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Greg Deese
04-18-2007, 01:41 PM
I really need the help of anyone that cares about perserving our history and remebering the memory of the Confederate Solider. Many of you wrote the Museum of the Confederacy to protest the removal of the word "Confederacy."

With the latest controversies regarding Duke University, Don Imus, etc. The anti-flag forces in South Carolina are transferring and applying those debates to our Confederate battle Flag which flies in front of the Soldiers monument on Gervais street.

Leading the attack is Brad Warthen of "The State" newspaper, who has a personal vendetta to remove all Confederate symbols and monuments in South Carolina. Also $teve $purrier, coach of the South Carolina gamecocks made many anti-Southern comments. The Mayor of Columbia also completes the triad of discrimination.

Simply put, they want the flag at the Soldiers memorial removed for so-called economic reasons. They want more companies to relocate to SC and they want to host basketball games. They are more concerned with money than heritage. South Carolina is known for it's low wages, low taxes, regulations and cheap labor. New corporations will not bring economic prosperity, just more pollution, traffic congestion, environmental damage and non-native South Carolinians who want to change our way of life and make SC resemble Atlanta or Los Angeles. This is not progress. I want to preserve our small town way of life, and develop more tourism and historical business, we have 300 years of history alone and 7 million visitors each year just for WBTS history.

I really don't care if we lose the support of corporate America or any "economic" advancement committe." They define the resistance to so-called progressive economic development as "backward" and living in the past, we just know it as a high quality way of life. The costs out weigh the benefits and rarely do native South Carolinians benefit. Most of these companies import workers from other states, thereby driving up our cost of living with out any wage increase to us.

Please bomabard these idiots and help preserve the history and resist the uncontrolled sprawl that our state is suffering under this "anything for jobs" mentality.

Here is an example of the hatred and bias we have endure:

Be careful when you go to take down that flag! You will most likely be confronted by a bunch of overweight, undereducated men who still like to play dress-up and run around with giant cap guns playing war. They will call each other "kunnel" and "cap'n" as if they really were part of some sort of army, and who will then congratulate one another on what a historic feat of arms they (pretended) to accomplish. Its best to just wait them out, as they will eventually tire of wearing a woolen uniform in the hot summer sun and slowly drift down the street to eat Barbeque at Bessingers, where they can not only enjoy a glass of sweet tea, but re-assure themselves of their inherent correctness by reading the propaganda( I mean "literature") that PROVES that GOD himself desired us to OWN our fellow men.

Shane Edge
shaneedge742@aol.com

See also :

http://blogs.thestate.com/bradwarthensblog/2007/04/so_whats_happen.html

I beg you to help us in this fight. Don't let the politically correct and corporate sellouts ruin South Carolina. They have insulted you as well.

Greg Deese

Also try to make our Confederate Memorial Day services on May 5th in Columbia.

NC5thcav
04-19-2007, 11:06 PM
Political correctness will be the ruin of this country. Greg, if I wasn't graduating the 5th I would be in Columbia with you guys.

Wounded_Zouave
04-20-2007, 01:49 PM
CS flag defenders would not be stereotyped as "under-educated men who still like to play dress-up and run around with giant cap guns playing war" if they presented a more historically accurate image of the war, and I don't mean losing weight or getting a degree. Defense of the cs flag is seen as exclusionary at the expense of others, particulary African-Americans. Sorry to say that, but that is the way the world views it.

Last year I heard a white southerner say within earshot of a U.S. Nat'l Cemetery that "those dirty yankees over there should be dug up and sent back north where they belong." Until white southerns stop saying this kind of nonsense about American soldiers who fought and died under the Stars and Stripes, I will have no sympathy for flying the cs flag anywhere on public property. And yes, I know that not all white southerners are like that, but I've come to dread discussing the Civil War with any white person when I travel in the south because 90% of the time similar crap like this comes out of their mouths.

And, for the record, I'm a white southerner and I'm not "politically correct" either.

ThumbStall
04-20-2007, 02:07 PM
Maybe if those who want the CS flag and monument to stay on state capitol grounds should do something positive to change their image. Maybe they should raise money to have a monument (not just a plaque) erected to black South Carolinians who fought for the Union. That way they could show they have an objective and fair viewpoint of the Civil War. Give something positive... get something positive in return.

http://www.3dpublishing.com/bcb/images/usct.jpg

reddcorp
04-20-2007, 02:41 PM
Dear Thumbstall:

It strikes me odd to suggest that moneys be raised to erect a monument to those whose object was to subjugate us, but I digress...

I must agree that those of us who do not wish the emblems of our once-sovereign nation to be cast forever into the pit of obscurity must attempt to present our sentiments and arguments in a more favorable light.
It does seem, however, that the media, when casting about to interview or obtain a quote from a "Southern" representative always seem to find the same folks who were interviewed after the tornado or alien abduction. Maybe this is mere happenstance; or perhaps, and likely so, the media tends to be somewhat biased (liberal leaning) in their coverage.

Those soldiers, North and South alike, who endured the horror of this tragic war, who died defending what they believed to be right, and those who survived to live out their lives as Americans, are all deserving of our respect and admiration.

AWRedd

bob 125th nysvi
04-21-2007, 06:41 AM
It strikes me odd to suggest that moneys be raised to erect a monument to those whose object was to subjugate us, but I digress...

That kill you and your cause.

Someone sees or hears that and they think you are bigotted person who wants to refight the war and that's why you support the flag.

I have no objection to where someone wants to fly the flag but when I hear lines like that I have no support for the people who espouse them.

You play right into the hands of your opponents.

Who knows maybe you are proving them right.

AZReenactor
04-21-2007, 11:11 AM
I still find it remarkable when ever I encounter people today who still think the world isn't better off that "the cause" was lost by their ancestors.

Malingerer
04-23-2007, 09:41 AM
Dear Thumbstall:

It strikes me odd to suggest that moneys be raised to erect a monument to those whose object was to subjugate us, but I digress...

I must agree that those of us who do not wish the emblems of our once-sovereign nation to be cast forever into the pit of obscurity must attempt to present our sentiments and arguments in a more favorable light.
It does seem, however, that the media, when casting about to interview or obtain a quote from a "Southern" representative always seem to find the same folks who were interviewed after the tornado or alien abduction. Maybe this is mere happenstance; or perhaps, and likely so, the media tends to be somewhat biased (liberal leaning) in their coverage.

Those soldiers, North and South alike, who endured the horror of this tragic war, who died defending what they believed to be right, and those who survived to live out their lives as Americans, are all deserving of our respect and admiration.

AWRedd
Is the irony of that first sentance completely lost on you? We Southerners might someday get the respect we desire for our ancestors when we acknowledge that the 'cause' was an evil one and the goal of the Confederacy was the continued 'subjugation' of millions of humans whose only crime was being born with dark skin. As i've said in the past: brave soldiers; bad cause.
Regards,

ThumbStall
04-23-2007, 01:09 PM
I must agree that those of us who do not wish the emblems of our once-sovereign nation... A once-sovereign "nation" never officially recognized by any other sovereign nation on earth.

I will be personnally very glad when the last confederate flag is hauled down for the last time and the last confederate monument is demolished and replaced with a monument to the Union soldiers who won the war.

toptimlrd
04-23-2007, 04:22 PM
A once-sovereign "nation" never officially recognized by any other sovereign nation on earth.

I will be personnally very glad when the last confederate flag is hauled down for the last time and the last confederate monument is demolished and replaced with a monument to the Union soldiers who won the war.


Is this why you reenact?

This thread has become quite a sad example of people who call them selves "living historians". Such animosity from both extremes. I for one am proud of the men who fought on both sides and both need to be remembered, the ones who fought for preservation of the union and those who fought in defense of their homes. Need I remind everyone that slavery was still legal under the Federal government at the outbreak of war? Slavery was wrong and an evil institution and nobody's hands were clean on that one. It is a sad day indeed when someone proposing to be interested in the history of this era is wanting to eradicate the memory of it. I for one willbe glad when such narrow mindedness is eradicated from the conscious.

tompritchett
04-23-2007, 10:03 PM
During my readings this past winter, I came upon a point about the secession that I had previously seen in some of the writings and speeches of the secessionist commissioners but which did not fully register fully until now. The first round of secessions was for more than just the freeing of the slaves. After all, only slightly less than a third of the Southern families owned slaves and there was considerable resentment by the family farmers against the large plantation owners, who would have been hurt the worst by such a freeing, over what the "common", non-slave owning man felt was the disportional influence that the "rich" had in the politics and overall society in the South. For these "common" men, they were not voting to secede because of the threat to slavery that the new Republican adminstration represented. Rather, it was the second part of the abolitionist platform, the granting of full citizenship/equality to the blacks, that stirred these men to support the plantation owners in their quest to break away from the Union and form a new country. It was this second part of their platform that also made the most radical of the abolitionist most disliked by their fellow Northerners also. Had the South not fired the first shot, there is a good chance that the most diehard abolitionists may never have gotten enough political clout to carry out this part of their platform in the Northern states. In many Northern states during the Recontruction, the primary reason that Northern blacks were able to gain the legal priviledges and equality with the white Northerners was that the black blood as well as white blood had been spilled in the war to reunite the country.

toptimlrd
04-23-2007, 10:39 PM
Tom,

Good point. We can not argue that the continuation of slavery was key in the decision of the politicians (who generally were slave owners) to seceed but the secession would not have been successful without the support of the average Joe in the South. Whe I think of the Confederacy ond the flags thereof I think more about the average men who bravely answered the call of their country whe they felt threatened. At that time people had very powerful roots to their homes and anyone from outside their area (be it the North or just the next county) who came in to try and change something was seen as intrusive. Now take the perspective that there are these men coming from a completely different part of the country to try and change soemthing about the way you live and they felt very threatened. Whether or not other coutries recognized the sovverignty of the CSA is irrelevant to those who fought for it. This is what we honor and remember, that men (and women) sttod up for what they thought was right and gave their all for it. Nobody doubts slavery was wrong (with the exception of a few morons) but slavery was not the only issue being fought for. I would dare say had the war only been on the issue of slavery we would have seen a mass revolt in the North as well. We have to remember that politicians have on thing in mind, being elected. In the South at that time the property owners (who were also the slave owners) were the ones electing the politicians so they had to pander to their constituants and include the protection of slavery but they also were fighting for the soverignty of the state over the national government (didn't work in the South), taxation issues, etc. Both sides were fighting for what they believed the ideals of the founding fathers were. Both sides had their issues where they were wrong and both sides had ideas that were right. I do believe in divine intervention in many things and I believed that because of the slavery issue the South was pre ordained to lose this fight, but like Tom, I believe the secession of the south actually advanced the cause of freedom for everyone. So now with that I am saying the South actually brought about the freeing and eventual equal rights of everyone faster than is Ft. Sumter had never been fired upon.

We have a unique country where we have peaceful sectional pride: the South is it's own region with its own customs, the west exemplified by Texas has its own culture, the Midwest has its own culture, New England has its traditions and cultures, we have Hawaii, Louisiana with it's Cajun and Creole roots, Alaska and its frontier mystique, native americans who have preserved their culture while assimilating with the modern culture. Why anyone wants to destroy these unique characteristics of each region is beyond me. It is unfortunate that the confederate flag has been misused by many for the wrong reasons (I for one grew up with the battle flag in GA and was originally opposed to the removal of it but once I knew the history I supported the change back to the 1st national) but those same groups use the Ameircan flag and our national symbol (Eagle) as well so we have to understand that misuse is misuse and it really is up to people like us to disprove the myths and not propagate them or support those myths.

queenoftheconfederacy
04-24-2007, 12:53 AM
I was up at the State House the other night after doing some research on Lucy Pickens, I'm in Columbia all the time and never leave without going to the State House grounds and paying my respects, not just to the Confederate Memorial, but all the memorials, and a lot of people don't know that there is an African American Memorial on the grounds of the State House, its actually one of the bigger monuments on the State House grounds, its right in front of the State Senate chambers. No one ever mentions that memorial when they are fussing about the flag, so it needs to be stated that there is a African American Memorial on the State House grounds. Its a very nice one at that, and should have added the black South Carolinians that fought in the war. And the Confederate flag is actually hidden behind the Confederate Memorial, you cant see it driving down Main St, maybe when you are at the traffic light at the end of Main St and Grevais St., you can see it flapping from behind the monument. And if you are going to move the flag, when you might as well move the monument, because it bares the Confederate flag. And if you move the Confederate Memorial, well you need to move the African American Memorial, the Wade Hampton Memorial, the Mexican War Memorial, the WWI and WWII Memorials, the Gynecology Memorial (yes, my friend Kenneth pointed it out to me while we were there, I had never seen it before), and the Strom Thurmond Memorial, there are tons more memorials dedicated to events of South Carolina history, so what is wrong with having one for the Confederate soldiers who died defending their homeland? Its not all about slavery, a lot of people just use that as an excuse because it causes more controversy and its just the easiest thing to say, but the majority of people who died for that flag never owned a slave, nor did their parents or their parents, I know none of my ancestors owned a slave, so that issue needs to be settled, let the flag fly for our states fallen heroes, because their spirits are still there (almost every picture I took the other night, and every time I take pictures of the memorial, had orbs and shadows in them) protecting and defending their country and their flag.

Heres a few of the pictures I got the other night
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b240/CarolinaGirl1670/DSCF7894.jpg
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b240/CarolinaGirl1670/DSCF7887.jpg
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b240/CarolinaGirl1670/DSCF7904.jpg

Malingerer
04-24-2007, 07:35 AM
Tom,

Good point. We can not argue that the continuation of slavery was key in the decision of the politicians (who generally were slave owners) to seceed but the secession would not have been successful without the support of the average Joe in the South. Whe I think of the Confederacy ond the flags thereof I think more about the average men who bravely answered the call of their country whe they felt threatened. At that time people had very powerful roots to their homes and anyone from outside their area (be it the North or just the next county) who came in to try and change something was seen as intrusive. Now take the perspective that there are these men coming from a completely different part of the country to try and change soemthing about the way you live and they felt very threatened. Whether or not other coutries recognized the sovverignty of the CSA is irrelevant to those who fought for it. This is what we honor and remember, that men (and women) sttod up for what they thought was right and gave their all for it. Nobody doubts slavery was wrong (with the exception of a few morons) but slavery was not the only issue being fought for. I would dare say had the war only been on the issue of slavery we would have seen a mass revolt in the North as well. We have to remember that politicians have on thing in mind, being elected. In the South at that time the property owners (who were also the slave owners) were the ones electing the politicians so they had to pander to their constituants and include the protection of slavery but they also were fighting for the soverignty of the state over the national government (didn't work in the South), taxation issues, etc. Both sides were fighting for what they believed the ideals of the founding fathers were. Both sides had their issues where they were wrong and both sides had ideas that were right. I do believe in divine intervention in many things and I believed that because of the slavery issue the South was pre ordained to lose this fight, but like Tom, I believe the secession of the south actually advanced the cause of freedom for everyone. So now with that I am saying the South actually brought about the freeing and eventual equal rights of everyone faster than is Ft. Sumter had never been fired upon.

We have a unique country where we have peaceful sectional pride: the South is it's own region with its own customs, the west exemplified by Texas has its own culture, the Midwest has its own culture, New England has its traditions and cultures, we have Hawaii, Louisiana with it's Cajun and Creole roots, Alaska and its frontier mystique, native americans who have preserved their culture while assimilating with the modern culture. Why anyone wants to destroy these unique characteristics of each region is beyond me. It is unfortunate that the confederate flag has been misused by many for the wrong reasons (I for one grew up with the battle flag in GA and was originally opposed to the removal of it but once I knew the history I supported the change back to the 1st national) but those same groups use the Ameircan flag and our national symbol (Eagle) as well so we have to understand that misuse is misuse and it really is up to people like us to disprove the myths and not propagate them or support those myths.
Speaking of mythology - I think you are repeating some standard apologia from the lost cause. Let's take a clear, hard view of what the leaders of the South had to say about their reasons for leaving the Union and what they thought about the 'peculiar institution'.

Henry L. Benning, Georgia politician and future Confederate general, writing in the summer of 1849 to his fellow Georgian, Howell Cobb: "First then, it is apparent, horribly apparent, that the slavery question rides insolently over every other everywhere -- in fact that is the only question which in the least affects the results of the elections." Later in the same letter Benning says, "I think then, 1st, that the only safety of the South from abolition universal is to be found in an early dissolution of the Union."
Albert Gallatin Brown, U.S. Senator from Mississippi, speaking with regard to the several filibuster expeditions to Central America: "I want Cuba . . . I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason -- for the planting and spreading of slavery." Senator Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia: "There is not a respectable system of civilization known to history whose foundations were not laid in the institution of domestic slavery."
Richmond Enquirer, 1856: "Democratic liberty exists solely because we have slaves . . . freedom is not possible without slavery."
Atlanta Confederacy, 1860: "We regard every man in our midst an enemy to the institutions of the South, who does not boldly declare that he believes African slavery to be a social, moral, and political blessing."
Lawrence Keitt, Congressman from South Carolina, in a speech to the House on January 25, 1860: "African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism." Later in the same speech he said, "The anti-slavery party contend that slavery is wrong in itself, and the Government is a consolidated national democracy. We of the South contend that slavery is right, and that this is a confederate Republic of sovereign States."
Keitt again, this time as delegate to the South Carolina secession convention, during the debates on the state's declaration of causes: "Our people have come to this on the question of slavery. I am willing, in that address to rest it upon that question. I think it is the great central point from which we are now proceeding, and I am not willing to divert the public attention from it." .
Methodist Rev. John T. Wightman, preaching at Yorkville, South Carolina: "The triumphs of Christianity rest this very hour upon slavery; and slavery depends on the triumphs of the South . . . This war is the servant of slavery."
From the Confederate Constitution:
Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 4: "No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."
Article IV, Section 3, Paragraph 3: "The Confederate States may acquire new territory . . . In all such territory, the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and the territorial government."
From the Georgia Constitution of 1861:"The General Assembly shall have no power to pass laws for the emancipation of slaves." From the Alabama Constitution of 1861: "No slave in this State shall be emancipated by any act done to take effect in this State, or any other country." (This is the entire text of Article IV, Section 1 (on slavery).)
Alexander Stephens, Vice-President of the Confederacy, referring to the Confederate government: "Its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery . . . is his natural and normal condition."
On the formation of black regiments in the Confederate army, by promising the troops their freedom:
Howell Cobb, former general in Lee's army, and prominent pre-war Georgia politician: "If slaves will make good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong."
A North Carolina newspaper editorial: "it is abolition doctrine . . . the very doctrine which the war was commenced to put down."
Robert M.T. Hunter, Senator from Virginia, "What did we go to war for, if not to protect our property?"
Alfred P. Aldrich, South Carolina legislator from Barnwell: "If the Republican party with its platform of principles, the main feature of which is the abolition of slavery and, therefore, the destruction of the South, carries the country at the next Presidential election, shall we remain in the Union, or form a separate Confederacy? This is the great, grave issue. It is not who shall be President, it is not which party shall rule -- it is a question of political and social existence."
During the 1830's occurred the Gag Rule controversy in Congress, during which Southern politicians tried to block even the presentation of petitions on the subject of slavery. The following quotes come from speeches made in the House and Senate during this time, taken from William Miller's book, Arguing About Slavery:
John C. Calhoun, Senator from South Carolina: "The defence of human liberty against the aggressions of despotic power have been always the most efficient in States where domestic slavery was to prevail."
James H. Hammond, Congressman from South Carolina: "Sir, I do firmly believe that domestic slavery, regulated as ours is, produces the highest toned, the purest, best organization of society that has ever existed on the face of the earth."

Opinions are fine Robert - documentation is better.
Brave men - evil cause.

tompritchett
04-24-2007, 08:19 AM
My copy of the Secessionist Commissioners was lost in a fire at a the house of a member of my former unit to whom I had lent my copy. However, I do remember that, in addition to the specific references about the abolition to slavery along the lines that you quoted above, there were numerous references to the fact that the Northerners would be requiring that Southern whites treat the black man as their equals, something that the South should rigorously resist. Both factors are ugly and both factors played a major function selling the idea of secession to the majority of Southerners who would vote in support of their politicians decisions to secede, at least in those states where the ordinances of secession had to voted on in a general referendum. The slavery issue hit the point for the slaveholders while the equal treatment of blacks hit the point for Southerners who were too poor to have slaves. We all know how strong this resistance to treating blacks as the legal and societal equal of the Southern white truly was, as it was not effectively erased until the latter portion of the 20th Century. Residues of this resistance can still be detected in older generation Southerners when you bring up the subjects of inter-racial dating, inter-racial marraige, and children of mixed races, especially the idea of it happening in their own families.

toptimlrd
04-24-2007, 10:04 AM
Peter,

We've discussed this before and you and I agre on the topic of slavery but the motivation behind this was afear of the change in their way of life. Fear was truly the motivating factor. We also must be careful not to look at the past through the prism of modern knowledge otherwise we will have to lump everybody prior to 1861 in the evil column and I'm not quite ready to put Washington, Jefferson, and Adams there. We still have the American flag which flew over that institution, why? Because America changed its position as has the South. Like I said you would be hard pressed to find any REASONABLE person who still holds on to those ideals that were espoused by the leaders of the Confederacy. Lincoln himself had severe reservations about freeing slaves or treating blacks equally so was he that much different than the Southern poiticians? The whole slavery issue ended up being a political pawn in the war and was expertly used by Lincoln to win the war much like the battle in Iraq has become a political chip today. Hindsight is always 20 / 20 what you have to ask yourself is what woud a reasonable person of 1861 be thinking. Had you or I been alive in 1861 we would probably had a much different perspective than we do today, 140 years from now our collective perspective will also be much different than it is now. Hopefully some future future generation doesn't pick up on one tenant of our lives today and broad brush our way of life as "evil". Take this example, let's say in the next 50 years PETA gets their way and institutes the collective sensibility that raising animals for food is as bad as owning slaves, another 100 years past and on some discussion group they are arguing whether or not we were an evil people for actually slaughtering animals for consumption and call us barbaric then call for the removal of monuments or articles that represent us because of this one issue. This is exactly what ThumbStall has suggested in the case of our Confederate ancestors and the bandwagon that you are dangerously close to jumping on. Lee himself was probably one of the more forward thinking leaders of his time and he wrestled with the morality of slave holding, I believe that manyothers were of a similar mind. Lee joined the Confederacy not because of slavery but because he felt that his home was threatened which I also believe MOST southerners also believed.

Malingerer
04-24-2007, 11:02 AM
Peter,

We've discussed this before and you and I agre on the topic of slavery but the motivation behind this was afear of the change in their way of life. Fear was truly the motivating factor. We also must be careful not to look at the past through the prism of modern knowledge otherwise we will have to lump everybody prior to 1861 in the evil column and I'm not quite ready to put Washington, Jefferson, and Adams there. We still have the American flag which flew over that institution, why? Because America changed its position as has the South. Like I said you would be hard pressed to find any REASONABLE person who still holds on to those ideals that were espoused by the leaders of the Confederacy. Lincoln himself had severe reservations about freeing slaves or treating blacks equally so was he that much different than the Southern poiticians? The whole slavery issue ended up being a political pawn in the war and was expertly used by Lincoln to win the war much like the battle in Iraq has become a political chip today. Hindsight is always 20 / 20 what you have to ask yourself is what woud a reasonable person of 1861 be thinking. Had you or I been alive in 1861 we would probably had a much different perspective than we do today, 140 years from now our collective perspective will also be much different than it is now. Hopefully some future future generation doesn't pick up on one tenant of our lives today and broad brush our way of life as "evil". Take this example, let's say in the next 50 years PETA gets their way and institutes the collective sensibility that raising animals for food is as bad as owning slaves, another 100 years past and on some discussion group they are arguing whether or not we were an evil people for actually slaughtering animals for consumption and call us barbaric then call for the removal of monuments or articles that represent us because of this one issue. This is exactly what ThumbStall has suggested in the case of our Confederate ancestors and the bandwagon that you are dangerously close to jumping on. Lee himself was probably one of the more forward thinking leaders of his time and he wrestled with the morality of slave holding, I believe that manyothers were of a similar mind. Lee joined the Confederacy not because of slavery but because he felt that his home was threatened which I also believe MOST southerners also believed.
Robert,
Apparently hindsight isn't 'always 20/20'. If it were we would not be having this discussion. The point of my previous post was to give documentation supporting my position that the 'cause' was primarily the defense of slavery. Did you neven bother to read it? These guys didn't beat around the bush about why they were creating the Confederacy. Can you offer any similar evidence that it wasn't created to defend slavery? As to your assertion that we have to view the past from the perspective of our forebearers instead of from the benifit of a modern vantage point, by this reasoning can we view the rise of 1930 European fascism as some sort of reaction to the protection of the aryan way of life instead of the evil we view it as today? I believe it was evil. Period. No defense. No equivocation. Come to that, plenty of people in 19th century America saw slavery as an evil and at the very least wanted to stop the spread of it. Now, as to my jumping on any dangerous bandwagons, you need have no fear there - my great-grandfather served in the 3rd Mississippi and I honor his service. But I do not honor the cause he fought for.

toptimlrd
04-24-2007, 12:19 PM
Robert,
Apparently hindsight isn't 'always 20/20'. If it were we would not be having this discussion. The point of my previous post was to give documentation supporting my position that the 'cause' was primarily the defense of slavery. Did you neven bother to read it? These guys didn't beat around the bush about why they were creating the Confederacy. Can you offer any similar evidence that it wasn't created to defend slavery? As to your assertion that we have to view the past from the perspective of our forebearers instead of from the benifit of a modern vantage point, by this reasoning can we view the rise of 1930 European fascism as some sort of reaction to the protection of the aryan way of life instead of the evil we view it as today? I believe it was evil. Period. No defense. No equivocation. Come to that, plenty of people in 19th century America saw slavery as an evil and at the very least wanted to stop the spread of it. Now, as to my jumping on any dangerous bandwagons, you need have no fear there - my great-grandfather served in the 3rd Mississippi and I honor his service. But I do not honor the cause he fought for.

Peter,

Yes I read it. We agree with the causations and the leaders. I am refering to the rank and file people who lived there at that time. I am responding to the point that everything that honors the men who fought in the confederacy should be torn down. My father fought in the South Pacific in WWII but he harbors no ill feelings towards those he fought against he understands they were doing what they thought was right and were doing the same thing he was....following orders. In fact the Japanese should be proud of the dedication their soldiers showed and the courage they exhibited. In the case of the rise of fascism we held those responsible accountable through war crime trials. As to the rise of fascism we went to war with them based on that, the United States did not enter the Civil War to eradicate slavery huge difference. At the beginning of the war the popular belief on both sides was that slavery was OK, there was the abolitionist minority but they were just starting to get a toe hold. I would agree completely with you had the United States Government stated that slavery was the reason they wanted to hold on the the South. The truth is that Lincoln himself would have left bondage in place if it would have guranteed the preservation of the Union. He was also willing to ship all people of color back to Africa as well. I really do not think he was going to address the slavery issue while in office until the war broke out and even then it was well into the war before he addressed it with the Emancipation Proclamation which really did nothing except change the focus of the war from the rights of states to slavery and managed to guarantee Europe would not recognize the Confederacy in an official capacity.

Do we lump our founding fathers in with evil then? After all they were there with the start of slavery in the USA? Perhaps we should discount everything they did because of the evil of slavery. Or do we do what we should do and look to the good first and learn from their mistakes?

I look to the individuals who fought and the majority had no dog in the hunt when it came to slavery, so why did they take up arms? Tom hit on some of it but it was also due to the feeling of being violated. Now I look to where we were in 1861 and where we are today and I for one am very proud to be a southerner and part of this slightly different culture we have here. Bear in mind Ihad as many family memebers fight for the North as the South (including brothers) so I come from a house truly divided. We can not forget the wrongs of our forefathers but at the same time we should also look to the good. We all have our crosses to bear and slavery is a black mark on all of us not just the Confederacy. To be honest I am very proud of the strides we've made in the short 140 or so years. We (all of us) now are enjoying the freedoms that this country was founded on. There are no longer any real barriers to anyone who wants to excell only those we personally allow to interfere.

So if we are to use slave ownership as the litmus test to determine whether or not to destroy a monument or eradicate it from our collective history I propose we start with Mt. Vernon. I really hope that this is not where we are heading. The men who were behind the Confederacy were not evil men, misguided perhaps but not evil. The institution they supported was evil in hindsight but at the time it was not understood as such. It is unfortunate that we did not have the wisdome then we have today to understand this but alas we did not. I guess where I have a problem with the whole argument is when we try to paint only the South as having the institution when it was existing well before 1861 and in more areas than the south. Once again it seems to be symbolism over substance, popular culture has made it seem that Slavery only existed from 1861 to 1865 and only in the south where reality is completely different and it goes back to the start of our History as a nation. I can not compartmentalize our history quite that neatly: USA always good Confederacy always bad life just isn't that simple. To throw out everything these men died for because of one tenant of their disagreement would lead me to believe that we should probably sill be loyal to England, after all they did away with slavery in 1772. In 1857 the United States had the Dred Scott case which ruled that freed blacks had no more rights than livestock, unfortunately this was the mindset of the time and what the people had been raised to believe. If we hold the leaders of the Confederacy in contempt because of this then we need to hold the same contempt for all of their predecessors. Was our independence from England wrong? Had we remained loyal to the crown slavery would likely have ended sooner based on British law as it had been abolished only four years earlier in England and it could be argued that it would have only been a matter of time before the King's law would have been handed down in the Colonies.

If it makes you feel any better though many of the neo Confederates dislike my stance because I am not a staunch supporter of "the cause". I am simply an amateur historian who tries his best to look at things from the perspective of those who were actually there. After all isn't this the ultimate goal of any living historian? My perspective is tha the war ended over 140 years ago and wht is is what is. It is fruitless to try and refight the war but there is benefit to studying it and understanding it from a myriad of perspectives. It is really too complex to try and sum up in sound bites.

