Skip to comments.Ten Neo-Confederate Myths
Posted on 03/10/2013 8:19:44 AM PDT by BroJoeK
Ten Neo-Confederate Myths (+one)
In fact, a study of the earliest secessionists documents shows, when they bother to give reasons at all, their only major concern was to protect the institution of slavery.
For example, four seceding states issued "Declarations of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify Secession from the Federal Union".
These documents use words like "slavery" and "institution" over 100 times, words like "tax" and "tariff" only once (re: a tax on slaves), "usurpation" once (re: slavery in territories), "oppression" once (re: potential future restrictions on slavery).
So secession wasn't just all about slavery, it was only about slavery.
In fact, secessionists biggest real complaint was that Washington was not doing enough to enforce fugitive slave laws in Northern states.
Mississippi's Declaration is instructive since it begins by explaining why slavery is so important:
It goes on to complain that the Federal Government is not enforcing its own Fugitive Slave laws, saying that anti-slavery feeling:
In fact, the Compromise of 1850 shifted responsibility for enforcing Fugitive Slave laws from northern states to the Federal Government, so this complaint amounts to a declaration that Washington is not powerful enough.
In fact, no where in the Founders' literature is the 10th Amendment referenced as justifying unilateral, unapproved secession "at pleasure".
Instead, secession (or "disunion") is always seen as a last resort, requiring mutual consent or material usurpations and oppression.
For example, the Virginia Ratification Statement says:
James Madison explained it this way:
"It is the nature & essence of a compact that it is equally obligatory on the parties to it, and of course that no one of them can be liberated therefrom without the consent of the others, or such a violation or abuse of it by the others, as will amount to a dissolution of the compact.
Applying this view of the subject to a single community, it results, that the compact being between the individuals composing it, no individual or set of individuals can at pleasure, break off and set up for themselves, without such a violation of the compact as absolves them from its obligations."
In fact, the 1860 Republican platform only called for restricting slavery from territories where it did not already exist.
And Lincoln repeatedly said he would not threaten slavery in states where it was already legal.
In fact, neither out-going President Buchanan nor incoming President Lincoln did anything to stop secessionists from declaring independence and forming a new Confederacy.
And Buchanan did nothing to stop secessionists from unlawfully seizing Federal properties or threatening and shooting at Federal officials.
Nor did Lincoln, until after the Confederacy started war at Fort Sumter (April 12, 1861) and then formally declared war on the United States, May 6, 1861.
In fact, no Confederate soldier was killed by any Union force, and no Confederate state was "invaded" by any Union army until after secessionists started war at Fort Sumter and formally declared war on May 6, 1861.
The first Confederate soldier was not killed directly in battle until June 10, 1861.
In fact, from Day One, Confederacy was an assault on the United States, and did many things to provoke and start, then formally declared war on the United States.
From Day One secessionists began to unlawfully seize dozens of Federal properties (i.e., forts, armories, ships, arsenals, mints, etc.), often even before they formally declared secession.
At the same time, they illegally threatened, imprisoned and fired on Federal officials -- for example, the ship Star of the West attempting to resupply Fort Sumter in January 1861 -- then launched a major assault to force Sumter's surrender, while offering military support for secessionist forces in a Union state (Missouri) .
And all of that was before formally declaring war on the United States.
After declaring war, the Confederacy sent forces into every Union state near the Confederacy, and some well beyond.
Invaded Union states & territories included:
In every state or territory outside the Confederacy proper, Confederate forces both "lived off the land" and attempted to "requisition" supplies to support Confederate forces at home.
Secessionists also assaulted the United states by claiming possession of several Union states and territories which had never, or could never, in any form vote to seceed.
So bottom line: the Confederacy threatened every Union state and territory it could reach.
In fact, there are remarkably few records of civilians murdered or raped by either side, certainly as compared to other wars in history.
But "pillaging" is a different subject, and both sides did it -- at least to some degree.
The Union army was generally self-sufficient, well supplied from its own rail-heads, and seldom in need to "live off the land."
