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

By May 19, 2015June 22nd, 2021Review Posts

salute of honor

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 War Between the States, the War for Southern Independence, the Confederate War, the War of Northern Aggression, Lincoln’s War, the War Against Southern Independence, and by other names.

The Northern victory fundamentally changed the United States in myriad ways.   It changed the U. S. from a voluntary Union of self-governing States into a Union of force and coercion, in which States which no longer desired to be a part of the Union were coerced by the bloodiest war of American history back into a Union fundamentally changed in its character, from a Union in which most governmental functions were performed by the States and the local communities which made up the States, confident in their powers to do so without interference from the central, federal government, to a “consolidated” government in which the central federal government potentially reigns supreme in all phases of governance, with its ability to vitally affect every resident of the U. S. in every phase of their lives.

Prior to the War the U. S. was divided into two great sections, the North and the South, the culture and world view of each sufficiently different to give America two distinct versions, each section making its own contributions to an America which, overall, to an extent, honoured both.

The North’s crushing of the South resulted in the North’s complete dominance of all branches of the federal government and of the “national” regime, whether public or private, and, most importantly, of the character, ideals and goals of the United States considered as a unit, with the South reduced to a defeated minority section of inferior status.

In the reconstituted Union created after the North’s complete victory, the North commanded all the power and all the institutions of the U. S. as a whole and ever since has led the U. S. The South has had to conform and adjust and reconstruct itself, or be coerced to accomplish these things in “compliance” with the standards and the laws and the prevailing “moralities” of U. S. majorities, which time and again on issues of the utmost importance have prevailed against the will and culture and values of the South.

Before this seminal War the South was the wealthiest section of the U. S. on a per capita basis of the population, whether considering the free population alone, including the blacks who were free, or the total population, including the slaves.   In 1860 the average free Southerner, free blacks included, was twice as wealthy as the average Northerner. In 1870, the first census after the War, the average Northerner was twice as wealthy as the average Southerner.   For Southerners, the world was literally, in any number of ways, turned upside down.

The North’s victory led to great material prosperity for the North.   For the South, it led to such serious and crippling poverty that President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declared the South to be “the nation’s number one economic problem.” Southerners raised “after the War,” and to this day, have had ingrained in their minds poverty and “backwardness” as major Southern characteristics.

The physical and psychological damage to the South resulting from the South’s loss of this epic War are of the dimensions of Greek Tragedy.   The South lost the best men of an entire generation, similar in some ways to the devastation of World War I to Britain, but the South, unlike the UK, did not leave the War as an independent nation-state in charge of her destiny, and thus able to controul the betterment of her condition, but rather as a Conquered Land reduced even further by military rule and to economic suppression and exploitation which continued until at least the 1930s.

The proportion of Southern men who died fighting for the independence and self-determination of the Southern people is beyond realistic comprehension to a modern American.   One-quarter of all Southern white men of the ages approximately of 18 – 45 died fighting for the liberty, honour, self-respect, land and culture of the Southern people.   If the same proportion of Americans had died in the Vietnam War, nine million Americans would have lost their lives, instead of the 58,000 who actually were lost in the Vietnam War.

In addition to the loss of lives, a huge percentage of Southern men were maimed for the remainder of their lives.   The phenomenal extent of this sacrifice was so large that the largest expenditure of Mississippi in the year following the War was for artificial limbs for Confederate veterans. Missing an arm or leg became a badge of honour throughout the South. It was said that if a campaigner for public office did not have a missing arm or leg, or other battle scars, he would be looked on with less respect.

The economic and property decimation were of catastrophic proportions.   A huge percentage of the Southern economy was wiped out.   The transportation network of the South was left in utter ruin.   Important cities were burned to the ground.   Large numbers of private houses were destroyed, and, for almost every dwelling in the line of march of the Northern armies, if time permitted, the personal contents were looted.   The Yankee armies with glee killed all the livestock and other farm animals they could find.   Much of the physical devastation wrought by the invading armies was administered with an air of euphoria.

The intent of the Northern armies the last two years of the War was to make the War so terrible to the civilian population of the South that the Southern people would lose the will to fight. Historians have long seen this War, internal to the U. S., as the first modern war in a number of ways, including the intentional turning of war into Total War, the very widespread mobilization of the economy and population in the war effort, and the policy of might makes right, without limits, that is, whatever is necessary to win the war is justifiable, including the terrorizing of the civilian population, composed in this war largely of women and children.    Actually, such brutal tactics as the Northern armies pursued had been carried out before against people considered uncivilized, such as American Indians, and had been normal in many past wars of human history, exemplified by many a war in ancient and even into modern times, but European peoples had had come to pride themselves in putting limits on warfare, especially as applied to civilians –this limitation of warfare a key concept in the code of chivalry which Southerners so prided themselves in — until Northern Americans (i. e., the Yankees) returned to barbaric tactics in their conquest of their “Southern brethren.”