Malingerer
04-24-2007, 12:44 PM
Robert,
With respect, opinions are fine, but scholership is better. Please offer documentation to back your assertions. Any. My point all along was never about denegrationg the efforts of the Confederate soldier, but rather the cause in which they fought.
Speaking of scholership, here's one more quote: From the diary of James B. Lockney, 28th Wisconsin Infantry, writing near Arkadelphia, Arkansas (10/29/63): "Last night I talked awhile to those men who came in day before yesterday from the S.W. part of the state about 120 miles distant. Many of them wish Slavery abolished & slaves out of the country as they said it was the cause of the War, and the Curse of our Country & the foe of the body of the people--the poor whites. They knew the Slave masters got up the war expressly in the interests of the institution, & with no real cause from the Government or the North."
Regards,

toptimlrd
04-24-2007, 02:03 PM
Peter,

So you agree we should remove all the monuments to the Confederate soldiers that Thumbstall asserted we should do? For if not then we are discussing two different things.

As to scholarship I apologize I do not have me reference library with me as I travel and can not cite page and passage for you but I have read numerous letters and diaries that talk about defense of home and disgust at the actions of the US government as their reasons for taking up arms. I had hoped that by now in our many exchanges you understood I work from a background founded in study and research and that I always base my opinions on known facts but I guess not. I also fail to see where anything in my previous post was opinion and not hypothetical consideration based on known facts which I used to argue the opposite assertions and hypotheticals presented in even earlier posts. I also spoke to the US government and their lack of concern at the outset of the war as to the status of the slaves and that their primary goal was preservation of the Union, hopefully I do not need to cite this. Also I believe it was in one of Lincoln's biographies where he admitted that he did not feel that the black was equal to the white but I would have to spend considerable time researching it to find it again. Let me ask this, had the war been only about slavery would Sherman have left those men behind to be recaptured? His mission was not to free slaves but to destroy the ability of the Confederacy to wage war which he did.

This is almost starting to sound like support the troops but not the war nonsense again and I don't want to go there and if this comes down to that I will not be interested in entertaining such a useless debate; I think you know my position on that and there is no need in revisiting that dead horse. Either the men who fought are worth remembering and honoring or they are not, there is no middle ground. If there is absolutely no redeeming quality in what these men stood for then we should not honor them. There is no honor in standing for that which has no redeeming quality. I would like to think though that there was some legitimacy to at least some of the concerns expressed by those who chose to fight this fight.

tompritchett
04-24-2007, 03:26 PM
Also I believe it was in one of Lincoln's biographies where he admitted that he did not feel that the black was equal to the white but I would have to spend considerable time researching it to find it again.

I might add that, before the shots at Fort Sumter forced his hand, Lincoln was actually negotiating by letter with the various governors to try to reunite the states through explicitly legalize slavery via an Amendment to the Constitution. In the past year, his letter to the governor of Florida, a seceded state at the time, was discovered here in a library archives.

goatgirl
04-24-2007, 04:00 PM
The American flag flew over all the horrid slave ships on which many Negroes perished under miserable conditions. Even after the overseas slave trade was legally abolished the United States would not allow British patrol to search their ships for illegal slave traffic. The result was a ship simply hoisted the American flag and under its protection continued their illegal slave trade. (See page 298 of The American Union by James Spence - The Confederate Reprint Company)

During the years Northern States held to slavery, the American flag was flying over them. It also flew when fugitive slaves were captured in the streets of Boston and sent back to bondage. Those who fight to take down the Confederate flag may find the American flag is next in line. It was advocated to come down before there ever was a C.S. flag. The New York Tribune published the following poem in 1854. (page 58-59 of The Logic of History by Stephen D. Carpenter - Confederate Reprint Company)


THE AMERICAN FLAG

All hail the flaunting lie!
The stars look pale and dim;
The stripes are bloody scars--
A lie the vaunting hymn!

It shields a pirate’s deck!
It binds a man in chains!
It yokes the captive’s neck,
And wipes the bloody stains!

Tear down the flaunting lie;
Half-mast the starry flag;
Insult no sunny sky
With hate’s polluted rag!

Destroy it, ye who can;
Deep sink it in the waves!
It bears a fellow man,
To groan with fellow slaves!

Furl, furl the boasted lie!
Till freedom lives again,
To rule once more in truth,
Among untrammeled men!

Roll up the starry sheen,
Conceal its bloody stains,
For in its folds are seen
The stamp of rustling chains!

Bloated_Corpse
04-25-2007, 09:23 AM
The American flag flew over all the horrid slave ships on which many Negroes perished under miserable conditions. Even after the overseas slave trade was legally abolished the United States would not allow British patrol to search their ships for illegal slave traffic. The result was a ship simply hoisted the American flag and under its protection continued their illegal slave trade. (See page 298 of The American Union by James Spence - The Confederate Reprint Company)

During the years Northern States held to slavery, the American flag was flying over them. It also flew when fugitive slaves were captured in the streets of Boston and sent back to bondage. Those who fight to take down the Confederate flag may find the American flag is next in line. It was advocated to come down before there ever was a C.S. flag. The New York Tribune published the following poem in 1854. (page 58-59 of The Logic of History by Stephen D. Carpenter - Confederate Reprint Company)


THE AMERICAN FLAG

All hail the flaunting lie!
The stars look pale and dim;
The stripes are bloody scars--
A lie the vaunting hymn!

It shields a pirate’s deck!
It binds a man in chains!
It yokes the captive’s neck,
And wipes the bloody stains!

Tear down the flaunting lie;
Half-mast the starry flag;
Insult no sunny sky
With hate’s polluted rag!

Destroy it, ye who can;
Deep sink it in the waves!
It bears a fellow man,
To groan with fellow slaves!

Furl, furl the boasted lie!
Till freedom lives again,
To rule once more in truth,
Among untrammeled men!

Roll up the starry sheen,
Conceal its bloody stains,
For in its folds are seen
The stamp of rustling chains!

I hope the FBI has you on their watch list.

tompritchett
04-25-2007, 09:56 AM
I hope the FBI has you on their watch list.

EXCUSE ME???? Frankly, I do not think your comment was funny at all. Goatgirl exercised her right of free speech (something that the 1rst Amendment is supposed to protect, a part of the Constitition that our nation is supposed to be built upon according to the oath of office that every government employee and member of the military takes upon entering service) to voice her opinion that the U.S. flag has the same blood of slavery that the old Confederate battle flags. To illustrate her point, she then posted an historical poem from just before the period that this whole forum is all about. If the posting about history on a forum devoted to history is unAmerican, as implied by your comment, then everyone of us here would qualify for the FBI watchlist by your criteria. Or would she qualify because her view of history does not paint the same lily-white picture that you would like to believe?

As for hoping that an individual has been put on a government watchlist for exercising the very first right explicitly guarateed in our Constitution is your vision of what America is all about, IT SURE THE H*LL IS NOT THE AMERICA THAT I SPENT 15 YEARS OF MY LIFE SERVING AND IT SURE THE H*LL REMINDS ME MORE OF THE SOVIET COMMUNISM THAT I GAVE 6 YEARS OF MY LIFE PROTECTING US FROM DURING THE COLD WAR. Unfortunately, I have been seeing more and more of attitudes such as yours being expressed against those who are exercising their right of free speech and their right to petition the government with their grievances (i.e, publically state that they disagree with an administration's policy, since you appear to me to have trouble translating the language of the Constitution into everyday English). I have even received confirmation of an individual specifically being targetted under the Patriot because of his exercising those First Amendment rights. And frankly, this trend makes me sick to my stomach and somewhat ashamed to be an American and a Republican - as these trends are, IMHO, the antithesis of what it means to be both. At the rate things are going, Dietrich Bonhieffer's famous quote about pre-war Germany might very well become applicable here - something I pray I never live to see.

Malingerer
04-25-2007, 10:25 AM
Tom,
There is no question that the United States government suborned slavery prior to the war (although the fugetive slave law was rammed down the throats of yankees as a result of the passage of the 1850 compromise) - for me that's neither here nor there. The Confederacy was created expressly to support the continued use of slavery. Those of you who really do your research may remember that the establishment of codified slavery was a major stumbling block in the ratification of the constitution and Southern states refused to budge on the issue. Realizing that without the support of the slave states the constitution was doomed, northern states representatives compromised and allowed slavery to become part of the legal framework of the constitution. There is a world of difference between that compromise (made reluctantly) and the creation of the Confederacy.
I would be the last one to argue that the Yankees are particularly clean on this issue - but that was never the point of this thread. The main point here is that state-sponsored displays that celebrate the existence of the Confederacy are a slap in the face to Blacks. The Confederate flages over the state capitols in Columbia and Montgomery wern't flown until the desegregation era - they had little to do with recognizing the sacrifice of Southern fighting men and everything to do with keeping Blacks in their place.
We are reaping the hatred sown by our fathers and grandfathers.
Respects,

tompritchett
04-25-2007, 10:50 AM
Tom,
There is no question that the United States government suborned slavery prior to the war (although the fugetive slave law was rammed down the throats of yankees as a result of the passage of the 1850 compromise) - for me that's neither here nor there. The Confederacy was created expressly to support the continued use of slavery. Those of you who really do your research may remember that the establishment of codified slavery was a major stumbling block in the ratification of the constitution and Southern states refused to budge on the issue. Realizing that without the support of the slave states the constitution was doomed, northern states representatives compromised and allowed slavery to become part of the legal framework of the constitution. There is a world of difference between that compromise (made reluctantly) and the creation of the Confederacy.
I would be the last one to argue that the Yankees are particularly clean on this issue - but that was never the point of this thread. The main point here is that state-sponsored displays that celebrate the existence of the Confederacy are a slap in the face to Blacks. The Confederate flages over the state capitols in Columbia and Montgomery wern't flown until the desegregation era - they had little to do with recognizing the sacrifice of Southern fighting men and everything to do with keeping Blacks in their place.
We are reaping the hatred sown by our fathers and grandfathers.
Respects,


Peter, we do not disagree on all the points you are making. In fact, if you go back and search posts about the flag, you will see me making the same points about the battleflag's association with the modern Southern resistance to the Civil Rights reforms.

My whole issue with the post, to which I was responding, was his statement that he hoped that goatgirl was on someone's terrorist watch list for having an opinion that differed from his about the U.S. flag. To me the U.S. flag represents all that is to be an American - a citizen whose nation is built upon a Constitution that we actually respect and apply. Most people do not realize that the old Soviet Union also had a Constitution and its people had rights on paper that did not differ that much from our. The key difference between our two nations was that our rights were respected and protected by the State. In the USSR, all their right were just on paper and nothing more. When our government and our people are no longer willing to respect and protect what is on that paper, we are the road to becoming another USSR. Yes, if we have not gotten too far down that road, we can always come back to what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote the Constitution. In fact, throughout our nation's history, there have been times when we have started down that road (e.g., Civil War, WWII for Japanesse-Americans, etc.), changed directions, and found our way back. However, history also teachs us that once a nation starts down that road, it is also possible for it to become very difficult to turn back as the highway has become overgrown through neglect and the way back may be difficult to find again. Look what happened in Germany prior to WWII and what appears to be happening in modern day Russia now.

goatgirl
04-26-2007, 08:36 AM
I hope the FBI has you on their watch list.

Mr. Bill Carey,

I cannot understand why you would say that. Perhaps you missed the point of my post. My statements were historical facts. I did not write the poem about the American Flag. It was published in the North by a Northerner and Abolitionist in Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune in 1854.

My point is after the Confederate flag is banished and they no longer have the C.S. flag to keep them occupied, these people could turn their attention to the American flag and demand it come down. And if that happens, the Indians may join the crusade then, for they were terribly treated under the United States flag.

It has really already started. The name of Washington, American’s first president, has already been taken off of at least one school because he was a slave holder. (See Joe Fallon’s “Attacking the Confederate Battle Flag” http://www.vdare.com/fallon/confederate.htm ). First it was Jefferson Davis, then George Washington. Now it is the C.S. flag, likely it will next be the U.S. flag.

In the last four paragraphs of Mr. Fallon’s article he warns folks not to “dismiss the idea that ‘the Stars and Stripes’ could be banned." The October 2006 issue of the Civil War Courier published “Crisis in the classroom” an account of a teacher who set fire to two American flags in social studies classrooms. While his motives were reported not clearly known, whatever his reasons were, it is doubtful it came from affection to the American flag.


EXCUSE ME???? Frankly, I do not think your comment was funny at all. Goatgirl exercised her right of free speech (something that the 1rst Amendment is supposed to protect, a part of the Constitition that our nation is supposed to be built upon according to the oath of office that every government employee and member of the military takes upon entering service) to voice her opinion that the U.S. flag has the same blood of slavery that the old Confederate battle flags. To illustrate her point, she then posted an historical poem from just before the period that this whole forum is all about. If the posting about history on a forum devoted to history is unAmerican, as implied by your comment, then everyone of us here would qualify for the FBI watchlist by your criteria. Or would she qualify because her view of history does not paint the same lily-white picture that you would like to believe?

Mr. Thomas Pritchett,

Thank you for your post. Many people have referenced the fact if we would study the past we could learn for the future. That poem from the past was posted as a lesson for the future.

Today is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia. “I salute the Confederate flag with affection, reverence, and undying remembrance.” - UDC

Respectfully,
Nicole

Bloated_Corpse
04-26-2007, 09:50 AM
Allow me to exercise my freedom of speech:

The confederate rag is a symbol of treason against the United States of America. It should be hauled down and trampled in the mud once and for all time as it should have been at the end of the war. It should never have been allowed to fly again. I consider anyone who flies it to be a traitor to the U.S. and I sincerely hope the FBI is keeping tabs on those of yoou who do fly it and support it.

No joke. I really mean it.

tompritchett
04-26-2007, 11:51 AM
Allow me to exercise my freedom of speech:

The confederate rag is a symbol of treason against the United States of America. It should be hauled down and trampled in the mud once and for all time as it should have been at the end of the war. It should never have been allowed to fly again. I consider anyone who flies it to be a traitor to the U.S. and I sincerely hope the FBI is keeping tabs on those of yoou who do fly it and support it.

No joke. I really mean it.

Yes, like the advocates of the "Lost Cause", I respect your right to express your opinion, hopefully without popping up on someone's watch list. However, like much of the garbage masquerading as history spouted by some neo-confederate, lost causes, that does not mean that I have to respect it. And by the way, I saw nothing in goatgirl's post that would classify her as either a lost causer or a neo-Confederate.

As far as your statement that flying the Confederate flag automatically makes one a traitor to the U.S., I am sure that there are plenty of people here who have flown the flag, either out of pride of their heritage or as a reenactor, who have worn gray many a time in honor of those who unsuccessfully fought to remain independent from the government in DC at the time, AND WHO HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY IN DEFENDING HER FROM ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC - willing to do so with their lifes if necessay. I would be very careful making blanket accusations of people being traitors. I wear gray at reenactments, I have flown a Confederate flag in the past, and I have served this country both in the military and as a civilian employee. I have nothing to prove to anyone regarding my loyality to this nation and the Constitution on which it stands. However, since you have effectively called many members of this forum traitors, what have you done in service to our nation?

Malingerer
04-26-2007, 01:48 PM
I have to confess that one of the joys of reeacting the French and Indian War is that the passions run a bit cooler. One rarely hears phrases like: "my great- great-grandpappy would roll over in his grave if he saw me donning a white justacorps" or "we must defend our french heritage from the PC anglophiles who would rob us of our past". I have often thought that a somewhat more dispassionate approach to the WBTS my improve the level of scholership and our understanding of this conflict.
Cheers,

bill watson
04-26-2007, 01:56 PM
Although it certainly is interesting to see someone take the kind of unforgiving tone on behalf of the Union that we are far more used to seeing displayed on behalf of the Confederate side of things. The effects should be even more interesting.

Oh, and a quick footnote: There's no First Amendment right protecting anyone in an internet forum. The First Amendment protects you against government interference. It doesn't protect you if the bartender decides someone is bringing down the tone of the place with hard talk, and throws them out the swinging doors into the street. Forum moderators are not the government. Sometimes they're more like the bouncers at a private club.

Greg Deese
04-26-2007, 02:03 PM
All of these so-called arguments against the flag memoirial are pandering to the PC crowd pure and simple, you will always find something in our collective history that's embarassing or disgraceful. US or CS.

I aksed for help in defending our flag and monument, a majority of South Carolinians want the flag displayed in it's current setting. The legislators and governor will not present the issue on a voter referendum for a constitutional amendment, they know that such a vote would win. I don't want to re-fight the war, nor I do I feel any obligation to build a monument to any other soldiers, Union or African. They have plenty of regular reognition already in our schools, National Parks, State Parks, Public TV, Colleges and other media outlets.

Neither The State newspaper, liberals, the NAACP or these sell-out corporations are going to dictate what is good for SC. We still own the state. If that is offensive to you then I am really not sorry. I won't apologize for the actions of my ancestors, I have no authority to do so. I will honor their bravery and sacrifice. If you believe in freedom then let us keep our memorial flag flying, if you believe in the tyranny of the wacko politically correct, then stay away from South Carolina and me.

Robert A Mosher
04-26-2007, 02:05 PM
I have to confess that one of the joys of reeacting the French and Indian War is that the passions run a bit cooler. One rarely hears phrases like: "my great- great-grandpappy would roll over in his grave if he saw me donning a white justacorps" or "we must defend our french heritage from the PC anglophiles who would rob us of our past". I have often thought that a somewhat more dispassionate approach to the WBTS my improve the level of scholership and our understanding of this conflict.
Cheers,

Of course, I suspect after visiting there that you would find the people in Quebec a bit more sensitive on the subject. After all, their auto license plates carry the motto "Je m'en souvien" - essentially "I remember" - a line that has always led me to wonder why Ontario license plates don't respond, "J'ai oublie" - "I forgot."

Robert A. Mosher

jat
04-26-2007, 02:23 PM
I say if they are trying to hide the history then they are going to most likely encourage the repeating of history. I also say they should be placed in a indepth civil war college class and battle in 100 degree heat with high humidity.

jat
04-26-2007, 02:25 PM
I say those people shoul reenact in 100 deegre heat.

tompritchett
04-27-2007, 02:14 PM
Greg & Peter, you are both lucky that I do not have moderator authority in this conference because, if I had such, your most recent posts definitely would have been pulled. As it, an Alert has been sent. I would suggest that both of you back off this spat as, if you continue, it may be even worse for you once the Provost or SGT_Pepper checks out the Alert.

Micah Trent
04-28-2007, 06:02 PM
After reading what I just read here, all I can say is that this is sad. This turned into a pissing contest quicker then the usual "us vs. them". Tom, what you wrote was excellent and my hats off to you! Thank you.

Greg Deese
04-28-2007, 06:53 PM
Sorry about that Tom.

As to the CMD in Augusta today, 25 rifles showed up with another 60 participants. This was without any media or mass advertisement. We marched from the Berry Benson monument to Magnolia Cemetery. The event was conducted by the General E. Porter Alexander, Sons of Confederate Veterans camp #158. Augusta, Georgia took down the Confederate flag off their River Walk in September, 2004. The flag had been there over 20 years,

http://www.eporteralexander.homestead.com/

Just so you know:

1. There was no politics of any sort at the ceremony, no talk of modern secession, racial politics etc. etc.

2. The U.S. flag was on hand and the Pledge of Allegiance was read.

3. All graves were decorated, both Union and Confederate. The Union graves had new U.S. flags. Veterans of all eras were saluted.

If anyone needs to be banned from this "Civil War" forum, it's those members that talk of banning appropriate, historical and memorial displays of the Confederate flag. Also labeling fellow reenactors as "traitors", insulting and threatening them with "FBI" watch lists or demanding the tearing down of Confederate monuments, goes against the entire purpose and spirit for the preservation of history and CW reenacting.

You have my word that I will no longer engage in those types of attacks, however; you really need to examine the bomb throwers that invaded this thread with their hatred, should they be allowed to continue on this forum?

Sincerely,

Greg Deese

Wounded_Zouave
04-30-2007, 07:57 AM
3. All graves were decorated, both Union and Confederate. The Union graves had new U.S. flags. Veterans of all eras were saluted.

Question: Were the CS soldier graves decroated with both the CS battleflag and the current 50-star United States flag? If not, why?

If not, then I would say that there were indeed neo-confederate politics involved in your cemeremony.

Now, you may ask, why on earth would you want to decorate CS graves with both CS and US flags? Because that is the nature of reconciliation. There is even an historic presendent for it. I direct your attention to the book "This Great Battlefield of Shiloh" by Tim Smith which contains a period photograph of one of the CS mass graves on that field. No CS flags in site. The grave is decrated with U.S. flags.


I must admit I get a bit rankled when I see CS flags only on CS graves. It suggests to me that the person or persons who put them there are neo-confederates with a secessionist agenda who hate the U.S.

When I see the CS Naval Jack over the graves of CS infantry/artillerymen instead of the CS battleflag that would seem to indicate that the person or persons who put them there either don't know the difference, don't care, or, more than likely, they prefer the rectangular naval jack because it is the flag that is most closely assoicated with the KKK and neo-secessionist politics.

tompritchett
04-30-2007, 08:23 AM
If anyone needs to be banned from this "Civil War" forum, it's those members that talk of banning appropriate, historical and memorial displays of the Confederate flag. Also labeling fellow reenactors as "traitors", insulting and threatening them with "FBI" watch lists or demanding the tearing down of Confederate monuments, goes against the entire purpose and spirit for the preservation of history and CW reenacting.

You have my word that I will no longer engage in those types of attacks, however; you really need to examine the bomb throwers that invaded this thread with their hatred, should they be allowed to continue on this forum?

Unfortunately, the same rights that allow us to display the Confederate flag to honor those brave men also protect those who want to throw the anti-flag bombs filled with their hatred. If I had moderator authority here, I would have deleted the post that called everyone flying a flag a "traitor" for being inflamatory and outside the forum guidelines. Not having that authority, I instead directly challenged the logic of his statements first be citing the Constitution (watch-list post) and then be reminding him that many of the posters here that do fly the flag and wear gray to honor the Confederate soldier have actually served our country in uniform (traitor post). You might notice that he never responded back when I asked him how he had proved his loyality to our country through actual service either as a civilian employee or a member of the armed services. In both cases, I was infuriated by the very gall of his posts but was able to communicate it in a respectful manner.

As far as the individual who made those posts, I did go back and look at all of his previous posts. These two were the only two that I would consider inflamatory. Based upon that, I am currently assuming that the flag is just an issue that he has hard feelings about rather than he is a troll that is looking to stir up trouble. But then future posts could cause me to re-evaluate that opinion.

hanktrent
04-30-2007, 08:30 AM
I must admit I get a bit rankled when I see CS flags only on CS graves. It suggests to me that the person or persons who put them there are neo-confederates with a secessionist agenda who hate the U.S.

LOL! When I lived closer, I used to put a Confederate flag on the grave of my veteran ancestor. It never occured to me to put a US flag there too, anymore than it would occur to me to put a CS flag on a US Civil War veteran's grave to symbolize reconciliation. I put it there because it was the flag he fought under. Period.


When I see the CS Naval Jack over the graves of CS infantry/artillerymen instead of the CS battleflag that would seem to indicate that the person or persons who put them there either don't know the difference, don't care, or, more than likely, they prefer the rectangular naval jack because it is the flag that is most closely assoicated with the KKK and neo-secessionist politics.

Or because it's danged hard to find anything else in the local flag stores, and there's a certain point where it's just not worth putting any more money or effort into finding something else. So I guess I'd be in the category of "don't care." Probably the same reason that you see more 50-star flags over US Civil War veterans' graves than 35-star flags.

But this points up the problem with symbolic acts. When you do symbolic things, the message is coded, so everybody can read it differently and claim they're right.

I can say, face to face, in plain English, that I'm not pro-secession or pro the neo-Confederate movement, and you can believe or disbelieve me, but there's no question about what message I'm trying to convey. But unknown to me, by performing a symbolic act that I thought was merely marking a grave, I would have been accused of "saying" I was a neo-Confederate. What nonsense. That's why I gave up the cemetery stuff and the symbolic acts long ago, and just rely on the spoken word, and living history.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
04-30-2007, 09:11 AM
Or because it's danged hard to find anything else in the local flag stores, and there's a certain point where it's just not worth putting any more money or effort into finding something else. So I guess I'd be in the category of "don't care." Probably the same reason that you see more 50-star flags over US Civil War veterans' graves than 35-star flags.

But this points up the problem with symbolic acts. When you do symbolic things, the message is coded, so everybody can read it differently and claim they're right.

Two excellent points Hank.

Micah Trent
04-30-2007, 05:02 PM
Probably the same reason that you see more 50-star flags over US Civil War veterans' graves than 35-star flags.

It is funny that you mentioned that. We had that discussion a while back at at SUV meeting, that being how nice it would be to have the 35 star flag to place on monuments and graves of US CW veterans. We learned that they are out there, and you can get them, but you are going to pay quite a bit, mainly because there is no large demand for them. Cheaper to go with the 50 star flag and go with it. Personally, I would love to see the 35 star flag at monuments and grave sites, but that's just me.

Greg Deese
04-30-2007, 06:22 PM
Cyrus,

The SCV has been maintaining the graves, it was CONFEDERATE memorial day, not the regular Memorial day for all U.S. veterans. The Union graves were decorated out of respect, why isn't that enough?

Otherwise the SCV can place any decoration they want on the graves, if you want to libel them as Neo-Confederates, then there is nothing else we can do that would please you.

Greg Deese

HighPrvt
05-08-2007, 06:09 PM
When I see the CS Naval Jack over the graves of CS infantry/artillerymen instead of the CS battleflag that would seem to indicate that the person or persons who put them there either don't know the difference, don't care, or, more than likely, they prefer the rectangular naval jack because it is the flag that is most closely assoicated with the KKK and neo-secessionist politics.


Uhhh,

I'm guessing you haven't seen many AOT flags, have you??
Take a look in Echoes of Glory-Confederate. There were plenty of rectangular battle flags!

reb64
05-09-2007, 09:09 PM
CS flag defenders would not be stereotyped as "under-educated men who still like to play dress-up and run around with giant cap guns playing war" if they presented a more historically accurate image of the war, and I don't mean losing weight or getting a degree. Defense of the cs flag is seen as exclusionary at the expense of others, particulary African-Americans. Sorry to say that, but that is the way the world views it.

Last year I heard a white southerner say within earshot of a U.S. Nat'l Cemetery that "those dirty yankees over there should be dug up and sent back north where they belong." Until white southerns stop saying this kind of nonsense about American soldiers who fought and died under the Stars and Stripes, I will have no sympathy for flying the cs flag anywhere on public property. And yes, I know that not all white southerners are like that, but I've come to dread discussing the Civil War with any white person when I travel in the south because 90% of the time similar crap like this comes out of their mouths.

And, for the record, I'm a white southerner and I'm not "politically correct" either.

ditto, we hear likewise too from northerners , so whos gonna be the bigger man?

reb64
05-09-2007, 09:15 PM
[QUOTE=hanktrent]LOL! When I lived closer, I used to put a Confederate flag on the grave of my veteran ancestor. It never occured to me to put a US flag there too, anymore than it would occur to me to put a CS flag on a US Civil War veteran's grave to symbolize reconciliation. I put it there because it was the flag he fought under. Period.



I too have put flags out but i often thought about he veterans, would they have wanted cs, us or both or none? i guess the choice is more for us than them, the important thing is the rememberance.

reb64
05-09-2007, 09:28 PM
Allow me to exercise my freedom of speech:

The confederate rag is a symbol of treason against the United States of America. It should be hauled down and trampled in the mud once and for all time as it should have been at the end of the war. It should never have been allowed to fly again. I consider anyone who flies it to be a traitor to the U.S. and I sincerely hope the FBI is keeping tabs on those of yoou who do fly it and support it.

No joke. I really mean it.

not meaning to get personal, but your opinion is scarey, its borderline facist and so period yankee toned. you would do fine in the 1861 capitol. your opinions are also contrary to reenacting, the suv, or scv. you do know the US colonel in vietnam from "we were soldiers" recent movie, flew that flag proudly ? hes a traitor? how about audie murphy? he wa good ol reb too. i uess the us flag would be treasonous too if we had lost the revolution. it was considered treasonous by many colonists and the brits.

sbl
05-10-2007, 04:22 AM
Reb,

There are several Confederate veterans buried around Essex County here in Massachusetts. Their graves are well kept and honored with CSA flags. There is also a memorial to the Confederates who died in Ft. Warren in Boston harbor.

Sgt_Pepper
05-10-2007, 09:34 PM
The next scatological reference will earn the utterer two days in the cooler.

This means if you say "crap" again, you'll have 48 hours to think about doing it again and earning a longer time out.

bob 125th nysvi
05-11-2007, 12:08 PM
That you certainly have the right to have and state you're opinion the following comment


My point is after the Confederate flag is banished and they no longer have the C.S. flag to keep them occupied, these people could turn their attention to the American flag and demand it come down. And if that happens, the Indians may join the crusade then, for they were terribly treated under the United States flag.

does not tread water BECAUSE it was forces fighting under the flag of the United States that settled the slavery question once and for all to the determint of slavery.

It is of course true that many northern capitalists benefited and profited by the existance of slavery and the 'trade'. And they did so legally (or when caught doing illegally suffered the consquences).

However, when laws changed they also changed to conform to the laws and DID NOT attempt to sunder the Union. And that is the difference.

Considering the way the courts had been ruling recently the South would have stood a better chance of continuing slavery or at least mitigating the effects of its termination by staying in the Union.

However the leadership deluded themselves for a number of very complicated reasons into believing they would not only get their way but if it came to blows prevale.

