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An Address Delivered By Judge George L. Christian

Before the Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans at the Annual Meeting held at Culpeper C. H., Va., October 4th, 1898, and published by Special Request of the Grand Camp.

        Great wars have been as landmarks in the progress of nations, measuring-points of growth or decay. As crucibles they test the characters of peoples. Whether or not there is fibre to bear the crush of battle, and the strain of long contest:--not only in this determined; but also another matter, of yet more serious import, and of deeper interest to the student of history and to a questioning posterity. The grave investigator of to-day, searches the past to know whether man is of such character, whether the causes for which he has fought are such, that the future is always to be dark with "wars and rumors of war" He asks what men have regarded as sufficient causes of war? He does not enquire whether "the flying Mede" at Marathon, or the Greek with "his pursuing spear," are types of their nations: he rather seeks to know how the apparently unimportant action of an insignificant city, provoked the great Persian invasion. His question is, not whether Athens or Sparta bred the better soldier, but he searches the records to find out the causes of the Peloponnesian war.
        He does not consider whether Vercingetorix, standing a captive in the presence of Caesar, was, after all, the nobler leader; nor whether Attila at Chalons was a greater general than Aetius, nor why the sword of Brennus turned the scale on that fateful day at Rome. He is more concerned to know why the Roman legions marched so far, and why the world threw off the imperial yoke. The causes of wars test yet more deeply than conduct in the field, the characters of peoples, indicate yet more surely what hopes of peace or fears of war lie in the future, to which we are advancing.
        The foregoing considerations press on no people on earth more heavily than on those of the Southern States of this country. The question of the justice of the cause for which our Southern men fought and our Southern women suffered, in the great war which convulsed this country from '61 to '65, will always interest the philosophical historian, who will seek to know the motive that prompted the tremendous efforts of those four years, and the character of the men who fought so hard. It must command the attention of Confederate soldiers and their descendants for all time to come.
        During that contest, and for many years after its close, there was no doubt as to this question in all our Southern land, and this is the case with nearly all our mature and thinking people to-day. I fear, however, that some of our children, misled by the false teachings of certain histories used in some of our schools, may have some misgivings on this all-important subject.
        As Carthage had no historian, the Roman accounts of the famous Punic wars had to be accepted. All the blame was, as a matter of course, thrown on Carthage, and thus "Punica Fides" became a sneering by-word to all posterity. And so it has been, until recently, with the South. For many years after the war, our people were so poor, and so busily engaged in" keeping the wolf from their doors," that they lost sight of everything else. The shrewd, calculating, and wealthy Northerners, on the other hand, realized the importance of trying to impress the rising generation with the justice of their cause; and to that end they soon flooded our schools with histories, containing their version of the contest, and in many of these "all the blame" (as in the case of Carthage), is laid on the South.
        In view of these facts, I have thought it not only not improper, but perhaps, a sacred duty, to call attention to some things which have impressed me very much, and some which so far as I know, have not heretofore been brought to the attention of our Southern people.
        I shall not, in this address, discuss the Confederate Cause from the standpoint of a Southerner at all. Indeed, this has been done so thoroughly and ably by President Davis, Mr. Stephens, Dr. Bledsoe, and others, as to leave but little, if anything to be said from that point of view. I propose to set in order certain facts which will show: (1) What the people of the North said and did during the war to establish the justice of our Cause, and what they have said and done to the same end since its close; and (2) What distinguished foreigners have said about that cause, and the way the war was conducted on both sides. It seems to me that an answer to these enquiries is worthy of the gravest consideration, and ought to make its impression on any reflecting and unprejudiced mind.
        I am profoundly thankful that in these latter days, our own people have become aroused to the importance of presenting the truth of this great struggle, and that the result has been to produce some very good histories by Southern authors, giving the facts as to the causes which led to the war, and those as to its conduct by both parties. For these indispensable books, we are indebted almost solely to the influence of the Confederate Camps and kindred organizations which have sprung up all over the South.
        Passing over the history up to the year 1864, we find the people of the North were then greatly agitated on the question of the propriety of the war, its further prosecution and the manner in which it was being conducted by the administration then in power. The opposition to the war and Lincoln's administration was led by Vallandingham, of Ohio, with such bo1dness and ability as to cause his arrest and temporary imprisonment. In the Presidential contest of that year, Lincoln and Johnson were the candidates of the Republican, or war party, and McClellan and Pendleton were those of the Democratic, or peace party. The convention which nominated McClellan and Pendleton was one of the most representative bodies that ever assembled in this country. It met in the city of Chicago on the 29th of August, 1864, with Governor Horatio Seymour, of New York, as its chairman.
        An idea of the temper of the convention may be gathered from an extract from one of the speeches delivered in it by Rev. C. Chauncey Burr, of New Jersey, which is as follows:
        "We had no right to burn their wheat-fields, steal their pianos, spoons or jewelry. Mr. Lincoln had stolen a good many thousand negroes, but for every negro he had thus stolen, he had stolen ten thousand spoons. It had been said that, if the South would lay down their arms, they would be received back into the Union. The South could not honorably lay down her arms, for she was fighting for her honor."
        Mr. Horace Greeley says that Governor Seymour, on assuming the chair, made an address showing the bitterest opposition to the war; "but his polished sentences seemed tame and moderate by comparison with the fiery utterances volunteered from hotel balconies, street corners, and wherever space could be found for the gathering of an impromptu audience; while the wildest, most intemperate utterances of virtual treason--those which would have caused Lee's army, had it been present, to forget its hunger and rags in an ecstacy of approval--were sure to evoke the longest and loudest plaudits."
        This convention adopted a platform containing these, among other, remarkable declarations:
        "That after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretence of a military necessity of a war power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution has been disregarded in every part. Justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for the cessation of hostilities, with the ultimate convention of all the States, that these may be restored on the basis of a federal union of all the States, that the direct interference of the military authorities in the recent elections was a shameful violation of the Constitution, and the repetition of such acts will be held as revolutionary, and resisted; that the aim and object of the Democratic party is to preserve the federal union and the rights of the States unimpaired, and that they consider the administrative usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers, not granted by the Constitution, as calculated to prevent a restoration of the Union; that the shameful disregard of the administration in its duty to our fellow-citizens--prisoners of war--deserves the severest reprobation," &c., &c.
        It will thus be seen that this platform charged the party in power with the very offences which the people of the South complained of and which caused the Southern States to secede. It charged that the "Constitution had been disregarded in every part"; it declared that "justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities "; it charged the administration with the "usurpation of extraordinary and dangerous powers, not granted by the Constitution "; it charged it with direct interference in the elections, and with a shameful disregard of its duty to prisoners of war. The platform claimed that the object of the party adopting it was to preserve the Federal Union and the rights of the States unimpaired.
        In a word, the grievances here set forth were those of which the South was then complaining, and the principles sought to be maintained those for which the South was contending. And in addition to these, the people of the South were then exercising the God-given right and duty of defending their homes and firesides against an invasion as ruthless as any that ever marked the track of so-called civilized warfare.
        Mr. John Sherman tells us in his "Recollections of Forty Years in the House, Senate, and Cabinet," that prior to the adoption of this platform "there was apparent languor and indifference among people of the North as to who should be president, but after its adoption, there could be no doubt as to the trend of popular opinion." Governor Seward said in a speech delivered a few days after the adoption of that platform: "The issue is thus squarely made: McClellan and disunion, or Lincoln and union."
        So that the issue thus made by the people of the North among themselves was really whether the war then being waged by them against the South was right or wrong; and on that issue, thus clearly presented, out of four millions of voters who went to the polls nearly one-half said, in effect, that the war was wrong, and that the principles for which the South was contending--the "rights of the States unimpaired "--were right, and that their overthrow was to be resisted by all patriotic Americans. Lincoln received 2,216,067 votes, whilst McClellan received 1,808,725 votes; the latter receiving very nearly as many votes in the Northern States alone as Lincoln had received in the whole country when he was elected in 1860, his vote at that time being only 1,866,352.
        I construe this as a condemnation of their cause by nearly one-half the people of the North, "out of their own mouths." It will be remembered that in this election the soldiers in the field voted, and it is to be presumed, of course, voted in support of the cause for Which they were then fighting.--which fact alone would doubtless account for a very large part of the votes cast for Mr. Lincoln. In this election, too, there was again the most shameless interference by the military to carry the election for Mr. Lincoln. When we consider these facts, I think the result was truly remarkable, and something for the Northern people to think of now, when many of them so flippantly taunt the Southern people with having been "rebels" and "traitors." Let them ask themselves, did not the South have a just cause, and did not nearly one-half the Northern people so pronounce at the time?
        As a sample of the interference by the military authorities in that election, General B. F. Butler tells us in his book how he was sent by Mr. Stanton to New York with a military force to control that city and State for Mr. Lincoln. He says he stationed his troops conveniently near to every voting place in New York city, and that "he took care that the Southerners should understand that means would be taken for their identification, and that whoever of them should vote would be dealt with in such a manner as to make them uncomfortable"; and "the result was," he says, that "substantially no Southerners voted at the polls on election day."
        I think these figures and these facts demonstrate that if this election had been a fair one, without the interference of the military, a majority of the voters of the North would have said by their votes that the war then being waged against the South was wrong, and would therefore have stopped it of their own accord, because they were convinced it was wrong, and contrary to "justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare."
        It is most interesting to notice the vote in some of the great States of the North in this contest on the issue thus presented. Notwithstanding the interference by the military, as above stated by General Butler, the vote in New York was 368,726 for Lincoln and 361,986 for McClellan, or a little over 6,000 majority for Lincoln and his cause. Can any one doubt what the result would have been but for what General Butler says he and his troops did? In Pennsylvania the vote was 296,389 for Lincoln, and 276,308 for McClellan. That in Ohio was 265,154 for Lincoln, and 205,568 for McClellan. That in Indiana was 150,422 for Lincoln, and 130,233 for McClellan. That in Illinois was 189,487 for Lincoln, and 158,349 for McClellan. That in Wisconsin was 79,564 for Lincoln, and 63,875 for McClellan. In New Hampshire it was 36,595 for Lincoln, and 33,034 for McClellan. In Connecticut it was 44,693 for Lincoln, and 42,288 for McClellan; and whilst McClellan got the electoral votes of only New Jersey, Delaware and Kentucky, it is shown by the large vote he polled in all the States that the feeling of the people of the North against their cause was not confined to any State or locality, but pervaded the whole country; nearly every State, except perhaps Massachusetts, Vermont, Kansas, Maine and West Virginia, endorsing the war policy of the Republicans by smaller majorities than they have since given to the same party on purely economic issues. And just think of it, my comrades, that by a change of 209,000 in a vote of more than four millions, a majority of the people of the North would have voted that their cause was wrong, and that ours was consequently right.
        The virulence with which McClellan's campaign was conducted cannot be better illustrated than by incorporating here a notice of a political meeting to be held during that canvass. This notice recently appeared in a number of The Grand Army Record, and is as follows:

"DEMOCRATS ONCE MORE TO THE BREACH!
Grand Rally at Bushnell, Friday, November 4th, 1864.

