Tag

War for Southern Independence

Review Posts

The Truth About Jefferson Davis

This piece originally appeared in Southern Partisan magazine in 1983. Rosemont Plantation, the childhood home of Jefferson Davis, is nes­tled in the gently rolling hills of southwest Mississippi. Carefully restored, the Davis family home is shaded by moss-hung oaks and catalpa trees, surrounded by lush vegetation and warmed by newly-greened memories of the past. It is the last place on…
Robert McHugh
June 3, 2015
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The Plundering Generation

This piece was originally published in Southern Partisan magazine in 1987-88. A few years ago I was shuffling through accumulated litter in my garage attic when I came across some clippings dating from the 1960s. Among them were several letters to Life magazine comment­ing on an article by Bruce Carton. One reads as follows: Bruce Carton's article is interesting and…
Ludwell H. Johnson
May 29, 2015
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Lincoln and Equal Rights: The Authenticity of the Wadsworth Letter

This article was originally published in The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Feb., 1966), pp. 83-87. In the current national debate on the race problem, the authority of the Great Emancipator has been claimed by both sides. Some have represented Lincoln as an archsegregationist by quoting from the 1858 debates, in which he opposed political and social…
Ludwell H. Johnson
May 28, 2015
Review Posts

Ludwell Johnson: Master Southern Historian

  Life and Work Why Read Ludwell Johnson? Both Ludwell Johnson’s style of work and choice of subject matter strongly recommend him to our consideration. As a working historian he is calm and measured, with just the degree of detachment that historical work ideally requires. As he puts it, “trying to identify cause and effect is, to me, the very…
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“Scientist of the Seas”

Few Americans know of the great American scientist Matthew Fontaine Maury, and those that do probably do not know of his steadfast devotion to the Confederate States during the War for Southern Independence or his firm commitment to the South and her people. Maury was a native Virginian and his father had once been a teacher to Thomas Jefferson. Maury…
Brion McClanahan
May 22, 2015
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Why the South Fought

This piece originally appeared in Southern Partisan Magazine in 1984. The Thirteen Colonies in their War of Independence had fought for freedom. But the French Revolution (a true revolution of an under­class) proclaimed not only liberty but equality: and that idea was loosened on the world. But liberty (freedom) and equality are natural allies only up to a point, and…
Sheldon Vanauken
May 21, 2015
Review Posts

The Sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence as Symbolic of the Fallen State of the South

With the Sesquicentennial of the epic war of American history winding down, many may think this War no longer particularly relevant and we can move on to more current concerns. Such an attitude, which I dare say prevails among most Americans, Southerners included, ignores the watershed importance of the War known by any number of names, the “Civil War,” the…
William Cawthon
May 19, 2015
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Remembering the War Between the States and Its Aftermath

This piece was originally printed at res33blog.com. The commentary by University of North Carolina-Wilmington history Professor Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. titled, “Why the Civil War still matters” published in the Wilmington StarNews last March caught my attention both for his review of some interesting facts, and his omissions and conflicting ideas about that historic period.  Prof. Fonvielle explains some of…
R.E. Smith, Jr.
May 18, 2015
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Lee in the Mountains, Part 2

Donald Davidson's (1893-1968) Lee in the Mountains was one of the first pieces we ran for the Abbeville Review when it was launched last April.  Davidson was one of the more important Southern intellectuals of the twentieth century.  His forays into both fiction and non-fiction helped establish the framework for what became known as the Southern agrarian movement.  His essay…
Brion McClanahan
May 11, 2015
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Kent Brown and Sharpsburg

After my last trip to Gettysburg with Kent Masterson Brown, I could hardly wait for Sharpsburg. The experience did not disappoint. Kent was as congenial as ever, warm with his longtime followers (a group of fellow Kentuckians known as the ‘I Corps”) and welcoming to newcomers – many of whom, I was happy to discover, came from the Abbeville Institute.…
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Yet Another Uneducated, Baseless Attack on the South

A so-called "writer" for al.com, Charles J. Dean, in an article entitled Today Alabama officially observes Confederate Memorial Day: Shame on us seems to be making a living these days off of feeble attempts at denigrating the South by misconstruing the history of the Confederate soldier, his cause and the situation that compelled him to war. This is his second…
Carl Jones
April 30, 2015
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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
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Post Appomattox Fallacies Justifying Federal Tyranny

“We the people” of Dixie are in a unique position in today’s America. We are, though most Southerners do not realize it, a conquered and occupied people. A people of a once free nation—the Confederate States of America composed of former sovereign states. Southerners are a minority in a nation ruled by the secular humanist majority of the North.  This…
James Ronald Kennedy
April 23, 2015
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On Abraham Lincoln and the Inversion of American History

Originally published by the Unz Review on 15 April 2015. Back in 1990 in Richmond, Virginia, as part of the Museum of the Confederacy's lecture series, the late Professor Ludwell Johnson, author and  professor of history at William and Mary College, presented a fascinating lecture  titled, “The Lincoln Puzzle: Searching for the Real Honest Abe.” Commenting on the assassination of…
Boyd Cathey
April 17, 2015
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John Tyler Son of Virginia

