By Al Benson Jr.
If you always thought the Cable News Network (CNN) was typical of the “news” media that hewed the leftist line you were on target. Too many naively think that the “news” media exists to give us real news. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of the “news” media exists to promote the government line in whatever subject they deal with—politics, economics, history, religion—you name it. Truth is the last thing that concerns them.
This was amply demonstrated on October 25th by a CNN article by Dean Obeidallah, the title of which, on http://www.cnn.com
was “Confederate flag was the flag of traitors.” In this article Mr. Obeidallah proved that his grasp of history was like the Platte River—a mile wide and an inch deep. The article lists him as a “former attorney” and a “political comedian.” I would suggest that whatever his day job is he keep it, unless it is besmirching Southerners, at which he seems to be adept.
His missive starts out with: “You can debate whether the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism. But one thing you can’t dispute: The Confederate flag was flown by traitors to the United States of America who slaughtered more than 110,000 U.S. soldiers. I know some will take issue with my calling the Confederacy a band of traitors, but let’s be blunt—that’s what they were. They broke from the United States and created their own nation…” The United States did the same thing in 1776 from Great Britain. Was that treason? If so we all better apologize and crawl back to London begging forgiveness, right?
Obeidallah makes the same classic mistake all liberals seem to make. He can’t tell the difference between secession and treason. To him it’s all the same. I could give him a brief history lesson here, though I doubt if he would listen, but I will try anyway. If he doesn’t get it maybe some other ultra-liberal or socialist will read this and lights will go on—maybe.
The Southern states did not, I repeat, did not, commit treason. They seceded. There is no place in the Constitution that forbids secession. In fact when some of the states ratified the Constitution they did so with the provision that, should this new government not work out for them they reserved the right to secede and go their own ways. Their ratifications were accepted with that language in them. How then is it “treason” to secede? It’s only “treason” if you have a socialist mentality that demands that all political power reside at the center, in one place.
As for secession being treasonous, even some in Lincoln’s own cabinet argued that this was foolishness. In his book An Honorable Defeat William C. Davis, no real friend of the South, observed, on page 385 that: “The Constitution failed specifically to define what they (the Confederate leaders) had done as treason. They had not attempted to overthrow the United States government, nor had any of them been leaders in the separatist movement that resulted from secession. Rather, Davis and Stephens had been elected without seeking office, and the rest were simply appointees.” Davis noted, on page 386 that: “Influential Union editors called for leniency, especially when authorities failed to link him (Davis) to the Lincoln assassination, even after employing perjured witnesses.” Would “our” government employ lying witnesses? You bet they would—and still do. I’m sorry, but Obeidallah’s charge of treason for Confederates falls flat on its face.
He gets one thing right. He notes that the Confederate Battle Flag was the battle flag for the Army of Northern Virginia, but he thinks that’s even worse because “…this was the flag carried on battlefields by Confederate troops during the Civil War as they killed U.S. soldiers. For one thing, the Union soldiers were mostly on Southern soil. They had invaded the Southern states and so the Confederates resisted. One Confederate soldier was reported to have said, when he was asked why the Confederates resisted, “because you’re here.” And if you want to know further reasons why the Confederates resisted I suggest you read War Crimes Against Southern Civilians. It is one book, among many, that documents Northern atrocities in the South. I wonder if Obeidallah would justify those atrocities because, after all, those nasty Southerners were traitors and so whatever is done to them is okay. If that was his mindset I would not be surprised. It’s the typical Yankee/Marxist mindset which prevailed among much of the Northern leadership, as documented by Donnie Kennedy and I in our book Lincoln’s Marxists.
Obeidallah is trying, by his “historical” argument to persuade people not to carry or display the Confederate flag and he finally gets around to making the obligatory appeal to Southern “racism” as his clincher. I am not persuaded. He mentions Alexander Stephens much talked about “slavery is the cornerstone” speech. He doesn’t tell you that Stephens made that remark from a hotel balcony in an impromptu speech he was asked to give with no preparation time allowed for what he was to say. He also doesn’t tell you that the white attitude toward blacks was the same in the North as in the South, and in some cases, a little worse. Maybe he doesn’t know that. He should.
He has no problem with Confederate flags being displayed in history museums. How magnanimous of him but he doesn’t think anyone should carry or display one anywhere else because, after all, the people that carried that flag were shooting at U.S. soldiers. What does he think those U.S. soldiers were doing in the South—handing out lollypops?
The record of Northern atrocities in the South is there for anyone who is willing to do the research. I would suggest to Mr. Obeidallah that before he writes anymore about Southern “treason” he do a little more homework. For starters I would suggest these books: The South Was Right; The North Against the South—The American Iliad—1848-1877; Was Jefferson Davis Right?; Sherman’s March; The South Under Siege 1830-2000, and The Coming of the Glory. If he will read these in addition to the books already mentioned in this article then he might have enough knowledge to make some accurate commentary about the South and the War.
Barring that, his slanted commentary about the South’s “treason” is little more than a noxious rant.
by Joan Hough
Part I of a Critique of Hochbruck’s “Actundvierziger”
Appearing now on the free pages of genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry is a genealogy article written by Professor Wolfgang Hochbruck entitled: “Achtundvierziger” in den Armeen der Union: Eine vorlaufige Liste” (“Forty-eighters in the Union Armies: A Preliminary Checklist”)
Hochbruck’s article publicizing the military activities of his fellow Germans—and surprisingly, some of their Communist connections—can be found translated into English at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dettweiler/genweb/e006.htm.
Hochbruck declares that his purpose for publicizing the activities of the 48ers is to resurrect the German reputation for bravery. He presents an impressive listing of 142 German U.S. Union soldiers, mostly Generals and Colonels, together with brief histories of these men. Concluding that all were very brave men and deserve accolades, Hochbruck contends that the presence of these Germans in America, in the Republican Party, and in the Civil War is greatly underrated and vastly unappreciated by American historians and journalists.
Before proceeding with the reading of this critique of Hochbruck’s work, it should be noted that Hochbruck presents only a one sided German story. He fails to mention that there were many, many wonderful American citizens of German lineage who fought with the greatest of bravery for the righteous cause of the Confederacy. In addition, there were Germans who came directly from Germany to fight for the South. Hochbruck either does not know of these valiant German-American warriors or refused to accord them the honors they deserve, perhaps because they did not possess the Communist-Marxist ideology of those he chose to eulogize.
The Germans who came directly from Germany to the South just to fight for Confederate liberty, unlike those who went to the north, did not come to swap their battle skills for three meals a day and the promise of loot, citizenship, and Southern land. They were not released from some European jail and forced to leave their native land. Instead, they braved Union blockades to reach the Confederate States, while knowing that they would not be fighting in regiments with thousands of other Germans who spoke their language. They fought skillfully, bravely, and with great zeal. They fought because they believed THE SOUTH WAS RIGHT.
After by sheer numbers, imported Socialists, and vast amounts of munitions, the U.S.A. won its war by killing the majority of Southern males and murdering Southern women and children, some of the South’s own warrior-Germans returned to Germany. Among these noble men was Johann Heinrich Heros von Boreke, recognized by Confederates for his great valor.[i] [i] Boreke was General Jeb Stuart’s chief of Staff. Having been shot in his throat and lungs before Gettysburg, Boreke did not participate in his General’s final battle at Yellow Tavern. Later, with tears in his eyes, Johann stood beside the bed of Jeb Stuart and said good-bye to his dying friend. Then, saddled with a lifetime injury, Boreke returned home to Germany and, with great pride and a heavy heart, placed the beautiful Confederate battle flag in front of his house. [ii] [II]
Baron Maximilian von Meulnier was another German who had a deep devotion to the Confederacy. Other Germans also came to America to risk their lives for the Southern cause. [iii] These gifted warriors were few in number compared with the thousands upon thousands direct from Germany to the north, but the new Germans for the South fought as valiantly as once had their Viking ancestors. After the South’s defeat, they returned to their native lands, taking with them—so different from the north’s imported hired guns, not a single stolen wedding band, or a single earring torn from a ripped away woman’s ear. Union soldiers’ propensity for and manner of acquiring such loot was recorded in sworn testimony taken in Louisiana. [iv][IV]
In his genealogy article, Hochbruck presents the records of Union soldiers who came to America from Germany and other states in Europe after the failure of their Socialist Revolution. He reports: “During the American Civil War, more than 180,000 German-born men fought in the Union armies East and West, plus tens of thousands of Austrians, Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs. Out of this number possibly up to an estimated five thousand had previously served in the revolutionary armies and insurrections in Baden, the Palatinate, in Hungary, the Rhineland, Transylvania, Poland, Bohemia, Berlin, or Saxony.”
Hochbruck declares that these soldiers fought in Europe “to free people from oppression.” According to Hochbruck, as revolutionaries, these Germans joined in the Europe-wide movement of “republican revolutionism.” He continues, “After the last of the European revolutions had been subjugated, many of these early internationalists fled or emigrated to the United States.” He asserts, “The failure of their revolutionary hopes in Europe did not prevent them from taking arms again in 1861 to defend the very principles they had fought for in 1848 and 1849: Union, freedom and democracy.” Hochbruck contends, “Many of them made conscious connection between the two wars.” [Emphasis added.]
The word “Union” is interesting as a German 1800s concept — if Hochbruck is correct in assuming that word was actually in use in Europe by the revolutionaries during that time. But even more interesting is the use of the word “Democracy.” Democracy and Socialism were both scorned as types of government by the U.S. founding fathers that created the United States government as a Republic. Democracy was seen as “mobocracy” destined to turn into Socialism—a progression noted by Frederic Bastiat in his The Law.
Hochbruck considers American impressions of German 48ers totally false. He concludes that such impressions issue from an Anglo-American press comprised of writers with “neo-Confederate” sympathies. He declares that a “tainted image” of Germans (the “Dutch”) as cowardly soldiers has been held and presented by “every generation of American scholars.” He wrote his article with the intention of correcting all of these prejudiced impressions. He finds nothing whatsoever objectionable, but all highly laudatory, about the actions of the 48ers whom he calls "Internationalists. (Americans today might term those same 48ers as New World Order proponents or as COMMUNISTS or Marxists.)
Among the almost two hundred Revolutionary Germans in the Republican Union Army, whose bravery Hochbruck is determined to substantiate, are men identified as Socialists/Marxists not only by Hochbruck but also by noted “truth sayer-historians” Walter D. Kennedy and Al Benson in their book which exposes Communism’s actions under Mr. Lincoln’s scepter. [v] Although only two of Hochbruck’s valiant Germans are mentioned in Part I of the present Critique, in Part II will be found a brief look at a larger number of the socialists/communists clearly identified as such by Hochbruck . Part II also contains additional information concerning these Germans—information made available by Kennedy and Benson.
Attesting to the Communism of Union Colonel FRITZ ANNEKE, Hochbruck goes against the politically correct historians’ zeitgeist by telling the truth that ANNEKE was a member of the “Deutscher Kommunisten, Marx/Engels circle,” however, he relates this membership, not to censor, but to praise. Hochbruck elaborates: “FRITZ ANNEKE published a book under the title Der Zweite Freiheitskampf (the Second War for Liberty).” (Anneke was NOT writing about the successful American Revolution as the First War but about the failed Socialist Revolution in Europe. His “second war” was that of Mr. Lincoln’s.)
