ANSWERING THE MYTHS
By Jeff Paulk
If secession was not legal, why did the U.S. Congress try to pass an amendment making it illegal AFTER the Southern states seceded?
(“The South Was Right”, by James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy, pages 195-217)
The Marxists, and those brainwashed by the Marxists, have long contended the reasons for the War of Northern Aggression to be different from what true history reveals. They slander our flags, calling them symbols of racism, and call our heroes traitors. Here we will answer and debunk those myths.
MYTH #1 - The war was all about freeing the slaves.
TRUTH – The war had nothing to do with slavery. The proposed Corwin Amendment, by Congressman Thomas Corwin of Ohio, would have FOREVER prohibited the abolition of slavery if the seceded states would but rejoin the union and ratify the amendment. The South refused. Why? If it wanted to protect slavery you would think the South would have jumped on this. Besides this, the Crittendon-Johnson Resolution stated that the war was not for the “purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states”.
On July 22, 1861, the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution stating the purpose of the war:
“Resolved…That this war is not being prosecuted on our part in any spirit of oppression, not for any purpose of conquest or subjugation, nor purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those states, but to defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and all laws made in pursuance thereof and to preserve the Union, with all the dignity, equality and rights of the several States unimpaired; and that as soon as these objects are accomplished the war ought to cease.”
This is further proof that the war was NOT fought over slavery. The North did, however, conquer and subjugate the South, and the war they initiated and waged against the South was both unconstitutional and treasonous. It was fought to force the legally seceded South back into the union for the purpose of continuing the collection of excessive tariffs, which economically damaged the South, but was of economical benefit to the northern industrialists.
In his inaugural address, Lincoln stated that he would continue the collection of revenues “by force if necessary”. He wanted the money that the South had been paying into the federal government. The South was footing over 85% of the tax burden but only had 1/3 of the population. The Northern industrialists and bankers were reaping the benefits of this. Also, if the war was “all about slavery”, why was it that Union General Grant had slaves, but Confederate General Robert E. Lee had none? Why was West Virginia (which was illegally and unconstitutionally formed) allowed to cede into the union on the condition that it could keep its slaves? Why was Union General Fremont’s order freeing slaves in Missouri countermanded by Lincoln and the slaves sent back to their masters?
Why were there more union soldiers that owned slaves than there were Confederate soldiers that owned slaves?
Also, not one single letter has been found written by Union or Confederate soldiers stating that they were fighting to “free the slaves”. Numerous Confederate letters state that the Confederacy was fighting for independence and in defense of their homes and families.
“The sole object of this war,” said Grant, “is to restore the Union. Should I become convinced it has any other object, or that the Government designs using its soldiers to execute the wishes of the Abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and a soldier I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side.”
-Democratic Speaker’s Handbook, p. 33
MYTH #2 - The South wanted to protect and perpetuate slavery to the western territories.
TRUTH – Well, that myth is beyond absurd. Common sense refutes this myth. By the very act of seceding from the union and establishing its own country, the South locked itself OUT of any rights to territories belonging to the U.S. The Confederate Constitution outlawed the importation of slaves, so if it wanted to “protect and perpetuate” slavery, why did it outlaw the importation of slaves? Slavery was dying out in the South and there were five times as many abolition groups in the South than in the North. The South wanted to be done with slavery and many had already freed their slaves. If the South wanted to “protect slavery”, it had only to stay in the union where it was already protected. The South was working towards gradual emancipation so that the blacks could gradually be prepared to enter society as free people. The ending of slavery in the South was a byproduct of the war, not the cause for it.
MYTH #3 - The South started the war by firing on Ft. Sumter.
