Tradition. We have become so familiar with PC in everyday life that our perception of what it actually is has been dulled. PC is a deceptive cover name for…
Clyde Wilson
March 2, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXVI

A friend’s encounter with a clergyman:  His mission, he says, is Social Justice.  Our South Carolina governor, when she removed the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds, had “a Jesus moment,” a Divine Revelation of Social Justice.  He hopes that  others will have such a Moment.  What impressed me most about this leader of the faith was not the arrogant…
Clyde Wilson
February 24, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Dilorenzo and His Critics

Professor Thomas DiLorenzo’s The Real Lincoln has provoked the utterly predictable torrent of abuse from state worshipers and self-appointed prophets of The True American Way. All DiLorenzo has done (and this does not in the least detract from his courage, eloquence, and insight) is to analyze Honest Abe as a historical figure just like any other, rather than treat him…
Clyde Wilson
February 17, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXV

The death of the spirit is the price of progress. --Eric Voegelin The Athenians know what is right, but will not do it. --Cicero Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush:  therefore they shall fall among them that fall:  in time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith…
Clyde Wilson
February 10, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

The Way We Are Now

I promised to keep you updated on our government’s radio ads. In the latest, the Department of Justice offers you its benevolent services for any problem you might be experiencing with school bullies. * * * * I may not be a good American. I have never watched a Super Bowl or an NBA championship, never been to Las Vegas,…
Clyde Wilson
February 3, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

It’s True What They Say About Dixie

Throughout most of American history region has been a better predictor of political position than party. That aspect of our reality has been neglected and suppressed in recent times as the rest of the country has conspired or acquiesced in transforming the South into a replica of Ohio. Yet the notorious squeak vote on the ObamaCare bill shows that the…
Clyde Wilson
January 27, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Robert E. Lee and the American Union

"And the cause of all these things was power pursued for the gratification of avarice….." -- Thucydides Lee made few political statements, as befits a soldier. When he did it was almost always in private and in response to questions. The most important of such statements is his letter to Lord Acton after The War, which will be treated later.…
Clyde Wilson
January 20, 2016
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXIV

Totalitarianism, defined as the existential rule of Gnostic activists, is the end form of progressive civilization.--Eric Voegelin The South is the foe to Northern industry---to our mines, our manufactures, and our commerce.--Abolitionist Theodore Parker, 1861 Consolidators, supremacists, and conquerors, however, will all equally disregard any instrument, however solemn and explicit, by which ambition and avarice will be restrained and the…
Clyde Wilson
January 13, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Black Confederates?

A review of Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia, by Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995, 447 pages; and Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slavemasters in South Carolina, 1790-1860, by Larry Koger, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994, 286 pages. Black Confederates! Remember, you heard it here first. You will be hearing more if…
Clyde Wilson
January 6, 2016
Blog

2015 in Review

Sean Hannity begins his nationally syndicated radio talk show by welcoming listeners to “the revolution.”  This is a clever marketing ploy, but nothing Hannity discusses is truly revolutionary nor that inspiring.  Many thoughtful listeners are left searching for a voice that articulates their worldview, particularly in the South. Some of these people—not just Southerners—have ended up at the Abbeville Institute. …
Brion McClanahan
January 1, 2016
Clyde Wilson Library

Introduction to James Pettigrew’s Notes on Spain

Introduction This is James Johnston Pettigrew’s only book, privately printed in Charleston in the first weeks of the War between the States and here for the first time published. In the opening passage the author describes himself crossing the Alps on his way to seek service in the army of the king of Sardinia. His mission was to take part…
Clyde Wilson
December 30, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXIII

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with an average voter -- Winston Churchill Democracy is the worst form of government, except for every other kind that has been tried. --Churchill The lowest common denominator in America is a lot lower than it used to be. –Clyde Wilson The rebels have exhibited a most wonderful energy and skill…
Clyde Wilson
December 23, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The Jeffersonian Democrat Rediscovered

A Review of A Plague on Both Your Houses, by Robert W. Whitaker. New York: Robert B. Luce, 1976, 208 pages. Hardly anyone has commented upon the seeming disappearance from American life of the Jeffersonian democrat. The Jeffersonian democrat was a hardy American breed, perhaps the only political type original to this continent. Outnumbering all other species between 1800 and…
Clyde Wilson
December 16, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The Virginia Roots of American Values