From the Confederate Veteran Magazine, Volume 4, 1916, pages 4-5. John Tyler, distinguished Virginian and tenth President of the United States, has received fitting, though long-deferred, honor from the country he served. Fifty-three years after his death the United States government has erected a handsome monument at his last resting place, in the shades of beautiful Hollywood Cemetery, at Richmond,…
Abbeville Institute
April 2, 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
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The Eternal ‘Rebel Yell’

Recently, a friend sent me a link on the Smithsonian web site to a 1930 video clip with good sonics of some aged Confederate veterans demonstrating how the famous "Rebel Yell" had sounded some 65 years earlier. All those men were at least in their late 80s, most in their 90s.  But their remarkable spirit still showed through. History and time…
Boyd Cathey
March 26, 2015
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John Mitchel: Irish Confederate

John Mitchel (1815-1875) was a fiery Irish nationalist who was convicted of treason by the British in 1848 and transported first to Bermuda and then to a penal colony in Australia, from which he escaped in 1853. After Mitchel and his family settled in America, he continued his nationalist activism by founding a radical Irish newspaper in New York, denouncing…
Karen Stokes
March 17, 2015
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“United States ‘History’ as the Yankee Makes and Takes It”

John Cussons had enough.  It was 1897, and for thirty-two years he had watched as "Northern friends of ours have been diligent in a systematic distortion of the leading facts of American history— inventing, suppressing, perverting, without scruple or shame—until our Southland stands to-day pilloried to the scorn of all the world and bearing on her front the brand of…
Brion McClanahan
March 13, 2015
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Lincoln’s Words and Misdeeds

Reprinted from res33blog.com with permission. On March 5, 2015 a Wilmington StarNews editorial opinion ran the text of President Lincoln’s second in inaugural address from March 4, 1865—this year marks the end of his war against the Southern people, 150 years later. Editors’ titled their view “Words worth repeating.” Typically, Lincoln’s political words didn’t match reality; or truth. Although in…
R.E. Smith, Jr.
March 9, 2015
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The Professor, the Prankster, and the President

James M. McPherson recently appeared on The Colbert Report to promote his latest book, Embattled Rebel: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief. Together, McPherson and Colbert more or less made a mockery of Davis – “great Confederate president or greatest Confederate president?” As the Good Book says, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls…
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
Review Posts

Southern Core Values

In American higher education of the past forty years, I have observed two American histories, and two American literatures – which teach different American ideals and values, resulting in different societies and different vision of what it means to be an American. Today we have a Northern history and a Southern history; we have a Northern literature and a Southern…
David Aiken
March 3, 2015
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Do Confederate Veterans Count?

The following is excerpted from a letter which I sent to my State Senator At the Florida State Fair, Governor Rick Scott and his Cabinet tabled the question of whether Confederate soldiers – in particular, Samuel Pasco, David Lang, and Edward A. Perry – were eligible for admission to the Veterans’ Hall of Fame, requesting the legislature’s “clarification.” The apparent…
James Rutledge Roesch
February 19, 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
Review Posts

When the Yankees Come: Former South Carolina Slaves Remember the Invasion

Introduction As we are now in the midst of the sesquicentennial of the Union Army’s march through South Carolina—the climax being the burning of the city of Columbia on 17 February 1865—I thought it might be interesting to employ a rather unorthodox, but extremely interesting source to broaden the understanding of this infamous event: Slave Narratives: A Folk History of…
Paul C. Graham
February 17, 2015
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February 1865: The Invasion Continues

On February 5, 1865, the last of General Sherman’s troops crossed the Savannah River into South Carolina. That same day, soldiers of the 14th Corps burned the village of Robertville. Determined to punish the “original secessionists,” an army of over 60,000 was now making its way through the Palmetto State on a mission of destruction and pillage. On February 7,…
Karen Stokes
February 16, 2015
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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
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All Hail Abe!

Today we celebrate the birthday of the log cabin born, rough-hewn, rail-splitting, bare-knuckled, “pock-faced, stoop-shouldered, slab-sided assistant storekeeper,” lewd, vulgar, uninspiring, “ordinary Western man” from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln’s life and image is a series of irreconcilable dichotomies: He had no military experience worth noting—he waged war on wild onion fields during the Black Hawk War and cleaned up the…
Brion McClanahan
February 12, 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
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Southern Discomfort

Late in August 2001 my wife Barbara and I visited the classic Southern city of Charleston, South Carolina. We walked around the old town and observed many historic places. This resulted in the following article I wrote in an opinion column ‘County Lines’ published by the defunct Carolina-Kure Beach Weekly News under my pen-name Sam Stark.  I’ve edited the original…
R.E. Smith, Jr.
February 5, 2015
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The Bonnie Blue

Scholars who have seriously studied the question of what Northerners and Southerners were fighting for during the so-called “Civil War” have generally concluded that slavery was not a major motivating factor on either side. “Just as most Northerners did not fight to end slavery,” explained the acclaimed historian James I. Robertson, Jr., “most Southerners did not fight to preserve it.”…
James Rutledge Roesch
February 2, 2015
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The Invasion Begins

