Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Reconstruction: The Renewed Assault on Southern Heritage - Part 1

By Boyd Cathey on This article was originally printed in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of Confederate Veteran Magazine.)

In June 2015, after the depraved shootings in a Charleston, South Carolina, black church, a frenzied hue and cry went up and any number of accusations and attacks were made against historic Confederate symbols, in particular, the Confederate Battle Flag. Monuments, markers, flags, plaques, street and school names, everything memorializing anything associated with the Confederacy have come under severe attack. Even grave sites and cemeteries have not been exempt from this onslaught. It is, as one writer wrote, “a new Reconstruction,” and, in fact, an attempt to eradicate the very existence of Confederate heritage.
Let us briefly examine these attacks and offer some responses.
First, the demand was made that the Battle Flag must come down. In South Carolina, Alabama, and other states, governmental authorities, reacting to loud voices and the pressures of political correctness, have removed flags from places of prominence and from public property. They declare that the flag needs to be banned and suppressed because it is a “symbol of hate” and “was carried by racists,” that it “flew over a racist country.”
This argument ignores much of the history of that banner. The Battle Flag, with its familiar Cross of St. Andrew, was a square ensign carried by Southern troops during the War Between the States. It was not the national flag of the Confederacy, but, rather, was carried by Southern soldiers, a large majority of whom came from non-slaveholding families. And of those soldiers from slaveholding families, the overwhelming number came from families with half a dozen or fewer slaves who lived and worked with their families, attended the same churches and were treated by the same doctors. (Interestingly, regiments of the Union army from Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri included slave holding soldiers in their ranks; indeed, General Grant’s wife, Julia Dent Grant, owned slaves throughout the war).
As Professor James McPherson—certainly no defender of the Confederacy–has carefully documented in his study, For Cause & Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Oxford University Press, 1997), the vast majority of Confederate soldiers—-men who carried the Battle Flag—believed they were fighting forliberty. After examining 574 manuscript collections and nearly 30,000 letters, diaries, and journals in twenty-two archival repositories, he wrote: “Southern recruits waxed most eloquently about their intention to fight against slavery than for it…that is, against their own enslavement to the North.” (pp. 19-20) “Confederates professed to fight for liberty and independence from a tyrannical government.” (p. 104)
By contrast, the American flag, the “Stars and Stripes,” not only flew over slavery for seventy-eight years, it flew over the brutal importation, the selling and the purchase of slaves, and the breaking up of slave families. Additionally, the Stars and Stripes flew over the infamous “Trail of Tears,” at the Sand Creek massacre of innocent Native Americans, later at the Wounded Knee massacre, and over the harsh internment of thousands of Nisei Japanese American citizens in concentration camps during World War II.
Although there are some zealots who suggest doing away with the American flag because of these connections, it is highly unlikely that most of the inside-the-Washington-Beltway pundits,  including many on Fox News, and several Southern Republican governors who have clamored for banning the Battle Flag, would join them in that demand. Yet, if the history of both banners is closely examined from the radically changing contexts that are used to attack the one, should not there be a focus on the history of other, as well? And, if only a particular snap shot context is used to judge such symbols, is any symbol of America’s diverse history safe from the hands of those who may dislike or despise this or that symbol?
Second, a comparison has been made between the Battle Flag and the Nazi flag (red background, with a white circle and a black swastika centered). Again, this comparison demonstrates a lack of historical acumen on the part of those making it: the Nazi flag was created precisely to represent the Nazi Party and its ideology. The Battle Flag bears a traditional Christian “saltire,” the St. Andrew’s Cross, that has deep historical roots in Scotland, Spain, Burgundy, and Russia, and in Christian iconography.
Third, the charge has been made that Confederate symbols must be banned because they represent “treason against the Federal government.” That is, those Southerners who took up arms in 1861 to defend their states, their homes, and their families, were engaged in “rebellion” and were “traitors” under Federal law.
Again, such arguments fail on all counts. Some writers have suggested that Robert E. Lee, in particular, was a “traitor” because he violated his solemn military oath to uphold and defend the Constitution by taking up arms against the Union. But what those writers fail to note is that Lee had formally resigned from the US Army and had relinquished his commission before undertaking his new assignment to defend his home state of Virginia, which by then had seceded and re-vindicated its original independence.
And that brings us to point four: the right of secession and whether the actions of the Southern states, December 1860-May 1861, could be justified under the US Constitution.
One of the better summaries of the prevalent Constitutional theory at that time has been made by black scholar, professor, and prolific author Dr. Walter Williams. Here is what he writes in one his columns:
“During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made that would allow the federal government to suppress a seceding state. James Madison rejected it, saying, ‘A union of the states containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.’