"There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians." — Barnard Elliott Bee A Review of Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture, by Jack P. Greene, Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1988, 284 pages. We were British colonists for a long time.…
Clyde Wilson
December 9, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Can the Republic Be Restored: Presidency

The American President began as Cincinnatus, a patriot called to the temporary service of his country (a republican confederation). The President ends as Caesar, a despot of almost unlimited power, presiding over a global empire. Like the Caesars, in some quarters the President is even worshiped as a god. Cincinnatus was called because of his proven ability and patriotism. Caesar…
Clyde Wilson
December 2, 2015
Review Posts

The Same Old Stand?

This essay was published in Why the South Will Survive: Fifteen Southerners Look at Their Region a Half Century after I'll Take My Stand, edited by Clyde Wilson, 1981. When the Southern Agrarians took their stand, they did it stoutly, on two feet. Some emphasized the "Southern," others the "Agrarian," but fifty years ago it seemed that the two loyalties, to the South…
John Shelton Reed
December 1, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXII

The further a society strays from the truth, the more it hates people who tell it. --George Orwell When the South lost we all lost.   --historian Paul Hoar (New England-born) I don’t drink with Yankees.  --Joel McCrea in “South of St. Louis” Men more frequently require to be reminded than to be informed.  --Samuel Johnson You have a greater probability of…
Clyde Wilson
November 25, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Scholars’ Statement in Support of the Confederate Flag (2000)

Statement of College and University Professors in Support of the Confederate Battle Flag Atop the South Carolina Statehouse, drafted just before the legislative "compromise." To the General Assembly and People of South Carolina: Certain academics have issued a statement on the cause of the Civil War as it relates to the controversy over the Confederate battle flag. They held a…
Clyde Wilson
November 18, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XXI

The main problem with America today is the increasing scarcity of Americans. --Clyde Wilson The motive of those who have protested against the extension of slavery has always been concern for the welfare of the white man, not an unnatural sympathy with the negro. --William H. Seward, Republican leader Loyalty to party is treason to the South. --Congressman Lawrence M.…
Clyde Wilson
November 13, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Thomas Jefferson, Southern Man of Letters, Part II

Several generations after his lifetime Jefferson became best known, as he still is, of course, for these words "All men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Here is another important lesson in understanding history. The American Founders tend to be treated as…
Clyde Wilson
November 11, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Thomas Jefferson, Southern Man of Letters, Part I

There was a popular ragtime song in the 1940s and ‘50s, derived from an old minstrel tune, that went like this: Is it true what they say about Dixie? Does the sun really shine there all the time? Do sweet magnolias blossom 'round every door? Do the folks eat possum till they can’t eat no more? If you really want…
Clyde Wilson
November 4, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XX

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.--Jefferson When did the South ever lay its hand on the North?--Calhoun . . . it remains true that the bulk of modern monopoly or quasi monopoly is not the result of always irresistible economic forces, but simply the…
Clyde Wilson
October 28, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Chronicles of the South

Introduction to Chronicles of the South: In Justice to So Fine a Country “The South” is a Problem. A Big Problem. This has been true at least since the 1790s when Mr. Jefferson and his friends rallied to put the kibosh—only temporarily, alas—on New England's attempt to reinterpret the new Constitution and set up a central government powerful enough to…
Clyde Wilson
October 21, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Prosperity

Declining prosperity is now a settled fact of American life. Prosperity is not measured by the day’s average of stock speculation, or the profits of bankers, or the munificence of government subsidies and salaries, or the consumption of luxury goods, or even by the Gross Domestic Product. It is amazing how in a few short decades American “educators,” “experts,” “journalists,”…
Clyde Wilson
October 14, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XIX

A man has only got room for one oath at a time. I gave mine to the Confederate States of America. --John Wayne, “The Searchers” Going back is the quickest way on. --C.S. Lewis Idiocy is bipartisan. --Ilana Mercer The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shall…
Clyde Wilson
October 7, 2015
Blog