Hochbruck recognizes and admires Anneke’s personal relationship with Karl Marx. As all know, Marx and his friend Engels collaborated and produced the COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, a document which commanded many things, including the creation of public education [VI] as an ideal method of distributing their all-powerful government’s brainwash to the masses. Communists were encouraged to foment racial hatred and create a compulsory and progressive Income tax. (The U.S. had no income tax in its history until after Marx’s Manifesto.) Upon the completion of the Communist Manifesto, the group that paid for it relinquished the name of Illuminati and renamed themselves “Communists.”[VII]
Abe Lincoln made Communist Fritz Anneke a Colonel of the Wisconsin Volunteers in the Republican Union Army. Hochbruck tells us this but does not tell us that Anneke was given a court-martial and dismissed in 1863. [VIII] (Something decidedly unusual had to be involved for one of Lincoln’s favorites to receive such treatment.)
Something else Hochbruck fails to share with us is that after FRIEDRICH (Fritz) ANNEKE fled to America, he was tried in absentia in Europe and “condemned to death in ’contumacia’ for his role in leading the Baden rebellion.”[IX]
Hochbruck praises the efforts of the Marxists and informs the reader: “The fact is that these veterans of the European revolutions were an early ‘International Brigade,’ and that their effort bridges the gap between European failures and American success of the world-wide democratic project, has been all but ignored.”
Historical truth shines forth in Hochbruck’s words—perhaps for the first time for some readers. There can be no denying that Communist goals helped create a victorious Republican army. The evidence is strong that these goals were prime movers in the invasion of the South by Lincoln and in the bringing to America of vast numbers of foreigners, especially Germans, to win Mr. Lincoln’s war. No stone was left unturned in Europe by these Marxists, including the emptying of Europe’s jails and the exporting of the prisoners to serve in the Union army.( Present-day descendents have enshrined their Marxist U.S. soldier ancestors with golden memories of magnificent deeds accomplished—all for the good of America, of course.)
Hochbruck declares that in 1848 the new-to-America Germans had fought in Europe for “Union, freedom, and democracy.”(The word “Democracy” appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence, the State Constitutions, the Articles of Confederation, or the U.S. Constitution. One can only wonder where the word became so popular. Perhaps in Germany?)
From a careful reading of the works of new, politically incorrect historians and government analysts, and of the actual words of President Jeff Davis and President Abraham Lincoln and the Corwin Amendment passed by both houses of Congress
(ratified rather rapidly by Ohio and Maryland and still on the books), it becomes evident that eliminating slavery was not the real reason Lincoln’s army invaded the South and began the war.
Lincoln contended his war was simply to hold the Union together by force, but, in reality, it was to stop the South from resisting the conversion of the United States into a Socialist State via the creation of its requisite, an all powerful central government.
The Hochbruck Ancestry article should be desired reading for anyone with an eagerness to know the real motives behind the so-called “Civil” War. It presents a view of the war seen through the eyes of a great admirer of the high ranking German Marxist-Socialist soldiers who served in the army of the United States of America. There may, however, be somewhat of a shock when the reader discovers that Hochbruck, the great admirer, declares honestly and sincerely that the “Civil War” was a welcomed continuation of the Socialist Revolution in Europe.
[I] “Prussian Confederate Veteran Receives Stone Marker and the Southern Cross of Honor,” Palmetto Partisan: The Official Journal of the South Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, February 2009.
[IV] David C. Edmonds, ed., The Conduct of Federal Troops in Louisiana During the Invasions of 1863 and 1864: Official Report, 1988: (Lafayette, Louisiana, Acadiana Press), p. 40.
[V] Walter d. Kennedy and Al Benson, Jr., Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists: Marxism in the Civil War (New York: iUniverse, Inc., 2007).
[VI] Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York: New American Library, 1998).
[VII] William H. Mcllhany, “A Primer on the Illuminati,” New American, June 22, 2009. pp. 231-36.
[VIII] Kennedy and Benson, Ibid, p. 123.
Can the man who suffered his Lieutenant Sherman to ruthlessly devastated twice as much Southern territory as all Belgium combined be the Southern ideal?
Can the man whose life work was to tear from the Declaration of Independence its immortal part, its very soul, “That government derives their just powers from the consent of the governed,” be the American ideal, if the truth is looked full in the face?
Manly’s Battery Chapter
Children of the ConfederacyRaleigh, North Carolina (pages 21-23)
Emancipation at the time, and in the manner in which Lincoln sought
to enforce it, was a politico-military measure, and nothing else. 1862 was an
election year. Lincoln, great man and statesman as he undoubtedly was,
was also a politician to the core. And when did your politician, big or
little, ever fail to trim his sails to the wind—to save the party and then
let the party save everything else? Federal arms had sustained such repeated
and disastrous defeats that Northern opinion was turning to the
Democratic Party, which favored peace. Defeat stared Republicanism
in the face. Something must be done to stem the tide. The emancipation
proclamation was the answer. While primarily a political move,
great things were also expected of it in a military way. It was largely
believed that the slaves would rise and deal with Southern women in a
way that would cause the Southern armies to crumble in a day as each
man rushed home to save his own.
As a military measure it was a total fiasco of the ages as not a slave stirred
or lifted his hand. But its political effect was immense. It instantly
brought into the Republican camp every cohort of abolitionism, and
held all in line to the end, though these lines bent fearfully under Jackson's
blows at Chancellorsville, and again, when soon after the grey
columns surged northward to Gettysburg, and even when, much later
still, Grant's army recoiled in temporary paralysis from the futile assaults
on Lee in the Wilderness.
Still, this is not an attack on Lincoln, nor do I set to revive sectionalism,
further than consistancy and self-respect demand. I am well
aware that patriotism is a matter of geography. That all depends upon
the side of the line on which you were born, but so, also, is renegadeism.
High moral law demands that we be true to our fellows, our surroundings.
The Washingtons and Lees obeyed it. The Arnolds and Tscariots
defied it. This is simply an earnest protest against accepting as a
Southern hero, a Southern exemplar, a man, no matter how worthy personally,
who was a leader of Northernism, and of Northernism in its
attitude -of implacable hostility to the South and Southern ideals. It
is natural that the Negro should honor Lincoln. He gave the Negro
freedom. And the North, he gave the North dominion over the South.
He carried out Northern ideals of centralism, imperialism. The Southern
Ideal, State rights, home rule, the palladium the world over of the
weak, met destruction at his hands. With glaring inconsistency, we still
hold the ideal to be true, while paying homage to the chief instrument of
''Suppose the South had won? What then?" is the common query,
usually in tones of utter deprecation. I would reply that had the South
lost; what then? The blackest page in the annals of our race! Would
the Lees, the Davises, the Hamptons, the Vances, the Grahams, the
Ashes, the Grimeses, the Clarks, the Jarvises, the Hills, the Carrs, the
Ransoms, the Averys, have been less fit to deal with even the tremendous
issues left by war than the Sewards, the Wades, the Stevenses, the
Holdens, the Tourgees, the Deweeses, the Cuffees, who fumbled them till,
with an effort that paralyzed all other endeavors for a generation, we
wrenched the helm from their hand.
The War of 1861, notwithstanding the unfortunate slavery complication,
was as much a war of liberty as that of 1775, or that of 1642
in the Mother country. It was a struggle for local self-government
against centralism and all the evils that have skulked in its shadow,
monopoly, trusts, extortion in its protean guises. A quicker exploitation
of our resources—and a quicker destruction—has undoubtedly ensued.
But where has the wealth gone? Would not those resources be
safer in the hands of nature than in the hands that now hold and use
them as a lever to oppress and extort?
The war, waged for State rights, for local self-government, the principle
for which the flower of our manhood laid down their lives, was
the half-conscious effort of our branch of the race—the branch that
events have proven to have had the keenest political instincts of all—to
avert this torrent of evils; some then plainly disclosed to our clear vision,
some even now just emerging from the haze of the days to be.
Then circumstances and heredity had made the South the citadel of
conservatism. What a brake on the wild wheels of this mad world
her conservatism must have been could it only have won the prestige of
success, had it only been its luck to be backed by the stronger battalions
of heavier guns! In all human probability it would have saved us from
many of the evils above indicated, as well as the maze of fads, follies,
and isms in which we now grope in such utter bewilderment.
Even Southern writers have to stultify themselves every time they
approach the subject as to what might have been if the victory had
been accorded to us instead of our foes.
Loud in praise of the statesmanship of the old South, strong in the
belief of the justice of her cause; yet no sooner do they reach the point
where the stronger battalions of the North prevail than they drop on
their knees and thank Heaven for having saved the South from herself.
They thank Providence that instead of giving the South a respite
from Northern incendiarism, instead of smoothing her way so that she
might put by slavery in the least harmful manner, it brought down upon
her three millions of armed men, who, destroying the flower of her manhood,
breaking the heart of her womanhood, consigning her children
to poverty and ignorance, reducing her people to virtual beggars, and
would have forced miscegenation , mongrelism, upon her but for the mettle
of her stock! Others may think as they will, but I cannot bring myself
to hold any such slanderous opinions of Providence. I cannot see the
hand of Providence (though 1 might a sootier one) in such fell work as,
on the one hand suffering Northern abolition, incendiarism, to arouse and
inflame the resentment of the South, and, on the other hand Northern
ingenuity to invent the cotton gin, thus at the critical moment infinitely
increasing the value of slaves, and forestalling the South in her earnest
endeavors to put an end to slavery. That the South was denied the inestimable
privilege of abolishing this curse which the cruel hand of Fate
had fastened upon her, thus saving herself the unspeakable loss and woe
and humiliation that the war entailed, is no proof that the Southern
way was the wrong way. Success is no proof of right, nor failure of
wrong. Yet men whose very religion is founded on faith in One who
from the low viewpoint of material things sounded the abysmal depths
of failure, now cry aloud that it is. The vessel of iron will ever smash
the one of gold against which in the rough mischances of the world it
is thrown, though the latter, from the fineness of its material and the
nobleness of its design, might be fit to edify mankind forever.
0. W. Blacknall
Kittrell N. C, January, 1915.
(In regard to race and segregation, I would add that the question was extensively
Discussed at the North in the early part of the war, and Florida
suggested as the State to be thus utilized when the South should be subjugated.
This being considered too small, Texas was proposed.)
I was informed this morning of the comments by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC (M
ommunist) regarding the gentleman waving both the Confederate flag and Marine Corps flag at the White House during the rally of Veterans in Washington this past weekend. Maddow commented how the flags basically "clashed" as U.S. Marines fought against the Confederacy. Reference her comments in the below short video: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rachel-maddow/53281428/#53281428
You are partially
correct Maddow: Following secession, only a fragment
of what was left of the U.S. Marine Corps actually fought against the Confederacy.
Upon secession, 75% of the US Marine Corps sided with the South as the South created a Confederate States Marine Corps. After the war and through WWII, the Marine Corps was known tongue-and-cheek by the other branches as the "army of the Confederacy." Some even referred to the Corps as the "offspring of the Confederacy" because the sons of many Confederate Veterans carried the Southern-Confederate traditions as leaders of Marines. One of these men was the 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune who was also a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He also wore a United Daughters of the Confederacy War Service Medal, which links his campaign service and Louisiana Confederate lineage, on his Marine uniform. Another descendent of numerous Confederate Veterans was Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller - the most decorated Marine in our history. Chesty, a Virginia native, noted he patterned himself after two Virginia sons - Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. Following his retirement, Chesty would periodically make a pilgrimage from his home in Saluda, Va. to Lexington, Va. to visit the graves of these ardent Christian men.