Their desire to not only preserve but expand the status quo (upon which their economic and political power was based) is understandable but their miscalcualtions were almost criminal in scope.

reb64
05-11-2007, 05:52 PM
[QUOTE=bob 125th nysvi]
does not tread water BECAUSE it was forces fighting under the flag of the United States that settled the slavery question once and for all to the determint of slavery.


excuse me, but wasn't slavery still not settled by wars end? did't it take a illegal act of congres?

goatgirl
05-12-2007, 06:28 AM
Mr. Bob Sandusky,

It is appreciated you expressed your disagreement politely.


While I Think
That you certainly have the right to have and state you're opinion the following comment

Originally Posted by goatgirl
"My point is after the Confederate flag is banished and they no longer have the C.S. flag to keep them occupied, these people could turn their attention to the American flag and demand it come down. And if that happens, the Indians may join the crusade then, for they were terribly treated under the United States flag."

does not tread water BECAUSE it was forces fighting under the flag of the United States that settled the slavery question once and for all to the determint of slavery.

While you may think so, there are others who do not. The titles of Stanley K. Lott’s (a black gentleman) books - The American Flag is the Real Slave Flag and Slavery and the U.S. Government, reveal another point of view. S. K. Lott is not advocating the down hauling of the US flag or the CS flag. http://www.millersservices.com/lott/lott.htm

There are those who are not like S. K. Lott. They are advocating the C.S. flag to come down and will not be content to let the past of slavery die even then. These are the kind of people Booker T. Washington spoke of: “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

I was giving a warning to those who cherish the US flag but want the CS flag gone due to its connection with slavery. There is more at stake than some think. Who would have ever thought George Washington would have been assailed as he has been? Some people think anything that has ever had any tint of slavery must be defamed. Well, the American flag has an undeniable tint of slavery - you know how to apply it.



Considering the way the courts had been ruling recently the South would have stood a better chance of continuing slavery or at least mitigating the effects of its termination by staying in the Union.

Thus, slavery would have continued right on being protected under the American flag.

And there is still the Indians who were cheated, betrayed and mercilessly slaughtered by “forces fighting under the flag of the United States.”

Respectfully,
Nicole

"Doc" Nelson
05-12-2007, 04:38 PM
I think this is intersting . . since we're on the "topic" of slavery. Let's look at a couple of statements from a Union General and, the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln himself.

"Executive Mansion,
Washington, August 22, 1862.

Hon. Horace Greeley:
Dear Sir.

I have just read yours of the 19th. addressed to myself through the New-York Tribune. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which I may know to be erroneous, I do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which I may believe to be falsely drawn, I do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable [sic] in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, I waive it in deference to an old friend, whose heart I have always supposed to be right.

As to the policy I "seem to be pursuing" as you say, I have not meant to leave any one in doubt.

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.

Yours,
A. Lincoln."



This was Lincoln's response to rumors spread about by Stephen Douglas, during Lincoln's debate with him in 1858. Lincoln stated:

"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people. I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."



Here is a private letter written by Major General William T. Sherman to, Major General Henry Halleck, September 14, 1864:

"I hope anything I may have said or done will not be construed as unfriendly to Mr. Lincoln or Stanton. That negro letter of mine I never designed for publication, but I am honest in my belief that it is not fair to our men to count negroes as equals. Cannot we at this day drop theories, and be reasonable men? Let us capture negroes, of course, and use them to the best advantage. My quartermaster now could give employment to 3,200, and relieve that number of soldiers who are now used to unload and dispatch trains, whereas those recruiting agents take them back to Nashville, where, so far as my experience goes, they disappear. When I call for expeditions at distant pints, the answer invariable comes they have not sufficient troops. All count the negroes out. On the Mississippi, where Thomas talked about 100,000 negro troops, I find I cannot draw away a white soldier because they are indispensable to the safety of the river. I am willing to use them as far as possible, but object to fighting with 'paper' men. Occasionally an exception occurs, which simply deceives. We want the best young white men of the land, and they should be inspired with the pride of freemen to fight for their county. If Mr. Lincoln or Stanton could walk through the camps of this army and hear the soldiers talk they would hear new ideas. I have had the question put to me often: 'is not a negro as good as a white man to stop a ballot?' Yes, and a sand bag is better; but can a negro do our skirmishing and picket duty? Can they improvise roads, bridges, sorties, flank movements, &c., like the white man? I say no. Soldiers must and do many things without orders from their own sense, as in sentinels. Negroes are not equal to this. I have gone steadily, firmly, and confidently along, and I could not have done it with black troops, but with my old troops I have never felt a waver of doubt, and that very confidence begets success. . . ."


Yes, slavery was ugly. But, was it not instituted before the War? Since it was instituted before the War . . I believe it was instituted under the AMERICAN FLAG. So, why is the Confederate Flag the only one associated with the institution of slavery? And yes, reb64, you are correct. It did take an act of Congress to abolish it. It is the 13th Amendment, which "officialy" abolished slavery, being ratified in December 1865. Hmmm . . interesting to see that slavery was still, technically, legal throughout the US during the entire length of the War. Not just those "rebellious states".

goatgirl
05-12-2007, 07:51 PM
Excellent post Mr. Nelson!

"Doc" Nelson
05-12-2007, 09:47 PM
Allow me to exercise my freedom of speech:

The confederate rag is a symbol of treason against the United States of America. It should be hauled down and trampled in the mud once and for all time as it should have been at the end of the war. It should never have been allowed to fly again. I consider anyone who flies it to be a traitor to the U.S. and I sincerely hope the FBI is keeping tabs on those of yoou who do fly it and support it.

No joke. I really mean it.
Mr. Carey,
Treason . . what about treason to the Native peoples of this Country? What about the Native Americans? Do you think WE have the right to this Country in the first place? Did our European ancestors not come over here and take the Native American's land and burn their homes in the first place? And, to top it off, they were "relocated" in another territory (whether it was a State or another region of the Country), the Federal Government put up a fence or, marked an area and called it a reservation. You want a TRUE AMERICAN, look to a Native American. And yes, I am proud of my Native heritage. And yes, my ancestor was a Confederate Officer and, Cherokee. So, with me stating that outloud, should that mean the FBI needs to put me in jail for treason? You need to read up on the "Trail of Tears", then you'll understand why I get upset when people like you, bicker and complain about the "rights" of citizens of this Country. About who has what right to do whatever. My ancestors were forced from their homes, by the US Congress. Had to walk 1,000 miles, of which many Men, Women and Children died along the way. And we (people of Native blood) are suppose to be "OK" with this?

bob 125th nysvi
05-13-2007, 09:18 AM
And there is still the Indians who were cheated, betrayed and mercilessly slaughtered by “forces fighting under the flag of the United States.”

can ask for the removal of the American Flag AFTER the Iroquis appologize to any Alqonquin desendents (if they can find any) for wiping them out.

The Pequoit apologize to ALL the tribes in what is now MA for dominating them for years before the English showed up.

And the 'Apache' apologize to all the surrounding tribes for being able to acquire the nickname by which we know them 'Apache' which is one of the native languages (I think Comanche) for enemy.

And EVERYBODY in the SW apoligize to the Hopi's for raiding them so often that they had to develop a residence that had no openings on the first floor to prevent break ins.

I can go on and on. The natives, like in all cultures, those who were powerful took what they wanted from the less powerful. It is the cycle of the vast majority of cultures in human existance.

That the natives lost out to the European colonists of this continent is really no different (except for scale) from what they were doing to each other before we arrive.

Let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

bob 125th nysvi
05-13-2007, 09:31 AM
Thus, slavery would have continued right on being protected under the American flag.


and totally true however a little prespective here.

The largest slave holder in Lousiana before the war was of African descent. The Cherokees owned slaves. In the colonial period there were white slave (NOT indentured servants) in America.

Slavery didn't start to become illegal in European cultures till after 1800, so the US was a little behind but not signifcantly behind other countries at the time. And in reality it was the Birtish who forced the rest of the world into line by militarily intervening in the slave trade.

The African slave trade existed for 2000 years (minimum) prior to the 'finding' of the new world and officially tolerated slave camps existed in Africa until at least 1906. And they were RUN and SUPPLIED by other Africans.

So the whole argument about slavery in America rides on a couple of misconceptions. It was illegal (wasn't until after the war), that it was unique, that slavery somehow magically ended in the world with the CW and that Western Cultures were responsible for it.

In fact slavery was a world wide institution both before and after the CW. That it was Africans enslaving other Africans (with Western/Arabic cultures providing the economic motive to be sure). That Africans CONTINUED to enslave other Africans once the Europeans were no longer interested. And that it took western military intervention (ala Sudan) to finally force slavery and slave trading underground.

tompritchett
05-13-2007, 10:04 AM
Bob, I think that you are missing Goatgirl's main point. Reread the following paragraphs from her post:

While you may think so, there are others who do not. The titles of Stanley K. Lott’s (a black gentleman) books - The American Flag is the Real Slave Flag and Slavery and the U.S. Government, reveal another point of view. S. K. Lott is not advocating the down hauling of the US flag or the CS flag. http://www.millersservices.com/lott/lott.htm

There are those who are not like S. K. Lott. They are advocating the C.S. flag to come down and will not be content to let the past of slavery die even then. These are the kind of people Booker T. Washington spoke of: “There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs -- partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”

I was giving a warning to those who cherish the US flag but want the CS flag gone due to its connection with slavery. There is more at stake than some think. Who would have ever thought George Washington would have been assailed as he has been? Some people think anything that has ever had any tint of slavery must be defamed. Well, the American flag has an undeniable tint of slavery - you know how to apply it.

Her point was that everyone was indeed guilty as your two posts so clearly indicate. However, as she was pointing out, there are some in this society who only want to focus on the South's and the White man's role in promoting and maintaining slavery rather than let the wounds of the past heal. I will never forget when the Rev. Al Sharpton encouraged and supported a young black woman in NY to commit perjury in rape allegations that almost set off race roits in NYC - all so that Al Sharpton could bask in the light. (I suspect the only reason that formal charges were not filed against him is that everyone realized that even a successful conviction would only make him a martyr and thus increase his political clout and generally make the situation even worse.) I will also never forget when the NPS was renovating the pavalion for the Liberty Bell in Philly, the activists were trying to force (successfully I believe) the inclusion of an exhibit that indicated the evils of slavery and that most of our nation's Founding Fathers were also slave holders and, thus, tainted by that evil.

Yes, slavery was evil. Yes, everyone had blood on their hands. Yes, the first seven states seceded to preserve the institution and to avoid the possiblity of having to treat blacks as political equals as was being advocated by the most radical abolitionists (boy, did the South misread both Lincoln and the sentiment of the majority of Northerners on that particular issue). Yes, the South was the last bastion in the U.S. of state sponsored, institutionalized racism against the blacks, although non-institutionalized racism still permeated throughout much of our society at the same time. And, yes the Confederate flag has additional negative baggage tied to it from its use as a rallying symbol in the South for open and underground opposition to the Civil Right Reforms of the past century.

Now, having agreed to all that, can we in this nation let wounds heal and get on with our lives. The danger of always picking open wounds is that they can become infected and spread poison throughout the rest of the body.

Micah Trent
05-13-2007, 06:40 PM
Now, having agreed to all that, can we in this nation let wounds heal and get on with our lives. The danger of always picking open wounds is that they can become infected and spread poison throughout the rest of the body.

Tom,
As much as I agree with you, we know that no matter what, some wounds will never heal. The wound from this topic being discussed is one that has left a scar for life on all of America.

tompritchett
05-13-2007, 09:04 PM
As much as I agree with you, we know that no matter what, some wounds will never heal. The wound from this topic being discussed is one that has left a scar for life on all of America.

I agree with you about the scar but do we have to continue refighting these issues time and again making the final scar ultimately worse.

Micah Trent
05-14-2007, 06:58 AM
I agree with you about the scar but do we have to continue refighting these issues time and again making the final scar ultimately worse.

I don't believe we have to continue refighting these issues. It is issues like this that you want to say, "It's all in the past. Let's move on to brighter things." However, there will always be people who will want to bring it up just to stir a pot, because they get some sort of a pleasure watching individuals argue, debate, and get mad. It is as if they feed off that.:-|
I guess a question that could be asked here is, how do you prevent these issues from being fought again?

tompritchett
05-14-2007, 08:48 AM
I guess a question that could be asked here is, how do you prevent these issues from being fought again?

On this forum, by refusing as much as possible to rise to the bait. Frankly, there are some individuals on this forum who I rarely even bother to respond to any more, as I know that whatever I say will go in one ear and out the other. In some cases, I even suspect that there may no longer be any fully functional brain cells between their ears to actually contemplate what they are reading. Rather, their brains appear to be large tape recorders that record over-simplified platitudes fed them from "accepted" sources and then spit them back whenever someone posts something that might have required them to engage those brain cells that they have allowed to atrophy through non-use. When the platitudes fail, they then resort to their weapons of last resort to avoid actual though - name calling.

Then you have the general troublemakers who stir up things because they have a chip on his or her shoulder. The best way to deal with them is to avoid responding to their poisonous posts and let the person hang his or her self by ultimately making fools of themselves. These people are our problems as moderators and it actually makes our life a lot easier here when everyone ignores their venom. It make for much less editting and deletions on our part and, when the individual does indeed, indisputably crosses the line beyond the point where we feel his or her post is worth salvaging, typically the Provost is notified and punitive action is taken. Such troublemakers are routinely discussed in the moderators' conference.

Then there are the true trolls that deliberately stir the pot to watch the fights as a means of entertainment. I think most of those are gone now because we moderators are rarely letting things escalate to the level that they want to see. In addition, we watch for such posters and then let the Provost deal with them. There was one individual who recently made some posts that set off many "troll" alarms, but it now appears that this individual was indeed serious in the opinions that he was expressing.

As for those political troublemakers - ignore them totally. There are certain politicians, The Rev. Al Sharptin, that I ignore totally and will never vote for because of their tendencies in the past to stir the pot so that they can benefit politically.

Micah Trent
05-14-2007, 09:14 AM
Then you have the general troublemakers who stir up things because they have a chip on his or her shoulder. The best way to deal with them is to avoid responding to their poisonous posts and let the person hang his or her self by ultimately making fools of themselves.

As for those political troublemakers - ignore them totally.

Both are good points. I think, however, that no matter how many times we tell oursleves that we are going to just avoid and ignore the comments/opinions being made, we still let it get to us and eventually give in.:-| In some cases, our giving in makes us look worse, because instead of trying to be the better person and responding with an answer that will not lead to futher problems, we intend to respond rather quickly instead of thinking our answers out (slamming or bashing back):evil: ...and it is those answers that add fuel to the fire. Basically because those responses given are ones out of frustration and may I say...ignorance.
I guess the old saying of, "Think before you speak" should be taken into consideration a little more:rolleyes:

tompritchett
05-14-2007, 10:24 AM
I think, however, that no matter how many times we tell oursleves that we are going to just avoid and ignore the comments/opinions being made, we still let it get to us and eventually give in.

LOL Been there and done that. Fortunately, as I have grown older I have found that my impulse control has grown better. Still, there have been times when occassionally I literally just wanted to reach through the keyboard and throttle someone. However, because I am a moderator and have to set the example, I let my reason take over for the most part.

Micah Trent
05-14-2007, 03:24 PM
Still, there have been times when occassionally I literally just wanted to reach through the keyboard and throttle someone.

Haven't we all!:D

goatgirl
05-14-2007, 07:58 PM
Mr. Bob Sandusky,

I think the moderator is right. You might be misunderstanding me.


The Natives can ask for the removal of the American Flag AFTER the Iroquis appologize to any Alqonquin desendents (if they can find any) for wiping them out...

If you think I am in favor of the Indians asking for a removal of the American flag because of the way they were treated, I am not.

toptimlrd
05-14-2007, 08:14 PM
Haven't we all!:D


All the times I've typed a lengthy response then simply deleted it. Sometimes just writing it out without posting can be rather theraputic.

goatgirl
05-14-2007, 08:18 PM
The largest slave holder in Lousiana before the war was of African descent. The Cherokees owned slaves. In the colonial period there were white slave (NOT indentured servants) in America.

Could you please give me some sources on white slavery in the Colonial period? This is an issue I would like to study more.


Slavery didn't start to become illegal in European cultures till after 1800, so the US was a little behind but not signifcantly behind other countries at the time. And in reality it was the Birtish who forced the rest of the world into line by militarily intervening in the slave trade.

The African slave trade existed for 2000 years (minimum) prior to the 'finding' of the new world and officially tolerated slave camps existed in Africa until at least 1906. And they were RUN and SUPPLIED by other Africans.

So the whole argument about slavery in America rides on a couple of misconceptions.

We have no disagreements here.


It was illegal (wasn't until after the war), that it was unique, that slavery somehow magically ended in the world with the CW and that Western Cultures were responsible for it.

I do not understand that sentence.

Respectfully,
Nicole

goatgirl
05-14-2007, 08:37 PM
I will never forget when the Rev. Al Sharpton encouraged and supported a young black woman in NY to commit perjury in rape allegations that almost set off race roits in NYC - all so that Al Sharpton could bask in the light. (I suspect the only reason that formal charges were not filed against him is that everyone realized that even a successful conviction would only make him a martyr and thus increase his political clout and generally make the situation even worse.)...

Now, having agreed to all that, can we in this nation let wounds heal and get on with our lives. The danger of always picking open wounds is that they can become infected and spread poison throughout the rest of the body.


Like Booker T. Washington said, letting wounds heal would cause many people to lose their jobs. Some people want to tie all grievances back to slavery and call everything a racist issue. A newspaper article once claimed the reason many blacks are in prison has to do with the fact their ancestors were slaves. Nobody needs http://bp2.blogger.com/_OufNdUpd4A8/RjV7d8nMtQI/AAAAAAAAAak/C-E3kufUmDE/s1600-h/THE+CARD.jpg

goatgirl
05-14-2007, 08:51 PM
Messers Pritchett and Trent,

Honest discussions can be good. I enjoy learning and if my facts are inaccurate I welcome anyone to correct me providing they display some common courtesy. Nobody appreciates personal cuts, mud-slinging, name calling, and sarcasm. Perhaps the question is how to prevent a discussion from turning into a fight?

Some good quotes:

Use soft words and hard arguments.

A good argument merely sounds like a discussion.

Never argue with a fool. The bystanders may not know which is who.

Respectfully,
Nicole

Micah Trent
05-14-2007, 09:33 PM
All the times I've typed a lengthy response then simply deleted it. Sometimes just writing it out without posting can be rather theraputic.

I too have found myself practicing that method on several ocassions.;)

Micah Trent
05-14-2007, 09:41 PM
Never argue with a fool. The bystanders may not know which is who.
I have heard that before...how true it is!:)

tompritchett
05-15-2007, 07:31 AM
Nobody appreciates personal cuts, mud-slinging, name calling, and sarcasm. Perhaps the question is how to prevent a discussion from turning into a fight?

On this forum, use the Alert button when things turn from a discussion and start turning into a fight. Unfortunately, there is no Alert button for life itself.

bob 125th nysvi
05-16-2007, 10:57 AM
Could you please give me some sources on white slavery in the Colonial period? This is an issue I would like to study more.

now young lady you are asking me to go back into history books that I read well before you were born but I will do my best.

It was pretty early in the colonial period and eventually died out because at some point the Europeans decided it was appropriate to keep white men as slaves.

But as a point of historical reference, white men (and women) were finding themselves sold into slavery during the period of the 'Barbary Wars' (early 1800s) when north African raiders would attack European ships and sell those into slavery who could not pay a ransom.

bob 125th nysvi
05-16-2007, 11:08 AM
Tom,
As much as I agree with you, we know that no matter what, some wounds will never heal. The wound from this topic being discussed is one that has left a scar for life on all of America.

was exactly what Tom pointed out. Almost everybody is guilty of something and we have to move beyond what our long dead ancestors may or may not have done to someone elses long dead ancestors otherwise a cycle of mistrust can only continue.

There is no reason for it not to heal. Every former slave holder and every former southern soldier is dead.

Every former slave and every former union soldier is dead.

The heros are gone and so are the villians.

There is no one left to blame or hold accountable for ANYTHING that happened during the CW.

It is time to move past all that, or should we be blaming everybody of Italian descent because Rome once ruled the western world making slaves of a lot of people too.

Anybody who CAN'T has a hidden agenda.

However it is in the best interest of SOME parties to encourage the mistrust and deviseness because it increases their individual political power.

And unfortunately there are powerful people who should know better who will support those purveyors of mistrust to get more political power for themselves.

To take it away from the realm of the CW, Hitler blamed the Jews because they were easy targets and other powerful people let him get away with it because they though it would suit their plans.

So it is the same for anybody who continues to blame what happened well before they were alive for what is wrong in their lives today.

bob 125th nysvi
05-16-2007, 11:11 AM
Never argue with a fool. The bystanders may not know which is who.

first they'll drag you down to their level then they'll beat you with experience.

tompritchett
05-16-2007, 02:12 PM
In the colonial period there were white slave (NOT indentured servants) in America.

However, I doubt that their off-spring were also condemned to a similiar life of slavery as existed with the black slaves. Weren't the cases of white slaves in the U.S. more a matter of individuals condemned ot slavery as punishment for criminal behavior?

bob 125th nysvi
05-16-2007, 07:28 PM
However, I doubt that their off-spring were also condemned to a similiar life of slavery as existed with the black slaves. Weren't the cases of white slaves in the U.S. more a matter of individuals condemned ot slavery as punishment for criminal behavior?

were it was not institutional or a permanent family status.

Well in reality neither was the life of a African preordained to slavery. Many men set their slaves free upon their death.

One of the ironies of slavery is that under many cultures (Mideveal Islam for example) a son of a slave woman and a free man could be adopted by the man as a legitimate heir. By the time the Ottoman empire fell the Sultan had only a small percentage of Turkish blood in him as many of his forbearers where the sons of Sultans and his slave girls.

tompritchett
05-16-2007, 07:53 PM
Well in reality neither was the life of a African preordained to slavery. Many men set their slaves free upon their death.

But there is a big difference between being born to a condition where you are automatically a free man regardless of the status of your parents and being born in a condition where your only hope for freedom was the mercy of your master, something did indeed occur but which I doubt was as common as "many" would imply.

Also, I extremely doubt that a colonial white slave would have been separated from his family or had his family scattered at the market place. Unfortunately, such often was not the case for the type of slavery the blacks endured up to the end of the war itself.

IMHO, it was these two factors, pre-ordaining to a life of slavery merely by birth and the fairly wide-spread scattering of families that made the slavery of blacks in the Western Hemisphere uniquely evil relative to all past examples of slavery throughout the world.

goatgirl
05-16-2007, 08:54 PM
But there is a big difference between being born to a condition where you are automatically a free man regardless of the status of your parents and being born in a condition where your only hope for freedom was the mercy of your master.....

Originally blacks were not committed to lifetime servitude either. They would fulfill their years, then be free men. According to Francis W. Springer in War For What? (p. 9 Bill Coats Ltd., Nashville, Tennessee, 1997) it was not the white race, but a black man who instituted lifetime servitude in the colonies. In 1653 a Negro named Anthony Johnson won a legal claim to keep another Negro, John Casor, a lifetime slave. Anthony Johnson, previously a slave himself, had gained his freedom in 1623.

War For What? is the only book I have read which claims it was a black man who first instituted lifetime servitude. If anyone knows of other sources to verify this as false or fact I would greatly appreciate learning of them.

toptimlrd
05-16-2007, 11:12 PM
first they'll drag you down to their level then they'll beat you with experience.


Or as I like to say, never fight with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

tompritchett
05-17-2007, 07:06 AM
Originally blacks were not committed to lifetime servitude either.

True, but by the 19th Century all black slaves and their off-spring were slaves from birth to death, except for the minority that were freed for whatever reasons by their masters. It was this point that distinguishs the slavery of blacks in the Western Hemisphere of this time period from most other historical examples of slavery that Bob talked about earlier.


According to Francis W. Springer in War For What? (p. 9 Bill Coats Ltd., Nashville, Tennessee, 1997) it was not the white race, but a black man who instituted lifetime servitude in the colonies. In 1653 a Negro named Anthony Johnson won a legal claim to keep another Negro, John Casor, a lifetime slave. Anthony Johnson, previously a slave himself, had gained his freedom in 1623.

I had heard that claim made before but never with the source given. Thank you. BTW, does the book indicate how this practice of life-time servitude and continued servitude for all off-spring spread as a practice to the Caribbean?

tompritchett
05-17-2007, 07:08 AM
never fight with a pig

The version that I had heard was don't "wrestle in the mud with a pig" but the message is still the same.

madisontigers
05-17-2007, 08:33 AM
My view towards the C.S. flag is primnarily viewing it as a historical object. It existed in history, so I believe in preserving it for that very reason. It stood for some good things, as well as bad things. There were some tremendous acts of bravery enacted in accordance with the usage of that flag, but the same goes for the United States flag. So long as we use it as a histoical symbol, I have no problem. When we use it to promote racism, hatred, and intimidation, then I have a problem with it. I am the proud descendent of several CS soldiers, and so I don't see a problem with displaying it in the appropriate historical setting.

David Long

Malingerer
05-17-2007, 08:35 AM
My view towards the C.S. flag is primnarily viewing it as a historical object. It existed in history, so I believe in preserving it for that very reason. It stood for some good things, as well as bad things. There were some tremendous acts of bravery enacted in accordance with the usage of that flag, but the same goes for the United States flag. So long as we use it as a histoical symbol, I have no problem. When we use it to promote racism, hatred, and intimidation, then I have a problem with it. I am the proud descendent of several CS soldiers, and so I don't see a problem with displaying it in the appropriate historical setting.

David Long
Hurrah for rational thought!

tompritchett
05-17-2007, 10:28 AM
So long as we use it as a histoical symbol, I have no problem. When we use it to promote racism, hatred, and intimidation, then I have a problem with it.

I think that most of us on this board can agree with that sentiment.

toptimlrd
05-17-2007, 10:34 AM
My view towards the C.S. flag is primnarily viewing it as a historical object. It existed in history, so I believe in preserving it for that very reason. It stood for some good things, as well as bad things. There were some tremendous acts of bravery enacted in accordance with the usage of that flag, but the same goes for the United States flag. So long as we use it as a histoical symbol, I have no problem. When we use it to promote racism, hatred, and intimidation, then I have a problem with it. I am the proud descendent of several CS soldiers, and so I don't see a problem with displaying it in the appropriate historical setting.

David Long


BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

madisontigers
05-17-2007, 10:54 AM
Never mind, I am not even going to get into this argument. I believe this is the fastest that I have ever edited a post.

Dave Long

goatgirl
05-17-2007, 03:19 PM
BTW, does the book indicate how this practice of life-time servitude and continued servitude for all off-spring spread as a practice to the Caribbean?

I cannot remember for sure, but I do not think so. This was a library book, so I do not own it to look back and see. The part I referenced I looked up in the research paper I wrote in high school.

ginny74
05-20-2007, 07:23 PM
Many young CONFEDERATE soldiers died fighting for the CONFEDERACY. What is more important, being politically correct or honoring the men that this monument was created for. I think some people should start to open their eyes and use their heads. I once saw a t-shirt when I went to Gettysburg that said "If this flag offends you, read history" I think I should buy it when I go this year:D

tompritchett
05-20-2007, 08:29 PM
I once saw a t-shirt when I went to Gettysburg that said "If this flag offends you, read history" I think I should buy it when I go this year

Please take this seriously. Which history, that of the 1860's or that of the 1960's?

bob 125th nysvi
05-21-2007, 12:12 PM
Please take this seriously. Which history, that of the 1860's or that of the 1960's?

you could find some examples of what the flag stood for that will offend people.

tompritchett
05-21-2007, 02:17 PM
IN both cases you could find some examples of what the flag stood for that will offend people.

I won't argue that fact. However, my point was many people try to justify the flag strictly based upon its 1860's history while totally ignoring the additional, and, IMHO, the far more negative history of the 1960's. As "living historians" we can not pick just the history that we like and ignore the history that we dislike.

Malingerer
05-21-2007, 04:32 PM
I won't argue that fact. However, my point was many people try to justify the flag strictly based upon its 1860's history while totally ignoring the additional, and, IMHO, the far more negative history of the 1960's. As "living historians" we can not pick just the history that we like and ignore the history that we dislike.
Now that's exactly what I think. We have to accept our history as it was- warts and all and not this moonlight and magnolias nonsense.

Greg Deese
05-24-2007, 10:39 AM
"Now that's exactly what I think. We have to accept our history as it was- warts and all and not this moonlight and magnolias nonsense."

The context is the key here, it would seem that left wingers like yourself want to make the latter day history of the flag more important than the original history. It's an appropriate ANV flag monument to the men who fought for SC.

Your argument is just plain insulting and degrading. From this point onward I am ignoring you posting.

For the rest of the fair historians, I visited my represenatative in Columbia yesterday. The flag will remain, the 2000 compromise is a standing law that no one wants to revisit. The controversy created by "The State" and other anti-memorial groups is just so much hot air. 80 percent of the South Carolinians want this memorial. The "take it down" crowd is more smoke and mirrors. They have very little grass roots support.

I am willing to bet that the people who criticized this Memorial and the Confederate flag will do absolutely NOTHING for any soldiers this Memorial day weekend. Even while South Carolinians are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of whom are descendants of Confederate soldiers. They won't even visit one grave or place one memorial flower out. Yet they will write 10,0000 words to remove WBTS history and spout PC-BS on the so-called "Civil War" reenactors board.

Greg Deese

tompritchett
05-24-2007, 11:58 AM
The context is the key here, it would seem that left wingers like yourself want to make the latter day history of the flag more important than the original history. It's an appropriate ANV flag monument to the men who fought for SC.