Keep in mind, though it is hard for modern Americans to grasp, that the extreme, massive, and very widespread destruction of this War was wrought within the United States by Americans to other Americans.   If the U. S. were one country – what Lincoln and the North claimed was the case — it was devouring its own body and people. It is totally wrong to say, as is often heard today, that the U. S. has not been invaded since the War of 1812, for the South, one-third of the United States, was invaded, mutilated and conquered with heart wrenching severity and the massive killing of a huge percentage of Americans in the bloodiest war of American history, the story of which is dominantly told from the point of view of only part of the U. S., that of the Conquering North.

The damage to the Southern psyche by the South’s loss of this epic War has been incalculable.   Before the War Southerners widely and sincerely believed they had a noble civilization.   Eliza Frances Andrews, a young lady of Washington, Georgia, described herself in her journal, upon learning of the South’s defeat, as a member of the “noblest race on earth.”   Can one imagine a Southerner saying that today?

The South’s terrible loss brought a sense of inferiority to the South, in spite of much protestation to the contrary, that is still very much with us.   Southerners have largely lost their sense of creativity, and, for very many, especially of the younger generations, they have lost any sense of true specialness and worth, certainly any sense of moral worth, as Southerners.   We have largely played “follow the successful American story” ever since, and the successful American story after the War and until the post- World War II generation was the Yankee story.   And ever since, though the South has become in its urban centers and in many geographic areas again highly prosperous economically, its models have for the most part been designed in the North by non-Southern men and women.

Intellectually, the South has even more strongly been reduced to a Northern colony.   Northern men (and women) and Northern institutions, together with those outside of the North proper which follow the Northern mold, have provided the ideas and the parameters of thought which have influenced the dominant leadership of the South since the War.

An historian of the 1960s perceptively wrote that in the modern U. S., liberals not only give us the issues we debate, they give us the values by which we judge the issues.     The ideas and issues debated in the public sphere are framed by liberal, and, increasingly, Leftist, parameters, which are alien to the South.

We have permitted professors at the Ivy League universities and other similar universities, and other active intellectuals on the Left of the political and social spectrum, to direct the course of the United States.     The institutions of the reigning American Regime which control and direct U. S. policy find nothing of merit in the culture and ethos of the Traditional South.     Rather, the South as a distinct entity is regarded as the internal enemy, to be ignored, reformed, and, ultimately, completely reconstructed along modern egalitarian, universalist lines.

The Sesquicentennial of the Great American Epic War has been remembered in the South mostly, if remembered at all, in keeping with the conquered status of the South, most especially by those with positions of power within the South.   Illustrative is the President of the Georgia Historical Society, who has downplayed Sherman’s Total War Against Southern Civilians and the immense harm and destruction Sherman’s tactics wrought by saying that this happens in War!   This outlook treats the War and its consequences to the South in abstract terms, rather than as a flesh and blood human drama.   Compare the tepid, brief, academic remembrances of the War today with the outpourings of sincere emotion and heart felt remembrances of the epic history which happened to our people, to our own families and communities, which overflowed in observances of the Centennial of the War.

Fifty years ago the memorials were not academic. They had real meaning and resonance for millions of Southerners.     Southerners of the highest standing in society took an active part in the commemorative events. For example, a leading attorney of Montgomery, Alabama, Thomas Bowen Hill, whose family was one of Montgomery’s most prestigious, and included the well-known and very well respected U. S. Senator Lister Hill, considered in his day a liberal by Southern standards, played the role of Jefferson Davis at the reenactment of Davis’ inauguration as President of the Confederate States of America. Today it is considered so difficult to get a person of such high standing to participate in a Confederate memorial observance that people of his stature are seldom asked.    And when they do participate, they typically equivocate, limit their admiration, and apologize to varying degrees.

The South has undergone a second Reconstruction since the Centennial observances of a half century ago, a reconstruction more profound than the first, for the Reconstruction following the War was a reconstruction imposed by the Conquering North against the prostrate South and ushered in the consequent changes a defeated people had to make in light of the circumstances of defeat and dominance by an alien power.