TRUTH – The firing on Ft. Sumter was what Lincoln had planned on. He lied when he said that he would not resupply the forces there. If Lincoln abandoned the fort, he risked legitimizing the Confederacy. Northern sentiment was mostly in favor of recognizing the newly formed Confederacy. Lincoln needed to change that opinion. He crafted the plan of resupplying the troops there, knowing the South would not permit this and fire the first shots. Remember, the one who fires first is not necessarily the aggressor, but the one who causes that shot to be fired. Lincoln wrote to Lieutenant Gustavus Fox, “You and I both anticipated that the cause of the [Federation] would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the results.” Lincoln provoked the firing on Ft. Sumter according to plan. Now he could launch his war on the Confederacy, illegal as it was.
(“The Real Lincoln”, by Charles L. C. Minor, pages 88, 256, 257)
MYTH #4 – The secession declarations prove the South seceded to protect slavery.
TRUTH – While several of the Declarations do mention slavery, and the states call themselves “slave states”, these documents have to be interpreted in the context in which they were written. You have to get into that period of history to understand their meaning. For decades the South had been the victim of slander, lies, and propaganda at the hands of the Northern press, authors, and even pastors.
“Four seceding Southern states published some form of declaration of their reasons for secession. These were South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas. Many modern academic allies of the Northern War to Prevent Southern Independence have recently taken up the cry that because these declarations have many references to slavery that they are proof that the war was all about slavery. First of all, however, there is a difference between the cause of the war and the causes for secession. The cause of the war was Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops to invade the Southern states. This invasion immediately triggered four more states secessions – Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas – in addition to protests from the governors of Kentucky and Missouri, and unrest in Maryland.
In addition, the substance of the secession declarations must be interpreted in their political/economic and constitutional contexts. The Northern Union had become an oppressive government dedicated to Northern regional dominance and almost exclusively Northern economic prosperity. States Rights were the primary bulwark against this Northern regionalism. Many modern apologists for the Union cause also fail to recognize that these declarations, following South Carolina’s example, were building a legal case against Northern breaches of the Constitution. Moreover, much of the language of these declarations was a protest against the constant inflammatory distortions and repeated attacks on Southern honor by radical abolitionists in Congress and in the Northern press.
The Mississippi declaration included an admission of its economic dependence on slave labor. However, over-dramatizing this admission in accusatory terms fails to recognize a genuine dilemma. Many Southerners, probably a majority, would have gladly rid themselves of slavery. But how could it be done without destroying the economies of the major cotton producing states and severely damaging New York banking and shipping interests? Many also saw the necessity of preparing the slaves to compete in a free economy before emancipation. Many would have followed the British model of gradual emancipation with compensation to slave owners.
What the secession declarations prove is that Southerners had strong reasons to believe that their political rights and economic welfare were unsafe under Northern political dominance.”
(“The Un-Civil War”, by Leonard M. Scruggs, pages 27-28)
MYTH #5 – Secession was treason.
TRUTH – Secession being legal was taught at West Point from William Rawle’s “Views on the Constitution” published in 1825. It was used as a text book for one year and remains in the library today. Americans who oppose secession for the Southern states find themselves bed partners with the communist generals of Yugoslavia and communist hard-liners of the former Soviet Union. What was condemned in 1861 was sanctioned by the Republican Party in 1991 when Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia withdrew his country from the Soviet Union’s orbit, but Jefferson Davis and his fellow Southerners are called traitors for doing the same thing.
The 10th Amendment protects a states’ right to withdraw from the union. If a state voluntarily joined, it can voluntarily withdraw.
New England threatened to secede over the War of 1812, yet no force was threatened against them to remain in the union. Our Founding Fathers knew secession was a right held by the states.
“Among the Founding Fathers there was no doubt. The United States had just seceded from the British Empire, exercising the right of the people to “alter or abolish” — by force, if necessary — a despotic government. The Declaration of Independence is the most famous act of secession in our history, though modern rhetoric makes “secession” sound somehow different from, and more sinister than, claiming independence.
The original 13 states formed a “Confederation,” under which each state retained its “sovereignty, freedom, and independence.” The Constitution didn’t change this; each sovereign state was free to reject the Constitution. The new powers of the federal government were “granted” and “delegated” by the states, which implies that the states were prior and superior to the federal government.”