By mid- January 1865, General Sherman’s campaign in South Carolina had begun in earnest. Some of his forces began moving through the parishes of Beaufort District at this time, and one of their first targets was the village of Hardeeville, where troops of the 20th Corps arrived on January 17th. During their days there, they burned down or tore apart…
Karen Stokes
January 30, 2015
Review Posts

Andersonville From the Southern Side

This entry was originally published by The Society of Independent Southern Historians. The truth about Andersonville is not difficult to ascertain for anyone willing to search beyond the generally accepted story as perpetrated by the war’s victors, anxious to exculpate themselves for the guilt of the death of their countrymen who became prisoners. That story begins with a prison camp…
Becky Calcutt
January 28, 2015
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The Art of Remembering

We gather here today to honor the memory of brave men who willingly faced the deadly fire of war in order to protect their kith and kin—their blood relatives, their friends and neighbors—they fought to protect their kith and kin from the horrors of the invader's torch and sword. General Robert E. Lee was one of the main leaders in…
James Ronald Kennedy
January 27, 2015
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How The War Was About Slavery

In my capacity as editor of the Palmetto Partisan, I keep a very close eye on the news for articles regarding the Confederacy, especially as it relates to South Carolina, in the hope that our staff can use some of this information to produce timely and relevant content for our division journal. To do this I employ a news search…
Paul C. Graham
January 26, 2015
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The Calamity of Appomattox

No American historian, so far as I know, has ever tried to work out the probable consequences if Grant instead of Lee had been on the hot spot at Appomattox. How long would the victorious Confederacy have endured? Could it have surmounted the difficulties inherent in the doctrine of States’ Rights, so often inconvenient and even paralyzing to it during…
H.L. Mencken
January 22, 2015
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The Calamity of Appomattox

No American historian, so far as I know, has ever tried to work out the probable consequences if Grant instead of Lee had been on the hot spot at Appomattox. How long would the victorious Confederacy have endured? Could it have surmounted the difficulties inherent in the doctrine of States’ Rights, so often inconvenient and even paralyzing to it during…
H.L. Mencken
January 22, 2015
Review Posts

The Cause of Jackson and Lee

  Delivered at the Blount County Courthouse, January 19, 2015. Robert E. Lee said “Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope that it may find a place in history and descend to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns and battles and generals or other individuals, but that which shows…
Carl Jones
January 21, 2015
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Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson

This essay is part of the chapter "Southerners" in Brion McClanahan's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Real American Heroes. The Northern essayist and Republican partisan E.L. Godkin wrote following the death of “Stonewall” Jackson in 1863 that Jackson was “the most extraordinary phenomenon of this extraordinary war. Pure, honest, simple-minded, unselfish, and brave, his death is a loss to the…
Brion McClanahan
January 21, 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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The Cruel Winter of 1865 in South Carolina

January 2015 ushers in the last year of the sesquicentennial of the War for Southern Independence. One hundred and fifty years ago, the first month of 1865 was the beginning of a cruel and catastrophic winter for the state of South Carolina. Having completed his destructive march through Georgia, General William T. Sherman took possession of the coastal city of…
Karen Stokes
January 7, 2015
Review Posts

The Despot’s Heel Was On Thy Shore

Maryland is steeped in the history of the American Union. She fiercely defended her position amongst the thirteen original states as a free, independent, and sovereign state. She was the last to accede to The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The first article of the Maryland Declaration of Rights states, “That all Government of right originates from the People,…
Scott Strzelczyk
January 6, 2015
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The “Hard Hand of War”

The kind of military onslaught that Union Gen. William Sherman unleashed on the South, beginning with his infamous conquest of Atlanta and subsequent "March to the Sea," followed by his capture of Savannah 150 years ago this month, came to be called, in the 20th century, "total war." That meant a war waged with full military mobilization not only against…
Kirkpatrick Sale
January 5, 2015
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Faithless Government

Robert Barnwell Rhett, born on December 21, 1800, is remembered as one of the foremost "fire-eaters" of the South in the years leading to the War in 1861.  He championed nullification between 1830 and 1859 in order to preserve the Union, but had decided after the election of 1860 that the Union of the Founders had been dissolved and replaced…
Brion McClanahan
December 22, 2014
Review Posts

They Dared to Die

Address of Colonel Edward McCrady, Jr. before Company a (Gregg's regiment), First S. C. Volunteers, at the Reunion at Williston, Barnwell county, S. C, 14th July, 1882. It is with divided feelings, my comrades, that we meet upon this occasion. It is indeed doubtful which emotion is the stronger, that of pleasure in once more grasping the hands of those…
Edward McCrady, Jr.
December 1, 2014
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Conduct of the Northern Army

Lately, media outlets have been giving some attention to the 150th anniversary of General William T. Sherman’s infamous march through Georgia that took place in 1864, minimizing, of course, the barbarity and criminality of his campaign. You only have to read the letters and diaries written at the time of the actual events to learn the truth of the matter,…
Karen Stokes
November 28, 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
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Governor Hicks: Accidental Defender of Southern History

