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How Lincolnís Army 'Liberated' the Indians
LewRockwell.com ^ | February 12, 2003 | Thomas DiLorenzo

Posted on 02/12/2003 1:56:58 PM PST by Aurelius

In a recent issue of The American Enterprise magazine devoted to the War between the States (see my LRC article, "AEI is Still Fighting the Civil War") Victor Hanson, a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, defends and makes excuses for Lincoln’s intentional waging of war on Southern civilians. This included the bombing, pillaging and plundering of their cities and towns, the burning of their homes, total destruction of farms and livestock, gang rape, and the killing of thousands, including women and children of all races. (See Merchant of Terror: General Sherman and Total War by John Bennett Walters or The Hard Hand of War by Mark Grimsley).

It was all justified, says Hanson, because General Sherman and his men were supposedly motivated by the belief that it was necessary "to guarantee the American proposition that each man is as good as another." Sherman’s "bummers," as they were called, were "political avenging angels" who were offended by racial inequalities in the South. They were driven by "an ideological furor, to destroy the nature of Southern aristocracy." The "tyrannical Southern ruling class" needed to be taught a lesson. (Besides, he writes, "rapes during [Sherman’s] march were almost unknown)."

In reality, neither Sherman nor his soldiers believed any of these things. (And rapes were not as "unknown" to the Southern people as they are to Hanson). In the Northern states at the time, myriad Black Codes existed that prohibited blacks from migrating into most Northern states and kept them from entering into contracts, voting, marrying whites, testifying in court against whites (which invited criminal abuse), or sending their children to public schools. They were excluded altogether from all forms of transportation or required to sit in special "Jim Crow sections." They were prohibited from entering hotels, restaurants or resorts except as servants, and were segregated in churches, prisons, and even cemeteries. Free blacks in the North in the 1860s were cruelly discriminated against in every aspect of their existence, and were denied the most fundamental of citizenship rights

Sherman himself certainly did not believe that "each man is as good as another." For example, in 1862 Sherman was bothered that "the country" was "swarming with dishonest Jews" (see Michael Fellman, Citizen Sherman, p. 153). He got his close friend, General Grant, to expel all Jews from his army. As Fellman writes, "On December 17, 1862, Grant . . . , like a medieval monarch . . . expelled ‘The Jews, as a class,’ from his department." Sherman biographer Fellman further writes that to Sherman, the Jews were "like niggers" and "like greasers (Mexicans) or Indians" in that they were "classes or races permanently inferior to his own."

The notion that Sherman’s army was motivated by a belief that all men are created equal is belied by the further fact that just three months after General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox the very same army commenced a campaign of ethnic genocide against the Plains Indians. In July of 1865 Sherman was put in charge of the Military District of the Missouri (all land west of the Mississippi) and given the assignment to eradicate the Plains Indians in order to make way for the federally subsidized transcontinental railroad. Like Lincoln, Sherman was a friend of Grenville Dodge, the chief engineer of the project. He was also a railroad investor and he lobbied his brother, Senator John Sherman, to allocate federal funds for the transcontinental railroad. "We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians stop and check the progress of the railroad," he wrote to General Grant in 1867 (Fellman, p. 264). As Fellman writes:

[T]he great triumvirate of the Union Civil War effort [Grant, Sherman and Sheridan] formulated and enacted military Indian policy until reaching, by The 1880s, what Sherman sometimes referred to as "the final solution of the Indian problem," which he defined as killing hostile Indians and segregating their pauperized survivors in remote places . . . . These men applied their shared ruthlessness, born of their Civil War experiences, against a people all three despised, in the name of Civilization and Progress (emphasis added).

Another Sherman biographer, John F. Marszalek, points out in Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order, that "Sherman viewed Indians as he viewed recalcitrant Southerners during the war and newly freed people after the war: resisters to the legitimate forces of an orderly society," by which he meant the central government. Moreover, writes Marszalek, Sherman’s philosophy was that "since the inferior Indians refused to step aside so superior American culture could create success and progress, they had to be driven out of the way as the Confederates had been driven back into the Union."

