Dispelling The Myths About Dixie – Part 2

The following is Part 2 of a transcribed speech version of my 1995 small book. This speech was given at a seminar held in Gulfport, Mississippi April 13, 2000. If you have not already done so, I would recommend reading Part 1.

MYTH #6: Southerners were “Rebels” to the Constitution
MYTH #7: The South Started the War

To save a little time I will handle two myths under one heading. A great deal has been said about the South firing the first shot and starting the war. Likewise, much attention has been given to the bravado that Lincoln was preserving the Constitution against rebels who sought to destroy it.

As to the former charge, Hallam, in his “Constitutional History of England” has aptly said: “The aggressor in a war (that is, he who begins it) is not the first who uses force, but the first who renders force necessary.” This is an important principle to understand. Judged by this standard, the Confederates were clearly not the aggressors.

As to the latter charge, that Lincoln was preserving the Constitution against radical rebel Southerners who wanted to destroy it…it was, after all, the Radical Republicans who wanted to change the system of small, federal government into a strong consolidated entity of National government. When you look at the 1st National Flag of the CSA you will see how closely it resembles the first US Flag. There was a reason behind the design. When you look at the Great Seal of the Confederacy you will see George Washington in it? Many of the speeches by Southern leaders referenced the founding fathers. Why? Because the South wanted to identify itself with the original Constitution, with the principles upon which the country was founded. The South was not rebelling to the Constitution. After all, it was emphatically a Southern document. It was Abraham Lincoln who took matters into his own hands and threw out his country’s Constitution. Without a binding force of law, he was then free to usurp tyrannical powers as he pleased. How can we make such a statement about old “Honest Abe?”

Lincoln called for the recruitment of 75,000 troops to invade the South along with expenditures of millions of dollars. He had no constitutional justification to do so. This was the exclusive authority of Congress. [See Article I Section 8 Clause 10-11 of the Constitution: “The Congress shall have power…To declare war…To raise and support armies…”]. In order to do these things without revolt within the ranks, he threw out the Bill of Rights and he suspended habeas corpus (which again the Executive Branch had no right – See Article I Section 9 Clause 2 as well as the 5th Amendment). He silenced 1st Amendment freedom of speech by imprisoned hordes of men who loved the Constitution or were sympathetic to the South (upwards of 38,000 – 40,000 people). These political prisoners were not charged or tried. They were held in prison. In some instances their closet family members did not know if they were dead or alive until after the war. Many presses were wrecked and businesses destroyed. In all, over 300 newspaper and journals were shut down by executive order. So much for the 1st Amendment right to freedom of the press. He ignored the 1st Amendment right of unhindered worship of the True and Living God. He had ministers arrested who would not swear allegiance to his regime. Private property rights were violated. There were unconstitutional searches and seizures clearly betraying the rights set forth in the 4th and 5th Amendments.

In addition to these obvious violations of the Constitutional rights and prohibitions, Lincoln also created a new state (West Virginia) from an old one…in direct violation of Article IV, Section III, Clause I of the Constitution  [“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”]. He made Greenbacks legal tender against  Article I Section 8 Clause 5. He imported thousands of foreign mercenaries to fight against people he still insisted were Americans. We can go on and on.

In all these things, he acted as no other President ever acted before or has acted since, though it may be said that he set the stage for the later presidents to follow in his steps. As one ably put it, when Lincoln unconstitutionally called up 75,000 troops without the approval of congress, he set a precedent for later presidents to enter into war without the approval of congress.

The South rebellious to the Constitution? Insanity! Was it Jefferson Davis and his cabinet who said, “Let us burn the Constitution; it is a compact with death and a league with hell.” No it was Lincoln’s, and there were many such statements uttered by his aides.