As 1861 drew to a close, Governor Thomas Hicks recorded for posterity the events of the Northern invasion and occupation of Maryland in a message he sent to members of the state's first reconstruction era legislature, an extralegal body that would prove friendly to the Yankee regime. In defending his reluctance to authorize a special session of the previous General…
J.L. Bennett
November 19, 2014
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Rehabbing Sherman

“The amount of plundering, burning, and stealing done by our own army makes me ashamed of it. I would quit the service if I could for I fear we are drifting towards vandalism. Thus you and I and every commander must go through the war justly chargeable for our crimes.” – General William T. Sherman, 1863 “I have felt a…
James Rutledge Roesch
November 18, 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
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A Lonely Opposition

This piece was originally published on November 16, 2012 on LewRockwell.com and is reprinted here by permission. On 20 March 1861, United States Senator James A. Bayard of Delaware began a three day speech on the prospects of war and the legality of secession. He began by offering a resolution in the hope of avoiding what he predicted would be…
Brion McClanahan
November 17, 2014
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The Despot’s Song!

Southern history contains many fine examples of literary and artistic merit long ignored by contemporary scholars and forgotten by the American public at large, both North and South. Much of this is due to the impact that the War had on the perception of the Southern people. Students in American literature will get a cursory understanding of Southern literature, primarily…
Brion McClanahan
November 13, 2014
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All Slavery, All the Time*

*Apologies to Jon White from whom I sole the title for this piece. Invariably, any discussion regarding the causes of the Late Unpleasantness brings forth the tortured issue of slavery. Back when I was a graduate student in the 1990s, there was still some room, though not much, for a multi-causational interpretation of the War, not so much anymore. Much…
John Devanny
November 12, 2014
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Our Danger and Our Duty

Acclaimed in his time as the “Calhoun of the Church,” James Henley Thornwell was a prominent Presbyterian clergyman of South Carolina and one of the state’s greatest men in the nineteenth century. Like many Southerners, he cherished the Union, but came to accept the necessity of secession. Before he died in 1862, in one of his last writings, Our Danger…
Karen Stokes
November 11, 2014
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Painting the Old South

As with literature, nineteenth-century American art is dominated by the North and Northern subjects. The Hudson River School, which incidentally found its greatest inspiration from the West, and most American artists of the Romantic period hailed from the Deep North. After the North won the War, the focus for the American mind shifted North and those who had carved a…
Brion McClanahan
November 7, 2014
Review Posts

Understanding “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”: How Novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe Influenced the Northern Mind

The most influential literary contribution to the politics of the northern States during the mid-to-late 1850’s — helping incite State Secession and a horrific four-year war that killed 360,000 Federals — was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in 1851-52, just before the onset of “Bleeding Kansas.” Likewise, that war’s most influential music/poetry contribution — morally justifying, in…
Howard Ray White
October 29, 2014
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Siege of Spite

By October 1864, the city of Charleston, South Carolina had been undergoing a bombardment for over a year. The Federal forces were in full possession of nearby Morris Island, and had all but neutralized Fort Sumter’s offensive capabilities. During the previous summer, Union batteries near Morris Island began sending their deadly fire into Charleston, the first attack on the city…
Karen Stokes
October 23, 2014
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Kent Masterson Brown and Gettysburg

I just returned from Kent Masterson Brown’s three-day tour of the Battle of Gettysburg. Brown, a member of the Abbeville Institute (listen to his excellent lecture on the fallacy of an indissoluble Union here) was a fantastic guide. Genial and knowledgeable, spending three days with Brown was a real pleasure. We spent three days trekking around the battlefield, trying to…
James Rutledge Roesch
October 21, 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
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Secession: Remedy for Federal Empires Endless No-Win Wars

As the first American bombs begin to rain down on mud and adobe structures in some far distant land, “patriotic” Americans rush to support “our men in uniform” which actually means that we must not question the empire’s new no-win war. President Obama, the Federal Empire’s current glorious leader, has announced the initiation of yet another imperial no-win war and…
James Ronald Kennedy
October 13, 2014
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We Need No Declaration of Independence

Many current Americans, indeed perhaps most, regard the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861 as a premeditated act of violence by South Carolina against the United States Government. They further assume that violence was both intended and desired by Southern leaders in the months leading to the War Between the States. After all, the South should have known that…
Brion McClanahan
October 8, 2014
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The Crime of William Dougherty

During the War Between the States, thousands of Americans were incarcerated for political reasons in various Northern prisons without due process of law. One of these Americans, Rev. Isaac W. K. Handy, kept a diary during his fifteen months of confinement at Fort Delaware, Delaware, and in it he sheds light on a particularly interesting fellow prisoner there. In his…
Karen Stokes
October 7, 2014
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The One Word Answer: Slavery

“What caused the Civil War?” Ever since the close of the conflict, historians have been struggling with this crucial question. Given the profound consequences of the war, asking “how?” and “why?” are worthy endeavors. Lately, however, the cause of the War of Southern Independence has been distilled down into a single word: slavery. Ideology has deposed understanding. This notion that…
James Rutledge Roesch
September 22, 2014
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Hell At Pea Patch Island