Actually, I do agree with you. There are times and places that the display of the flag is appropriate such as Confederate veteran memorials, at graves of Confederate veterans, at Living Histories, and at battle reenactments. My comments were more geared towards the "heritage" displays and those who try to ignore the 20th Century baggage that the flag has been given. I have no reason why the flag is offensive to me; I reenact as a Confederate. But, in the same light, I can understand why some do find it offensive, especially blacks that lived through the anti-Civil rights backlash in the South. However, I also have little use for those who deliberately try to fan the flames over this issue solely for the sake of advancing their politcal careers.

Claude Sinclair
05-24-2007, 12:43 PM
During February of this year I was accepting the surrender of Columbia from the mayor while reenacting Colonel Stone's entrance into the city during Sherman’s march. I drove to the Capitol building after the ceremonies to visit the Confederate Soldiers Monument. I was surprised to see a group of people there with Confederate Flags flying with effigies of Abe Lincoln, a black man, and a Union soldier with nooses around their necks on a gallows. Because I was wearing a Federal uniform one of the members approached me and tried to insult me. I told him that it was groups like his that tarnish the image of the Confederate Battle Flag. A few months later a group of Nazi's were at the Confederate monument waving the Nazi flag along with the Confederate Battle flag. So what message is being sent?

BTW, I fought to keep the Battle Flag at the Capitol but I can clearly see why others are opposed to it being there.

Regards,

Claude Sinclair
Palmetto Battalion

toptimlrd
05-24-2007, 05:48 PM
During February of this year I was accepting the surrender of Columbia from the mayor while reenacting Colonel Stone's entrance into the city during Sherman’s march. I drove to the Capitol building after the ceremonies to visit the Confederate Soldiers Monument. I was surprised to see a group of people there with Confederate Flags flying with effigies of Abe Lincoln, a black man, and a Union soldier with nooses around their necks on a gallows. Because I was wearing a Federal uniform one of the members approached me and tried to insult me. I told him that it was groups like his that tarnish the image of the Confederate Battle Flag. A few months later a group of Nazi's were at the Confederate monument waving the Nazi flag along with the Confederate Battle flag. So what message is being sent?




The level of ignorance and idiocy in this country never seems to surprise me any more. The freedom of speech is such a heavy burden at times but a burden we must bear to remain free. We have to be ever vigilant to refute the reputation these idiots give those of us who harbor no similar feelings but do celebrate the history that led to this great country. I for one feel that the ultimate result of the ACW was a stronger country overall. Part of this strength comes from the fact that we had once splintered and then reformed with a renewed purpose. This did not happen overnight but it did begin in 1864 and continues today. I would like to hear ideas on how we can take the confederate flag(s) away from the hate groups and return them to their place as historic symbols that helped define us as a nation.

RebelBugler
05-25-2007, 11:11 PM
I still find it remarkable when ever I encounter people today who still think the world isn't better off that "the cause" was lost by their ancestors.

Has anyone noticed how our Federal Government continued to grow following the war, and the myriad of areas to which it became increasingly involved? Just consider our burgeoning income tax rates, the redistribution of wealth, inheritance tax, corporate welfare, Judges legislating from the bench, the further erosion of state's rights, career politicians in Congress ignoring the will of their constituents,a Social Security trust fund that is fiscally unsound and backed by IOU's, governmental jurisdictions seizing personal property for transfer to developers,open borders threatening our sovereignty, and military appropriations for the war being held hostage until the demands for billions in pork barrel spending were met.

Regretfully, too many people assume the "Cause" was about slavery, rather than limiting the growth of government. Fundamentally, one might view the WBTS as the opposing viewpoints of Conservatives versus liberals, small governments versus big governments. I for one do not believe the world is better off that the cause was lost and I often ponder how Washington, Jefferson and Madison might react if they could see how their couintry has changed.

bob 125th nysvi
05-26-2007, 06:37 PM
Regretfully, too many people assume the "Cause" was about slavery

not again!

madisontigers
05-27-2007, 01:44 PM
Mr. Deese,


Mr Julius is a fine man, and an accomplished living historian. I tend to agree with what Mr. Julius says, and I , like him, had a multitude of CS ancestors. We do have to accept the history as it was, warts and all. I'm sick & tired of people killing their credibility, by ignoring the slavery issue.I do not believe in any censorship on the flag, period, no matter what. However, I can see why some are offended by it being flown.
I myself, collect HISTORICAL Confederate flags, and use them when it is historically appropriate.I have no issue with flying them on monuments, tombstones, and displayed at reenactments( so long as they are historically accurate).But this is just my opinion, and I don't approve of anyone trying to censure the use of the flag. I do regret how it is used by some organizations, but it is their right to wave them.

David Long

Greg Deese
05-28-2007, 08:14 AM
David:

I never mentioned slavery, nor did any of my poor, share cropping ancestors, own any slaves, but they fought for the CSA. The slave ships that flew the US flag were just as much a part of that horrible system, as were the numerous cotton mills in the North that used cheap, slave picked cotton to profit from. The cotton growers and plantation owners were not the only ones that benefited from slavery.


I have no issue with flying them on monuments, tombstones, and displayed at reenactments ( so long as they are historically accurate).

Then we are in perfect agreement, however; if someone wants to diplay a flag on their vehicle, t-shirt, house, in public or on their personal property. Then they have the right to do so. We also have the collective right as a state to display the Confederate flag and our legislature decided that.

Greg Deese

Claude Sinclair
05-28-2007, 08:19 AM
"I would like to hear ideas on how we can take the confederate flag(s) away from the hate groups and return them to their place as historic symbols that helped define us as a nation."

The best way is to present your group in a way that would bring honor to the Confederate Soldier. Don't talk negative about the U.S. Yes, our ancestors fought for the Confederate States, but what about their sons and daughters who fought under the U.S. flag? As for the hate groups, don't give them an audience.

Regards,

Claude Sinclair

Shermans_Neckties
05-31-2007, 10:53 AM
"I would like to hear ideas on how we can take the confederate flag(s) away from the hate groups and return them to their place as historic symbols that helped define us as a nation." Several years ago a commentator (wish I could remember who) wrote an editorial about this issue and put it this way: if Southerners didn't want the CS flag used by hate groups they could have done something about it long ago, but they didn't. Now it's way too late.

You can counter-protest and educate and be the perfect representatives of the south all you want, but you will never be able to erase the stigma that has settled over the CS flag. The viewpoint waffles between a perception of silliness and a pereception of hate. Endless reruns of the Dukes of Hazzard will prevent anyone from ever taking CS flag-flying seriously, and media cameras will always focus on the battleflag every time the Klan marches. Most of the world (heck, most Americans) don't know history or give a hoot about it except what they are spoon fed in little audio-visual bytes. It is easier to brainwash people than it is to un-brainwash them.

An even more impossible task is to try and convince people that the south was not fighting for slavery. The endless litany of "The average CS soldier was a subsistence farmer and didn't own slaves" sounds nice, but it's funny how so many people who claim CS ancestory all seem to use it. I have an historian friend who is researching the issue and his findings reveal that even if little Johnny Reb didn't own a slave you can bet someone, somewhere in his family did.

It would probably be better if you all just be honest and admit that the south was fightin for slavery (which it was) and be done with it.

tompritchett
05-31-2007, 02:50 PM
I have an historian friend who is researching the issue and his findings reveal that even if little Johnny Reb didn't own a slave you can bet someone, somewhere in his family did.

Have your friend look up the 1860 census data. In it he will find that slightly less than 1/3 of all families owned slaves in the states that would ultimately form the Confederacy.

toptimlrd
05-31-2007, 05:34 PM
Have your friend look up the 1860 census data. In it he will find that slightly less than 1/3 of all families owned slaves in the states that would ultimately form the Confederacy.


Now Tom, don't go confusing the argument with facts.

My take on this whole argument is for a fight to have any meaning, both sides of the dispute must agree on that meaning; i.e. what they are fighting about. From this perspective, slavery was the issue that sparked the war, but the Federals were not fighting to free slaves so there is disagreement there in the cause. The south did want to preserve the right to own slaves so that cause is a big part of the equation but the bottom line was the southern states felt it had the right to secede from the Federal Union and the Federal Union felt that this was not a right of the states. The south fought for this separation and the north fought for the preservation. Everything else that can be listed as a cause has to come under this primary issue including the issue of slavery. Would we have had a war without the slavery issue? Probably not. Would we have had a war if the southern states didn't feel that the institution of slavery was threatened? probably not. But to simply say the war was wholly about slavery does an injustice to the overall era. Had Lincoln decided that the reason he wanted to keep the southern states was to completely abolish slavery, I doubt he would have had much if any support of the northern states either. Because the federal army won the war, the issue over the rights of states to seceded was settled. The right to own slaves was also settled but the rights of everyone was not settled at all, that came through the development of our society over the next century plus.

I am not trying to argue that the North was just as bad or that the South had a righteous cause or the vice versa, I'm simply trying to think this through to the actual root causations and look at it from strictly a historian perspective and analysis. Yes I would like to see all our symbols (Confederate, National, Christian, etc.) ripped out of the hands of the hate groups but as it was mentioned, when these groups decide to put on a show, people seem to gravitate towards the confederate symbols and not the ones that they hold dear. If I were an alien who happened upon one of these demonstrations, I would presume the Battle Flag, the Stars and Stripes, the 1st National, 2nd National, 3rd National, bible, and christian symbols were all part of this hate group and that these symbols were representative of them. Unfortunately we, all of us have some sort of blinder on that we only see that which we want to see as evil and miss the rest of the picture. I'm sorry, but I don't think it's ever too late to correct a mistake.

I for one am glad that states such as Georgia and South Carolina have decided to distance themselves from the reasons the battle flag was placed in the position it was (GA flag and the top of the SC state house) but in turn have maintained the heritage of what happened by returning the 1st national to the state flag in GA (which is what it was prior to the 1960s) and moving the battle flag to a confederate memorial on the grounds of the Capital in Columbia. These moves were in my opinion appropriate and respectful. These are the types of things we need to do to reclaim these symbols as part of our collective history and take them from the groups who have sullied them. What I was hoping to get were more real ideas we could use besides the usual rhetoric we often hear. We as reenactors do a fairly decent job (most of us) at preserving the history while removing the stigma but it obviously is not enough. We have a lot of work to do to change the public impression.

Just my $0.02 worth and that is probably overpriced even with today's gas prices.

reb64
05-31-2007, 05:59 PM
Have your friend look up the 1860 census data. In it he will find that slightly less than 1/3 of all families owned slaves in the states that would ultimately form the Confederacy.


Reading my family tree history recently, one relative owned 6 on a tobacco farm in nc. I guess my family or this branch was the 1/3.

tompritchett
05-31-2007, 06:33 PM
Robert, you will find no argument from me on any of your points.

toptimlrd
05-31-2007, 06:52 PM
Robert, you will find no argument from me on any of your points.


Didn't think you would my friend. I just get tired of the same old same old arguments where BOTH sides try to boil it down to an emotional response type statement. The "it was all about slavery" side and the "noble cause" side. I like what my friend Peter Julius says when he states we have to look at our history warts and all. Both sides had enough warts to make the Wicked Witch of the East look like Miss America. And to borrow a term you use quite often, it was the hubris of the Southern leaders which led to the first shots and the rest is history (pun intended). I still respect many of the ideals of a smaller Federal government the South espoused but I can not agree with much of the baggage they brought with them. Likewise I am glad we preserved the Union but it brought about a reformation of the federal government which was much larger in scope and power than before. Neither side was "right" or "wrong" in total. I do believe the outcome was just.

goatgirl
05-31-2007, 07:37 PM
Now Tom, don't go confusing the argument with facts.

Reminds me of:

One good fact can spoil an interesting discussion.

Greg Deese
05-31-2007, 07:40 PM
In reference to the argument that the flag can't be taken seriously because the "Dukes of Hazzard" used it on a car or that the Klan has used the CBF, I would submit that the same treatment has been rendered to the Stars and Stripes, which has been used in rock videos, painted on motorcycles, used in cartoons, printed as a bikini, used by Marxist peace protesters, flown from slave ships (sorry already mentioned that one), flew 80 years over slavery, conquered the Indians and has been burned and hated around the world. Yet we Americans still hold reverence for Old Glory. Why is that? If that tyrannical PC righteousness applies to the Confederate flag, then you have to indict other American symbols as well.

So the North would have went to war over slavery anyways? Fort Sumter was irrelevant? If you say the war was solely over the issue of slavery, your in fact admitting that Fort Sumter was just a lame excuse. War was coming anyways and ALL of the Northerners were ready to fight and die to free Southern slaves? If you reason that all Southern soldiers fought to preserve slavery, slavery was the only cause of the war, then all Blue clad troops fought to avenge the suffering of the plantation slave, even the ones from Delaware. Wow how incredible, you nailed it!

Slavery was the major cause for secession, we went to war about that remaining fort in Charleston. Was the war started because the South embraced slavery? No the flag was fired on (see flags really meant something in those days). See; Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC, April 12th, 1861, Robert Anderson Commanding for that answer. Also the 75,000 man call for Lincoln volunteers to invade Virginia didn't help to promote "peace and understanding" either. Did anyone mention that the Union garrison was allowed to evacuate unharmed? Nah didn't think so. Bad, South Carolinian, bad, bad.

Once again, the majority of Southern soldiers did not fight and die to preserve that system. You refused to leave the fort, until we shot you up and Lincoln had his war.

Sgt_Pepper
05-31-2007, 07:58 PM
I still respect many of the ideals of a smaller Federal government the South espoused...

IMO, the South did not espouse a smaller Federal government per se - it espoused a Federal government controlled by the South.

hanktrent
05-31-2007, 08:04 PM
You refused to leave the fort, until we shot you up and Lincoln had his war.

"We"? "You"?

Who are you addressing? All of Lincoln's soldiers are dead. Who are you speaking as? You weren't a Confederate soldier.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

toptimlrd
05-31-2007, 08:27 PM
IMO, the South did not espouse a smaller Federal government per se - it espoused a Federal government controlled by the South.


Ah but one of the weaknesses of the south was that it had a very weak central government and the states had the predominance of power. Yes there was a central government but it delegated more of the authority to the states than did Washington. This in turn made many aspects of waging war very difficult for them when states initially would not support each other's military. Without going too far into modern politics, the best model is somewhere in between where sufficient authority is reserved for local governments so that those being governed have a strong say in their system and enough authority granted to the Federal system to provide those services necessary to run a country made up of states. In our system we are lucky the pendulum never quite swings all the way to either extreme but there is definite movement between the two. I will concede that as the war waged it did become larger based on necessity and retained more control than when founded. Really we fight that balance today and the country is fairly close to evenly split as to which way to push the pendulum at this point.

Sgt_Pepper
05-31-2007, 08:37 PM
My mistake, I had the impression that your comment about the South espousing a smaller Federal government concerned the situation as it was before the war, not during it.

toptimlrd
05-31-2007, 08:43 PM
My mistake, I had the impression that your comment about the South espousing a smaller Federal government concerned the situation as it was before the war, not during it.

It can get quite complicated once you get past the sound bites can't it? :-)

bob 125th nysvi
06-01-2007, 12:54 PM
Ah but one of the weaknesses of the south was that it had a very weak central government and the states had the predominance of power.

strong central government it would have invalidated their argument about 'states rights'.

They hung themselves by the very illogic of their arguments.

The war boiled down to political power and it's loss by the south after having dominated the American political scene since the revolution. As long as they democratically ran the country they wanted to play in the yard, the moment democracy started to swing against their interests they wanted to take their ball and go home.

Not very democratic.

The basic problem is that the southern POWER structure was wedded to slavery. Anything that threatened slavery threatened their already shaky political power. A non-proslavery government (it didn't even have to be abolitionist) was a threat. The economic threats to the slave system was a threat to their power.

Their solution was to seek to set up a country that catered to their interests. They couldn't accomplish that because in the long run to make a country work you need a strong central government, yet they were fighting to protect their own individual political power, defined as what was strictly good for them as individuals/small groups.

If a strong central government had been politically acceptable (when they ran it it was) they wouldn't have tried to secede.

Slavery was the lynch pin to the whole thing. If it had been allowed to expand (against the wishes of the majority) the south would not have tried to secede.

If they could have found a way to transition to a more modern economy and not give the slaves their freedom and political rights, they would not have tried to secede.

The problem in their minds is that they couldn't see a peaceful path to the future.

A path that was finally forced on them in 1865 and historically was remarkedly peaceful considering how most losers are treated during a revolution.

bob 125th nysvi
06-01-2007, 01:11 PM
In reference to the argument that the flag can't be taken seriously because the "Dukes of Hazzard" used it on a car or that the Klan has used the CBF, I would submit that the same treatment has been rendered to the Stars and Stripes, which has been used in rock videos, painted on motorcycles, used in cartoons, printed as a bikini, used by Marxist peace protesters, flown from slave ships (sorry already mentioned that one), flew 80 years over slavery, conquered the Indians and has been burned and hated around the world. Yet we Americans still hold reverence for Old Glory. Why is that? If that tyrannical PC righteousness applies to the Confederate flag, then you have to indict other American symbols as well.

For all the mistakes that have occurred under the American Flag in this case when juxtapositioning the two internationally the American Flag held the moral high ground. The VERY reason that the CSA couldn't get international recognition is that the perception of people at the time is that the CSA was fighting to preserve their right to own slaves.

To the governments of 186x or more importantly their constituents, the Stars and Bars flew over an unsupportable cause, slavery.


So the North would have went to war over slavery anyways? Fort Sumter was irrelevant? If you say the war was solely over the issue of slavery, your in fact admitting that Fort Sumter was just a lame excuse. War was coming anyways and ALL of the Northerners were ready to fight and die to free Southern slaves? If you reason that all Southern soldiers fought to preserve slavery, slavery was the only cause of the war, then all Blue clad troops fought to avenge the suffering of the plantation slave, even the ones from Delaware. Wow how incredible, you nailed it!.

It is very unlikely that the north would have been willing to fight a war to eliminate slavery. The Federal government's stated objective was to preserve the Union. South Carolina made it EASY for the Federal government to rally the people to its cause BECAUSE they fired on the US Flag.

War was not "coming anyways", it was the southern political power structures refusal to support or work for compromise that led them down the path to destruction. They could have continued to work within the system to achieve democratic compromise. In the end their own delusional hubris led them to defeat. If war was "coming anyways" it was BECAUSE southern leaders want it.

And as too southern soldiers fighting for the cause of slavery, no I don't think many of them actually thought in those terms but if you fight to support a government you must take some responsibility for its sins.


Slavery was the major cause for secession, we went to war about that remaining fort in Charleston. Was the war started because the South embraced slavery? No the flag was fired on (see flags really meant something in those days). See; Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC, April 12th, 1861, Robert Anderson Commanding for that answer. Also the 75,000 man call for Lincoln volunteers to invade Virginia didn't help to promote "peace and understanding" either. Did anyone mention that the Union garrison was allowed to evacuate unharmed? Nah didn't think so. Bad, South Carolinian, bad, bad..

No, stupid South Carolina, they handed Lincoln a causus belli on a silver platter, gift wrapped and delivered it with a kiss.

And the garrison was allowed to evacuate with the honors of war because that is what was military protocol in those days. The South Carolinian government was merely following protocol for the time period and not setting any new ground in humanity.


Once again, the majority of Southern soldiers did not fight and die to preserve that system. You refused to leave the fort, until we shot you up and Lincoln had his war.

Once again a misread of the facts. The southern soldier fought and died to preserve a government that built its economic and political power on the institution of slavery. Without slavery there could have been no CSA, the two are joined at the hip, we can not separate them merely to make us feel better about our ancestors.

Greg Deese
06-02-2007, 10:50 AM
Then there you have it, Yankee version versus us Soutnerners who continue to pay for slavery, even though the Union was in on it for 80 years. It's also now obvious that the North would have eventually invaded the South over slavery, so basically there was nothing the South could have done. She made the mistake of firing first, but did it matter? The Yankees would have found an excuse to invade anyhow, a great topic for your next living history.

As to the Confederate flag, it still waves at the capitol Bob. Hopefully much to your chagrin. I was wondering when someone would get around to that moral "high ground" tripe. That always provides the perfect excuse to kill 300,000 of your fellow Americans.

queenoftheconfederacy
06-02-2007, 11:43 AM
Gregg! I didn't expect to see you remark again on this, but you know how much I agree with you, like we were talking about the other day, its just hard to explain to non South Carolinians what it is like to live here and be of this great and honorable blood and only want to honor our ancestors, most who did not own slaves, to them the flag was about protecting the land their father gave them, their families, their rights to have a majority rule, not one ancestor of mine died to keep a slave in bondage, just like the majority of other descendants here in South Carolina, and keeping with the whole ideal of democracy, the majority vote is what rules the land, and we here vote to keep our flag, and until the minority becomes the majority, its going to stay there, and let us not forget we are a Federal style government, so South Carolina and South Carolina alone is in charge of the flag, it is up to my South Carolina, not Nebraska, not California, not Delaware, no other state can tell us to take it down, if it bothers you so much, move here, live here, and register to vote and then we will listen and consider your opinion, we don't tell you yankees how to govern your states, so don't go trying to impose upon us how to govern ours (never tell a South Carolinian what to do, remember the Nullification of 1832? and most importantly, our succession, hehe), just because we honor the flag for our ancestors memory doesn't mean that we are the prejudice people of the past, you should always honor a fallen soldier, no matter if you believe in or agree with what he fought for or not, he was a martyr for his personal beliefs nonetheless, and that is the most courageous action a man can ever do, and you do not disrespect the dead or judge them for their actions, that is God's job and not ours, let Him judge which side was right or wrong and deal with them, and we worry about ourselves, and the last time I checked, no slave or slave owners from the 1860's are still living, no one alive today has ever been a slave or owned a slave, its been 140 years, how much longer can we say sorry and mean it, only to still be called racists, no amount of apologies will ever mend the past, but by now, it should be mended since there are no living people involved with the whole issue of slavery, the flag is no longer flying upon our State House where it rightfully belongs, but it is in a very appropriate place as a part of a memorial to those who died for the Confederacy, a place where there should be no politics, just remembrance of the fallen, and that's will it shall stay, at least until the day I die, because unless its to go back on the Dome, the Confederate Flag is not moving from that spot, as long as this pure-blooded Carolinian redhead is alive! As James Louis Petigru said, 'South Carolina is to small to be a nation, too large to be an insane asylum.' That tells you a lot about us right there, so just leave us be and let us be crazy and hardheaded without yankees getting involved thinking they can save us from ourselves, its our right to be the way we are. I could go on and on about all this, but what I am mainly saying is yall worry about the Confederate flags in your state, and we shall protect the one in ours.

VA Soldier
06-02-2007, 03:56 PM
I have only one question, If the Union decided to go to war to end Slavery, why is it that the battle cry that went up after the firing on Fort Sumter was not concerned with freeing the slaves but preserving the Union?

Why is it then that the last four states to join the Confederacy waited untill after Lincoln issued his call for troops, why not join along with the first seven?

And as far as firing the first shot, the Confederacy was placed between a rock and a hard place. They could either leave Ft. Sumter unfired upon and lose any credibility in Europe, or fire and be charged as the agressors.

Let us also not forget that untill about mid war, Lincoln was willing to accept slavery if the union could be preserved.

Why secession happened is one reason, why people chose to fight is another, and how the war was won is yet another. The American Civil War, War Between the States, War of Northern Agression, War of the Rebellion, or whatever you like to call it was extremely complex, and we do the history of this nation no service by attempting to reduce such a myriad of complexities to one simple word.

As far as the Confederate Battle Flag and South Carolina goes, the Battle Flag never flew over the SC Capitol Dome untill the 1960's. It would not have flown their during the war, that spot would have been reserved for either the First, Second, or even Third National. Due to the late approval of the third national, I am unsure if it ever flew over any capitol buidling besides the one in Richmond, VA. Secondly it was moved from the top of the building, to a 30 foot flag pole near a major roadway with lights on it, making it even more visible to the public than it was before. Is this such a bad thing? I am all in favor of honoring those who fought for the Confederacy, I know I have at least 5 ancestors, none of whom owned any slaves, I am also for honoring all those soldiers who fought for the Union as well. Instead of all the bickering, let us resolve to honor these brave individuals. While I know the debate of the flag will continue, let us keep the debate over the modern connotations it has unfortunatley picked up post bellum and work towards educating the populace on its true meanings rather than debate over whether it meant the same things then as some of the terrible things it has come to symbolize to some people in recent years.

D A Jackson

flattop32355
06-02-2007, 05:11 PM
I was wondering when someone would get around to that moral "high ground" tripe. That always provides the perfect excuse to kill 300,000 of your fellow Americans.

Kinda sounds like the pot calling the kettle black, eh?

Why don't we cut through all the simplistic BS and get right down to it?

The war wasn't about slavery.
It wasn't about state's rights.
It wasn't about preserving the Union.
It wasn't about trade/tariffs.
It wasn't about a lot of other single issues.

It was about them all, tied together in a complex weave. Some of the issues meant more to some people than others, but they all mattered and came together to bring things to a head in 1861.

Anyone pushing the idea that any single issue was the sole cause of the war is just being foolish. To discount any of them is equally foolish. To say what was most meaningful to a given individual, then OR now, is to ignore the fact that the entire nation was swept up in the combined trauma of the time.

In the end, the matter got settled, the issues resolved.

PMB1861
06-02-2007, 05:18 PM
I am all in favor of honoring those who fought for the Confederacy, I know I have at least 5 ancestors, none of whom owned any slaves, I am also for honoring all those soldiers who fought for the Union as well. Instead of all the bickering, let us resolve to honor these brave individuals. While I know the debate of the flag will continue, let us keep the debate over the modern connotations it has unfortunatley picked up post bellum and work towards educating the populace on its true meanings rather than debate over whether it meant the same things then as some of the terrible things it has come to symbolize to some people in recent years.

D A Jackson

Well said Sir, Well said...

respectfully,

Peter M. Berezuk
Pvt, Co A, 79th NYSV

http://www.79thnycompanya.org/

bob 125th nysvi
06-03-2007, 08:00 AM
Then there you have it, Yankee version versus us Southerners who continue to pay for slavery, even though the Union was in on it for 80 years. It's also now obvious that the North would have eventually invaded the South over slavery, so basically there was nothing the South could have done. She made the mistake of firing first, but did it matter? The Yankees would have found an excuse to invade anyhow, a great topic for your next living history.

The only southerners who continue to pay for slavery are those who delude themselves on to how and why the war started.

"Those who ignore the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them."

No the North would not have invaded the south over slavery. Slavery would have eventually died due to laws, unable to expand or its economic inviability.

So yes the south firing first mattered a great deal because it gave the Fed Government the moral high ground.

If the southern governments were NOT fighting for the right to maintain slaves then compromise and its eventual elimination (legally) would not have endangered states rights. If fact it would have strengthened them.

The south was very funny on this issue, they espoused "states rights" but used the power of the federal government (see the Dred Scott decision) to enforce the right to own slaves on states where slavery was illegal.

To be valid an argument must be consistently applied.


As to the Confederate flag, it still waves at the capitol Bob.

Personally I don't care where the flag flies up to and including right under the American Flag on the flag pole outside the White House. If you had bothered to read my numerous posts on the subject you'd know that.


I was wondering when someone would get around to that moral "high ground" tripe.

So when the US declared war on Japan for the very same reason (firing first) it was tripe?

Very interesting view of history.


That always provides the perfect excuse to kill 300,000 of your fellow Americans.

Again if South Carolina had NOT fired first and the other Confederate States hadn't foolishly fallen into line with it there wouldn't have been 300,000 dead (former) fellow Americans.

Don't blame the winning side if you start the fight and then can't finish it.

You want to blame somebody for the dead. Blame those that voted for secession, or those politicians who supported it, or the commander who gave the order to fire on Ft. Sumter or (maybe) Edmund Ruffin for pulling the lanyard.

Don't blame those who were shot at.

Greg Deese
06-03-2007, 10:13 AM
Bob:

Like everyone else I look at history and I can only interpret the effects as they apply today. The topic of the thread was "The battle to keep the flag flying in SC." You could have simply said, "I don't like your flag" and left the thread. Or respected our view of history. So I will remember this the next time you need a monument restored, an event attended or some local no-brains politician tries to turn your history into a strip mall or cashiers your CW collection of artifacts. You won't get any support from me! You had to re-fight the entire war on the CW Reenactors forum. Then you had to bring out the slavery issue again and again and pretend that the North had nothing to do with slavery or starting the war.

Sgt_Pepper
06-03-2007, 05:32 PM
Deese. Sandusky. Cool it. Control yourselves or you will be controlled.

tompritchett
06-03-2007, 07:25 PM
The Yankees would have found an excuse to invade anyhow, a great topic for your next living history.

I am not sure that Lincoln would have been able to get the support of the majority of state governors and of the Northern general public to issue a muster for enough troops to make such an invasion, regardless of how much some may claim he desired. The existing U.S Army was no where near the size to effectively invade any of the Southern states given the number of troops each had raised to protect themselves from such a threat. Remember, even after Ft. Sumter was fired upon, New Jersey came within one vote of seceding over the muster call.

Regardless, given the fact that Lincoln was in the process of trying to negotiate a Constitutional Amendment to explicitly legalize slavery in an attempt to bring the original seven states back into the Union (letters from Lincoln to such an effect are in existence to two Northern governors and to the governor of Florida, which at the time had already seceded), I personally, seriously doubt that he was even close to considering such an invasion - resupplying and possibly reinforcing existing and threatened Federal garrisons in Southern territory yes, but actual invasion for the purpose of seizing seats of government or generally territory that was clearly the domain of the state governments, no. However, if you do have historical, primary documentation of his intentions showing otherwise, I would be interested in hearing about it.

tompritchett
06-03-2007, 07:37 PM
As far as the Confederate Battle Flag and South Carolina goes, the Battle Flag never flew over the SC Capitol Dome untill the 1960's.