In 1861, Jefferson Davis made it quite clear in his resignation from the Senate and again in his inaugural address that all the Confederate States wanted was to be allowed to leave in peace. The South’s leaders did not want war. Davis stated this point explicitly and after so doing he took no action that would have indicated otherwise to the Union or to its president. No troops were called up. No extraordinary military appropriations requested. No belligerent rhetoric originated from President Davis or from his Cabinet. The South feared invasion, but never threatened it, nor even implied it.

Why, then, did Lincoln call for 75,000 troops to “defend the Union”? Why did he begin immediate preparations for war? Why did he insist on dispatching troops to Fort Sumter when a majority of his Cabinet advised against such a rash move and when he knew that South Carolina and the Confederacy believed the fortress to be lawfully and Constitutionally theirs? Let us back up and examine the events. In December 1860, South Carolina sent Commissioners to negotiate a settlement of all questions arising from secession. Issues such as South Carolina’s share of the national debt, payment for Federal property, and above all, to secure the removal of the garrison from Charleston Harbor. Scarcely had the Commission arrived, when on 26 December, they learned by telegraph that the Commander at Fort Moultrie had spiked his gun and secretly removed his men to Fort Sumter.

You see, Fort Moultrie was indefensible from land, so they moved to Sumter which was a larger fortification at the mouth of the harbor and more easily defended. This action suggested that the Federal government had no intention of evacuating Charleston and had the appearance of hostility.

The Commission accused President Buchanan of breaking faith and angrily returned home. The following month, the president sent the “Star of the West” to Fort Sumter with supplies and reinforcements. The ship was repulsed by South Carolina Batteries. This was an attack on the flag and it fueled Northern passions. But what were the Southerners to do? Buchanan took no further action. He was about to leave office and desired to leave the problem of secession to his successor, Abe Lincoln.

In his Inaugural Address Old Abe said he would, “hold, occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the government.” [You should have read the first draft]. We spoke earlier of the Confederate government Commission sent to Washington. They arrived at this time and were not at all pleased with Lincoln’s address; to them it sounded like a war message. While in Washington, Secretary of State Seward convinced the Commission that there would be no war and that Fort Sumter would be evacuated within a few days. During most of March and the 1st week of April, Seward repeatedly promised the fort would be given up.

While the Confederates pondered the unknown, Lincoln gained priceless time to solidify his plans. Sumter would run out of food on 15 April. On 15 March, Lincoln polled his cabinet on supplying the fort and most were against it. But the pressure continued to build. On 29 March, he once more discussed the problem with his cabinet. This time he found greater agreement, fully expecting the act would mean war. Lincoln knew that if the Confederates did not resist it would give the fort the supplies needed to continue to hold out. If opposed, it would give them reinforcements as well.

The South Carolina Governor learned of the Yankee plan in advance. They were in a quandary. If they allowed re-provisioning of the fort, not only would it give the Federals a continuing stronghold in the Charleston Harbor (a important Southern port), it also would hurt their claim of sovereignty and recognition by other nations. However, if they fired upon the ships Lincoln could claim that the “rebels” had started the war and issue a call to arms. The Confederacy acted on 12 April and by the following afternoon the fort had surrendered. Two days later Lincoln called for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion and defend the Union.

The New York Herald had written a week earlier on 5 April 1861, “We have no doubt Mr. Lincoln wants the Cabinet at Montgomery to take the initiative by capturing two forts in its waters, for it would give him the opportunity of throwing the responsibility of commencing hostilities. But the country and posterity will hold him just as responsible as if he struck the first blow.”

The sentiment in the North had not been not for war. Horace Greely wrote in his Tribune on 15 April, 1861, “The day before Sumter was surrendered two-thirds of the Newspapers in the North opposed coercion in any shape or form, and sympathized with the South. These papers were the South’s allies and champions. Three-fifths of the American people sympathized with the South. Over 200,000 voters opposed coercion, and believed the South had the right to secede.” Of course, that all changed with the firing on the fort.

So…you decide who provoked the war!