In four years of war, the best known exceptions are Grant at Vicksburg and Sherman's "march to the sea".
In both cases, their actions were crucial to victory.
By contrast, Confederate armies were forced to "live off the land" both at home and abroad.
Yes, inside the Confederacy itself, armies "paid" for their "requisitions" with nearly worthless money, but once they marched into Union states and territories, their money was absolutely worthless, and so regardless of what they called it, their "requisitions" were no better than pillaging.
Perhaps the most famous example of Confederate pillaging, it's often said, cost RE Lee victory at the Battle of Gettysburg: while Lee's "eyes and ears" -- J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry -- was out pillaging desperately needed supplies in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Lee was partially blind to Union movements and strengths.
In fact, only one crime is defined in the US Constitution, and that is "treason".
The Constitution's definition of "treason" could not be simpler and clearer:
The Constitution also provides for Federal actions against "rebellion", "insurrection", "domestic violence", "invasion" declared war and treason.
So Pro-Confederate arguments that "there was no treason" depend first of all on the legality of secession.
If their secession was lawful, then there was no "treason", except of course among those citizens of Union states (i.e., Maryland, Kentucky & Missouri) which "adhered to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort".
But the bottom line is this: in previous cases -- i.e., the Whiskey Rebellion -- once rebellion was defeated, rebels were all released or pardoned by the President of the United States.
And that pattern, first established by President Washington, was followed under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson.
In fact, lawful secession by mutual consent could be 100% constitutional, if representatives submitted and passed such a bill in Congress, signed by the President.
Alternatively, states could bring suit in the United States Supreme Court for a material breach of contract and have the Federal government declared an "oppressive" or "usurping" power justifying secession.
But Deep-South slave-holders' unilateral, unapproved declarations of secession, without any material breach of contract issues, followed by insurrection and a declaration of war on the United States -- these our Founders clearly understood were acts of rebellion and treason -- which the Constitution was designed to defeat.
That leads to the larger question of whether our Pro-Confederates actually respect the Constitution as it was intended or, do they really wish for a return to those far looser, less binding -- you might even say, 1960s style "free love" marriage contract -- for which their union was named: the Articles of Confederation?
But consider: the Confederacy's constitution was basically a carbon copy of the US Constitution, emphasizing rights of holders of human "property".
So there's no evidence that Confederate leaders were in any way more tolerant -- or "free love" advocates -- regarding secession from the Confederacy than any Union loyalist.
Then what, precisely, does the allegation of "statism" mean?
The truth is, in this context, it's simply one more spurious insult, and means nothing more than, "I don't like you because you won't agree with me."
Poor baby... ;-)
Plus, one "bonus" myth:
No, no, no way...
Yes, FDR could be the O-man's political daddy, and his political mother those 1960s radicals like, well, his mother.
And one of his grandparents is well known: his intellectual maternal grandpa is Karl Marx.
But the other grandpa is certainly not Lincoln.
Rather, it is Lincoln's evil doppelganger, the other tall thin President born in Kentucky: Jefferson Davis.
How can that be?
Well, here's my list -- both Obama and Davis are/were:
I'd suspect it's your fear of "Yankee self-righteousness" which drives a lot of responses here, as opposed to some more etherial love of factually correct history... ;-)
If we are interested in real history, then it might help to remember that slavery was abolished very slowly in the north and west (i.e., Illinois), and had it continued that course, might eventually have been abolished in some border states, such as Delaware and Maryland.
But (and it's a huge "but"), in the Deep South, slavery was a way of life so deeply built into the prosperous economy and Southern culture that abolition could not even be discussed with those people.
That's why the mere election of a "Black Republican" such as Abraham Lincoln, was cause enough to not only declare their secession, but also to start and formally declare war on the United States.
So, these facts have nothing to do with "Yankee self-righteousness", they are simply the truth of the matter.
Not this ex-Northerner. I’ll be very blessed if I can stay here and never leave.
Take a look at that 1860 election and ask yourself if you believe a man who obtained 30 percent of the electorate was fit to become president.
