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Tuesday, April 12. 2011
William Tecumseh Sherman's warning, via NYM:
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Southern blood was always hot, it seems.
Yet, the direct confrontation of the Union supply ship, attempting to make it to Sumter, was both a direct violation of the sovereign territorial rights of SC, and an inflammatory instigation to draw SC to reaction.
The War of Northern Aggression, so aptly named, by Prof. Kevin Gutzman (and he teaches up in Vermont!), still inflames many still today.
I think the aggression started long before Sumter with laws passed to the detriment of the South to punish them for slavery. They couldn't outlaw it outright because they didn't have the votes.
Slavery was probably the first deal with the devil our country made - made in order to form a country. A bad deal, but unfortunately, the only deal available. We're still paying for it. I wonder if we will ever stop paying...
Howdy mudbug and FredZ
In April of 1861, Abe Lincoln had been president for less than six weeks. He had several states that had declared independence and all or nearly all had some kind of Federal property. Lincoln believed that, without a Constitutional or statutory basis, he had no legal authority to yield Federal property to the seceding states, and he was probably right.
As for agression against the South -- well, h'm. The South demanded severe Fugitive Slave Laws which allowed them to pursue escaped slaves, and sometimes people who had never been slaves, into free states. Southern states were actually prohibiting abolitionist talk or publication. Southern politicians and leaders condemned "Yankees" as grubby mechanics. Northern politicians were primarily acting to prevent the extension of slavery into territory that they had as much right to claim as did any Southerner. (Tee hee hee - in declaring independence, the Southerners were actually forfeiting their claim to any territory except their own states). I've read the words of the Southern leadership and the Northerners. There were hot words all around -- the Southerners were far more agressive, far more insulting, far more demanding. And this in the name of a small elite in the South.
I have great respect for the ingenuity and courage of many Southern soldiers and generals. I have only scorn for the cause that wasted their substance so badly.
That whole Charleston and Charleston Harbor area is just fascinating. So much history from Francis Marion to the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.L._Hunley%28submarine%29]H.L. Hunley[/url], the Battery, Fort Johnson and Fort Sumter - its just incredible. Walking around Charleston is also an education in and of itself - a lot of original and reconstructed buildings exist.
Prophetic words from Sherman. He helped make them become true. He knew the South, as he had been the superintendent of what later became LSU.
My mother told me when she was growing up before WW2, that relatives of her parents' and grandparents' generations spent a lot of time re-righting the Civil War. Unfortunately from their points of view, their side lost. She vowed to not continue re-fighting the Civil War when she became an adult.
WW2 helped heal the wounds of the Civil War by the movement of people north and south, so that both sides got better exposed to the other. I am the result of such movement. Recall Shelby Foote saying in the Ken Burns Civil War series that Vicksburg didn't celebrate the Fourth of July until WW2.
I'm not convinced, no matter the volume, that there has been an unbiased summation of our great conflict. The wounds are yet, too fresh I think.
Forgive the metaphor, but as we face our future, the Civil War may well be but a burp in our hopefully, long history.
Though, as to Sherman's quote, he did nail it.
We didn't want to go to war back then we were trying to secede.
Heck, we still are.
great set of thoughtful comments. i had opened to URL shielding my eyes, afraid to read the usual 'racist South had it coming' remarks. Very pleasantly reminded to have more faith in me fellow human beans.
I have drinks on Friday with a blue dog Democrat. I get the impression that he gets his talking points from the MSM. Like several weeks ago, right on schedule, he was fulminating about the Kochs. Easy to counter: Et tu, Soros?
One theme that keeps popping up with him is that of right wing militias, secessionists et al. (I think to myself: WTF?)
From this I get the impression that there is an attempt to label the Tea Party as secessionists.
well, we could for a fact, use a li'l more o that 10th Amendment, plus a little reepeal on that 17th, i think. But that ain't secessh, that's ''restoration''.
Unfortunately, in a quirk worthy of the darkling Balkans, we do feel needful to 'talk around' the proper term, becuz "state's rights" has been, by our inky keepers past, made code --for everything from General Jubilation T. Cornpone to that 'Deliverance' banjo player to white-on-black KKK lynch mobs. Alas, corrupted language is a minefield in all directions.
Yall are settin' to denigrate the US Constitution with Lincoln's sectionist war against right.
The Republican party was founded to destroy slavery and the equality of the States, and Lincoln was selected as the instrument to accomplish this object. The Union was a barrier to the consummation of this policy, because the constitution, which was its bond, recognized and protected slavery and the sovereignty of the States. The Union must, therefore, be sacrificed, and to insure its destruction, war was determined on. The mass of the Northern people were not privy to, and sympathized in no such design. They loved the Union and wished to preserve it. To rally the people to the support of the war, its object was proclaimed to be "a restoration of the Union," as if that which implied voluntary assent, of which agreement was an indispensable element and condition, could be preserved by coercion. It is absurd to pretend that a government, really desirous of restoring the Union, would adopt such measures as the confiscation of private property, the emancipation of slaves, systematic efforts to invite them to insurrection, forcible abduction from their homes, and compulsory enlistment in the army, the division of a sovereign State without its consent, and the proclamation that one tenth of the population of a State, and that tenth under military rule, should control the will of the remaining nine tenths The only relation possible between the two sections, under such a policy, is that of conqueror and conquered, superior and dependent. Rest assured, fellow citizens, that although restoration may still be used as a war cry by the Northern Government, it is only to delude and betray. Fanaticism has summoned to its aid cupidity and vengeance; and nothing short of your utter subjugation, the destruction of your State governments, the overthrow of your social and political fabric, your personal and public degration and ruin, will satisfy the demands of the North. Can there be a man so vile, so debased, so unworthy of liberty as to accept peace on such humiliating terms? (from Address Of [Confederate States] Congress To The People Of The Confederate States http://www.civilwarhome.com/addressconfederatecongress.htm)
Who fired first Civil War shot? A dispute in Fla.
Sherman sounds here like Rhett Butler's speech near the beginning of "Gone with the Wind" - both were right.
Sherman also said "If war be the remedy of my enemy's choosing, I say, give it to him."