MYTH#8: The North went to War to abolish Slavery
MYTH#9: The South went to War to preserve the Institution

Next, let’s look at two additional myths in tandem. It is ludicrous to say that the North went to war to abolish slavery. Slavery only became an issue much later in the war as Lincoln and his regime was losing popularity – they wrapped themselves up in a righteous cloak so as to cover their true motives.

Let us look at a few important points:
If the South wanted to perpetuate the institution of slavery, they did not need to secede to accomplish that. Slavery was protected by the Constitution, so long as they remained in the Union under that Constitution. Further, after the secession of the original States, Congress passed a proposed amendment to the Constitution that would guarantee the perpetual legality of the institution of slavery. It made it unconstitutional for it ever to be amended. The ratification process had even begun. Listen to the wording:

Joint Resolution to amend the Constitution of the United States.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the following article be proposed to the legislatures of the several States as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which, when ratified by three-fourths of said Legislatures, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution, viz.:

ARTICLE THIRTEEN

No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.”

In speaking on the subject of the proposed amendment Lincoln said, “I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution – which amendment, however, I have not seen – has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service…holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”

Part of Lincoln’s first inaugural address contains the following statement: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Lincoln often remarked that if he could preserve the Union without freeing a single slave – he would do so.

Does that sound like they went to war to abolish the institution? If they were so concerned about freeing the slaves, why is that slavery continued in the Northern States and occupied Southern territory. That’s right, areas under the authority or under occupation of the US government continued the institution: Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri and the new State of West Virginia, occupied Louisiana and Tennessee as well.

Listen to the Resolution passed in the United States Senate on 26 July 1861…tell me whether or not it sounds like the North was on a holy crusade to end the institution of slavery:
“Resolved, That the present deplorable civil war has been forced upon the country by the disunionists of the southern and northern States, that in this national emergency Congress, banishing all feeling of mere passion or resentment, will recollect only its duty to the whole country; that this war is not prosecuted upon our part in any spirit of oppression, nor for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States…”

Well, that was a synopsis of things up North, let’s look at things South of the Mason-Dixon Line. In the seceding States there were a little over 5 million whites. Of this amount, only about 6% – 300,000 actually owned slaves. Yet there were some 600,000 Confederate soldiers in uniform. Even if all the slave-owners served, which they in no means did, still ½ would have owned no slaves. And by the way, according to the 1860 Census – 10,000 of the 200,000+ free slaves were themselves slaveholders, a percentage not far removed from the proportion of white slaveholders.

The truth is those lower class white Southern farmers would never have gone to war, and faced death and the loss of their families, to protect the property of the rich plantation owner. Stop and picture this with me for a minute. How many of you saw the movie “Gettysburg” a few years back? I know it was tough watching Martin Sheen play Robert E. Lee. But there was a part of that movie that struck a deep chord with me. There were the Confederate foot soldiers at the bottom of the hill and they’re looking up at Cemetery Ridge where the Yankees had gained the advantage of the better ground and were arrayed with heavy artillery.

The Southern soldiers were told that they would soon have to charge up that hill and face that artillery. Those cannon not only fired exploding shot you know, they also stuffed the barrels of cannon with all sorts of chain and sharp metal objects and so forth. When it shot out, it very cruelly spread out over a wide path and cut men to pieces.

These Confederates knew when they ran up that hill that they were dead men! And I really believe General Lee knew it. Some of his officers had let him down though he wouldn’t blame them. The bottom line he was in a bad position but he couldn’t retreat. For morale purposes, and for many other reasons, he had to fight that day. I believe General Lee knew that, humanly speaking, he could not take that hill, that victory depended on the intervention of God.

Those men as they prepared to make the charge sat down and prayed, wrote letters home to their wives and mothers saying goodbye. Now picture them about to run up this hill and die. Now what motivates a person to do that?