The War to Prevent Southern Independence and Other New Tomes

Thanks for the “Amateurs” “Amateur” has come to mean “inferior” to most people today. But the term originally meant someone who was as good as a professional but did not take money for performance. Fortunately, Dixie has always had and still does have many able “amateur” historians. This is a good thing since most of the paid “professional” historians these…
Clyde Wilson
September 30, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XVIII

Wherever you bluebellies go you cause trouble. . . . Yankees always lie. --Clint Eastwood, “Ambush at Cimarron Pass,” 1958. For every right wing lunatic in a cabin in Idaho, there are 500 left wing lunatics with tenure at state universities. --David Burge My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,…
Clyde Wilson
September 23, 2015
Blog

Life In The Old Land Yet

There is life in the old land of Dixie yet. There seems to be no end of talent and knowledge coming forth in our defense against the South-hating jihadists who seem to dominate the American scene these days.   Valiant and wise people continue the daunting task of educating our fellow citizens about the truth of American history. The end of…
Clyde Wilson
September 16, 2015
Review Posts

The War for Southern Independence: My Myth or Yours?

In the antebellum era, Matthew Carey, Philadelphia publisher and journalist, was the most zealous and articulate advocate of a protective tariff to raise the price of imported goods so high that American manufacturers would be guaranteed a closed internal market that would provide them with growth and profits. He believed fervently that this was necessary to build a strong country.  …
Clyde Wilson
September 1, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Sacrifice for His People: The Imprisonment of Jefferson Davis

In 1866 Margaret Junkin Preston of Lexington, Virginia, a sister-in-law of Stonewall Jackson, wrote a poem she called “Regulus.” Regulus was a Roman hero who was tortured by the Carthaginians but never yielded his honour or his patriotism. Her verse, which did not mention Jefferson Davis by name, was a reflection on the imprisonment of President Davis—a tribute to Davis’s…
Clyde Wilson
August 19, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XVII

It has been justly stated by a British writer that the power to make a small piece of paper, not worth one cent, by the inscribing of a few names, to be worth a thousand dollars, was a power too high to be entrusted to the hands of mortal man. --Calhoun, 1841 When it comes once to be understood that…
Clyde Wilson
August 12, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XVI

Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals can believe them.   --Orwell I believe you love me---God knows why?     --Yates Snowden Even if the GOP can’t see the light they can feel the heat. “We’ve got to protect our phoney-baloney jobs!”     --James Fulford For all practical purposes, today’s press is an arm of government.   --Fred Reed The instinct for Power…
Clyde Wilson
August 5, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Jeffersonian Political Economy

Your other lecturers have pleasant and upbeat subjects to consider. I am stuck with economics, which is a notoriously dreary subject.   It is even more of a downer when we consider how far the U.S. is today from a Southern, Jeffersonian political economy which was once a powerful idea. Economics as practiced today is a utilitarian and materialistic study. It…
Clyde Wilson
July 29, 2015
Blog

Our Noble Banner

The Confederate battle flag is protean. It is a powerful symbol that has entered the world’s consciousness. “Protean,” going back to the classical Proteus, is defined as “readily taking on varied shapes, forms, or meanings.”   And as “having a varied nature or ability to assume different forms.”   The flag’s power   is very real, but engenders a different feeling according to…
Clyde Wilson
July 20, 2015
Blog

Questions for Hollywood? Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

Why in the recent “The Factory” does a serial killer from Buffalo, New York, have a Southern accent? Come to think of it, why do serial killers and vicious gang leaders in movies and TV always have Southern accents? When you make movies about Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, and Ted Bundy,   will they have Southern accents? The alpha of the…
Clyde Wilson
July 13, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

What This Country Needs

In one of Henry James’s less unreadable novels, The Bostonians, the hero is Basil Ransom, an impoverished ex-Confederate from Mississippi who is trying to make his way professionally in the urban North. The author wants us to see the tough, realistic, earthy Ransom as a healthy contrast to the decayed idealism of the wealthy, reformist, insular, enervated society of Boston.…
Clyde Wilson
July 8, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The Grand Old (Stupid) Party

The awful Obama is pushing terrible things on our country like socialised medicine, big spending, corporate bailouts, affirmative action, and amnesty for illegal aliens. He must be defeated so the Republicans can get in and push socialised medicine, big spending, corporate bailouts, affirmative action, and amnesty for illegal aliens. Obama is conducting two endless and pointless wars in Asia. He…
Clyde Wilson
July 1, 2015
Blog

