Skip to comments.Comes A Stillness
Posted on 01/17/2013 2:16:28 AM PST by Kaslin
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Paul, the occupant of the White Hut is gwine git you for saying things like that ...... bringing up character! You might as well bring a Salvation Army brass band into a Basin Street cathouse on a Friday night.
Barky the Bouncer, he gwine git you! (Well, okay, maybe Reggie will.)
Objectively he committed the crime, and he also had a very negative attitude after the war which did nothing to help matters.
But Davis wasn't really worth the trouble, and so it was dropped, and I agree with that.
Lee, on the other hand, did everything he could to help rebuild the country.
Trying and executing Lee would have been considered an outrage in the North as well as the South.
It would not only have been unjust, but also extremely stupid.
Agreed. One can criticize any number of Lee’s command decisions; he was a great commander, not a perfect one, and the south lost the war so one can always debate alternative courses of action. But when one turns to character, the debunkers have come up empty.
Really, DAvis ASKED for a trial. No one in Justice wanted to try him because that would put secession on trial and they thought they would LOSE.
More generally, one shouldn't feed an energy creature. It deliberately provokes people to feed off their discomfort, unhappiness, and displeasure. Such posters are ghosts, ghouls, and energy vampires. Ignore it, it will go away if you don't feed it responses.
That's a simplification.
We can get into an enormous debate, but the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution by its very nature rules out all unilateral secession.
Whether or not you believe that to be the case, James Speed (AG at the time of Davis' arrest) was 110% certain that it was the case and would have been more than happy to argue it.
That's why he indicted Davis for treason.
Davis fought the indictment, his lawyers seeking to have it quashed or nullified on the grounds that the court did not have authority over him.
This dragged on for four years.
After Davis lost his last appeal to have it quashed, the new Grant administration just took office and believed that starting the new administration with a trial that would reopen all the old wounds was just not smart.
I agree with that.
After the Grant administration dropped the case, which given the composition of the Supreme Court at that time would have gone 7-2 or 8-1 against Davis, Davis - now free and clear of any repercussions - started saying that he would want a trial.
Davis did not get himself elected President of the Confederacy by being a bad politician.
But...there still remains the matter of Lee’s character, which still looms above its critics... And that is Greenberg’s point.”
We should honor General Lee for this reason, if no other. What a remarkable man.
Sherman was not an indiscriminate destroyer. Neither was Phil Sheridan in the Shenandoah. Both WERE intent on wrecking southern logistics, and they accepted that food storage and transportation infrastructure were legitimate military targets, as they have been considered to be in most times and places throughout history and would be considered today. It was still unpleasant to be in the path of the armies, but (aside from Columbia SC) there was very little burning for the sake of burning, and by the standards of almost any armies any time, anywhere, astonishingly few instances of abuse of the civilian population.
Southern mythmakers, of course, have a different view. Every building that burned anywhere in the deep south for the next hundred years got attributed to Sherman’s march, even if the Yankees never came within a hundred miles and the fire took place in 1927.
I don’t know about Sherman’s march, but in the Shenandoah barns were burned if they were full, and left untouched if empty. The point was to prevent Lee from sending another army down the Valley, not to ruin the land (hence Grant’s comment about making a crow carry its own rations). A very few houses burned by accident, whem sparks from the barn were blown by the wind; Sheridan’s men generally tried to put out such fires but didn’t always succeed. Several times, they helped the families get their possessions out of the house. A few other homes were deliberately burned in retaliation for the murder of Union soldiers by confederate guerrilla, but that was a singular incident.
The government wanted Davis to ask for a pardon, but he refused this, feeling that to do so would be an admission of guilt. Davis actually wanted to stand trial for treason, because he felt certain that he would be vindicated. On May 5, 1867 he was freed on bond at Richmond, and soon after he traveled to a home that had been prepared for him near Montreal, Canada. In October it appeared that he would have to go back to Richmond for a trial, but that likelihood evaporated and he never stood trial at all. He eventually moved to Mississippi and became a businessman.
And this description is largely spin.
Why did Davis' lawyers fight his indictment in the courts for four years if what he really wanted was to go to trial?
Okay — get lost.