Most of us wimpy Southerners today, we would have tucked tail and ran. What motivated those men to charge up that hill when they knew it couldn’t be taken,– when they knew that they were going to make their wives widows and their children fatherless? You cannot convince me that those men charged up that hill and gave their lives for the institution of slavery. That they spilt their blood so that some rich 6% of the population could have their slaves. It is absurd!

As I continue research, I am still finding more and more of my ancestors that served. Many of them died serving under that banner that is so despised today. My family goes back to the 1830’s and 1840’s in Mississippi and none of them owned slaves. They fought because their country had been invaded. Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that my ancestors fought for economic reasons. They may not have even understood all of the complexities of tariffs and other such sectional strifes. But they didn’t fight for slavery. It’s like that Confederate private that was captured by the Yankees. When asked why he was fighting he replied, “I’m fightin’ cause you’re here.”

Does it make me mad to hear about all the movements to strike this flag from the face of the earth today? You better believe it! Just as it makes me mad to see neo-nazi groups use this precious flag in disgraceful ways. You know I had many ancestors who died under that flag: some in Corinth, some in Richmond, and so forth. One Great Uncle Sgt. James Burrell died in June 1863 defending Vicksburg. He has a marker in the City Cemetery. Whenever we pass through town we stop and place a flag on his grave. It is a very emotional experience for me every time. As I stand there my mind always wanders back to 1863 and I see him there fighting for what he believed in, a just cause of fighting off barbaric invaders…and he died in the process under that flag that is so despised. And people today want to vilify him and others like him.

No! I will not stand still while these liberal jackals spit on the grave on my brave forefathers. And further I will not spit on those graves myself by turning my back when I should be defending those men…men who being dead cannot defend themselves!!! Will you do the same? My ancestors and yours died under this flag. It is stained red with their blood and we must never forget them. Look at some other interesting facts.

Out of the 130 anti-slavery societies that existed in this country before the war, 2/3 of them were in the South. The State legislatures of the South were moving toward gradual emancipation. The South knew that slavery at some point in time had to be abolished.

Remember, the slaves were never imported by the South. All the slaves were imported by New Englanders and foreigners. It was a prosperous Northern enterprise, not a Southern one. Consider:

  • The Statute of establishing perpetual slavery was adopted by Massachusetts – December 1641.
  • The slave ship Desire sailed from Marblehead, Massachusetts, and was the first to sail from any English colony in America to capture Africans.
  • The first State to legislate in favor of the slave trade was Massachusetts.
  • The last State to legislate against the slave trade was Massachusetts.
  • The last slave ship to sail from the United States was the Nightingale from Massachusetts in 1861. She was captured with a cargo of 900 Africans, and this after the firing on Fort Sumter. There is no record of any Northern punishment for this act.

We could go on and on. No Southern man ever owned a slave ship. No Southern man ever commanded a slave ship. No Southern man ever went to Africa for slaves. Further, the South knew that slavery was a monumental problem with no easy solution. The South even knew that the institution would be abolished, but they wanted a gradual emancipation of the Negro.

Other countries had abolished slavery. Every other country, save this one, freed their slaves without war. It was done gradually and without economic chaos, with the owners were compensated. Ours was the only country that did not negotiate a peaceful end to the institution.

Why was this? Why was the South not allowed to gradually emancipate the slaves like they wanted too? Why were not allowed to negotiate these things peacefully? Because the North wanted war, they were not interested in freed slaves. They were interested in destroying the culture, politics, and wealth of the South.

MYTH #10: Lincoln loved the Negroes

Let us turn for a moment to the great Martyr/Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln. Listen to what he thought of the Negroes: “There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of an indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races. Make them, Negroes, politically and socially our equals? – My own feelings will not admit of this! I will say then, that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about, in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to inter-marry with white people, and I will say in addition to this – there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together in terms of social and political equality. And in so much as they cannot so live – while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man – am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

Hear again Mr. Lincoln in his first inaugural address: “I declare that I have no intention, directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery in the states where it exists.”

