Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sherman and Grimsley

Note: The blog post at Crossroads where Gary Adams' letter is under discussion is proof positive that those who are always touting "history" -- always putting down others for putting heritage above history, always claiming heritage folks don't know history -- don't give a rat's patootie about history themselves. Brooks D. Simpson didn't make this post about Gary for the sake of history. Neither he nor his commenters offer a syllable of historical correction of Gary's letter. No, the only reason he made that post was to ridicule another human being. Presumably, people like Brooks D. Simpson and the mockers and ridiculers who frequent his blog get off on that kind of put down far more than they do on history....

Brooks D. Simpson and his minions are frothing over a letter to a college president sent by Gary Adams of the Southern Heritage Preservation Group. The letter is about historian Mark Grimsley.

First, they tsk-tsk'd over typos, assumed Gary couldn't spell, etc. The type of errors I saw makes me wonder if Gary posted a copy of his letter to Facebook using a smart phone. I've seen similar errors in texts transmitted by smart phone. Of course, when you're motivated to denigrate a person, such alternate explanations will be rejected before they can be stated....

Simpson sez, "Gary Adams is the best that the SHPG can do. Reflect on what that implies."

What it implies is that Simpson knows all 1,735 members of the SHPG -- he would have to know them all -- know each individual's level of knowledge and education in history, know what they do outside of the group, etc. -- in order to know who's best. You think he knows all 1,735 members that well? Of course not. This is just another way to mock and ridicule other human beings.

Oh, btw, Andy Hall, if you're reading this, you might want to correct these typos in your comments on your blog following the entry where you skewer Billy Bearden for doing only what you do (see my previous blog entry)....

Y'all slogan

Just outta curiosity, did you send your comments from your smart phone?

So, folks. How do you spell hypocrisy? S-I-M-P-S-O-N or H-A-L-L? Or maybe S-I-M-P-S-O-N -- A-N-D -- H-A-L-L.

Incidentally, if the paper in question is this one, "Thieves, Murderers, Trespassers": The Mythology of Sherman's March -- what he's saying is that the destructiveness of Sherman's march is myth. In other words, Grimsley is sanitizing Sherman.

Basically, his message seems to be that if Sherman had been destructive (although he, you know, really wasn't all that destructive) it would have been okay because slavery was destructive, too.

Years ago when I first got online, I came across information about a historian who specialized in the civil war.It claimed that as far back as high school, he intended to become a historian just so he could make the South look bad.... (Hmmm... an admission by a civil war historian of his aim to evilize the South....)

I've had numerous occasions to regret that I did not copy and keep that information, which included the historian's name, which I have long since forgotten. After skimming some of Grimsley's stuff online, I've wondered if it was him. But then, making the South look bad seems to be the goal of nearly all civil war historians since the PC era began, whether they admitted it as far back as high school or not....

Brooks D. Simpson says Gary's letter doesn't specifiy complaints about Grimsley's paper. I'll provide some specific complaints.

First, Grimsley says historians have known for a long time that claims of widespread rape and murder by union soldiers lack historical foundation. (I'm paraphrasing because of the copyright notice on the page.) Well, not necessarily. It's only lacking in the "historical foundation" Grimsley and his ilk are willing to accept and in the interpretation they put on it.

Second -- he basically implies that Southern women were post-war liars, emphasizing their "fear" and "outrage" above the not-all-that-awful facts. But his only "proof" is a reference to one woman, Grace Pierson Beard. And, of course, he reminds us that the only thing "uncritical readers" pick up on is the fear and outrage in her writing and don't notice the facts. Exactly how he knows they do this isn't explained. Maybe he consults a crystal ball, or calls Miss Clio, or throws chicken bones. Or... maybe he read Mrs. Beard's story uncritically once and now he's projecting his experience onto all.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

As Andy claims that "the SHPG" (all 1,730 members?) believe/claim that the UDC is a "support group" for the SCV when only one member said that ... and as Brooks D. Simpson has tried to attribute words expressed by a handful of SHPG members to the entire 1,737-member group, so Grimsley projects Mrs. Beard's "myth-constructing" (no indication that's what she was actually doing; that's just the name he calls it) to thousands of other white Southerners.

Here's another complaint. Grimsley's "explanation" that the union army's destructiveness was mostly "targeted" implies more than an explanation -- it implies acceptability. Damned secessionists -- they deserved it.

Sorry, no.

There was NO justification for the union army's presence in the seceded states and no justification for a union soldier so much as kicking a Southern dog. Regardless of how much or how little destruction Sherman and his rapacious men did, regardless of Mark Grimsley's efforts, and the efforts of every other Confederacy-bashing "historian" to santitize Sherman and downplay the destruction wrought upon the South by the union army, it was ALL too much because the union army should not have been down here to begin with.