In fact, the ratification documents of Virginia, New York and Rhode Island explicitly said they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought they could not regain their sovereignty — in a word, secede.
On March 2, 1861, after seven states seceded and two days before Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, Sen. James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin proposed a constitutional amendment that read, “No state or any part thereof, heretofore admitted or hereafter admitted into the union, shall have the power to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the United States.”
Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here’s a question for the reader: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?” [my emphasis added]
An examination of the ratification processes for Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina in the late 1780s, reveal very similar discussions: it was the independent states themselves that had created a Federal government (and not the reverse, as Abe Lincoln erroneously suggested), and it was the various states that granted the Federal government certain very limited and specifically enumerated powers, reserving the vast remainder for themselves (see Professor Mel Bradford, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the United States Constitution. University of Georgia Press, 1993). As any number of the Founders indicated, there simply would not have been any United States if the states, both north and south, had believed that they could not leave it for just cause.
During the Antebellum period there was little political support for denying the right of secession or for the Constitutional right to suppress it.  Of the pre-war presidents, it is true, Andrew Jackson threatened South Carolina in 1833 over Nullification of the “Tariff of Abominations,” but that crisis was resolved through compromise. Even staunch anti-slavery unionist President John Quincy Adams advocated secession over the annexation of Texas, and in his April 30, 1839, speech “The Jubilee of the Constitution,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration as the first American president, he affirmed:
“…if the day should ever come, (may Heaven avert it) when the affections of the people of these states shall be alienated from each other; when the fraternal spirit shall give away to cold indifference, or collisions of interest shall fester into hatred, the bands of political association will not long hold together the parties no longer attracted by the magnetism of conciliated interests and kindly sympathies; and far better will it be for the people of the disunited states, to part in friendship from each other, than to be held together by constraint.”
In his address to Congress in January of 1861, lame duck President James Buchanan, while deploring secession, stated frankly that he had no right to prevent it: “I certainly had no right to make aggressive war upon any State, and I am perfectly satisfied that the Constitution has wisely withheld that power even from Congress.” Former President John Tyler served in the Confederate Congress, and former President Franklin Pierce, in his famous Concord, New Hampshire, address, July 4, 1863, joined Buchanan in decrying the efforts to suppress the secession of the Southern states:
“Do we not all know that the cause of our casualties is the vicious intermeddling of too many of the citizens of the Northern States with the constitutional rights of the Southern States, cooperating with the discontents of the people of those states? Do we not know that the disregard of the Constitution, and of the security that it affords to the rights of States and of individuals, has been the cause of the calamity which our country is called to undergo?”
More, during the antebellum period William Rawle’s pro-secession text on Constitutional law, A View of the Constitution of the United States (1825,) was used at West Point as the standard text on the US Constitution.  And on several occasions the Supreme Court, itself, affirmed this view. In The Bank of Augusta v. Earl (1839), the Court wrote in an 8-1 decision:
“The States…are distinct separate sovereignties, except so far as they have parted with some of the attributes of sovereignty by the Constitution. They continue to be nations, with all their rights, and under all their national obligations, and with all the rights of nations in every particular; except in the surrender by each to the common purposes and object of the Union, under the Constitution. The rights of each State, when not so yielded up, remain absolute.”
A review of the Northern press at the time of the Secession conventions finds, perhaps surprisingly to those who wish to read back into the past their own statist ideas, a similar view. As historian William Marvel explains in his volume, Mr. Lincoln Goes to War (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers, 2006, pp. 19-20), few Northern newspapers took the position that the Federal government had the constitutional right to invade and suppress states that had decided to secede. Many favored peaceful separation. Indeed, were it not the New England states in 1814-1815 who made the first serious effort at secession during the War of 1812, to the point that they gathered in Hartford to discuss actively pursuing it? And during the pre-war period various states asserted in one form or another similar rights.
One last comment regarding the accusation of “treason”: after the conclusion of the War, the Southern states were put under military authority, their civil governments dissolved, and each state had to be re-admitted to the Union.  But, logically, a state could not be “re-admitted” to the Union unless it had been out of it. And if it were out of it, legally and constitutionally, as the Southern states maintained (and some Northern writers acknowledged), then it could not be in any way guilty of “treason.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Christmas Social

Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 1524 hosted another enjoyable Christmas Social on Friday December 11th at the historic Buena Vista mansion.  The annual Social is the holiday social event each Christmas season and brings together camp members and their significant others as well as friends from other nearby SCV camps.  It was a capacity crowd in the parlor with some camp officers actually standing in the foyer thru the program.  Mrs. Deborah Davis entertained everyone during the first hour when guests arrived by playing Christmas music on the grand piano in the parlor and then continued playing while people finished their dinners.  The General Lee eggnog made my Tyrone and Carol Crowley proved to be popular as it disappeared before the end of the hour.  The program proper commenced with a welcome by Commander Waldo followed by the SCV Charge and a very special event, the swearing in of a new member to the camp, Edward Morgan who was dressed with his wife in striking period clothing.  Chaplain Snowden blessed the food and everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Smokin S including smoked turkey, dressing, green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole along with peach cobbler and banana pudding for dessert.  Special guests were recognized including Alabama Division 1st Lt Jimmy Hill and 2nd Lt Carl Jones.  Commander Waldo's wife Kerri dressed in a lovely period ball gown did an outstanding reading of "A Confederate Night Before Christmas" followed by Chaplain Snowden leading everyone in a number of beloved Christmas carols and finishing with his requisite "Mary Did You Know" rendition.  Color Sargent Jenks then assisted Kerri with the fun doorprize drawings which included books, framed prints, centerpieces donated by Quartermaster Myrick and his wife Peggy as well as a couple Christmas themed Aflac ducks.  Great fun.  A rousing performance of Dixie by Mrs. Davis and Chaplain Snowden and 1st Lt Grooms brought the program to a close save for the Benediction.  This is always a wonderful event made even more special by the Christmas decorated majestic Buena Vista venue and the camaraderie of compatriots enjoying the Christmas season together.  

