Discussion on CW/WBS

14-appomattox-statue

There was a statue that stood at Prince and Washington Streets in Alexandria, Virginia.  It stood  there since the 1890s as a memorial to Alexandria's Confederate dead.  As I recall there were 110 names on the pediment.  The city in 1860 had 12,000 inhabitants, 3/4 of them White and the rest mostly slaves but some free Black people, a few of whom owned slaves.  The dead were mostly from the 17th Regiment of Virginia Volunteer Infantry (the Alexandria Regiment).  The regiment had its pre-war roots in the 6th Battalion of Virginia Militia.  The leaders of that militia battalion were local community notables.  The men were a mixed lot of people from the town and the proximate countryside.  Two additional companies were raised for the fight for Virginia independence from the parishioners of St. Mary's Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic parish in Virginia.  George Washington was a sponsor of the foundation of the parish around 1800 although he was an Anglican.  The flags of these two companies of Irish and Italian immigrant laborers were blessed by the Dutch Jesuit pastor at the altar.

The statue and its pediment with the names is gone now, reclaimed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy before the mob inspired by the leftist city council and mayor could ravage and desecrate it.  I drove by the site today.  The city has been disemboweled.

A company from Front Royal was added to to the 17th when it was mustered into the Confederate forces at Manassas.

The subject of the TREASON of the Confederates is now a fresh topic in the context of anarchist attacks, Marxist politics and the ongoing rebellion of the oh, so indoctrinated "Ute"  ("My Cousin Vinnie").

The accusation that they fought to keep Blacks enslaved is also quite current.  

The mobs in the streets are seeking to destroy America as it has been.  The great internal war of the 19th Century and its political context have become relevant to the discussion of who we really are.

I appeal to you all to write up your views and I will post them if they are of any value.  pl 

 

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69 Responses to Discussion on CW/WBS

  1. Avatar nightsticker says:

    Col Lang
    My ancestors rode with the 7th and 12th VA Cavalry.
    In the future, after it has been accomplished, I will be willing
    to entertain high minded critiques of the extreme methods that were required to eradicate
    this leftist, anarchist, nihilist rabble.
    For now, to paraphrase, Air marshal Goering,
    “when I hear the word ‘progressive’ I release
    the safety on my pistol”
    Deo Vindice
    Nightsticker

  2. Avatar voislav says:

    This has always been an interesting subject for me as I’ve been long fascinated with the Southern culture. On the Civil War I have two main opinions
    Civil War was about slavery. South saw slavery as integral to their way of life and the threat of abolition was the principal reason for the secession. The actual language here is of little consequence, states rights really means “right of states to keep the institution of slavery”, this is clear from a number of Confederate state declarations at the beginning of the war.
    Treason is a different issue. The question of treason comes down to legality of secession. My belief is that the states have the right to secede from the Union, as they are a sovereign entity that chose to enter the Union. Moreover, it is morally the right thing to do, if a state does not want to be a member of a Union anymore, why force them?
    Ironically, it is my impression that while the Confederates lost the war, they certainly won the peace. They maintain their hold on power in the South, they maintained Jim Crow laws, segregation, etc. for another 100 years after the war. They also have political influence disproportionate to their population and economic power.
    Personally, it’s fascinating to me that such a short period in US history is so heavily represented in the identity of the population. Relatively minor Confederate military leaders are represented with statues, but this is not the case with US military leaders from other wars. George Patton has more monuments dedicated to him in Europe than in the US, and has the same number of monuments as Edmund Kirby-Smith (to pick a fairly inconsequential figure).

  3. Avatar VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    I flew back to the USA 50 years ago, right about now, on a United Airlines stretched DC-8 and watched “Cactus Flower” starring Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Goldie Hawn from a battle zone in the First Cold War. There should have been a victory parade when the USSR fell but George H.W. Bush didn’t want to gloat. Besides, it was a victory of western plutocracy, not the people. Junk yards were filled with Soviet-era Statues. In the end, the working middle class in Europe and North America were screwed as their jobs were off-shored to China which would never would have happen previously. Richard Nixon’s American kitchens were once a wonder to the world.
    Barrack Obama, Joe Biden and the Western Empire went a bridge too far in Ukraine and restarted the Cold War with Russia. A colossal mistake that ended détente. The blowback from this, the coronavirus pandemic and Donald Trump ended the global Empire. The Unrest, fireworks in the inner city, the tearing down of past history are a direct result. These are revolutionary times. Women are in the lead of the protests. Except oligarchs, politicians, and 10% professionals deny this to their core. Their money and power is at stake.
    Democrats and Republicans have till November to decide if they are going to restore a democratic constitutional government that functions to serve the people and provide jobs, shelter and healthcare for its citizens; withdraws troops from overseas, and defeats the pandemic here at home. If not, the collapse of the reserve currency and the global economy will splinter North America apart.
    You have no Empire if your citizens are banned from entering virus free Europe, Asia and the South Pacific because the coronavirus pandemic is still sweeping across North and South America due to the failure of the national governments.

  4. Avatar Terence Gore says:

    I read “Something of Value” in my twenties and was left dismayed on how seemingly senseless violence and retribution progressed. I grew up as small nerdy wanna be jock and didn’t reach sexual maturity well into my senior year. One of my survival traits was to try and figure out what people were going to do to me before they did.
    I was walking back toward a parking lot at high school and had to bypass 2 guys playing catch with lacrosse. I had played with them both. One was the superstar on the lacrosse team the other fairly good but a sometimes rival in our youth teams. I gave them a wide berth not to provoke them walking close to the school. I was looking down and got the feeling to look up at and there was the ball coming at me at head height. I dropped to the ground. Picked myself up and not a word was said by anybody. If I reported them my life would be living hell for the remainder of my high school term. If I was hit in the side of the head by hard heavy rubber ball I think it would have done some damage. Given the vagaries of high school politics I give it 50/50 where I would have been considered the instigator.
    This morning on the news they led off with some young students for kindness posting positive messages on what look to be a tennis court. The fence was filled with the messages and a white masked man was tearing them down. He was surrounded by people shouting at him. I believe it was the Mayor who came on camera remarking who could do such a horrible thing. The tearing down of statues is tolerated but a similar act is a transgression against the universe.
    My distorted view on the whole thing is that the posting of positive messages is not going to matter a whit to the criminal violence that that is occurring like this last weekend in some of our major cities. It is likely to get worse than better. As it gets worse scapegoats will be needed and they won’t made of marble and cast iron.
    I don’t think violence is the answer. At most I hope for myself is some bravery if I am called before the inquisitors. But there is a good chance I will chicken out beg forgiveness and rationalize my actions

  5. I think Virginia as a state and especially Alexandria as a city can rightly claim they seceded and fought to defend their homes since they didn’t secede until it was apparent they were about to be invaded by Union forces. As for the Confederacy as a whole, you’ll have a hard time convincing me they weren’t primarily concerned for the protection and extension of the institution of slavery as an integral part of their society. But they were not traitors. Secessionists, yes, but not traitors. The epithet of traitor has been thrown around far too loosely and incorrectly for years.
    I always liked that statue. It was a true memorial to fallen comrades without glorifying any aspect of war or even the Confederacy. I saw it more of an anti-war monument commemorating the human cost of war. The posture of the figure and the fact he was bare headed and unarmed conveyed a sense of sadness and loss. Even its location had meaning. Of all the statues in Virginia that will inevitably disappear, I had hoped this one would have stayed. I was disappointed to hear it was going to be removed from its location this Summer even without the current unrest. I’m glad the UDC moved it before it was damaged.
    We have a large crucifix as a monument to the first English Roman Catholic settlement in Virginia just north of Aquia Creek on Route 1 in Stafford. The settlement was established by Giles Brent and his two sisters between 1647 and 1650. Brent eventually acquired land extending north to Alexandria. I don’t know if that was connected with the eventual establishment of Saint Mary’s Church.

