The Confederate Cause and Conduct in The War Between The States (WBTS) as set forth in the Reports of The History Committee of the Grand Camp, Confederate Veterans (C.V.) of Virginia, by Dr Hunter McGuire, M. D., L. L. D., Medical Director of General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson’s Corps, Army of N. Virginia, and the Hon. G. L. Christian were prepared and [with my additions in brackets as these] republished as submitted to them in 1907.
When these papers were read to the Grand Camp, they were enthusiastically received and approved, and were published in many newspapers of the country, and 5000 copies of each were distributed. Many letters have been received from nearly every section of the country commending these reports. Their republication is made in this more permanent form as necessary. It must be remembered that this last report was prepared for the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) who had already endorsed most of the formerly submitted reports prepared for the Grand Camp of Virginia. The lecture on "Stonewall" Jackson and the account of his last hours and death of this remarkable man prepared by his late Medical Director, are such interesting contributions to history, and have been so favorably received, that no apology is deemed necessary for inserting them.
When the thin ranks of the Armies of the Southern Confederacy were at last dissolved, the survivors of the great struggle, [to prove out the constitution], who had marched and fought so long and well, went back across untilled fields and to impoverished homes. Whatever perils they had faced, and whatever losses they had suffered, they had NOT LOST their manhood, and they had NOT surrendered their self-respect and honor, nor anything of their faith in the right and justice of their cause, [which was to prove the Constitution]. With a heroism as true and honorable as that displayed on many fields of battle, they returned to work, without capital and almost without implements, some crippled for life, some in broken health, but unscathed in honor and un-crippled in will. They were again to prove their manhood on more difficult fields; [such as] to feed and clothe their women and children, to rebuild their homes, and to re-establish government and all the institutions of their civilization.
It was not long before these veterans began to gather in camps, and with no other than peaceful purposes. They would cheer one another in a cordial comradeship. They would remember their fallen comrades, and bury their dead, and succor the old and dependent, and care for the widow and orphan. There was no thought of continuing a useless and wasting strife, or of fanning the fires of sectional animosities. Soon the pen began its useful work. Incident and story were narrated. Memories of Camp and Camp life were committed to print. Volume after volume was sent from the press to the library shelf, and into many homes. Materials of history were gathered. The biographies of leaders, statesmen and great soldiers were written. The President and the Vice-President of the Confederate States gave to the world and to generations to come, the great books which tell the story of the causes and purposes of the Confederacy and its appeal to arms. Histories were published of the current events as the war clouds gathered and as the Armies marched and joined in the shock of battle.
The Southern Historical Society, in 1876, began its invaluable series of annual publications. The first volume was opened with the strong paper of the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, Senator and Statesman; calm, thorough, vindicating the righteousness of the Southern cause; and it was followed by the no less convincing paper of Commodore Mathew Maury, scholar, scientist and Christian gentleman. To these were added the vigorous demonstrations made in the books of Albert Bledsoe, and Robert L. Dabney and J. L. M. Curry, and others.
Valuable as was this accumulating literature, confident as the people of the Southland felt that in the tribunal of history in all coming years the cause, to which, like their forefathers [remember, we rebelled against England the same way], they gave their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor, could not fail of an assured and enduring justification; there emerged as the years went by a condition and a necessity which had not been anticipated. With utmost difficulty the schools of the South had been re-established, and seminaries and colleges had been re-opened, in the faithful effort to preserve the intelligence and character of the generation of sons and daughters rising through out the land. It was discovered with a shock of pain and indignation that the great body of the youth of the land were being fed with a literature created by alien authors.
Histories, biographies, readers, issued by publishers whose one purpose was to secure the great market now opening in every school district far and wide over the South, were found to be replete with error and misrepresentation. Consciously or unconsciously, the aims of the Southern people and their State governments were falsified, and the characters of great and good men were belittled and defamed. The poison of unjust accusation was carried to the minds of all the children of the Southland, and already a generation was growing up with conceptions of the motives of their fathers, and the causes of the war between the sections which were not only mistaken, but altogether dishonorable. The youth of the whole South were being stealthily robbed of a heritage in itself and elevating and ennobling to themselves and who came after them. It was a condition and a process which could not be consented to for a moment. There was no surrender at Appomattox, and no withdrawal from the field which committed our people and their children to a heritage of shame and dishonor. No cowardice on any battlefield could be as bade and shameful as the silent acquiescence in the scheme which was teaching our children that the commercial value of slavery was the cause of the war, that prisoners of war held in the South were starved and treated with a barbarous inhumanity, that Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors to their country and false to their oaths, that the young men who left everything to resist invasion, and climbed the slopes of Gettysburg and died willingly on a hundred fields against a righteous government.