If it was all about slavery and keeping the black man in chains, why did blacks fight for the south? The Civil War was a very complex issue with many sides—slavery was only one.
Items 5, 6 & 7 focus on the sequence of events leading up to the Confederate declaration of war on the United States, May 6, 1861.
If you are not conversant in those events, then I can recommend books on the subject.
Of, if you wish to cite facts which prove those points wrong, I'll be happy to respond.
The Constitution did not say if 5 people decided to run, that the guy that got the most votes from that lot is “unfit” because the majority % needed to win would be less than 50%.
He won fair and square.
Want to know a secret? Those of us who live in states which didn't vote for Obama do the same thing towards all y'all who live in states that did.
Lincoln got 40% of the electorate, and almost 60% of the electoral vote. So yes, he was fit to be president. Certainly more fit than any of the other candidates were if all you're going on if vote totals.
Cain-tucky is heard from! And with good reason for observing the 30%, as well as being VP, Sec. of War, Brigadier General and genuine gentleman, leader and scholar.
Oh, yes, Joe. You've hit on it. We're scared to death of Yankees. In fact, we're trembling like chihuahuas crapping tacks. /s
The arrogance is amazing....and funny!
At least you recognize your self-righteousness and are able to admit to it. That's a step in the right direction. You can heal now.
Lee's armies invading Union states of Maryland (1862) and Pennsylvania (1863) took what they needed, because that's what Lee ordered them to do.
Other Confederate forces under different leaders took a different approach, including those invading Union states of Pennsylvania (1864), Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Kansas, to mention some.
Lonesome in Massachusetts: "The Confederate armies avoided contact with the Union forces as much as possible after Gettysburg, they were trying to wear down resolve in the North."
Here is my most comprehensive listing, so far, of Confederate invasions of Union states and territories.
Please note that not all came before Lee's Battle of Gettysburg.
All left trails of pillaging, some of burnings and a few even of kidnapping and murder.
Especially at the battle of Franklin.
That sure doesn’t look like the flag flying over the smoking hulks along Battleship Row on Dec.7 1941 and it sure doesn’t look like the flag being raised on Mt. Surabachi. Or the one flying from the rubble of the World Trade Center. And it sure as Hell isn’t the one our men and women are serving under today.
Bravo! I agree.
How’s that reconstruction thing workin’ out for ya?
And how exactly were the slaves freed y’all?
I grew up in the North being told that the Confederacy was evil and they wanted to ruin the nation, and enslave blacks forever blah blah blah...
The more I studied the civil war and compared it to modern day politics the more I see parallels happening.
I’ve grown to question my belief of Lincoln, and who was really “right” regarding the war.
As I see states rights continue to erode to this day, I believe we are doomed to repeat history.
Details regarding #6:
The Battle At Big Bethel Church, Virginia - June 10, 1861
Pierce’s command, 7 regiments in all, were in nearly complete disorganization when they hit Magruder’s entrenched line.
During the confusion of the attack the 7th New York began firing in the Union rear and the Yankees withdrew to reorganize but never attacked again.
The Union lost 76 men.
The Confederates lost 8.
“Want to know a secret? Those of us who live in states which didn’t vote for Obama do the same thing towards all y’all who live in states that did.”
If you are so proud to be from a state that didn’t support Obama, why don’t you fly your state flag on your about page?
Teacher317: "Do you not read? I copied the quote from the article above.
I'll post it again, just to help you out..."
I'm not certain if rockrr wrote exactly what he intended to mean...
My point is that neither President Buchanan nor Lincoln did anything to stop Deep-South secessionists from calling their conventions, declaring their independence and forming their new Confederate government -- zero, zip, nada, nothing.
Even when secessionists began unlawfully seizing Federal properties, threatening, imprisoning and shooting at federal officials, Buchanan and Lincoln still did nothing, until after the Confederacy started war at Fort Sumter and formally declared war on May 6, 1861.
Then Lincoln responded as he constitutionally should have.