These traditions were weaved throughout the newly reformed Corps and Confederate Battle flags flew at Marine bases alongside the Stars and Stripes until the Civil Rights movement in the 60's when Washington politicians forced their removal. Marines posted Confederate Battle flags on Okinawa and Iwo Jima after securing those islands from the Japanese. The tactics used during ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore fighting by the Confederate States Marines were carried over to the newly reformed US Marine Corps after the war starting the amphibious warfare the Corps is known for.
I'll bet Maddow has never heard of Colonel William Oscar Brice. He was the Marine Commander on the Solomon Islands during WWII. Many of the Marines, Navy, and Army personnel under his command were Southerners. Bowing to his Confederate lineage and that of his personnel, they were not known as "US Forces Solomons." Instead, they were known as the CONFORSOLS - Confederate Forces Solomon Islands. They flew the Stars and Bars instead of the Stars and Stripes on their headquarters island appropriately called - New South, Georgia. The aircraft they flew (namely SBD's and Corsairs) were named after Confederate steeds. Colonel Brice's killing order: Yank's first; Jap's second. They were even sent formal permission to colonize the island by noted Richmond, Va. newspaper editor and Robert E. Lee biographer Douglass Southall Freeman. And though Colonel Brice took a small public relations hit because of this organization, he maintained it because it boosted the morale of his men.
Marxist Maddow needs to gear down her openly lesbian lifestyle and gear up some true history. Then again, that would "clash" with her pinko agenda.
Semper Saviour - Semper Fi - Semper Confederate,
GySgt / USMC (ret.)
by Al Benson Jr.
Contrary to popular myths, public education in this country has never been “necessary.” Years ago Samuel Blumenfeld wrote a book called Is Public Education Necessary
? Mr. Blumenfeld, who was an education expert, concluded that, no, it was not. Rather it was introduced by people (Unitarians and socialists) who had an agenda and that agenda was the removal of Christian education, to be replaced by an educational system run by the state (government). It was to be a thoroughly humanist system. Humanism is a system of theology completely alien to and opposed to the Christian faith and the truth about Jesus Christ and Scripture. This was the foundation of public education in this country and, sad to say, most Christians bought into it and continue to buy into it and when their kids leave the faith after high school they wonder why. The idea that the public school worked for twelve years to eradicate the faith of their children never occurs to them, and what’s more, they get really ticked at anyone who tries to explain this to them. They don’t want to hear it—end of conversation!
However, the public school agenda presently is becoming so blatant I don’t see how they can ignore it much longer without willingly admitting that they don’t want the responsibility for their children’s education and therefore are willing to turn the kids over to apostates and anti-Christs for their “education.”
The information that comes across my desk about the continuing destruction of real education by the public schools is so voluminous that I can hardly keep up with it all, much less comment on it all. But here and there items turn up that cry out to be dealt with and you get the feeling that the Lord would have you try, just one more time, to warn Christian parents about what is going on, even though most of them don’t want to hear it and would just as soon you shut up so they could continue on in their theological dreamland where everything is fine and they don’t have to do anything about anything. I guess I’m just enough of an agitator that I don’t want them to be able to say “nobody ever told me.”
So here are a few tidbits that should make Christian parents with kids in public brain laundries think and wonder if, possibly, just possibly, their kids might be better off in a different educational environment, like the home or the Christian school. An article that appeared on http://www.digitaljournal.com
for October 5th was headlined: Worksheet asks children to remove parts of the Bill of rights.
The author, Justin King wrote: “A student in Bryant School District in Arkansas brought home a worksheet that presented her with a scenario that referred to the Bill of rights as ‘outdated’ and that as part of a special committee she would need to throw out two of the amendments. The worksheet was handed out to Sixth grade students in a History class…According to the girl’s mother, she has not received any government or civics classes and this was the first assignment dealing with the Constitution or Bill of Rights. The school district is participating in the embattled Common Core curriculum.” So these kids are supposed to meet in some sort of a committee and decide, since the Bill of Rights is “outdated” what two amendments need to go. And this in the sixth grade with no previous civics classes? How much do you want to bet, with the teacher’s “gentle persuasion” this totally inexperienced sixth grade committee ends up recommending that the two amendments that are outdated and should be removed are the Second and Tenth Amendments? This is history? Well, no, actually its propaganda, but they’ll never tell.
And there’s this one from Tennessee on the same day, October 5th. It appeared on http://nclinksandthinks.wordpress.com
which stated: “Tennessee School Posts 5 Pillars of Islam On Walls Adds Islam to Curriculum
.” The article starts off “Springfield High School didn’t miss an opportunity to display and essentially express their desire to show their tolerance for an ever growing diverse community at a recent open house for parents and returning public school children. On display on the freshman hall wall of the Robertson County, TN school, the 5 Pillars of Islam were pasted ‘up and down’ the hallway, proclaiming the rules to be a good student of Islam, much in the way the 10 Commandment direct Christians.” Only problem with all of this is that the Ten Commandments probably would have “offended” someone and would have had to be taken down while no one will dare touch the Islamic stuff for fear of “offending” those who are offended by Christianity. In fact the article ended up with “The only problem to date, is the 5 Pillars stayed and the 10 Commandments came down.” Folks, that’s what it was all about! Islam will be paraded and Christianity will be removed as quickly as possible. This is your public education system in living color folks, get used to it. This is where it’s headed. And don’t think you can “reform” it. That will never happen.
Then there was the article that came from The Daily Sheeple http://www.thedailysheeple.com
that appeared on http://www.lewrockwell.com
which observed: “Critics of the public school system will be pleased to know that St. Joseph-Ogden High School in Illinois is preparing kids for the future by teaching them practical skills. That’s right—15 and 16 year olds just had an assignment on how to distribute limited medical resources amongst a small sampling of the population. They got to pick who deserves to live and who deserves to die.” Turns out the lesson deals with ten people who need kidney dialysis when there are only enough resources to care for six of them and the students have to decide who lives and who dies. This is a different spin on the old one they used to pull with values clarification courses I think it was. There were ten people who were in the water after the ship sank but the rowboat only had room for six and so the kids had to decide which six lived.
The Lew Rockwell article continued: “At least these students will leave high school job-ready. They’ll be all set to serve on the much-speculated Obamacare Death Panels.” The school principal hastened to mention that this was not a “death panel” assignment and he blathered on about how the assignment was to educate kids about “social values.” Hogwash! After listening to some of these guys on and off for years and sitting in school board meetings in West Virginia where some of the school board members lied outright to parents and then laughed when caught at it, you’ll pardon me if I just don’t believe much of what they say. These people have an agenda and that agenda is the destruction of your kid’s Christian faith and replacing it with another faith and another “god.”
The one I’ll finish off with comes from http://www.kirotv.com
for October 10th and the headline reads: “Students suspended for carrying Confederate flags
”. This one took place at a high school in Maple Valley, Washington. Two students were suspended because they wore Confederate flags around their necks, which they did to make an anti-sodomite statement. The school district really didn’t want to say too much about this but it turned out that a 10th grade student had been displaying a sodomite-pride flag for the past two weeks. The kids with the Confederate flags were protesting that and this was how they did it. However they got suspended and the kid with the sodomite flag didn’t. It seems that many were “offended” by the Confederate flags but it seems that no one was offended by the sodomite flag, at least no one we’ve been told about. That just might tell you something about the public school climate in Washington State—and if so, why is it that way? The not-so-subtle message is there; “In this school the homosexual lifestyle is accepted and welcomed but leave your Confederate flags and the Christian culture they represent at home–they are not welcome here.
It seems that the one group it is perfectly okay to offend is white Christians, particularly those from the South—in fact it’s almost required behavior anymore to offend white Christians—and heaven help them if they dare to resist the politically correct garbage that’s floating in most public school rivers today.
I’m not about to suggest that Christians invade public school campuses with mass demonstrations. What I am suggesting, however, is that Christians learn what is going on and have the intestinal fortitude (spelled g u t s) to stage a mass EXODUS from the public school system. This is the last thing most Christians want to do and the first thing they should do. Check out Exodus Mandate
on the Internet.
I’m not indicting every public school teacher. I realize there have been and are some good ones, but the system as a whole, especially at the top, is anti-Christ to the core, even down to the Common Core.
The socialists, Marxists, and apostates who run the government and the public schools are at war with the Christian faith and its adherents. They are winning at this point because most of the Christians, not aware that the war is entering its crucial stage, or even going on, for that matter, are still asleep.
This essay is meant to help you start to "connect the dots". How sad is it that your children never learned any "real truth" in their government school. EDITOR.
We have all been taught that Abraham Lincoln was a gentle man, “Honest Abe,” a man who advocated “malice toward none and charity for all.” We have been taught that Lincoln would have opposed the policy pursued by Radical Republicans like Thaddeus Stevens, which pushed for vengeful, retributive policies against the South. We have been taught in books, movies and documentaries that Lincoln instead preferred a policy of healing that neither punished the defeated Confederate government and Army nor average Southern civilians. Since Lincoln was assassinated before the Reconstruction policies were put into effect, we can never know for sure if he was sincere or not. However, we can make an informed judgment regarding his true motivations if we examine how he militarily conducted the war as Commander in Chief of the Federal forces and which military policies he preferred his generals take in prosecuting the war. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that by almost any standard – those that existed prior to the war, those that existed after the war or even by the very standards Lincoln proclaimed to be operating under DURING the war, the prosecution of it… against civilians, against POWs, against property, against slaves, against women and children, against public works used for civilian purposes… was clearly criminal. There is even evidence indicating that, ironically given his own fate, high ranking members of the Lincoln Administration may have approved an assassination plot against Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the War. One may be tempted to seek to give Lincoln a pass by indicating that during a conflict as vast and violent as that war, he could not have been aware of every illegal act or war crime his generals or officer corps may have committed, and that there is little evidence he directly ordered that war crimes be carried out. The evidence, however, is quite stark that Lincoln often acted much as did Henry II of England who, seeking to indicate to his knights that he would prefer they “get rid of” his politically disloyal Archbishop of Canterbury Tomas a Becket by beseeching them: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Henry did not have to issue a clear direct order to make his point to his knights regarding Becket; Lincoln was in a similar position with his generals regarding the military policy he preferred regarding the South. If we consider Lincoln and his generals in this fashion, we can get a better picture of his culpability in the perpetration of Federal War Crimes against the Confederacy as a matter of implementing the Federal military doctrine of “strategic military necessity.” This concept, as we will see, allowed the Federal Armies to elude their own rules of war as laid out in their own “Lieber Code” – a code they formed to supersede the previous, far more civilian friendly code that existed prior to the war.
This presentation is divided into several parts: Definition of Military Conduct as Understood Prior and During the Civil War / the Concept of Total War / the Lieber Code Federal War Crimes Against Civilians Federal War Crimes Against Public Works Used For Civilian Purposes Federal War Crimes Against Private Property Federal War Crimes Against Prisoners of War Federal War Crimes Against Women, Children and Slaves Federal Plans to Assassinate Confederate Leaders All references to “Official Records” are to Us War Department, “the War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, set 3, Vol. 1 – Washington DC Government Printing Office, 1880 – 1901, hereafter cited as “Official Records.” DEFINITION OF MILITARY CONDUCT as UNDERSTOOD PRIOR and DURING the CIVIL WAR / the CONCEPT OF TOTAL WAR / the LIEBER CODE.