The historian Frank Owsley in his essay “The Irrepressible Conflict” in the classic Southern Agrarian work, I’ll Take My Stand, gave one of the best descriptions of the intellectual conquest of the South ever penned:

“After the South had been conquered by war and humiliated and impoverished by peace, there appeared still to remain something which made the South different – something intangible, incomprehensible, in the realm of the spirit. That too must be invaded and destroyed; so there commenced a second war of conquest, the conquest of the Southern mind, calculated to remake every Southern opinion, to impose the Northern way of life and thought upon the South, write ‘error’ across the pages of Southern history which were out of keeping with the Northern legend, and set the rising and unborn generations upon stools of everlasting repentance.” [emphasis supplied]   It may be added, until there are no Southerners left. (The Owsley quote is found at p. 63 of the 1977 introduction copyright edition of I’ll Take My Stand, the introduction by Louis D. Rubin, Jr.)

Though Owsley wrote about Southerners after the War being taught from Yankee histories the Northern view, and adopting much of what they were taught, the South in important ways was more solid than ever after the War, for Southerners had the common experience of war, invasion, and conquest to bind them, and politically voted more solidly than they ever had before or have since.   The vitiation of the South’s culture and mind that Owsley so laments after the War and down to his own day was as nothing compared to the deteriorated state of the South in our time.

For today, very serious, deep and abiding self-doubt abounds among many Southerners concerning the merits and the values of the Southern inheritance. However much Southerners after the War altered their thinking because of the South’s catastrophic defeat and absorbed the Yankee world view to a degree, they almost universally remained proud Southerners and knew their culture was very different from the North’s.   Their identity remained Southern to the core.

After World War II and during the Centennial of the War, Southerners widely expressed their admiration for the Old and the Traditional South in any number of ways. Old South balls were commonly held at high school proms. The ante-bellum houses of the South were viewed with what often amounted to adulation by many. These old houses were seen as a chief symbol of an earlier era of hospitality, gracious living, and high prosperity, when the South stood head and shoulders with the best the U. S. had to offer.

Confederate Battle Flags abounded as proud symbols of the South. The Confederate Battle Flag, known also as the Southern Cross, because of its basic St. Andrew’s Cross design, was then and today remains the most widely recognized symbol of the South, in spite of the vicious attacks against it of the last three decades. Its honoured status was earned by the heroic sacrifice of the Southern people who under its banner fought so valiantly and bravely for their freedom and cultural identity.

On a Safety Patrol trip to Washington, D. C. and New York City when I was twelve, fellow students from my grammar school, Glennwood Elementary in Atlanta’s old suburb of Decatur, Georgia, “marched” down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington singing with spirit “Dixie,” once known as “the Southern National anthem.”   Rather than be intimidated, they bragged about how they showed the Yankees Southern Pride, which in those years was exuberant and catching.

The Second Reconstruction fell like a hammer upon the South. No longer do Southerners exuberantly express a sense of Southern identity.   Rather, people guard their every word for fear of offending someone.

The South actually won the “war” of the First Reconstruction, because Southerners rallied to take back control of their liberties and their internal affairs. Not so during the Second Reconstruction. This time enough Southerners had absorbed the egalitarian morality emanating from the North, guilt and shame from unrelenting condemnations of the South, and the materialistic world view of the North in which economic prosperity is the great desideratum of public policy to cripple effective resistance. This time the South submitted to the loss of its liberties to an overarching federal intrusion into local affairs in the greatest reach of federal power over the States and private citizens in the history of the United States up to that time.

Though everything never changes as quickly as the saying implies, the adage “everything changed” is appropriate in the social and cultural sense of the South since the end of World War II.   The South has become a very divided land. Decades upon decades of the instruction of Southern youth in Northern thought and standards, of filtering every imaginable image and thought through Yankee lenses, whether by the vast American entertainment industries or by the mainstream American media, and, most influentially, by the schools and colleges, have worked their intended effect of fundamentally altering the Southern mind, of sowing doubt as to the validity of the Southern inheritance, and worse, converting very large numbers of influential Southerners to the Northern way of thinking and to the very prestigious “correct” way of thinking in the circles of intellectual and artistic and cultural elites.

All of this has left the Traditional South in an advanced state of disintegration. In the eyes of national elites, i.e., the U. S. Regime, the South may be the most abnormal and recalcitrant of American regions, but it has been standardized to such an extent as to be considered just the most “conservative” and “backward” U. S. region.   The South has become somewhat more of a challenge than other sections to the American Regime in its attempts to mold all in one national pattern, but the Regime no longer has any real fear of the South, or concern that the South will mount a real resistance to its dominance, certainly not as it has viewed the South in past periods.