  6. Avatar Alexandria says:

    We are, as a country, going through the “Third Reconstruction” driven by a cultural revolution very similar to that which Mao unleashed in China during the 1960s. The first reconstruction ended in 1876 the aftermath of the Hayes-Tilden election when supporters of the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, who lost the popular vote and appeared doomed in the electoral college, engineered a deal with the Southern states that resulted in Democrat electors in Florida and South Carolina switching their votes from Tilden to Hayes in return for withdrawal of federal troops from the South. Hayes was declared President by the electors on a vote of 185-184, the troops were withdrawn from the South, the defeated Southerners regained control of their state governments, passed Jim Crow laws, mostly upheld by the courts on a “separate but equal” basis, and relegated African Americans in the South to share-cropper serfdom. The Second Reconstruction, more thoroughgoing that the First, began roughly with the Brown Decision in 1954 and ended with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, emergence of a more conservative Supreme Court with William O. Rehnquist as Chief and the appointment of conservative activist, Bradford Reynolds as head of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. Johnson’s landslide election in 1964 produced a Congress and President who were determined to right the wrongs of the past and erase the last vestiges of de jure segregation in public accommodations with Civil Rights Act of 1964, in housing and at the ballot box with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in tandem with the Courts whose activist judges were using the “Equal Protection” clause of the 14th amendment to drive social change, uphold affirmative action programs and attack de facto school re-segregation with the highly unpopular mechanism of “busing”.
    With the election of Barack Obama in 2008, it appeared to many that the “Second Reconstruction” had been hugely successful with the White House occupied by the first President of African descent (although not a descendant of enslaved Africans) and the high visibility of African Americans in government, courts, the media and sports. The “great expectations” of the African American community in a sense were dashed, concomitantly with the election of Donald Trump in 2016,when they and their supporters came to realize that African Americans were under-performing in the schools and colleges relative to Whites and Asians, were committing crimes in substantially greater numbers than Whites, Asians and Hispanics and were dramatically underrepresented in the wealth-generating high tech and investment banking industries. It was difficult for many, if not most, African Americans and their supporters in elite media circles to honestly acknowledge that under-performance was due in large part to cultural pathologies in the Black community, such as the absence of male head of households in Black families and the proliferation of replacement role models provided by rappers, hookers, hustlers, gangstas, drug dealers and pimps.
    It was easier psychologically and politically for African Americans, and their supporters to come to believe that under-performance and under-representation were the product of systemic racism in American society, not personal shortcomings. This view was highly popularized and promoted by the New York Times in its “1619 Series” that argued that the year that the enslaved Africans were first brought to America, 1619, was the real founding of a country built on exploitation, genocidal extermination of native Americans, cultural genocide perpetrated by Whites against Blacks, a revolutionary war fought against Britain to protect slavery in the South from British abolitionists and a “lost cause” civil war fought to keep the Black man and woman in chains. With the New York Times providing a cultural narrative, amplified by the media megaphone, It became altogether too easy for African Americans to come to believe that under-performance, under-representation, high poverty levels, high crime rates and mass incarceration were the product of 400 years of slavery, racism and oppression and, upon reflection, easy to become quite angry at the perpetrators of their misery, the white man and his institutions.
    What we are seeing now is what some historians call a “revolution or rising expectations”, or “Tocqueville effect”, as Alexis de Tocqueville in his reflections on the French revolution observed that once social justice is achieved, the appetite for greater reform grows stronger and that violence can result when raised expectations, such as those in the African American community, haven’t been met in practice and Jacobins take command.
    We are also seeing a “cultural revolution”, but only dimly, as we do not have a good grip on who or what is the engine driving the destruction of statues, institutions, constitutional values, such as freedom of speech. How can it be that the mob in Golden Gate park pulled down the statues of US Grant and vandalized the statues of Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in ignorance of the fact that Cervantes was a slave of the Ottomans for five years before escaping turning to literary pursuits, all while the police stood idly by. We are in the midst, indeed, of a “Third Reconstruction” whose end is not clearly in sight.

  7. Avatar sam says:

    Here are the musings of a very amateur historian. On my father’s side I descend from Virginia slaveowners who fought in the Confederate Army. On my mother’s side I descend from Philadelphia Quakers who sheltered runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad.
    I view the Civil War as much as a battle over the expansion of slavery as about its immediate abolition. Lincoln attempted to assure the Southern States in his First Inaugural (after secession was well underway) that he would not “interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists.” But the great slavery debate of the previous 80 years had been over the expansion of slavery to newly formed states.
    The first limitation on the expansion of slavery was the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which prohibited slavery in the territory north of the Ohio River. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 settled (for 34 years) the expansion of slavery in the territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase. The Compromise of 1850 settled the expansion of slavery in the territory “ceded” by (i.e., stolen from) Mexico in 1848.
    These compromises began to unravel with the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act which brought on “Bloody Kansas.” They were effectively overturned by the 1857 Dread Scott decision. Then John Brown lit the fuse.
    What had worried the Southern States was the gradual erosion of their power at the national level as the admission of free states created from the expanded western territories outpaced the admission of slave states and that once the scales had been tipped, the free states would increasingly impose their views on the slave states, ultimately imposing abolition. Therefore, Lincoln’s assurances rang hollow.
    R.M.T. Hunter, Secretary of State of the Confederacy, wrote in an 1876 article entitled “Origins of the Late War” which opens Vol. I of the Southern Historical Society Papers: “The right of growth was thus denied to the power of the slaveholding States and with the state of feeling then existing and cherished, they had nothing to expect but to be dwarfed and oppressed, judging of the future by the past.”
    In a later passage, he wrote: “[The North] did not propose peace except upon terms of unconditional submission. When the South was forced to accept these terms to obtain it, the North was not afraid to avow its purposes and carry them out. Slavery was abolished without compensation and slaves were awarded equal rights with their masters in the government. It was the fear of these results which drove the South into the war. Experience proved that this fear was reasonable.”
    So yes, I believe the Southern States were fighting to protect their “right” to hold slaves.

  8. Avatar Vegetius says:

    This isn’t hard.
    First they come for the statues of our ancestors.
    Then they come for us.
    And spineless conservatives will stand by and let it happen.
    Any question?