Less than five months before Lincoln gave his great “Emancipation Proclamation,” he invited free Negroes to the White House to discuss his ideas of colonization: “Why should people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave this country? This is perhaps, the first questions for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any two other races. Whether it is right or wrong, I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason, at least, why we should be separated…You are freeman, I suppose….But, even when you [Negroes] cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race…”

Lincoln’s words about the slaves towards the end of the war, were political expediency. They did not emanate from moral convictions. Slavery then became their great cause and they found it quite beneficial to hide behind a mask of morality as they shot fiery darts at their opponents accusing them of being cruel racists.

Look at his great “Emancipation Proclamation.” Read it carefully and completely. He pronounces as “free” those slaves that he did not have any right or power to free, those in the South. He made no declaration of freedom to those slaves dwelling in States still in the Union or under occupation. He even named specific parishes in Louisiana that the proclamation did not apply to. You talk about political smoke and mirrors. He did not declare as “free” the slaves where he had some authority to do so (or at least the authority to initiate action), and he claimed to free them where he had absolutely no authority to do so!

In the North the blacks had a tough go at things in many states. In two states they were forbid to assemble. In Illinois, Negroes were absolutely banned. They could not remain in the state for more than 10 days or they would be arrested and charged with a high misdemeanor. There are numerous examples of this “racism,” too many to list this evening.

MYTH #11: Southerners were cruel to their Slaves

It is interesting to read the comments made by Europeans visitors to the States before the war: men such as Lyle, DeTocqueville and Strickland. What they wrote clearly contradicts the claims of the abolitionists of the North. And there was no television or Internet for the people of the North to verify the fire-eaters claims.

On most large plantations, slaves outnumbered whites 20 or 30 to one. If they were really being beaten and whipped and tortured then they could have easily rose up against the owners. It is very telling that during the war, when the white men were off fighting, they left their wives and children in the hands of their trusted servants. Why did they not rise up and kill the defenseless family members? The truth is – conditions were not so oppressive as we have been made to believe.

If slaves were beaten and starved then how is that many saved enough money to buy their own freedom? Our history books seem to omit slaves being paid for any work, or that some planters had profit-sharing plans. The truth is that some slaves not only managed to buy their freedom but became quite wealthy.

Listen to the words of a former slave, Simon Phillips of Alabama. In the 1930’s in the Slave Narratives he said, “People have the wrong ideas of slave days, we was treated good. My massa never laid a hand on me the whole time I was with him and sometimes we loaned him money when he was hard-pressed.”

Almost all of the slaves enjoyed a higher standard of living in the South than the poor whites. Another former slave speaking in the Narratives complained that the house she lived in was like a poor white house, not like the cabin she lived in during slavery.

Most slaves worked under the task system. Certain jobs were assigned, they had so much time to do so much work. So some would work overtime and finish early so they could take vacations and trips. Slaves were seen traveling on highways with the master’s carriage.

Now, what about the breaking up of families, the raping of the black women and all these stories that we are told? Time doesn’t permit us to talk on this as much as I would like. But the truth is that the planters supported strong families. This was another part of Southern culture, and still is compared to other parts of the country. Marriage was encouraged and adultery punished. Keep in mind nothing was gained by breaking up slave families and raping the black women. If nothing else, it was bad economics. How could you get your servants to respect you and work hard for you if you did such things. It is absurd! It is also interesting to note, too, that the percentage of mulattos was astronomically higher in the North than in the South.

What about food? We are led to believe that the slaves were all nearly starved to death. Studies have shown that the average slave diet exceeded the modern minimum daily requirements of nutrients by over 230%. What about clothes? They had far better clothes than most poor free whites. As to their homes, most had cabins about 18 x 20 with 1-2 rooms below and lofts above for sleeping. They had raised plank floors and chimneys. In fact, they had more sleeping room per person than the average New York City’s working class did in 1900. They had cradle to grave security, and total medical care.