        Hon. L. W. Ross, Major S. P. Cummings, T. E. Morgan, Joseph C. Thompson will address the people on the above occasion, and disclose to them the whole truth of the matter.

WHITE MEN OF McDONOUGH,

Who prize the Constitution of our Fathers; who love the Union formed by their wisdom and compromise;
Brave men who hate the Rebellion of Abraham Lincoln, and are determined to destroy it;
Noble women who do not want their husbands and sons dragged to the Valley of Death by a remorseless tyrant;
Rally out to this meeting in your strength and numbers.

CENTRAL COMMITTEE."

        Mr. Greeley, in his American Conflict, says:
        "It is highly probable that had a popular election been held at any time during the year following the 4th of July, 1862, on the question of continuing the war, or arresting it on the best attainable terms, a majority would have voted for peace; while it is highly probable that a still larger majority would have voted against emancipation."
        The same writer shows, too, not only how the successes or failures of the Northern armies served as the financial gauge which marked the price of their gold from time to time, but that these same successes or failures told in the elections the measure of the devotion of the Northern people to their cause.
        Not so with the people of the South, who, in the darkest period of the war, February, 1865, and with a unanimity never surpassed, resolved that their cause was the "holiest of all causes," and declared their resolution "to spare neither their blood nor their treasure in its maintenance and support." And even now, a third of a century after that cause went down in defeat, but not in dishonor, its memories, though shrouded in sadness, are still a sacred and living factor in their lives and being.
        Just at this point I desire to consider what was said of our cause, especially of the "right of secession," and of the conduct of the war on both sides, by a distinguished English nobleman who, it must be presumed, wrote from an unprejudiced standpoint.
        In a work called The Confederate Secession, written by the Marquis of Lothian, and published in 1864 in Edinburgh and London, that writer, after reciting and discussing with remarkable accuracy and ability the grievances of the Southern States, and the cause which led to their secession from the Union, uses this language:
        "I believe that the right of secession is so clear that if the South had wished to do so, for no better reason than that it could not bear to be beaten in an election, like a sulky school-boy out of temper at not winning a game, and had submitted the question of its right to withdraw from the Union to the decision of any court of law in Europe, she would have carried her point."
        He then draws the following vivid contrast between the way war was conducted by the two parties. He says:
        "Let us however suppose the Southern Secession to have been altogether illegal and uncalled for, or rather let us turn away our eyes from the question altogether, and suppose that the causes of the struggle are veiled in obscurity. Can we find anything in the circumstances of the war itself which may induce us to take one side rather than the other? Those circumstances have been very remarkable. This contest has been signalized by the exhibition of some of the best and some of the worst qualities that war has ever brought out. It has produced a recklessness of human life; a contempt of principles, a disregard of engagements; a wasteful expenditure almost unprecedented; a widely extended corruption among the classes who have any connection with the government or the war; an enormous debt, so enormous as to point to almost certain repudiation; the headlong adoption of the most lawless measures; the public faith scandalously violated both towards friends and enemies; the liberty of the citizen at the mercy of arbitrary power; the liberty of the press abolished: the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act; illegal imprisonments; midnight arrests; punishments inflicted without trial; the courts of law controlled by satellites of government; elections carried on under military supervision; a ruffianism both of word and action eating deep into the country; contractors and stock jobbers suddenly amassing enormous fortunes out of the public misery, and ostentatiously parading their ill-gotten wealth in the most vulgar display of luxury; the most brutal inhumanity in the conduct of the war itself; outrages upon the defenceless, upon women, children and prisoners; plunder, rapine, devastation, murder,--all the old horrors of barbarous warfare, which Europe is beginning to be ashamed of, and new refinements of cruelty thereto added, by way of illustrating the advance of knowledge. It has also produced qualities and phenomena the opposite of these. Ardour and devotedness of patriotism which might, alone be enough to make us proud of the century to which we belong; a unanimity such as has probably never been witnessed before; a wisdom in legislation; a stainless good faith under extremely difficult circumstances; a clear appreciation of danger, coupled with a determination to face it to the uttermost; a resolute abnegation of power in favor of leaders in whom those who selected them could trust; with an equally resolute determination to reserve the liberty of criticism, and not to allow those trusted leaders to go one inch beyond their legal powers: a heroism in the field and behind the defences of besieged cities, which can match anything that history has to show; a wonderful helpfulness in supplying needs and creating fresh resources; a chivalrous and romantic daring, which recalls the middle ages: a most scrupulous regard for the rights of hostile property; a tender consideration for the vanquished and the weak; a determination not to be provoked into retaliation by the most brutal injuries, which makes one wonder, recollecting what those injuries have been, whether in their place, one would have done as they have done. * * * And the remarkable circumstance is * * * that all the good qualities have been on the one side, and all the bad ones on the other."
        In other words, he says that all the bad qualities were on the side of the North, and all the good on that of the South. He then says of the South:
        "I am not going a hair's-breadth beyond what I soberly and sincerely believe, in saying that the Confederates have in almost every respect, surpassed anything that has ever been known.
        "The most splendid instance of a nation's defence of its liberties that the world has seen before the present day, was perhaps (I am not sure, but I think so), that of Sicily at the end of the thirteenth century: and the Confederates stand much above the Sicilians."
        He then goes on to enumerate the splendid instances of sacrifice and devotion of the people, especially of the women of the South, and of the valor and heroism of the soldiers in the field, but to recount these, would consume more space than would be profitable in this discussion.
        That this writer was not singular in his opinions, in regard to our struggle, is manifest from what Mr. Justin McCarthy tells us in the second volume of his "History of our own Times." McCarthy was evidently an ardent sympathizer with the North, and yet he says that in England "the vast majority of what are called the governing classes, were on the side of the South;" that "by far the greater number of the aristocracy of the official world, of Members of Parliament, of Military and Naval men were for the South;" that "London Club life was virtually Southern;" and that "the most powerful papers in London, and the most popular papers as well, were open partisans of the Southern Confederation."
        Lord Russell said the contest was one "in which the North was striving for empire, and the South for independence."
        Mr. Gladstone said, our President, Mr. Davis, "had made an army, had made a navy, and had made a nation."
        And it is as certain as anything that did not happen can be, that but for the fall of Vicksburg, and our failure to succeed at Gettysburg in July, 1863 (both of which disasters came on us at the same time), Mr. Roebuck's motion in Parliament for recognition by England, which the Emperor Napoleon also was working hard to bring about, would have been carried, and the Confederacy would then have been recognized by both England and France. This recognition would have raised the blockade, and this was all the South needed to insure its success. For as a distinguished Northern writer, from whom I shall presently quote, said, "without their navy to blockade our ports, they never could have conquered us."
        Mr. Percy Greg, the justly famous English historian, says:
        "If the Colonies were entitled to judge of their own cause, much more were the Southern States. Their rights--rights not implied, assumed, or traditional, like those of the Colonies, but expressly defined and solemnly guaranteed by law--had been flagrantly violated; the compact which alone bound them, had beyond question, been systematically broken for more than forty years by the States which appealed to it."
        After showing the perfect regularity and legality of the Secession movement, he then says: "It was in defence of this that the people of the South sprang to arms 'to defend their homes and families, their property and their rights, the honor and independence of their States to the last, against five fold numbers and resources a hundred fold greater than theirs.'"
        He says of the cause of the North:
        "The cause seems to me as bad as it well could be; the determination of a mere numerical majority to enforce a bond, which they themselves had flagrantly violated, to impose their own mere arbitrary will, their idea of national greatness, upon a distinct, independent, determined and almost unanimous people."
        And he then says, as Lord Russell did:
        "The North fought for empire which was not and never had been hers; the South for an independence she had won by the sword, and had enjoyed in law and fact ever since the recognition of the thirteen 'sovereign and independent States,' if not since the foundation of Virginia. Slavery was but the occasion of the rupture, in no sense the object of the war." Let me add a statement which will be confirmed by every veteran before me,--no man ever saw a Virginia soldier who was fighting for slavery.
        This writer then speaks Of the conduct of the Northern people as "unjust, aggressive, contemptuous of law and right," and as presenting a striking contrast to the "boundless devotion, uncalculating sacrifice, magnificent heroism and unrivalled endurance of the Southern people."
        But I must pass on to what a distinguished Northern writer has to say of the people of the South, and their cause, twenty-one years after the close of the war. The writer is Benjamin J. Williams, Esq., of Lowell, Massachusetts, and the occasion which brought forth his paper (addressed to the Lowell Sun) was the demonstration to President Davis when he went to assist in the dedication of a Confederate monument at Montgomery, Ala. He says of Mr. Davis:
        "Everywhere he receives from the people the most overwhelming manifestation of heartfelt affection, devotion and reverence, exceeding even any of which he was the recipient in the time of his power; such manifestations as no existing ruler in the world can obtain from his people, and such as probably were never given before to a public man, old, out of office, with no favors to dispense, and disfranchised. Such homage is significant; it is startling. It is given, as Mr. Davis himself has recognized, not to him alone, but to the cause whose chief representative he is, and it is useless to attempt to deny, disguise or evade the conclusion, that there must be something great and noble and true in him and in the cause to evoke this homage."
        This writer then goes on to review Mr. Davis's career, both before and during the war, pays a splendid tribute to his character as a man, and his genius and ability as a soldier and statesman; says even Henry Wilson, of Massachusetts, referred to him in a speech made during the war, as the "clear-headed, practical, dominating Davis." And after referring to the proud and defiant spirit of Mr. Davis, and his splendid bearing both in the last days of the Confederacy and after his arrest and imprisonment, he says:
        "The seductions of power or interest may move lesser men, that matters not to him; the cause of the Confederacy is a fixed moral and constitutional principle, unaffected by the triumph of physical force, and he asserts it to-day as unequivocally as when he was seated in its executive chair at Richmond, in apparently irreversible power, with its victorious legions at his command."
        Mr. Davis, in' his speech on the occasion referred to, alluded to the fact that the monument then being erected was to commemorate the deeds of those "who gave their lives a free-will offering in defence of the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever."
        Mr. Williams says of this definition:
        "These masterful words, 'the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence, which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever,' are the whole case, and they are not only a statement but a complete justification of the Confederate cause, to all who are acquainted with the origin and character of the American Union."
        He then proceeds to tell how the Constitution was adopted and the government formed by the individual States, each acting for itself, separately, and independently of the others, and then says:
        "It appears, then, from this review of the origin and character of the American Union, that when the Southern States, deeming the Constitutional compact broken, and their own safety and happiness in imminent danger in the Union, withdrew therefrom and organized their new Confederacy, they but asserted, in the language of Mr. Davis, ' the rights of their sires, won in the War of the Revolution, the State sovereignty, freedom and independence, which were left to us as an inheritance to their posterity forever,' and it was in defence of this high and sacred cause that the Confederate soldiers sacrificed their lives. There was no need of war. The action of the Southern States was legal and Constitutional, and history will attest that it was reluctantly taken in the last extremity."