  9. Avatar Jose says:

    This might be a little more focus than just America.
    First, they attack law and order.
    Then they attack anything associated with “Rednecks.”
    Now they are planning to go after religion.
    This an attack on Republicans and their values.
    They will not negotiate, they will not reason, they are the “S.A” of the Democratic party.

  10. Avatar akaPatience says:

    In light of the colonel’s expertise, I wouldn’t dare attempt to speak to the debate about Civil War monuments in particular. But I will say this: these and all others under attack are, besides serving as historical markers, works of public art that add to the beauty of their surroundings. They’re almost always elegant and stately sculptures in a bygone style that is never to be produced again, and depict historical figures with whom many if not most passersby are unfamiliar. BUT, for the more curious observers, they may prompt a teachable experience. And all of this is good.
    Of course condemning people of centuries ago by today’s standards is ludicrous. But no human being is ever perfect, even in modern times. MLK and JFK were serial adulterers and yet countless streets and other public infrastructure commemorate them.
    Weren’t the pyramids of Giza and other cherished antiquities, plus places of worship around the world, built using slave labor? Where will the destroyers of art and culture draw the line if they’re not stopped? The numbers of worthless, cowardly civic “leaders” who aren’t holding mobs of immature vandals accountable for their crimes are astounding, sickening and frightening. I’m thankful for the women of the United Daughters of the Confederacy for their effort to preserve the memorial to soldiers who were Confederates yes, but also Americans. Is that what it’s coming to — private citizens being forced to do the work of protecting public art and historical memorials?

  11. Avatar JohninMK says:

    These activists don’t accept that our history is not a blank page on which they can write their own version of what it should have been according to their contemporary views and prejudices.
    What if that view had prevailed in past generations? Given that history if often written by the victors, what if it had then been ‘updated’ every couple of generations later?

  12. Avatar ponderer says:

    It’s odd how some in our society can withstand the cognitive dissonance of supporting the lawless seditionist groups like those in the CHOP while condemning their forefathers for risking their lives to protect their communities.
    There is much made about Confederate Soldiers support for Slavery by virtue of fighting for the South. However, like today, it was some asshole politicians who decided on the course for conflict and none of the men who did the fighting and dieing got a veto — reason Enough to leave every one of those statues alone IMHO. Lincoln intended to put the people in the South to the sword to “preserve the Union”. This is, in fact, why several States like Tennessee decided they could no longer remain in the Union. Every volunteer, every current military member who resigned, against their personal desires, like Robert E. Lee, knew the loss of life and destruction that would happen. Usually someone will throw out a letter from a Confederate soldier about where they bragged about fighting for their tradition or honor or maybe even to prevent abolition or to kick the crap out of those Northerners as proof of their collective guilt. I’m sure some thought they would win, some thought they would lose, but everyone knowingly or not, was fighting against the concept that factions the State can employ it’s monopoly of violence against political opponents en masse. That localities should have some control of their destinies instead of unseen others in far removed locations and not accountability.
    That’s why the backers of the protestors want those statues gone. They don’t want us to recall a time where the military refused to give up their sacred Honor, for rules and procedures. Hollywood Liberals will learn that at their cost when eventually one of the Blue states decides they can’t abide a 2nd Trump term.

  13. Avatar turcopolier says:

    nightsticker
    The Laurel Brigade

  14. Avatar A.I.S. says:

    Disclaimer:
    I have never been to the United states, so I hope that you all got a Salt mine in your investment portfolios.
    I think that the current situation is part tantrum, part revolution, part unintended consequence of the class war, part mass psychosis and part secular religion.
    I will try to unpack this statement a bit, starting with the “secular religious” aspect.
    Pretty much everyone who was born in the eastern block automatically connects that kneeling with “struggle session” that were frequently in vouge during various communist governments. In addition, pretty much noone would want to voluntarily participate in one of those.
    The theology of Black Lives matter is relatively simple. Everyone who is Melanin deficient shares in the great original sin of racism, but can wash this crime away by constant good deeds for the sacred cause.
    I cannot but invoke the “your mother is so woke she sold you as a child into slavery to teach you white privilege” joke here.
    The stain is never washed away fully, and relapses into “Racist behaviour” are always possible, as such, constant vigilance against racist wrongthink is always required. What is “racist behavior” is defined by a special “priestly-inquisitorial class” of “activists”. Any opposition to the noble goals of black lives matter is obviously racist. Purges within these classes are pretty frequent and often over matters quite arcane to outsiders.
    It all sounds drearily familar to anyone born in the USSR, or China, or East Germany etc.
    Like most messianic missionary guilt trip religions, it wants to expand with fire and sword, but since it is a bit sword deficient right now it is mostly fire and screeching on twitter.
    Lets follow with the unintended consequences part.
    Here, I think I will draw some flack. Essentially, in the US and the west in general we can witness the emergence and solidification of a “professional managerial class”. This class encompasses much of the beurocracies, the “Human resource” departments of corporation, the newsrooms etc.
    Generally speaking, this class is put in somewhat powerful, but by definition temporary positions, typically with explicit or implicit control of, in some cases very large, numbers of “employed working class” (I would define as employed working class any employee with no disciplinary authority over any other employee) .
    This class essentially seeks to make its temporary position of power permanent, and to render themselfs irreplaceable to those above them as well, by proposing that they are the only way to “manage” certain things such as interpersonal relations between employees (which didnt need much management for the last X-thousand years for some reason). To to this, these class simultanesously seeks to extend the scope of its “managment activities”, both spatially (from the workplace to what people do in their sparetime) and thematically (like most religions and pseudoreligions, regulating sex is pretty high on the list. This class is currently involved in essentially repurposing routine disagreement as “racist incedents” that require immidiate managerial attention, as well as in infantilizing people to the point where they perceive themselfs to be incapable of dealing with routine disagreements anyore. I perceive that todays US univeristy system is the main area in which such infantilization happens.
    I also perceive it as part mass psychosis. While racism is a lot more real then witchcraft, todays anti racism witch hunts are to a large extent just that. Noone who does not posses copious amounts of melanin can possibly be non racist (only anti racism, signified by full adherance to the cause, is valid, and thus any non anti racist according to the priestly inquisitorial class is automatically racist), just like with a witchhunt, noone is safe, not even Abraham Lincoln. That they go after people who did far more against racism (Lincoln) then they entire movement ever did is a power play, if Lincoln does not pass the test, who does? Certainly not some random white person in a cubicle. There is a system reason why these things are acute know. The US has experienced a precipitous decline in terms of its relative power share in the last 2 decades. This decline has hurt people, and “racists according to the priestly inquisitorial class” could well become the scapegoats.
    It is also part revolution. There are people who are seriously considering themselfs revolutionaries. Well, had they been educated in Patrice Lumumba University Moscow, or in the school for asian toilers (Ho Chi Minh being a graduate there), someone would have thought them things like correlation of forces, which they evidently dont pay a whole lot of attention to, I also question why anyone would wishfully look at the Yugoslav Civil Wars and be like “I want that to happen where I live!”.
    Finally, it is also part Tantrum. Blowing off some steam in a fairly self destructive way is about as old as mankind itself.