"Most of the other generals who took a direct role in the Indian wars, writes Marszalek, "were, like Sherman, [Union] Civil War luminaries." This included "John Pope, O.O. Howard, Nelson A. Miles, Alfred H. Terry, E.O.C. Ord, C.C. Augeur, and R.S. Canby. General Winfield Scott Hancock should be added to this list of "luminaries." Among the colonels, "George Armstrong Custer and Benjamin Grierson were the most famous."

Sherman and General Phillip Sheridan were associated with the statement that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian." The problem with the Indians, Sherman said, was that "they did not make allowance for the rapid growth of the white race" (Marszalek, p. 390). And, "both races cannot use this country in common" (Fellman, p. 263).

Sherman’s theory of white racial superiority is what led him to the policy of waging war against the Indians "till the Indians are all killed or taken to a country where they can be watched." As Fellman (p. 264) writes:

Sherman planted a racist tautology: Some Indians are thieving, killing rascals fit for death; all Indians look alike; therefore, to get some we must eliminate all . . . deduced from this racist tautology . . . the less destructive policy would be racial cleansing of the land . . .

Accordingly, Sherman wrote to Grant: "We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children." Writing two days later to his brother John, General Sherman said: "I suppose the Sioux must be exterminated . . ." (Fellman, p. 264).

This was Sherman’s attitude toward Southerners during the War for Southern Independence as well. In a July 31, 1862 letter to his wife (from his Collected Works) he wrote that his purpose in the war was: "Extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the [Southern] people." His charming and nurturing wife Ellen wrote back that her fondest wish was for a war "of extermination and that all [Southerners] would be driven like the Swine into the sea."

With this attitude, Sherman issued the following order to his troops at the beginning of the Indian Wars: "During an assault, the soldiers cannot pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age. As long as resistance is made, death must be meted out . . ." (Marszalek, p. 379).

Most of the raids on Indian camps were conducted in the winter, when families would be together and could therefore all be killed at once. Sherman gave Sheridan "authorization to slaughter as many women and children as well as men Sheridan or his subordinates felt was necessary when they attacked Indian villages" (Fellman, p. 271). All livestock was also killed so that any survivors would be more likely to starve to death.

Sherman was once brought before a congressional committee after federal Indian agents, who were supposed to be supervising the Indians who were on reservations, witnessed "the horror of women and children under military attack." Nothing came of the hearings, however. Sherman ordered his subordinates to kill the Indians without restraint to achieve what he called "the final solution of the Indian problem," and promised that if the newspapers found out about it he would "run interference against any complaints about atrocities back East" (Fellman, p. 271).

Eight years into his war of "extermination" Sherman was bursting with pride over his accomplishments. "I am charmed at the handsome conduct of our troops in the field," he wrote Sheridan in 1874. "They go in with the relish that used to make our hearts glad in 1864-5" (Fellman, p. 272).

Another part of Sherman’s "final solution" strategy against this "inferior race" was the massive slaughter of buffalo, a primary source of food for the Indians. If there were no longer any buffalo near where the railroad traveled, he reasoned, then the Indians would not go there either. By 1882 the American buffalo was essentially extinct.

Ironically, some ex-slaves took part in the Indian wars. Known as the "Buffalo Soldiers," they assisted in the federal army’s campaign of extermination against another colored race.

By 1890 Sherman’s "final solution" had been achieved: The Plains Indians were all either killed or placed on reservations "where they can be watched." In a December 18, 1890 letter to the New York Times Sherman expressed his deep disappointment over the fact that, were it not for "civilian interference," his army would have "gotten rid of them all" and killed every last Indian in the U.S. (Marszalek, p. 400).

To Victor Hanson and the American Enterprise Institute this is the kind of man who "deserves a place on the roll call of great liberators in human history." Native Americans would undoubtedly disagree.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
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To: Junior
He didn't blame it on Lincoln, he blamed it on Sherman. It would help if you read the article before posting such inane rantings.

Then why is it called "How Lincoln's Army 'Liberated' the Indians"? Or didn't you read the title before posting your inane response?