New From Southern Pens 3

The Report from Dogwood Mudhole Franklin Sanders is a well-known Southern leader and spokesman.   In 1995 Sanders, his wife, children, and grandchildren moved lock, stock, and barrel to Wayne County, Tennessee, determined to return to the land and learn to be farmers. Their adventures in this epic agrarian quest are being recorded by Sanders in a trilogy. The first volume…
Clyde Wilson
June 25, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

America’s Red-Headed Stepchild

This piece was originally published on 3 July 2014 and is reprinted in light of current events. Are you puzzled and irritated by the viciousness and falsity of most of what is being published these days about the South and Southern history? The beginning of all wisdom on this subject is to know that in American public speech and so-called…
Clyde Wilson
June 24, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Goodbye to Gold and Glory

“The Father of Waters now flows unvexed to the sea,” Lincoln famously announced in July 1863. He was, according to a reporter, uncharacteristically “wearing a smile of supreme satisfaction” as he related the news of the surrender of Vicksburg. Like many popular sayings about the war of 1861–1865, Lincoln’s words rest on certain unexamined assumptions. Why had the flow of…
Clyde Wilson
June 16, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

St. George Tucker

  St. George Tucker's "View of the Constitution of the United States" was the first extended, systematic commentary on the new constitution after it had been ratified by the people of the several states and amended by the Bill of Rights. Published by a distinguished patriot and jurist in 1803, it was for much of the first half of the…
Clyde Wilson
June 8, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Confederate Connections

A friend of mine, a scholar of international reputation and a Tar Heel by birth, was visiting professor at a very prestigious Northern university a few years ago. In idle conversation with some colleagues, he happened to mention that his mother was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. His…
Clyde Wilson
June 4, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Antebellum Southerners in Europe

I want to look at Southerners going back to Europe long after the roots were planted, especially in the period before the second War of Independence began in 1861. The reason for looking at this is what it tells us about Southerners. One of the things it tells us is that we Southerners were a people. Our relationship to Europe…
Clyde Wilson
May 20, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The South and the West, Part 2

It seems my mission here is to bring to your attention unfamiliar and unfashionable truths about American history. Let me give you another one. The American West, the frontier, was NOT conquered and settled by a “Nation of Immigrants.” George Washington was already the fifth generation of his family in Virginia, as were most of his neighbours. There was a…
Clyde Wilson
May 13, 2015
Blog

New From Southern Pens, Part 2

Maryland Redeemed Everybody knows that our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” was written by Francis Scott Key as he watched the British attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812. Almost nobody knows the rest of the story. In 1861, Key’s grandson, Francis Key Howard, was locked up in Fort McHenry.   Howard wrote: “The flag which…
Clyde Wilson
May 8, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The South and the West, Part 1

When our ever-wise leader set up a program on the American West, he obviously had in mind the geographic west of North America—the Great Plains, mountains, and Pacific coast beyond the Colorado, Red, Arkansas, and Missouri rivers. But when Americans emerged onto the Great Plains in the second third of the 19th century, they were already the inheritors of two…
Clyde Wilson
May 6, 2015
Blog

April Top 10

The top ten for April 2015.  Thank you for a great one year anniversary for the new and improved Abbeville Institute website.  We exceeded our previous traffic for the entire year in April alone.  There is more to come in the near future, so please, like, share, and tweet our material, and if you are so inclined, please consider a tax deductible…
Brion McClanahan
May 2, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Should the South Survive?

This essay served as the introduction to Why the South Will Survive(University of Georgia Press, 1981). OF THE MAKING of books about the South there is no end. This one differs from most in at least one respect—its unembarrassed embrace of the notion that the South is a national asset, a priceless and irreplaceable treasure that must be conserved. The…
Clyde Wilson
April 29, 2015
Blog

The Ides of March 2015

Abbeville scholar Clyde Wilson recently received this charming from Ms. Joscelyn Dunlop of Edenton, North Carolina. It neatly ties together Southern life in the WBTS, the 1930s, and today. Dear Dr. Wilson, Just a line to let you know what a pleasure it is to read your columns in my favorite magazine, which seems astonishingly like the late lamented SOUTHERN…
Clyde Wilson
April 24, 2015
Blog