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Prattville Dragoons Participate in Vida Christmas Parade

Several Dragoons from SCV Camp 1524 participated in another enjoyable Vida Community Christmas parade on Saturday December 19th on a beautiful cool day in Vida AL.  There were a large number of entries in the parade and many were sporting Confederate Battle Flags. After the parade, the members of the Vida Community Center provided a delicious BBQ meal for all attendees including chopped smoked pork and camp stew, sides and a huge selection of home made desserts and good fellowship was enjoyed by all. Many dignitaries holding public office participated as well and some candidates for political office were also in the parade. The atmosphere was very merry and relaxed in this peaceful, rural Alabama setting and all Dragoons expressed how much they enjoyed the day’s activities. 

Dragoons included Cody Simon impersonating Elvis Presley; Danny Smyth brought his wonderful period cannon carrying it in the bed of his pickup truck which he adorned with historical Confederate flags. James Spears at 87 years young carried the camp banner with his son Larry the entire parade route up and back on County Road 19 west of Prattville. Chris Booth was there with his lovely wife Joy and their children including the newest family edition; Don Drasheff drove his sporty convertible.  Bill Branch and Dede tossed candy, coins and Battle flags from the back of Danny's truck as Commander Waldo walked alongside. Tom Crowley and Al Booth served as part of the parade spectators. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


By Henry Timrod - (1828-1867) He was the Poet Laureate of the Confederacy. (see below following poem)