The Civil War is often thought of as the first conflict to be fought as a modern Total War; that is, a war that knew no boundaries, no rules, no exceptions and no mercy; a war where all atrocities and all criminality was covered over by the concept of “military necessity” in pursuit of the over-riding objective: achieving a complete and total victory over the enemy defined as the annihilation of the enemy. Brutality – towards civilians, prisoners, slaves and hostages in war is as old as Mankind. Ancient warfare is filled with examples where civilians were routinely mass murdered and History is replete with atrocities committed by those like Attila the Hun, Genghis Kahn and Timur, who burned cities and left mountains of civilian skulls in their wake. The Crusades were infamous for the large scale killing of civilians on both sides. Warfare in Europe was not much better; the 30 Years War of the 1600's was filled with atrocities against civilians and massive destruction of property. However, by the time of the Enlightenment through the 18th and early 19th Century, Western warfare, especially in Anglo-American culture, attempted to reign in some of the more egregious aspects of war as it pertained to civilians and civilian property. As Lance Janda writes in his article “Shutting the Gates of Mercy: The American Origins of Total War, 1860 – 1880” the Journal of Military History #59, no. 1 (January 1995) the attempt to provide some protections to civilians stemmed from the Enlightenment desire “which stressed that violence against non-combatants was barbaric and unworthy of modern military forces.” Of course, despite such progressive ideas, individual commanders in the field still issued orders and soldiers often engaged in brutal conduct against civilians in Anglo-American warfare. We saw this in our own country during the American Revolutionary War, when the British Legion under Col. Banastre Tarleton whose troops killed over a hundred prisoners during the so-called Buford Massacre in Virginia as well as numerous other acts of cruelty toward the civilian population. Further, American treatment of Native American tribes, such as Andrew Jackson’s treatment of the Creeks and Seminoles, were hardly known for their gentle treatment of non-combatants. However, what we find during the Civil War is a departure from the growing concept that such depredations were to be curbed and discouraged. Instead, we find that official policy, fully sanctioned by the highest levels of the military command of the Federal forces commanded by President Lincoln and in concurrence with the policy set by the highest echelons of the civilian leadership enthusiastically engaged in the type of war crimes that are implicit in the conduct of a “Total War.” We must ask ourselves how this concept of Total War was seen by both sides during the Civil War and understand how this concept differed from previous conceptions of what was considered proper warfare. “Total War” was NOT a concept taught at West Point prior to the Civil War, where war on civilians was considered anathema to “civilized warfare.” It was certainly NOT taught to cadets such as Grant, Sherman, Halleck and Sheridan when they attended the Academy. The code of military conduct at the time was set by the Articles of War of 1806, which was in force until it was replaced in 1863 by the “Lieber Code” (also known as “General Order 100.) The 1806 Code stated: “Any officer or soldier who shall quit his post or colors to plunder and pillage shall suffer death or other such punishment as shall be ordered by a sentence of a general court martial.” This view ran contrary to the political desire to annihilate the enemy “root and branch”, which gripped the military and political elites in the North. This was because it was not simply State Governments that were “in rebellion” against the Federal Government; it was the entire free population that was rejecting the domination of the Federal Government, which they felt had betrayed the compact they signed onto when they ratified the Constitution of 1789 by expanding Federal power over the states beyond the enumerated Constitutional limitations.
Having left British rule because they felt the British ruled WITHOUT the consent of the governed, the South came to the conclusion, after a long series of political crises, that the Federal Government of 1861 was now in the same position as the government of King George III. They were determined to exercise their right to remove themselves from the control of the Federal Government in the same manner in which they removed themselves from the control of the British government. To prevent the South from exercising this right, the Federal Government needed to defeat and subjugate the Confederacy and to establish a new constitutional order in its place… a constitutional order where the Federal Government moved from a position where it was limited to enumerated Constitutional powers regarding the individual states to one where it was perpetual, indivisible, dominant and exalted as “sacred.” The war aim of the Federal Government in Washington was to break the “chains” of the Constitution which placed much governing power in the hands of the States and instead create a supreme National Government with the potential to exert almost unlimited authority. Such authority would allow the backers of the Republican Party, those of the rising Northeastern Industrial and Railroad interests, to use the coercive power of the Federal Government to their own purposes over and against the power of the States to interfere. To succeed in such a massive re-structuring of the Government meant that the South could not just be militarily defeated on the battlefield… it has to be annihilated, its culture demonized and eradicated, its economy desolated and its political will broken so thoroughly that there would never again remain any question regarding Federal dominance over the States.
Adam Badeau who was on General Grant’s staff and was present at Appomattox notes: “It was not victory
that either side was playing for, but for existence
. If the South won, they destroyed a nation; if the government succeeded, it annihilated a rebellion.” Of course, the Confederacy in no way wanted to “destroy” the United States, which would have continued, albeit in attenuated form as a nation, after the South left. For the South, however, the statement is entirely true: for the Federal Government to succeed in overturning the Constitution of 1879 and, in effect, create a “Second Republic” based on immensely increased Federal power, the Confederacy had to not just be defeated, BUT ANNIHILATED. But if the earlier concepts of proper standards of war conflicted with those adopted by the Federal Government during the War for Southern Independence, what ARE “proper standards of war?” Furthermore, did the Federal Government, in adopting NEW standards of warfare, violate the very standards they adopted?
There were several standards of war that were in effect in the Western world during the time the War of Southern Independence took place: 1) “Customary use of long standing” Customary Usage are practices that go back hundred and thousands of years not based on written treaties of conventions. To meet the criteria of “Customary Usage” it must be a custom practiced by Nations; that is, there is an unwritten agreement among nations that such practice is mandated by custom. For example, a white flag is a considered to be indicating a truce by longstanding custom. 2) The Geneva Convention of 1862 which narrowly focused on “The Amelioration of the condition of the wounded in armies in the field.” This convention grew out of the Crimean War and was signed by 10 European States excluding Great Britain. The United States also did not sign and therefore was not bound by its articles. 3) Emmerich de Vattel (1714-67) “The Law of Nations” Historically, the government of the United States had adhered to the international law code of the Swiss jurist, Emmerich de Vattel (1714-67), author of The Law of Nations, on the proper conduct of war. As late as 1862, the U.S. Supreme Court in rendering its opinion in the “Prize Cases” cited Vattel. Because of the emphasis it placed on the protection of non-combatants, the Vattel code was repudiated by Lincoln who issued a new law governing warfare that lacked international standing – GENERAL ORDERS No. 100, known as the “Lieber Code” of 1863. Joesph Fallon 4) The Lieber Code Francis Lieber was a German-American legal scholar, jurist and political philosopher; the code that bears his name (AKA General Order 100) was a series of 156 articles published in 1863.
Lincoln signed it as part of his Constitutional duty under Article II, which states that the President must supply the rules and regulations for the governance of the military. It read: “The following ‘Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field,’ prepared by Francis Lieber, LL.D., and revised by a board of officers, of which Maj. Gen. E. A. Hitchcock is president, having been approved by the President of the United States, he commands that they be published for the information of all concerned. By order of the Secretary of War: E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, April 24, 1863.” The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, also known as Official records of the Union and Confederate armies or OR, Series III, Volume III, p. 148.
From the outbreak of the Civil War, Lincoln’s strategy was to defeat the Confederacy by targeting Southern civilians. One of his first acts was to order a blockade of Southern ports on April 19, 1861 to deny food and medicine, among other items, to civilians. Because such acts violated traditional U.S. military rules of conduct, Lincoln needed a new code to “legalize” his actions. Lieber was the perfect choice for this task. The Prussian immigrant was contemptuous of the Constitution. He dismissed the federal system it had established as a “confederacies of petty sovereigns” based on the “obsolete ideas” of Thomas Jefferson. He shared Lincoln’s drive to centralize political power in the executive branch of the federal government. They alleged implied powers in the Constitution grant the president in wartime authority to enact legislation as well as to interpret the Constitution — to deny or suspend constitutional rights as the chief executive sees fit. In 1904, the Geneva Convention with which we are most familiar adopted the Lieber Code almost word for word. The Code contains conflicts within its articles. Article 15 discusses “military necessity” and its definition allows “destruction of property” – that is, all property can be destroyed if determined to be of “military necessity.” Article 22 of the code states “The principle has been more and more acknowledged that they unarmed citizen is to be spared in person, property and honor as much as the exigencies of war allow.” Article 23 of the Code states “Private Citizens are no longer murdered, enslaved or carried off to distant parts and the inoffensive individual is as little disturbed in his private relations as the commander of hostile troops can afford to grant in the overruling demands of vigorous war.” But the Code allows for an ultimate “out”: Article 5 states “To save the country (that is, the Union as conceived by the Federal Government) is paramount to all other considerations.” Therefore, the Leiber Code, provides both the rationale AND the cover for Federal ambition. The rationale for Total War conducted against the South was the concept of “military necessity.” Military necessity was defined by General David Hunter in 1862 as “those measures which are indispensable for securing the ends of the war” (Burrus M. Carnahan, “Lincoln, Lieber and the Laws of War: The Origins and Limits of the Principle of Military Necessity” – The American Journal of International Law 92, no.2 April 1998, page 215)
In 1863, Lincoln approved the Lieber Code which contained Article 14 that states: “Military necessity, as understood by modern civilized nations, consists in the necessity of those measures which are indispensable for securing the ends of the war; and which are lawful according to the modern law and usages if war… military necessity admits of all direct destruction of life or limb or armed enemies, and of other persons whose destruction is incidentally unavoidable in the armed contest of the war… of the appropriation of whatever an enemy’s country affords necessary for the subsistence and safety of the army.” In approving the Lieber code, Lincoln essentially was given the power to do whatever he deemed necessary to win the war, which was defined as the subjugation of the seceding states and establishing total control over them via the authority of the Federal Government’s new vision of the Constitution – that is, one that rejected the voluntary Union established in 1789 for the counter-revolutionary vision of a “perpetual” and “sacred” Union from which it separation was IMPOSSIBLE. When urged by an Illinois congressman that he should “maul” the South, Lincoln replied “Tell the people of Illinois that I’ll do it” (Donald E. Sutherland, “Abraham Lincoln, John Pope, and the Origins of Total War” – The Journal of Military History, no 4 (October 1992) Page 581)
Given the ferocity of the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, Ulysses S. Grant decided that the depth of Southern determination to break free of the control of the Federal Government was so deep that simple military victory would be insufficient to defeating it; he decided that to defeat the South he would follow a strategy that would annihilate the South. He would “consume everything (of civilian property) that could be used to support of supply the armies. (Janda page 13) He and his generals proved themselves in sync with the views of the political leadership in the summer of 1863 when they proceeded to demonstrate how the doctrine of military necessity would be enforced. Grant wrote to his subordinate commanders (Sherman and Sheridan) that the South was getting what it deserved and that “We are not only fighting hostile armies, but a hostile people, and we must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war. (Janda page 18) Acting in a manner his commander – and Commander in Chief – would approve, on July 23 1862, General Pope issued Order No. 11, which ordered the US Army Commanders to ‘proceed immediately to arrest all disloyal male citizens within their lines or within their reach in rear of their respective stations.’ If such citizens did not swear an oath of allegiance to the US government, they would be expelled from their homes; if they returned to their homes, they were to be shot as spies; for him who took an oath and violated it “he shall be shot and his property seized…” The result of this order was that Pope’s troops went on a rampage throughout parts of Virginia, citing his orders to justify acts of plunder and indiscriminate destruction. A Union general in Stafford Country Virginia observed “our men… now believe they have a perfect right to rob, tyrannize, threaten and maltreat any one they please, under the orders of Gen. Pope.” (Janda page 12) Further, there were numerous charges of rape and violence against both Black and White women.