        He now goes on to show how Mr. Lincoln precipitated the war, and describes the unequal struggle in which the South was engaged in these words:
        "After a glorious four years' struggle against such odds as have been depicted, during which independence was often almost secured, where successive levies of armies, amounting in all to nearly three millions of men, had been hurled against her, the South, shut off from all the world, wasted, rent and desolate, bruised and bleeding, was at last overpowered by main strength; out-fought, never; for from first to last, she everywhere out-fought the foe. The Confederacy fell, but she fell not until she had achieved immortal fame. Few great established nations in all time have ever exhibited capacity and direction in government equal to hers, sustained as she was by the iron will and fixed persistence of the extraordinary man who was her chief; and few have ever won such a series of brilliant victories as that which illuminates forever the annals of her splendid armies, while the fortitude and patience of her people, and particularly of her noble women, under almost incredible trials and sufferings, have never been surpassed in the history of the world."
        And he then adds:
        "Such exalted character and achievement are not all in vain. Though the Confederacy fell, as an actual physical power, she lives illustrated by them, eternally in her just cause--the cause of constitutional liberty."
        Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, one of the present Senators from Massachusetts, in his life of Webster, says:
        "When the Constitution was adopted by the votes of the States at Philadelphia, and accepted by the States in popular conventions, it is safe to say that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton on the one side to George Clinton and George Mason on the other, who regarded the new system as anything but an experiment entered upon by the States, from which each and every State had the right peaceably to withdraw--a right which was very likely to be exercised."
        And I heard Mr. James C. Carter, of New York, but a native of New England, and one of the greatest lawyers in this country, in his address recently delivered at the University of Virginia, say:
        "I may hazard the opinion that if the question had been made, not in 1860, but in 1788, immediately after the adoption of the Constitution, whether the Union, as formed by that instrument, could lawfully treat the secession of a State as rebellion, and suppress it by force, few of those who participated in framing that instrument would have answered in the affirmative."
        These are clear and candid admissions on the part of these distinguished Northerners that the Southern States had the right to secede as they did, and were, therefore, right in regard to the real issue involved in the war between the States.
        There is but one other fact to which I desire to call attention in this connection, and while it has often been referred to, it cannot be too deeply impressed upon the minds of our people, and ought, it seems to me, to be conclusive of this whole question--and that is, the refusal of the Northern people to test the question of the right of secession by a trial of President Davis; and this, notwithstanding the fact that since the cry, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" went up at Jerusalem, nearly two thousand years ago, I believe there never was a time when a whole people were more willing to punish one man than were the people of the North, who were in favor of the war, to punish Mr. Davis for his alleged crimes as the leader of our cause and people.
        Mr. Davis was captured on or about the l0th of May, 1865, near Washington, Ga., and straightway taken to and confined in a casemate at Fortress Monroe. To show how eagerly these war people of the North demanded his life, they attempted first to implicate him in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln. It was even charged in a proclamation issued by the President of the United States that the evidence of Mr. Davis's connection with that atrocious crime "appears from evidence in the Bureau of Military Justice." This evidence consisted for the most part of affidavits of witnesses secured by that vile wretch, Judge Advocate General Holt. A committee of the then Republican Congress says of these:
        "Several of these witnesses, when brought before the committee, retracted entirely the statements which they had made in their affidavits, and declared that their testimony as originally given was false in every particular."
        Utterly failing in the attempt to connect Mr. Davis with this crime, they then tried to involve him in the alleged cruelty to prisoners at Andersonville, and a reprieve was offered to the commandant of the prison, Wirz, the night before he was hung, if he would implicate Mr. Davis,--which offer the brave Captain indignantly refused.
        It was only after every attempt to connect Mr. Davis with other crimes had failed, that the authorities at Washington dared to have him indicted for the alleged crime of treason. Three several indictments for this offence were then set on foot. The first was found in the District of Columbia, but no process seems ever to have been issued on that. The second was found May 8th, 1866, at Norfolk, Va., in the Circuit Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia, then presided over by the infamous Judge Underwood; and as Underwood himself tells us, this indictment was found after consultation with, and by the direction of Andrew Johnson, the then President of the United States. Almost immediately on the finding of this indictment, Mr. William B. Reed, a distinguished lawyer from Philadelphia, appeared for Mr. Davis, and asked: "What is to be done with this indictment? Is it to be tried?"
        * * "If it is to be tried, may it please your honor, speaking for my colleagues and for myself and for my absent client, I say with emphasis, and I say with earnestness, we come here prepared instantly to try that case, and we shall ask no delay at your honor's hands further than is necessary to bring the prisoner to face the Court, and enable him under the statute in such case made and provided, to examine the bill of indictment against him."
        At the instance of the Government, the case was then continued until October, 1866. Although efforts were made by Mr. Davis's counsel to have him admitted to bail, or removed to some more comfortable quarters, neither of these could be accomplished until May 13th, 1867, when he was admitted to bail, after a cruel imprisonment of two years, Horace Greeley, Gerritt Smith and other distinguished Northerners then becoming his sureties.
        On the 26th March, 1868, another indictment for treason was found against him, which was continued from time to time until November, 1868. During the pendency of these indictments, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was adopted, the third section of which provides, that every person who, having taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and thereafter engaged in rebellion, should be disqualified from holding certain offices. Counsel for Mr. Davis then raised the question that Mr. Davis having taken an oath to support the Constitution of the United States as a member of Congress in 1845, the 14th Amendment prescribed the punishment for afterwards engaging in rebellion, and this was pleaded in bar of the pending prosecutions for treason. The reporter says this defence was "inspired and suggested from the highest official source--not the President of the United States." In other words, it was inspired and suggested by the Chief Justice himself, as shown during the course of the argument, and for the sole purpose of evading the trial of the issue of the right of a State to secede, which was necessarily involved in the charge of alleged treason. On the question thus raised, the Court divided, the Chief Justice being of the opinion that the defence set up was a bar to the indictment, and Judge Underwood being of the contrary opinion. On this division, the question was certified to the Supreme Court, where, in the language of the reporter, "the certificate of disagreement rests among the records of the Court undisturbed by a single motion for either a hearing or dismissal."
        It is a part of the history of the times, to use the language of a distinguished writer, that "the authorities at Washington and Chief Justice Chase himself decided after full consideration and consultation with the ablest lawyers in the country that the charge of treason could not be sustained, and so the distinguished prisoner, who was anxious to go into trial and vindicate himself and his cause before the world, was admitted to bail, and finally a nolle prosequi was entered in the case."
        I repeat that these proceedings are a virtual confession on the part of the Northern people, that they were wrong, on the real question at issue in the war, and therefore that the South was right.
        At this time, when a few men at the North are broad enough and bold enough to speak of some of the great leaders of the Southern cause as great and good men, and when, just because they were leaders in that cause, these opinions are seized upon, by those who still hate and defame us, as evidence of disloyalty, if not acts of criminality on the part of those who venture to express them, it seems to me, it is pertinent again to enquire of the Northern people--
        (1) What did nearly one-half of your own voters think of that cause, not thirty-two years after, but when the war was raging, and when all the passions enkindled, and horrors wrought by it, were fresh in the minds of those voters?
        (2) What did enlightened, distinguished and unprejudiced foreigners think of that cause; the way the war was waged, and the conduct of the leaders, and the people on both sides at that time?
        (3) What do some of your most intelligent and distinguished writers think now of that cause, and its great civil leader?
        (4) And why did the people of the North refuse to test the question of which side was right, when they had instituted the case for that purpose in their own courts?
        It seems to me, that the facts here set forth furnish such answers to these enquiries as ought to give pause to those of the North, who still love to revile and defame the people of the South; many doubtless delighting in this task now, who did not dare to come to the front when their professed views of duty called them there; some of whom have been convinced of the justice of their cause, only by the savor of the "flesh pots," and the allurements of the pension rolls, which the results of the war and the achievements of others, have put within their grasp.
        I would fain hope too, that these pregnant facts will be pondered by our young people of the South, and if there be more than one young Southerner who has said, as I heard that one did say not long ago, of his old Confederate father, "the old man actually thinks he was right in the war, "--that these facts will make any such, not only feel and know that the cause of the South was right, and that the people of the South, almost as a unit, espoused and loved that cause, but that as true men they love it still, and that their children ought to feel alike proud of that cause and those who defended it with their lives, their blood and their fortunes.
        As some of the writers to whom I have referred have said: 'There never was a people engaged in any struggle who were more united or determined than were the people of the South, in behalf of the cause of the Confederacy.' They almost to a man, and certainly to a woman, believed in that cause, and as I have said, supported it with their lives, their blood and their fortunes. The sayings that "might makes right," and that "success is a test of merit," have grown into proverbs. But there never were more fallacious and misleading statements than these.
        Appomattox was not a judicial forum, but a battle-field, a simple test of physical power, where the Army of Northern Virginia, "worn out with victory," and almost starving, surrendered its arms to "overwhelming numbers and resources."
        Therefore, I say that, so far as the way the war ended is concerned, it proves, and can prove, nothing as to which side was right or which was wrong. As we have seen, our enemies brought us into their own courts, thus proclaiming to the world that they were ready and willing to test the question judicially, and after advising with the highest authorities on their side, of their own motion, abandoned their case, and fled from the precincts of their own chosen tribunals. We were in their power, and could do nothing but accept this, their own virtual confession that they, were wrong.
        We need not fear, then, to submit our cause, or the way we conducted the war in its defence, to the muse of history, and to await her verdict with "calm confidence." Every day not only adds new lustre to the heroism and devotion of our people, and the achievements of our armies in the field, but rewards the researches of the unprejudiced historian with new and more convincing proofs of the justice of our cause. What are thirty years in the life of a nation? It was nearly two thousand years from the time when Arminius overcame the legions of Varus in the Black Forest of Germany before a statue was reared to the memory of that victor, and he was called the "Father of the Fatherland." It was less than two hundred years from the time when Charles the II came to his own, when the principles for which Cromwell and Hampden and Pym fought were recognized by all English speaking peoples, as the only ones on which constitutional liberty ever can rest.

OUR DEFENDERS.