Interesting. Based upon my memories of growing up in the South, I suspected such for many of the states that decided to fly the battleflag over their capitals but it nice to heard it at least partially confirmed. The reason I am commenting on the timing, is remember specifically what the policies that the Federal government was ramming done the unwilling throats of the Southern people as well as the local and state governments - the Civil Rights reforms.

Having said that, I want to reiterate that I have no problem using the battleflag to honor the Confederate soldiers who fought and died to defend their lands. But let's also always remember what we are actually honoring when we defend practices that were initiated during the early 1960's but state and local governments that where then protesting the Federal government requiring that blacks be legally treated as equals to whites.

Greg Deese
06-04-2007, 07:46 AM
SGT Pepper:

Why don't you go ahead and remove my account, then you and the rest of the Anti-Confederate crowd can hold hands and rejoice in the noble cause of the Union and not give one ounce of crticism towards that government.

I think its very clear that this forum has been over taken by extremist Neo-Yankees that want to paint every Southern soldier as a vicious slave owner and re-smear the civil strife of the 1960's on to the Confederate flag. It's the "image makers" and propoganda ministers on this forum that keep those myths alive and insult my ancestors.

If you honor your Southern ancestors, then abandon this forum.

Greg Deese

Sgt_Pepper
06-04-2007, 08:01 AM
SGT Pepper:

Why don't you go ahead and remove my account, then you and the rest of the Anti-Confederate crowd can hold hands and rejoice in the noble cause of the Union and not give one ounce of criticism toward that government.

Very mature. No, I prefer not to give you the satisfaction and the bragging rights, until and unless you do something so outrageous that banning is called for. Of course, you can always simply not log on or read this forum.


I think its very clear that this forum has been over taken by extremist Neo-Yankees that want to paint every Southern soldier as a vicious slave owner and re-smear the civil strife of the 1960's on to the Confederate flag. It's the "image makers" and propaganda ministers on this forum that keep those myths alive and insult my ancestors.

This is verging on paranoia.


If you honor your Southern ancestors, then abandon this forum.

One way I do honor to my Southern ancestors is to see them in the light of reality and speak the truth about them.

Greg Deese
06-04-2007, 08:24 AM
Paranoia? Reexamine every thread even involving the Confederate flag and you will see the same people attacking our posts, from monument displays to flag preservation. Then the same supposedly neutral moderators supporting, if not enabling these bomb throwers.

Check out Gregg Hensley's thread of 5/6/2007, "1st national Flag stolen from courthouse lawn" same result there. So everyone that even mentions a Confederate flag is vicoiusly atacked by the same 10 people. How does this preeserve history? Promote reenacting? Did I attack any Union symbols, call for any Union flags or monuments to be removed, say anything negative about Union soldiers? Not once. The lack of maturity is on the other side of the fence.

So it's really no use whatsoever to post anything pro-Southern in this forum. Go ahead and relabel it the "Union" Marxist-Leftl-leaning CW reenactors forum, because that's what it is now.


Greg Deese
Signing off

Sgt_Pepper
06-04-2007, 08:36 AM
I hope you feel better now.

tompritchett
06-04-2007, 09:16 AM
I think its very clear that this forum has been over taken by extremist Neo-Yankees that want to paint every Southern soldier as a vicious slave owner and re-smear the civil strife of the 1960's on to the Confederate flag. It's the "image makers" and propoganda ministers on this forum that keep those myths alive and insult my ancestors.

Excuse me? I believe that I routinely argue that, while the initial secession was over slavery, the second wave of secession was more oriented towards states rights. I also routinely argue that the war itself was fought primarily over the right of Southern states to leave and was sparked by the issue of sovereignity of a specific territory, Fort Sumter. More than once, I have also posted that slightly less than a third of all families in the Confederate states owned slaves. Yes, I have also stated that most Southern whites objected to the abolitionist goals of making blacks the legal equals of whites, but I have also stated that the same sentiment was highly prevalent in the North. As far as smearing the battleflag with the abuses of the 1960's strife over the Civil Rights reforms, that was done by our parents and older siblings. Unfortunately, there are still too many people living for whom those times are still deeply burned into their memories for us to try to ignore that ugly piece of our country's history when we try to display the battleflag in a manner outside of its 1860's context.

In case you have forgotten, I was born and raised in the South, reenact Confederate and do indeed honor those men in gray. Also, I should add that, while I am a moderator in the Military discussion forums, here I am just another reenactor who has no more power than any other poster.

I am also sorry that you find my viewpoints so disturbing that you feel that you can not rationally discuss our differences without name calling and what appears to me as highly emotional tantrums. Again, it appears to me that you may have difficulty in distinguishing the degrees in which individuals disagree with your views. I know that Bob had truly gotten under your skin with his posts and, based upon the names used in your response to my post, I suspect that you believe that Bob and I share the all same sentiments towards the battleflag and towards the Confederacy in general. Frankly, that is not the case at all and Bob and I have more than once debated the right of the Confederate states to secede regardless of their motivations. It is a gross over-simplification to assume that because two people disagree with you on a particular issue that those two people share all opinions in common. It has been my experience that most issues are rarely defined in black and white terms. Rather, I have found that multiple shades of gray tend to predominate as multiple factors come into play.

hanktrent
06-04-2007, 10:00 AM
I think its very clear that this forum has been over taken by extremist Neo-Yankees that want to paint every Southern soldier as a vicious slave owner and re-smear the civil strife of the 1960's on to the Confederate flag. It's the "image makers" and propoganda ministers on this forum that keep those myths alive and insult my ancestors.

My Southern ancestors were slave holders, and I'm disappointed to see contemporary Southerners abandon them, in order to spin the Old South in a way to make it politically correct to the victors/Yankees.

Just scroll down to the T's in this list of the largest slave owners in Henry Co. Virginia http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~ajac/vahenry.htm Another younger William Trent in Henry Co., son of a big landowner, was listed in the 1860s census as a "trader." Dunno, but I doubt he was trading horses or cattle. My legal name is William too, William Henry.

Personally, I believe slavery (and lesser racism as well) is/was wrong, and have always tried to behave accordingly.

My ancestors most likely believed slavery was right, as did many antebellum southerners. I'm interested in them and their world, but have no personal stake in trying to make them look good or bad to modern eyes, since I don't see them as "us." I see them as, well, "them."

If those who support flying the Confederate flag today need to promote an image of the old south as a place not about slavery, in order to be politically acceptable, then that only interferes with my goal of trying to understand the antebellum south as it was. Because I'm just not seeing it like that. Especially if I look at it through the eyes of my ancestors and people like them.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

"Doc" Nelson
06-04-2007, 11:48 AM
I told him that it was groups like his that tarnish the image of the Confederate Battle Flag. A few months later a group of Nazi's were at the Confederate monument waving the Nazi flag along with the Confederate Battle flag. So what message is being sent?AMEN !!!!!! I agree 100%.

Bitter_Bierce
06-04-2007, 12:14 PM
Let's back off slightly from the "CS flag reprsents slavery" issue and look at it from another viewpoint: The CS flag is, simply put, too innauthentic for display in some places of the south because the CS gov't was not very popular among it's own people.

The mostly mountainous areas of the South held predominately Union sympathies: Western (later, West) Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, Western North Carolina, Northeastern Alabama, and Northwestern Geogia among them. Not to mention the border states. Over half the enlisted white men of mythologically secessionist Maryland ended up serving in (drummer roll, please) the Union army. (Oh, but that nasty Mr. Lincoln forced them to stay in the Union! Uh-hun... as if Jeff Davis never suspended the writ of habius corpus himself).

When Roscrans marched into Eastern Tennessee in 1863 he found a mostly Union sympathizing population and encountered plenty of men who wanted to either join the Union forces or who offered their services as scouts. Constrast that with the lackluster reception Lee got when he invaded Maryland in 1862. (How I cringe when I see the Rebel flag flying from houses in Eastern Tennessee. Lest we forget that when Burnside marched into Knoxville he was given a liberating hero's welcome by the citizenry!)

As a white Southerner I resent the incessant demand that the CS flag be displayed dang near everywhere and at all times. It's bad enough that my state flag (Tennessee) looks so much like a limply hanging CS flag. That was done on purpose, of course, and long after Union loyalists in TN had passed away. They would have resented it. And as one of their descendents I resent it.

But the U.S. flag flies everywhere, you may say. Why can't the CS flag everywhere? It represents the South, you say. Bull. It reprsented only part of the South, certainly not all of it. Today the US stars and stripes represents the South and all the American people, not just some of them. The US flag may have flown over slave ships at one time, but no more. It may have flow over the butchered bodies of American Indians, but no more. Attempts to try and defame the US flag because of negative historical connections fail because the US flag represents a living nation that has not remained in a state of suspended animaton. It has striven for justice among it's people, failing at times and succeeding at others, but it still represents a living, breathing country. The CS flag will never be universally accepted because it never universally represented all southerners to begin with. And it represents a country that is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. Away with it. Put your little CS flags on CS soldier graves all you want, fly it at reenactments, keep it in historical context, but don't wave that thing in my face every day, please. It's not the flag I served under when I was in the US military. And it certainly isn't the flag I vote under today.

"Doc" Nelson
06-04-2007, 01:55 PM
Let's back off slightly from the "CS flag reprsents slavery" issue and look at it from another viewpoint: The CS flag is, simply put, too innauthentic for display in some places of the south because the CS gov't was not very popular among it's own people.I disagree with you, to a point on this one. Yes, there were Northern sympathizers in the South. But, there were also Southern Sympathizers in the North.


(How I cringe when I see the Rebel flag flying from houses in Eastern Tennessee. Lest we forget that when Burnside marched into Knoxville he was given a liberating hero's welcome by the citizenry!)You know, I've been in many, many Northern towns (quite a few in Michigan and Indiana) that their citizens fly Confederate flags too. Its not just in Eastern Tennessee.



As a white Southerner I resent the incessant demand that the CS flag be displayed dang near everywhere and at all times.I agree. Its one thing to be proud of your heritage. But, its another to attempt to throw it down the throats of others. And, to do so in a discriminating manner.


It's bad enough that my state flag (Tennessee) looks so much like a limply hanging CS flag. That was done on purpose, of course, and long after Union loyalists in TN had passed away. They would have resented it. And as one of their descendents I resent it.I have to disagree with you here. Its also comments like this that "swell the ranks" of the other side, per se. Its fine to disagree with seeing so many CS flags flying. But, they also have a right to voice their opinion too. With comments like this, it puts you right on the same level as those flying these flags . . as you call . . "incessantly".


But the U.S. flag flies everywhere, you may say. Why can't the CS flag everywhere? It represents the South, you say. Bull. It reprsented only part of the South, certainly not all of it. Today the US stars and stripes represents the South and all the American people, not just some of them. The US flag may have flown over slave ships at one time, but no more. It may have flow over the butchered bodies of American Indians, but no more. Attempts to try and defame the US flag because of negative historical connections fail because the US flag represents a living nation that has not remained in a state of suspended animaton. It has striven for justice among it's people, failing at times and succeeding at others, but it still represents a living, breathing country. The CS flag will never be universally accepted because it never universally represented all southerners to begin with. And it represents a country that is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD. Away with it. Put your little CS flags on CS soldier graves all you want, fly it at reenactments, keep it in historical context, but don't wave that thing in my face every day, please. It's not the flag I served under when I was in the US military. And it certainly isn't the flag I vote under today.Well, it represents the Southern Government. No, not everyone the resided in the South, was sympathetic to the Southern Government. But, it still represented the Southern Government. Today, the "stars and stripes" represents AMERICA. We're united . . today. Though, it doesn't seem so on here. "Keeping it in historical context" is the exact problem. My ancestor was a Confederate Officer and I'm D**N PROUD of his service. YOU can never take that away from me. Yes, he served in the CS Army . . but he, like many others, longed for the end of the War. We have to understand that, during that time, it was either volunteer to serve or be forced to serve (or, even be possibly killed). Unless you were wealthy and could buy your way out somehow.

flattop32355
06-04-2007, 02:15 PM
Check out Gregg Hensley's thread of 5/6/2007, "1st national Flag stolen from courthouse lawn" same result there. So everyone that even mentions a Confederate flag is vicoiusly atacked by the same 10 people.

Somehow, I just know you won't be able to stay away, but even if you should, I'm still gonna respond to the above.

I did check it out. Maybe you should check the fact that people you seem to accuse of being malignantly anti-Confederate flag defended its use in proper circumstances on that thread.

Also keep in mind that you seem to be as staunchly pro-flag as you accuse them of being anti-. Hence, my pot/kettle observation.

Further, if it's only "the same ten people" who carry out these "vicious attacks", that's probably a great improvement over what it has been in years past; a definite trend towards understanding and moderation of attitudes. Might be nice if you'd consider joining that trend.

Yes, there's virulent "Yanks" and "Rebs" today. Their rhetoric has to be allowed in our society, but can be ignored for what it is. There's also people who just enjoy yanking other people's chains. Once learned whom they are, they can also be ignored.

Don't forget that you've also been known to bend over backwards to do some chain yanking...

Oh, and by the way: Confederate Flag, Confederate Flag, Confederate Flag!
Now that I've mentioned it, let's see if I get "viciously attacked" for it.

VA Soldier
06-04-2007, 03:42 PM
My Southern ancestors were slave holders, and I'm disappointed to see contemporary Southerners abandon them, in order to spin the Old South in a way to make it politically correct to the victors/Yankees.

As a frequent poster who has commonly brought up the fact that my ancestors that fought in the war did not then, nor ever own a single slave, it was only in defense of the many southerners who did not.

As far as your ancestors that owned slaves, along with the several who did, they deserve as much honor and respect as any other Confederate Soldier.

What irks me are those that would hold people of the mid 19th century to the same moral standards of today. We can not judge the people of the past as we would the people of today.

D A Jackson

tompritchett
06-04-2007, 04:01 PM
And as far as firing the first shot, the Confederacy was placed between a rock and a hard place. They could either leave Ft. Sumter unfired upon and lose any credibility in Europe, or fire and be charged as the aggressors.

While I agree that Ft. Sumter placed both the Confederacy and Lincoln in an awkward situation, I am not sure that the Confederacy was necessarily losing any credibility over the continued occupation of the fort yet. After all the fort was effectively in a state of siege and the South was actively trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the issue. Europe had earlier in the century gone through a series of extremely bloody wars and I suspect the European governments were more respectful of the careful, less war provoking measures than you are giving them credit for now and some of the Southern hot-heads did then.

VA Soldier
06-04-2007, 05:11 PM
Europe had earlier in the century gone through a series of extremely bloody wars and I suspect the European governments were more respectful of the careful, less war provoking measures than you are giving them credit for now and some of the Southern hot-heads did then.

Probably an acurate statement, paranoia seems to have gripped a lot of people during the early stages of the conflict. With both Northern and Southern people fearing what the other might do.

D A Jackson

toptimlrd
06-04-2007, 07:26 PM
strong central government it would have invalidated their argument about 'states rights'.

They hung themselves by the very illogic of their arguments.

The war boiled down to political power and it's loss by the south after having dominated the American political scene since the revolution. As long as they democratically ran the country they wanted to play in the yard, the moment democracy started to swing against their interests they wanted to take their ball and go home.

Not very democratic.

The basic problem is that the southern POWER structure was wedded to slavery. Anything that threatened slavery threatened their already shaky political power. A non-pro-slavery government (it didn't even have to be abolitionist) was a threat. The economic threats to the slave system was a threat to their power.

Their solution was to seek to set up a country that catered to their interests. They couldn't accomplish that because in the long run to make a country work you need a strong central government, yet they were fighting to protect their own individual political power, defined as what was strictly good for them as individuals/small groups.

If a strong central government had been politically acceptable (when they ran it it was) they wouldn't have tried to secede.

Slavery was the lynch pin to the whole thing. If it had been allowed to expand (against the wishes of the majority) the south would not have tried to secede.

If they could have found a way to transition to a more modern economy and not give the slaves their freedom and political rights, they would not have tried to secede.

The problem in their minds is that they couldn't see a peaceful path to the future.

A path that was finally forced on them in 1865 and historically was remarkably peaceful considering how most losers are treated during a revolution.


No disagreement from me on these points. All I try to do is be careful not to fall into the trap of over-simplification of the issues. Slavery was at the crux but to say that slavery was the only thing being fought over really does not fully illustrate the plethora of issues within the political systems at the time. Like I said earlier, had the Federal government gone to war with the main intent being to free the slaves then yes the war would have been strictly about slavery but they went to war to preserve the union whereas the South seceded to protect its economy and way of life of which slavery was a major point in fact THE major point they wished to protect. We all have to remember that abolitionists were very much the minority at that point but they were gaining strength within the Republican parts of which Lincoln was a member and of which the Southern states had a fear of.

BTW, overall this is a great intellectual discussion over the political influences that led to the war and I am enjoying it immensely. Somehow most (I did say most) of us have managed to keep it a discussion instead of an argument or free for all.

flattop32355
06-04-2007, 08:37 PM
I am not sure that the Confederacy was necessarily losing any credibility over the continued occupation of the fort yet.

Also keep in mind that the Federal commander had already informed his counterpart that if supplies did not reach the fort in the next couple of days, he would have to abandon it anyway. That information doesn't indicate an immediate need to bombard the fort into submission. Other factors seem to have been in play at the time.

bob 125th nysvi
06-05-2007, 12:26 PM
Also keep in mind that the Federal commander had already informed his counterpart that if supplies did not reach the fort in the next couple of days, he would have to abandon it anyway. That information doesn't indicate an immediate need to bombard the fort into submission. Other factors seem to have been in play at the time.

when declaring war on the US: "Great powers declare war not have war declared on them!"

Maybe a little bit of that might have been at work?

VA Soldier
06-05-2007, 04:31 PM
A path that was finally forced on them in 1865 and historically was remarkably peaceful considering how most losers are treated during a revolution.

I will grant "reconstruction" was peaceful in that there was not widespread wholesale slaughter of the dissedents, and on a positive note that no one, not even Jefferson Davis was tried or convicted of treason

but when you look at how the entire south was ruled by the US Military following the war, with military gov's. The south was left destitute forced to deal with whatever justice was imposed upon them by their defeators. The subjugation that was so feared during the war came to pass and many lost all they had during the war. Carpterbaggers came in and set up bussiness and took advantage of the southerners while roving gangs of newlly freed slaves went about unmolested for the most part. In the immediate days following the surrender bands of us troops turned to raiding and plundering of the towns, and even if they were identifed, it was left to local residents reccently come home from the war (former confederate soldiers) to fight and defend as what little military authority was left was either a part of the action or turned a blind eye to it.

The term reconstruction is a joke at best, it did nothing but sear the horrible memories of the war in the psychie of the south (as was intended to prevent a future uprising) but caused the scars that still exist today. Part of the reason the Southeast has still not fully recovered from that horrible conflict. After every other war where America has defeated an enemy, the US gov't has given millions, and now billions of dolloars to the former enemy and spent much more in the rebuilding of the destroyed areas. This did not happen in the South

I would not deem this peaceful as it was certainly a time of unease and tension for the South and is undoubtedly one of the reasons the "Late War of Northern Agression" still raises blood pressures all across Dixie.

D A Jackson

bob 125th nysvi
06-05-2007, 05:41 PM
A path that was finally forced on them in 1865 and historically was remarkably peaceful considering how most losers are treated during a revolution.

I will grant "reconstruction" was peaceful in that there was not widespread wholesale slaughter of the dissedents, and on a positive note that no one, not even Jefferson Davis was tried or convicted of treason

but when you look at how the entire south was ruled by the US Military following the war, with military gov's. The south was left destitute forced to deal with whatever justice was imposed upon them by their defeators. The subjugation that was so feared during the war came to pass and many lost all they had during the war. Carpterbaggers came in and set up bussiness and took advantage of the southerners while roving gangs of newlly freed slaves went about unmolested for the most part. In the immediate days following the surrender bands of us troops turned to raiding and plundering of the towns, and even if they were identifed, it was left to local residents reccently come home from the war (former confederate soldiers) to fight and defend as what little military authority was left was either a part of the action or turned a blind eye to it.

The term reconstruction is a joke at best, it did nothing but sear the horrible memories of the war in the psychie of the south (as was intended to prevent a future uprising) but caused the scars that still exist today. Part of the reason the Southeast has still not fully recovered from that horrible conflict. After every other war where America has defeated an enemy, the US gov't has given millions, and now billions of dolloars to the former enemy and spent much more in the rebuilding of the destroyed areas. This did not happen in the South

I would not deem this peaceful as it was certainly a time of unease and tension for the South and is undoubtedly one of the reasons the "Late War of Northern Agression" still raises blood pressures all across Dixie.

D A Jackson

Relative to how other revolutions/revolts/secession attempts have been treated after they failed throughout history is was darn near a love fest.

No pogroms, no mass executions, deportations, trials or jailings.

Military rule was relatively short lived and easily gotten rid of. Former CSA officials and military men quickly gained roles of prominence both in local and national governments.

Southern governments very quickly were able to marginalize their former slaves as voters and citizens with full rights.

All in all remarkable considering the cost and effort put in to prevent their leaving the union.

flattop32355
06-05-2007, 11:13 PM
Let's also keep in mind that reconstruction most likely would have been milder had Lincoln not been assassinated. That event led to a great deal of desire for revenge, even beyond any blaming of the South for "starting the war".

Also, don't forget that there were Scalawags as well as Carpetbaggers.

tompritchett
06-06-2007, 07:22 AM
Let's also keep in mind that reconstruction most likely would have been milder had Lincoln not been assassinated. That event led to a great deal of desire for revenge, even beyond any blaming of the South for "starting the war".

Interestingly enough, Reconstruction actually started off fairly mild as Andrew Johnson was a strong advocate of the right of states to determine their own destiny. Under him many former Confederate leaders were restored into positions of power and several Federal regional directors were fired for pushing Reconstruction reforms too aggressively. Unlike Lincoln, Johnson was sorely lacking in the skills of and listening to and working with his political opponents in Congress. These factors all led to radicalization of the Congress in the 1866 midterm election and the unsuccessful attention to impeach Johnson in the last half of his term. The new Congress took control of the Reconstruction process in terms of setting the conditions for readmission to Union and for establishing who actually had voting priveledges in the occuppied states in the South.

Bitter_Bierce
06-06-2007, 12:19 PM
Southern governments very quickly were able to marginalize their former slaves as voters and citizens with full rights. That's kind of a funny attitude for folks who claimed not to be fighting for slavery, ain't it? "Oh, we ain't fightin' fer slavery... but by God if we lose we're gonna treat the coloreds worse that when they were slaves, by jingo! Well, show 'em a thing or two! "

Lest we forget that in the 1870s President Grant sent troops back into the south to make war on the KKK.

tompritchett
06-06-2007, 12:34 PM
That's kind of a funny attitude for folks who claimed not to be fighting for slavery, ain't it? "Oh, we ain't fightin' fer slavery... but by God if we lose we're gonna treat the coloreds worse that when they were slaves, by jingo! Well, show 'em a thing or two! "

Lest we forget that in the 1870s President Grant sent troops back into the south to make war on the KKK.

It is a little more complicated than that. Yes, the first seven states seceded to preserve slavery and to ensure that they would not be forced to make the black man legally equal to the white man. Then a war was fought because of that secession. As a result the slaves were freed, as per the 13th Amendment, and blacks were supposedly given the same rights as whites, as per the 14th Amendment. Much of the Southern backlash against the Reconstruction dealt with this latter Amendment and truly was not overcome until the Civil Rights reforms of the 1960s. Now that is not to say that racism did not exist elsewhere in the U.S.; it was not as institutionalized in the rest of the nation as it was in the South, especially with the Jim Crow laws.

Robert A Mosher
06-06-2007, 07:45 PM
Much of the Southern backlash against the Reconstruction dealt with this latter Amendment and truly was not overcome until the Civil Rights reforms of the 1960s. Now that is not to say that racism did not exist elsewhere in the U.S.; it was not as institutionalized in the rest of the nation as it was in the South, especially with the Jim Crow laws.

Tom -
By the way you have been addressing the issue, I take it that I would be correct in assuming that you are not neglecting the 'Jim Crow' laws that existed in the North as well. They were frequently less extensive and sometimes slightly less obvious as you moved from South to North but they were there - even if they were not even enforced.

It doesn't directly relate to this point, but I remember seeing my first signs designating who could drink at which public water fountains in Southeast Missouri in 1968. They disappeared before the middle of 1969.

Robert A. Mosher

Shermans_Neckties
06-08-2007, 09:00 AM
Originally Posted by Greg Deese
Check out Gregg Hensley's thread of 5/6/2007, "1st national Flag stolen from courthouse lawn" same result there. So everyone that even mentions a Confederate flag is viciously attacked by the same 10 people. Mr. Hensley assumed, with no proof what-so-ever, that the flag was stolen for political anti-confederate reasons. Random acts of theft and vandalism occur everywhere and often for no political reasons at all. Senseless thievery has become the national pastime. I'm sorry the flag was stolen, but how does he know it was wasn't taken down by some kid who saw a target of opportunity? Why does every apparent slight to the Confederate flag have to send Southern apologists into a state of paranoia? As I see it he could have reported the theft on this board without making assumptions about the reasons it was stolen, but he chose from the get-go to make it a political issue. Someone dared to call him on it and making a comparison to another issue in the same state where the memory of Union soldiers was "viciously attacked" by one of Mr. Hensley's SCV colleagues. Seems to me Mr. Hensley made his post, expecting sympathy and presuming that everyone would quietly fall into line and accept his presumptions without question. When they didn't, the battle was on. God bless America.

Claude Sinclair
06-08-2007, 11:58 AM
Let me chime in again. I can understand that hate groups have hijacked the Confederate Battle Flag along with the US flag and the Christian flag. The flag in question in SC is placed at the Soldiers Monument and that was part of the compromise. Also part of that compromise was the erection of the AA monument and state recognition of the Martin Luther King Holiday. The author of the Bill that resulted in the present chaos was Sen. Democrat Robert Ford of SC, a black man. Saying that the common Confederate soldier was fighting personally to preserve slavery is like saying that the common Federal soldier was fighting to free the slaves. No one on this list knows why my ggg and gg grandfathers fought. Not a **** one including myself. Yes, slavery was wrong. But when did it become wrong? Thoughts began changing and the 1700's and the 1800's was a time of transition. Even though many people did not support slavery, they didn't want former slaves settling in their States, North and South. Even President Lincoln stated that they were an inferior race. We all know that is not or was not true. There is no race inferior to another race.

So should the Confederate Battle Flag be flying at the Soldiers Confederate Monument at the State House? Yes, it was a fair vote and even supported by black democrats at the time. I would guess that those in opposition of the flag being flown there would be less than 5 percent.

Regards,

Claude Sinclair
Lancaster, SC

tompritchett
06-08-2007, 04:02 PM
So should the Confederate Battle Flag be flying at the Soldiers Confederate Monument at the State House? Yes,

With that I wholeheartedly agree.

Spare_Man
06-11-2007, 09:24 AM
On a recent visit to Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta I noted that the Confederate memorial to the unknown, a magnificent lion in repose, was surrounded by little 50-star U.S. flags.... not a CS battle flag in sight. No CS battle flags anywhere on any CS graves. Political correctness? I don't know, but I found it rather refreshing that CS veterans were being honored just as most American veterans are without the CS flag ramifications. But, of course, the CS battle flag is sculpted directly into the monument itself.

http://www.clevermag.com/images04/sum05/x31lion.jpg

bob 125th nysvi
06-12-2007, 11:14 AM
was stolen by a southern supporter who wanted a momento!

I think one very interesting thing over-looked by all the "you-hate-the-south-because" protagonists is that the LARGEST monument in Arlington National Cemetary is the Confederate Memorial on Jackson Circle.

If Arlington can have a huge Confederate Memorial, put there by the government that the CSA opposed, in order to make the past the PAST, where ever a CSA Flag is to be flown then maybe a monument or plaque honoring the all the partcipants should also go up or maybe it should be a joint monument flying both flags.

I think that may defuse the argument that the CSA flag NOW represents something it may have in the past.

tompritchett
06-12-2007, 02:18 PM
If Arlington can have a huge Confederate Memorial, put there by the government that the CSA opposed, in order to make the past the PAST, where ever a CSA Flag is to be flown then maybe a monument or plaque honoring the all the partcipants should also go up or maybe it should be a joint monument flying both flags.

First, I applaud the fairness shown at Arlington. However, using the reverse of your argument, does that also mean that all those Civil War Memorials in the North, such as in the center square of Easton where I live, should also include recognition of the Confederates who fought and died, instead of just the Union dead? After all, the Confederates were Americans also.

ThumbStall
06-13-2007, 09:17 AM
The Arlington CS monument is a good example of "conditional reconcilliation." It was erected in part as a reaction to the number of southerners who volunteered for the Spanish-American War, among them some CS vets. It was a nice way of saying that southerners are once again loyal Americans and we can bury CS vets in Arlington. However, no Confederates who died while in a state of rebellion are buried around the Arlington monument, only CS veterans. Presumably all of them took the oath of allegiance to the United States at the end of the war.

bob 125th nysvi
06-13-2007, 12:13 PM
First, I applaud the fairness shown at Arlington. However, using the reverse of your argument, does that also mean that all those Civil War Memorials in the North, such as in the center square of Easton where I live, should also include recognition of the Confederates who fought and died, instead of just the Union dead? After all, the Confederates were Americans also.

with doing that Tom but I'm not sure it address the political issue we've been wrestling with.

What did the CSA flags represent then and now? And how do we move the image from one hijacked by hate groups still representing a pro-slavery stance to one of slavery was wrong, it is also dead and we want to honor those who fought for what they believed was their 'rights' (a time honored American tradition).

And certainly if the pro-CSA flags forces did that first I think it would generate political pressure to do it at all monuments.