  15. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    I have often passed that crucifix. I guess the people who descended from that congregation were among those who greeted with joy the establishment of St. Mary’s parish in Alexandria after the Revolutionary War. Bishop John Carroll gave Alexandria a Jesuit pastor from among the staff at Georgetown College. He did this at the instigation of George Washington and a group of his Catholic comrades from the war. The Society of Jesus provided a pastor for a hundred year until the ordinary at Richmond reached out and took St. Mary’s from them. The present basilica was built in the 1820s. Its design reflected its presence in a slaveholding community in that one of the transepts was reserved for Blacks. That transept has a balcony where slaves sat while the ground floor of the transept was reserved for free Blacks. The “Black” transept is sized larger than the other on across the nave.
    So, there must have been quite a lot of Black Catholics.
    One of the stained glass windows is of St. Michael, the patron saint of the Confederacy. They do not talk about any of that anymore. I was a member of the parish council for many years.

  16. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    “Even its location had meaning.” Yes. At that spot the Alexandria militia battalion (6th) mustered in 1861 and marched away to board a train to Manassas where they served as the basis for creation of the 17th Virginia Infantry Regiment. They had been warned by friends in Washington that federal troops would arrive to occupy Alexandria. The town fathers decided that the militia should not try to defend the town and so they withdrew to return after the end of the war. Alexandria was run by a US military governor throughout the war and treated correctly as occupied enemy territory. A stockade wall with gates was put up around the town and civilian activities were severely restricted.

  17. Avatar JamesT says:

    All,
    Is there any chance that this is an organized and planned “light color revolution”, or is such an idea overly paranoid?

  18. Avatar AndreL says:

    Voislav mentions Confederate General Kirby Smith. In a letter to a Col. Sprague from Houston to where Smith retreated in May ‘65’ he writes: he intended “…to go abroad until the future policy toward the South is announced” and he could safely return with his family. I believe he was not the only Confederate officer or official wondering at that time if their service against the Union could be legally classified as treason and therefore would suffer commensurate punishment.. I believe Smith crossed the Rio Grande shortly after.

  19. Avatar nightsticker says:

    Col Lang,
    Yes. Laurel Brigade.
    Most resided in or around Edinburg, VA.
    Small landholders; family farm still there.
    Did not own slaves on religious grounds; they
    were “Dunkers”. Church still there too.
    Voted against secession; but rallied to defend
    Virginia when the Northerners invaded. Many KIA
    and WIA. A generation earlier served in the
    Virginia Rifle companies of the Revolutionary War.
    Later generations of family, counting all sides of tree,
    served in War of 1812, WW1 [British Army], Irish War of Independence [IRA], WW2, Korea,
    Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
    To be complete, part of family tree served in Union Army,
    Pennsylvania Artillery Regiments. Two were KIA at Mechanicsville.
    Deo Vindice
    Nightsticker

  20. Avatar turcopolier says:

    AndreL
    What is significant is that no Confederate soldier or office holder was ever prosecuted for treason.

  21. Avatar casey says:

    “Smash the Four Olds” was one of the main slogans the Red Guards carried out with great enthusiasm. Now the chickens have come home to roost as the Otpor-CANVAS game gets played here.

  22. Avatar Jack says:

    In retrospect was the war necessary? Was there any compromise that was possible between the North and South?
    How many in the South actually owned slaves? Was it like today where the top 1% own the majority of the wealth?

  23. Avatar Jack says:

    VietnamVet,
    When did it become the role of government to “provide jobs, shelter and healthcare for its citizens”?
    If the US dollar is no longer the reserve currency, what takes its place? Euro, Yen, Yuan?

  24. Avatar AndreL says:

    Col., probably for the same reason Grant allowed the Army of Northern Va. officers to return home after Appomattox with their horses and side arms. Jeff Davis was imprisoned for a good while, but in the spirit of reconciliation was eventually released and allowed to go home to Mississippi. I would venture to assume that before then, he feared being hanged.

  25. Avatar turcopolier says:

    AndreL
    The spirit of reconciliation? In Grant’s case he knew that he had to persuade the officers to accept defeat or guerrilla war could break out across the land in a war that could never be won. In any event he had nothing against them personally. The leading Confederates made it clear that they would defend themselves against a charge of treason on the basis of the legality of secession. It did not say then and it does not say now in the US constitution that the Union is indissoluble and that the states cannot withdraw from a Union they entered voluntarily. The last thing the federal government wanted was to face that in courts across the country.

  26. Avatar Fred says:

    VV,
    “The Unrest, fireworks in the inner city, the tearing down of past history are a direct result. These are revolutionary times. ”
    No, they are the result of a cumulative anti-American agitprop that precedes those three in office by decades. The times are only revolutionary because the response to losing an election has caused the left to agitate for it rather than be exposed as frauds by a sucessful economic policy that lifts people out of the bottom while constraining China and the internationalists.
    “Women are in the lead of the protests.”
    They are being used as tools while kneeling and shouting and waiving their arms about, then they go home and tweet and post about how virtuous they are while waiting for the dopamine hit as the ‘ding, ding, ding’ of etherial ‘likes’ are recorded on social media. They’ve been programed to recieve and depend upon the disconnected “social distancing” social media response; just like Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the ringing of a bell.

  27. Avatar scott s. says:

    Alexandria:
    You might have a look at “By One Vote. The Disputed Presidential Election of 1876” by Michael F. Holt. He goes through the post-election period pretty much day-by-day and makes a good case that there was no Republican bargain to remove federal troops in exchange for electoral votes. I think Holt is one of the foremost historians of mid-nineteenth c. American politics. In particular, “The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War” is kind of like drinking from a fire hose.

  28. Avatar Jim S says:

    Sir,
    The John Birch Society argues that the US Civil War was brought on by Socialist/Jacobin machinations, and that key Republicans–including Lincoln himself–were secret or not-so-secret Jacobins, also arguing that many of the Pennsylvania (and Ohio and Wisconsin) Deutsch who fought for the Union were socialists who had fled the failed revolutions of ’48/’49. At this point I’m not likely to become a John Bircher, but it’s an interesting lens to view current events through, and they’ve turned over a big rock which has been overlooked (at least in recent times); it’s also instructive to observe which rocks the JBS avoids touching.
    Incidentally, it’s worth repeating that our modern conception of racism stems from the 19th Century as well: Darwinism, which birthed eugenics.
    Even more tangentially I’ve finally chewed through the 2nd volume of Powell’s Chickamauga history (I was incorrect earlier: it is only the hardcover editions that are pricey) and I recommend it again; I think his narrative is remarkable. My esteem for Thomas is slightly reduced, and my esteem for Longstreet is increased. I’m impressed how Union reliance on the charge so often triggered disaster and how Confederate concern for plugging gaps led to many missed opportunities. Powell spends considerable space detailing the actions and mindsets of divisional and brigade leaders such as John Turchin of Reynolds’ Division, stout of waist and stout of heart, who insisted on bringing his wife along on campaign.