        Having said so much about our cause, I have only time to add a few words about the defenders of that cause.
        And first, what shall I say, aye, what can I say, of the women of the South? For they were among the first, and will be the last defenders of that cause. I have no words in which to portray the admiration I feel, and the homage I would love to pay to these devoted patriots. Writers have often tried to set forth the story of their services and sacrifices, but have turned away baffled at the contemplation of the task. Poets who have sung the achievements of heroes and warriors have found verse all too feeble to translate their loving deeds into song, and minstrels with harps well-nigh attuned to suit the Angelic Choir, have before that theme stood hesitant and abashed, with nerveless fingers and silent strings. It has been proposed to rear a monument to these noble women. I would love to contribute my mite to this undertaking. But I know too well that the highest conception of artistic genius can never measure up to the task of fitly portraying to the world the patriotism, heroism, devotion, and sacrifices of the noble women of the Southland. They were and are, in the language of Wordsworth:

"Perfect women, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort and command."

        And what can I say of our leaders in that cause? It is no small thing to be able to say of them that they were cultivated men, without fear, and without reproach, and most of them the highest types of Christian gentlemen; that they were men whose characters have borne the inspection and commanded the respect of the world. Yes, the names of Davis, of Lee, of Jackson, the Johnstons, Beauregard, Ewell, Gordon, Early, Stuart, Hampton, Magruder, the Hills, Forrest, Cleburne, Polk, and a thousand others I could mention, will grow brighter and brighter, as the years roll on, because no stain of crime or vandalism is linked to those names; and because those men have performed deeds which deserve to live in history. And what shall I say of the men who followed these leaders? I will say this, without the slightest fear of contradiction from any source: They were the most unselfish and devoted patriots that ever marched to the tap of the drum, or stood on the bloody front of battle. The northern historian, Swinton, speaks of them as the "incomparable infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia." Colonel Dodge, a distinguished Federal officer, in his lecture on Chancellorsville, before the "Lowell Institute" in Boston, says:
        "The morale of the Confederate army could not have been finer." * * * "Perhaps no infantry was ever, in its peculiar way, more permeated with the instinct of pure fighting--ever felt the gaudiam certaminis more than the Army of Northern Virginia."
        Another gallant Federal colonel thus wrote of them:
        "I take a just pride as an American citizen, a descendant on both sides of my parentage of English stock, who came to this country about 1640, that the Southern army, composed almost entirely of Americans, were able, under the ablest American chieftains, to defeat so often the overwhelming hosts of the North, which were composed largely of foreigners to our soil; in fact, the majority were mercenaries whom large bounties induced to enlist, while the stay-at-home patriots, whose money bought them, body and boots, 'to go off and get killed, instead of their own precious selves, said let the war go on.'"
        Another Federal officer, writing after the battle of Chancellorsville, says:
        "Their artillery horses are poor, starved frames of beasts, tied to their carriages and caissons with odds and ends of rope and strips of rawhide; their supply and ammunition trains look like a congregation of all the crippled California emigrant trains that ever escaped off the desert out of the clutches of the rampaging Comanche Indians; the men are ill-dressed, ill-equipped and ill-provided--a set of ragamuffins that a man would be ashamed to be seen among even when he is a prisoner and can't help it; and yet they have beaten us fairly, beaten us all to pieces, beaten us so easily that we are objects of contempt even to their commonest private soldiers, with no shirts to hang out the holes of their pantaloons, and cartridge boxes tied around their waists with strands of rope."
        Mr. Theodore Roosevelt, of New York, in his life of Benton, says:
        "The world has never seen better soldiers than those who followed Lee, and their leader will undoubtedly rank as, without any exception, the very greatest of all great captains that the English speaking peoples have brought forth; and this, although the last and chief of his antagonists, may himself claim to stand as the full equal of Marlborough and Wellington."
        And last, but not least, General Grant, to whom Mr. Roosevelt referred above, speaks of these soldiers in his Memoirs as "the men who had fought so bravely, so gallantly and so long for the cause which they believed in."
        I might add a thousand similar commendations from those who fought us, but I cannot consume more of your time. If you have not done so, I advise you by all means to procure and read The Recollections of a Private, by a Northern soldier named Wilkinson, who was in the "Army of the Potomac" during Grant's campaign from the Rapidan to Petersburg, and describes, in a most entertaining and thrilling way, his experiences in that army. Without intending it at all, I believe, and only telling in his own style, the way in which that army was organized, controlled, and fought, his recitals are a panegyric on the Army of Northern Virginia and the glorious leaders of that army.
        The London Index has this to say of our army and our people:
        "Let it be remarked, that while other nations have written their own histories, the brief history of this army, so full of imperishable glory, has been written for them by their enemies, or at least by luke-warm neutrals. Above all, has the Confederate nation distinguished itself from its adversaries by modesty and truth, those noblest ornaments of human nature. A heart-felt, unostentatious piety has been the source whence this army and people have drawn their inspiration of duty, of honor and of consolation."
        The Marquis of Lothian, from whom I have already quoted, said:
        "There are few stories that history or tradition has handed down of valor and generosity which may not find something of a counterpart in the annals of this war. Parents sending forth their children, one after another, to die in the service of their country, without a murmur; delicate ladies leaving home to wait upon their countrymen in hospitals; stripping their homes of everything that could by any possibility promote the comfort of the troops, and working their fingers to the bone to making clothing for them;" * * * "individuals raising regiments at their own expense, and then serving in them as privates; school-boys and collegians forming themselves into companies, and volunteering for service; common soldiers in regiments giving up their pay in order to procure what was required for the sick and wounded." * * * "In their daring, as well as in their self-sacrifice, things are constantly done which in most countries would be made the theme for endless vaunting, but with them are passed over as matter of course, and as almost too common to be specially noticed."
        Many such just and generous opinions might be quoted from like sources; but again I must forbear. You will observe that, as I was content to rest the justice of our cause on what our enemies and foreigners had to say of it, so I have been content to rest the conduct of our people, and of our armies, upon the testimony of the same witnesses, and on these alone. Let us leave the praise that ever waits on noble deeds to be fashioned
        "By some yet unmoulded tongue
        Far on in summer's that we shall not see."
        During his first campaign in Italy Napoleon, in writing of his soldiers, uses this language, which to my mind strikingly describes the soldiers which composed our Southern armies. He says:
        "They jest with danger and laugh at death; and if anything can equal their intrepidity it is the gaiety with which, singing alternately songs of love and patriotism, they accomplish the most severe forced marches. When they arrive in their bivouac it is not to take their repose, as might be expected, but to tell each his story of the battle of the day and produce his plan for that of to-morrow; and many of them think with great correctness on military subjects. The other day I was inspecting a demibrigade, and as it filed past me, a common Chasseur approached my horse and said, 'General, you ought to do so and so.' 'Hold your peace, you rogue,' I replied. He disappeared immediately, nor have I since been able to find him out. But the manoeuvre which he recommended was the very same which I had privately resolved to carry into execution."
        And so I heard a distinguished Confederate soldier say that a private in the Army of Northern Virginia, sitting on the side of the mountain, outlined to him one evening the whole plan of the battle which was executed by the commanding general on the following day.
        One by one the soldiers of the Confederate armies are passing into history. Whilst they go, not like those of the 10th Legion or the Phalanx, the representatives of victorious warfare; yet they will go as the defenders of a cause, which not only unprejudiced foreigners, but many of their former enemies, both during and since the conflict, have pronounced just and right; as soldiers who did' their duty and whose defence of that cause was such as to challenge the admiration of the world. I thank God that there is not linked with the names of these men, the crimes of vandalism, which so often brought forth the "widow's wail and the orphan's cry," and which so marked the desolated track of those against whom they fought.
        I thank God too, that no pension scandal has ever linked its corrupt and corrupting touch to the name of the Confederate soldier; that his support is not a menace to the public treasury, but that he has "hoed his own row" and so lived as to command the respect of the world, and not by the help of the tax-gatherer, and amid the sneers and contempt of a long suffering and grateful people.
        Whilst the cause for which they fought is a "lost cause" in the sense that they failed to establish a separate government within certain geographical limits, yet it is only lost in that sense. The principles of that cause yet live, and the deeds done by its defenders were not done in vain.
        No my friends,
        "Freedom's battle once begun
        Bequeathed by bleeding sire to son,
        Though baffled oft is ever won."
        And now, my comrades, I must stop to say one word for myself and for you, about the true and noble people of this battle-scarred, but still beautiful old county of Culpeper, in which it is our privilege to meet, and to greet one another on this interesting occasion. The record of this glorious people, won in the war of the Revolution, was completely eclipsed by that made by them in the Confederate war, and whilst "Cedar Mountain," "Brandy Station," and a hundred other fields will ever attest the heroism and devotion of the Confederate soldier, there is not a home or hamlet here that could not tell its story of the heroism, hospitality and devotion of her Confederate men and women.
        It is with a sense of peculiar pride and pleasure then that we meet here to-night, not only with some of the survivors of those who stood shoulder to shoulder on those bloody fields, but with those men and women, and the descendants of those, who amidst the glare of their burning homes, and the threats and tortures of a ruthless and relentless foe, remained unwavering and unconquerable, and who are still true to principle and to right. Yes, my old comrades, we stand upon historic ground to-night. The rocky defiles of these mountains have echoed and re-echoed the thunders of artillery and the rattle of musketry amidst the ringing commands of Lee and Jackson, and the flashing, knightly sabres of Ashby, Stuart and Hampton. Here banner and plume have waved in the mountain breeze, whilst helmet and blade and bayonet were glittering in the morning sun; and here too, ah, shame to tell, history will record many a thrilling tale of outrage inflicted upon this defenceless people by the mercenary hordes of the North, permitted and encouraged by the remorseless cruelty and unquenchable ambition of some of their leaders. Just think of the almost infinite distance between the places these leaders will occupy in history, and those already occupied by those immortal and incomparable commanders, who sleep side by side at Lexington, and whose fame will grow brighter and brighter as the years roll by. As the conquerers of Hannibal, of Cæsar, and Napoleon have been almost forgotten amid the effulgence which will forever cling to the names of these illustrious, though vanquished leaders, so in the ages to come, the fame of Lee, of Jackson, the Johnstons, Stuart, Ashby and others will outshine that of Grant, Sheridan and Sherman "like the Sun 'mid Moon and Stars."
        In the few hours that I could spare from the cares and engagements of a busy life, I have thought it worth the while to gather up the fragments of testimony which I have given you to-day as to the justice of our cause, and the conduct of the defenders of that cause, not by way of presenting to you any arguments of mine on these all-important themes; but to show you some of the acts and confessions of our quondam enemies themselves, and of distinguished foreigners. These constitute the highest and the best evidence which the law recognizes for the establishment of the truth of any fact. And I want you, and the young people here especially, to think on these things. Yes, my young friends, this cause, which is thus, as I think, established to be right, is the one for which a third of a century ago, your fathers fought, and your mothers worked and wept, and prayed. They thought they were right then, they know they were right now.
        And I want to say, in conclusion, that to think and feel, as we think and feel about the Confederate cause, does not mean that we are disloyal citizens of our now united and common country. But on the contrary, it is just in proportion as we are true and loyal to the cause of the South, that we will be true and faithful citizens of our country to-day; because the principles for which the Confederate soldier fought, are the only ones, as I have already said, on which constitutional liberty can ever rest in this, or any other country. Yes, my comrades and friends, be ye sure that

        "The graves of our dead with the grass overgrown
        Will yet form the footstool of liberty's throne,
        And each single wreck in the war path of might
        Shall yet be a rock in the temple of right."