Nothing -- not secession, not "preserving the union," not ending slavery, not anything -- justified the union's barbaric war on the South.


  1. Connie,

    This has been requested of you over and over again. If you disagree with someones interpretation of history you need to show proof of where they went wrong and back that proof up with sources. In this case what is you proof the Dr. Girmsley is wrong.

    Simple Prove It!

  2. I don't need to show proof of anything. Simpson said Gary didn't identify his complaints about Grimsley's paper -- so I provided a few complaints, capisce? Proof is not necessary, anyway, if you're just disagreeing with somebody's "interpretation" (i.e., opinion). Grimsley's "proof" that thousand of Southerners engaged in "myth making" (basically lying) about Sherman's march after the war was the writings of one woman. That's one, o-n-e (1) -- one woman.

    If Gary or I tried to make a case for some widespread practice or belief on the basis of what one person wrote, you civil war thought cops would be throwing dust in the air, gnashing your teeth and wailing like there's no tomorrow.

    The purpose of Grimsley's piece is to evilize white Southerners, then and now. He wrote that whole paper just to say this: The destructiveness of the march is still there as an explanation of the "economic and social damage" that gripped the postwar South... But the massive human destructiveness of slavery that helped create the war--and that Sherman's march helped destroy--is distorted almost out of recognition... In this depiction, slavery is read almost entirely out of the Civil War--just as it is read out of the conflict by "neo-Confederates" who assert that as many as 100,000 African Americans fought for the Confederacy.

    Corey, I'm from Dalton, Georgia and live there the first seven years of my life. I'm sure you know the significance of that place. Actually, I was born in my Mama's doctor's clinic in Ringgold, not far from where Sherman started the Atlanta campaign. I heard a lot of comments about the war before I even started school. I've also been acquainted with Southern heritage folks for years -- and I have never, ever heard anyone say Sherman's march caused the "economic and social damage" that gripped the postwar South. I've heard other explanations -- for example, discriminatory freight rates, the massive public debt run up by carpetbagger state governments, yankees coming down here post-war and buying miles -- not acres, miles -- of virgin timber for pennies an acre, and paying Southerners slave wages in their sawmills.... But I've never heard anyone say Sherman's march was the explanation.... So I think Grimsley is making that up. That whole paper smells of the agenda with which he wrote it.

    But, hey, if you ever run across anyone blaming of the march for the economic and social damage after the war, do send me a link.

  3. Connie,

    If you cannot refute the claims, quit complaining.

    Also, do you understand the difference of Grimsley giving you an EXAMPLE compared to David cliaming to understand the war based only on his ancestors letters?

    This is not Grimsley's is backed up with proof through his example. His presentation was not long enough to give a complete historiography...oooops...I know you don't understand that word...of Sherman's March and the effects of the march and how people remembered it.

  4. Corey, don't tell me what to do. You don't have the authority. Your "credentials" for being a Civil War Thought Cop are delusional.

    I haven't seen David claim to understand the war based ONLY on his ancestor's letters. I think you're making that up, and it's yet another reason why I don't have much respect for what you say. I'm quite certain I've seen David cite other sources of history. His point -- and he can correct me if I'm wrong -- is that you puffed up, self-appointed civil war thought cops dismiss historical sources such as those handed down through families. At least, his family and Ann DeWitt's family -- a major exception, of course, being the descendants of Silas Chandler, who say he was a slave, not a soldier. In that case, because it's such a good fit with what y'all already believe about the war, you thought police have fallen all over yourselves to express approval of, and showcase, that particular family history.

    Yes, it is Grimsley's opinion. His backup example is not proof -- it is his freakin' viewpoint projected onto what Mrs. Beard wrote. His pre-existing agenda (and it ain't "accurate history") comes through loud and clear with his comment about "uncritical readers."

    Yes, I understand the word historiography, Corey. I also understand that the effects of Sherman's march and how people remembered it really, really sticks in the craws of contemporary civil war thought cops, and so Sherman has to be sanitized. ("Sherman wasn't so bad, he didn't really do all that much damage, or if he did it was "targeted" and besides, slavery was evil, evil, evil and white Confederates were scum-sucking racist slavers, and their descendents and supporters today are scum-sucking racist, illiterate morons.")

  5. Corey,

    Connie isn't interested in history as she has shown time and time again. She is coming to the same false conclusions that Gary did about Grimsley's paper. Her take on the paper demonstrates that she hasn't actually read it or Connie wouldn't have such general conclusions. Of course, both you and I know, Grimsley's argument is nothing new or extraordinary. But I digress, look at her last comment. First she says Grimsley doesn't have proof because his paper is based on the "one example." Then, right before her rant, Connie suggests that she knows historiography....