How grace this hallowed day?
Shall happy bells, from yonder ancient spire,
Send their glad greetings to each Christmas fire
Round which the children play?
Alas! for many a moon,
That tongueless tower hath cleaved the Sabbath air,
Mute as an obelisk of ice, aglare
Beneath an Arctic noon.
Shame to the foes that drown
Our psalms of worship with their impious drum,
The sweetest chimes in all the land lie dumb
In some far rustic town.
There, let us think, they keep,
Of the dead Yules which here beside the sea
They’ve ushered in with old-world, English glee,
Some echoes in their sleep.
How shall we grace the day?
With feast, and song, and dance, and antique sports,
And shout of happy children in the courts,
And tales of ghost and fay?
Is there indeed a door,
Where the old pastimes, with their lawful noise,
And all the merry round of Christmas joys,
Could enter as of yore?
Would not some pallid face
Look in upon the banquet, calling up
Dread shapes of battles in the wassail cup,
And trouble all the place?
How could we bear the mirth,
While some loved reveler of a year ago
Keeps his mute Christmas now beneath the snow,
In cold Virginian earth?
How shall we grace the day?
Ah! let the thought that on this holy morn
The Prince of Peace — the Prince of Peace was born,
Employ us, while we pray!
Pray for the peace which long
Hath left this tortured land, and haply now
Holds its white court on some far mountain’s brow,
There hardly safe from wrong!
Let every sacred fane
Call its sad votaries to the shrine of God,
And, with the cloister and the tented sod,
Join in one solemn strain!
With pomp of Roman form,
With the grave ritual brought from England’s shore,
And with the simple faith which asks no more
Than that the heart be warm!
He, who, till time shall cease,
Will watch that earth, where once, not all in vain,
He died to give us peace, may not disdain
A prayer whose theme is — peace.
Perhaps ere yet the Spring
Hath died into the Summer, over all
The land, the peace of His vast love shall fall,
Like some protecting wing.
Oh, ponder what it means!
Oh, turn the rapturous thought in every way!
Oh, give the vision and the fancy play,
And shape the coming scenes!
Peace in the quiet dales,
Made rankly fertile by the blood of men,
Peace in the woodland, and the lonely glen,
Peace in the peopled vales!
Peace in the crowded town,
Peace in a thousand fields of waving grain,
Peace in the highway and the flowery lane,
Peace on the wind-swept down!
Peace on the farthest seas,
Peace in our sheltered bays and ample streams,
Peace wheresoe’er our starry garland gleams,
And peace in every breeze!
Peace on the whirring marts,
Peace where the scholar thinks, the hunter roams,
Peace, God of Peace! peace, peace, in all our homes,
And peace in all our hearts!
Timrod h.jpg
Henry Timrod was born on December 8, 1829, in Charleston, South Carolina, to a family of German descent. His grandfather Heinrich Dimroth emigrated to the United States in 1765 and anglicized his name.[1] His father, William Henry Timrod, was an officer in the Seminole Wars and a poet himself.
With the outbreak of American Civil War, in a state of fervent patriotism, Timrod returned to Charleston to begin publishing his war poems, which drew many young men to enlist in the service of the Confederacy. His first poem of this period is "Ethnogenesis", written in February, 1861, during the meeting of the first Confederate Congress at Montgomery, Alabama.
"A Cry to Arms", "Carolina" and "The Cotton Boll" are other famous examples of his martial poetry. He was a frequent contributor of poems to Russell's Magazine and to The Southern Literary Messenger.
On March 1, 1862, Timrod enlisted into the military as a private in Company B, 30th South Carolina Regiment, and was detailed for special duty as a clerk at regimental headquarters,[2] but his tuberculosis prevented much service, and he was sent home. After the bloody Battle of Shiloh, he tried again to live the camp life as a western war correspondent for the Charleston Mercury, but this too was short lived as he was not strong enough for the rugged task.
He returned from the front and settled in Columbia, South Carolina, to become associate editor of the South Carolinian, a daily newspaper. Throughout 1864 he wrote many articles for the paper.[2] In February 1864 he married his beloved Katie, and they soon had a son, Willie, born on Christmas Eve.
This happy period in his life was short-lived. General Sherman's troops invaded Columbia on February 17, 1865, one year and one day after his marriage. Due to the vigor of his editorials, he was forced into hiding, his home was burned,[2] and the newspaper office was destroyed.

The aftermath of war brought his family poverty and to him and his wife, increasing illness. He moved his family into his sister and mother's home in Columbia.[2] Then, his son Willie died on October 23, 1865.

He took a post as correspondent for a new newspaper based in Charleston, The Carolinian, but continued to reside in Columbia.[2] Even after several months of work, however, he was never paid, and the paper folded. In economic desperation, he submitted poems written in his strongest style to northern periodicals, but all were coldly declined. Henry continued to seek work, but continued to be disappointed. Finally, in November, 1866, he was given an assistant clerkship under Governor James L. Orr's staff member James S. Simons. This lasted less than a month, after which he was again dependent on charity and odd jobs to feed his family of women. Despite the harshly reduced circumstances, and mounting health problems, he was still able to produce highly regarded poetry. His "Memorial Ode", composed in the Spring of 1867 "was sung at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, in May when the graves of the southern dead were decorated."

He finally succumbed to consumption Sunday morning, October 7, 1867, and was laid to rest in the churchyard at Trinity Episcopal Church in Columbia next to his son.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Ten Causes of the War Between the States - Part 2

The 10 Causes of the War Between the States
by James W. King

 6. NORTHERN INDUSTRIALISTS WANTED THE SOUTH'S RESOURCES. The Northern Industrialists wanted a war to use as an excuse to get the South's resources for pennies on the dollar. They began a campaign about 1830 that would influence the common people of the North and create enmity that would allow them to go to war against the South. These Northern Industrialists brought up a morality claim against the South alleging the evils of slavery. The Northern Hypocrites conveniently neglected to publicize the fact that 5 New England States ( Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York ) were primarily responsible for the importation of most of the slaves from Africa to America. These states had both private and state owned fleets of ships.