In the predominant Sesquicentennial commemorations of the War, the South has been viewed as the wayward culture, essentially as the enemy of America, certainly as the enemy of modern America and the “approved” American ideals which are extolled to the heavens, with the South seen as at best the dead weight which had to be overcome, or, increasingly commonly, as the evil representation of the worst in America which had to be destroyed.

While in the Centennial of the War the prevailing message was that both Southerners and Northerners were genuine Americans who fought valiantly and defended what they believed in, the prevailing message this time is that the Northern cause was vastly morally superior, basically, that the North fought to free the slaves, and hence, for human advancement, and to “save the Union,” and that the South fought for the enslavement of men, and thus for evil, and, in addition, to “destroy the Union.”  Almost never is it mentioned, even by Southerners, that Lincoln and the North are the ones who destroyed the original American Union, and created by “blood and iron” a fundamentally different and consolidated Union.   Southerners at commemorative events do frequently point out that the North went to war not to free the slaves but to “save the Union,” but rarely mention that Northerners knew that the Union they were fighting for would hence forth be totally dominated by the North at the expense of the South.   Seldom is it mentioned that late in the War the South moved toward a policy of gradual emancipation of the slaves by the recruitment and enlistment of black soldiers in the Confederate Army.

Yet, in spite of all the facts and circumstances, the message which infiltrates the minds of young and old alike and which emanates from every component of the vastly powerful and ubiquitous American Regime is one of Northern Right and Southern wrong.

So many doubts have been drilled into Southern minds, particularly among the young, of the merit of the Southern Cause, that general interest in the Sesquicentennial has been weak.   The expounding of the Northern viewpoint has been so thorough, so widespread and so deep throughout the schools and colleges and through all the main American institutions, that very many of the South’s leaders and increasingly average citizens are either compromised in their beliefs, or have largely incorporated the Northern version of American history.

When a people lose their sense of the moral legitimacy of their history and their people and culture, that people is on the road to extinction. The South as a distinct culture and people is in the process of disintegration and ultimate extinction.

A major weakness of American conservatives and traditionalists is their continuing underestimation of the seriousness of liberal/Leftist designs for change, including fundamental change, and the dedication of those on the Left to bring about the changes they desire, never accepting temporary defeats or setbacks.

Commanding “the moral high ground,” in the minds of most Americans on most of the significant issues — because the favoured major precepts of modern Western societies are liberal/Leftist – especially the doctrine of Equality, which has morphed from a belief in a limited Equality of Rights into a false concept of Equality of Condition, or Equality of Outcomes – liberals and others more radical on the Left have won virtually every major contest, and continue to win them.

One of America’s premier liberal publications, the New Republic, carried an article dated 5 April 2015 which makes a classic case of liberal determination to prevail totally against the South.

The article calls for making the Confederacy’s defeat a national holiday, to be held on April 9, the day of Lee’s surrender.   The suggested name for the holiday is “New Birth of Freedom Day,” which immediately conveys the message that the North’s victory ushered in a new freedom for the United States superior to any before.   The article exudes the moral righteousness which has characterized much of the Northern world view since the Puritans.

In pursuit of the moral purge that America is to undergo, in addition to the new holiday, the article calls on the federal government to do everything in its power to condemn the Confederacy and all people who fought for it.

“Today [the article observes] the South is home to innumerable counties, schools, and other  monuments named in honor of Confederate men, or established to celebrate the Confederacy itself. The federal government can’t change that on its own, but it can refuse to participate in the celebration. It could rename those 10 army installations [such as Ft. Benning in Georgia, Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, Ft. Lee in Virginia, and Ft. Hood in Texas] after Union fighters.   It could remove monuments to the Confederacy . . . from the National Register of Historic Places, and disclaim any obligation to finance their maintenance. It could stop producing headstones for Confederate graves . . . . It could remove the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery . . . .   We aren’t being polite to anyone worthy of politeness, or advancing any noble end, by continuing to honor traitors in this way.” [emphasis supplied]

The Cultural War to obliterate any and all respect for the Traditional South has already won victory after victory.   With Southerners having largely fallen silent in defense of their heritage and their culture, having been swept up in the never ending campaign to promote a “multi-cultural America,” where every culture, no matter how obscure, is promoted and honoured, other than the native culture of millions of Southern people, and having shut their eyes to the momentous changes in their culture and in attitudes, giving their time and their energy and their money to their private concerns and to entertainments, liberals and Leftists view the time as ripe for the beginning of the complete strangulation of the distinctive, historic South.