  29. Avatar AndreL says:

    Col., Grant may indeed have had no animosity towards Confederate officers. He knew several personally from West Point and Mexican War days. But I am not sure that the leading Confederates were relying on even odds at being defended in the courts of the victor on the constitutional issue of secession. That had just been freshly ‘litigated’ for all practical purposes by a bloody war. As far the spirit of reconciliation, there is a practical side to that as well. The problem of how to manage the existence of the South’s freed slaves was of concern to the victors also. A more cynical view might be that the ex-Confederate leaders Might one day be useful in that regard. When the North tired of managing and enforcing Reconstruction and Abolition fervor faded, this investment paid off during the establishment of Jim Crow. For example, in my section of my former home state of Louisiana, PGT Beauregard was called upon by the sugar planter class to quash strikes by black cane workers. Gatling guns and cannon appeared around the community like so many National Guard helicopters. Needless to say, there was much blood. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thibodaux-massacre-left-60-african-americans-dead-and-spelled-end-unionized-farm-labor-south-decades-180967289/ This is history, nonetheless, and it’s result contributes to the present atmosphere.

  30. Avatar Jim says:

    Distinguishing concrete reality from symbolic [that is, made up and therefore a false] reality among the biggest challenges.
    This problem, made more difficult by the fact that: symbolic reality, once believed, in fact has concrete consequences.
    In other words, I may be 100 percent sure along with others that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King defined a phenomena that included three insolubly linked dimensions:
    “Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.” [from his Aug. 16, 1967 Southern Christian Leadership Conference Presidential Address]
    He used the word — racism — that single time in this speech; he used that word as part of the other two dimensions as indissolubly link.
    In other words, there is a power component and dimension inherently explicit and implicit in any discussion on the topic.
    His clear and exact enunciation of this concept was, for the rest of us, to accept or reject the triple evil as true or false.
    What is going on now — and use of this noun — not only lacks conceptual clarity, it creates confusion, on purpose by some of the actors, from what I’ve been observing.
    Thus a symbolic reality has been created, with concrete consequences.
    Some creating this symbolic reality intend malice, and are people of ill repute. Some have good intentions.
    Many are confused.
    And our media apostles and many politicians and business owners on purpose add to the confusion; in fact some of them want confusion, to make money, for political power, for exploitation, to exploit society, etc.
    We are living with the concrete consequences of deliberate symbolic-reality creation.
    And we cannot deny the consequences of these consequences.
    What will they be in future?
    Past [and present] tense: what have the consequences of those consequences been so far?
    “The mobs in the streets are seeking to destroy America as it has been.”
    While this is objectively true, the aforementioned villains shall continue to create symbolic reality, what some call “spin” [shorthand for lying]; and continue with their agenda in spite of the inspectable falseness of what they claim.
    The war-mongering, craven and abusive personality John Bolton is their latest recruit.
    And so, in contradistinction:
    Why are Trump supporters kinda happy and gay and kinda see humor in the man?
    At least compared to his opponents: universally miserable, hateful, spiteful, insufferable, catty, infantile, illogical, and of course prejudice and often bigoted–despite falsely saying they are liberal/liberals.
    Trump supporters are Hedons, or Hippies, or Deplorables — what ever they are, they are not The Resistance.
    The Resistance act like helicopter moms, ME/TOO, BLM, LGBTQ, etc.
    They are miserably bossy, pathetic hypocrites, and at the end of the day: all show varying symptoms of: “Abusive Behavior.”
    Control Freaks. Or as far as I’m concerned, just freaks.
    Or as Dostoevsky would say: scum.
    Even if they take over, as they are already, they’ll eventually collapse of their own weight.
    They wear too many masks, and at the end of the day, no one likes a phony.
    I don’t think they will take over, simply because there really are, in fact, so few of them.
    This scum is concentrated in Washington DC, NY, and some of the large cities, but mostly in those two ghettos of false consciousness.
    And their control of propaganda organs, euphemistically labeled Mass Media, allow them to project a hegemony that they don’t in fact possess. They are like the Wizard of Oz. Just go behind the curtain if you don’t believe me….
    “But man, proud man,
    Drest in a little brief authority,
    Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d;
    His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
    Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
    As make the angels weep. . . .”
    -30-

  31. Avatar turcopolier says:

    AndreL
    IMO you are completely wrong about what would have happened in an open trial which these would have been. The US wanted the world to believe that it was dealing generously with the seceded states. In any other country in the world the Confederate leaders would have been summarily executed.

  32. Avatar scott s. says:

    TTW:
    Considering the secession of Virginia, the western counties seemed to have a different view of things. I can recommend “Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis” by Daniel Crofts
    And I believe if not mistaken the cause of secession was Lincoln’s call for 90-day regiments, not invasion.

  33. Avatar turcopolier says:

    scotts
    The people who lived in the highlands were pro-Union. The people along the Ohio River did not want to secede from Virginia.

  34. Avatar Leith says:

    Like Nightsticker and many other Americans I have roots on both sides of that grim period of our history. God bless em all no matter what they were fighting for!
    But my one really smart ancestor of that time was Canadien. The family story is that he accepted a $40 enlistment bonus for the Union Army, and then promptly skedaddled back across the border to Quebec. Many years later his daughter met a young Irish immigrant boy and they eloped and fled south never stopping for papers.

  35. Avatar ked says:

    Civic statues memorialize collective emotions by transfer into material. Over the course of history they’ve come & gone – many destroyed, forgotten. Some, like the Colossus of Rhodes, we miss even today. It shouldn’t surprise us it is happening here as it has in many pasts. I view our drama as another stage of unfolding imperfection in people, governance, civilization. I don’t think humans score the emotional power of those they oppose very accurately. I don’t think it is worth killing over. I’d prefer to kick the can down the road a bit further.
    We might now collect these statues of high controversy – to assemble them for display at themes-of-history parks. Warren Buffett & the Koch Bros. could stroke the check.

  36. Avatar English Outsider says:

    Colonel,
    From an English perspective I don’t see what’s happening in the UK, or indeed in the States, as indicative of any serious movement. Nor can it be pretended that it’s a sober readjustment of ancient wrongs.
    It’s mass hysteria tolerated and sometimes encouraged for partisan reasons by many who should know better and who should have more courage.

  37. Avatar jerseycityjoan says:

    I don’t feel I have anything to say about the earlier history that led to where we are today.
    I do find it strange that the people caught up with the destructive actions of the past month have nothing much to say to the rest of us. They do not explain, they do not try to persuade others to agree with them or to join them. They don’t let us know who they are or what their larger goals are.
    If they think their actions are speaking for them, they are mostly wrong. Just showing the rest of us that you don’t like something is meaningless; the meaning must be provided.
    People in the past had lots to say. We are still discussing them and their ideas today.
    After they stop bothering the statues what’s going to change for black people?

  38. Avatar turcopolier says:

    ked
    Consider the possibility that not everyone is a cynical p—k like you.

  39. Avatar srw says:

    An observation and suggestion: As long as we’re getting rid of monuments to slave owners, what do you say we start with the Electoral College?