The Lieber Code is filled with restrictions that are obviated by the over-riding requirement of “military necessity” which in reality justifies violating all its more humane rules. As we list the myriad violations of the code to come, keep in mind that the General Order 100 purports to be a document which on the one hand places limits on military actions and on the other absolves all violations of such limits under the doctrine of “military necessity.” The code states: “All wanton violence committed against persons in the invaded country, all destruction of property not commanded by the authorized officer, all robbery, all pillage or sacking, even after taking a place by main force, all rape, wounding, maiming, or killing of such inhabitants, are prohibited under the penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offence.” What is left unsaid by this unequivocal statement was nonetheless not lost on Lincoln or Grant or his subordinates: EXCEPT WHEN REQUIRED BY MILITARY NECESSITY, which undid virtually ALL the protections for civilians and non-combatants that were written in the code.
The fatal contradictions in the Lieber Code allowed for all its apparent protections to be subverted. All Southerners were to be treated as rebels and traitors and as such deserved no protections beyond what the commanders in the field found convenient to grant them. Paragraph 151 of the code defined the Southern states as ineligible for the very protections the code was supposedly written to enforce: “The tern rebellion is applied to an insurrection of large extent, and is usually a war between the legitimate government of a country and portions of its provinces of the same who seek to throw off their allegiance to it and set up a government of their own.” Of course, the great historical irony here is that this is the PRECISELY the concept of Liberty that the colonial governments had in 1776 when they adopted the Declaration of Independence and created the very Union that was now, in a curious case of national patricide, trying to overthrow and destroy. By defining the Southern position as “rebellion” rather than “secession” the Lieber Code becomes a self-annihilating document, which allows the Federal armed forces to make war on civilians; that is, it considers them “disloyal citizens.”
Paragraph 156 of the Code states that the commander in the field: “will throw the burden of the war as much as lies within his power on the disloyal citizens” – that is, the very citizens whose place in the “sacred, perpetual union” the Lincoln Government was waging a very bloody and destructive war to preserve. Lastly, the Code considers any sort of resistance, “armed or unarmed,” to be war against the Federal Government of the United States and therefore an act of treason. Before leaving the codes of warfare as they were understood by the opposing armies, we should take a look at the code that was understood to be in force by the Confederacy. The South, whose military commanders were from families steeped in military tradition, took the codes of conduct towards civilians that were taught in West Point and other military colleges in the South very seriously. They did NOT operate under the doctrine of “military necessity,” which over-rode all other humanitarian considerations in pursuit of victory. The Confederacy did NOT seek to annihilate the North, nor exercise their influence upon it, nor foist its cultural and social values on it, nor rule it; they sought to LEAVE IT.
Robert E. Lee gives us a clear view of how the South understood the rules of war in his General Order 73, issued in 1863 during the Pennsylvania campaign: “No troops could have displayed greater fortitude or better performed the arduous marches of the past ten days. Their conduct in other respects has with few exceptions been in keeping with their character as soldiers, and entitles them to approbation and praise. There have however been instances of forgetfulness on the part of some, that they have in keeping the yet unsullied reputation of the army, and that the duties expected of us by civilization and Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own. The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it our whole people, than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the unarmed, the defenseless and the wanton destruction of private property that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country. Such proceedings not only degrade the perpetrators and all connected with them, but are subversive of the discipline and efficiency of the army, and destructive of the ends of our present movement. It must be remembered that we make war only upon armed men, and that we cannot take vengeance for the wrongs our people have suffered without lowering ourselves in the eyes of all whose abhorrence has been excited by the atrocities of our enemies, and offending against Him to whom vengeance belongeth, without whose favor and support our efforts must all prove in vain. The commanding general therefore earnestly exhorts the troops to abstain with most scrupulous care from unnecessary or wanton injury to private property, and he enjoins upon all officers to arrest and bring to summary punishment all who shall in any way offend against the orders on this subject.” – (The Wartime Papers of R. E. Lee (New York: Bramhall House, 1961, pages 533-534) Writing in his book, “April 1865” (which was called “A superb piece of history” by ultra-pro Lincoln court historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of her own hagiographical book “Team of Rivals,” upon which the Steven Spielberg movie “Lincoln” was based) author Jay Winik documents the Lee’s views on warfare: “But as great a fighting man as he was, Lee had had his flaws, with many of the virtues of a man becoming vices as a commander… he was not stern enough with his men… Nor was he cruel enough.
In contrast to a Sherman or a Sheridan, he refused to burn or plunder enemy property, or engage in selective assassination, declaring it ‘Unchristian’ and “atrocious,’ even though the South could have greatly benefited from such tactics.” Facing certain military defeat should he continue to fight by conventional means, Lee’s young Chief of Artillary E. Porter Alexander recommended that the Confederate armies in the field evaporate into the Hills where they could wage guerrilla warfare for as long as it took to force the North to sicken of the cost, Lee opposed the idea. Winik writes: “Lee, however, principled to the bitter end, was thinking not about personal glory, but along quite different lines. What is honorable? What is proper? What is right? …he quickly reasoned that a guerrilla war would make a wasteland of all that he loved. Brother would be set against brother, not just for four years, but for generations. Such a war would surely destroy Virginia, and just as surely destroy the country as well. Even if it worked, and perhaps especially if it worked… For Lee, that was too high a price to pay. No matter how much he loved the Cause… there were limits to Southern Independence. However, there were no limits that the Federal forces recognized regarding what should be sacrificed to Lincoln’s mythical concept of a “perpetual sacred Union.”
Contrast Lee’s view of warfare with those of marauding incendiary Huns like Sherman and Sheridan; compare Lee’s concern for his troops with Grant, whose callous use of his men as cannon fodder to be sacrificed in their tens of thousands on the altar of Union Victory earned him the title “the Butcher” by pro-Union newspapers in the North when he lost over 50,000 men during the Wilderness campaign of 1864 – a staggering number when one considers that the same Army lost only twice that, 100,000, in all the previous three years of the war. Lincoln’s own wife Mary stated: “Grant is a butcher and not fit to be at the head of an army… He loses two men to the enemy’s one. He has no management, no regard for life.” (Winik, “April 1865” page 98).
FEDERAL WAR CRIMES AGAINST CIVILIANS, PUBLIC WORKS USED FOR CIVILIAN PURPOSES AND PRIVATE PROPERTY Family Deportations in Memphis, September, 1862: In an early application of the Total War doctrine justified by ‘military necessity,” General William T. Sherman issued Special Order No. 254, which assigned collective responsibility to civilians by way of guilt by association, location or happenstance. Order No. 254 reads: “Whereas many families of known rebels and of Confederates in arms against having been permitted to reside in peace and comfort in Memphis, and whereas the Confederate authorities either sanction or permit the firing n unarmed boasts carrying passengers and goods, for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of Memphis, is ordered that for every boat so fired on TEN FAMILIES MUST BE EXPELLED FROM MEMPHIS…” At a minimum, this violated the constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizures as well as the taking of private property without due process.
It was the Federal position that the South COULD NOT LEAVE a “perpetual” Union; therefore, under their OWN RULES, Southern citizens should still have been considered protected by the US Constitution, whose rules and regulations the Federals considered them UNABLE to separate from. Burning of Randolph Tennessee On October 4, 1862, Sherman had the fairly large town of Randolph Tennessee burned because sharpshooters in the vicinity of the town fired on Federal steamboats supplying his army. In a written report to Grant, Sherman revealed the essence of his policies, which he later carried out even more viciously. He said that that the Southern population “cannot be made to love us, (they) can be made to fear us, and dread the passage of troops through their country… We must make the people feel that every attack on a road here will be resented by the destruction of some one of their towns or plantations elsewhere. All adherents of their cause must suffer for these cowardly acts.” (John Bennett Walters, “General Sherman and Total War” The Journal of Southern History 14, No.4, November 1948, pages 462 – 463) Expulsion of Jews and other Anti-Semitic Actions – December 1862 The fact that a large scale anti-Semitic pogrom was conducted by Federal Military Authorities is one of the great un-mentioned Union atrocities committed against civilians during the War.
In a supposed attempt to root out corruption in the cotton industry as part of a Union campaign against a black market in Southern cotton, which Grant thought was being run “mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders” he issues General Order No. 11, which covered his military district of operation including Holly Springs, Oxford, Mississippi, and Paducah, Kentucky. While permitting some trade, the United States licensed traders through the United States Army, which in turn created an unlicensed underground “Black Market.” Union military commanders in the South were responsible for administering the trade licenses and trying to control the Black Market in Southern cotton. General Order No. 11 dictated that Jewish traders and their families in Holly Springs, Oxford, Mississippi and Paducah, Kentucky leave the territory. Grant may not have intended such results; his headquarters expressed no objection to the continued presence of Jewish merchants, as opposed to cotton traders. But, the wording of the order addressed all Jews, regardless of occupation, and it was implemented accordingly. The Orders stated: “1. The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department [of the Tennessee] within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. 2. Post commanders will see to it that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters. 3. No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application of trade permits.” (“Judaic Treasures of the Library of Congress: Order No. 11,” Jewish Virtual Library - http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/loc/abe2.html) In Paducah, 30 Jewish men were rounded up and sent to Cincinnati Ohio, two of which had already served in the US Army. House to house searches were carried out looking for Jews who might be in hiding. A group of Jewish merchants from Paducah, Kentucky, led by Cesar J. Kaskel, sent a telegram to President Abraham Lincoln in which they condemned the order as “the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it”. The telegram noted it would “place us . . . as outlaws before the world. We respectfully ask your immediate attention to this enormous outrage on all law and humanity ….” Throughout the Union, Jewish groups protested and sent telegrams to the government in Washington, D.C. The issue attracted significant attention in Congress and from the press. Northern Democrats condemned the order as part of what they saw as the US Government’s systematic violation of civil liberties; they introduced a motion of censure against Grant in the Senate, attracting thirty votes in favor against seven opposed. Some newspapers supported Grant’s action; the Washington Chronicle criticized Jews as “scavengers … of commerce”. (Robert Michael, A Concise History Of American Anti-Semitism, p. 91) After the war, Grant said: “I do not pretend to sustain the order. At the time of its publication, I was incensed by a reprimand received from Washington for permitting acts which Jews within my lines were engaged in … The order was issued and sent without any reflection and without thinking of the Jews as a set or race to themselves, but simply as persons who had successfully … violated an order.” Lincoln initially ignored the protests and the claim was made that his secretaries had simply set it aside. Once the uproar became an issue of public outrage, Lincoln reversed the order. However, this awful event did not prevent Jewish population of Memphis Tennessee form suffering other indignities in December 1863, when Gen. Stephan Hurlbut issued General Order No.162, which required that all clothing stores in Memphis not having his permission to keep and sell military clothing had to immediately ship such stocks of clothing North. This Order was not only in violation of the 5th Amendment but also of the Lieber Code paragraph 46 (Neither officers or soldiers are allowed to make use of their position or power in the hostile country for private gain, not even for commercial transactions otherwise legitimate.) Of the 17 clothing stores in Memphis, 15 were owned by Jews; the two non-Jewish stores were found “innocent” of violating Hurlbut’s orders. Earlier in 1862, Sherman complained of having to deal with “Swarms of Jews” in Memphis; Gen Benjamin Butler, the Federal Commander of New Orleans wrote Secretary of War Stanton that of the “treachery” of the Jews in New Orleans and compared their profitable businesses to Judas’ 30 pieces of silver.(Official War Records, Series 1 vol. 17, page 141 and Official War Records, Series 3, vol.2, page 724)
The Attack on Yazoo Valley Mississippi May 1863: In December 1862, General Sherman left Memphis with 32,000 men on steamboats intending to bring his now perfected doctrine of Total War to Mississippi. To intensify the destruction impact of his forces, Sherman issued General Order No.7, which allowed that any boats shot at from the riverside could stop and burn the nearest houses and farms. Union troops routinely raided the surrounding areas for all wood found in houses, fences and barns to be used for fuel. In the Spring of 1863, Sherman ordered Gen.Frank P. Blair to “strip the Yazoo Valley” and in carrying out the order Blair burned a 122 million bushels of corn and stole 1000 head of cattle along with 300 horses and mules. Even though there was little Confederate resistance to the Union forces in the Valley, Union troops carried out “retaliations” against the civilian population by destroying every grist mill in the area. This specifically violated Paragraph 22 of the Lieber Code, which distinguishes between “the private individual belonging to a hostile country and the hostile country itself, with its men in arms” along with the already tattered Fourth and Fifth Amendment to the Constitution… the very law of the land that the Federal Forces were fighting to prevent the South from leaving.
The Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, May – July 1863: Prior to the War, Vicksburg was a vibrant town and a commercial hub with a population of 4,200. During the long battle for control of the town, Grant subjected the civilian population, whose place in the Union the Federal forces were ostensibly fighting to preserve, to incessant bombardment. Grant turned the town into a battlefield where civilians were indiscriminately starved into submission. After eating all the horses and mules, the starving population turned to eating rats. The bombardment of Vicksburg again violated the Lieber Code, which protects civilians, “especially women and children” from bombardment. Paragraph 25 of the code protects civilians from the type of “privation” Grant’s forces subjected it to. Destruction of Jackson Mississippi – July 1863 With Vicksburg subdued, Grant ordered Sherman east to take the state capital of Jackson. On July 16, the Confederate Army evacuated the city allowing for Sherman to take the city without resistance. Instead, during a 3 day rampage, Union soldiers destroyed the town while Sherman gave his officers a banquet in the governor’s mansion. A Northern journalist reported that: “They left the entire business district section in ruins, burned most of the better residences, dragged furniture into the street to be demolished and looted homes, churches and the state library….in summing up his impression of the sack of the town, he stated that such complete ruin and devastation never followed the footsteps of any army before” (Waters, page 468) Once again, this violated the Lieber Code. Paragraph 38 states that “private property, unless forfeited by crimes or by offences of the owner, can be seized only by military necessity, for the support or other benefit of the Army of the United States.” Obviously, the burning of private businesses, homes and churches has nothing to do with military necessity but rather with retribution and the expression of pent-up rage… which, of course, can always be excused as a “military necessity” which, by terrorizing the population, demoralizes its will to fight and thus aids the war effort.
Destruction of Meridian Mississippi, February 1864: In early 1864, Sherman moved his troops from Chattanooga (where they had imposed a brutal occupation on civilians) back to Vicksburg and moved east. Although it was an important supply center and railroad hub, the weakening Confederate forces withdrew from Meridian Mississippi. Sherman occupied the city without a fight on Feb 14 and then had his troops spend 5 days destroying the town. In his report, Sherman noted: “For 5 days 10,000 men worked hard and with a will in that work of destruction, with axes,
claw-bars and with fire, and I have no hesitation in pronouncing the work as well done. Meridian with its depots, store-houses, arsenal, hospitals, offices, hotels and cantonments no longer exists.” (Walters Page 471) The Lieber Code paragraph 34 specifically exempts hospitals and churches from military use let alone destruction. Grant is as guilty as Sherman in this account since he did nothing to halt or punish Sherman when he gleefully reported such destruction to him. During this period, much civilian private property – farms, homes, livestock, villages and towns were subjected to systematic pillage by federal forces, all of it in violation of the Lieber Code which, under paragraph 43, states “all robbery, all pillage or sacking… are prohibited under penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offense.” (Walters page 472) Of course, given the fact that Sherman could always fall back on the need to satisfy “military necessity” where everything that was “prohibited’ was actually “permissible” under the ultimately empty strictures of the Lieber Code.
Executions of Civilians by the US Army in Fayetteville Tennessee – June 1864: Since Federal supply lines were under constant attack in Tennessee, it is likely that both regular Confederate troops as well as civilians were involved. Gen. Eleazer A. Paine decided that retaliation would provide information as to the attacker’s location. His forces marched into Fayetteville, seized hostages, dragged them to the town square and announced he would execute four of the hostages unless someone came forward with information regarding the location of those who had been carrying out the attacks. One was released; three others were shot. Murder of civilians is, of course, expressly forbidden by the Lieber Code paragraph 44. Paragraph 148 forbids the proclamation of infamy on civilians and states: “The sternest retaliation should follow the murder committed in consequence of such proclamation, made by whatever authority.” However, Paine was not punished either for this incident or for the many allegations of a similar nature made against him; he was reputed to have hanged so many uniformed Confederate prisoners that he earned the nickname ‘The Hanging General.” (Michael R. Bradley “With Blood and Fire” 2003, Pages 78-80) Kidnapping and Murder North Georgia 1864 The most heinous mass-casualty crime committed by the Federal forces occurred in Roswell Georgia in 1864, where approximately 500 hundred women and their children were grossly maltreated. After burning several cotton mills, Union Gen. Kenner Garrard notified Gen. Sherman that he had several hundred civilian women and children who had worked there under his control. Sherman ordered the arrest of the owners of the mills, have them charged with treason and then have them hanged without trial should “the impulse of anger” overcome Gen. Garrard. Sherman also ordered that the women and children be sent on a 10 mile forced march to Marrietta Ga. He wrote Garrard: “I repeat my orders that you arrest all the people, male and female, connected with those factories, no matter what the clamor, and let them foot it, under guard, to Marrietta, whence I will send them by (railroad) cars to the North… the poor women will make a howl. Let them take along their children and clothing, providing they have the means of hauling or you can spare them.” (Official Records, series 1, vol. 38 pages 39, pages76 – 77).
In October 1864, Sherman ordered the indiscriminate murder of civilians near Calhoun Georgia. He wrote to his subordinate, Gen. Louis Watkins: “Cannot you send over about Fairmount and Adairsville, burn ten or twelve houses of known secessionists, kill a few at random, and let them know that it will be repeated every time a train is fired on from Peace to Kingston!” (Official Records, series 1 Vol. 39, page 494. Despite the Lieber Code mandating severe punishment for such actions, Gen. Garrard was never published and Gen. Watkins died on active duty without any disciplinary action being taken. Sherman, of course, simply moved on to his Masterpiece of Atrocity: the pillage and burning of a large Southern city, Atlanta Georgia. Sherman’s March to Atlanta and March to the Sea 1864 From Mid-November to the end of December 1864, General Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea encompassed numerous war crimes and atrocities which Sherman and the subordinates carrying out his orders committed. Neither Sherman nor any of his officers were charged with the multiple and flagrant violations of the Lieber Code that they committed. Even the malleable Leiber Code, which gave wide berth for anything justified under the elastic concept of “military necessity” had conceived of the type of Total War that Sherman had now perfected. Before beginning the March, Sherman told one of his commanders “I am going into the very bowels of the Confederacy, and propose to leave a trail that will be recognized fifty years hence.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 39, page 358).
Sherman indiscriminately confiscated and destroyed civilian property; property was taken without payment or even with any accounting for it or providing receipts as was the tradition of civilized warfare. Homes and building with absolutely no military value were destroyed as a matter of course and he even his sympathetic biographers indicate he “winked” at abuses” committed by his soldiers. Farm fields were trampled and livestock was taken for food. In a report to General Halleck, Sherman relished the destruction he was about to unleash on South Carolina saying: “The truth is the whole army is burning with an insatiable desire to wreck vengeance upon South Carolina. I almost tremble at her fate, but feel that she deserves all that seems in store for her.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol. 44, page 799) There is no doubt that Atlanta contained many important military assets and transportation facilities vital to the Confederate War effort and that these were legitimate targets for Federal troops. However, the destruction meted out to the entire city was beyond excessive. For one thing, there had been several pitched battles fought on the outskirts surrounding the city, including the Battle of Peachtree Creek, the Battle of Atlanta and the Battle of Ezra Church, which bled the Southern forces defending the area to the breaking point. On September 1, 1864, Confederate General John Bell Hood evacuated Atlanta, after a five-week siege. After obtaining a military victory, instead of moving on, Sherman literally destroyed the city, which was bombarded by cannon fire for three long weeks. Sherman said “Let us destroy Atlanta and make it a desolation… one thing is certain, whether we get inside Atlanta or not, it will be a used up community by the time we are done with it.” (Official records, Series 1Vol. 38 part 5, page 452) On August 223 artillery pieces rained down as may of 5,000 rounds of shot on Atlanta in one day. The bombardment went on day and night for 3 weeks. Any concern for civilian life or property was discarded. During the bombardment, one surgeon reported that he performed 107 amputations on men women and children. Houses and Churches were shattered along with civilian bodies. However, Sherman absurdly blamed the casualties on the Confederate commander John Bell Hood for defending a line so close to the city that many people were killed “by accident” when Union shells overshot their marks. Again, the rationale of Total War came into play. As Sherman wrote to Halleck in 1863: “If we can, our numerical majority has both the natural and constitutional right to govern. If we cannot whip them, they contend for the natural right to select their own government.”
The right to select one’s own government was exactly what the Declaration of Independence was all about. To insure the South would be prevented from exercising such a natural right, Sherman wrote “we will remove and destroy every obstacle – if need be, take every life, every acre of land, every particle of property, everything that to us seems proper.” (Official Records Series 1, Vol. 30, Part. 3, pages 697 – 698) On September 2, Mayor James Calhoun surrendered the city and Sherman sent a telegram to Washington reading, “Atlanta is ours, and fairly won.” That same day, Sherman ordered the civilian population to evacuate and the city. The legitimate burning and destruction of military assets soon got out of hand and, with no civilians to stop it, spread wildly. Looting, pillaging, rape and assault were widespread. Sherman later wrote: “Behind us lay Atlanta, smoldering and in ruins, the black smoke rising high in air, and hanging like a pall over the ruined city. (William T. Sherman, Memoirs of General W.T. Sherman, Chapter 21) The Fall of Atlanta and the Presidential Election of 1864 Of course, the fall of Atlanta was a “present” for President Lincoln, who was facing a tough election that November that he was very worried he would lose. Northern voters faced a clear choice between the candidates in the 1864 election.