After the War Between the States began, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and during the course of the conflict, thousands of citizens (mostly Northerners) were arrested and incarcerated in various prisons without due process. Thomas DiLorenzo, author of Lincoln Unmasked, wrote that “virtually anyone who opposed administration policies in any way was threatened with imprisonment without…
Karen Stokes
September 19, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

The Lincoln War Crimes Trial: A History Lesson

This essay originally appeared in Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture. In the previous chapter we discussed the early stages of the North American War of Secession of 1861-63 as the minority Lincoln government attempted to suppress the legal secession of the Southern United States by military invasion. In this chapter we will discuss the conclusion of the…
Clyde Wilson
September 17, 2014
Review Posts

The Original Steel Magnolia

“No wonder men were willing to fight for such a country as ours—and such women. They were enough to make heroes of any material.”- President Jefferson Davis, C.S.A. Mary Boykin Chesnut’s diary is a touching human and intimate history of a civilization locked in a struggle for life or death. Out of respect to her, and to preserve the authenticity…
James Rutledge Roesch
September 10, 2014
Review Posts

Report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

The Committee on Foreign Affairs, to whom was referred so much of the President's Message as relates the affairs of the Confederate States with the United States, respectfully report : That the truthful and able narration of the facts and principles involved in the contest between the Confederate States and the United States, which the President's Message contains, constitutes a…
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State’s Rights Did Not Cause the War

“The Civil War was fought over slavery.” If you want verification of this “known” fact, this politically correct “given” all you have to do is ask a typical Southern politician, educator, media personality, minister or just about anyone you meet on the street. That such an opinion would be held by the children of the invader and occupier of the…
James Ronald Kennedy
September 2, 2014
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The Immortal 600

Because of the 1989 movie Glory, many Americans know of the battle on Morris Island in 1863 in which the black soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment fought. Very few people, however, are aware of their participation in another wartime event on this barren, sandy piece of land in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, after Federal forces gained control…
Karen Stokes
August 29, 2014
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Righteous Cause Mythology

From April to July of 1863 British Lieutenant Colonel Arthur J. L. Fremantle visited all but two Confederate states. He entered at Brownsville, Texas and finished by observing the battle of Gettysburg from the Rebel side where he was a character in both Michael Shaara's novel, The Killer Angels, and the corresponding film, Gettysburg. About 140 years later one of…
Philip Leigh
August 26, 2014
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America

One of the oldest and most prestigious sporting events in modern Western Civilization, “The America’s Cup,” is set to begin next year, probably in San Diego. The sailing race has been held by challenge since 1851, the year the schooner America defeated the British (under the eye of Queen Victoria) and took the coveted trophy to New York where it…
Brion McClanahan
August 25, 2014
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The Letter

“Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late. We can give but a faint idea when we say it means the loss of all we now hold most sacred – slaves and all other personal property, lands, homesteads, liberty, justice, safety, pride, manhood. It means that the history of this heroic struggle will…
James Rutledge Roesch
August 21, 2014
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A People Without A Heritage

For centuries the Scottish Highlanders, existing under a clan system, were apt to “revolt” against English rule. “Revolt” is the term the British used. In actuality, what the Scots were doing was “resisting” British rule, but when a government is determined to inflict control and subjugate a people, as the British were, any “resistance” to that is seen by the…
Carl Jones
August 20, 2014
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Why the South Seceded

Writing in 1913, historian Nathaniel Wright Stephenson explained the political situation in America thus: “It is almost impossible to-day to realize the state of the country in the year 1860. The bad feeling between the two sections, all came to a head, and burst into fury, over the episode of John Brown.” In The Declaration of the Immediate Causes issued…
Karen Stokes
August 5, 2014
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What It All Was About In Ten Words

On August 24th, 1864, President Abraham Lincoln wrote to politician and editor Henry J. Raymond that Raymond might seek a conference with Jefferson Davis and to tell him that hostility would cease “upon the restoration of the Union and the national authority.” In other words, three plus years of hideous bloodshed and war crimes would simply be ended on the…
Valerie Protopapas
July 31, 2014
Review Posts

Is Davis A Traitor?

The introduction to Mike Church's edited volume of Albert Taylor Bledsoe's masterful work, Is Davis A Traitor? or Was Secession a Constitutional Right Previous to the War of 1861? The Congress of the Confederate States of America adopted “Deo Vindice” (God Will Vindicate) as the official motto of the Confederacy in 1864. Less than a year later, Robert E. Lee…
Brion McClanahan
July 23, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Lies My Teacher Told Me: The True History of the War for Southern Independence

We Sons of Confederate Veterans are charged with preserving the good name of the Confederate soldier. The world, for the most part, has acknowledged what Gen. R. E. Lee described in his farewell address as the “valour and devotion” and “unsurpassed courage and fortitude” of the Confederate soldier. The Stephen D. Lee Institute program is dedicated to that part of…
Clyde Wilson
July 22, 2014
Blog