And this is going to probably start a fire-storm but the Confederates killed during the war were legally not Americans being in a state of rebellion against that government when they were killed. Given an option they might have declined the 'honor' of being buried under the American flag as some former Confederates did when they left the country or refused to take the oath after the war.

But I think the fact that most people think of ALL Confederates as Americans (legally or not) is a sign of how far we've come in reconciling ourselves that our history (both the good and the bad) has created whom we are today.

And we should honor all those who contributed.

Appropriately.

tompritchett
06-13-2007, 12:59 PM
And this is going to probably start a fire-storm but the Confederates killed during the war were legally not Americans being in a state of rebellion against that government when they were killed.

But, if they were not "legally" Americans during the war, aren't you in essence admitting that the secession was legal and that the act of secession removed them and their parent states from the United States. If the secession was not legal, then technically the Confederate states never left the Union and therefore the citizens of those states never lost their citizenship. The fact that the Confederate soldiers were fighting a rebellion against the Union does not by itself automatically revoke one's citizenship - a fact that has been well established from the time of the Whiskey rebellion up until recent Federal court decisions involving U.S. residents who had been declared military non-combatants.

Interestingly enough, the whole "re-admittance" process for states back into the Union during the Reconstruction was in essence also based on the implicit assumption that the secession was legal. Each Confederate state was required to meet certain conditions before it was allowed all the rights of a state under the Constitution (i.e., they were forced to re-enter the Union). If the secession had been an illegal act, the Confederate states legally would have never left the United States and, thus, should have automatically retained their full rights as states at the end of the conflict. Granted, leaders in the state governments could have been tried to various crimes against the nation and removed from office via that means, but the Federal government legally could not have taken over governments in areas that were not already under martial law at the time of the surrender of the various Confederate armies and the capture of what was left of the Confederate government. Likewise, the Federal authorities could not have denied the citizens of those state and especially the civil and military leaders of those states their fundamental rights to vote in elections. Under Constitutional Law the right to vote can only be denied to convicted criminals or to non-citizens.

I know that I may seem to be splitting hairs, but unfortunately that is the way the law is. IMHO, from a Constitutional point of view secession can not be illegal and the Federal actions during the Reconstruction be legal - all at the same time.

Che
06-13-2007, 05:15 PM
Too much lawyer-like talk on this thread.

Hey, anyone here remember when you were a kid and liked Civil War history for its own sake and could have cared less about the politics? Dang, I miss those days.

Robert A Mosher
06-13-2007, 05:55 PM
Too much lawyer-like talk on this thread.

Hey, anyone here remember when you were a kid and liked Civil War history for its own sake and could have cared less about the politics? Dang, I miss those days.

Good days - but they ended when I started reading something other than the history of what happened on the battlefield and started reading the history of why they were on a battlefield.

Robert A. Mosher

bob 125th nysvi
06-14-2007, 08:02 AM
But, if they were not "legally" Americans during the war, aren't you in essence admitting that the secession was legal and that the act of secession removed them and their parent states from the United States. If the secession was not legal, then technically the Confederate states never left the Union and therefore the citizens of those states never lost their citizenship. The fact that the Confederate soldiers were fighting a rebellion against the Union does not by itself automatically revoke one's citizenship - a fact that has been well established from the time of the Whiskey rebellion up until recent Federal court decisions involving U.S. residents who had been declared military non-combatants.

Because you can lose your citizenship through an act of rebellion although legally that was never done to supports of the CSA.

However the whole facade that the south fought behind was that they were citizens of a State before they were citizens of a nation.

Thus your average southerner thought of himself as a (example) Virginian rather than an "American" no matter how we might label him.



Interestingly enough, the whole "re-admittance" process for states back into the Union during the Reconstruction was in essence also based on the implicit assumption that the secession was legal. Each Confederate state was required to meet certain conditions before it was allowed all the rights of a state under the Constitution (i.e., they were forced to re-enter the Union). If the secession had been an illegal act, the Confederate states legally would have never left the United States and, thus, should have automatically retained their full rights as states at the end of the conflict. Granted, leaders in the state governments could have been tried to various crimes against the nation and removed from office via that means, but the Federal government legally could not have taken over governments in areas that were not already under martial law at the time of the surrender of the various Confederate armies and the capture of what was left of the Confederate government. Likewise, the Federal authorities could not have denied the citizens of those state and especially the civil and military leaders of those states their fundamental rights to vote in elections. Under Constitutional Law the right to vote can only be denied to convicted criminals or to non-citizens.

This is just a one of a number of instances in which governmental authorities really didn't understand their own or international law.

For example Lincoln declared a 'blockade' of southern ports. Under international law at the time you 'blockaded' a recognized national belligerents ports, you "closed" your own. Lincoln almost handed France and England a legal recognition of the CSA status as an independent nation.

I think this is reflective of a simpler time. The legal terms and issues were not as important as what actually had to be done. So they spoke in plain language instead of the language of laws and diplomats. Probably one of the very few things back then that we really should copy today.

In this case though I think you've jumped one step too far. The southern state governments in effect revolted against the Federal government thus making the state government (once they had lost the war) illegal. Therefore the legal structure of the state government no longer existed as it had prior to the war.

In order to have civilian rule of the state restored the state had in effect to be reorganized and to recognize, legally, certain things.

This does not necessarily imply that the federal government recognized the legality of the state's actions at all.

The basic problem became that this type of issue had never been faced before. The peaceful reentry of a rebellious part of a country, including its leaders, into the national politic. Previously most rebellions had been ruthlessly crushed with mass punishment for the losers and a new political structure put in place by the victors.

Americans were not really interested in having that, so they invented a new way.


I know that I may seem to be splitting hairs, but unfortunately that is the way the law is. IMHO, from a Constitutional point of view secession can not be illegal and the Federal actions during the Reconstruction be legal - all at the same time.

Once again we come back to the argument that if a 'right' is not explicitedly denied (secession) is it given? And the answer to that whole argument rests on whether a national or a local government has primacy.

If local is primary then the counties of western Virginia were with in their rights to secede from Virginia. Just as any small town would be.

The fallacy of the southern argument is that they wanted to stop the 'right' to secede at a particular level, the state, but to the best of my knowledge no state consitution forbid seccession either.

What is good for the goose has to be good for the gander. And if the gander can't have it then neither can the goose.

The Consitution (thank heaven) is a flexible document that changes with the times based on laws and customs and morals.

Seccession as a 'right' that was not addressed in the document, when NE threatened it in 1813 the (southern controlled) Federal government told them they did not have that 'right'. In 1861 Lincoln was just following the precedent already set by the federal government in 1813.

It was southern politicians who wanted to rewrite (because now it suited them) the precedent.

It unfortunately took a long bloody civil war to settle that issue along with several others.

As to reconstruction, Federal courts did rule certain actions illegal and on the whole it probably was illegal, but again I'm willing to concede that while pointing out that on the whole it acheived a remarkably peaceful reconcilliation.

hanktrent
06-14-2007, 10:17 AM
For example Lincoln declared a 'blockade' of southern ports. Under international law at the time you 'blockaded' a recognized national belligerents ports, you "closed" your own. Lincoln almost handed France and England a legal recognition of the CSA status as an independent nation.

I think this is reflective of a simpler time. The legal terms and issues were not as important as what actually had to be done. So they spoke in plain language instead of the language of laws and diplomats. Probably one of the very few things back then that we really should copy today.

Having just spent a day at the library looking at period law books, all I can say is, I wish!

I'm thinking it was similar then and now. There were micro and macro issues, so at the same time appeals were being argued on the finest points of law, the broad sweep of government was dealing with concepts like "declaring war on terror" or "blockading southern ports" because it seemed to need done.

Lincoln's April 19, 1861 order to blockade southern portswas examined in an appeal to the supreme court. A modern summary of the case is here http://www.oyez.org/cases/1851-1900/1862/1862_0/ and the whole text is here http://supreme.justia.com/us/67/635/case.html

But if you think "they" were debating issues in simpler terms without worrying about the language of law, here's an example:


With the information laid before [Lincoln], he declared that these seceded States were full of people devoted to the Union. Well, therefore, might he hesitate to exercise, even if he supposed himself to possess, the power of declaring or 'recognizing' a state of war. His powers in cases of insurrection or invasion were clear and undoubted. He had the army, the navy, and the militia of the States (the United States having no militia except in the federal territories) confided to his command, sub modo.
But insurrection is not war; and invasion is not war. The Constitution expressly distinguishes them, and treats them as wholly different subjects. But this belongs to a subsequent question in the argument. It is now referred to as bearing upon the construction of the proclamation, and consequently upon the question of intent to break a blockade. It is true that the proclamation calls it a blockade. But the message speaks of it as proceedings 'in the nature of a blockade.' And the proclamation itself, by its terms and provisions, substantially conforms to the latter description. It founds itself upon the existence of 'an insurrection.' It pronounces the disturbance to be by 'a combination of persons.' It proceeds upon the Acts of Congress provided for ' insurrections' by 'combinations of persons.' It declares that the executive measures are provisional and temporary only, 'until Congress shall have assembled and deliberated upon the said unlawful proceedings.' It requires the seceded States to disperse, and return peaceably 'to their respective place of abode in twenty days.'

'These 'combinations of persons,' and these 'unlawful proceedings,' are not at all recognized as presenting a case for belligerent rights and obligations. Naturally and prudently, the President did not assume to proclaim a strict blockade, with the extreme rights which obtain between belligerents, and with the corresponding rights of neutrals. He first called out the militia of the States, as such. He then used the army and the navy, under the Act of 1807. But he knew that this was not war. It was the suppression of insurrection. Consequently, in this use of the navy, he did not contemplate capture jure belli. Long after the period involved in this case, he maintained to all the civilized world, (see Mr. Seward's diplomatic correspondence, 1861,) that to attribute anything of belligerent right to these 'combinations of persons' and these 'unlawful proceedings,' was an outrage and an offence to the United States. In effect, his position was that it was purely a municipal question; and, of course, there could be no blockade, in the international sense, and no capture jure belli.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Bitter_Bierce
06-14-2007, 11:01 AM
First, I applaud the fairness shown at Arlington. However, using the reverse of your argument, does that also mean that all those Civil War Memorials in the North, such as in the center square of Easton where I live, should also include recognition of the Confederates who fought and died, instead of just the Union dead? After all, the Confederates were Americans also. By the same token, should memorials to Federal soldiers in the South be misappropriated by Southrons who like to think of Union memorials as monuments to Confed marksmanship? I bring into question the placement of a tacky hand-lettered sign placed on the monument marking the site where General James B. MacPherson was killed during the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864. This eyesore memorializes the Confederates who gunned down MacPherson as he was trying to evade capture. Yes, it was an act of war and they were "doing their duty," but I have yet to see any Union sympathizers place similar nonsense at the monuments where JEB Stuart or A.P. Hill were shot.
http://www.leonidaspolk.org/images/mcpherson-blockIMG_4114.jpg

http://www.leonidaspolk.org/images/mcpherson-monument-IMG_4116.jpg

And why do I get the distinct impression that this transient bit of inappropriate "artwork" was put there by reenactors?

bob 125th nysvi
06-14-2007, 11:43 AM
Lincoln DID proclaim a 'blockade' of southern ports.

I'm not disputing that.

What I am saying is he ALMOST gave the south belligerent status by proclaiming the 'blockade' instead of simply closing the ports. Which he would still have had to enforce at the point of a gun.

Secondly someone (based on the link) must have been claiming that Lincoln did not have the right to do so because Congress had not declared war (making the seizure of blockade runners illegal).

A moot point, you can only declare war on an internationally recognized state, which the CSA was not (and "Terror" and "Drugs" and "Crime" aren't). As is pointed out.

Thus the seizure of any ships attempting to enter the ports was legal under both national and international law.

Of course the same situation worked against Britain. In allowing the CSA to acquire ships used for commerce raiding, since it was NOT a belligerent (by law), the British Government lost its case about reparations because it acted outside international law.

The Union could have also denied belligerent status to all combatants of the south (which thankfully they didn't do) since as pointed out an insurrection is not (legally) a war.

And while the ruling of the day was quite complex for its time, imagine if this same issue were to try and be adjudicated in today's courts with all the judges who think their job is to make laws not interpret them. It would make this court case look like a tea social.

They were worried about the legalities but not quite like today.

There is a difference between legal and rhetoric.

bob 125th nysvi
06-14-2007, 11:45 AM
And why do I get the distinct impression that this transient bit of innapropriate "artwork" was put their by reenactors?

it is a little too informative for your average teenage history student?

ThumbStall
06-14-2007, 12:16 PM
By the same token, should memorials to Federal soldiers in the South be misappropriated by Southrons who like to think of Union memorials as monuments to Confed marksmanship? I bring into question the placement of a tacky hand-lettered sign placed on the monument marking the site where General James B. MacPherson was killed during the battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864. This eyesore memorializes the Confederates who gunned down MacPherson as he was trying to evade capture. Yes, it was an act of war and they were "doing their duty," but I have yet to see any Union sympathizers place similar nonsense at the monuments where JEB Stuart or A.P. Hill were shot.... . I agree, that is tacky and highly inappropriate, especially when one considers that MacPherson was a respected officer and much beloved by his men. What makes it even worse is that fact that MacPherson was engaged to a Baltimore woman, Emily Hoffman, whose family were Confederate sympathizers. When word came of MacPherson's death one of her relatives clearly stated her approval that he had been killed. As a result of that horrific insult Miss Hoffman went into a mourning so deep she did not leave her bedroom or speak for one solid year, her meals being left for her outside the bedroom door.


it is a little too informative for your average teenage history student? LOL. Informative, yes, but lacking in tact and completely devoid of that extinct attribute called "Southern hospitality."

hanktrent
06-14-2007, 01:38 PM
And while the ruling of the day was quite complex for its time, imagine if this same issue were to try and be adjudicated in today's courts with all the judges who think their job is to make law not interpret them. It would make this court case look like a tea social.

They were worried about the legalities but not quite like today.

Guess I'm just not seeing it. I think the illusion is caused by our problems today seeming more complex because we're in the middle of them, while the past seems simpler by comparison because we can view it through a long lens, trace the basic outcome, and ignore all the little side issues which might have been of great importance but turned into dead ends.

The tug of war between making law and interpreting law has always been an ongoing one, because courts can always do a little of both. If people worried less about legalities back then, seems like that would refer to a society where courts could interpret freely, setting new precedents and thus making law as they went along. Yet it seems you're saying that the courts are more apt to do that now.

Here's a page with an overview of supreme court cases affect Presidential powers in the 19th century http://www.supremecourthistory.org/myweb/77journal/langran77.htm including a few related to the Civil War. It's just one example of many, and careers have been spent on studying the history of law in America, but the author makes the point: "Looking back upon these nineteenth-century cases, one can see that the relationship between the President and the Supreme Court was a fluctuating one due to the lack of detail surrounding their relationship in the Constitution."


There is a difference between legal and rhetoric.

I think that's where we agree. Rhetoric is the big picture, the main thrust, the sound bites, what people make stirring speeches and write songs about. The legal argument is more complex, more behind the scenes, less emotionally gripping, yet it both affects and is affected by the rhetoric that sways the larger trends of society.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

bob 125th nysvi
06-16-2007, 07:11 PM
Guess I'm just not seeing it. I think the illusion is caused by our problems today seeming more complex because we're in the middle of them, while the past seems simpler by comparison because we can view it through a long lens, trace the basic outcome, and ignore all the little side issues which might have been of great importance but turned into dead ends.

'the good old days weren't always as good as they seemed and tomorrow ain't as bad.'

What you say is true to a certain extent but I think if you just look at the way laws are written today verses then you'll see a massive multiplication in the number of words necessary to get the point across.

I'm a bigger believer in KISS and today they just can't seem to get it done.

I'm sure 150 years from now somebody will be sitting around discussing how much simpler it was at the begining of the 21st Century.

goatgirl
06-18-2007, 07:21 AM
Once again we come back to the argument that if a 'right' is not explicitedly denied (secession) is it given? And the answer to that whole argument rests on whether a national or a local government has primacy.

If local is primary then the counties of western Virginia were with in their rights to secede from Virginia. Just as any small town would be.

The fallacy of the southern argument is that they wanted to stop the 'right' to secede at a particular level, the state, but to the best of my knowledge no state consitution forbid seccession either.

A State constitution does not have to forbid secession because the U.S. constitution Article IV. Section. 3 reads:

“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

By the U.S. constitution western Virginia had no right to “secede” without the consent of the Legislature of Virginia.

VA Soldier
06-18-2007, 03:36 PM
By the U.S. constitution western Virginia had no right to “secede” without the consent of the Legislature of Virginia.

And here lies the paradox, If Virginia is in a state of Rebellion as the Federal Govt claimed and there is no legitimate Virginia Legislature as the Fed Gov't would have seen it, then they can not give consent. At the same time, one might argue since there is no governemt there is no state and thus no need to get consent in the first place.

If you follow the line as Virginia had seceeded from the United States, then the US Constitution no longer applies to Virginia and it can not claim protection under the Constitution of Federal Law for that much. With this, then does the United States have the right to create a state out of territory of another nation without the consent of the other nation, or would they have to buy the land as they did from France, Spain, or Russia, or conquer the territory as they did with Mexico, Britain, or Spain? If that is the story, then it could be decently argued that the area was in mostly Union control by the time statehood was accepted in 1863. All depends on ones viewpoint.

D A Jackson

tompritchett
06-18-2007, 04:25 PM
If you follow the line as Virginia had seceeded from the United States, then the US Constitution no longer applies to Virginia and it can not claim protection under the Constitution of Federal Law for that much. With this, then does the United States have the right to create a state out of territory of another nation without the consent of the other nation, or would they have to buy the land as they did from France, Spain, or Russia, or conquer the territory as they did with Mexico, Britain, or Spain? If that is the story, then it could be decently argued that the area was in mostly Union control by the time statehood was accepted in 1863. All depends on ones viewpoint.

Further complicated by the fact that initially the West Virginia government was not petitioning to be recognized as a new state but rather as the "legitimate" government of for the whole state of Virginia. The Confederate states could not really argue against such a claim as it recognized similar "state" governments for Kentucky and Missouri as well as Maryland, if I remember correctly. As for the Union government of Virginia, I am not sure when theie emphasis went to becoming an indepedent state.

tompritchett
06-18-2007, 04:49 PM
No I'm Not


Originally Posted by tompritchett
But, if they were not "legally" Americans during the war, aren't you in essence admitting that the secession was legal and that the act of secession removed them and their parent states from the United States. If the secession was not legal, then technically the Confederate states never left the Union and therefore the citizens of those states never lost their citizenship. The fact that the Confederate soldiers were fighting a rebellion against the Union does not by itself automatically revoke one's citizenship - a fact that has been well established from the time of the Whiskey rebellion up until recent Federal court decisions involving U.S. residents who had been declared military non-combatants.

Because you can lose your citizenship through an act of rebellion although legally that was never done to supports of the CSA.

However the whole facade that the south fought behind was that they were citizens of a State before they were citizens of a nation.

Thus your average southerner thought of himself as a (example) Virginian rather than an "American" no matter how we might label him.

Let's see. You are arguing that during the rebellion that citizens of Virginia were not legally citizens of the U.S. because Virginian no longer claimed to belong to the Union are also claiming that Virginia legally never left the United States. Yes, during the war Virginians like Lee claimed that their citizenship to Virginia took priority over their citizenship to the U.S., but if Virginia never left the Union, how could a such Virginian not be legally an American without revoking his citizenship to the state of Virginia. The fact that they were fighting against U.S troops that were trying to prevent their state, and others, from seceding does not automatically revoke their citizenship based upon legal precedent running from the American Revolution (Great Britian considered the colonist to be citizens of the crown up until the very date that she granted the colonies their independence), through the Whiskey Rebellion, up to modern day Supreme and Federal Circuit Court decisions. The only way that a citizen of a Confederate state could legally have no longer been an American during the Civil War, would have been if that state had legally no longer been part of the United States (i.e., the secession had been legal) and, thus, his placing a higher priority on his citizenship to his state over his U.S. citizenship would have automatically made null his U.S. citizenship the moment his state was no longer legally part of the U.S.

If you do not believe my logic here, I would suggest that you construct a series of Venn Diagrams of citizens of the U.S. versus those of citizens of various states. As long as the state is legally part of the U.S., you can't move the circle for the citizens of that state outside of the circle for all U.S. citizens. However, if you concede that the legality of the secessions was at least an undecided issue, then you can logically state that the U.S. citizenship of the citizens of the "seceding" state was in question while the issue of secession remained in question.

bob 125th nysvi
06-18-2007, 05:55 PM
I don't believe your logic here Tom but the Bush administration is currently (rather successfully) arguing that once an American citizen swears allegence to another body (Al Queda for example) they forfeit their protection under the consitution.

It's a fairly old argument (for example Congress had to pass a law allowing dual citizenship for American-Isrealis) that one can not serve two masters at the same time. That is particularily true if you bear arms against the American government, which is certainly what CSA politicians and soldiers did.

Whether or not the Federal Government recognized the 'legitimacy' of the 'governments' that seceded I don't think that you could (successfully) claim in court protection of the laws of a government that you were rejecting it's authority by the force of arms.

The Federal government WAS able to force CSA supporters to meet certain requirements to regain the rights of the citizenship you are arguing they never lost.

Civil law (which is what we have been arguing) tends to be set aside during a state or rebellion.

Your reference to the War of Independence is a prime example. The American rebels were denied the protection of British law while in a state of rebellion. It is impossible to tell HOW Britian would have treated the rebels if She had one the war. Considering how they treated rebels duirng the English Civil War and the subsequent restoration I don't think that she would have been enlightened in her treatment.

hanktrent
06-18-2007, 08:32 PM
On the West Virginia statehood question, I believe the original idea (from the pro-US viewpoint), was to "reorganize" a loyal government of Virginia, headed by Governor Pierpont. That Virginia government then approved the formation of a new state of West Virginia to be split off from the rest of Virginia, and Governor Boreman was elected head of the new state, while Pierpont continued as governor of Virginia.

For the rest of the war, Pierpont continued to serve as loyal governor of Virginia from Alexandria, with very little power, while Boreman served as governor of West Virginia.

The weak link, of course, is whether Pierpont's government ever was a legitimate government representing the people of Virginia.


Civil law (which is what we have been arguing) tends to be set aside during a state or rebellion.

I think that might be the key. I'm assuming you mean civilian law as opposed to military, rather than civil as opposed to criminal?

I haven't looked into anything concerning citizenship and such, but in the legal research I've been doing lately, a case in the news in 1864 was the Supreme Court's failure to hear Clement Vallandigham's appeal. He was tried by a military commission for speaking against the US government, and wanted to appeal to the Supreme Court, but the court ruled that they had no jurisdiction over military courts and would not hear his appeal.

That would give the military incredible legal power over private citizens, and in fact when things settled down, the court ruled the other way in ex parte Milligan, 1866.

But when martial law was declared, or when the military took jurisdiction over private citizens, the military could try them as they felt best, and while the Vallandigham ruling stood, there wasn't much citizens could do about it.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
06-18-2007, 10:47 PM
It Not That
I don't believe your logic here Tom but the Bush administration is currently (rather successfully) arguing that once an American citizen swears allegence to another body (Al Queda for example) they forfeit their protection under the consitution.

It's a fairly old argument (for example Congress had to pass a law allowing dual citizenship for American-Isrealis) that one can not serve two masters at the same time. That is particularily true if you bear arms against the American government, which is certainly what CSA politicians and soldiers did.

For Northern officers who renounced their U.S. citizneships to become citiznes of the Confederacy, I agree that your argument is quite valid. However, the majority of confederate soldiers were only maintaining their loyalties to their states; they felt that state citizenship took priority over any national citizenship. When Tennessee was a member of the U.S., they were citizens of the U.S. because of their being citizens of Tennessee. They were citizens of whatever nation their state belonged to. Therefore, if Tennessee was never legally separated from the U.S., how did they legally become non-Americans when Tennessee never legally left the U.S. and they never renounced their citizenship to Tennessee? These were not men who, like al Queda, were trying bring down the government of the United States. Rather they were men who were defending their native state from what they viewed as an invasion of their state's territory and of their state's right to self-determination. I am not necessarily arguing that their cause was legal. Rather I am arguing that the only way that they can be declared legally non-Americans is if their native states actually legally left the United States. If their native states never left the United States and they never renounced their citizenships to those states, then legally they were always still Americans - regardless of how misguided or not their cause was.


but the Bush administration is currently (rather successfully) arguing that once an American citizen swears allegence to another body (Al Queda for example) they forfeit their protection under the consitution.

As combatants, they can be held under military law yes, but those few, who were actual combatants, were never actually stripped of citizenship. In fact, if I remember correctly, the charge of treason was actually being considered for a while, a charge that applies only to citizens, until the military apparently was afraid that they might not be able to meet the constitutional defined burdens of proof for a treason charge to stick. As far as non-combatants, lately the administration has been losing their arguments in both military and non-military courts. Besides, recently it is starting to become clearer and clearer by the week that this administration's respect for the rules of law as outlined by the Constitution are weak at best. The one thing that I remember from my days as a officer during the Cold War, was that the Soviet Constitution in writing had the same separation of powers and many of the same citizen rights as ours. The difference was how those rules were actually applied in both countries. Nuff said.

goatgirl
06-19-2007, 07:51 AM
If you follow the line as Virginia had seceeded from the United States, then the US Constitution no longer applies to Virginia and it can not claim protection under the Constitution of Federal Law for that much. D A Jackson

The C.S. constitution says the same thing. So, by both the U.S. and C.S. constitution western Virginia had no right to “secede” without the consent of the Legislature of Virginia. There is no such clearly written denial of State secession as there is “county secession.”

hanktrent
06-19-2007, 08:50 AM
The C.S. constitution says the same thing. So, by both the U.S. and C.S. constitution western Virginia had no right to “secede” without the consent of the Legislature of Virginia. There is no such clearly written denial of State secession as there is “county secession.”

And that's why Governor Pierpont's government of Virginia had to consent to the western counties' secession. Pierpont was not claiming to represent only West Virginia, he was claiming to represent the whole state.

The question is not "did the Virginia legislature consent?" The question is "was the legislature of Virginia that consented, a legitimate legislature?"

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

goatgirl
06-19-2007, 08:52 AM
On the West Virginia statehood question, I believe the original idea (from the pro-US viewpoint), was to "reorganize" a loyal government of Virginia, headed by Governor Pierpont. That Virginia government then approved the formation of a new state of West Virginia to be split off from the rest of Virginia, and Governor Boreman was elected head of the new state, while Pierpont continued as governor of Virginia.

For the rest of the war, Pierpont continued to serve as loyal governor of Virginia from Alexandria, with very little power, while Boreman served as governor of West Virginia.

The weak link, of course, is whether Pierpont's government ever was a legitimate government representing the people of Virginia.
Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Yes, President Lincoln did attempt to give some validity to the new State by creating a bogus government in western Virginia. Other Union men were in favor of admitting West Virginia into the Union, but candidly admitted it was not on Constitutional grounds. During the debate over admitting West Virginia into the Union, Thaddeus Steven stated:

“I do not wish to be understood as sharing the delusion that we are admitting West Virginia in pursuance of any provision of the Constitution. I can find no provision justifying it, and the argument in favor of it originates with those who either honestly entertain an erroneous opinion, or who desire to justify by a forced construction an act which they have predetermined to do. By the Constitution, a State may be divided by the consent of the Legislature thereof and by the consent of Congress admitting the new State into the Union.
Now, sir, it is but mockery to say that the Legislature of Virginia has ever consented to the division. Only two hundred thousand out of a million and a quarter of people have participated in this proceeding....
I shall vote for this bill upon that theory, and upon that alone; for I will not stultify myself by supposing that we have any warrant in the Constitution for this proceeding."

Abram Baldwin Olin of New York confessed:
"Now, Mr. Speaker, I am rather disposed to vote for this bill; but I confess I shall do it with great reluctance.... I confess I do not fully understand upon what principles of constitutional law this measure can be justified. It cannot be done, I fear, at all. It can be justified only as a measure of policy, or of necessity....The Constitution gives no authority for it. It does not grow out of any constitutional provision, nor of any right guarantied by it."

bob 125th nysvi
06-19-2007, 11:11 AM
of your argument is that an American was also a CITIZEN of a given state.

There is no presedent for that anywhere.

Citizenship is a national right not a state right.

Therefore a southerner could not renounce his citizenship of the USA in favor of a non-existant citizenship to a state. The only place he could renounce his citizenship from was the USA and he effectively did that by taking up arms against the government of the USA.

And Hank yes I'm talking civil law verses military law. All areas in 'rebellion' were in effect under military law once they were occupied until a civilian government could be reestablished.

The former governments of the Southern States were rendered illegal by their act of seccession therefore none of the constitutions those governments were formed under or operated under NOR anything related to a CSA constitution was legal or lawful.

So once again we loop back to if seccession was legal under the consitution as aright not explicietly forbidden, then it was legal at any level of government down to the smallest town.

Therefore West Virginia had a right to secede from Virginia.

If it was NOT legal under the constitution, then West Virginia had no right to secede from the State of Virginia but then the government of the "state" of Virginia was rendered illegal by its act of seccession and therefore had no enforcement powers or legal claims to those counties.

As to the precedent of making new "states" out of parts of old ones, it was done all the time. Maine was once part of Mass. Vermont was claimed by both NY and Mass. Ohio was once part of NY, PA and VA. The list goes on and on.

There has never been anything sacrosanct about state borders, they've just always been mutually accepted boundries. Heck a couple of years ago the Federal Courts ruled NJ owns part of island the Statue of Liberty stands on, once a federal fort.

The legal reality is that a rebel's position is only lawful if he wins.

Sgt_Pepper
06-19-2007, 11:20 AM
"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it." Abbie Hoffman

tompritchett
06-19-2007, 01:43 PM
Tom Part
of your argument is that an American was also a CITIZEN of a given state.