Fundamentally, the U. S. Regime is gradually increasing the strength of its message, really evident for decades, that Southerners are not welcome in the United States unless they completely disavow their history and character and distinctive world view.   Fox News, which has a vast influence on Southerners who consider themselves conservative, has on occasion expressed a point of view similar to that of the New Republic. Fox News and what passes for mainstream conservatism, in fact, are more adamant that the U. S. is a unitary nation-state with one appropriate view and culture than are liberal/Leftist organs, though both have the ultimate goal of a unitary U. S. State which leaves no room for significant distinctive sections or dissenting views of material significance. The constant drumbeat which Fox News maintains concerning the threat of Terrorism from foreign sources only solidifies its dedication to the U. S. as a unitary State, whereas the most serious threat to America by far is the internal transformation of the U. S. into a liberal/Leftist oriented Power State that is molding all sections of the U. S. in one uniform pattern.     The focus on terrorism keeps popular attention away from the far more deadly disintegration of the U. S. as a bulwark of traditional Western Civilization and from the reconstruction of the U. S. into a massive Leviathan Central State which is gradually crushing the individuality and culture of the States and the local communities which make up the United States, leading to a situation destructive of liberty, individual character and creativity.

The view of the New Republic which demonizes the South is not restricted to strongly liberal organs or to some commentators on Fox News.   The U. S. Senate itself essentially endorsed this point of view in its denial of the renewal of the patent of the United Daughters of the Confederacy on its logo in the mid 1990s, the UDC logo featuring the seldom recognized “Stars and Bars” Flag of the Confederacy, not the Confederate Battle Flag which has for decades been the principal Southern symbol under attack. Read the speeches of ten or so U. S. Senators during the floor debate denouncing the South in the fashion of the New Republic for an understanding of the extreme anti-Southern views held by very high ranking people within the U. S. government.   This was twenty years ago! The number of those with extreme anti-Southern views and the intensity of those views have significantly increased since the ‘nineties.

The South of any true, meaningful distinction is being cast out of the United States.   Southerners cannot evade the choice which is being put to them if they want to remain who they are. We are being told, have in fact been told for decades, that we are not honourable, worthy Americans, unless we totally reject our heritage and join in the refounding of America along liberal, Leftist lines. Even in the Fox News mainstream conservative viewpoint, the South has been reduced to merely a geographical region of the “grand American experiment”, the principal components and originators of which are constantly portrayed as Northern in origin and design, with the South the wayward, sinful, “little brother” who must be guided into the light.

The new America has no place for anyone at all proud of their Confederate heritage, or indeed of the Traditional South in any shape or form, other than cultural traits considered non-threatening to the Regime, such as food and popular varieties of entertainment.

Instead, Southerners are increasingly viewed as the enemies of America. The New Republic put it in the starkest possible language: Traitors.

If Southerners continue to retreat into their own private lives, or shrug off the dangers, or persuade themselves that we have years before the situation becomes truly serious, it is easy to envision how the Bi Centennial of the War will be celebrated.   There may be no public commemorations honouring the South at all.   They may not be allowed.   Either through the ancient method of public ostracism or through legislation or administrative or judicial decree, the Traditional South, not only the Confederate South, may become so outcast that only one view is heard, that which has been drilled into the minds of Americans, including Southerners, by the regnant American Regime for decades, that the South fought for the bad and evil things and the North for the good and righteous things.

Confederate monuments, which now grace the overwhelming majority of Southern courthouse squares or otherwise stand proudly in a prominent place in Southern communities, are in serious danger of being destroyed, moved to an inconspicuous location, or relegated to a museum.   Our descendants may only be taught that these monuments were the work of a deluded people to an unjust and evil cause.

The New Republic article carries another very chilling thought, in addition to its saying that Southerners who fought for the South “committed treason against the United States.”   The author argues that the name of the Edmund Pettus Bridge of Selma – Pettus described as “a vicious white supremacist, who committed treason against the United States as a Confederate general, and later terrorized former slaves as an Alabama Klansman and Democratic Senator” – “should bear Pettus’s name eternally, with the explicit intent of linking the sins of the Confederacy to the sins of Jim Crow,”[emphasis supplied]Jim Crow being a name long given the institution of segregation in America.