  40. JamesT,
    What’s happening today is not any kind of organized and planned revolution. It’s a spontaneous reaction to enduring conditions and triggering events. Any organization is through multiple local groups. Overarching movement goals are widely shared, but there are overlapping and conflicting goals within the various factions. We’ll see what happens with the planned march on Washington in August. National leaders will become apparent by them if they truly exist.
    What’s happening today is, in my opinion, just a continuation of the Civil War. Initially, the South wanted to continue and expand their economic and social way of life based on black slavery. The North just wanted to enforce the Union. Emancipation was the goal of a vocal minority which I believe the South thought as larger and more influential than it actually was. When Lincoln adopted emancipation, it was as a strategy to win the war and preserve the Union. As the war wore on, the abolitionists gained influence and slavery as a Southern institution was weakened and eventually destroyed.
    But that was only the initial step for the near four million former slaves. Reconstruction sought to bring that population into full citizenship. That was a tall, near impossible, task for the white population both North and South, were not ready for this. This was especially true in the South where the culture was even more devastated than the infrastructure and economy. They counterattacked with the KKK resistance, the “Lost Cause” strategy and Jim Crow laws. The civil rights era was the next phase in the Civil War. The African-Americans themselves now moved to the fore of the fight. The fight continued back and forth. The current surge is just the next phase of this more than 150 year struggle… our continuing Civil War.
    Beyond the first four years of military fighting and reconstruction, the struggle was never centrally organized and planned. There were prominent leaders and key events on both sides, but no grand plan. Players and their goals remain fluid. At least that’s my take on the situation.

  41. Jack,
    “How many in the South actually owned slaves? Was it like today where the top 1% own the majority of the wealth?”
    Enslaved blacks made up well over 40% and approaching 50% of the total population of the Confederacy. Slave ownership was concentrated, but still 30% of families in the Confederacy owned at least one slave. I found an interactive map showing the growth and movement of slave and non-slave population in the US from 1790 to 1860. I was surprised to see the slave population was so large in 1860. I thought slaves were moved to the deep south to a much greater extent than it was. Alexandria, Virginia was definitely moving in that direction. Slightly less than 11% of the total population was slaves and slightly more than that were free blacks. Slavery was far more pervasive in large parts of Maryland.
    https://lincolnmullen.com/projects/slavery/

  42. Avatar HARRY C says:

    R.E.Lee statues may return someday. The more I read, the more I feel a suspicion that Lee surreptitiously “threw” the war
    to the North by invading. He knew all the south had to do was to hold ground, guerilla style, so recently proven by the militia
    against Britain in the Revolution. He HAD to have known. How could
    such a high IQ, trained in war, not know? Although trained as an engineer, it is unquestionable that he had a far deeper understanding of war, even as an extrapolation of politics.
    Add in a few other oddities about his life, even possible mis / disinfo, & conspiratorial ears perk up.
    Much dispute & debate.(his slaves, estate, writings, absence of writings, etc.)
    Although his father was a prominent Mason, Robert was “evidently” not a member. Erased?
    It crossed my mind when I read that many pages of King Alfred’s
    books had been “edited”.(different ink, different gold leaf, etc.)
    One thing one will notice about Freemasonry is the belief in a higher competence above normal human (in)competence. Much of history seems to have been “pre-decided”, in hindsight. I read about it in past & present form right here on this blog.
    Someday the Masons may (secretly) let the facts emerge. Boy would
    that spin some corpses. Academics would poo-poo it for a century or two. Academics abhor new facts that don’t fit their narrative.
    In light of the history of war, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
    Sorry, can’t get my spacing right. Just an idea wanted to get out
    before it’s memory holed old thread. SST seems like the right place.
    Posted by: HARRY C

  43. Avatar turcopolier says:

    HarryC
    The US Army had no service schools in Lee’s time. There was no organized study of war until the 1870s except for one course at WP taught by Dennis Hart Mahan. That was based on Jomini’s study of Bonaparte’s campaigns. unlike S.Jackson who systematically taught himself about strategy and tactics. Lee did not do that. He was occupied with his infrastructure building except for Mexico where he was exposed to Scott’s mind. The process of his service in the WBS is one long series of painful learning experiences. In invading the North twice he was merely seeking a Napoleonic grand cataclysmic outcome. In other words he screwed up his country’s chances by not following your advice to follow a Fabian strategy. He didn’t know enough to adopt that.

  44. Avatar turcopolier says:

    srw
    Absolutely against getting rid of the EC. I don’t want to be ruled by the critters in NY, CA, Fl.

  45. Avatar turcopolier says:

    TTG
    When I was at VMI in the late 50s-ear;y 60’s the war was clearly still ongoing. nobody talked about the war but it clearly formed the background of peoples’ minds. IMO the struggle will continue. This is not approaching a resolution. The Democrats and their militias as T. Carlson calls them are just pissing people off. Even if the Democrats win the November election the struggle will continue.

  46. Avatar Jack says:

    “Even if the Democrats win the November election the struggle will continue.”
    Sir,
    In my opinion not much will change even if Democrats sweep with the trifecta in November. Obama began his first term with Congress in the hands of the Democrats. He continued the neocon and neoliberal policies that George Bush continued from Clinton. A Biden presidency will be a return to that. Chicago will still be violent. Wall St will continue to receive their tribute. Xi will once again bask in the sun. AIPAC will remain in the catbird seat.
    Where in this struggle do the new immigrants from East and South Asia, the Middle East, Central & South America, Eastern Europe and even Polynesia fit in?
    None have ancestors who fought in the Civil War and have no bloodline to the American Revolution and the great constitutional debates. Of course it could be said that the many European immigrants who arrived in the early 20th century did not have ancestors that fought in the war too. How do we create a national purpose and a common set of values with such huge diversity of experience and traditions?

  47. Avatar Mike46 says:

    The Colonel wrote: “The people along the Ohio River did not want to secede from Virginia.”
    I recall reading a book written after the war. It mentioned that travel on the Ohio below the Mason Dixon line was in hostile territory. Boats were often fired upon from both sides of the river. Only the counties north of the MD had a grievance with VA. They felt they were being shortchanged by Richmond. Now they complain that they are being shortchanged by Charleston.

  48. Avatar optimax says:

    Casey, Thank you for the heads up on OPTI-CANVAS. A little surfing exposes them and their friends to be a world-wide revolutionary movement organized to overthrow and restructure existing nations states. This is what our current resistance is about with the DNC being the beneficiary, though their sidelining, or overthrow if you will, is pre-planned. One of the friends of CANVAS is listed as Building a Movement (BAM). They design a revolutionary movement with advertising techniques. Branding. Here’ one of their videos.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=kVKEclmhy28&feature=emb_logo
    A list of friends of CANVAS.
    https://canvasopedia.org/friends/
    This points to the US colored revolution is really a color revolution, and that these groups are well funded and worldwide.
    I need a drink. Manhatten.