7. SLANDER OF THE SOUTH BY NORTHERN NEWSPAPERS. This political cause ties in to the above listed efforts by New England Industrialists. Beginning about 1830 the Northern Newspapers began to slander the South. The Industrialists used this tool to indoctrinate the common people of the North. They used slavery as a scapegoat and brought the morality claim up to a feverish pitch. Southerners became tired of reading in the Northern Newspapers about what bad and evil people they were just because their neighbor down the road had a few slaves. This propaganda campaign created hostility between the ordinary citizens of the two regions and created the animosity necessary for war. The Northern Industrialists worked poor whites in the factories of the North under terrible conditions for 18 hours a day ( including children ). When the workers became old and infirm they were fired. It is a historical fact that during this era there were thousands of old people living homeless on the streets in the cities of the North. In the South a slave was cared for from birth to death. Also the diet and living conditions of Southern slaves was superior to that of most white Northern factory workers. Southerners deeply resented this New England hypocrisy and slander.
8. NEW ENGLANDERS ATTEMPTED TO INSTIGATE MASSIVE SLAVE REBELLIONS IN THE SOUTH. Abolitionists were a small but vocal and militant group in New England who demanded instant abolition of slavery in the South. These fanatics and zealots were calling for massive slave uprisings that would result in the murder of Southern men, women and children. Southerners were aware that such an uprising had occurred in Santa Domingo in the 1790 era and that the French (white) population had been massacred. The abolitionists published a terrorist manifesto and tried to smuggle 100,000 copies into the South showing slaves how to murder their masters at night. Then when John Brown raided Harpers Ferry,Virginia in 1859 the political situation became inflammatory. Prior to this event there had been five times as many abolition societies in the South as in the North. Lincoln and most of the Republican Party ( 64 members of congress ) had adopted a political platform in support of terrorist acts against the South. Some (allegedly including Lincoln) had contributed monetarily as supporters of John Browns terrorist activities.. Again slavery was used as a scapegoat for all differences that existed between the North and South.
9.. SLAVERY. Indirectly slavery was a cause of the war. Most Southerners did not own slaves and would not have fought for the protection of slavery. However they believed that the North had no Constitutional right to free slaves held by citizens of Sovereign Southern States. Prior to the war there were five times as many abolition societies in the South as in the North. Virtually all educated Southerners were in favor of gradual emancipation of slaves. Gradual emancipation would have allowed the economy and labor system of the South to gradually adjust to a free paid labor system without economic collapse. Furthermore, since the New England States were responsible for the development of slavery in America, Southerners saw the morality claims by the North as blatant hypocrisy. The first state to legalize slavery had been Massachusetts in 1641 and this law was directed primarily at Indians. In colonial times the economic infrastructure of the port cities of the North was dependent upon the slave trade. The first slave ship in America, "THE DESIRE", was fitted out in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Further proof that Southerners were not fighting to preserve slavery is found in the diary of an officer in the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. He stated that "he had never met a man in the Army of Northern Virginia that claimed he was fighting to preserve slavery". If the war had been over slavery, the composition of the politicians, officers, enlisted men, and even African Americans would have been different. Confederate General Robert E. Lee had freed his slaves (Custis estate) prior to 1863 whereas Union General Grant's wife Julia did not free her slaves until after the war when forced to do so by the 13th amendment to the constitution and court action. Grant even stated that if the abolitionists claimed he was fighting to free slaves that he would offer his services to the South. Mildred Lewis Rutherford (1852-1928) was for many years the historian for the United Daughters Of The Confederacy (UDC). In her book Truths Of History she stated that there were more slaveholders in the Union Army (315,000) than the Confederate Army (200,000). Statistics also show that about 300,000 blacks supported the Confederacy versus about 200,000 for the Union. Clearly the war would have been fought along different lines if it had been fought over slavery. The famous English author Charles Dickens stated " the Northern onslaught upon Southern slavery is a specious piece of humbug designed to mask their desire for the economic control of the Southern states."
10, NORTHERN AGGRESSION AGAINST SOUTHERN STATES, Proof that Abraham Lincoln wanted war may be found in the manner he handled the Fort Sumter incident. Original correspondence between Lincoln and Naval Captain G.V.Fox shows proof that Lincoln acted with deceit and willfully provoked South Carolina into firing on the fort (A TARIFF COLLECTION FACILITY). It was politically important that the South be provoked into firing the first shot so that Lincoln could claim the Confederacy started the war. Additional proof that Lincoln wanted war is the fact that Lincoln refused to meet with a Confederate peace delegation. They remained in Washington for 30 days and returned to Richmond only after it became apparent that Lincoln wanted war and refused to meet and discuss a peace agreement. After setting up the Fort Sumter incident for the purpose of starting a war, Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to put down what he called a rebellion. He intended to march Union troops across Virginia and North Carolina to attack South Carolina. Virginia and North Carolina were not going to allow such an unconstitutional and criminal act of aggression against a sovereign sister Southern State. Lincoln's act of aggression caused the secession of the upper Southern States.
On April 17th 1861, Governor Letcher of Virginia sent this message to Washington DC: " I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers of Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern states and the requisition made upon me for such a object-an object in my judgement not within the purview of the constitution or the act of 1795, will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war; having done so we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited toward the South."
The WAR BETWEEN THE STATES 1861-1865 occurred due to many complex causes and factors as enumerated above. Those who make claims that "the war was over slavery" or that if slavery had been abolished in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed or in 1789 when The Constitution of the United States of America was signed, that war would not have occurred between North and South are being very simplistic in their views and opinions.
The following conversation between English ship Captain Hillyar and Capt. Raphael Semmes-Confederate Ship CSS Alabama occurred during the war on August 5th, 1861. It is a summary from a well-educated Southerner who is stating his reasons for fighting.
Captain Hillyar expressed surprised at Captain Semme's contention that the people of the South were "defending ourselves against robbers with knives at our throats", and asked for further clarification as to how this was so, the exchange below occurred. I especially was impressed with Semmes' assessment of yankee motives - the creation of "Empire"!
Semmes: "Simply that the machinery of the Federal Government, under which we have lived, and which was designed for the common benefit, has been made the means of despoiling the South, to enrich the North", and I explained to him the workings of the iniquitous tariffs, under the operation of which the South had, in effect, been reduced to a dependent colonial condition, almost as abject as that of the Roman provinces, under their proconsuls; the only difference being, that smooth-faced hypocrisy had been added to robbery, inasmuch as we had been plundered under the forms of law"
Captain Hillyar: "All this is new to me", replied the captain. "I thought that your war had arisen out of the slavery question."
Semmes: "That is the common mistake of foreigners. The enemy has taken pains to impress foreign nations with this false view of the case. With the exception of a few honest zealots, the canting hypocritical Yankee cares as little for our slaves as he does for our draught animals. The war which he has been making upon slavery for the last 40 years is only an interlude, or by-play, to help on the main action of the drama, which is Empire; and it is a curious coincidence that it was commenced about the time the North began to rob the South by means of its tariffs. When a burglar designs to enter a dwelling for the purpose of robbery, he provides himself with the necessary implements. The slavery question was one of the implements employed to help on the robbery of the South. It strengthened the Northern party, and enabled them to get their tariffs through Congress; and when at length, the South, driven to the wall, turned, as even the crushed worm will turn, it was cunningly perceived by the Northern men that 'No slavery' would be a popular war-cry, and hence, they used it.
It is true that we are defending our slave property, but we are defending it no more than any other species of our property - it is all endangered, under a general system of robbery. We are in fact, fighting for independence."