There is no presedent for that anywhere.

Citizenship is a national right not a state right.

As defined by our modern understanding, but not by their understanding back then.


The only place he could renounce his citizenship from was the USA and he effectively did that by taking up arms against the government of the USA.

This is the crux of our disagreement. The Federal government never legally recognized that these states had left the Union nor did it ever legally recognize the Confederacy. As for taking up arms against the U.S., that might be considered treason but I see no legal precedent that such actions automatically revoke one's citizenship.

bob 125th nysvi
06-19-2007, 05:40 PM
As defined by our modern understanding, but not by their understanding back then.

Citzenship is not an "understanding" it is a legal status that entitles you to certain protections and obligates you to certain rights. Both then and now.

And that is how things start to get fuzzy when people define them by 'feeling' instead of objective description.

I won't argue that many people 'felt' they were a citizen of a state but legally in both the eyes of the national government and internationally they weren't. It had no more legal standing then then me saying "I'm a New Yorker" now. That describes where I live and what local laws I am subject too, not my citizenship.


This is the crux of our disagreement. The Federal government never legally recognized that these states had left the Union nor did it ever legally recognize the Confederacy. As for taking up arms against the U.S., that might be considered treason but I see no legal precedent that such actions automatically revoke one's citizenship.

Agreed that this is the crux and in reality the National government never legally pursued the option of revoking their citizenship although it would have been an open and shut case.

flattop32355
06-19-2007, 06:05 PM
I won't argue that many people 'felt' they were a citizen of a state but legally in both the eyes of the national government and internationally they weren't. It had no more legal standing then then me saying "I'm a New Yorker" now. That describes where I live and what local laws I am subject too, not my citizenship.

You might want to do some more study about that concept. As Tom points out, we're talking "then", not "now". The ACW decided more than the issues of slavery and secession; it also had ramifications on how citizens of the Union looked upon themselves as citizens of the United States. That concept changed after the war, evolving into what we see today as total incomprehension of how one could be more loyal to their state than their "nation". It wasn't always so clear cut, and wasn't limited to the South.

bob 125th nysvi
06-19-2007, 06:49 PM
You might want to do some more study about that concept. As Tom points out, we're talking "then", not "now". The ACW decided more than the issues of slavery and secession; it also had ramifications on how citizens of the Union looked upon themselves as citizens of the United States. That concept changed after the war, evolving into what we see today as total incomprehension of how one could be more loyal to their state than their "nation". It wasn't always so clear cut, and wasn't limited to the South.

debating how they "felt". I agree that they "felt" they were citizens of a state. And I am not disputing that state and regional and local loyalties were strong than a national identity.

All I am saying is it that being a "citizen" of a state is NOT a legally correct concept.

We are talking the legalities of citizenship here not how they "felt".

It is just like the "War on Terror" or the "War on Crime" or the "War on Drugs". We and politicians can call it anything they want however "War" is an international legal concept not a jazzy slogan.

Law is a set of rules and concepts (ableit always changing) but "If you can't say what you mean how can you mean what you say?"

RebelBugler
06-19-2007, 09:11 PM
Interestingly, the US Government never convicted Davis, Lee or any other high ranking Confederate officials of Treason. If secession was not permitted, or was expressly forbidden by the Constitution, the Radical Republicans would have undoubtedly had them swinging from a rope for treason and sedition. Several states including New York specifically reserved the right of secession as a condition of ratifying the US Constitution. Accordingly, this remedy would be available to all states ratifying the US Constitution. A noted Constitutional scholar in the 19th century was William Rawles, a New Englander. His textbook on the Constitution was considered the preeminent reference source on Constitutional law and utilized at the USMA at West Point in the 1840's. It stated that secession was the legal right of sovereign states. Undoubtedly, a number of the West Point officers serving on both sides of the conflict were familiar with this viewpoint.

Lee incidentally lost his US citizenship by serving in the armed forces of the Confederate States. President Gerald Ford signed the bill restoring General Lee’s citizenship in 1975. Relative to the large Confederate Soldiers Monument at Arlington, this is befitting considering the illegal confiscation of the property from the Custis-Lee families by the Federal authorities during the war.

As an aside, if the war was fought principally over the slavery issue as a number of you have conveyed, why did Grant refuse to free his wife Julia's slaves until the passage of the 13th amendment? Seems a bit disingenuous on the part of the highest ranking Union General.

tompritchett
06-20-2007, 05:33 AM
Lee incidentally lost his US citizenship by serving in the armed forces of the Confederate States. President Gerald Ford signed the bill restoring General Lee’s citizenship in 1975.

If I remember correctly, the stripping of his, and that of many other prominent leaders of the Confederacy, citizenship actually occurred after the war during the Radical Republican phase of the Reconstruction.

Sgt_Pepper
06-20-2007, 05:57 AM
Seizing Arlington was not illegal as the estate was contraband of war.

hanktrent
06-20-2007, 06:13 AM
On the topic of state vs. U.S. citizenship...

The Dred Scott decision hinged on the issue. Here's a summary: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/personality/landmark_dred.html

From that page:


Drawing a distinction between state and federal citizenship, [Chief Justice] Taney held that although some states extended citizenship to blacks, under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, blacks were not -- and never could be -- citizens of the United States.

So at that time, negroes could have state citizenship with certain rights, but not U.S. citizenship with certain other rights.

It wasn't simple, and the 14th amendment didn't help any. Here's a handy page of supreme court decisions on the topic, over the years: http://www.supremelaw.org/rsrc/twoclass.htm

It has goodies like this, from an 1855 decision:



A citizen of any one of the States of the union, is held to be, and called a citizen of the United States, although technically and abstractly there is no such thing.... The object then to be attained, by the exercise of the power of naturalization, was to make citizens of the respective States.

And as late as 1873:


It is quite clear, then, that there is a citizenship of the United States and a citizenship of a State, which are distinct from each other and which depend upon different characteristics or circumstances in the individual.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

flattop32355
06-20-2007, 07:02 AM
We are talking the legalities of citizenship here not how they "felt".

It has nothing to do with how the "felt". It does have everything to do with how the people of that time perceived their status as citizens of their states and within the Union. My point is that they viewed that status differently than we do now, post-CW plus 140 years. A true national identity as we now have it was still evolving.

It is my understanding that it was not uncommon to speak of the United States in the plural, rather than the singular, pre-CW. That seems absurd to us today, but not to them then. International opinion would mean little to that understanding except concerning international issues, when the states were acting in accord. Obviously, it's not a black and white issue, but it definitely wasn't as it is today.

tompritchett
06-20-2007, 10:47 AM
It wasn't simple, and the 14th amendment didn't help any. Here's a handy page of supreme court decisions on the topic, over the years: http://www.supremelaw.org/rsrc/twoclass.htm

It has goodies like this, from an 1855 decision:

I particularly liked these:


We have in our political system a Government of the United States** and a government of each of the several States. Each one of these governments is distinct from the others, and each has citizens of its own .... [U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542] [(1875) emphasis added]


A person who is a citizen of the United States** is necessarily a citizen of the particular state in which he resides. But a person may be a citizen of a particular state and not a citizen of the United States**. To hold otherwise would be to deny to the state the highest exercise of its sovereignty, -- the right to declare who are its citizens. [State v. Fowler, 41 La. Ann. 380] [6 S. 602 (1889), emphasis added]


There are, then, under our republican form of government, two classes of citizens, one of the United States** and one of the state. One class of citizenship may exist in a person, without the other, as in the case of a resident of the District of Columbia; but both classes usually exist in the same person. [Gardina v. Board of Registrars, 160 Ala. 155] [48 S. 788, 791 (1909), emphasis added]

bob 125th nysvi
06-20-2007, 11:29 AM
[COLOR=black]Interestingly, the US Government never convicted Davis, Lee or any other high ranking Confederate officials of Treason. If secession was not permitted, or was expressly forbidden by the Constitution, the Radical Republicans would have undoubtedly had them swinging from a rope for treason and sedition.

This was a matter of convenience and reconcilliation more than a legal matter. Grant and Sherman set the prescedents when they basically let the CSA military go home unharmed. The "radical" republican's didn't have the power to force their views of what should happen on a country that was tired of war. They were politicians first radicals second and retaining control was what they were interested in. Notice they couldn't even get an impeachment of a President in a Congress they theroretically controled with an iron grip. Neither could they get Lincoln dumped from the ticket in 1864, powerful yes, all controlling no.



Several states including New York specifically reserved the right of secession as a condition of ratifying the US Constitution. Accordingly, this remedy would be available to all states ratifying the US Constitution. A noted Constitutional scholar in the 19th century was William Rawles, a New Englander. His textbook on the Constitution was considered the preeminent reference source on Constitutional law and utilized at the USMA at West Point in the 1840's. It stated that secession was the legal right of sovereign states. Undoubtedly, a number of the West Point officers serving on both sides of the conflict were familiar with this viewpoint

A "right" never written into law there fore not a "right". The Constitution would have had to have been modified or a New York State law written which entitled it to the reserved right. Neither of which happened.

Secession was also a "right" which a southern controlled government denied New England in 1813 and a Federal government denied to the South in 1861. Regardless of what a scholar may write, laws are written by Congress and determined in a Court of Law. The Supreme Court (the interpetors of the Consitution) has NEVER upheld the right of a state to secede from the union. He can not state it is a right and then not win that right in court.

And "rights" can change based on court law or legislative law (as was the right to own slaves) not on an authors opinion.


Lee incidentally lost his US citizenship by serving in the armed forces of the Confederate States. President Gerald Ford signed the bill restoring General Lee’s citizenship in 1975. Relative to the large Confederate Soldiers Monument at Arlington, this is befitting considering the illegal confiscation of the property from the Custis-Lee families by the Federal authorities during the war.

Again law within a a military zone is and always has been different than civilian law. Confiscation of civilian facilities for military use is a wide spread practice throughout military history. Notice no court forced the Federal government to compensate the Lee's for the value of their lost property


As an aside, if the war was fought principally over the slavery issue as a number of you have conveyed, why did Grant refuse to free his wife Julia's slaves until the passage of the 13th amendment? Seems a bit disingenuous on the part of the highest ranking Union General.

Only if you take the argument that the North was fighting to free the slaves. The North was fighting to preserve the Union and because the flag was fired on. Abolishing slavery became a secondary military and political objective. The Southern political structure was fighting to PRESERVE slavery.

One sides war aims are not necessarily the others and Slavery was not made illegal in the Nation until after the war by which time the Grant/Dent slaves had been freed.

Your conclusion jumps from a false premise.

bob 125th nysvi
06-20-2007, 11:42 AM
going to have a meeting of the minds because of our differening viewpoints on citizenship.

You are looking at citizenship as a feeling or preception or even a badly worded court decisions.

I am looking at citizenship as a legally outlined and protected status with specific rights and obligations.

Just to juxtaposition what we are saying:

If someone asked me in the US where I was from I'd say "Upstate New York". That is how I think of myself (just a CW soldier would).

I was not born in NY, can they make me pass a test to claim the "rights" of a New Yorker. No they can't. Because I was born in NJ can they deny me the right to live in NY (even though they might want to). No they can't. If I wasn't from NY and wanted to visit or drive through the state can they prevent me? No they can't. If I didn't live in NYC can NYC prevent me from being an NYC cop? No they can't.

Yet if I was not a citizen of the USA the Federal Government has the right to deny me the "rights" of an American, to deny me to the ability to live within its borders, the ability to drive through on my way to Canada or serve in the armed forces.

There are many other examples to be considered.

Can a locality have certain ordinances and liscensing requirements that might vary from national or state laws that they can enforce on me? They certainly do as long as they do not violate any of my Federal rights.

Those are some of the differences between having a legal citizenship status and a feeling or preception of being a citizen.

tompritchett
06-20-2007, 02:55 PM
I am looking at citizenship as a legally outlined and protected status with specific rights and obligations.

There is one clear right that goes all the way down all levels of government and which legally grants one a specifice priveledge and that is the right to vote. In modern days, residence inmplies citizenship and therefore legally defines what state and local elections one can vote in. Another legal right that is determined by residence in specific states and municipalities is one that gets discussed in great detail here quite often and that is the right to own firearms. So I would say that residence/citizenhood in your state does indeed give one specific rights that are unique to that state. I was born in Kentucky but, because I now reside in PA, I no longer have the right to vote there.

bob 125th nysvi
06-20-2007, 05:32 PM
There is one clear right that goes all the way down all levels of government and which legally grants one a specifice priveledge and that is the right to vote. In modern days, residence inmplies citizenship and therefore legally defines what state and local elections one can vote in. Another legal right that is determined by residence in specific states and municipalities is one that gets discussed in great detail here quite often and that is the right to own firearms. So I would say that residence/citizenhood in your state does indeed give one specific rights that are unique to that state. I was born in Kentucky but, because I now reside in PA, I no longer have the right to vote there.

and the vote is the most important but you as a person decide where your state of residence is not the state (provided you meet the residency requirements).

So for example to use your example even though you live in PA you could vote in either if you meet the residency requirements, you not the state would make that decision as long as you meet the requirements. So PA can't tell you to vote in KY if you met PA residence requirements and decide PA is your home.

You can't do that in say Canada, you have to apply for thier citizenship and they have the right to deny you.

All we do here is say you can't vote in two seperate local voting districts, pick one and stick to it.

RebelBugler
06-21-2007, 06:30 AM
Seizing Arlington was not illegal as the estate was contraband of war.

Seizing Arlington was in fact illegal as determined by a decision of the US Supreme Court! Mrs. Lee, the Life Tenant, and her son, a minor and property owner, were not engaged in any military activities. Accordingly, the premise that the estate was seized as contraband of war is patently false. The action was illegal and nothing more than a cowardly attempt to seek retribution against General Robert E. Lee by persecuting his family. Union General Meigs buried 1200 Union fatalaties in the Rose Garden immediately outside the Lee Mansion, so that the Lee's never would return home. This is but another example of Constitutional liberties being stepped on by the overzealous "saving the union".

Robert A Mosher
06-21-2007, 06:48 AM
Seizing Arlington was in fact illegal as determined by a decision of the US Supreme Court! Mrs. Lee, the Life Tenant, and her son, a minor and property owner, were not engaged in any military activities. Accordingly, the premise that the estate was seized as contraband of war is patently false. The action was illegal and nothing more than a cowardly attempt to seek retribution against General Robert E. Lee by persecuting his family. Union General Meigs buried 1200 Union fatalaties in the Rose Garden immediately outside the Lee Mansion, so that the Lee's never would return home. This is but another example of Constitutional liberties being stepped on by the overzealous "saving the union".

I believe you are correct that the courts ruled the seizure of the property to have been illegal, but I also believe that the actual grounds used to justify the seizure was the Lee family's failure to pay a tax claimed due by the Federal authorities. I believe the courts established that the tax was called due with a deadline that could not realistically be met under the existing circumstances strongly suggesting that the Federal intent from the beginning of the incident was to have legal cover for the seizure. By the time the family (who had previously left the residence and moved into Alexandria) learned that the tax was due and one of the Lee family appeared in Washington DC with payment in hand, he was told by the Federal authorities that the deadline had passed and he was too late to save the property which was considered forfeit for nonpayment.

Robert A. Mosher

bob 125th nysvi
06-21-2007, 12:29 PM
If the Lee's believed that Virginia had a right to secede, wouldn't the Federal government's right to collect taxes on the property (or anything pertaining to the Lee's) have ended with the act of secession? Thus no taxes would have been due.

Me thinks the plot thickens.

But has been pointed out earlier "the first duty of a rebel is to win".

They didn't but at least they were good sports about losing.

RebelBugler
06-22-2007, 07:02 AM
A "right" never written into law there fore not a "right". The Constitution would have had to have been modified or a New York State law written which entitled it to the reserved right. Neither of which happened.

Secession was also a "right" which a southern controlled government denied New England in 1813 and a Federal government denied to the South in 1861. Regardless of what a scholar may write, laws are written by Congress and determined in a Court of Law. The Supreme Court (the interpetors of the Consitution) has NEVER upheld the right of a state to secede from the union. He can not state it is a right and then not win that right in court.

And "rights" can change based on court law or legislative law (as was the right to own slaves) not on an authors opinion.

My understanding of the Constitution is that any right not specifically reserved by the Congress on behalf of the federal government, or specifically prohibited by the Constitution, remains a right of the States. In that Secession was never specifically prohibited by the Constitution, and in fact was reserved as a right by several States ratifying the Constitution, it clearly was an available option to States desirous of leaving the Union. I am unfamiliar with any rulings by the Supreme Court on the Constitutionality of secession and cannot recall any historical accounts of the Southern controlled government attacking the New Englanders threatening to secede from the Union.:p

Bitter_Bierce
06-22-2007, 08:02 AM
Mrs. Lee, the Life Tenant, and her son, a minor and property owner, were not engaged in any military activities. They were however aiding and abetting the enemy with sympathy.


The action was illegal and nothing more than a cowardly attempt to seek retribution against General Robert E. Lee by persecuting his family. As a young man graduating from West Point, Robert E. Lee put his right hand on the Bible, raised his left hand swore before God and man that he would bear true faith and allegiance to the United State of America. Abrogating his position as a military officer and siding with an enemy of the United States is an act of treason. He lost his house... big deal. He's lucky he didn't lose his life on the gallows where all traitors deserve to go.

tompritchett
06-22-2007, 08:20 AM
My understanding of the Constitution is that any right not specifically reserved by the Congress on behalf of the federal government, or specifically prohibited by the Constitution, remains a right of the States.

It's so specified in the Tenth Amendment.

jthlmnn
06-22-2007, 10:56 AM
My understanding of the Constitution is that any right not specifically reserved by the Congress on behalf of the federal government, or specifically prohibited by the Constitution, remains a right of the States. Union.:p

As Mr. Pritchett states, this is contained in the 10th Ammendment. The assumption in this line of thought is that secession from the Union existed as a right. The federal government consistently maintained that no such right existed and successfully countered any contemplation of such action prior to the Civil War. The issue was settled with finality with the war: no such right ever existed (ergo, it cannot be either reserved or delegated) and the attempt at secession was legally wrong.

Continuing with this logic, while individual states have no right to secede, the federal government has no right to de-constitute (unconstitute?) a state or kick it out of the union, either. Once you're in, you're in.

(Ironically, in the late 1850s, Wisconsin's abolitionist Governor Randall threatened secession from a federal government that was considered to be pro-slavery. He went so far as to disband and disarm a Milwaukee militia unit that had stated it would obey federal over state law. The Wisconsin Supreme Court also defied federal authority regarding the Fugitive Slave Act in a series of arrests and releases of the abolitionist, Mr. Booth. Federal authority won out in both instances.)

reb64
06-22-2007, 03:27 PM
They were however aiding and abetting the enemy with sympathy.

As a young man graduating from West Point, Robert E. Lee put his right hand on the Bible, raised his left hand swore before God and man that he would bear true faith and allegiance to the United State of America. Abrogating his position as a military officer and siding with an enemy of the United States is an act of treason. He lost his house... big deal. He's lucky he didn't lose his life on the gallows where all traitors deserve to go.

wow, a man who resigns and serves another country that gets invaded is a traitor, how about these guys and gals today who didn't resign yet are treasonous?

tompritchett
06-22-2007, 03:46 PM
As a young man graduating from West Point, Robert E. Lee put his right hand on the Bible, raised his left hand swore before God and man that he would bear true faith and allegiance to the United State of America.

Does anyone know what the exact words of the oath of office was back when Lee and others took it. I know that when I took it, it was to the United States and the Constitution on which it stands. Virginia was very clear in its secession proclaimation that it was rescinding its ratification of the Constitution, which, in the eyes of a Virginian, in essence nullified its applicability to Virginians. Interestingly enough for those that use the "Supreme Law of the land" argument, one of the primary justifications cited by Virginia, and other seceding states, was that the Federal government was not enforcing this specific clause of the Constitution by allowing both state and municipal laws over-ride Constitutional guarantees, Federal Court decisions and specific acts of Congress regarding the property rights of slave holders. One seceding state in its secession proclaimation even cited instances in which slave owners were arrested for owning slaves while traveling with said slaves in certain Northern cities. I am not necessarily agreeing with that argument but, in my mind, it does muddy the water.

RebelBugler
06-22-2007, 04:54 PM
As Mr. Pritchett states, this is contained in the 10th Ammendment. The assumption in this line of thought is that secession from the Union existed as a right. The federal government consistently maintained that no such right existed and successfully countered any contemplation of such action prior to the Civil War. The issue was settled with finality with the war: no such right ever existed (ergo, it cannot be either reserved or delegated) and the attempt at secession was legally wrong.

Continuing with this logic, while individual states have no right to secede, the federal government has no right to de-constitute (unconstitute?) a state or kick it out of the union, either. Once you're in, you're in.


Other than a presumption that might makes right, or the victors get to write the history, I am unaware that the issue of secession was ever settled legally, ethically or morally.

If we accept the premise states cannot secede from the Fedaral Government, how can a portion of a state secede from itself as West Virginia did?

While you have expressed your view that the federal governmnet has no right to de-constitue a state or kick it out, that is precisely what the Radical Republicans did during reconstruction. States had to follow a number of mandates before being readmitted to a Union.....which you indicate they could not voluntarily leave or be kicked out of.

jthlmnn
06-22-2007, 10:56 PM
Other than a presumption that might makes right, or the victors get to write the history, I am unaware that the issue of secession was ever settled legally, ethically or morally.

If we accept the premise states cannot secede from the Fedaral Government, how can a portion of a state secede from itself as West Virginia did?

While you have expressed your view that the federal governmnet has no right to de-constitue a state or kick it out, that is precisely what the Radical Republicans did during reconstruction. States had to follow a number of mandates before being readmitted to a Union.....which you indicate they could not voluntarily leave or be kicked out of.

My reference is to Texas v White, 1869. Wickepedia has a good summary and a search engine will provide more detailed explanations, if anyone so desires. While some aspects were controversial then and still are now, it has not been altered by any subsequent Supreme Court decisions. Highlights include:

1) The Union is indisoluble and perpetual

2) Texas (and, by extension, the other 10 who rebelled) therefore never legally left the Union

3) States are entities that exist prior to and separate from their governments
(Therefore states were not "readmitted" after reconstruction, their governments were permitted to function again.)

4) Despite the above statements, the majority opinion did allow for two ways in which the departure of a state might be accomplished: rebellion (if successful, of course) or with the consent of the states. (I assume this means the consent of all the other existing states. Don't know for sure because it has never been attempted.)

The situation regarding West Virginia is different in that it was detached from an existing state whose government was in rebellion and was reconstituted as a new state. It did not attempt to detach itself from the union as a whole and was not kicked out of the Union. Still, it makes for interesting discussion.

Thats the legal settlement of the issue. The moral and ethical aspects are still debated, and likely will be for a long long time. I'll leave those for another day.

Respectfully yours

tompritchett
06-22-2007, 11:12 PM
The situation regarding West Virginia is different in that it was detached from an existing state whose government was in rebellion and was reconstituted as a new state. It did not attempt to detach itself from the union as a whole and was not kicked out of the Union. Still, it makes for interesting discussion.

You must remember at the time West Virginia petitioned to be admitted to the United States, there were two state governments of Virginia. The original government left the Union to join the Confederacy and a new one was formed that did not recognize the secession. It was this new government, the only one that the Union recognized as being lawful, that gave the counties of West Virginia permission to break off to form a new state, so, technically West Virginia did not secede from its parent state. Of course, the Confederacy could not complain too much about the Union government of Virginia too much as they officially recognized similar state governments for Kentucky and Missouri both of which were not voted in by the majority of their states's voters. The water just gets muddier.

Linda Trent
06-23-2007, 08:44 AM
It was this new government, the only one that the Union recognized as being lawful, that gave the counties of West Virginia permission to break off to form a new state, so, technically West Virginia did not secede from its parent state.

West Virginia is the only state I know of that had to pay for its statehood. $12,393,929.50 to Virginia, the final payment made in 1939. :(

tompritchett
06-23-2007, 10:54 AM
West Virginia is the only state I know of that had to pay for its statehood. $12,393,929.50 to Virginia, the final payment made in 1939.

Interesting bit of history. Do you have more on the grounds for having to make that payment and the legal reasons why? I have my own suspicions, but I would rather hear from someone with access to the facts than post my hypotheses.

Linda Trent
06-23-2007, 02:04 PM
Interesting bit of history. Do you have more on the grounds for having to make that payment and the legal reasons why? I have my own suspicions, but I would rather hear from someone with access to the facts than post my hypotheses.

It was to pay off its share of the Virginia state debt "at the time of separation." It's kinda funny that Virginia offered to have W.V rejoin with her after the war. When WV refused Virginia ordered WV to pay their portion of the state debt at the time of separation.

This was somewhat ironic because the movers and shakers of the western counties believed that they were never properly represented by the eastern half of the state, and had considered leaving the Old Dominion for quite some time. The war distracted Virginia and the western counties took their chance and slipped away.

What I find odd is that WV separated in 1863, so therefore Virginia's debt at the time of separation would have included part of her defense against the Union? I can't believe that since it was the U.S. Supreme Court that ordered her to pay the bill.

Linda.

tompritchett
06-23-2007, 02:16 PM
What I find odd is that WV separated in 1863, so therefore Virginia's debt at the time of separation would have included part of her defense against the Union? I can't believe that since it was the U.S. Supreme Court that ordered her to pay the bill.

In a very convoluted way it does. Again, it goes back to having two separate state governments in place - each at the time recognized as legitimate by the two sides. If the U.S. decided that West Virginia was not liable for the war debt because Peirpont's government was the only legitimate government of Virginia- a government not voted by all the voters in Virginia, then I could see how some of the Confederate war debt may have been transferred to Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland because their similar secession governments. It would be very interesting to read a summary of the Supreme Court decision on this case. I bet it would have made today's spin doctors turn green with envoy with all the convolutions in the arguments made and in the final decision itself.

RebelBugler
06-23-2007, 07:36 PM
If the U.S. decided that West Virginia was not liable for the war debt because Peirpont's government was the only legitimate government of Virginia- a government not voted by all the voters in Virginia, then I could see how some of the Confederate war debt may have been transferred to Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland because their similar secession governments.

Unfortunately, Lincoln ordered the arrest of all suspected secessionist legislators in Maryland and, as a result, Maryland never had a secession government per se and was, for all intents and purposes, occupied territory. So much for upholding the Constitutional principles of the Union.....perhaps Marylanders might litigate for breach of contract

Frenchie
06-23-2007, 10:41 PM
Letting Maryland secede meant losing Washington. Losing Washington, especially when the War hadn't even started yet, meant losing the War and allowing the Union to fragment. As President Lincoln was neither insane nor an imbecile, he chose to keep Maryland in the Union by any means necessary.

bob 125th nysvi
06-25-2007, 12:35 PM
It's so specified in the Tenth Amendment.

with the 10th Amendment is that it does not (and can not) state cateogrically what is or is not a "right".

The role of the Supreme court is to be the arbiter in any dispute over "rights" as to their validity or even their existance.

So the way the south should have approached this is:

We have a right to secede, the federal government has denied us that right, we are asking the Supreme Court to make a ruling as to if the right exists and if so how can we exercise it. Here is our case ........

They didn't do that so there never was any legal decision for or against them, they took the route of armed rebellion, lost and thus allowed the court (ex post facto) to rule that the "right" did not exist.

The Bill of Rights is a flexible document (it has to be) and that by following the proper procedures anything can become or be revoked as a "right".

We could literally lose our "rights" to free speech, assembly and religion if Congress so constructed an amendment to the constitution and it passed using the proper procedures.

In 1813 the Federal government denied that New England (the Hartford Convention) had a right to secede. Since the War of 1812 ended, ending NE source for wanting to leave and it never was never ajudicated in court it was never settled as to whether or not there WAS a "right" to secede.

A "right" can only be established by law or custom it can not be conjured up out of thin air.

bob 125th nysvi
06-25-2007, 12:47 PM
Unfortunately, Lincoln ordered the arrest of all suspected secessionist legislators in Maryland and, as a result, Maryland never had a secession government per se and was, for all intents and purposes, occupied territory. So much for upholding the Constitutional principles of the Union.....perhaps Marylanders might litigate for breach of contract

and therefore invalid argument.

It assumes there was a "right" to secede, which was never established.

Since the "right" did not exist no legislators in Maryland could have legally voted to exercise that "right" therefore at no time was Maryland "occupied" territory.

If anything the areas held under the authority of CSA goverments were "occupied" since the governments comprising the CSA were not legal by American law.

The National government and forces WERE upholding the Constitution by their interpetations of the law and the CSA government and forces were the ones in violation.

So there is no one for Maryland to sue for breach of contract. Part of the Federal government's role is to protect American citizens against the illegal the conduct of local governments (which is for example how they overturned all the segregation laws in the country). Lincoln fulfill that "contract".

But let's flip this argument of its head for a moment. Were Farragut and Thomas "traitors"? The men of the 8th Virginia (Union)? If so why, if not why not?

tompritchett
06-25-2007, 02:49 PM
with the 10th Amendment is that it does not (and can not) state cateogrically what is or is not a "right".

You are correct. The tenth admendment does not explicitly grant rights to any one or to any state. Rather it grants to the states all powers not explicitly given to the Federal government by the Constitution. By a strict reading of this Amendment even the Supreme Court does not have the authority to decide whether or not a state had the authority to rescind its ratification of the Constitution, the "legality" that the Southern states were using to secede from the Union, as I am not aware of any clause of the Constitution that explicitly denies the authority of a state to do so - and there are several clauses that do restrict the authority of states and reserve that authority for only the Federal government.

Again, I am not necessarily arguing that what the Southern states did was actually legal. Rather I am arguing that it was not then as clear-cut an issue as you have been trying to make it.

RebelBugler
06-26-2007, 06:01 AM
and therefore invalid argument.

It assumes there was a "right" to secede, which was never established.