Lincoln continued to insist that the Confederacy must accept re-union and emancipation. His opponent, General George McClellan set the condition for peace as ”the Union and nothing more” – viz. restoring the ante-bellum Union with slavery intact. It is very likely that if McClellan had won the election, he would have rescinded the Emancipation Proclamation and ended the participation of the 186,000 Black soldiers, most of them liberated slaves in the Army and Navy; presumably they would have been returned to their masters. Given the brutal losses suffered by Grant’s powerful and well equipped army at the hands of Lee’s threadbare forces in the battles of The Wilderness, McClellan and his advisers were confident that Lincoln could be beaten. Lincoln and many other Republicans also thought he would lose and others even begged him to cancel the election. Therefore, the fall of Atlanta was especially noteworthy for its political ramifications. The capture and fall of the city were extensively covered by Northern newspapers, and significantly boosted Northern morale. The Lincoln myth of him as a gentle and compassionate man who, ”had no desire to take bloody vengeance” on the rebels, to kill or subjugate them, to confiscate their property or to deprive them of their legal and constitutional rights is as absurd as it is inaccurate. It does not square with the reality of his fanatic desire to subjugate the Confederacy and destroy its concept of a Union under the rules of the Constitution of 1789. Lincoln himself had said that once he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, ”the character of the war will be changed. It will be one of subjugation. . . . The South is to be destroyed and replaced by new propositions and ideas.”
Lincoln’s policies turned the war into the very thing he had once warned against: ”a remorseless revolutionary struggle” that not only vanquished the Old South, but destroyed the concept of Federal Union as laid down in the Constitution of 1789… not to mention killing plenty of Southrons. That Constitution was to be overthrown; its articles regarding the traditional constitutional power relationship between State and Federal Government eviscerated; its ethos favoring limited and local governance over overpowering and centralized governance inverted; its worship of individual Jeffersonian Liberty perverted into the apostasy of bowing before an ever more powerful Hamiltonian State. Sherman’s brutality served both Lincoln’s political needs and his statist philosophy; he was easily re-elected more on the ruins of Southern cities and civilian bodies than on defeated Southern armies which, given their thrashing of Grants vastly superior forces during the Wilderness campaign, still had the power to inflict military defeat on the North despite all its advantages Destruction of Columbia: This view was echoed by Halleck who wrote Sherman in December 1864: “Should you capture Charleston, I hope that by some accident the place may be destroyed and if a little salt should be sown upon its site it may prevent the growth of future crops of nullification and secession.” Believing Charleston already sufficiently devastated, Sherman instead turned to Columbia South Carolina to satisfy Halleck's Punic Vengeance. On the day the army entered the city, robbery of civilian homes was rampant and was indulged in by both officers and enlisted men. Churches were pillaged, women’s jewelry was roughly taken from their bodies and arson was rampant. (William G. Simms, Sack and destruction of the City of Columbia S.C, pages 40, 48) Once again, Sherman blamed the victim, telling the mayor of Columbia Thomas Goodwyn “It is true our men have burnt Columbia, but it is your fault.” (Edwin Scott, Random Recollections of a Long Life 1806 – 1876 Pages 183 – 184).
War of Extermination in Missouri: The Union forces resorted to brutal tactics to stamp out independent Southern Militia in the state of Missouri to fight those who were reduced to partisan warfare as their only means of resistance, as Southerners had done in the Revolutionary War. Gen Halleck stated that “every man who enlists in such an (partisan) organization forfeits his life and becomes an outlaw.” (Official records, Series 1 Vol. 8 Page 612) The commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department, Lt. Gem Theophilus Hunter-Holmes protested the Union policy of basically criminalizing all Southern military resistance: “…I can see but one result of the course which the Federal Government and its officers are thus adopting. That result is a war of extermination… We cannot allow our enemies to decide for us whether we shall fight in masses or individually in uniform, without uniform openly or from ambush. Our forefathers and yours conceded no such right to the British in the first Revolution, and we cannot concede it to you in this.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol.13, Page 727) Federal forces responded brutally, foregoing due process, hanging partisans and leaving them unburied to set an example, assuming any bands of men larger than two or more were guerrillas and having them summarily shot. Women and family members of suspected guerrillas were incarcerated in terrible and dangerous conditions if it was determined they were “disloyal” including girls and teenagers. On August 25th 1863, Brig. Gen Thomas Ewing issued General Order 11 which commanded rural residents of four Missouri counties to abandon their homes and all their possessions. They were given 15 days to clear out, on foot, of an area of almost 3,000 square miles consisting of a population of 20,000. Many families were attacked and robbed of horses and any possessions they managed to take with them on the road. Union militiamen then set fire to all the abandoned homes and those fires often spread to fields and forests creating what were known as a “Burn District” to describe the extensive devastation.
The Burning – Shenandoah Valley Virginia, 1864 In late Spring 1864: Maj. Gen David Hunter launched an attack on Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He burned civilian homes and seized civilian property in recompense for Confederate attacks on Federal supplies and order that: secession sympathizers”; within a radius of 10 miles where the Federal supplies were lost be made to pay for them at five times the value of such property. During the 2 day occupation of Lexington, soldiers pillaged homes and left the population destitute and starving. In September 1864, Maj. Gen Philip Sheridan followed up his victory over Southern Forces at the Battle of Third Winchester to take the opportunity to make the Valley, in his words, “A barren waste” or what the residents simply came to call “The Burning.” Sheridan was proud of his record of destruction of civilian property. He noted “I have destroyed over 2000 barns, filled with wheat, hay, and farming implements,” along with “over 70 mills, filled with flour and wheat.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol.43, part 2, page 308 WAR CRIMES AGAINST PRISONERS OF WAR Confederate POWs Used to Clear Mine Fields – Virginia 1862 During a skirmish that occurred during the battle of Williamsburg Gen. McClellan forced the Confederate forces to withdraw, but not before they covered their withdrawal with the placement of crude land mines (or, as they were known at the time “torpedoes”) McClellan forced Confederate POWs to clear these “torpedoes” after some of his men were killed by them. However, forcing POWs to clear land mines was prohibited by the Lieber Code paragraph 75, which spares POWs from “intentional suffering or indignity.” Sherman added his own perverse twist on this practice when he used, or threatened to use, civilians to clear land mines as well as POWs. Sherman wrote “Of course an enemy cannot complain of his own traps.” (O.R. Series 1 Vol.38 page 579) This was in direct violation of the Leiber Code, paragraph 33 that says it is a “serious breach of the law of war to force the subjects of the enemy into service of the victorious government. Extortion, Torture and Murder of Soldiers– Jackson Tennessee, 1864 As reported by Confederate Gen. W.M. Reed, the US Army tortured and murdered Confederate POWs as well as threatening, extorting money and murdering civilians in the area. When this was reported to Confederate Gen Nathan Bedford Forrest, he demanded that the Federal commander turn over the Officers and men responsible for the crime. Union Col. Fielding Hurst rode into Jackson and demanded money from the townspeople or else his forces would burn the town. He extorted over $5139.25 from the civilian population… the exact amount the US Army had assessed Hurst had stolen when he entered and robbed the home owned by a women living in Jackson the year before in 1863. Resentful of having to pay this assessment, Hurst returned to steal the restitution money. During Hurst’s stay in Jackson, several Southern POWs were tortured, mutilated and killed; several members of the Jackson clergy were also arrested and threatened; they were only released when Forrest threatened to execute 5 Federal officers in retaliation if they were not let go. All the above is in perfect accord with the Sherman doctrine of “collective guilt” – that is, civilians and POWs were collectively responsible for Confederate military actions whether they were involved or not. Confederate Officers used as Human Shields The Lincoln Administration sanctioned the use of POWs as human shields at the very highest levels.
In 1864, Secretary of War Stanton approved a plan to move 600 Confederate POWs from Ft. Delaware to Charleston harbor, where they were placed in the line of fire between the Confederate and Union lines while they were forced to constructed Union fortifications The US Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Halleck wrote to Gen J.G. Foster, the officer in charge of building the fortifications the following: “The Secretary of War has directed that 600 rebel officers, prisoners of war, be sent to you, to be confined, exposed to fire, and treated with the same manner as our officers, prisoners of war are treated in Charleston. No exchanges will be made without special instructions of the War Department. Any offer for exchange will be communicated here of the action of the Secretary of War."
One of President Lincoln’s first acts was to order a blockade of Southern ports on April 19, 1861 to deny food and medicine, among other items, to civilians; such shortages became worse as the war dragged on. Further, given the fact that it was the Federal policy regarding “military necessity” to decimate the ability of the South to wage war by inflicting such starvation and suffering on the civilian population as to cause them to either end the war or face mass death, it is not very surprising that, only having such meager supplies for Southern civilians, Northern POWs suffered their lack as well. Wirz was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death. He was hanged on November 10, 1865. However, Wirz was the only Confederate official to be tried and convicted of war crimes resulting from the entire Civil War, which in itself is a testimony to the differences between how the fighting was conducted by both sides.
CRIMES AGAINST SLAVES It is arguable that those who suffered the most from the various war crimes committed by Federal Troops were against the very people whose liberation the war was purported to be all about. Sherman himself exhibited virulent racism against Blacks. According to biographer Michael Fellman, Sherman’s view was that “They were a less-than-human and savage race, uncivilized to White standards, and probably un-civilizable. They were obstacles to the upward sweep of history, progress, wealth, and White destiny.” (Michael Fellman, Citizen Sherman, 1995, pages 260 – 261) As Native Americans were to find out less than a decade later, Sherman felt the same way about them; Sherman had ordered his subordinate Phil Sheridan to attack Indians “without restraint” and gave him “prior authorization to slaughter as many women and children as well as men Sheridan or his subordinates felt was necessary when they attacked Indian villages.” (Fellman page 271) In July of 1865 Sherman was put in charge of the Military District of the Missouri (all land west of the Mississippi) and given the assignment to eradicate the Plains Indians in order to make way for the federally subsidized transcontinental railroad. Like Lincoln, Sherman was a friend of Grenville Dodge, the chief engineer of the project. He was also a railroad investor and he lobbied his brother, Senator John Sherman, to allocate federal funds for the transcontinental railroad. “We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians stop and check the progress of the railroad,” he wrote to General Grant in 1867 (Fellman, p. 264). Fellman writes: “The great triumvirate of the Union Civil War effort [Grant, Sherman and Sheridan] formulated and enacted military Indian policy until reaching, by the 1880s, what Sherman sometimes referred to as “the final solution of the Indian problem,” which Sherman defined as killing hostile Indians and segregating their pauperized survivors in remote places. Sherman did nothing to encourage slaves to join his army and often deliberately burned bridges to prevent them from doing so, leaving them alone and isolated without even provisioning them with food and medicine.
During the Federal invasion of Louisiana in 1863 and 1864, thousands of slaves were encouraged to follow Maj. Gen, Nathaniel Banks. However, while they were encouraged to run away and thereby injure the Southern economy which depended on them thus helping the Union war effort, many who did so were then simply abandoned by their liberators. General Sherman stated “I won’t trust niggers to fight yet, but don’t object to the (Federal) government taking them from the enemy & making such use of them as experience may suggest” (William T. Sherman to John Sherman, April 26, 1863, Sherman Papers, Library of Congress). Many slave children were separated from their parents and many, both adults and children, died from disease and starvation. In 1863, 2,000 slaves that escaped to the Union army perished; In Rapides Parish it is estimated that between 1863 and 1864, 8,000 slaves left to follow the Federal forces and that more than half died of exposure. Of course, during the march to the Sea through Georgia burned slave residences, stole whatever meager property slaves held and often subjected slave women to brutalization and rape. “Regiments, in successive relays, committed gang rape in Columbia on scores of slave women (William G. Simms “City Laid Waste” page 90) Sherman’s treatment of runaway slaves was so wretched that, despite the fact that his army overflowed with foodstuffs and supplies looted from any civilians unlucky enough to be caught his army’s rapaciously destructive path, he failed to leave behind the ample food, medicine and shelter to serve their human needs. (Thomas G. Robisch, “General William T. Sherman: Would the Georgia Campaigns of the First Commander of the Modern Era Comply with Current Law of War Standards?” Emory International Law Review 9, no.459, 1995 – page 461).