The Union victory in 1865 destroyed the right of secession in America,which had been so cherished by America's founding fathers as the principle of their revolution. British historian and political philosopher Lord Acton, one of the most intellectual figures in Victorian England, understood the deeper meaning of Southern defeat. In a letter to former Confederate General Robert E. Lee dated November 4, 1866, Lord Acton wrote " I saw in States Rights the only available check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. I deemed you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress, and our civilization and I mourn for that which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo (defeat of Napoleon). As Illinois Governor Richard Yates stated in a message to his state assembly on January 2,1865, the war had " tended, more than any other event in the history of the country, to militate against the Jeffersonian Ideal (Thomas Jefferson) that the best government is that which governs least.
Years after the war former Confederate president Jefferson Davis stated " I Am saddened to Hear Southerners Apologize For Fighting To Preserve Our Inheritance" . Some years later former U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt stated " Those Who Will Not Fight For The Graves Of Their Ancestors Are Beyond Redemption".

James W. King
Commander Camp 141
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Ten Causes of the War Between the States - Part 1

The 10 Causes of the War Between the States
by James W. King

Historians have long debated the causes of the war and the Southern perspective differs greatly from the Northern perspective. Based upon the study of original documents of theWar Between The States (Civil War) era and facts and information published by Confederate Veterans, Confederate Chaplains, Southern writers and Southern Historians before, during, and after the war, I present the facts, opinions, and conclusions stated in the following article.
Technically the 10 causes listed are reasons for Southern secession. The only cause of the war was that the South was invaded and responded to Northern aggression.
I respectfully disagree with those who claim that the War Between the States was fought over slavery or that the abolition of slavery in the Revolutionary Era or early Federal period would have prevented war. It is my opinion that war was inevitable between the North and South due to complex political and cultural differences. The famous Englishman Winston Churchill stated that the war between the North and South was one of the most unpreventable wars in history. The Cause that the Confederate States of America fought for (1861-1865) was Southern Independence from the United States of America. Many parallels exist between the War for American Independence ( 1775-1783 ) and the War for Southern Independence.
There were 10 political causes of the war (causes of Southern Secession) ---one of which was slavery-- which was a scapegoat for all the differences that existed between the North and South. The Northern industrialists had wanted a war since about 1830 to get the South's resources ( land-cotton- coal-timber- minerals ) for pennies on the dollar. All wars are economic and are always between centralists and decentralists. The North would have found an excuse to invade the South even if slavery had never existed.
A war almost occurred during 1828-1832 over the tariff when South Carolina passed nullification laws. The U.S. congress had increased the tariff rate on imported products to 40% ( known as the tariff of abominations in Southern States ). This crisis had nothing to do with slavery. If slavery had never existed --period--or had been eliminated at the time the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 or anytime prior to 1860 it is my opinion that there would still have been a war sooner or later.
On a human level there were 4 causes of the war--New England Greed--New England Fanatics--New England Zealots--and New England Hypocrites. During "So Called Reconstruction" ( 1865-1877 ) the New England Industrialists got what they had really wanted for 40 years--THE SOUTH'S RESOURCES FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR. It was a political coalition between the New England economic interests and the New England fanatics and zealots that caused Southern secession to be necessary for economic survival and safety of the population.
1. TARIFF--Prior to the war about 75% of the money to operate the Federal Government was derived from the Southern States via an unfair sectional tariff on imported goods and 50% of the total 75% was from just 4 Southern states--Virginia- North Carolina--South Carolina and Georgia. Only 10%--20% of this tax money was being returned to the South. The Southern states were being treated as an agricultural colony of the North and bled dry. John Randolph of Virginia's remarks in opposition to the tariff of 1820 demonstrates that fact. The North claimed that they fought the war to preserve the Union but the New England Industrialists who were in control of the North were actually supporting preservation of the Union to maintain and increase revenue from the tariff. The industrialists wanted the South to pay for the industrialization of America at no expense to themselves. Revenue bills introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives prior to the War Between the States were biased, unfair and inflammatory to the South. Abraham Lincoln had promised the Northern industrialists that he would increase the tariff rate if he was elected president of the United States. Lincoln increased the rate to a level that exceeded even the "Tariff of Abominations" 40% rate that had so infuriated the South during the 1828-1832 era ( between 50 and 51% on iron goods). The election of a president that was Anti-Southern on all issues and politically associated with the New England industrialists, fanatics, and zealots brought about the Southern secession movement.
2. CENTRALIZATION VERSUS STATES RIGHTS---The United States of America was founded as a Constitutional Federal Republic in 1789 composed of a Limited Federal Government and Sovereign States. The North wanted to and did alter the form of Government this nation was founded upon. The Confederate States of America fought to preserve Constitutional Limited Federal Government as established by America’s founding fathers who were primarily Southern Gentlemen from Virginia. Thus Confederate soldiers were fighting for rights that had been paid for in blood by their forefathers upon the battlefields of the American Revolution. Abraham Lincoln had a blatant disregard for The Constitution of the United States of America. His War of aggression Against the South changed America from a Constitutional Federal Republic to a Democracy (with Socialist leanings) and broke the original Constitution. The infamous Socialist Karl Marx sent Lincoln a letter of congratulations after his reelection in 1864. A considerable number of European Socialists came to America and fought for the Union (North).
3. CHRISTIANITY VERSUS SECULAR HUMANISM--The South believed in basic Christianity as presented in the Holy Bible.The North had many Secular Humanists (atheists, transcendentalists and non-Christians). Southerners were afraid of what kind of country America might become if the North had its way. Secular Humanism is the belief that there is no God and that man,science and government can solve all problems. This philosophy advocates human rather than religious values. Reference : Frank Conner’s book "The South Under Siege 1830-2000."
4. CULTURAL DIFFERENCES- -Southerners and Northerners were of different Genetic Lineages. Southerners were primarily of Western English (original Britons),Scottish, and Irish linage (Celtic) whereas Northerners tended to be of Anglo-Saxon and Danish (Viking) extraction. The two cultures had been at war and at odds for over 1000 years before they arrived in America. Our ancient ancestors in Western England under King Arthur humbled the Saxon princes at the battle of Baden Hill ( circa 497 AD --516 AD ). The cultural differences that contributed to the War Between the States (1861-1865 ) had existed for 1500 years or more.