    Connie, this is a final version of a presentation. Not an article or publication for peer review. It is informal. Read this The Hard Hand of War: Union Policy toward Southern Civilians, 1861-1865 by Mark Grimsley

  6. Rob, don't you tell me what to do, either. I believe I've asked you more than once to leave me alone.

    I read some or all of The Hard Hand of War years ago.

    I know what historiography is.

    It's not that I'm not interested in history. It's just that I'm more interested in verbal bullies using history as club for bashing people who see the past differently than they, the bullies, do.

    Now, please, go away. Whatever you have to say to or about me, use your own blog to do it.

  7. Sorry Connie, I'm not buying your victim card. So because I suggested a book for your to read I'm telling you what to do? Seriously?

    You've demonstrated constantly that you don't have a grasp of historiography; regardless of whether or not you know what it is.

    BTW, you are much more of a verbal bully than Brooks Simpson. The only difference now is that he is on the attack.

  8. I don't care what you buy or don't buy. I'm not playing a victim card. I simply don't want you communicating with me or posting in my blog comments. How many times will I have to say it before you leave?

    I know what historiography is and I know how it's being used by some folks, and the agenda behind that use.

    Bullies attack. I defend or counterattack. Yes, I can be snarky in my responses, but you will notice that I rarely if ever put comments on "memory/era/other stuff" blogs (or post about them on my blog) over differences we may have about history. My responses are virtually always provoked by attacks, such as Simpson's attack on Gary Adams' letter, and Andy's attack on Billy Bearden. Neither one of those attacks has an iota to do with history.

  9. I'm not. Why you've decided just now to cry out in anguish is beyond me.

    There is no agenda Connie. If you truly knew what historiography was, you wouldn't accuse historians of bullying;and you wouldn't make such outlandish statements about heritage and history.

    Your "attacks" are nothing but straw man arguments when you feel the need to counter an argument. You see someone make a post dealing with memory, history etc. that conflicts with your POV and then counter attack to save face.

  10. I'm not "crying out in anguish" and I haven't "just now" decided anything. See, it's that kind of personal, untrue, over-the-top statements that cause me to lose patience with you fake "historians" -- that, and your arrogance. It's on a par with Andy's "slow motion temper tantrum" -- and just as wrong. As for you, individually...I simply don't like your self-righteousness and insensitivity about something personal, that has nothing whatever to do with history, added to all the rest.

    Yes, there is an agenda. I've seen it develop in my lifetime. I don't accuse all historians of bullying -- only those who bully. My statements about history and heritage are no more outlandish than the statements of you "historian" types about heritage folks.

    What you call my "attacks" are defense or counterattack. They are almost always in response to unnecessary attacks by "historians." Andy's attack on Billy Bearden, Simpson's attack on Gary Adams -- Andy and Simpson weren't making "history arguments" in those attacks. You know it and I know it.

    I don't like or respect y'all's self-appointed civil war thought cop status. I know what's behind it, and I don't like that, either. Y'all aren't really motivated by history, but by an underlying social agenda that I disagree with because I consider it destructive at worst and detrimental at best.

    How many mathematicians troll the internet looking for people to verbally bludgeon because they get math wrong? How many astronomers troll the internet looking for people to bad-mouth? The late Carl Sagan used to insult Christians and other religious believers, but he did it in print and on TV because he died before the internet really caught on. But like you history cops, he was motivated by a social agenda, not just science.

    I don't need to save face. There's nothing face-saving about taking Simpson to task for his personal attack on Gary, or taking Andy to task for attacking Billy when Andy admitted being critical of the UDC for the same reasons Billy is...

  11. Rob, I have approved your comment for the last time on this thread. If you have anything more to say about it, do it on your own blog.

  12. To say that it is a personal attack is untrue. Over the top? Definitely because "crying out in anguish" is pretty satirical even in print. Not really sure why you claim personal attacks while also making them. I will make a personal attack now though, you are a hypocrite. You state that I am making personal attacks while calling me a "fake historian."

    You'll have to refresh my memory on my insensitivity to something personal. If it is about the children thing, I do remember apologizing for you taking it the wrong way. Especially since I said the statement before knowing whether or not you had kids. I only kept going after you chose to be a cyber bully. Regardless, I did apologize.

    You perceive an agenda because you want there to be one. It gives you comfort knowing that you can label all counter arguments as an "agenda." Your statements are outlandish because they are hardly based in reality. They are usually run around arguments. Once that argument has been combated, you rephrase the argument; then again and again and again.

    Gary doesn't make personal attacks? What with every post coming with the tag: "liberal, yankee, or revisionist?" Really Connie?