        And I therefore repeat the statement: The men who died for the Confederate cause, have not died in vain.

        No,--
        "They never fail who die
        In a great cause. The block may soak their gore;
        Their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs
        Be strung to city gates and castle walls;
        But still their spirits walk abroad. Though years
        Elapse, and others share as dark a doom,
        They but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts
        Which overpower all others and conduct
        The world at last to freedom."
Source:  Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XXVI. Richmond, Va., January - December. 1898. 


 
 
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by Al Benson Jr.

As I have noted in past articles, Abraham Lincoln continues to be portrayed by the media and accompanying Lincoln cultists as the great benefactor of the black people in this country. The fact that he was a racialist is usually shunted aside, but if it does chance to come up, Lincoln's choir will loudly chant the old familiar tune "Once a racist but now a black lover" and they will go on in great detail to explain how his views on race, as openly portrayed in The Lincoln Douglas Debates had "mellowed" or "matured" since the Debate days. After all, didn't he issue the Emancipation Proclamation that freed all the slaves? Well, no, actually he didn't.

His proclamation, in reality, freed no slaves because it only applied to the Confederate States, which was a separate country at the time. Lincoln had no authority to free the slaves in another country. However, he might have had the authority to free the slaves in Maryland, Missouri, Kentucky, and Delaware--all slave states which remained firmly in the Union--through one device or another, but his famous Proclamation did not apply to them. Nor did it apply to parts of the Confederate States that had been occupied by the Union.

In other words, Lincoln freed slaves where he had no authority to do so and he left in bondage those he might have had the authority to loose. You have to conclude that the Emancipation Proclamation was more about wartime propaganda than it was about freeing slaves.

Early on in his presidential tenure Lincoln had been in favor of freeing the slaves and then deporting them to some other country, preferably further South. However, Lincoln's hagiographers have assured us he grew out of that latent childhood notion and his views about blacks then morphed into a full-blown appreciation of their dignity and worth. And I'll bet, as they continue to write books about this, they laugh all the way to the bank.

But did it really happen in the Pollyanna way they tell it? Not quite. There was an article in the London Telegraph back on February 11, 2011, written by Jon Swaine that talks about a new (at that time) book,written by two men, Phillip Magness and Sebastian Page and called Colonisation After Emancipation. Turns out they found documents in the National Archives in both England and this country that would "significantly alter his legacy."

According to Mr. Swaine: They found an order from Lincoln in June 1863 authorising a British colonial agent, John Hodge, to recruit freed slaves to be sent to colonies in what are now the countries of Guyana and Belize. Hodge reported back to a British minister that Lincoln said it was his 'honest desire' that this immigration went ahead," said Mr. Page, who is a historian at Oxford University. And Mr. Swaine continued: "The plan came despite an earlier test shipment of about 450 freed slaves to Haiti resulting in disaster.  The former slaves were struck by smallpox and starvation, and survivors had to be rescued. Mr. Lincoln also considered sending freed slaves to what is now Panama, to construct a canal--decades before work began on the modern canal in 1904. The colonisation plan collapsed by 1864. The British were fearful the confederate states of the American south may win the civil war, reverse emancipation, and regard British agents as thieves.  Congress also voted to remove funding."

Yet, even as late as the Fall of that year the Attorney General sent Lincoln a letter which showed he was still actively exploring whether the plan could be carried through or not. The letter said: "...further to your question, yes, I think you can still pursue this policy of colonisation even though the money has been taken away." Dr. Magness said he thought the book would change people's opinion and view of Lincoln. Sorry to say, it does not seem to have made all that much of a dent in his halo.

Lincoln is still revered as the "great unifier" by many politicians, including our current president. Of course Lincoln was influenced by the Marxists in his own government and armies (see Lincoln's Marxists Pelican Publishing Co.) and our current president is a Marxist, so you can see why he harks back to Lincoln.

Despite the many books that have recently been written by authors that have really done the homework on Mr. Lincoln, his "Amen Corner" refuses to be confused with the facts.

 
 
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by Al Benson Jr.

I didn't watch the State of the Union address this year. As I said to one lady only yesterday, "I've not got the time to listen to political liars." She agreed and said she was going to watch some basketball game, which she probably got more truth out of than she would have had she listened to this yearly political charade.

Not being unconcerned even though I didn't watch it, I read quite a bit of political commentary before the unfolding of this august event, and I've read even more today, none of it is really revealing given the current national situation. Dick Morris commented that he felt Obama was not really speaking to the American people, but was rather talking directly to Hillary Clinton, trying to lay out a left-wing agenda for her to have to run on in 2016. He might have had a point there, except I'm not sure anyone has to lay out a left-wing agenda for Hillary. After all, her and Obama both work for the same One World Government clique and both do as they are told to. Any agenda used by either one of them will be laid out for them by those people and Heaven help either one if they don't follow it. Neither one owns their own soul.

Other commentators have said that Obama had refused to recognize the Republican victory in the mid-term elections and was proceeding along as if it had never happened.  Again, much of the Republican leadership and Obama work for the same people--and it ain't the American people! Still others noted that Obama claimed that the leftist agenda he was going to lay out (with a little help from his One World friends) was really going to help the middle class and that's what it was all about. If you look at his plan to raise taxes on "the rich" to help the middle class you have to realize that this is just another of his Marxist "redistribution of the wealth" scams, probably with the idea in there of gaining a few naive middle class votes for the Demoncrats (oops, I meant Democrats). Little slip of the finger there.

Through all this running commentary people don't seem to grasp that Obama is a Marxist. That truth eludes them, or they hope it eludes their readers and listeners. As a Marxist, he hates the middle class, any middle class anywhere, but especially in this country. The middle class is where most resistance to the left comes from. The One World Elite, our ruling elite, think very much like Marxists. After all, some of their grandfathers helped to fund the setting up of the Soviet Union in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The notion that the super-rich and the Communists hate each other is more carefully contrived drivel. They don't--they work together quite often.  If you don't think so, then get on the Internet and read None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen. It's on there and you can read it there without it costing you one thin dime.

The very poor, in many cases, will often just go along with whoever promises them the most goodies. This doesn't include those among the poor that do work and try to make their own way, but it includes all the others who are only along for the free ride. It's easier for them not to work than it is to sweat at a job, and often the welfare payments they get are more than they'd get if they did honest work. So they just "chill out" and take the freebies. Their votes are bought and paid for with the welfare check. That leaves only the middle class for potential resistance to the left.

So, understanding the Marxist mentality, you have to realize that when a Marxist tells you about his great concern for the middle class and how he wants to help them, what he is really looking to do is to find yet one more way to stiff them. And when Obama says he want so tax "the rich" you really have to start asking how he defines "the rich." The actual definition might well be something like "anyone at all who has any extra money that the government would like to take from them to redistribute (to their already rich friends)."

I read an interesting article of www.townhall.com  on January 19th which noted: "Obama's plan totals $380 billion in new taxes and it isn't just 'on the rich' or the 'one percent' as the President and officials in his administration claim. The majority of his newly proposed taxes, including more taxes on hard earned retirement plans are a direct hit on the middle class and his big government spending will saddle all Americans with crushing debt for decades to come. Also, as a reminder, the middle class has significantly shrunk since 2009 and the poverty rate has increased as a result of President Obama's 'redistribution of wealth' economic policies...While the Obama administration has trumpeted job growth in recent months, the middle class is taking home a shrinking portion of the country's income..."

And, folks, no matter what this president tells you, that's the way it was planned. His policies, actually the policies of his handlers, are gutting the middle class while he stands up in front of the public and tells us all how concerned he is for the preservation of the middle class. His only real "concern" with the middle class is that he has not been able to obliterate it completely--but not to worry--he's working on that and he's got two more years to work on it before he turns the reins of power over to Hillary, who, the One World Government people hope will finish the job if he doesn't.

Folks, stop listening to what these political con artists tell you and start to watch and analyze what they are doing to you. That's where the action really is.

 
 
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by Al Benson Jr.

Let me start off by saying that I am not a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I have no Confederate ancestors of which I am aware.  The closest I can come is being a member of the Friends of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which group I joined a couple years back when I was finally able to get information about it.

Those who know me also know that my sympathies are and have been with the South and the Old Confederacy. If that makes me a "racist" (a Trotskyite term) in the eyes of some folks, well, I guess that's tough. "Those people" have a right to be offended by my views just as much as I have a right to be offended by theirs, which I am.

Any student of history realizes that the Old South was not perfect (which its detractors seem to think it should have been) anymore than the Old North was. But I have noticed over the decades that the defenders of the North rather seem to gloss over their own sins (which in many cases were the same as those of the South) while denigrating the South for what they, themselves, have also done. Let's be honest and admit that all men, North, South, or anywhere else, are sinners, in need of the grace of Jesus Christ to make us forgiven sinners. Many in the South recognize this, while many in the North seem intent upon dethroning God and replacing Him with themselves. Just for the record, I was born in the North, so I am not referring to all Northern folks when I say this. There are lots of good Northern folks in the country who detest the direction we have gone in and are still going in just like Southerners, in fact, some have the same mindset as Southerners--and, unfortunately, I have run across some Southerners who are ashamed of being Southerners and try to wrap themselves in Abe Lincoln and his bloodstained banner.

Where we live there are several SCV camps in the area. My wife and I have gone to meetings at several of them and I have even been invited to speak at some of them. I can tell them things about Lincoln and his Marxist buddies they never learned in public school, nor will their kids ever learn there.

I have read Stephen Dill Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and some things have sort of jumped out at me. Lt. General Lee started off with: To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought.  There are other worthwhile goals mentioned, but it seems to me that this is one of the most important. The SCV (as should all Southerners, along with some of us Copperheads) is to vindicate the Cause for which their fathers fought. That cause is under attack today as never before. The Marxist originators of Cultural Genocide and Political Correctness have worked overtime for decades now to convince Southerners that their cause is tainted by the stain of slavery and that's really all they seceded for and sought to preserve. It hardly needs to be said that such Political Correctness is a crock full of some excremental material I will not mention. All you have to do regarding the slavery question is to read Donnie Kennedy's book Myths of American Slavery to find out how involved the North was in the slave trade. Check out how many of the original 13 colonies had slavery at some point. That's not what your average Southerner fought for, and even some Yankees had to admit that they fought for what they considered to be "preserving the Union" and they had no interest in slavery one way or the other. Little did they realize that their leaders were destroying the Union they thought they were preserving--and using them to do it.

