Monday, March 21, 2011

Backsassin' yet another "journalist"

Earlier this month, I came across a link to an article in Southern Heritage News And Views email list that caught my attention -- 'Sons' want to rewrite Civil War history. It was attributed to Stephen Dick at CNHI News Service.

It was actually the replies to Dick by a couple of "sons" that made me curious about his opinion column. So I followed the link. I was only a few paragraphs into the claptrap when I felt a backsass coming on.

Here's the link to Dick's column, and my backsass is below:

Mr. Dick,

Perhaps you think the Sons of Confederate Veterans "rewrite history" because they know things you don't know, so you think they're just makin' it up. Let me help you get beyond that.

Ever heard of "sectionalism"? For decades before the war, the northern states had victimized Southern states using slavery as the excuse. Lincoln's own Secretary of State, William Seward, knew this and said so as early as 1850 in a speech about statehood for California: "Every question, political, civil, or ecclesiastical, however foreign to the subject of slavery, brings up slavery as an incident, and the incident supplants the principal question."

Read that again. The incident, slavery, supplants the principal question. In other words, there were other issues -- issues that today, people like you refuse to acknowledge, so greatly do you desire to cling to the all-slavery, only-slavery explanation. I guess, for some reason, it gives you the warm fuzzies of moral superiority, which you simply can't get if you look at the WHOLE PICTURE.

Read Georgia's and Mississippi's secession declarations, and try not to be so blinded by the passages that mention slavery, as most people are, that you can't read further. Try to read on beyond them and see what the OTHER problems were. Both documents are LISTS of ways the north had victimized these two states using slavery as the excuse, but I'll use only Mississippi's in this letter.

Although the document begins with "Our position is thoroughly identified with slavery," it sure mention lots of OTHER issues. Lots of 'em. See for yourself.

With slavery as the excuse, the north had "...deprived the South of more than half the territory acquired from France....dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico..."

Territory? TERRITORY? But-but-but we're told it was ALL ABOUT SLAVERY and ONLY ABOUT SLAVERY. This is because people like you QUIT READING after "Our position is thoroughly identified with slavery...."

Not this time. Keep reading.

What other ways had the north victimized Mississippi and its people using slavery as the excuse? Well, it "...trampled the equality of the South underfoot ...promoted insurrection and incindiarism in our midst... enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice...

In other words, Mr. Dick, slavery was the excuse for stirring up sheer, blanket HATRED in the North for Southerners.

Moreover, it " ... seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better ... "

Hmmm.... sounds like the more things change, the more they stay the same, huh? To this day, northern do-goodism is frequently about bellyaching over problems -- indeed, sometimes making them worse -- without offering solutions.

Oh, but don't stop reading now. "It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives .... it has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security..."

Security? SECURITY? Mississippians were concerned about their security? Concerned for their very lives? Yes, in case you're having trouble with that part of the document, it means slavery was the excuse for putting the lives of the Southern people in danger. But-but-but we're told it was ALL ABOUT SLAVERY and ONLY ABOUT SLAVERY -- that keepin' their slaves was the only thing Southerners cared about. Right? RIGHT?

Keep reading, Mr. Dick, we're not finished yet. IIf killing Southerners didn't work out, the north designed and desired economic ruin for the South, using slavery as the excuse:

"....It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system ... "

And we know, don't we, that's EXACTLY what the north's war against the South achieved -- economic ruin so devastating it lasted for generations.

All about slavery? Only about slavery? Only to the extent that the north used slavery as the excuse to vent its hatred of the South, and as the method whereby to acquire the South's wealth for itself....

I've shown you how to pull the scales from your eyes using Misssissippi's secession document; see if you can do it for yourself using Georgia's.

Then, remember this. Only the states of the Deep South seceded, in part, due to issues related to slavery. The states of the upper South seceded ONLY AFTER Lincoln called forth a freaking ARMY to invade the seceded states.

I suppose it's too much to expect you to issue an apology to the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We'll just have to settle with using your attitude as a marvelous illustration of what the South seceded from.


  1. I live where the Battle of Resaca was fought. I think about that a lot, especially this time of year. It was May 1864. I can imagine it didn't matter if you supported slavery or not when Sherman's men were marching through Georgia burning farms and homes and stealing every bit of food they could find. War was declared on everyone in the south. They didn't discriminate between northern supporters and southern sympathisers.

  2. Nor between combatants and noncombatants. From the federals' own official records:

    Hdqrs, Military Div. of the Mississippi,
    In the Field, Rome Ga. October 2, 1864.
    Brigadier General Watkins, Calhoun, Ga.:

    Cannnot you send over about Fairmount and Adairsville, burn ten or twelve houses of known secessionists, kill a few at random, and let them know that it will be repeated every time a train is fired upon from Resaca to Kingston!

    W. T. Sherman
    Major-General, Commanding.

    It wasn't just food they stole -- clothing, silverware, anything that wasn't red-hot or nailed down. Worse than that, the burned crops in the field, shot livestock and threw them in streams and down wells to poison civilian water supplies, even shot pet dogs, quartered their horses in church buildings and dug up corpses looking for valuables.

    And this man and his army are venerated in the USA.


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