5. CONTROL OF WESTERN TERRITORIES- -The North wanted to control Western States and Territories such as Kansas and Nebraska. New England formed Immigrant Aid Societies and sent settlers to these areas that were politically attached to the North. They passed laws against slavery that Southerners considered punitive. These political actions told Southerners they were not welcome in the new states and territories. It was all about control--slavery was a scapegoat. 

James W. King
Commander Camp 141
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Radicals in Our Universities

The Corrupt and Lawless University Establishment

by David French November 12, 2015

America’s universities are becoming a fundamentally toxic presence in our national culture. Possessing every possible advantage — a young, disproportionately wealthy base of students who come from disproportionately intact and functional homes, generations of goodwill accumulated through centuries of community influence, and vast economic power through endowments worth cumulatively hundreds of billions of dollars (the top ten endowments alone are worth more than $150 billion) — they have squandered these assets in efforts to create a leftist utopia, a “utopia” that could well tear this nation apart.
Make no mistake, while universities preach social justice, equality, and racial harmony, they practice lawlessness, exploitation, and racial strife, creating an environment that is simultaneously sexually decadent and intellectually repressive, causing real harm to countless thousands of Americans. Many students are capable of keeping their heads down, building friendships, and graduating with a good experience and a good education, but they thrive despite the university culture, not because of it. The true (and intentional) product of contemporary — especially “elite” — university culture is the social-justice warrior, the SJW, the hyper-sensitive petty tyrant who would rather wreck our republic than abide even the mildest dissent.
Is there a more lawless entity than the American higher-education establishment? A majority of colleges maintain speech codes — unconstitutional policies that restrict First Amendment–protected speech — despite the fact that federal courts from sea to shining sea have struck down university censorship, granting millions of dollars of attorneys’-fee awards to victorious lawyers.
At the same time, public universities systematically violate the law when hiring faculty and administrators, shutting out Christian and conservative voices to the extent that entire disciplines are ideological cocoons, insulated from conservative thought. Persecution of Christians extends to deliberate attacks on faith-based student groups, at a scale that would cause riots if practiced against black or gay or female activists.
And let’s not forget the Obama Department of Education, which has repeatedly imposed utterly lawless directives — ostensibly under Title IX — that are actually now purporting to compel universities to violate the most fundamental due-process rights of male students accused of sexual assault, creating witch-hunt procedures that courts are even now rejecting in cases across the country.
As for exploitation, there are few more hypocritical, despicable institutions than an American university. A tenured class enjoys its incomparable perks and privileges on the backs of poorly paid teaching assistants and adjunct professors who have zero job security, can’t make the coveted “living wage,” and endure continual scorn and disrespect from the aristocratic class that governs their lives.
Universities claim to care about the poor, yet the sprawling college athletic-industrial complex rakes in billions of dollars off the sweat of disproportionately poor and minority athletes while depriving them of the ability to even own or use their own name and likeness. No other class of college students endures such economic repression.
And then there’s the exploitation of their own students. Despite a base of wealth that’s larger than the GDP of most nations in the world, despite vast taxpayer subsidies, and despite arguably the world’s most lucrative development programs, universities price-gouge their students, with the cost of education far outpacing the rate of inflation. Middle-class parents can work hard their entire lives only to face the dreadful prospect of either picking up enormous new debt at the midpoint of their professional careers or imposing that debt on their children.
Yet families are paying more money for less actual education. Between 1987 and 2012, universities hired 517,636 new administrators or professional employees. That’s 87 per working day. Some universities now spend far more on administrators than they do on faculty, and so tuition dollars pour into diversity centers, student-life bureaucracies, and development offices. All the while, students study less and party more. In fact, for many parents and students, the party culture is so powerful, and the academic culture so weak, that they end up spending tens of thousands of dollars simply paying for the party, leaving kids with no knowledge, no degree, mountains of debt, and one heck of a hangover.
But perhaps the most pernicious aspect of the entire morally bankrupt system is its balkanizing effect on our fragile, multiethnic democracy. Universities are creating an entire class of people who are race/gender/sex-obsessed, viewing themselves less as Americans than as advocates for their particular ethnic or cultural tribe. The result is endless racial conflict, constant rage over sex and gender, and numerous innocent, resentful casualties of the never-ending quest for utopia. Is it any wonder that college students now face a “mental-health crisis?”
Make no mistake, conservatives and allegedly conservative politicians share much of the blame for this national disaster. A combination of ignorance, apathy, and a pathetic but vain quest for “elite” approval has caused even red states to hand the keys to the cultural kingdom to academics who hate this country, exploit its wealth, and then gleefully seek to turn children against their parents.

— David French is an attorney and staff writer at National Review.