Well, there are so many other interesting points to make, but we only have some much time for each point. Let’s move on to our last three points:

MYTH #12: The North fought for the Restoration of the Union

Was it a war for the restoration of the Union, or a war for the annihilation of the South? The facts answer this question. Lincoln and his generals had a scorched-earth policy. They wanted total destruction. In the winter campaigns, they would burn homes and send the helpless women and children fleeing into the cold and homeless…without their husbands around to help.

In South Carolina, after Sherman left, the civilians only food was the garbage left where the Union troops had camped. When Sherman marched to the Sea, his men spread out 50-60 miles and totally destroyed everything in their path. The rear guard even raped our women and killed civilians. Sherman wrote that his troops had done at least 100 Millions dollars worth of damage [1860’s Dollars], four-fifths of which, far from being of military advantage, was “simple waste and destruction.” Lincoln wrote after the burning of Atlanta: “The undertaking being a great success, the honor is all yours.”

Men stole what they didn’t destroy. They took women’s wedding rings right off their fingers. They took children’s clothes and tossed them into the fires. Soldiers even went through the cemeteries and dug up graves in search of jewelry. Again, we could go on and on..

The Yankees brought a new type of warfare to the civilized world. Today it is known as “Total Warfare.” You can search the annals of war between civilized countries before the 1860’s and you will not find any example of such cruel atrocities as perpetuated by the Yankee army on the Southern people. You see, they broke with all humane codes of war, and took their war to the civilian population. If they couldn’t whup the Confederate soldiers, they would beat up on the women, children, elderly…and yes, the Negroes.

There are several very thick books written on the subject of the Yankee atrocities, many compiled by Northerners who were sickened by the satanic methods of Northern warfare. In all my years of lecturing – I have yet to be able to bring myself to talk about the indignities and atrocities forced upon our people. It makes me angry and ashamed. It makes me angry that it is our people who are today vilified and the evil victors who are deified. It makes me ashamed because we, as Southerners, are to worried about being labeled with the “r” word to stand up and defend the honor of those who died in an effort to preserve their Christian culture for their descendants…us.

Why were Southrons, for decades, unreconstructed? Why all the sectional tension still nearly a century and a half later? I tell you why…Because as General Lee said, “Force may crush truth to the earth, but crushed or not, truth is still truth.” And that is why I am here this evening challenging you to study your history. Be like the noble Bereans of Scripture and search out the things that I have spoken about to see whether they be so. Halt from dishonoring your Christian ancestors who lost many a battle and opportunity because they refused to fight like their enemies.

Consider General Robert E. Lee’s General Order #73. He commanded his men from any injury against private property as they went through Maryland and Pennsylvania. He declared they would be reprimanded for disobedience. Hear part of that Order: “The Commanding General thinks that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it our whole people, than to commit outrages on the innocent and defenseless.”

His property at Arlington had been taken by the Yankees, his wife and daughters were rendered homeless…yet he did not fail to return good for evil. In Maryland, he was seen to get down from his horse and put up a fence-rail that his men had knocked down. He did not take the war to the civilians.

The Yankee doctrine of “Total Warfare” set the stage for all modern wars. Hitler and Stalin studied the policies of Lincoln’s war department and put them into practice.

MYTH #13: The South Intentionally let Yankees Die in Prison

I feel it necessary to touch briefly on this point because a movie was released to television not too long ago about Andersonville Prison. I did not watch it but I understand that it made the South look like it allowed thousands of Yankee prisoners to die. It made Andersonville conjure up images of Auschwitz. This is propagating an old lie.

Let’s let the facts speak for themselves. According to Yankee Secretary of War Stanton’s own records: there were 270,000 Yankees in Southern prisons with 22,576 deaths (or 8.3%). In Northern prisons, there were 220,000 Southern prisoners with 25,436 deaths (or 12%), almost 50% greater!