A Confederate Tree

It seems like every family is thankfully blessed with that one, highly motivated individual who is willing to tackle the family tree. That person allows the rest of the family to sit back and say, “Whew, good luck to you.” In my family, I am definitely not that person – the keywords being “highly motivated.” On my father’s side (the…
Tom Daniel
July 21, 2014
Review Posts

Understanding “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

In the mid-1800’s women were not to be leaders in politics and religion, but Harriet Beecher Stowe and Julia Ward Howe did just that. Of Harriet, daughter of Lyman Beecher and sister of Henry Ward Beecher, both influential Abolitionists/ministers/educators, Sinclair Lewis would write: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the first evidence to America that no hurricane can be so disastrous to…
Howard Ray White
July 18, 2014
Blog

“The Penmen of the Secession”

About ten years ago, I was invited to participate in a cemetery tour in Auburn, Alabama, because they were desperate, and I actually learned something. I’m pretty sure I upset a lot of innocent progressives with my participation, and I probably garnered some unwanted and stinging criticism for the little local cemetery society, but at least I learned something new…
Tom Daniel
July 16, 2014
Blog

The Fighting Gamecock

The University of South Carolina mascot is somewhat of a joke among SEC football fans. “Cocky” has won several awards for his die-hard performances, but it is the innuendo that often gets everyone excited or chuckling about the “Gamecocks.” Even before I decided to attend USC, I remember as an undergraduate (in Maryland) the running joke about Ball State playing…
Brion McClanahan
July 16, 2014
Blog

The Wizard of the Saddle

One of the greatest men in American history was born on this date (July 13) in 1821 near the town of Chapel Hill, Tennessee, then known as Bledsoe’s Lick. It is said that a few years after the great American war of 1861—1865 an Englishman asked General R.E. Lee who was the greatest soldier produced by the war. Lee answered…
Clyde Wilson
July 14, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

The Other Side of Union

The Northern onslaught upon slavery was no more than a piece of specious humbug designed to conceal its desire for economic control of the Southern States. —Charles Dickens, 1862 Slavery is no more the cause of this war than gold is the cause of robbery. —Governor Joel Parker of New Jersey, 1863 Sixteen years after publishing his classic of American…
Clyde Wilson
July 9, 2014
Blog

Confederate Coca-Cola

Today (July 8) is Lt. Col. John Stith Pemberton's birthday. While not as important to the Confederacy as John C. Pemberton, John Stith Pemberton contributed more to American culture and to the image of the New South than virtually any man who donned the gray during the War for Southern Independence. Pemberton studied medicine at the Reform Medical College of…
Brion McClanahan
July 8, 2014
Blog

Why Vicksburg Canceled the Fourth of July – For a Generation

From May through early July 1863, Vicksburg, Mississippi, a strategically important city on the Mississippi River, was besieged by Federal forces under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant, and by a flotilla of gunboats in the river commanded by Admiral David Porter. The city was surrounded by outlying Confederate lines of defense, but the Union forces also shelled the…
Karen Stokes
July 2, 2014
Blog

Rebel Yell

Notwithstanding Ole Miss fans, those opening few bars of “Dixie” sends chills down the back of every good Southerner everywhere. By the time the notes hit the phrase “land of cotton,” it makes you want to throw back your head and rip out a good rebel yell. It feels good to do it. It feels right to do it. There’s…
Tom Daniel
June 30, 2014
Review Posts

Slavery and State’s Rights

Speech of Hon. Joseph Wheeler, of Alabama. From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 31, 1894 Causes Of The War. Opposition of the Southern Colonists to Slavery, and Their Devotion to the Union--Advocates of Secession. On Friday, July 13th, 1894, the House of Representatives being in Committee of the Whole, on appropriations and expenditures, and having under consideration the bill to…
Joseph Wheeler
June 27, 2014
Review Posts

Ft. Sumter: The First Act of Aggression

Too often a narrative is passed from one person to the next until it becomes accepted as fact or “common knowledge.” In the society that we live in critical analysis is rarely applied, and so a notion that if scrutinized would be exposed as silly (or worse), instead becomes “fact.” Such is the case with the situation at Ft. Sumter…
Carl Jones
June 23, 2014
Blog

You Should Have Seen It In Color

For any historian, seeing or hearing the past, holding it in your hand, is almost euphoric. We trudge around cemeteries, carefully handle old letters, documents, and newspapers while every word drips like nectar from the pages, visit historic houses and museums to “hear” the artifacts talk—to feel the past—and pour over old photographs and paintings to understand the humanity of…
Brion McClanahan
June 17, 2014
Review Posts

Ode: Sung on the occasion of decorating the graves of the Confederate dead, at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C., 1866

Sung on the occasion of decorating the graves of the Confederate dead, at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, S. C., June 16, 1866 Sleep sweetly in your humble graves, Sleep, martyrs of a fallen cause!— Though yet no marble column craves The pilgrim here to pause. In seeds of laurels in the earth, The garlands of your fame are sown; And, somewhere,…
Henry Timrod
June 16, 2014
Blog

“I cannot speak of my dead so soon.”