This means Southerners and the South prior to the 1970s are tainted with bigotry and simply can no longer be viewed as decent Americans (in spite, of course, of the fact that Northern States treated black Americans harshly before and after the War or that the U. S. Army was segregated in World War II, etc., etc. ).

Illustrative of the seriousness of the aim to eject any South that does not fit in with current thinking, the Washington Post recently endorsed a proposal to change the name of the Russell Senate Office Building to honour the name of Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, because Senator Russell of Georgia, one of the most widely respected U.S. Senators of the twentieth century, was a segregationist. Russell was the leader of the Southern Bloc of Senators who opposed Civil Rights legislation.

Yet, Russell earned such immense respect as a Senator from his colleagues on all sides of the aisle that he was known as the “dean of the Senate.”   He was known as a “Senator’s Senator” and as a “President’s Senator.”   Russell was a highly respected advisor to six Presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Richard M. Nixon.[1]

Russell was a master of Senate procedure and protocol.   He “was very influential in the legislative process over an entire Senate generation. “   He “emerged as the acknowledged leader in Congress on defense matters” in the ‘fifties and ‘sixties. [2]   He was a stalwart defender of limited constitutional government, both in the Constitution’s limitations on the federal government vis and vis the States and limitations on the executive and judicial branches within the federal government.

Russell “personified the ancient values of integrity, reliability, fairness, and kindness . . . .”[3] Margaret Chase Smith, Republican Senator from Maine, on the Senate floor “said that there had been several great leaders in the history of the Senate but that there had been only a very few ‘truly giants of integrity, wisdom, achievement and dedication . . . .’   Richard Russell from Georgia, she said, was ‘one of the rare few giants of the Senate’ . . . .”[4]

Russell was considered by many one of the most eminently qualified men to be President of the United States, and not a few said he would have been President had he not been a Southerner.[5]

Richard Russell was “one of the South’s, and the nation’s, leading statesmen of the twentieth century.”[6]

Yet in spite of this phenomenal record of achievement and the utmost respect from his fellow Senators, including many ultra liberals, there are those today who would remove Russell’s name from a major Senate Office building simply because his racial views were not in keeping with current ideologies.

Though many may think the program of the New Republic too extreme to ever actually happen, perceptions and attitudes are already far advanced in this direction, particularly among the young and those who lead and guide the American Regime. The Left never gives up.   Time and time again liberals have proven their ability to persist and eventually win their goals.   Armed with their sense of moral righteousness, with little effective opposition because of the confusion and lack of will of “conservatives” and traditionalists, they have the means to prevail.

The U. S. and the South have already experienced fundamental changes in attitudes, have already undergone a “softening up” for more radical triumphs of Left-Liberalism. The obliteration of the historic distinctive South is in sight. Just keep Southerners confused, brainwashed, unconcerned with the truly important issues, “moderate,” occupied with entertainments and with their own private lives, just continue the reeducation of the youth, which, as Owsley so wisely wrote in 1930, began with the North’s crushing of the South’s effort for Independence, and, sooner than most believe possible, Southerners as a major American people will have been utterly emasculated and destroyed.

The South that millions of Southerners know and love has already become an alien land and people to many, not only to the preponderance of the people of the U. S. but also to vast numbers of Southerners themselves.

Will Southerners go down in history as one of the lost peoples of the earth, the fate of most of the world’s historic cultures, to be unknown, unloved, separated forever from the flesh and blood of the living, hated and reviled as a prime example of human error and evil, or will a significant number of Southerners rally, to keep fresh and green the living reality of their distinct people who are graced with a genuine cultural inheritance all their own which none can emulate, our own unique contribution to civilization?

The stark irony is, if Southerners only knew their inheritance and were true to it, they could lead the Western World in a renaissance of its true, historic beliefs and values, because the South is one of the major nations of the earth (in the sense of a people) where a significant proportion of the population retains a strong sense of the traditional ways of the West.

Southerners must believe in themselves.   We must take the initiative and lead rather than follow.

[1] Gilbert C. Fite, Richard B. Russell, Jr., Senator From Georgia (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991), pp. 494, xiii.

[2] Ibid., pp. xii – xiii.

[3] Ibid., p. xiii.

[4] Ibid., p. 502.

[5] See, inter alia, Fite, Chapter 13: “A Bid for the Presidency, 1952.”

[6] Fite, p. xiii.

William Cawthon

Bill Cawthon (1946-2016) was an independent historian in Eufaula, Alabama.

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