“After Lincoln’s illegal War of Northern Aggression, Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, was arrested and placed in prison prior to a trial. The trial was never held, because the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Mr. Salmon Portland Chase, informed President Andrew Johnson that if Davis were placed on trial for treason the United States would lose the case because nothing in the Constitution forbids secession. That is why no trial of Jefferson Davis was held, despite the fact that he wanted one!
Because of our progressive-liberal public education system, many Americans now believe the myth that secession is treasonable. The Declaration of Independence was, in fact, a declaration of secession. Its final paragraph declares inarguably the ultimate sovereignty of each state:
That these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved of all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.
Following the Declaration of Independence, each colony established by law the legitimacy of its own sovereignty as a state. Each one drew up, voted upon, and then ratified its own state constitution, which declared and defined its sovereignty as a state. Realizing that they could not survive upon the world stage as thirteen individual sovereign nations, the states then joined together formally into a confederation of states, but only for the purposes of negotiating treaties, waging war, and regulating foreign commerce.” Charles Pitts
(“The South Was Right”, by James Ronald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy, pages 195-217)
MYTH #6 – The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves.
TRUTH - You say, “His Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves! That proves he was against slavery.” Lincoln’s words: “I view the matter (Emancipation Proclamation) as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion.” He also wrote: “I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” At the time Lincoln wrote the proclamation, war was going badly for the Union. London and Paris were considering recognizing the Confederacy and considering assisting it in its war effort.
All one has to do to debunk this myth is to actually read the Proclamation. It “freed” slaves in areas NOT under federal control, but expressly left them in bondage where it actually could have freed them. Over 100,000 union troops deserted after the Emancipation Proclamation was made public.
MYTH #7 – The South treated blacks terribly.
TRUTH - From, “The Truths of History”, pgs. 92, 93.
The South claims that race prejudice has been, and now is, far greater in the North than in the South.
In his “Democracy in America”, De Toqueville, the French writer, says;
“Though the electoral franchise has been conferred on the negroes in all the free States, if they come forward to vote their lives are in danger. Negroes may serve by law on juries but prejudice repels them from office. They have separate schools, separate hospital wards, and separate galleries in the theaters. In the South it is quite different with the negro. Undoubtedly, the prejudice of the race appears to be much stronger in the States that have abolished slaves than in the States where slavery still exists.
White carpenters, white bricklayers, and white painters will not work side by side with the blacks in the North, but do it in almost every Southern State unless Northern men among their workmen oppose it.”
Negroes left their homes in Alabama to work in Illinois, but many were killed and others driven from the State. Were the murderers of those Negroes ever brought to trial?
One Republican said: “If any more Negroes come to Illinois, I will meet them on the border with gatling-guns!”
Mr. Seward, March 3, 1858 said: “The white man needs this continent to labor in and must have it.”
The Legislature of Kansas, the home of John Brown, said: “This state is for whites only.”
In 1850, 1855 and 1865, Michigan refused suffrage to free Negroes.
In 1864 no Negro could vote in Nevada.
“In Illinois (Lincoln’s State) no negro nor mulatto was allowed to remain in the State ten days. If a negro came into the State he was to be sold at auction.”
In twenty-seven counties of Indiana no negro was allowed to live. If any white man encouraged him to come to the State he was fined.
In Boston the Negroes are segregated.
In Ohio the Negroes were warned if they did not segregate some dire calamity would befall them.
In New York City and Washington City this question of segregation is of serious import today and under constant discussion.
No negro can live in Oregon.
As to the condition of the slaves in the South under the institution of slavery, Major-General Quitman, of New York, an army officer who was stationed near a Mississippi plantation before the war, says in a letter to his father:
“Every night she has family prayers with her slaves. When a minister comes, which is very frequently, prayers are said night and morning, and chairs are always provided for the servants.