  49. Avatar Babak Makkinjead says:

    Col. Lang:
    There is a story told in Mathnavi Ma’anavi – متنوی معنوی – by Rumi in which Jesus and his disciples come across the carcass of a puppy. Each disciple says something negative about the carcass: “How disgusting!”, “What a stench!” and so on and so forth.
    When all are done spewing their disgust, Jesus states: “But did you notice his beautiful white teeth?”
    To wit:
    During the War Between the States, the Confederacy maintained complete press freedom, did not suspend the writ of habeas corpus and did not confiscate private property – in contradistinction to the Union.
    In the conduct of the war, the Confederates, to my knowledge, never approximated anything like the war crimes of Sherman’s March – even taking into account Jeb Stuart’s joy riders’ crimes. Lee explicitly forbid his troops from retaliating, when marching North of the Mason-Dixon line, for earlier acts of the Union Armies’ acts of wanton destruction.
    The South, as a culture, in my opinion, was something that only had existed in England for a centuries; a rural civilization in which the capital city was used for temporary conduct of state affairs and then people went back to their home counties for the rest of the year.
    This model of a working rural-centric civilization – in contrast to the contemporary hyper-urban and hyper-concentrated civilizations all over the world – in my opinion – had much to recommend itself even now.
    The War, the Reconstruction, and the transformation of the South into an internal colony destroyed it.
    I also would like to point out that the Southern culture, had cultivated such impractical ideals as breeding, gentlemanly decorum, fashion, and charm.
    Lastly, just as the Revolutions of 1848, in pursuit of such unimpeachable ideals as Republicanism and Freedom weakened the Concert of Europe and helped ushers in the wars of 1914 and 1939, the destruction of the Southern political power removed the domestic restraints in the United States on the exercise of American power abroad; the North chose to go on the path of Imperialism sometime in 1870s and we are still witnessing the consequences of that choice.

  50. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Babak
    Yes. “even taking into account Jeb Stuart’s joy riders’ crimes.” Which are those? the Confederate leaders were very conservative men and generally sought to keep partisan warfare on a tight rein to prevent a collapse of standards of behavior. It is true that McCausland’s cavalry brigade was sent to Chambersburg, PA by Jubal Early to exact reparations for Union depredations in Virginia. When they did not pay up, McCausland burned most of the town. McCausland’s brigade was not part of Stuart’s command.

  51. Avatar Leith says:

    Harry C –
    Don’t blame Lee for invading Maryland and Pennsylvania. That strategy was devised by Jeff Davis and his Secretary of State Judah Benjamin. They had hoped that foreign recognition and support for the Confederacy would be made stronger by a military victory on Northern soil. During the same time frame Richmond authorized Generals Bragg and E.K. Smith to invade Kentucky, which BTW also failed. They (Richmond) also thought the invasions might spark uprisings in Maryland and Kentucky.
    Why did Lee go along with it? Cutting the critical B&O RR was one very good reason. Another was that he needed resupply and the farms of Virginia had been devastated. So why not feed his troops by devastating some northern farmland? Lastly he was undoubtedly emboldened by his many victories so far and he had a well deserved contempt for Union generalship.

  52. Avatar ked says:

    Col, thanks! I long ago became aware I’m a more cynical fuck than most. I’ve endeavored over the decades to balance that with faith, hope, love… and utilitarianism and science. It’s hard work.
    When I model current conditions the cynical analysis projects outcomes more accurately than the romantic. It’s hard to go far wrong if one leans more to critical (even cruel) reasoning than ideology. Ideology is like pharmacology… you really need expertise & oversight to play around with it … it can be deadly.
    Thank God for family… the beauty of children & grandchildren. I’ve counseled them, “think about how to preserve the planet for generations we will never know (I’m conservative)” and “meanwhile, figure out how to get us off the planet & thrive (classic liberal).
    Boomers are flailing-about because our time is coming to an end and we want certain things to happen before we check-out. How selfish. Trump & Biden are exemplary. Those protesting in the streets (Chalk Brigade, Hawaiian Shirt Commandos & all in between) are aiming at the wrong targets … each other. Cheers,

  53. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Babak
    Excellent points, really great comment. If only more people had the ability to see past the stench, as Jesus did.
    A war waged on the dead is distasteful enough, but this war is not really about statues and to my sensibilities it is at least as disgusting as the institution of slavery.

  54. Avatar FakeBot says:

    Technically, and only in the most technical sense, was it not Lincoln who committed treason as defined by section 3 of the third article of the constitution? He was without doubt a patriot, however.

  55. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Fakebot
    Yes. He was a centralizing nationalist who had been quite willing to sell out the slave both in the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the 1st Inaugural.

  56. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Leith
    IMO the opposite was true. Lee argued long and hard for Davis’ approval for both invasions. He was seeking to bring about a decisive general and climactic battle on the model of Austerlitz or the like. I cannot stress too strongly how ill prepared he was for senior command. His poor performance early in the war demonstrates that. But then, with the exception of a very few like Halleck and Jackson, they all were. They studied more about drawing and sketching at WP than they did about war. Marching around a parade ground giving orders to cadets does not create great commanders. Many of today’s generals are equally badly prepared for combat command. They have lived lives filled with budgets, procurement and sucking up to the boss.

  57. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Barbara Ann
    “as disgusting as the institution of slavery.” An easy bit of sanctimony in this day and age. You are aware that slavery is an age old human institution? Perhaps you should consider Paul’s Epistle to Philemon. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_Philemon

  58. Avatar Fred says:

    Missing from most discussions is the effect federal tariff policy was going to have on different regions. Most of the federal revenue at that time was via tariff, income taxes not existing then. The majority of that tax spending was not located in the South, though much of the revenue generated came from ports located there, much of it due to Southern spending on equipment, mostly agricultural, built overseas. The South was a mostly agrarian society while the North was in the midst of industrialization. The increased cost of imports would have aided the idustrialized North, in part by blocking cheaper imports from Europe.
    The same polarity in wealth distribution decried today existed then, and it was the wealthiest who were going to be impacted by such legislation. Southern plantation owners, who represented a minescule percentage of people, but a majority of the wealthly elite (outside of commerical familes on the coast), were going to be hit hardest. The northern industrial, banking, and commercial interests were similarly distributed population wise. They, however, were going to personally benefit immensely by proposed policy. We see something similar today with tariffs being reimposed on Chinese imports. Elites – tech companies, manufacturing (to include pharmaceutical concerns), banking (acess to capital and commissions generated thereby), ‘hollywood’ centric entertainment and social media firms, Universities and Colleges (foreign national enrolment, thier preferential treatment in non-humanities studies), and major sporting francieses, the NBA in particular, generate far more of their wealth now, or are projected to soon, in China and the Asia-Pacific region than in the US. Add in the firms which have outsourced major labor costs, especially in IT, to H1B and similar visa program applicants.
    Most of these people whether temorary or permanently here have little cultural affinity to the US, its foundation, history or legal traditions. They, in their millions, are counted in census rolls, thus congressional seat redistribution, and in social costs – not just educational and other social services – but disparate costs due to displacing native born labor, impacting wages, hiring, training and developing people, educational curriculum, teaching rate (especially where language proficiency is low) and other factors, most of which have little impact on elite members of society. Immigration of low skilled workers to the North East had a similar affect then, though there was at least a tenative sharing of a common cultural background as these immigrants were almost uniformly Christian, of one denominaton or other, whether practicing or not.
    A century and a half ago the frontier was still open, which served as a relief valve for exodus of the discontented, the adventurous, and those willing to create a new future in a new place – with their own toil, sweat, tears, blood and yes, money. There was also a great deal of fraud, mismanagement and general corruption, as well as a low level war against the remaining indian tribes. The inevitable creation of additional terrirtories and their admission into the United States which was going to change the political power balance in both houses of Congress, with inbound immigration to the Northern states and territories added into the mix. The inability of congress to reach a negotiated compromise on those economic and cultural issues was the major factor that lead to the disolution of the Union. It was ideological duplicity and intransigence which led to Sumter, Lincoln’s call for volunteers, the second secession vote in Virginia, followed by five more states voting to leave the union, and all the rest.
    Little mentioned also is the economic destruction and enduring Southern poverty as a result of the war and reconstruction. A state of poverty not alleviated until WW2. Not surprisingly the same regional animosity, now coupled with a Coastal and ideologicly segregated elite, is helping drive a stake through the heart of Union now. The founding mythos is purposely being destroyed, along with the visible symbols of union, war and reconciliation, and joint endeavors of a people with a common bond, by the ideological heirs of ‘Northern Agression’. The elites who stand to gain – China centric businesses, entertainment and social media firms, internationalists and authoritarians of all stripes, are marching down the same road today, only the toll will be much worse as everyone knows there will be no Christian like R.E. Lee to serve as an example to those who lose, but plenty of Benjamin Butler’s, carpetbaggers, scalawags and assorted cultural marxists to join in the reformaton and “re-education” of a defeated people.