Correct. His first command was in West Virginia and the confederates were pretty easily routed. Davis then sent Lee to build coastal defenses in Georgia and South Carolina. After that, he was assigned as a military aid to Jeff Davis and only after Joe Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines a full year into the war did Lee replace him as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, a move that was criticized at the time by the Confederate press who called him "Granny Lee."
In Citizen Sherman, Michael Fellman describes how Shermans chief engineer, Captain O.M. Poe, advised that the bombing of Atlanta was of no military significance (the Confederates had already abandoned the city) and implored Sherman to stop the bombardment after viewing the carcasses of dead women and children in the streets. Sherman coldly told him the dead bodies were "a beautiful sight".
Union artillery, under Sherman's supervision, carried out the bombardment orders.
Here are a few examples of Union troops executed for just that:
"Preble James, 22, b.Batavia (NY), pvt, co K, 12 NY cav., shooted at Goldsboro (NC) 31 march 1865 for attempted rape on Mrs Rebecca Drake (23) and Miss Louise Jane Bedard, her cousin (17) and rape of Miss Letitia Craft her aunt (58) near Kingston (NC) on the afternoon of 16 march 1865."
"Catlett Alfred, 20, from Richmond (Va), farmer, pvt, co E, 1st heavy Art. USCT / Colwell Alexander, 26, farmer from NC, pvt same unit / Turner Charles, 18, farmer from Charleston (SC), pvt same unit / Washington Jackson, 22, farmer from NC, pvt co K same unit / The four was shooted at Asheville (NC) 6 may 1865 for the gang rape of "a young white woman". (in OR S1 vol XLIX part II).
You said: "That can be easily denied, since he ordered the burning of precisely one city - Atlanta."
Not only can your contention be denied, but proved a canard.
Scores of towns and villages in Georgia and South Carolina were torched by Sherman's troops. If you want to assert that he did not order any further burning after Atlanta in Sept of 1864, the word had not reached his officers by February of 1865. Here is documentation from a post by Rustbucket: the burning and destruction of those listed SC towns and villages.
Hardeeville: "[SHERMAN'S MARCH THROUGH THE CAROLIINAS] Confederates skirmish at Hardeeville and federals burn the town all night/1865" Link
Barnwell: "The town of Barnwell was burned as was part of Orangeburg and Winnsboro." Link
Grahamville: "Most of the buildings in the town were burned by Gen. Shermans troops in 1865." Link
Gallisonville: "burned and left in ruin" Link
McPhersonville: General Logan (Union) to General Howard (Union), January 7 - March 31, 1865 report: "In accordance with your Field Order, Numbers 29, I moved the corps from McPhersonville to Hickory Hill, breaking camp at 7 a.m. Before the rear of my column passed through McPhersonville I regret to inform you that the village was in flames. This was doubtlessly induced by the desertion of their houses by the entire population, for on our entrance into the village not a human being was to be found." Link
Barnwell: "The town of Barnwell was burned as was part of Orangeburg and Winnsboro." Link
Blackville: "On February 12th the army marched out of Blackville, leaving a trail of smoke behind them. A few homes and other buildings survived due to the vigilance and fast work of the villagers." Link
Orangeburg: "Sherman's men push back the Confederate forces at Orangeburg and begin to destroy the railway there and set fire to the town. By the end of the day nearly half the town is destroyed by the fire." Link
Lexington: "The town suffered tremendous loss of buildings in 1865 under the occupation of forces under the command of Gen. Sherman (Lexington was under control of the army guarding the Western Flank of Shermans troops.) Most businesses and homes, the county jail and courthouse and St. Stephens Lutheran Church were all burned." Link
Columbia: "The city of Columbia surrenders to Sherman. Union troops occupy the city. A fire breaks out, and by the next day, nearly two-thirds of the city has been destroyed." Link. And: Union Captain George Whitfield Pepper reported in his 1866 book that he met crowds of soldiers returning from Columbia "waving gold watches, handfuls of gold, jewelry, and rebel shinplasters [rb: paper money] in the air, and boasting of having burned the town."