Since the "right" did not exist no legislators in Maryland could have legally voted to exercise that "right" therefore at no time was Maryland "occupied" territory.

If anything the areas held under the authority of CSA goverments were "occupied" since the governments comprising the CSA were not legal by American law.

The National government and forces WERE upholding the Constitution by their interpetations of the law and the CSA government and forces were the ones in violation.

So there is no one for Maryland to sue for breach of contract. Part of the Federal government's role is to protect American citizens against the illegal the conduct of local governments (which is for example how they overturned all the segregation laws in the country). Lincoln fulfill that "contract".

But let's flip this argument of its head for a moment. Were Farragut and Thomas "traitors"? The men of the 8th Virginia (Union)? If so why, if not why not?

Your premise fails to address the fact that Maryland Legislators were arrested before they met in session. Accordingly, Lincoln or his subordinates had no prima facie as to how they would vote, only presupposition. I am unaware of any Constitutional provision allowing arrests based upon presumed thoughts. The administration also flagrantly violated 1st amendment rights by ordering the arrests of all those that opposed the war, expressed any support for the South, criticized Lincoln's policies ad infinitum. Even today, while engaged in a conflict with foreign terrorists, the Supreme Court has ruled the President cannot usurp the Constitution or the rights of individuals.

Were Farragut and Thomas "traitors"? Obviously, that would depend upon one's definition. While remaining true to their country, they did fight in support of an administration that abandoned the Constitutional principles adopted by the country's founding fathers. How do you view Cornwallis for his military support of George III, in denying colonists the rights of Englishmen.

jthlmnn
06-27-2007, 09:51 AM
[QUOTE=RebelBugler]Your premise fails to address the fact that Maryland Legislators were arrested before they met in session. Accordingly, Lincoln or his subordinates had no prima facie as to how they would vote, only presupposition. I am unaware of any Constitutional provision allowing arrests based upon presumed thoughts. The administration also flagrantly violated 1st amendment rights by ordering the arrests of all those that opposed the war, expressed any support for the South, criticized Lincoln's policies ad infinitum. Even today, while engaged in a conflict with foreign terrorists, the Supreme Court has ruled the President cannot usurp the Constitution or the rights of individuals.


I believe that it is a bit disingenous to state that the Lincoln administration had no prima facie evidence as to what would happen if the Maryland legislature met on September 17, 1861. This was not a regularly scheduled session to begin with. Such a session was held in late April of 1861 and not interfered with in the least. That no proposition of secession was offered was a major relief to unionists. The "thoughts" of many secessionist legislators were well known and openly publicised. The purpose of the September gathering was well known. A good summary of the administration's perspective and rationale for their actions was written by Geo. McClellan in his memoirs (and remember that McClellan was no friend or admirer of Lincoln):

"The secessionists possessed about two-thirds of each branch of the State legislature, and the general government had what it regarded as good reasons for believing that a secret, extra, and illegal session of the legislature was about to be convened at Frederick on the 17th of Sept. in order to pass an ordinance of secession. It was understood that this action was to be supported by an advance of the Southern army across the Potomac....It was impossible to permit the secession of Maryland, intervening, as it did, between the capital and the loyal States, and commanding all our lines of supply and reinforcement. I do not know how the government obtained the information on which they reached their conclusions. I do not know how reliable it was. I only know that at the time it seemed more than probable, and that ordinary prudence required that it should be regarded as certain. So that when I received the orders for the arrest of the most active members of the legislature, for the purpose of preventing the intended meeting and the passage of the act of secession, I gave that order a most full and hearty support as a measure of undoubted military necessity."

It must also be remembered that, preceding this action, federal troops had been assualted in Baltimore, bridges had been burned, telegraph lines cut, rail lines obstructed or destroyed, harbor bouys removed, supplies and munitions being sent in support of secessionist states, and troops organized to oppose federal authority.

Suspension of habeas corpus is an issue that was not well developed at the federal level at that time. Habeas corpus had rarely come up in federal cases. (There weren't that many federal cases to begin with). The only one I can readily remember is the Dred Scott case, and there it was a denial of appeal for a writ by African-Americans. Once again, we are dealing with an issue that was far from settled.

Lincoln's specific authorization to General Scott for the suspension stated, “You are engaged in repressing an insurrection against the laws of the United States. If at any point on or in the vicinity of the [any] military line, which is now [or which shall be] used between the City Philadelphia and the City of Washington, via Perryville, Annapolis City, and Annapolis Junction, you find resistance which renders it necessary to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus for the public safety, you, personally or through the officer in command at the point where the [at which] resistance occurs, are authorized to suspend that writ.”

While Chief Justice Taney did issue an opinion on this order, it was done without any hearing or argumentation by the opposing sides, and, more importantly, he did it in his role as the CIRCUIT JUDGE of a FEDERAL COURT, not as a majority opinion of, or in his role as Chief justice of, the Supreme Court. (Emphasis mine) During the war, no other challenge to it was mounted.

Bottom line: The Lincoln administration, during a time of national emergency had to make many decisions regarding unique situations and very muddy issues. Like several administrations since then, it erred on the side of national security and perceived necessity. I do not agree with or like several of the decisions that were made and actions taken (especially regarding habeas corpus). I can, however, cut the Lincoln administration more slack than its successors, as they had/have the benefit of prior experiences. Lincoln should not be beatified or canonized, but neither should he be demonized. He was a mortal and fallible man coping as best he could with an extremely difficult and hazardous situation. I do believe that he did this with more understanding and compassion than most leaders (or most of us) would have shown. So, whether we praise or criticize, lets keep it in perspective.

For a very usable summary and specific citations of primary source documents regarding federal-state relations regarding Maryland during the ACW, I recommend the follwing website:

http://www.abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/Library/newsletter.asp?ID=108&CRLI=156

Respectfully submitted,

tompritchett
06-27-2007, 10:17 AM
Bottom line: The Lincoln administration, during a time of national emergency had to make many decisions regarding unique situations and very muddy issues. Like several administrations since then, it erred on the side of national security and perceived necessity. I do not agree with or like several of the decisions that were made and actions taken (especially regarding habeas corpus). I can, however, cut the Lincoln administration more slack than its successors, as they had/have the benefit of prior experiences. Lincoln should not be beatified or canonized, but neither should he be demonized. He was a mortal and fallible man coping as best he could with an extremely difficult and hazardous situation. I do believe that he did this with more understanding and compassion than most leaders (or most of us) would have shown. So, whether we praise or criticize, lets keep it in perspective.

The other bottom line is that many of the Constitutional trangressions that Lincoln is accused of were also practiced by his Southern counterpart, Jefferson Davis, and by many of the Southern governors. In all cases, these gentlemen felt that the survival of their respective nation necessitated the harsh quelching of any voices of dissent in the early years of the war. I am not saying that I agree with their actions, because I do not. However, one cannot justly cast stones at one side for abuses of the Constitution, and particularly the respective Rights of Free Speech, without casting them at all sides.

bob 125th nysvi
06-27-2007, 02:18 PM
The other bottom line is that many of the Constitutional trangressions that Lincoln is accused of were also practiced by his Southern counterpart, Jefferson Davis, and by many of the Southern governors. In all cases, these gentlemen felt that the survival of their respective nation necessitated the harsh quelching of any voices of dissent in the early years of the war. I am not saying that I agree with their actions, because I do not. However, one cannot justly cast stones at one side for abuses of the Constitution, and particularly the respective Rights of Free Speech, without casting them at all sides.

is to survive.

Many many times in our history our government has skirted the law, stretched it and been outside of it.

And we need to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.

But for the most part their legal actions have been short term and usually worked out for the better.

bob 125th nysvi
06-27-2007, 02:31 PM
You are correct. The tenth admendment does not explicitly grant rights to any one or to any state. Rather it grants to the states all powers not explicitly given to the Federal government by the Constitution. By a strict reading of this Amendment even the Supreme Court does not have the authority to decide whether or not a state had the authority to rescind its ratification of the Constitution, the "legality" that the Southern states were using to secede from the Union, as I am not aware of any clause of the Constitution that explicitly denies the authority of a state to do so - and there are several clauses that do restrict the authority of states and reserve that authority for only the Federal government.

Again, I am not necessarily arguing that what the Southern states did was actually legal. Rather I am arguing that it was not then as clear-cut an issue as you have been trying to make it.

that it is clear cut at all.

The beauty and the problem with the 10th Amendment is that the "rights reserved to the states" are completely unnamed.

Therefore to argue either for or against a "right" of secession has no legal basis, no where is the "right" stated or denied.

Those who claim that the states had a "right" to secede are both equally right and equally wrong because it had never been ajudicated whether or not such a "right" exisited.

Again Lincoln was following precedent (set in 1813) in denying that states had a right to secede. Since the right had never been ajudicated he at least was more "legally" correct than the southern politicians who assumed they had such a right (again which their FATHER'S had denied to NE).

A "right" is not a "right" until it is confirmed by law either legislative or case.

What the south needed to do was go before the supreme court and lay out their legal argument for the existance of such a right. That would have been the proper procedure under the Constitution.

Where the south became legally "wrong" is when they tried to assert an undefined "right" and then impose their interpetation of that "right" on citizens who may disagree with them. Citizens whose defined "rights" were garunteed under the US Constitution.

Lincoln as head of the Federal government had a DUTY to all citizens to enforce the law as he knew it to exist.

And in this case the preservation of the Union outweighted any other actions he needed to take.

RebelBugler
06-28-2007, 06:40 AM
that it is clear cut at all.

The beauty and the problem with the 10th Amendment is that the "rights reserved to the states" are completely unnamed.

Therefore to argue either for or against a "right" of secession has no legal basis, no where is the "right" stated or denied.

Those who claim that the states had a "right" to secede are both equally right and equally wrong because it had never been ajudicated whether or not such a "right" exisited.

Again Lincoln was following precedent (set in 1813) in denying that states had a right to secede. Since the right had never been ajudicated he at least was more "legally" correct than the southern politicians who assumed they had such a right (again which their FATHER'S had denied to NE).

A "right" is not a "right" until it is confirmed by law either legislative or case.

What the south needed to do was go before the supreme court and lay out their legal argument for the existance of such a right. That would have been the proper procedure under the Constitution.

Where the south became legally "wrong" is when they tried to assert an undefined "right" and then impose their interpetation of that "right" on citizens who may disagree with them. Citizens whose defined "rights" were garunteed under the US Constitution.

Lincoln as head of the Federal government had a DUTY to all citizens to enforce the law as he knew it to exist.

And in this case the preservation of the Union outweighted any other actions he needed to take.

The Tenth Amendment provides that " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. " The Constitution is very clear in its wording here and , in my view, quite explicit. Having thorougly reviewed the Constitution, and unable to find any language to the contrary, secession remains a right of the States. Considering that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the Constitution trumps legislative and or case law.

While we are in agreement that Lincoln, as head of the Federal government had a DUTY to all citizens to enforce the law as he knew it to exist, it is obvious that he willfully violated the Constitution in an effort to keep the Union intact.

flattop32355
06-28-2007, 07:30 AM
The Tenth Amendment provides that " The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. " The Constitution is very clear in its wording here and , in my view, quite explicit. Having thorougly reviewed the Constitution, and unable to find any language to the contrary, secession remains a right of the States. Considering that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, the Constitution trumps legislative and or case law.

Let's murk up those clear waters a bit, just for argument's sake:

"...are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people..."

Who is to say, that the "right" to secede is not reserved for the individual, or persons, and not the States? While I agree that one must stretch the limits a bit to take such a view, it is not beyond the realm of possibility (just as the Minutemen of modern times how they see it).

Because of such possibilities, we have tradition, history, accumulated opinions of legal (and other) scholars, etc. and the courts to try to make sense of it all. And all of them combined don't always clear the waters to the satisfaction of everyone.

jthlmnn
06-28-2007, 11:14 AM
From George Washington's farewell address:

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts…



Andrew Jackson, in "Proclamation to the people of South Carolina"

The States “retained all the power they did not grant. But each State, having expressly parted with so many powers as to constitute, jointly with the other States, a single nation, can not, from that period, possess any right to secede, because such secession does not break a league, but destroys the unity of a nation.”


From the Preamble to The Articles of Confederation:

"Articles of Confederation and PERPETUAL UNION between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia." (emphasis mine)

From The Constitution of the United States:

"We the people of the United States, in order to form A MORE PERFECT UNION, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (emphasis mine)

From James Madison's Letter to William Rives (1833)

"What can be more preposterous than to say that the States as united, are in no respect or degree, a Nation, which implies sovereignty, altho' acknowledged to be such by all other Nations & Sovereigns, and maintaining with them, all the in ternational relations, of war & peace, treaties, commerce, &c, and, on the other hand and at the same time, to say that the States separately are compleatly nations & sovereigns, although they can separately neither speak nor harken to any other nation, nor maintain with it any of the international relations whatever and would be disowned as Nations if presenting themselves in that character."


From Texas v White (1869):


4. The Union of the States never was a purely artificial and arbitrary relation. It began among the Colonies, and grew out of common origin, mutual sympathies, kindred principles, similar interests, and geographical relations. It was confirmed and strengthened by the necessities of war, and received definite form and character and sanction from the Articles of Confederation. By these, the Union was solemnly declared to "be perpetual." And, when these Articles were found to be inadequate to the exigencies of the country, the Constitution was ordained "to form a more perfect Union."

5. But the perpetuity and indissolubility of the Union by no means implies the loss of distinct and individual existence, or of the right of self-government by the States. On the contrary, it may be not unreasonably said that the preservation of the States and the maintenance of their governments are as much within the design and care of the Constitution as the preservation of the Union and the maintenance of the National government. The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.

6. When Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.


So what? One cannot reasonably argue as indisputable fact that a Constitutional right to secession was intended by the "Founding Fathers" or that it existed because of, or in spite of, any intention of the Constitution's framers. Some argued in a manner that supported this notion. Others, as quoted above, argued in a manner that disputes it. It was unsettled, disputed and debated all the while. The debate continued and, rather than being presented to the ultimate arbiter of constitutionality (the Supreme Court), it escalated into a contest of arms that began in 1861 and ended in 1865. The contest of arms settled the de facto issue (at a horrific cost), and Texas v White settled the theoretical and legal issue. The most we can say is that both sides believed in the legal and moral foundations of their respective opinions/actions.

RebelBugler
06-29-2007, 05:54 AM
Some thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world".

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties"
"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution".
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it"

jthlmnn
06-30-2007, 02:12 AM
Some thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

1) "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world".


2) "Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties"

3) "Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution".

4) "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it"

(numbering added by the responder)

1) Well, some had the inclination, but they (obviously) didn't have the power.

2) As stated in previous post, the Constitution was found to assert perpetual union among the states. Departure from the Union could be accomplished with the consent of the other states: a method that was peaceful, but was never attempted.

3) For Constitutionality, see above. As to the perversion of the Constitution, one could argue that the men who ignored the Constitutional options of peacefully pursuing their asserted right of unilateral withdrawal through the courts, or by seeking the assent of the other states, and instead pursued the path of armed rebellion had a perverted view of our national charter.

4) Amendment was not attempted, so the necessity/righteousness of revolutionary overthrow was pragmatically, legally and morally questionable. (Morally questionable because other people's blood was shed and lives were lost.)
Another problem is that the revolutionary right is totally pragmatic and unforgiving: it only exists if you, the revolutionary, win.

Just to put another twist to it, one could argue that the people of the United States in general (including each of the secessionist states) wearied of the governments of the southern states and overthrew them. The had the power, they exercised their revolutionary right, and made it stick.

Would you be so kind as to cite the sources or occasions from which the above quotes are taken. They are very good ones for this discussion and I (possibly others) would enjoy examining the broader texts from which they came.

(Change of subject- How do you folks insert multiple quotes and keep them separate from the responses? I admit to a lack of savvy, here.)

Respectfully yours,

Frenchie
06-30-2007, 05:40 AM
(Change of subject- How do you folks insert multiple quotes and keep them separate from the responses? I admit to a lack of savvy, here.)

To separate any part of the text that you want to show as quoted, put [ QUOTE ] at the beginning and [ /QUOTE ] (without the spaces) at the end of that section of text. Quotes can be nested so as to put quotes within quotes, etc.

jthlmnn
06-30-2007, 07:14 AM
Merci beaucoups, Monsieur Frenchie. (I hope the spelling is correct)

Frenchie
06-30-2007, 11:13 AM
Close enough. De rien, monsieur.

goatgirl
07-02-2007, 07:46 AM
Does anyone know what the exact words of the oath of office was back when Lee and others took it.

Lee's Oath of Allegiance taken 15 March 1855 on acceptance of his commission as lieutenant colonel, USA.

"I, Robert E. Lee appointed a Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regt. of Cavalry in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever: and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the Officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the Armies of the United States.

"[signed] R. E. Lee, Lt.Col., USA

"Sworn to and subscribed before me, at West Point, N. Y. this 15th day of March 1855.”

This says “I will serve THEM [the various States]…against all THEIR enemies…” Gen. Lee could not have served eleven of THEM faithfully against all their enemies or opposers had he invaded some of THEM. Instead he drew his sword only in defense of one of THEM.

tompritchett
07-02-2007, 11:25 AM
"I, Robert E. Lee appointed a Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regt. of Cavalry in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever: and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the Officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the Armies of the United States. (emphasis mine)

Yes Goatgirl, it is interesting that back then even with its oaths the United States considered itself, first, a collection of states (notice the use of the plural pronouns). When I took a similar oath of office, it was to a single nation and there was no indication of any obligation to anything else except the Constitution on which the nation stood. Just another example, how the nation's perception of itself has evolved from the time of its formation to today as a result of the Civil War.

RebelBugler
07-03-2007, 06:03 AM
Lee's Oath of Allegiance taken 15 March 1855 on acceptance of his commission as lieutenant colonel, USA.

"I, Robert E. Lee appointed a Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regt. of Cavalry in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever: and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the Officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the Armies of the United States.

"[signed] R. E. Lee, Lt.Col., USA

"Sworn to and subscribed before me, at West Point, N. Y. this 15th day of March 1855.”


The language of this Oath of Allegiance would certainly seem to exonerate Lee from the allegations that he violated his sworn Oath. Clearly, States were recognized as sovereign powers, and not viewed merely as a portion of a consolidated government from whom they derived their power. Reasonable individuals would undoubtedly agree that all things being equal, service to one's own State would trump service to some other group of States. The underlying assumption in the Oath suggests that all States would agree as to who their collective enemies or opposers were and did not take into account the possibility of States fighting against States.

bill watson
07-03-2007, 07:27 AM
The oath doesn't reference anything except an army in national service. How on earth are you twisting it around to recognize states' rights?

hanktrent
07-03-2007, 08:20 AM
The language of this Oath of Allegiance would certainly seem to exonerate Lee from the allegations that he violated his sworn Oath.

From Lee's oath: "and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States"

How do you get around that part?

If one wants to argue that Lee was "right" for doing what he did, seems it's easier just to go with deliberate civil disobedience based on one's own conscience.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

flattop32355
07-03-2007, 08:28 AM
The oath doesn't reference anything except an army in national service. How on earth are you twisting it around to recognize states' rights?

Because it's what we do: We justify whatever viewpoint we choose to believe, not just in this case, but in every case on every subject, no matter which side you take.

We interpret their minds and views through our own modern ones. Since that's our only reference point, we're kinda stuck with it. Problem is, we all have different viewpoints, just like they did then.

In my viewpoint, Lee did not resign to support the Confederacy; he did it to support Virginia, which had just seceded. I believe (which is much different from knowing) that he was well aware of his breaking his oath, and that it pained him greatly. I also wonder that he may well have not cared for secession and the forming of a new country. But he felt the greatest loyalty to Virginia, something that we today cannot truly fathom. It was unfortunate that he did so. It was not a universal feeling (see George Thomas as an example), but seems to have been prevalent.

jthlmnn
07-03-2007, 08:47 AM
Lee's Oath of Allegiance taken 15 March 1855 on acceptance of his commission as lieutenant colonel, USA.

"I, Robert E. Lee appointed a Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regt. of Cavalry in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever: and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the Officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles for the government of the Armies of the United States.

"[signed] R. E. Lee, Lt.Col., USA

"Sworn to and subscribed before me, at West Point, N. Y. this 15th day of March 1855.”

This says “I will serve THEM [the various States]…against all THEIR enemies…” Gen. Lee could not have served eleven of THEM faithfully against all their enemies or opposers had he invaded some of THEM. Instead he drew his sword only in defense of one of THEM.

References to states are irrelevant when considering whether or not Lee "violated" his oath as an officer of the U.S. Army. The operative sentence is the one that refers to obeying "the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the Officers appointed over me......"

So long as Lee held his commission, he was bound by that oath. He would have to go where he was ordered to go and do what he was ordered to do.
Knowing that he could not, according to his conscience, obey some of the orders that would be coming his way, he had two choices: refuse those orders on the grounds that they were unlawful (and then face a court-martial), or resign his commission (which released him from the oath).
Lee chose the latter. He could not, therefore, violate an oath to which he was no longer bound.

His decision to take up arms in support of secessionist government(s) {Confederacy: singular or plural? ;) } is another matter entirely, as it concerns the actions of a private citizen rather an officer of the Army of the United States.

tompritchett
07-03-2007, 09:56 AM
The oath doesn't reference anything except an army in national service. How on earth are you twisting it around to recognize states' rights?


Let's look more closely at the language chosen in the oath:

"I, Robert E. Lee appointed a Lieutenant Colonel of the Second Regt. of Cavalry in the Army of the United States, do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will bear true allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whatsoever:
If you will notice, when the United States of America is referenced by pronouns later in this clause, the plural pronouns "them" and "their" are used instead of the "it" and 'its" that we would use today. Based upon that wordage, it is easy for me to see how one could infer that one's loyality was to the states and not necessarily to the government that served as the umbrella to hold them together. In a similar manner, when I took my oath of office in the U.S. military, my oath was to the nation "and to the Constitution on which it stands" but not to the administration or party that happened to be in power at the time.

As to Hank's comment
From Lee's oath: "and observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States"

How do you get around that part?, please notice the colon after "whatsoever". This implies to me that observance and obediance to the orders of the President of the United States is considered to be part of meeting the obligation of serving the states outlined in the first part of the oath. The assumption of the oath is that the orders of the President will always be in the best interests of the united states. Clearly Lee was placed in a situation where he could no longer feel that following the orders of President Lincoln and his cabinet would be in the best interests of his home state Virginia, nor those of a sizeable number of other states - those that had left to form the Confederacy. IMHO, this would be similar to the situation an officer, who had taken my oath, would have found himself in had the President decided to throw the Constitution out the window in order to declare martial law and postpone any further elections for his office.

hanktrent
07-03-2007, 11:19 AM
please notice the colon after "whatsoever". This implies to me that observance and obediance to the orders of the President of the United States is considered to be part of meeting the obligation of serving the states outlined in the first part of the oath.

Exactly. But the oath doesn't let you make up your own mind whether you think the President is giving orders in the best interests of the United States. The presumption is that there are other checks and balances in place for that, besides the individual consciences of officers.

Otherwise, any time the President gave orders, an officer could choose to disobey on the grounds that it wasn't in the best interest of the country. Blind obedience is not always good, but following a higher moral law in conflict with one's legal obligations, generally has consequences. Those jailed for acting in conflict with the fugitive slave law were a good example.

However, I like the point made above by jthlmnn, that once Lee resigned his commission, he was no longer obligated to it specifically. Personally, I don't know enough about Lee to know when he resigned, what other obligations he was under, etc.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

tompritchett
07-03-2007, 12:16 PM
Otherwise, any time the President gave orders, an officer could choose to disobey on the grounds that it wasn't in the best interest of the country. Blind obedience is not always good, but following a higher moral law in conflict with one's legal obligations, generally has consequences. Those jailed for acting in conflict with the fugitive slave law were a good example.

Actually there is modern legal precedent that goes the other way - the Numberg trials. In those cases, the officers were following legal orders of their civilian and military chain of command but were still convicted for violating the established rules of war and rules of humanity. As a officer trained after the My Lia incident, I was specifically taught that, as an officer, I had the obligation to weigh whether or not my orders from my superiors were in fact lawful orders in accordance with the Guenva Conventions and the Code of Conduct for soldiers of the U.S. military.

The precedent also goes back to Civil War times when the commander of Andersonville was hanged for following the orders of his Confederate chain of command. Also, there was a post about a year ago that broke down the number of military officers, Northern and Southern, that resigned their commissions. In the post, there were a substantial number of Northern officers that resigned, evidently because they disagreed with Lincoln's action in calling up the militia to suppress the Southern rebellion. After all, their parent states had not left the Union and their was not a conflict for them between their home state and the Federal government. The Fugitive Slave Act was a good example of the contrary however, because it did result in a conflict between their personal convictions and their obligations to enforce the constitutional laws of the land. In such cases, the officer does indeed have to chose between obeying an order that he views as morally wrong or face the consequences of such disobedience. But that is always the case when someone decides to take a stance on moral grounds. Even the officers of the Third Reich faced that same choice; they just took, what was in the short term, the easier choice. And ultimately, many paid the price of such morally repugnant obedience.


However, I like the point made above by jthlmnn, that once Lee resigned his commission, he was no longer obligated to it specifically. Personally, I don't know enough about Lee to know when he resigned, what other obligations he was under, etc.

If I remember correctly, he did not resign until after Virginia seceded.

toptimlrd
07-03-2007, 05:30 PM
If I remember correctly, he did not resign until after Virginia seceded.


Tom,

I will need to look up the reference but my memory is in accord with yours. Now not being an expert in military customs of the 1860s in this regard would Lee have been relieved of his oath at such a time he resigned or is it like today where they were expected to be on some sort of "inactive reserve" for a specified period of time.

jthlmnn
07-03-2007, 09:20 PM
Lee submitted his resignation on April 20, 1861. It was accepted on April 25.
The Virginia ordinance of secession was adopted in convention on April17 and confirmed via referendum on May 23.

tompritchett
07-03-2007, 11:17 PM
Lee submitted his resignation on April 20, 1861. It was accepted on April 25.
The Virginia ordinance of secession was adopted in convention on April17 and confirmed via referendum on May 23.

Thank you for the exact dates.

goatgirl
07-04-2007, 07:33 AM
So long as Lee held his commission, he was bound by that oath. He would have to go where he was ordered to go and do what he was ordered to do.
Knowing that he could not, according to his conscience, obey some of the orders that would be coming his way, he had two choices: refuse those orders on the grounds that they were unlawful (and then face a court-martial), or resign his commission (which released him from the oath).
Lee chose the latter. He could not, therefore, violate an oath to which he was no longer bound.

Absolutely correct, Mr. Thielmann. Gen. Lee cannot be legitimately accused of violating any oath of office having legally and publicly resigned from that office before joining the forces of Virginia and the CSA.

bill watson
07-04-2007, 08:45 AM
"This says “I will serve THEM [the various States]…against all THEIR enemies…” Gen. Lee could not have served eleven of THEM faithfully against all their enemies or opposers had he invaded some of THEM. Instead he drew his sword only in defense of one of THEM."--goatgirl

Let's not be silly. The way it says he'll do this is to obey the president, not take a straw vote. There are limits to sophistry.

I don't much care what Lee did or didn't do. He picked his side and it lost and he paid the price. But he sure didn't think about whether New Hampshire supported the Mexican War when he fought in that under this oath.

Frenchie
07-04-2007, 09:33 AM
There are limits to sophistry.

I can't agree with your sunny optimism, William, but I admire it nonetheless. :lol:

tompritchett
07-04-2007, 11:26 AM
I don't much care what Lee did or didn't do. He picked his side and it lost and he paid the price. But he sure didn't think about whether New Hampshire supported the Mexican War when he fought in that under this oath.

Ah but Bill, during the Mexican American war, there was no danger that the Federal government might be fighting a war against his home state along with at least 9 other sister states. The same can not be said when Lee was faced with the choice that he had to make in 61. It is my understanding that this is not a choice that Lee made lightly. In fact, when Texas seceded, Lee was still in San Antonio in transit to Washington as per orders to report to Gen. Scott for re-assignment. Because Virginia was still a member of the Union, Lee changed out of his uniform and into civilian clothes so that he could continue his trip to Washington without being detained (at this time Gen. Twiggs had surrendered all Federal troops and garrisons under his command in Texas to the secession government of Texas).


There are limits to sophistry.
As someone who makes his living from the use of the written word, you know how important it is to be precise in expressing oneself in writing. Therefore, I ask you to set aside your 20th Century mindset and reread Lee's oath and remember the use of the plural pronouns. They, and not the singular pronouns, were apparently put there for a reason. Oaths of office are very serious matters and the language chosen in them is never done lightly.


He picked his side and it lost and he paid the price.
Yes, he did and I am not arguing that he should not have paid that price. However, I think that before we ever judge anyone, we should always try to understand why they chose as they did and acted as they did.

goatgirl
08-16-2007, 07:45 AM
By August 1861 West Point had a new oath:

"I, A. B., do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and bear true allegiance to the national Government; that I will maintain and defend the sovereignty of the United States paramount to any and all allegiance, sovereignty, or fealty I may owe to any State, county, or country whatsoever; and that I will at all times obey the legal orders of my superior officers, and the rules and articles governing the armies of the United States."

Quite a change from the one Gen. Lee and his West Point comrades took.

RebelBugler
08-17-2007, 06:28 AM
The revision suggests that the US Government may have recognized that there was a chink in the proverbial armor, as they amended the Oath to infer that the United States referred to a singular, consolidated government.

Previously, the Oath referenced the States as "them", recognizing their individual sovereignty.

Curious as to when the US Military Academy at West Point stopped using the 1825 publication "A View on the Constitution" by William Rawles as part of their curriculum. The document supported the legality of secession, undoubtedly influencing a number of West Point graduates in their decisions to resign from federal service and serve their States militarily