  59. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Indeed it is easy and I am aware of using a contemporary Western moral paradigm, especially with the institution alive and well today, in places like Libya.
    I am certainly not a presentist who seeks to apply this paradigm retrospectively over all of history. Such people would be well advised to practice this exercise in reverse and ask themselves what historic cultures would make of the moral absolutes we cherish in our ‘enlightened’ & progressive society today. But this requires humility and a respect for the moral tastes of others – something few seem capable of these days.
    My aim was to point out the hypocrisy of those who profess a distaste for slavery, while simultaneously advocating the extermination of a culture in which the institution was present – especially one which has many features worthy of admiration, as so eloquently described by Babak.

  60. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Barbara Ann
    What success I had in life was largely derived from a taste for comprehension of other people’s cultures on their own terms. That does not mean that one should “go native.” You have to understand other cultures from the outside looking in. That has been my approach to ante bellum Southern culture. In the end I am not a Southerner and they let you know that this is true. The numerous Northerners who fought loyally for the South fascinate me.

  61. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Both your tastes and abilities are highly unusual Colonel, more’s the pity.

  62. Avatar Fred says:

    Babak,
    “… the capital city was used for temporary conduct of state affairs and then people went back to their home counties for the rest of the year.”
    That’s a pretty keen observation. A few state legislatures are still run that way, mostly out West.

  63. Avatar HARRY C says:

    Centuries to go debating The Civil War. As it should. What was done, by commission or omission. If you think the CW is complicated,
    go to Wiki page on “Ukraine history”. Mind boggling. War for decades before the Czar even heard about it. Wow. If you dare, hit
    the “talk” tab for raging debates over goings on such as 941 AD.
    I don’t think they’ll ever straighten it out.
    Soon Bill Gates statues will replace those
    of Jefferson, Lincoln, Lee. They just hauled Davis out of the rotunda here in KY. No protest or fanfare. After all he LOST.
    Jefferson’s republic likewise seems lost.
    Lincoln’s emancipation legacy revealed as paltry political strategy.
    If Russia is an example, we will tear down
    a lot more. They renamed whole cities. Burned the history books.
    But not all of them. Somewhere in dusty attics some remained.
    Waiting to be printed again. Solzhenitsyn’s “200 Years” as case
    in point.
    Historians have a theory that youth mass violence is inversely
    proportional to their exposure to, & involvement in…mass war.
    Since we don’t have mass casualties anymore, it may be the new norm.
    Let them riot or give them an enemy to kill. Let them riot
    or kill them, which will enrage their grieving parents to all out
    revolt. Older people that know how to really make things go BOOM.
    50 years ago when I was a kid, city storefronts had steel rolldowns & fireproof masonry walls, by code. What did they know then that has been forgotten? Cities= crowds= mobs= riots, occasionally.
    When it’s over roll up & open up.
    Posted by: HARRY C |

  64. Avatar Leith says:

    Colonel Lang –
    I think you are right in your opinion of General Lee. And you are probably right that his 1863 Gettysburg Campaign was his own idea that he pushed on Richmond.
    On the other hand everything I have read about Jeff Davis points to his micromanagement style and his refusal to delegate responsibility. Even Southern historians such as William Cooper and Allen Tate acknowledge that. Cooper’s bio of Davis implies that the idea of General Lee’s 1862 Maryland Campaign came from Davis and his cabinet. There was increased Confederate diplomatic activity with Europe leading up to and during Lee’s invasion of Maryland.
    The ‘Heartland Offensive’ by Generals Bragg & Kirby Smith invading Kentucky happened at the same time as Lee’s ‘Maryland Campaign’. This leads me to believe that both were directed by Richmond. Lee had no authority to command either Bragg or Kirby Smith. And Smith’s Army of Kentucky was organized just prior to the Heartland Offensive, which indicates it was constituted at the direction of Davis. Lee was never made General-in-Chief of all Confederate armies until January 1865.

  65. Avatar Leith says:

    Harry C –
    ” Lincoln’s emancipation legacy revealed as paltry political strategy.”
    Yes it was. But it was also a not-so-paltry foreign policy strategy. It forever put a stake in the heart of the South’s hope for support by England and France.

  66. Avatar Stephanie says:

    “Personally, it’s fascinating to me that such a short period in US history is so heavily represented in the identity of the population.”
    Voislav,
    The war did not last long as wars of independence go, mainly because the South did not resort to guerrilla warfare. However, more Americans lost their lives in it than in any of our other wars. The war decided the secession and slavery questions once and for all, and set a unified American state on the road to empire. The South is the only region of the US to be subjected to occupation by a foreign, or “foreign” army. The war created a new nation with its own heroes, which of course is now routinely compared to Nazi Germany. And because of the ongoing discontent among the black population, the war continues to live in modern memory as some of the US’s older international conflicts have not.

  67. Avatar HARRY C says:

    pl:
    You mentioned fascination w/ antebellum southern culture.
    What about postbellum?
    Example:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x4j_VDrm7o
    Dirt Mississippi girl. Subliminal “yodel”. Where did she learn it?
    Subtle backup vocals said by some to be Loretta Lynn.
    Accompanied by (her) hound dog:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HI3RmBiXUl0
    Country music. Tearjerkers. Soft power. Unspeakable sadness that
    inundates the landscape.
    Comment?

  68. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Harry C
    Post comments once. No comment.

  69. Avatar J says:

    Colonel,
    There’s a book about Civil War Espionage called Civil War Spy And the Women He Left Behind. The name of the spy was George Pittman. Pittman was a Confederate Officer.

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