The State Camp of Virginia of Confederate Veterans rose promptly and vigorously to resist another invasion, which would have turned the children against their fathers, and covered the graves of patriots and made heroes with shame and made the memory of the Confederacy and its sacrifices and struggles a disgrace in all coming history. The Camps throughout the South had a new task given them. They were to meet the threatening evil at the door of every schoolhouse in the land. All that was, or is now, desired is that error and injustice be excluded from the text-books of the schools and from the literature brought into our homes; that the truth be told, without exaggeration and without omissions; truth for its own sake and for the sake of honest history, and that the generations to come after us be not left to bear the burden of shame and dishonor un-righteously laid upon the name of their noble sires.
It was in 1898 that the State Camp made Dr. Hunter McGuire the Chairman of its History Committee. Himself a Confederate Veteran, the friend of Jackson and intimately acquainted with General Lee and other leaders in high office and distinguished in service, surgeon, professor and author, he was eminently qualified for the work assigned him. With others, he examined thoroughly the histories introduced into the schools, and in1899 he gave to the Commonwealth and the South the thorough and able review which is in this document. It refutes [denies] the common [taught in schools] charge against the South that the protection of the money value of slave property [slavery] was the cause of the war which the South waged in its defence [sic]. It exposes the misrepresentations of Mr. John Fiske and other authors, and recommends that these and such like books be vigorously and universally excluded from all schools and institutions of learning in all the States of the South.
The work of defence [sic] for the South, begun with such ability by Dr. McGuire was devolved upon Judge George L. Christian, an honored soldier of the Confederacy, a lawyer of notable ability at the Richmond bar, and a writer of clearance, courage and strength. Through seven years, from 1900 to 1907, he gave patient and faithful labor to painstaking research and most elaborate preparation of the papers available.
Beginning in 1900 with [see Constitution preamble and Article 1, Sec 1], with the right of Secession [see Sec. 8, 9 &10 of the Art 1] as shown [as done by us to England] upon the testimony of Northern Statesmen and authors and others, Judge Christian discusses in 1901 the war as conducted by the Federal and Confederate Armies, again upon the testimony of Northern witnesses. In 1902 he reviews the treatment of prisoners of war, and the history of the exchange of prisoners. In 1907 he reverts to the serious question of where the responsibility rested for bringing on the sectional strife, with all its loss of life and wealth and all the unhappiness it spread over the broad land. One who went himself to battle so promptly and suffered so much in all the years since, has had the fidelity to [tell] the truth and the courage of heart to do his duty in the defence [sic] of his people and of the generations to come.
To these official reports from the History Committee of the Grand Camp of Virginia are added two papers of similar force and from the pen of Dr. McGuire. One is the magnificent address on "Stonewall" Jackson, delivered at V. M. I. in 1897, an appreciation and study of the character and career of Jackson which no one else in the world was so well fitted to make. With this also is the paper of the Wounding and Death of "Stonewall" Jackson, which has preserved for all time the story of which the author was himself a part and a witness, such a narrative as the great surgeon and friend, could only himself give to the world.
The publication of these papers had a widespread and powerful effect. They not only caused the exclusion of certain books from our schools and colleges, and the preparation of truthful history for the use of the young. They corrected the mistaken views of many of our own people, and they went far and wide in every section of the land and to other lands. In large degree they have produced a better understanding of the great issues at stake, and have brought men of fair and large minds to recognize the fundamental justice of the South and the unselfish patriotism and lofty devotion of the men who filled the ranks, and of the high character and great ability who led them.
As the large editions of these papers have been exhausted and their importance has been yet more widely recognized, the demand has risen for their collection and republication in the present issue. The issue now before you is not merely for preservation, but of that of being read so that the children and youths of all the country may that their sires and grandsires have left them examples of unselfish devotion to a righteous cause and a heritage of imperishable honor. Authored by: James Power Smith.
Year: June 1907.
In The Book: The Confederate Cause and Conduct in the War Between the States.
Copied by Chet McWhorter Sr.
[as near as I can since my stroke]