But humanitarian concerns – whether it be for POWs, Southern civilians, slaves or Native Americans counted for nothing when set against the overall goal of annihilating the Confederacy and overthrowing the Union established under the Constitution of 1789. As long as there was any Confederate resistance to this overriding concern, Sherman believed it was open season on Southern citizens for political reasons. His ruthlessness is neatly captured in his 1864 letter to Maj. R.M. Sawyer: “To those who submit to the rightful law and authority all gentleness and forbearance; but to the petulant and persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy, and the quicker he or she is disposed of the better… Next year their lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and rightfully, too, and in another year they may beg in vain for their lives.” (Official Records, Series 1, Vol.32, page 579).
Later in 1864, Sherman wrote Halleck indicating that if Southerners wanted to rid themselves of “barbarity and cruelty” they must stop the war. There can be no doubt: Sherman knew his premeditated policies were “barbaric and cruel” and his mass destruction and violence against civilians was intended to terrorize the civilian population into abandoning the war as the only way to get rid of him. In a July 31, 1862 letter to his wife (from his “Collected Works”) he wrote that his purpose in the war was: “Extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the [Southern] people.” His wife Ellen wrote back that her fondest wish was for a war “of extermination and that all [Southerners] would be driven like the Swine into the sea.”
Federal Plans to Assassinate Confederate Leaders The Dahlgren Affair: The Dahlgren Affair was an incident involved a failed Union raid on the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia on March 2, 1864, ostensibly to free Union POWs and to attack JEB Stuart's forces. When he inquired of a slave boy which way Stuart's cavalier's had gone, he received incorrect information and went several miles out of his way. When he returned to the river he had the boy hung as an example of those who would defy Union authority. According to papers found on the body of the raid’s commanding officer, Colonel Ulric Dahlgren, the mission objectives included assassinating Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his cabinet as well as burning the Southern capital. “Dahlgren was twenty-one, tall, fair-haired, and dashing, with an abiding taste for adventure untempered by even a modicum of common sense. Dahlgren’s father, Rear Adm. John A. Dahlgren, was an expert in naval ordnance, commander of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and a close friend of the president’s.” http://www.historynet.com/the-dahlgren-papers-revisited.htm “Nothing went according to plan. Dahlgren discovered the James (River) was running too high from the winter rains to cross. In a fit of particular savagery he turned on his guide, a black freedman… and had the man hanged from a tree on the riverbank. Proceeding toward Richmond but on the northern side of the James, Ulric Dahlgren soon ran into the city’s (Richmond) militia defenders. Colonel Dahlgren and some one hundred of his men became separated and wandered off to the north and east of Richmond. On the night of March 2 they stumbled into an ambush set by Confederate cavalrymen and home guards. Lieutenant James Pollard, Ninth Virginia Cavalry, reported what happened next: ‘Col. Dahlgren who was in command and riding at the head of the column, saw a man who at that moment moved his position, and ordered him to surrender: which drew a volley from our men and Col. Dahlgren fell dead, struck by several bullets… Shortly after the ambush in which Dahlgren was killed, a thirteen-year-old schoolboy named William Littlepage, who was a member of a schoolboy company of home guards, came upon the colonel’s body and searched it for valuables. What he found came to be called the Dahlgren papers–two folded documents and a pocket notebook containing several loose papers inserted between the leaves. Littlepage turned his find over to his teacher and company commander, Captain Edward W. Halbach. The first of the documents, written in ink on Union army stationery bearing the printed heading ‘Headquarters Third Division, Cavalry Corps,’ was obviously an address to the officers and men of Colonel Dahlgren’s command. It covered two sheets, with the final six lines and the signature written on the back of the first sheet… “We hope to release the prisoners from Belle Island first & having seen them fairly started we will cross the James River into Richmond, destroying the bridges after us & exhorting the released prisoners to destroy and burn the hateful City & do not allow the Rebel Leader Davis and his traitorous crew to escape…. An address to his troops on Cavalry Corps stationery was even more explicit: “The City it must be destroyed and Jeff. Davis and Cabinet killed.” http://www.historynet.com/the-dahlgren-papers-revisited.htm The Southern press was as predictably outraged as the Northern press strongly denied the allegation. The most vehement assertion that the Dahlgren papers were ‘a bare-faced, atrocious forgery’ concocted by ‘the miserable caitiffs’ in Richmond came, not surprisingly, from Dahlgren’s father, Admiral John Dahlgren. All this leaves the flowing question: Who authorized the secret agenda of arson, pillage, and murder as outlined in the Dahlgren’s papers? The answer cannot be documented as readily as the question of the papers’ authenticity but a credible speculation regarding the guilty party can be made: The trail of responsibility appears to lead straight to the office of Secretary of War Stanton. One of the planners of the raid, Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick, a Union cavalry officer so incompetent he was given the nickname “Kill-Cavalry” by the troops he mislead, would not have been bothered by the murderous and destructive plan but was not the type to proceed without authorization. “Stanton was never one to demonstrate respect for the niceties of civilized warfare. He had been, for example, the behind-the-scenes author of the set of draconian measures inflicted on Southern civilians in 1862. He was also exceedingly devious. An image comes easily to mind: Secretary Stanton describing for his visitor the perfidies of Jefferson Davis, rather in the manner of King Henry II speaking of Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, before an audience of his eager courtiers, saying, ‘Will no one rid me of this man!’ To Judson Kilpatrick, ambitious and ruthless, his duty would have seemed clear enough. To his new patron, the thought of liberating the suffering prisoners from Belle Isle and Libby Prison to wreak vengeance on their captors would have seemed a pleasing rationalization for the scheme.” http://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/mysteries/dahlgren.htm
After the Northern victory, the papers were among a collection of important Confederate documents transferred to Washington after the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In November 1865, seven months after Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, ordered Francis Lieber, the author of the Lieber Code to be the keeper of captured Confederate records and to turn over everything relating to the raid. Lieber gave Stanton the original papers and notebook found on Dahlgren’s body, plus all relevant correspondence from the Confederate archives. Historian James O. Hall searched widely for the missing papers and finally tracked them to Stanton. “[S]uspicion lingers,” Hall wrote, “that Stanton consigned them to the fireplace in his office.” http://www.usnews.com/usnews/doubleissue/mysteries/dahlgren.htm Stanton presumably destroyed them; they have not been seen since. Because of this, a debate has raged for many years over the authenticity of the Dahlgren Papers, with certain Civil War scholars such as James M. McPherson offering his judgment that judgment that “the genuineness of the Dahlgren papers is contestable….” Unfortunately the destruction of the records by Stanton has prevented their examination in modern times and restricted historical knowledge of them to the surviving copies and examinations conducted between March 5, 1864 and November 1865 when Stanton seized the papers. “The Union denied that the papers were accurate but as Ernest Furgurson concludes, ‘though debates over the paper’s validity would run on… the weight of the evidence suggests that they were indeed genuine.” Jay Winik “1865” footnotes, page 441 Historian Stephen Sears makes a strong case for the authenticity of the papers in recent articles in MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History and in Columbiad. If the Dahlgren papers are authentic, it could be fairly argued that President Lincoln, by following a policy of Total War, allowed subordinates such as Stanton to believe that targeting his opposite number in Richmond was a legitimate act, AGAIN, under the justified by strictures of “military necessity.” It could have been what set in motion the events that would end with his own assassination in Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865.
CONCLUSION The need to have a proper understanding the history of what is commonly referred to as the Civil War has a direct relationship to important issues currently facing our Nation. Americans are used to thinking that once the Constitution was ratified, our Republic has remained inviolate and was “saved” by Abraham Lincoln via the victory of the central Federal government over the seceding states. However, we must understand that the Civil War not only ended the Confederacy’s attempt at secession, it also in large part ended the Republic as it was set up under the Constitutional Order of 1789. The fact is that even the government established in 1789 was not the first “republic” of the United States and was not, for all intents and purposes, the last. The victory of the Central Government over the States in the “Civil War” initiated as series of subsequent “virtual republics,” each with a central Federal Government more powerful than the one that preceded it. Let us trace this path: 1776 – The Power of the States Supreme; the Power of the Federal Government Inferior When the country was drawn together under the Articles of Confederation, the States were supreme and the power of the Central Government in Congress was extremely limited, mostly to matters of common defense. Even in military matters Congress had little control and, much to the frustration of General Washington, could barely force the States to pay for their part in the Revolution (at one point, Washington paid the troops out of his own money.)
1789 – The Power of the States Dominant; the Power of the Federal Government Expanded The Constitution of 1789, seeking to remedy the excessive independence of the States which was seen as leading to multiple governing problems in both foreign and domestic affairs discarded the Articles of Confederation (which, unlike the Constitution of 1789, actually did call itself a “perpetual union”.)
1865 – The Power of the Federal Government Dominant; the Power of the States Diminished The military victory of the Federal forces overturned the Constitution of 1789 and replaced it with one where the Federal Government was dominant over the States. This situation reflected the new reality which saw business interests allied with the expanded coercive power of the central government to facilitate their respective agenda: profits and power. 1933 – The Federal Government Supreme; the Power of the States Inferior Using the “emergency” of the Great Depression as a pretext to create a situation (the “New Deal”) where the Federal Government became Supreme over the States.
1965- The Power of Federal Government Un-assailable; the Power of the States Marginalized Using the vast expansion of government power provided by the Great Society programs, the Federal Government solidified its supremacy over the States to such an extent the States that the States became meaningless appendages to it.
2008 – The Federal System Fundamentally Transformed With the election of Barack Obama, the Federal Government became an Imperial Government in all but name, complete with a
cultist leader, a controlled press and an outright neo-Fascist, Crony Capitalism, Corporate State, authoritarian ideology. The States exist much as the Roman Senate did in the Imperial period: an impotent anachronism and rubber stamp of the central government devoid of real power or influence. Therefore, our current terrible situation can be traced back to the counter-revolutionary overthrow of the Constitutional Order of 1789 by the Lincoln Administration. Ironically, Lincoln found himself in the same situation as the Lyndon Johnson Administration found itself in Vietnam, where it discovered it had to destroy the country of Vietnam in order to “save” it. Apparently, we have been targeted to suffer the same fate. The idea that killing hundreds of thousands of American citizens on the pretext that ending slavery could not have been accomplished by any other means (something disproved by the experiences of all other nations at the time) has generally become accepted by a majority of Americans as the right thing to do.” This is the attitude of many today, both liberal and conservative. Indeed, Lincoln is beloved among many strongly conservative spokesmen! But there is a price for holding the belief that the ends justify the means. Those who do so may not condemn Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot or Mao or bin Laden, all of whom acted out of a belief that what they were doing was right and that therefore whatever they did to obtain their ends was justified. So those… especially scholars and historians… who justify what was done in the War of Secession with the plea that “it was necessary” are morally equivalent to the apologists for every tyrant who has murdered, raped, pillaged and enslaved throughout history as well as every tyrant who will come forth in the future. Changing the venue of tyranny does not change its moral dynamics.