21 posted on 02/13/2003 8:32:12 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Non-Sequitur
Because it was the same army created by Lincoln to fight the War Between the States. The rest of the article, however, focuses on Sherman, Sheridan and Grant and their actions against non-combatants in an effort to eradicate a people. You can hem and haw all you want, but it was the Federal Army which did these things. When Lee invaded the North, he specifically ordered his men not to despoil the land or the people therein. Sherman, however, believed in killing everyone: combatants and non-combatants alike. He burned several Southern cities, allowed his men to rape "contrabands" and pretty much acted like Atilla the Hun. And these attitudes carried over to the Indian Wars.
22 posted on 02/13/2003 8:39:51 AM PST by Junior (The New World Order stole your tag line)
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To: Aurelius
Yes, yes, yes. Let us smash the icons!! Evil hypocrits!! Liars, murderers, racists all!! Let us hold them up to the righteous indignation and scorn of our enlightened consciences!! Destroy the marble men!! Burn the blue-eyed demon!! Burn them out of our books, out of our hearts, out of our minds and out of the sight of our all-knowing eyes. Smash the statues wherever ye may find them!!!

I know that I will be much happier living in a country where only statues of black muslims and memorials to the Holocaust will be allowed....

23 posted on 02/13/2003 8:40:15 AM PST by LaBelleDameSansMerci
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To: Non-Sequitur
Hmm, let me answer the way you do: The act provided for 74 delegates, prove that they did not exist. I'm sure the CSA created a fund for phantom Indian delegates in the hopes of one day tricking Southernphobes like you. And, how do you know the blood mix of the Indians involved? What's your source? Go ahead, do some research to answer my questions so I can do this again. It's easy, NS, anybody can do it. You don't have to be especially bright to play three card Monte.

You just can't bring yourself to concede the point, bec in your mind, you're never wrong. I'll not waste my time with you again.

You know that old saying about, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink?"

24 posted on 02/13/2003 8:41:12 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (To BOLDLY go . . . (no whimpy libs allowed).)
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To: Lee'sGhost
"You know that old saying about, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink?""

Same saying may apply for folks who can't seem to get over a war that's been over for about 138 years. Such is life.

25 posted on 02/13/2003 8:54:50 AM PST by Sam's Army (It's 2003, not 1863.........Get over it.)
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To: Lee'sGhost
Delegates to what? Are you suggesting the delegates in question were members of the confederate legislature? You said that the south had Cherokee representation in their government. Well, where?

I'll not waste my time with you again.

Where have I heard that line before?

26 posted on 02/13/2003 10:01:58 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Junior
Because it was the same army created by Lincoln to fight the War Between the States.

Nah, it's because Tommy can't write a think without working Lincoln into it somehow.

Because it was the same army created by Lincoln to fight the War Between the States.

The government treatment of Indians was deplorable before the rebellion and it was deplorable after the rebellion. But are you suggesting that it was all done against the wishes of the good people of the south or that they somehow tried to moderate the government treatment? That is nonsense. Any blood that the government has on its hands concerning the Indians is distributed just as freely below the Mason-Dixon line as above it.

27 posted on 02/13/2003 10:06:58 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Sam's Army
"Same saying may apply for folks who can't seem to get over a war that's been over for about 138 years. Such is life."

I know that was supposed to be a slam but it just tells me you miss the point. Life is good.
28 posted on 02/13/2003 10:52:00 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (To BOLDLY go . . . (no whimpy libs allowed).)
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To: Non-Sequitur
"Where have I heard that line before?"

LOL! My bet would be EVERYWHERE! LMAO.
29 posted on 02/13/2003 10:53:55 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (To BOLDLY go . . . (no whimpy libs allowed).)
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To: Sam's Army
I wonder if DiLusional thinks we should feel guilty for winning WW2? After all, that wouldn't have been possible had the north not won their Unholy War of Protracted Crop Burning and Babykilling on the south.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

(Dangerous reasoning from a Liberal?)

ML/NJ

30 posted on 02/13/2003 11:29:31 AM PST by ml/nj
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To: Lee'sGhost
"I know that was supposed to be a slam but it just tells me you miss the point."

My point was made clearly; no miss at all. It's gotta suck to lose a war, but somehow life went on.

31 posted on 02/13/2003 11:31:56 AM PST by Sam's Army (It's 2003, not 1863.........Get over it.)
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To: ml/nj
"Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?"

Not quite; I make no bones about the fact that there are/were atrocities in every conflict. My point is that we are better as a nation today because of the north's victory. So much of history would have been different otherwise and likely we would never have emerged as a world power.