New From Southern Pens

Karen Stokes’s Reconstruction Novel Awhile back it  was  theorised by some that Southern literature’s era of greatness was coming to an end with the changes taking place in our region.  Abbeville Scholar Karen Stokes of Charleston  single-handedly disproves that  theory.  If I count correctly, seven books published in about as many years—four history and three fiction.  It is rare to…
Clyde Wilson
April 22, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Thomas Jefferson, Conservative

In 1809 Thomas Jefferson yielded up the Presidency and crossed into Virginia. In the 17 active years remaining to him he never left it. The first volume of Malone's masterpiece, published in 1948, was Jefferson the Virginian. The sixth and last is The Sage of Monticello. Jefferson begins and ends with Virginia. Keep this fact in mind. It will save…
Clyde Wilson
April 15, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

What to Say About Dixie?

What to say in brief compass about the South?—a subject that is worthy of the complete works of a Homer, a Shakespeare, or a Faulkner. The South is a geographical/historical/cultural reality that has provided a crucial source of identity for millions of people for three centuries. Long before there was an entity known as "the United States of America." there…
Clyde Wilson
April 8, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XV

They call it progress, but they don’t say where it is going. --Faulkner Nothing occurs except the heaping up of tyranny and insult from Washington by the meanest most cowardly and unprincipled lot of men ever assembled together to curse any people. --Mary Custis Lee, 1868 Nothing is more ruinous to a nation than the defective education of its populace.…
Clyde Wilson
April 3, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

A Southern Tradition: Restraining Bad Government

In talking about the Southern political tradition, it is most appropriate to point to the North Carolina Regulators and the Battle of Alamance Creek. This event was, in fact, only one of many such episodes in the colonial South--in the first 169 years of our history as Southerners before the first War of Independence. There was Bacon's Rebellion in Virginia…
Clyde Wilson
April 1, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Hanging with the Snarks: An Academic Memoir

There seemed to be little interest among audience members in whether the ideas I had presented were true, only whether their application would bring about results they liked. I used to have a running argument with a colleague, a great scholar now gathered to his fathers, during late afternoon seminars catered by the good folks at Jack Daniels. The argument…
Clyde Wilson
March 25, 2015
Blog

Calhoun on American Government, Politics, and War

"When it comes to be once understood that politics is a game; that those who are engaged in it but act a part; that they make this or that profession, not from honest conviction or intent to fulfill it, but as the means of deluding the people, and through that delusion to acquire power, when such professions are to be…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

“A Senator of Rome when Rome Survived.”

This selection was originally printed in Brion McClanahan and Clyde Wilson, Forgotten Conservatives in American History (Pelican, 2012). Of the Great Triumvirate who dominated American public discourse from the War of 1812 till the mid-19th century, John C. Calhoun was the first to depart the scene, in 1850. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster lived a few more years. In a…
Clyde Wilson
March 18, 2015
Blog

John C. Calhoun: A Statesman for the 21st Century

Your ordinary run-of-the mill historian will tell you that John C. Calhoun, having defended the bad and lost causes of state rights and slavery, deserves to rest forever in the dustbin of history. Nothing could be further from the truth. No American public figure after the generation of the Founding Fathers has more to say to later times than Calhoun.…
Clyde Wilson
March 16, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Scratching Fleas: American Historians and Their History

There is no group I would rather receive recognition from than the John Randolph Club. I want to thank my valued comrade-in-arms Tom Fleming for this occasion. Tom is the truly indispensable man. Can you imagine a world without Tom Fleming and Chronicles? It would be immeasurably more intellectually, culturally, and morally impoverished than it already is. I would not…
Clyde Wilson
March 11, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The Treasury of Counterfeit Virtue

“O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us!” —Robert Burns Not long ago, a well-known conservative historian lamented that the American public had not been morally engaged to undergo sacrifice after the 9/11 attacks, unlike their heroic predecessors after Fort Sumter and Pearl Harbour. Wait a minute. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were massive…
Clyde Wilson
March 4, 2015
Blog

Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XIV

I have seen enough of publick men to come to the conclusion, that there are few, indeed, whose attachment to self is not stronger, than their patriotism and their friendship. --Calhoun We are children of the earth. We are not unlike the Titans, the earthborn giants of mythology, who were invincible in battle only as long as their feet were…
Clyde Wilson
February 25, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Sherman’s March

The History Channel’s recent presentation of "Sherman’s March" has been rightly drawing a lot of criticism from those of us who care about such things. In theory, historical events should become clearer as time passes and the controversies they involved grow less heated. But that is not the case in regard to the War to Prevent Southern Independence—because the myth…
Clyde Wilson
February 18, 2015
Blog

It Could Have Been Worse, Probably

Review of the new film Field of Lost Shoes: I have written before here and here about the treatment of the South in film. A new entry into that dubious field is the recent “Field of Lost Shoes.” It purports to tell the story of the Virginia Military Institute cadets who at great sacrifice participated in driving back the invading…
Clyde Wilson
February 13, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The War Lover

The American Enterprise magazine, a slick-paper, coffee-table arm of the neocon publishing empire, has recognized the premiere of the Civil War film epic "Gods and Generals" by devoting its March issue to the Late Unpleasantness. TAE brings out some deep thinkers to examine American history 1861 – 1865 under the rubric "Just War." (Shouldn't there be a question mark in…
Clyde Wilson
February 11, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

M. E. Bradford, The Agrarian Aquinas

I have called M.E. Bradford the Agrarian Aquinas. He did not write a Summa, but his work as a whole enriched and carried into new territory the message of I’ll Take My Stand on a broad front of literature, history, and political thought. He came at a crucial time when Richard Weaver had passed his peak of influence and the…
Clyde Wilson
February 4, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Origins of the Educational Nightmare

John Chodes, Destroying the Republic: Jabez Curry and the Re-Education of the Old South. New York: Algora Publishing. 332 pp. $29.95 (quality paperback) Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry of Alabama (1825–1903) was one of those fairly numerous 19th century Americans whose lives of astounding talent and energy put to shame the diminished leaders of the U.S. in the 21st century. Or…
Clyde Wilson
January 29, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

Confederate Flag Day

I am honoured to be back in my native State (North Carolina) where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great. We are here on this occasion both to remember our Confederate forefathers and to honour them in their heroic War for Southern Independence. We do right to remember and honour our Confederate forebears, first of all because they…
Clyde Wilson
January 19, 2015
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XIII

South Carolina will preserve its sovereignty, or be buried beneath its ruins.  --Governor Robert Y. Hayne, 1832 I have lived too long not to know how reluctantly the clearest proposition is admitted against preconceived opinions.   --Calhoun Justice is truth in action.   --Joubert The primary object of the criminal law is not to secure liberty or privilege, but to take them…
Clyde Wilson
January 8, 2015
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XII

Experience has taught me, that in politicks, it is much more easy to gain the battle, than to reap its fruits. --Calhoun I had not realized how offensive the plain truth can be to the politically correct, how enraged they can be by its mere expression, and how deeply they detest the values and standards respected 50 years ago and…
Clyde Wilson
December 31, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Cincinnatus, Call the Office!

“. . . a republican government, which many great writers assert to be incapable of subsisting long, except by the preservation of virtuous principles.” — John Taylor of Caroline The United States Senate, one summer morning near the end of the session in 1842, was busy with routine reception of committee reports. The Committee on the Judiciary reported favorably on…
Clyde Wilson
December 31, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part XI

It has been a rule with me, from which I have rarely departed, to pass in silence the misrepresentations to which I have been subject, in the discharge of my public duties;  leaving it to my after conduct to stamp the charge of falsehood on them.    --Calhoun Whenever  I  need  a  psychiatrist  I go fly  fishing, holding a boat to…
Clyde Wilson
December 26, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part X

  What are people for? --Wendell Berry I do not view politicks as a scramble between eminent men; but as a science by which the lasting interest of the country may be advanced. --Calhoun Citizens must fight to defend the law as if fighting to hold the city wall. --Heraclitus Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest…
Clyde Wilson
December 16, 2014
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The True Fire Within