    If you think we have an underlying social agenda, I would love to hear about it. This might be the first time I've heard of an underlying social agenda. BTW, historiography teaches historians not to be silent when other present myths about history. Silencing the Past: The Power and Production of History, Michel-Rolph Trouillot

    Carl Sagan argued a philosophical principle. He didn't have a social agenda. His hypothesis on God is based in his science. To say there are no Mathematicians on the web is a generalization Connie. Can you speak for the entire field? What about Scientists in the modern age? What about say Richard Dawkins?
    Atheism Reddit?
    Friendly Atheist?
    There are a lot of holes in your statement Connie.

    On a more personal note, I'm not one that has ever blocked you from commenting. Regardless of my disagreement with practically everything you have to say, I enjoy our squabbles.

  13. You want to spar? You won't leave after being asked to repeatedly? Very well.

    Rob says, "You'll have to refresh my memory on my insensitivity to something personal. If it is about the children thing, I do remember apologizing for you taking it the wrong way. Especially since I said the statement before knowing whether or not you had kids. I only kept going after you chose to be a cyber bully. Regardless, I did apologize."

    (1) "apologizing" for someone "taking" what you say "the wrong way" is not apologizing.
    (2) I did not take it the wrong way.
    (3) You made the statement before knowing whether I had kids? Ha.

    "Actually, as one of my group members (a life-long New Yorker) pointed out, it's not our ancestors who discredit us, though out descendants might. That's a moot point for me, since I'm not leaving any descendants." ~Connie Chastain, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, in the blog post OH, NO! SAY IT AIN'T SO!

    "I can say I am incredibly pleased you have no descendants." ~Rob Baker, April 19, 2012 11:31 AM, from the comments section

    Rob says, "Gary doesn't make personal attacks? What with every post coming with the tag: "liberal, yankee, or revisionist?" Really Connie?"

    Unless they are aimed at a specific person, they are not personal attacks. And since when are these attack words? Some people proudly consider themselves liberals, yankees or revisionists.

    Yes, historians churned out by the educational establishment today have an underlying social agenda, like many others churned out by the educational establishment who then find employment within it.

    Pay attention to what you read. I didn't say, "There are no Mathematicians on the web." I said, "How many mathematicians troll the internet looking for people to verbally bludgeon because they get math wrong?"

    Rob says, "On a more personal note, I'm not one that has ever blocked you from commenting."

    I haven't commented at your blog, or had any desire to, for months -- in fact, for most of the time it has been in existence, so your "magnanimity" in not blocking my comments is something of a joke.

  14. Well Connie, 2 points. One, I did apologize. 2; I was not aware of the situation for not leaving "descendants."

    Doesn't really matter if he looks at a specific person does it? He makes a blanket statement aimed at those that disagree with his view point. That alone warrants response.

    I was educated at a Private School with a slew of conservative, liberal, Dixiecrat, libertarian and (yes even one) anarchist professor(s). There is too much diversity in thought to promote a social agenda. It did allow me to see every angle of numerous arguments and form my own opinion. That is in the context of politics not history btw.

    Kindred also went to a Private College. The same one as Reagan. My graduate school has varied political alignments as well. There is no time to promote a "social agenda." We spend a large portion of the time talking about the atrocities of the U.S. government in relation to certain aspects of history so why would historians in the "establishment" form a social agenda around the history of the Civil War?

    Connie, I have a thread with well over a 100 comments in which you contributed to a great many of them. I've also never blocked you on Facebook in the hundreds of comments there. What you perceive as a "joke" is really in your mind.

  15. "I'm sorry you took what I said the wrong way," is not an apology.

    There are two ways to not have descendants -- not having children, or having them and losing them to death before they have children. Either circumstance is potentially tragic, and to express incredible pleasure over it is callous.

    The educational establishment in this country promotes a social agenda.

    Rob, the thread you're talking about occurred long ago. I'll consider your complaints about my blocking posts when you aim the same complaints, with the same tone, at your civil war memory/era/other stuff blogger friends.

  16. Rob and Andy are sad cases - what they have to do to make it in the academic world.

    Modern day Esaus. Sold their birthright for a bowl of pottage.

  17. Hi Connie, found your site through a FaceBook reference. I too am a proud Confederate descendant. I don't have any in depth knowledge of what these folks are badgering you about, but it seems to be that this Grimsley person attempted to whitewash the war crimes of William T. Sherman, and claim that the Federales didn't rape anyone. Actually, the fact of the rapes is documented in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, the self-serving title supplied by the Union Army following the war. Sherman's crimes against civilians is "War Crimes Against Southern Civilians" by Walter Cisco. You can find it at

  18. P.S. I will link to you from my blog,


Comments are welcome, but monitored.