Winnsboro: "During the Civil War, it was looted and partially burned by Union troops in 1865, but many older structures remain." Link. And: "On his march north from the capital city of Columbia in February 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman had stopped just long enough to burn most of the town, an act that was not soon forgotten." Link. And: ""There were about thirty buildings burned, including dwellings and stores. The Yankees did not seem to care whether a building was occupied or not, but picked out-houses where, in their burning, they would communicate the flames to other premises. Every particle of property burned belonged to private individuals. No public property was destroyed. ... The Yankees also set fire to, and destroyed, the Episcopal Church, situated in the northwestern portion of the town; and while it was burning they took the organ, played upon it, and sang blasphemous songs. Many of the citizens were plundered; wedding rings and mementoes of deceased husbands or parents were stolen as ruthlessly as gold coin would have been. Watches and jewelry were cut from the persons of ladies, and, in some instances, their shoes removed on the pretence of searching for rings." Link
Camden: "Ultimately, like so many other towns in South Carolina, Camden did not escape the wrath of Sherman's men. In February 1865, many of its buildings were once again burned." Link. And: Most of Camden escaped the torch Link. And: "On the 24th of February 1865, during the Civil War, a part of Gen. W. T.Sherman's. army entered Camden and burned stores of tobacco and cotton, and several buildings." Link. And: "In Camden, the Federals burned the railroad depots, a bridge, two thousand bales of cotton, food warehouses, and a flour mill." Link
Cheraw: "Outlying plantations and summer homes are burned, but no in town dwellings or churches are destroyed. Valuables are stolen and there is much vandalism. The official headquarters is the Matheson House. Sherman himself stays on McIver Street. When they leave the town will be destitute, and without food for more than a day or two. Almost the entire business district is destroyed by an accidental Yankee explosion." Link
Williston: "The Union forces then tore up railroad tracks and burned many of Willistons homes." Link
That is a vast misrepresentation of the truth. In his memoirs Sherman boasted that his army destroyed more than $100 million in private property and carried home $20 million more during his "march to the sea."
From The Augusta Chronicle [Georgia] as reported in an 1864 issue of the New Orleans Daily Picayune:
In their route they [Sherman's troops] destroyed, as far as possible, all mills, cribs, and carried off all stock, provisions, and negroes, and when their horses gave out they shot them. At Canton they killed over 100. ... All along their route the road was strewn with dead horses, Farmers having devoted a large share of their attention to syrup making, there is a large quantity of cotton ungathered in the field, which was left by Federals, but there is not a horse or ox in the country, hence the saving of corn will be a difficult matter. At Madison, they broke open Oglesby's office and carried off all his medicines. ...
On going to McCradle's place he [a Georgia legislator] found his fine house and ginhouse burned, every horse and mule gone, and in his lot 100 dead horses, that looked like good stock, that were evidently killed to deprive the planters of them.
...No farm on the road to the place, and as far as we hear from toward Atlanta, escaped their brutal ravages. They ravaged the country below there to the Oconee River. The roads were strewn with the debris of their progress. Dead horses, cows, sheep, hogs, chicken, corn, wheat, cotton, books, paper, broken vessels, coffee mills, and fragments of nearly every species of property strewed the wayside.
...They gutted every store, and plundered more or less of everything. ... Many families have not a pound of meat or peck of meal or flour.
A couple of points:
I averred out that crimes are committed by soldiers in every army - the quality of a commander consists in whether he permits or forbids such crimes to be committed and whether he punishes such forbidden crimes when discovered.
Your posts show that Sherman did not approve of such activity, and that he punished it when discovered.
Also, Fellman's quotations of Poe are interesting - in light of the fact that Poe was tasked with burning down the remainder of Atlanta and that he did it.
I highly doubt that Poe, a trained engineer, was stupid enough to believe that a city that was a core railhead in the center of the South was "of no military significance."
Sherman informed the mayor that when he surrendered the city, the bombardment would end - and the mayor surrendered and the bombardment ended.
Finally, your list of towns that were partially burned underlines the fact that they were not ordered to be burned. Some fires began as deliberate acts of sabotage by Confederates who - intelligently - wanted to deprive the Union Army of stores. Some fires began accidentally - posting troops who are building literally thousands of campfires is going to start a large quota of fires in residential areas.
And then there are the fires set deliberately on Sherman's orders: Atlanta.
Stay classy, lg.
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