After his release from imprisonment in 1867, President Jefferson Davis journeyed to Canada where he met several Confederate leaders in exile at today’s Niagara-on-the-Lake, directly across the river from Old Fort Niagara. Available from the Niagara Historical Society is Nicholas Rescher’s excellent “Niagara-on-the-Lake as a Confederate Refuge.” After Mr. Davis became somewhat stronger he travelled to Niagara and Toronto, to…
Bernard Thuersam
June 11, 2014
Review Posts

The Doctrine of State’s Rights

This piece originally appeared in the North American Review, February 1890. To DO justice to the motives which actuated the soldiers of the Confederacy, it is needful that the cause for which they fought should be fairly understood; for no degree of skill, valor, and devotion can sanctify service in an unrighteous cause. We revere the memory of Washington, not…
Jefferson Davis
June 6, 2014
Blog

Farewell

Delivered by Jefferson Davis on 21 January 1861 before leaving the United States Senate. I rise, Mr. President, for the purpose of announcing to the Senate that I have satisfactory evidence that the State of Mississippi, by a solemn ordinance of her people in convention assembled, has declared her separation from the United States. Under these circumstances, of course my…
Jefferson Davis
June 4, 2014
Blog

Conservatives for War Criminals?

I regularly get bulk e-mails from a website called Clash Daily, which is run by a fellow named Doug Giles. Their stuff is your typical Tea Partyish fare, but it tends toward a more in-your-face attitude. It also has a masculine vibe with frequent articles about guns, hunting, etc. Of course, it often contains the unfortunately typical advocacy of military…
Dan E. Phillips
June 2, 2014
Blog

Ron Maxwell’s Civil War Classics

Dear Civil War enthusiasts, students, re-enactors, historians, friends, Over a lifetime of reading and research, I've accumulated an amazing collection of short stories written about the war, a priceless treasure trove of Civil War fiction written by both obscure and famous American authors over the hundred and fifty years since the war was fought. These stories are ideal for films…
Ronald F. Maxwell
May 27, 2014
Blog

Ron Maxwell’s Civil War Classics

Dear Civil War enthusiasts, students, re-enactors, historians, friends, Over a lifetime of reading and research, I've accumulated an amazing collection of short stories written about the war, a priceless treasure trove of Civil War fiction written by both obscure and famous American authors over the hundred and fifty years since the war was fought. These stories are ideal for films…
Ronald F. Maxwell
May 27, 2014
Blog

Centennial Wars

Fifty years ago the master narrative of the Civil War Centennial failed to synchronize with the momentous 1960s Civil Rights movement. It minimized the roles of slavery and race. Instead the War was characterized as a unifying ordeal in which both sides fought heroically for their individual sense of “right” eventually becoming reconciled through mutual sacrifice. Slavery was considered only…
Philip Leigh
May 20, 2014
Blog

Centennial Wars

Fifty years ago the master narrative of the Civil War Centennial failed to synchronize with the momentous 1960s Civil Rights movement. It minimized the roles of slavery and race. Instead the War was characterized as a unifying ordeal in which both sides fought heroically for their individual sense of “right” eventually becoming reconciled through mutual sacrifice. Slavery was considered only…
Philip Leigh
May 20, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part IV

Part IV (Final) from a section of Dr. Scott Trask’s work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Part II. Part III. Massachusetts’ Politics It is one of the perils and paradoxes of democracy that it often bestows disproportionate power and influence upon a minority. Two-party democracies are the most susceptible to this reversal of the familiar and rather tiresome…
H. A. Scott Trask
May 19, 2014
Blog

Truth

At the annual reunion of the Alabama Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans I sat at the head table looking out at so many of my friends, compatriots and brothers of the South. It occurred to me that we share many commonalities beyond the lone fact that our ancestors all served under the same standard in a war that took place…
Carl Jones
May 19, 2014
Clyde Wilson Library

Rethinking the War for Southern Independence

(13th Annual Gettysburg Banquet of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp, SCV, Philadelphia) 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, and by symbols can communicate knowledge to one another and across generations. We can…
Clyde Wilson
May 14, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part III

Part III from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Part II. Warnings of the Wrath to Come Southerners were by no means alone in deprecating the antislavery agitation. The northern anti-abolition movement was far stronger than the movement it opposed. Many northern leaders accurately forecast the consequences of agitation. In his annual…
H. A. Scott Trask
May 13, 2014
Blog

Honouring Our Fathers

Presented at the SC Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Confederate Memorial Day Commemoration South Carolina Statehouse, Columbia, South Carolina 03 May 2014 It is my high honour and distinct privilege to be addressing you on this day and at this place; honouring the memory of our fathers at the Confederate soldiers’ monument—with its sentinel ever vigilant, eyes northward—flanked by the flag…
Paul C. Graham
May 12, 2014
Review Posts

“Monsters of Virtuous Pretension”

When I was a child growing up in Kirkwood Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, I was fascinated by three works of Atlanta public art: The Cyclorama next to the Atlanta Zoo, is a 358 foot wide and 42 foot tall painting of the Battle of Atlanta, July 1864, the largest painting in the world – longer than a football field…
David Aiken
May 8, 2014
Blog

