Tag Archives: Civil War

Americans to Americans

Robert E. Lee chose General John B. Gordon… to officially surrender the Army of Northern Virginia to the Union on April 12, 1865.  Gordon was an amateur soldier who proved to be the consummate warrior.  Through the course of the conflict Gordon was badly wounded seven times, with five minnie balls hitting him at the battle of Antietam in 1862.  Lee often praised Gordon’s actions in battle,  “characterized by splendid audacity.”

True citizen soldier

US Grant selected General Joshua L. Chamberlain… to accept the Confederate surrender.  Chamberlain was a college professor (of rhetoric) who enlisted in the 20th Maine Vols. He served with distinction from Fredericksburg to Petersburg, winning the Medal of Honor for his defense of Little Round Top during the Gettysburg campaign.  Chamberlain was wounded six times (nearly dying at Petersburg in 1864)  and cited for bravery four times during his service.

Soul of a Lion

As Gordon led the Confederate army past… the Army of the Potomac, Chamberlain ordered the men to “Carry Arms”, the snap of the leather and metal signaled a marching salute.  Gordon, surprised by the gesture, ordered the Confederates to respond.   Chamberlain described Gordon’s performance, “At the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse’s head swung down with a graceful bow, and General Gordon dropped his sword point to his toe in salutation.”    Gordon truly understood the significance of the gesture, “Chamberlain called his men into line and as the Confederate soldiers marched in front of them, the veterans in blue gave a soldierly salute to those vanquished heroes—a token of respect from Americans to Americans.”

Americans to Americans

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Confederate Monument Dilemma

PracticallyHistorical offers the following analysis….

  • The Confederate flag should never be flown over government buildings or property
  • The Confederate flag should not be banned
  • Monuments to Confederate leaders, political or military, should not be kept on government or public property
  • Monuments dedicated to unnamed soldiers who fought for the Confederacy should be allowed on public property
  • Communities have every right to determine which people are publicly memorialized
  • The destruction seen in Durham is unacceptable
  • The actions of the KKK and ne0-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are unacceptable
  • Confederate monuments in cemeteries should be left alone
  • Confederate monuments on battlefields should be left alone 
  • Comparing Confederate leaders to our Founders is unacceptable
  • Destroying or defacing monuments to our Founders is unacceptable 
  • Studying Confederate history is necessary
  • Confederate Civil War reenactors should not be ostracized
  • Slavery caused the Civil War
  • Not all Confederate soldiers fought for slavery
  • Not all Union soldiers fought to free slaves 
  • We need to keep reading, writing, and learning…..

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Weekly History News Roundup

The iconoclasm continues… “offensive” monuments to American Indians will fall next

 

Duke University symposium addresses monument removalpanels conclude monuments are not the problems we face today

 

Vandalism of Confederate monuments continues… North Carolina monument desecrated for second time this year

 

Katie Couric plans documentary about Confederate monument debatea fair and balanced approach is not in the offering

 

Profile in Courage Award goes to Mayor of New Orleans for tearing down monuments… Landrieu is so very shrewd in the spotlight 

 

James Madison Preparatory School in Tempe, Arizona  Presents:

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Lincoln is Next

Progressive iconoclasts will not stop with Confederate monuments and statues… They have already started the campaign against George Washington.  It appears that no historical figure is safe in today’s climate of over-sensitivity, moral outrage, and political correctness.  In this world, historical figures must be judged with our 21st century sensibilities- we know better than our ancestors- backwards, slave owning, racists they were.  The Great Emancipator is next…

 

University of Wisconsin-Madison students want the statue of Lincoln removed from campus… for alleged crimes against humanity- ordering the execution of 38 Dakota warriors who murdered women and children in Minnesota, which violated a binding treaty between the two nations and was a horrific crime.  The complex conflict that resulted in the executions occurred in the middle of the Civil War.

Can we still call upon our better angels?

The iconoclasts will undoubtedly feel moral superiority in attacking Lincoln’s legacy… their misguided and naive reading of the historical record will lack all academic rigor- but they will get on the news and be able to label their opponents “RACISTS”

  • Lincoln wanted all slaves out of the country!  —  Lincoln briefly favored voluntary colonization, but not after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect   Lincoln explained, ” Why should they do any thing for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive–even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.”
  • Lincoln never wanted to free the slaves! —  Foolish attempts to sully Lincoln’s achievements have always cited the Greeley letter of August 1862   but they fail to finish the darn thing, where Lincoln says, “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 every where could be free.”
  • Frederick Douglass knew Lincoln was overrated! —  Lincoln is often compared to Douglass and unfairly judged for not being a true abolitionist.  Trouble with this reasoning is that Lincoln was not elected chief abolitionist, he was elected President.  Frederick Douglass’s actual thoughts on Lincoln- “Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.”

Infinite wisdom has seldom sent any man into the world better fitted for his mission than Abraham Lincoln.”      

The hour and the man of our redemption had met in the person of Abraham Lincoln.”

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Hubris pt. 3

“Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for. For not one of us, no, not one, is perfect. And were we to love none who had imperfection, this world would be a desert for our love.”

― Thomas Jefferson

Kyle Sammin correctly surmises in the current edition of  The Federalist… that historical figures are imperfect- the millennial demands of  removing every monument and memorial to historical figures who do not satisfy their modern sensibilities is both foolish and destructive.  Though many of his comments following the Charlottesville violence were divisive and insensitive, Trump’s fear that removing monuments to Confederate generals may lead to the destruction of memorials to our Founders were not far from reality.  Trump’s implication(inadvertent)  is that there is a slippery slope with historical revisionism–    Click on links

These links are the steady progression of arbitrary historical revision… being driven by a generation of social justice warriors completely lacking any semblance of humility.  So-called activists who are convinced they are not only morally superior to their grandparents, but to all previous generations.  This is hubris at its most blatant and dangerous.  Politicians, like Nancy Pelosi pander to these intellectual pipsqueaks by joining in this fool’s chorus- moral redemption through historic erasure.

 

As previously stated in the pages of this blog… there are more appropriate places for Confederate symbols and monuments than government buildings and public squares.  This is a reasonable debate and it should continue.  The slippery slope of historical revisionism is real and we are well on the way down it.  Sadly, legitimate leadership is required during such a crisis of conscience.  We have Donald Trump…..

Confederates in the attic

 

 

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On the Confederate Flag

Soul of a Lion

The Lion of the Union, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain… remembered the significance of the Confederate flag years after the conflict that defined his life, and the lives of millions of his fellow Americans:

Americans to Americans

” The sight of the Confederate battle flag always reminded me of the immense bravery of the soldiers who served under it.”

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

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Honorable Man, Dishonored Legacy

R0bert E. Lee was an honorable man… White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was not wrong making this observation.  Unfortunately, Lee’s honor too often guided him down the wrong paths in life.  It was this misguided sense of honor that led him to fight for one of the worst causes in history.  Once the conflict was over, Lee behaved admirably in helping the Confederate forces put down their weapons and reenter Union society.

Traitor? Noble Warrior?

Lee advised his former countrymen-

It is the duty of every citizen, in the present condition of the Country, to do all in his power to aid in the restoration of peace and harmony…Dismiss from your mind all sectional feeling, and bring [your children] up to be Americans.”

 

As the President of Washington College, Lee often dismissed white students who carried out violence against black residents… and did not tolerate “Lost Cause”  propaganda at the school.  A professor who regularly criticized US Grant received one of the famous, pointed Lee rebukes:

“Sir, if you ever presume again to speak disrespectfully of General Grant in my presence, either you or I will sever his connection with this university.”

 

 

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