I've noted some things the SCV has done over the years, preserving and marking the graves of Confederate soldiers and putting flags on them in commemoration. That's a good thing--but it's not enough--and that seems to be all that some are willing to do. It seems to me that a lot more needs to be done to vindicate the Cause for which the Confederates fought. Some SCV camps do try to do more. From what I have heard, some don't. Decorating Confederate graves, important as that is, doesn't seem to me to be enough of a vindication.

I've gone to SCV meetings where the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag is recited during the meeting. I don't doubt for a minute the sincerity of these folks, and maybe it's just my Copperhead sentiments, but I have a hard time with the Pledge of Allegiance. I have not said it for years at any meeting of any kind that I go to where they recite it. Given that this Pledge was written by a Northern Socialist who was asked to leave the church he preached in because of his overt socialism, and who doted on the "one nation indivisible" bit, I don't think this Pledge  really belongs in an SCV meeting. I've even gone to churches where it was recited as part of the service, and I don't think it belongs there either. If you want to offer some kind of salute to the Christian flag that's fine. But the Christian flag and the US flag are antithetical  one to the other.

It just seems to me, and this is only my opinion, for the SCV to vindicate the cause for which Confederate soldiers fought, there needs to be some sort of educational agenda or process at work by the SCV noting those ideas and values for which the South fought, and taking note of what they fought against. In some places such is true and SCV camps do try to educate people, beginning with their own, as to what the War was really fought over. It seems to me that this educational effort needs to be a part of the SCV's overall program. It may be so and I am just not aware, but having some sort of brief lesson plan for new members as to what the War was fought over might be helpful.

The last sentence of the Charge is just as important as the first. It says:Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.  I wonder how many Southerners, even in the SCV, realize how terribly important that is. The true history of the South is almost never presented anymore, especially not in most schools, and, at the university level--forget it! Many colleges today are way too busy teaching their students how to feel guilty over being white, or for having Southern accents. Real, accurate Southern history only gets in the way of the Marxist agenda. A question we might ask, and I have asked, is "why do you still send your kids to these schools?" I have yet to get a satisfactory answer.

From all that I can discern, Lt. General Lee's Charge is, or should be, extremely important, not only to the SCV, but to all concerned Southern folks. It's important to me and I wasn't born here, but I live here now and the South is home.  If we don't take the time to vindicate the Cause for which the South fought and make sure the kids here get the right history instead of the Marxist propaganda that's out there, then our Cause (it's mine, too) will be lost and it may be centuries before it is retrieved.

Part 2: 


Some Minor Disturbance Over What Stephen Dill Lee Really Said

by Al Benson Jr.

It seems that my most recent article about Stephen Dill Lee's Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans stirred up a minor tempest in the proverbial teapot. Within 24 hours of its being posted, replies came from several sources that said that "Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations" was not a part of Lee's original address. Some friends of mine did some checking and it appears they may be correct on that one point, though I took the quote from an SCV web site. So if I got it wrong so did they. It seems that this particular portion of his Charge had the wording changed to this in 1906 and it reflected something other that what Lt. General Lee said, sort of a compromise in semantics, if you will, a slight toning down of the original wording.

At any rate, as I quoted from what was apparently  the 1906 version rather than the original, I stand corrected.

There seems to be, even today, a bit of a fuss over how this terminology was parsed out and what was really said. There are those who will argue for historical correctness, and that's okay. I strive for that myself, even though I don't always get it perfect. However, what we often end up with in disagreements like this is a situation where those who have gotten a particular quote, or whatever, correct will never go any further than their historical argument, and it's usually an armchair argument rather than an active one.

I've followed SCV "politics" like I have the politics of many groups over the years and I know enough to realize that there are factions within the SCV that argue about what the organization should be doing. Some want it to be merely an organization that puts flowers and flags on Confederate graves and keeps the lawns at Confederate cemeteries mowed, with little or nothing beyond that. Others want the SCV to take a much more activist role in presenting historical truth and contending for that truth. I guess, were I able to officially belong to the SCV, I would belong to the latter group rather than the former.

Over the years some have felt I was a bit too much of an activist, and often they were not hesitant to let me know that. Maybe that's why I never quit being one. Seems to me if you believe in something and feel it is worth defending or fighting for then its worth doing at actively as long as you can. My wife and I have supported and acted in behalf of several causes over the years of our married life, and always felt they were connected at the theological level even though the connection might not be apparent at other levels to most people. We can no longer do this as actively as we once did. Age and medical conditions slow one down, but on the other hand we are not ready to lie down and concede defeat either. Helping to prepare another generation to take up the fight is also important. After all, as Christians, we have a multi-generational worldview and where we have, by God's grace sown some seed, others will, also by God's grace, come along to water.

So, in a sense, arguing over Lt. General Lee's exact wording in his Charge over 100 years ago, while it is important to get it right, really begs the question. And the question still is, What should the SCV be doing? 
What was the original intent of the organization? If it was only to decorate graves, then I guess we could paraphrase Scripture and ask "Do not even the Yankee/Marxists do the same?" And some of them don't really have to do anymore, because their grandfathers wrote the "history" books didn't they? Yet they are not content to just let it lie, but rather they turn out a continuous  stream of political correct invective that relentlessly attacks all things Southern and Confederate.

If the Confederate Battle Flag was only a flag for grave tenders then why did the NAACP so vehemently attack it several years ago and stir up a firestorm over it? Of course many of us realize the NAACP membership was flagging and they needed a whipping boy to drum up support for the politically correct shock troops and to enrich the coffers, but was that the only reason? Why do the politically correct Marxists (and they are Marxists) continue to attack the flag and Southern heritage even today? It seems to me that the SCV, as well as other Southern and Confederate groups, has an adversary that is determined to stamp out everything they ever stood for. And if that's the case, then just tending your ancestors' graves isn't enough. If that is, indeed, the case, then you better learn how to rise up from tending the graves of your honored dead and learn how to fight back. If you are willing to just sit back and let the Cultural Genocide crowd run all over you while you are trying to be "nice" then you are--well, I can't say what you are--it would probably get my blog tossed off the Internet.

It seems that the SCV, like other groups, has to decide which was it's going to go. Personally, I was never in favor of letting my adversaries stomp all over me if they were Marxists. With other Christians, and other well-meaning folks you can often agree to disagree and let it go at that. You can't do that with Marxists, or with any of the leftist crowd. There is no peaceful co-existence with them except on their terms and anyone with an ounce of sense won't play that game.

All you need to is to check out the political persuasions of those who practice Cultural Genocide on the South and you will see what I mean--all the way from the political left, to the educational left, to the Evangelical left--they are all leftists, and as such, your destruction, culturally and otherwise, is their goal.

So whatever Lt. General Lee's Charge did or didn't say, the SCV has to consider the question of what they are going to do to deal with their Cultural Marxist adversaries. That is the ultimate question for all the various groups that would defend the South, Southern tradition and history, including the Confederate States, or the Southern way of life.

Start by learning who your enemies are. Learn how to expose them.  Then learn how to oppose them, because just tending the graves of your ancestors, as important as that is (and I don't discourage that) is not going to cut the mustard in the days to come and any organization that proposes to do that and nothing else, has got major problems.

PART 3: 

Comments by the Board of the Confederate Society 


  Mr. Benson, once again, has been most prolific in his writing herein relating to the SCV charge.

Al Benson and I go back many years in this Confederate Society that was formed to Stay a Course few ‘OTHERS’ have;  that a ‘couple of notable’ ones has clearly ‘departed’ from.

His comments herein raise serious questions relative to the SCV ‘High Command’ that I refer to as its Hierarchy.
Stephen D. Hill’s charge to Those who would follow, what I declare was our Christian Army’s attempt to STOP & PREVENT the Political & covert madness of that time, NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED!

He said, and it is as Direct as it is Basic, this: “To YOU, Sons of Confederate Veterans, WE Commit the Vindication of the Cause for which WE FOUGHT!”

His last comment within that that same ‘frame’ was this: “ Remember, it is YOUR DUTY to see that the True History of the South is presented to future generations.”

Well damn it- HAS IT?
So this I would ask of the Many SCV Camps- HAS your vaunted Hierarchy FOLLOWED THROUGH ON THAT CHARGE or, have they given you Lip Service more impressed with the medals they put on themselves and their ‘appointed’ lieutenants?

This is NOT going to sit well with the Hierarchy but this is NOT the Society’s first ‘rodeo’ with them.

As we have stated in earlier communiques & underscored by those Southern Sons & former members of the SCV who, as we, when challenging said Hierarchy, were put ‘out to pasture’ for questioning their Commitment to the Charge given them by Stephen Lee!

The NAACP’S literal Declaration of War, issued in 1991, against ALL things Southern & Confederate WENT UN-ADDRESSED BY THE SCV -HIERARCHY THEN AND HAS REMAINED UN-ADDRESSED BY EACH ‘Succeeding Hierarchy’ since.

When it was proposed by the True & Dedicated Confederate Sons that an assembly of said Sons be bused by the thousands to the Headquarters of the NAACP immediately following their Declaration of War/Genocide, said proposal was Flat-Out rejected by the Hierarchy.

Let us NOT mix words here- So what is their purpose- another medal upon the chest of their cronies while the Leadership promotes themselves flying around the country while ‘ROME’ (the South), continues to BURN?

Who, YOU MUST ASK, has stayed the Course and WHO has NOT? There is NO MORE time for Waffling.

Either YOU are part of the Eat, Meet & Retreat Crowd or, YOU ARE A SOUTHERN VINDICATOR of YOUR ANCESTORS CHARGE! Y’all can’t have it BOTH ways!

Let me close by paraphrasing Cicero- ‘Beware those who walk among us, wear our attire and speak our tongue while subverting the purpose of Our Founders!’

Lastly, and in regards to what Cicero said, let me ask y’all this question as fewer of us remain who know what REALLY HAPPENED:

Who do YOU think was behind the efforts to change the Georgia (’56 version) State Flag and held closed-door meetings with Governor Barnes at the time?

*  And Who, likewise, do you think was behind the efforts to remove the Battle Flag from atop the Capitol Dome in South Carolina holding, similarly, closed-door meetings with Governor Hodges at the time?
Remember what Cicero said and I would suggest Y’all start to ‘Investigate’ EACH of those questions yourself and, afterwards, ask this in conclusion:

Has the Cause for which We Fought been Vindicated? WHO has truly been Representing It and WHO has NOT?

Last I noted we continue to remain under attack as evidenced by the Removal of Our Flags in General Robert E. Lee’s chapel at his ‘university’ because 6 ‘Al Sharpton’s’ didn’t like them!

Once YOU show your back to the enemy, it is NOT long thereafter they are planting their ‘under-sized’ foot up YOUR A _ _,….while Stealing Our Country from us!