In June of 1864, Andersonville prison had 20,000 prisoners. By August, the prison population had reached 33,000. Remember, this was the summer of Sherman’s march to the sea. Southern farms, barns and mills had been burned to the ground under the scorched-earth policy of the Lincoln regime. Further, Union forces destroyed medicine and medical supplies when found even from private, not merely military physicians. The South could not supply the prisoners what it could not supply to its own men. In fact, rations for prisoners were the same as rations for the Confederate soldiers.

In all, 12,912 Union prisoners died at Andersonville out of a total of 45,613. Most of these died during the dreaded latter part of 1864 after Sherman’s invasion and pillage. Prisoners were dying at the rate of about 100 per day.

General Grant said, “It is hard on our men held in Southern prisons not to exchange them, but it is humanity to those left in the ranks to fight our battles. Every man released on parole becomes an active soldier against us at once. If we commence a system of exchange which liberates all prisoners taken, we will have to fight on until the whole South is exterminated. If we hold those caught, they amount to no more than dead men.”

In July 1864, Henry Wirz, the prison superintendent, paroled 5 prisoners to act as emissaries to Washington to petition the US government to abide by the original prisoner exchange agreement which the US had not been keeping to. It fell on deaf ears. Then the Confederate government asked Washington authorities to send physicians and medical supplies for the express use of Union Soldiers. The proposition was ignored. Finally, the Confederate government offered to deliver up all sick and wounded men without requiring and equivalent number in return. Though this offer was made in August, the US government did not send ships until December – this during the height of the deaths. Haste in this matter could have saved thousands of lives.

Now, this explains the high percentage of deaths at Andersonville – but what about in the North were the prison death rate was 50% greater, where food and medicine was plentiful? You be the judge!

Washington judged: they hanged Wirz! Yet many Northern officers and soldiers held at Andersonville later came forth and declared the innocence of Wirz in the matter. One was Lt. James Madison Page, a prisoner who later wrote the book, “The True Story of Andersonville Prison.” One other note of interest: the exact spot where they hanged Wirz in Washington is the very site of the US Supreme Court today. Very symbolic of the Yankee justice he received isn’t it?

MYTH #14: The North Instituted Reconstruction to Heal the Wounds

As if the war was not bad enough – here comes the carpetbaggers to pick the bones clean that the soldiers tossed in the trash heap. Shortly after Lee’s surrender Lincoln was assassinated and Vice-President Andrew Johnson assumed the helm. Congress was not in session when this occurred.

Johnson was granting amnesties and helping State governments get back into business, but when representatives of these states came back to Washington, after having been duly elected, Congress refused to seat them and sent them home. They maintained that the states had seceded and that Congress, not the President had to deal with their re-admittance. Before the war, they had not accepted the South’s secession. Now that the war was over, they said they could not seat the representatives in Congress because the States were not in the Union…they had seceded and formed another country. Sorry hypocrites!

This was an admission on the part of the Federal government that the war was an act of aggression, but at this point in time they cared less…the South was destroyed!

You see, the Congress stirred by Senator Charles Sumner and Congressman Thaddeus Stevens (The Union “SS” Leaders) went about taking the reins of government out of the hands of the president. They wanted to deal with the South and take control of the re-construction. Congress would pass laws and Johnson would veto them, only to have Congress pass them over veto.

The South was divided into five military districts – and the commanders of each district were given almost unlimited power. Military tribunals were set up for the trial of anyone. The powers of police and local civil officials were suspended. Land and equipment and animals (what few were left) were confiscated. The presses were kept silent. For example, on 8 August 1867, a body of soldiers forced their way into the office of the Constitutional Eagle published at Camden, Arkansas, seized, carried off and destroyed all the material of the office. The Union officers in charge said, “An article in your paper unnecessarily exasperated my soldiers. The press may censure the servants of the people, but the military are not the servants of the people, but their masters. It is a great impertinence for a newspaper in this State to comment on the military under any circumstances.”