  A review of Henry Timrod: A Biography by Walter Brian Cisco, Madison, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickison University Press, 2001. 168 pages. Henry Timrod died in 1867 at the age of thirty-nine from tuberculosis--his end aggravated and hastened by inadequate food and the rigors of eking out a living amidst the charred ruins of South Carolina's capital city. The newspaper which…
Clyde Wilson
December 9, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Literature in the Old South

In an ideal world the separate studies of history and literature would enlighten one another. A historian—whether of republican Rome, seventeenth century France, the Old South, or any other subject—would gain insights into an era from its imaginative literature. Insights of a kind to be found nowhere else, for the best imaginative literature is created by the most acute consciousnesses…
Clyde Wilson
December 2, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part IX

It is not in the power of any single, or few individuals to preserve liberty. It can only be effected by the people themselves; by their intelligence, virtue, courage, and patriotism. –Calhoun Rules in war have purpose. Every broken rule deepens the hate between enemies. Every rule preserved keeps hate at bay. --Christian Cameron I lived this long by never…
Clyde Wilson
December 1, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part VIII

It is the very genius of a consolidated Government to elevate one portion of the Community, while it corrupts the other. --Calhoun Generally, however, the secession movement was a remarkable testament to the compact theory of government, which Jefferson, more than anyone, had fixed upon the American political mind. --Merrill D. Petersen Never ascribe to malice what can be adequately…
Clyde Wilson
November 21, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

The Republican Charade: Lincoln and His Party

"To parties of special interests, all political questions appear exclusively as problems of political tactics." I want to take a look at this strange institution we know as the Republican party and the course of its peculiar history in the American regime. The peculiar history both precedes and continues after Lincoln, although Lincoln is central to the story. It is…
Clyde Wilson
November 19, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Nolan’s Myth of the “Lost Cause”

"Your enemy is not a criminal just because he is your enemy." —Saying credited to the founder of Israeli intelligence. "How could we help falling on our knees, all of us together, and praying God to forgive us all." —Joshua Chamberlain on the surrender at Appomattox. Gary W. Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, eds., The Myth Of The Lost Cause…
Clyde Wilson
November 17, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Tiger’s Meat: William Gilmore Simms and the History of the Revolution

In the early days of the United States, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton remarked: "The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment." The common national sentiment—among American peoples diverse in economic interests, folkways, and political agendas—mainly rested on a fraternal sense of the shared perils and triumphs of the War of Independence, prior to…
Clyde Wilson
November 11, 2014
Review Posts

Twenty Million Gone: The Southern Diaspora, 1900—1970

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yKesnaFYUw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DkcQ09h2Vo That is Bobby Bare on Detroit and Dwight Yoakam on Los Angeles. Sometimes there are significant movements in history that go unnoticed because they take place slowly over a long period of time and are marked by no major event. The Southern Diaspora of the 20th century is such a movement. Twelve million white and eight million black…
Clyde Wilson
November 10, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners, Part VII

The Constitutional power of the President never was or could be formidable, unless it was accompanied by a Congress which was prepared to corrupt the Constitution. --Calhoun Devolution is not an event, it is a process. --John Davies, Welsh nationalist leader And as for unrequited love, it is seldom fatal, Shakespeare having observed with great sapience: “Men have died from…
Clyde Wilson
November 5, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Reconstruction: Violence and Dislocation

The final part in this installment is a lecture entitled, "Reconstruction in the Experience of the Southern People," delivered at the 2009 Summer School. Violence is a big subject in Reconstruction. There was certainly violence, ranging from personal assaults to riots to pitched battles in which people were killed. However, I doubt that it was as prevalent or as decisive…
Clyde Wilson
October 30, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners Part VI

When did the South ever lay its hand on the North? --Calhoun The body of a Confederate soldier was discovered near here a few days ago. I think I will go over and apologise. --Ambrose Bierce, former Union soldier Therefore I charge the young not to despise hunting or any other schooling. For these are the means by which men…
Clyde Wilson
October 28, 2014
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Sayings By or For Southerners Part V

I never claimed a victory, though I stated that Lee was defeated in his efforts to destroy my army. --Gen. George G. Meade, Union commander at Gettysburg The army did all it could. I feel I required of it impossibilities. But it responded to the call nobly and cheerfully, and though it did not win a victory it conquered a…
Clyde Wilson
October 16, 2014