For, God, Family and the Restoration of the Original Republic,

Craig Maus,

President, The Confederate Society of America- and let it be NEVER FORGOTTEN- WE HAVE NEVER ONCE WAFFLED ON TELLING ANY & ALL WHO WE ARE- CONFEDERATES- while others have made ‘excuses’ for Non-Engagement & the NON-USE of the very word ITSELF.


And a response from another Confederate Society board member:


Al and all concerned,

The inscription on the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery reads:

Not for Fame or Reward,

Not for Place or Rank

Not Lured by Ambition

Or Goaded By Necessity

But in Simple Obedience to Duty

As They Understood It

These Men Suffered All

Sacrificed All

Dared All - And Died

I have this inscription laminated on a card, which I keep with me at all times. It speaks to the "interrogation mark" mentioned in General Stephen D. Lee's 1906 speech to the United Confederate Veterans in New Orleans, La. I mention this because Lee's speech is laced with interrogations that challenge not only men descended from Confederate Veterans, but "all brave people from the South and all true-hearted Americans everywhere."

That said, your article comes exactly one year to the day I answered a post regarding the "Charge", specifically how the SCV had eliminated a long-accepted phrase (part of S.D. Lee's speech) in exchange for a "softened" phrase not originally part of Lee's address in New Orleans.

The previous phrase, as taken from Lee's actual address read, " Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul?”  “Not in the clamor of the crowded street. Not in the shouts of and plaudits of the throng, But in ourselves are triumph and defeat” was replaced with, "Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations”.  Since Lee himself charged the Sons with being guardians of Confederate Veteran history, they are duty bound to set the standard for historical accuracy (where they have failed too often) and make sure only Lee's words are used when invoking any written part of his speech. Revisionism should have no place within the institution. Would we also abolish / replace phrases from the Declaration of Independence? I think not, unless the purpose was to alter the original message and its purpose.

After my comments last year, I received a response by then SCV Lt. CiC Charles Kelly Barrow, who provided documentation from a 2003 SCV internal investigation regarding the origins of the "Charge."

Barrow's research concluded the origins, based upon Lee's speech as published in the 1906 Minutes of the United Confederate Veterans pages 30-35, along with word for word printing in the local The Daily Picayune and The Daily States based on the "Minutes" speech given by Lee, is the true Charge. A somewhat "legal" review was provided by Chuck Rand, who at that time served as the Historian-in-Chief, and can be read by the attached Word file. His report supported Barrow, and concluded the "Charge" contained in the 1906 Confederate Veteran magazine was not accurate. Before continuing, you should read Rand's attached report first.

Once you've read Rand's report, please read the below actual speech by Stephen D. Lee as contained in the "minutes" of the 1906 United Confederate Veteran Reunion. Put yourself in the moment, and remember Lee is speaking to both a group and individuals:

https://archive.org/stream/proceedingsseria03unit#page/n483/mode/2up

Now, here's the real rub: Instead of adhering and executing the "total concept" of the General's speech, the SCV gets bogged-down debating what fragments to use as a "mission statement", which is nothing more than PC window dressing. In doing so, they have emasculated their true role. They obviously choose a reserved posture by hiding behind a limited section, ignoring the full complement of tenets plainly outlined by Lee.

Here's a contrast and comparison. Today's preferred "Charge" to the SCV - with the revisionists last line:

To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations.

Now the "Charge" as written in the 1906 Confederate Veteran magazine:

To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul?

 

Not in the clamor of the crowded street,

Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,

But in ourselves are triumph and defeat.   

Which version is more bold? Which version is more challenging? Which version appears less committal, and which is a true "interrogation mark?" Which version best reflects the "preferred virtues" of the Confederate Veteran? Which one would YOU choose?

As a retired military man, I have a theory / understanding as to why the 1906 magazine's version was different from the 1906 "minutes" version. The United Confederate Veterans purposely encapsulated those phrases of Lee's speech as an oath- challenge to the Sons, much like the inscription on the monument in Arlington. Those phrases resonated well among the Veterans, and they wanted to make sure those who followed understood not only what they endured / suffered, but understood what was expected of them as the future caretakers of the institution. To hold the baton they were passing meant a willingness to exhibit the same sacrifice - an individual and collective sacrifice to speak and stand for those who could no longer.

I'm reminded of what a South Carolina friend once wrote of General James Pettigrew, ""More than all he loved liberty…but he felt that to love liberty was an empty mockery, unless that love was exhibited in the sacrifice which its acquisition requires. With him to be free, was to be prepared for and to engage in the struggle it demands.”

Confederately,

Jimmy Ward

PART 4: 


THE CHARGE REVISITED

During the last few years the issue of the exact text of “The Charge” given to the Sons of Confederate Veterans has been the subject of debate within some circles in the SCV. This issue was first addressed by then Historian In Chief Charles Kelly Barrow in the November/December 2003 issue of the Confederate Veteran resulting in a number of letters to the editor on the subject.  I, in my role of Historian In Chief, have been conducting further research into this issue. In this article I will present a synopsis of the earlier information presented, the new evidence that has been found and will give my conclusions to what the exact text of The Charge is based on the evidence.                  

DEFINITION OF THE QUESTION

As a starting point I will present the opposing opinions as to what is the exact statement of “The Charge” of Gen. S. D. Lee.

It appears there are three versions of The Charge in common use. The first, which I will call the Minutes Charge, is that which is contained in the Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual Meeting and Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans Held in the City of New Orleans, LA. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday April 25th, 26th, and 27th.

The second version, which I will call the Magazine Charge, is that which is printed in the Confederate Veteran magazine of June 1906 and the third I will designate as the History Charge. The three versions are given below:

The Minutes Charge -“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish.”

This is the entire paragraph pertaining to the Sons of Confederate Veterans from the speech of Gen. S. D. Lee as taken from the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans pages 30-35. The paragraph previous to that quoted above is a charge to the Memorial Association and the paragraph following is a charge to the Daughters of the Confederacy.  The entire speech, as taken from the minutes, was reproduced in Historian Barrow’s article in November/December 2003 issue of the Confederate Magazine. In the interests of space it will not be reproduced in its entirety here but I urge anyone interested in this topic to read the entire speech as printed in the Confederate Veteran cited above.

The Magazine Charge -“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish. Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul?”

     “Not in the clamor of the crowded street.”

     “Not in the shouts of and plaudits of the throng,”    

     “But in ourselves are triumph and defeat.”  

This comes from the June 1906 Confederate Veteran pages 245-255 where the magazine version of Gen. Lee’s speech is printed.

The History Charge -“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish. Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations”.

As you can see each version in common use today is similar and is comprised of the Minutes Charge with a different ending added after the word cherish.

I have found no document contemporary to the 1906 United Confederate Veterans (UCV) or the United Sons of Confederate Veterans (USCV) reunions that contains the History Charge. Since there appears to be no document that ties the History Charge to the 1906 Reunion of UCV or USCV it will be dismissed as a contender for being the “True Charge”. If any evidence that ties the History Charge to the 1906 Reunion is found, the dismissal of the History Charge will be reconsidered.

At this point we have the Minutes Charge and the Magazine Charge as the two choices for the “True Charge”.  In his earlier article on this subject Historian In Chief Barrow concluded that The Charge as given by the UCV Minutes for their 1906 reunion was the authoritative version of the Charge. This conclusion is based on the minutes being a primary source and that the minutes represent the official record of the proceedings of the UCV. 

THE PREVIOUS DEBATE

Historian Barrow’s conclusion was disputed in a letter to the editor (January/February 2004 Confederate Veteran pages 6-7) by Compatriot Kevin Spargur, a proponent of the Magazine Charge, who took issue with the UCV Minutes being used as authoritative exclusive to other primary sources. Compatriot Spargur stated that the Confederate Veteran is also a primary source and “became the official voice and organ for the rank and file membership”. On this basis, in part, he concluded the Magazine Version of the Charge is the correct version.         

Historian Barrow pointed out in a rebuttal to Compatriot Spargur’s letter (Confederate Veteran March/April 2004 edition pages 58-59) that other primary sources exist that support the Minutes Charge. These other primary sources being two New Orleans newspapers, The Daily Picayune and The Daily States, that printed the text of Gen. Lee’s speech during the 1906 reunion (along with other information about the Reunion). The speech, as printed by these newspapers, corresponds word for word to that given in the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans.

Compatriot Spargur is correct when he says the June 1906 Confederate Veteran states that it speaks for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

 The 1906 Confederate Veteran says that it:

 “OFFICIALLY REPRESENTS:

                     United Confederate Veterans

                     United Daughters of the Confederacy

                     Sons of Veterans and Other Organizations

                     Confederated Southern Memorial Association”

Compatriot Spargur also disputed Historian Barrow’s conclusion that the Minutes Charge is the correct charge based on the statement in Historian Barrow’s article that the Sons were not present when Gen. Lee gave his speech and did not enter the room where the UCV was assembled until the speech was concluded. On this point the 1906 UCV Minutes state on pages 34 and 35:

   “In the meantime the Sons had arrived. They remained outside until the conclusion of General Lee’s address, and then marched in, Commander Thomas McA. Owen of Montgomery, Ala. In the lead, headed by a band. Each officer was accompanied by a beautiful young lady, a sponsor or maid, and their appearance was the signal for the greatest enthusiasm yet manifested in the Convention. The younger generation should feel proud of the tender sentiments manifested toward them by their sires. When the band played “See the Conquering Hero Comes” the old veterans went wild in their enthusiasm and applause.”

    “When the officers had found place upon the platform, General Lee made a few remarks, in which he paid a handsome tribute to their loyalty to the Lost Cause, and said they were in every way worthy to carry on the historical campaign when the older men were all gone.”

    “Commander Owen was then presented to the assemblage, and was given a most enthusiastic greeting, when he responded to the address of welcome. He spoke briefly and extemporaneously, but there was the fire of eloquence and feeling in what he said, and it evoked the greatest enthusiasm. He spoke of the work which the Sons had undertaken and pledged them to carry it forward and hand down the burden to posterity, so that the descendants of those who fought the valiant fight for the Lost Cause would look upon them in their true light, as men who fought for principal and for the Constitution of the United States, and not as rebels.”        

From the above we can see that the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans reunion state that the Sons were not in the hall when Gen. Lee gave his speech.