They also established the Freedman’s Bureau – a wicked group that tried to stir up black hatred toward former slave-owners. The Negro had not won their freedom, they were more dependent on the white men than they ever were before. Listen to the words of the Northerner Wendell Phillips who was certainly no friend of the South. He says, “The Republican party is not inspired by any humane desire to protect the Negro. It uses the bloody shirt for office, and once there, only laughs at it. Today our greatest danger is the Republican party. Wolves in sheep’s clothing! Hypocrites!

Many white Southerners were barred from voting while former slaves, regardless of their preparation for political responsibility, were given full voting rights.

The Reconstruction Era (in one sense) lasted 11 years. The South was left burdened with debt for a 100 years, debts paid into the federal treasury unto the last penny, while debts of foreign nations – even hostile nations were being forgiven or reduced to mere tokens.

In 1870, the summer before the autumn of Lee’s death he told ex-Governor Stockdale of Texas – “Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox; no, sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand.” President Davis was unreconstructed to the end: “It’s been said that I should apply to the United States for a pardon, but repentance must precede the right of a pardon, and I have not repented.

This Evening’s Conclusion

Why were we not taught these things in our schools? As I said earlier, history revisionism abounds today. They are in the driver’s seat. It is not politically-correct to question them. Those who win the war, have always controlled the textbooks.

Consider the fruits of that war: the war gave us a wrecked Constitution with amendments that strengthen the stranglehold. We can thank Lincoln and his ilk for the strong, centralized federal government and weak states that we have today. Remember too, it was Lincoln who gave us the Income Tax. Isn’t it fitting that we have to pay by 15 April… the day of his death? Washington issued greenbacks, dishonest money. Again, the list goes on and on. Many of the worst problems the nation faces today are problems which had their beginnings with Abraham Lincoln…the founder of the New World Order.

Robert Lewis Dabney prophetically wrote over 100 years ago that “The cause of the South will one day be the cause of us all”! Indeed, it is not only the South’s battle today. The remainder of the forced union has been brought under the despot’s heel…and in fact, the cause of the South is being slowly being vindicated by many new Copperheads from all sections of that other country across the Mason-Dixon line.

Did the former slaves have the opinions of today’s liberal leaders? Let me read something to you that’s close to home: I leave you with this one last point. This concerns the current flag controversy. It is demanded that we erase from our society every symbol of our Southern heritage, particularly our flags. While flags may be symbols – they are powerful symbols. They represent who and what the people are. A flag represents their culture, their religion, their laws, and their manners…even their food, their music, their dress and other such things peculiar to a people. To destroy the symbols is to destroy what the symbols stand for. Psalm 60:4, “Thou hast given a banner [flag] to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.”

And symbols must be taken in their historic perspective. It is injustice to our brave ancestors who fought and died under the Confederate flag to say that the flag represents the KKK or that it represents hate. The Klan has indeed used the Confederate flag since sometime in the 1960’s. But they also use the American flag and have used it for over an hundred years. Does that make the American flag a symbol of racism? The Klan uses the cross – a strong symbol of the Christian faith. Should the churches be labeled “racist” if they have a cross on the steeple or elsewhere displayed?”

The current controversy is not really about the flag. It goes much deeper. It is ethnic cleansing – cultural genocide. Generally speaking, the South is Christianity’s last stand. Our culture, our faith, our view of the family, and so forth…is drastically different from that of other sections. Indeed it is different from the world. While most Southerners today are ignorant of the times, the anti-Christian forces of enmity work day and night to stamp out our Christian heritage. And believe me, there are many of our enemies who know quite well that the principles enthreaded in that flag are the very principles they seek to eradicate. They beliueve the symbols must go and with them the principles that stand for.

In the words of the prophet Micah 2:1-2, “Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage.”

Does the Scripture have a little more meaning to you than when I first read it?