The Real Cornerstone Speech

From Bernard Thuersam's website: Senator Robert Toombs and the Cornerstone of the Confederacy “GENTLEMEN OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY: I very much regret, in appearing before you at your request, to address you on the present state of the country, and the prospect before us, that I can bring you no good tidings. We have not sought this conflict; we have…
Bernard Thuersam
May 7, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part II

Part II from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Part I. Historical Survey Lunt believed that the celebrated Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery in the territories north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi, had been a mistake. It was not because he believed slavery could have been profitably introduced…
Blog

The “Fighting Bishop” of Louisiana

Leonidas Polk was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1806, the son and grandson of Revolutionary War heroes. His family was of Presbyterian Scots-Irish descent and had become successful in the plantation economy of the colonial South. His cousin, James K. Polk, later became President of the United States. In his late teens, Leonidas received an appointment to the United…
Roger Busbice
May 6, 2014
Review Posts

A Bostonian on the Causes of the War, Part I

Part I from a section of Dr. Scott Trask's work in progress, Copperheads and Conservatives. Academic historians continue to regard their work as one of scientific objectivity, one of the corollaries being that the more removed the historian is from the events he or she describes the more reliable the finished work. John Lukacs has argued against such dogma. He…
Review Posts

The Real Robert E. Lee

I was disappointed to hear of the demands of a group of Washington & Lee law students to ban the flying of the Confederate battle flag and denounce one of their school’s namesakes, General Robert E. Lee, as “dishonorable and racist.” This latest controversy appears to be yet another example of the double standard and prejudice against anything “Confederate.” Why,…
Blog

Reconsidering Alexander H. Stephens

Limited by a popular and academic culture at the beginning of the 21st century that denigrates the past and places too much confidence in the present, the thoughtful student of Georgia politics and history should not be surprised that Alexander Stephens (February 11, 1812-March 4, 1883), Confederate Vice-President and American statesman, has often been neglected. One possible remedy to the…
Blog

Southern Honour and Southern History

In present day academia, one is guaranteed a celebrated career by inventing a new way to put the South in a bad light or a new twist on an old put-down. In the 1970s, Raimondo Luraghi, Eugene Genovese, and other historians were starting to pay some attention to the existence of a genuine aristocratic ethics in the Old South. Immediately…
Clyde Wilson
April 28, 2014
Blog

When Doing Nothing is the Right Thing to Do

In the present judgment of history—or at least those who are counted worthy to opine on that subject—two American presidents occupy positions among the lowest and the highest with regard to their place in the nation’s pantheon of leaders. The interesting thing is that the one followed the other into office which means that the performance of their duties in…
Valerie Protopapas
April 22, 2014
Blog

The Terrible Swift Sword

In his book The Coming of the Glory (1949), author John S. Tillery relates that on July 14, 1868, a visitor walked into the office of Abram Joseph Walker, Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court. Walker had served as Associate Chief Justice from 1856, when the Legislature of Alabama had elected him to that post, until 1859 when he became…
Carl Jones
April 21, 2014
Blog

1865 and Modern Relevance

"I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy....Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more…
Carl Jones
April 16, 2014
Blog

The Virus of Centralization

In my previous post on this website I addressed the Lincoln’s 1863 revelation to Governor Pierpont that the war must be protracted in order for the politically connected to rape the South of its cotton. The recent events in Nevada, during which the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) squared off with rancher Cliven Bundy, are symptoms of a sick…
Marshall DeRosa
April 14, 2014
Blog

Lincoln’s War for Cotton

Early in the winter of 1863 Francis Pierpont, the Governor of the Restored Government of Virginia, met with President Lincoln at the White House requesting he countermand the order sending General Nathaniel P. Banks to New Orleans. Governor Pierpont argued that Union forces be focused on Richmond, with the objective of forcing the CSA Government to flee and thereby resulting…
Marshall DeRosa
April 12, 2014
Blog

Sunnyside and Sleepy Hollow

April 3 was Washington Irving's birthday. While not a Southerner, Irving would have supported the South in its fight for independence in 1861 had he been alive to see it. He at least would have been opposed to coercion. Many notable New Yorkers, and for that matter Canadians, too, believed the same. Two fine treatments on this issue are Clint…
Brion McClanahan
April 9, 2014
Review Posts

Violating the Lieber Code: The March From the Sea

On April 24, 1863—-just three months after the cruel and retaliatory Emancipation Proclamation--Lincoln issued an order drafted by Columbia University law professor Francis Lieber that codified the generally accepted universal standards of warfare, particularly as it related to the lives and property of civilians. Among the actions it deemed to be criminal and prohibited were the “wanton devastation of a…
Kirkpatrick Sale
April 8, 2014
Blog

Jackson and Ewell

General Richard S. Ewell had a reputation for being a heavy drinker, foul mouthed, and blasphemous. During the War to Prevent Southern Independence, he was under the Command of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, whom he hated and referred to as "That Crazy Presbyterian." One night, he went to pay a visit to Jackson in his tent. He looked through the…
Carl Jones
April 8, 2014