NEW EVIDENCE FOUND

Further research has been conducted by consulting a recently obtained original copy of the Minutes of the Eleventh Annual Reunion of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans in the City of New Orleans, LA. April 25, 26, 27, 1906. These minutes state the following on pages 58 and 59:

          “Recess for Joint Session with the Veterans”

“The hour having arrived for the convention to attend the Veterans in their hall for a brief joint session, the meeting was declared in recess for that purpose. A committee from Camp Beauregard had in the meantime arrived to advise that the Veterans were in waiting. A procession was promptly formed, and, preceded by a band, the entire convention marched to the Auditorium. The company extended for more than four blocks and presented a thrilling and brilliant spectacle. On arriving Gen. Stephen D. Lee was engaged in the delivery of his address, in consequence of which a short delay in entering was necessitated. As General Lee closed the signal was given, and, in the midst of rousing cheers and to the strains of stirring music the Sons marched to the platform and to seats assigned them. General Lee, trembling with emotion, extended his hand to the Commander-In-Chief of the Sons, and repeated that paragraph of his speech which related to them. The response to this greeting was to have been delivered by Dr. Clarence J. Owens of Alabama, but he was unable to be present owing to a delayed train. The Commander-In-Chief, Dr. Thomas M. Owen, therefore responded, pledging the earnest, continuous and faithful loyalty of the Sons to the principals and motives for which the fathers had fought from 1861 to 1865.”(emphasis added). We can see that the minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans from the 1906 Reunion confirm the information in the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans that the Sons were not in the auditorium when Gen. Lee gave his entire speech, but were waiting for its conclusion before they entered the UCV meeting.

However, the minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans expand on this point stating that Gen. Lee repeated for the Sons theparagraph of his speech which related to them” when the Sons entered the UCV meeting room.  One must conclude that the “paragraph” denotes the one which begins with “To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans...” as this is the paragraph in the speech most directly referring to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

However, this raises a question: Which version of the Charge - the Minutes or Magazine version - do the 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans print as being the charge given to the Sons by Gen. S. D. Lee?

The 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans prints, on the 4th page, the following:   

                “Commission to the Sons.

        To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate Soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principals which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish.   

       Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-in-Chief U.C.V., at the Reunion in New Orleans, La., April 25, 1906.” 

The above commission matches the Minutes Charge word for word and provides the citation that it was from the speech of Gen. Lee given at the 1906 U.C.V. Reunion.  We now have the same charge given in both the 1906 minutes of the United Confederate Veterans and the 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans.

It is noteworthy that the “Commission” is the only item on the page where it appears in the 1906 minutes of the United Sons of Confederate Veterans and is at the beginning of the minute book - evidently showing that the United Sons of Confederate Veterans considered it to be an important statement to give it such prominent and solitary placing.  

From the above we see that the 1906 minutes of both the UCV and the USCV support the assertion that the Minutes Charge is the charge give by Gen. Lee and that, while the Sons were not in the room for the entire speech, The Charge or the Commission was repeated for them by Gen. Lee once the Sons arrived and entered the UCV meeting.

THE AUTHORITY OF MINUTES

Research on how minutes are legally regarded as compared to other documents has been conducted by Judge Advocate in Chief Burl McCoy. JAG McCoy found in the Federal Rules of Evidence that minutes are considered to have a higher degree of reliability than other documents relating to the actions of an organization as they are considered to be an “original writing” and are thus taken to be more authoritative than other sources such as magazine articles, news paper accounts and other documents.

Parliamentarian in Chief Jesse Binnall stated that the minutes of an organization are the official record of the actions and proceedings of the organization and are thus more authoritative than any other document which may describe the actions or proceedings in a convention or meeting where minutes are taken.  

From the information above we can see that from a parliamentary and legal stand point the minutes of the UCV and USCV are the most authoritative sources we have available and should be given the most weight compared to other sources in judging what version of The Charge should be considered to have been given by Gen. S.D. Lee at the 1906 UCV Convention.

We should also note that Gen. S. D. Lee was not simply a speaker at the UCV convention. He was the sitting Commander In Chief of the United Confederate Veterans and the minutes that were published after the 1906 UCV Convention were done so under his authority and direction as evidenced by his name appearing on the cover of the 1906 UCV Convention minutes. It seems very unlikely that Gen. S. D. Lee would publish comments under his name that he did not believe to be accurate.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

During the last year the SCV has made an effort to begin cataloguing the SCV documents that are housed at the Mississippi State Archives in Jackson. As part of this effort, and during the course of finding other SCV records, additional documents using the Minutes Charge have been uncovered. These are:

The Henry D. Clayton Camp No. 432 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Birmingham, AL. reproduces the Minutes Charge on the application. The interior of the application shows that it was made to be used between the years 1910 and 1919 by the way the applicant it asked to fill out the last digit in the date which is given as 191_ .

The Year Book and Minutes of the Thirty-First Annual Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the CITY OF BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA May 180-21, 1926 has on its cover the “Commission To The Sons” - the Minutes Charge - with the citation Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief, U.C.V., April 25, 1906.

In a similar manner the Year Book and Minutes of the Thirty Second Annual Convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans In the City of Tampa, Florida April 5-8, 1927 has the “Commission to the Sons” and citation identical to that of the 1926 minute book.    

In 1951 the Sons of Confederate Veterans published an informational brochure about the purpose and work of the SCV and in that brochure the Minutes Charge is printed with the citation Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief, U.C.V., 1906.     

The Program of the Sixty First Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans held in Norfolk, Virginia May 30-June 3, 1951 (the final UCV Reunion) contains on page 14 the Minutes Version of The Charge with the citation - Gen. Stephen D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief, U.C.V., 1906.  The use of the Minutes Charge in this program is especially significant in that this was known, when the reunion was planned by the SCV, that this would be the final reunion of the United Confederate Veterans. One would expect that under these circumstances the SCV to take special care that The Charge used would be the most correct version of The Charge they knew. The Minutes Charge is what is printed in the program.      It should be noted that the documents listed above constitute, essentially, a random sample of the documents found at the archives in Jackson, MS and other locations. What is interesting and important to note in regard to defining what the SCV has historically used as The Charge is that all these documents use the Minutes Charge and NO instances of the use of Magazine version of The Charge was found. These supporting documents date from 1910 to 1951.  

One other item of minor note is that the word “commit” has been changed to “submit” in the supporting documents. This is likely the result of a typo that has been repeated over the years. However the use of “commit” or “submit” has not been the subject of dispute. Both the Minutes Charge and the Magazine Charge use the word “commit”. 

CONCLUSIONS

There are strong opinions among some members of the SCV about what exact text of The Charge given by General S.D. Lee is. Some firmly believe it as given in the Confederate Veteran magazine in June of 1906. Others believe it is that version ending with “Remember it is your duty to see that the True History of the South is presented to future generations.” Others hold to the version of The Charge in the 1906 UCV Minutes. However, regardless of what version of The Charge we may find more appealing, we owe it to ourselves, as members of an organization dedicated to the preservation of history, to resolve the question of what version of The Charge was given by General S. D. Lee at the 1906 Reunion.

While I personally like the poetry of the Magazine Charge and the clear directive as to what our duty is as given in the History Charge, I am lead to the conclusion that The Charge as found in the 1906 UCV and 1906 USCV minutes is the actual Charge spoken to the Sons by Gen. S. D. Lee at the 1906 reunion of the United Confederate Veterans. This conclusion is based on the fact that minutes are the most authoritative source concerning the proceedings of an organization, that the two sets of minutes are consistent with and support one another, that there are other primary sources (the newspapers) that reported The Charge as given in the minutes and that there are a number of supporting documents that have been found also using the Minutes Charge. On this basis I conclude that the “True Charge” is:

“To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the cause for which we fought. To your strength will be give the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved, and which you also cherish, and those ideals which made him glorious, and which you also cherish.” - Gen S. D. Lee, Commander-In-Chief U.C.V., April 25, 1906. 

PART 5: Final thoughts by Jimmy Ward


I was very excited to learn of the existence of the SCV back in 1984. I had dropped off a Marine buddy in Columbia, SC where I came across a small gathering (I presume it was a Confederate Memorial service) of SCV members. I spoke with them and decided maybe one day I would join. Several years later, when our unit returned home following a year extension due to Desert Storm in the summer of 1991, I received a call from my Dad - this was early 1992. He informed me of the NAACP resolution issued in 1991 and it was then we both agreed to join the fight against heritage / historical cleansing. At least we thought there would be a fight.

In my eyes, after the NAACP declared war against the Confederate Battle Flag (and by extension all vestiges connected to the Southern Confederacy), I felt a dual calling - serving in the Marine Corps and serve my Southland against a modern-day invasion. Because of our Confederate ancestry, my father and I felt "enlisting" in the SCV was the way to go. It didn't take long for us to realize, "Boy, what were we thinking."

With exception of a few Camps and members, the SCV high command was only going to wield paper tigers instead of something more substantial. It was evident when we first joined till the day we both left the organisation, that the SCV was ruled by title-seeking, self-aggrandizing politicians who thrived on cronyism and petty politics. One group would call this group "grannies" and the pettiness went back and forth. When the dust settled, a "granny" was replaced with a "granny" - all the while the NAACP and their army continued to march throughout our beloved Southland with their modern-day "scorched earth" anti-Confederate campaign.  

Instead of uniting the organisation and joining others to form a Confederate alliance, these flagpole climbers used the SCV to pad a résumé while creating their own internal "club" of roundtable circle jerks. It was more important to these narcissistic scalawags to engage in political jockeying and campaign strategy for office rather than use that energy to construct, fund, and execute a plan against an enemy hell-bound to eradicate the foundation of the SCV. All suggestions and solutions to the SCV hierarchy to prosecute this heinous action by the NAACP was met with either gutless excuses or silence.    

These so-called "leaders" actually borrowed pages from the Marxist playbook - never letting a "crisis go to waste" and use it as a campaign tool to advance themselves - knowing full well their "heritage defense" rhetoric was a ruse to lure members into a false serenity. Even more egregious is many of them collaborate with Sons of Union Veterans, Civil War roundtables, and other PC societies to "soften" historical events so we appear evolved to the Marxist, which is nothing more than submission. Top that off with the way they resemble a Russian czar by the way they sport their "geegaws", and you have both fools stealing the heroics of their Confederate ancestors by riding their coattails - which in my book qualifies as stolen valor - and the "enemy within."  

During my tenure in the SCV, the SCV hierarchy proved to be the antithesis to the message conveyed by Stephen D. Lee in 1906. We had high hopes the SCV would be the bull of the Southern heritage pasture. But they put their "I", "me", "my" personal ambitions and the organisations tax-exempt status ahead of what "we" should be doing to fulfill our duty and obligation as commanded by Lee and those Confederate Veterans who truly gave all so we could enjoy "Southern pride" that stems from a noble history. What a disappointment. These turncoats give new meaning to SCV - Scalawag Conniving Vermin.

In 1937, a movie came out called "They Won't Forget." Early in the movie, there is a scene that portrays Confederate Veterans preparing for a Confederate Memorial service. One of the Confederates turns to his comrades and says, "You think there will come a time when folks will forget about us?" Another answers, "If they do, we'll crawl out of our graves and remind them."

If those men knew how badly the SCV powers that be have betrayed them and could crawl from their graves, they wouldn't do any reminding - they'd be shooting the hierarchy for desertion.

Confederately,

JW