And I strongly refute your question of me being a liberal just because I think differently than the Lincoln-bashers.

32 posted on 02/13/2003 11:40:38 AM PST by Sam's Army (It's 2003, not 1863.........Get over it.)
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To: Sam's Army
"Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?"

Not quite; I make no bones about the fact that there are/were atrocities in every conflict. My point is that we are better as a nation today because of the north's victory. So much of history would have been different otherwise and likely we would never have emerged as a world power.

I think you need to look up the meaning of the expression I used.

And I strongly refute your question of me being a liberal just because I think differently than the Lincoln-bashers.

I'm not sure how you refute a question. But if I may guess at your point, saying something doesn't make it a refutation.

ML/NJ

33 posted on 02/13/2003 12:00:37 PM PST by ml/nj
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To: ml/nj
"I think you need to look up the meaning of the expression I used."

Sorry, I guess I'm not as lofty as thee; I have no latin text and have yet to have a need for it while communicating in the real world.

"I'm not sure how you refute a question."

I just did. Is this a debate on an issue or a linguistics class, Dr Chomsky? What about my point of where we would be today had the war turned out different? That seems easily ignored in favor of a critique on fluffier matters.

34 posted on 02/13/2003 12:08:49 PM PST by Sam's Army (It's 2003, not 1863.........Get over it.)
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To: LaBelleDameSansMerci
"Yes, yes, yes. Let us smash the icons!! Evil hypocrits!! Liars, murderers, racists all!! Let us hold them up to the righteous indignation and scorn of our enlightened consciences!! Destroy the marble men!!"

By Jove, I think you've got it. LaBelleDame

35 posted on 02/13/2003 12:18:30 PM PST by Aurelius
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To: WhiskeyPapa
"Snooze"

I'm glad to hear that you are employing your time constructively, for a change.

36 posted on 02/13/2003 12:21:02 PM PST by Aurelius
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To: Sam's Army
"My point was made clearly, . . ."

Yes, your point was clear -- just not applicable. My point is that people discuss historic matters for many reasons that have nothing to do with "still fighting the war." If it did, we could just quit teaching history all together. You obviously did and do miss that point or you would not have made the comment to someone whom you know nothing about. Either that or you simply chose not to acknowledge such matters because that would require exercising a modicum of intellect and take you out of your comfort zone.

And, yes, I guess it does suck losing a war, though I wouldn't know from personal experience. You would have much more experience with that as witnessed by your daily losing of the war or words.

Good day.

37 posted on 02/13/2003 12:59:20 PM PST by Lee'sGhost (Do not engage in a battle of wits when you have no ammunition.)
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To: Lee'sGhost
"My point is that people discuss historic matters for many reasons that have nothing to do with "still fighting the war.""

Your screenname makes that statement dubious.

"And, yes, I guess it does suck losing a war, though I wouldn't know from personal experience."

Then thank God that you are an American and that things turned out the way they did in the past, including the Civil War.

"You would have much more experience with that as witnessed by your daily losing of the war or words."

That's your opinion, I guess. My words are always pretty much the same message: The war is over, please get over it."

And a good day to you as well :)

38 posted on 02/13/2003 1:14:54 PM PST by Sam's Army (It's 2003, not 1863.........Get over it.)
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To: Aurelius; sc-rms; catfish1957; THUNDER ROAD; Beach_Babe; TexConfederate1861; TomServo; ...
Dixie ping!
39 posted on 02/13/2003 1:39:32 PM PST by shuckmaster
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To: Sam's Army
Sorry, I guess I'm not as lofty as thee; I have no latin text and have yet to have a need for it while communicating in the real world.

You don't need a Latin "text." The expression is in the Merriam-Webster dictionary I have at hand - in the English section!

You may not need to know what post hoc, ergo propter hoc means if you intend to pump gas all your life, but if you think you like debating political issues you might have a look at a logic text sometime. FTR post hoc, ergo propter hoc is a particular type of faulty reasoning. I suppose if you like the conclusion you reached it probably doesn't matter to you how you got there, but it does betray your lack of education.

ML/NJ

40 posted on 02/13/2003 3:55:58 PM PST by ml/nj
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