“They are married by a clergyman of their own color, and a sumptuous supper is always prepared. They are a happy, careless, unreflecting, good-natured race-who left to themselves would degenerate into drones or brutes. They have great family pride and are the most arrant aristocrats in the world.”
(The Secession War in America,” by J.P. Shaffull, published in New York, 1862)
By the above accounts, blacks were treated well in the South and horribly bad in the North. There were laws against the mistreatment of slaves, though it did happen, it was not common.
MYTH #8 – The Confederate Flag is a symbol of racism and hate.
TRUTH - St. Andrew, a disciple of Jesus Christ, was martyred by crucifixion at Patras, Greece, ordered by the Roman governor. He deemed himself unworthy of being crucified and nailed to a Latin cross like Jesus Christ. He requested crucifixion on an “X”-shaped cross and to be bound, not nailed. He preached the word of God to all that passed until he died. His martyrdom was during the reign of Nero, A.D. 60. Latin and Greek churches keep Nov. 30, his death date, as a day of feast. St. Andrew is honored as chief patron by Russia and Scotland. Here are some more interesting facts surrounding the flag:» In the 1860s, two-thirds of the country’s population was Scotch or Scotch Irish. This flag design was a carryover of the Scottish National Flag and ancestry.» No historical document exists to support that this flag represented hate, slavery, racism, deceit, infamy or repression. Not one flag of the Confederacy was ever described in its placement to represent anything other than the Confederate States of America.» No Confederate ship ever ran slaves.» The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) adopted the battle flag as part of its logo in 1896, long before “hate” groups began to abuse the flag, and they condemn misuse of any Confederate flag.» The KKK and other “hate” groups didn’t use the flag until late 1950s/early 1960s. In his book “What They Fought For, 1861-1865,” historian James McPherson, after reading more than 25,000 letters and over 100 soldier diaries from both sides of the War for Southern Independence, concluded that Confederate soldiers "fought for liberty and independence from what they regarded as a tyrannical government."
Here, Mr. King tells it well.
Before you attack the Confederate soldiers' Battle flag, see how Old Glory will compare: http://www.vdare.com/fallon/confederate.htm
The Confederate Flag and the United States Flag are judged by different standards and criteria, and are not held to the same levels of accountability. In analytical science and weights and measures, comparisons are made against known standards. However, in politics comparisons are never made in a fair and impartial manner. In order to understand the hypocrisy, ignorance, and bias that have been directed against the Confederate Flag, it is necessary to use the U.S. Flag (Stars and Stripes) as a standard of comparison. The purpose of this comparison is not to berate or disparage the U.S. Flag, but is to prove that the Confederate Flag has received unfair and unequal treatment. The genocide and racial cleansing of the American Indians took place under the U.S. Flag. Their land was taken without fair and just compensation. Indians died by the thousands as they were forced on to reservations and subjected to starvation and deadly diseases. The Trail of Tears endured by the Cherokee is an example. In the American West, cavalry troopers murdered entire villages including babies in their mother's arms.
The U.S. Flag Flew over an unconstitutional and criminal war conducted against The Confederate States of America. Abraham Lincoln conducted this war for the benefit of wealthy Northern industrialists. Atrocities against Southern civilians and military are listed in the book, The Uncivil War: Union Army and Navy Excesses in the Official Records. Furthermore, slaves were imported from Africa to America primarily by five Northern States: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. The Confederate Flag was not involved in the importation of slaves.
Finally, the U.S. Flag flies over a nation that has murdered an estimated 42 million babies by abortion. Confederate leaders would never have voted for abortion or nominated judges that would legalize abortion. Political Correctness has been used to attempt bans of The Confederate Flag from schools, parades, public and private property, and even historical monuments and sites. The Confederate flag represents Constitutional Limited Federal Government, States Rights, Resistance to Government Tyranny, and Christian Values and Principles. To say that it represents racism and bigotry is a negative and shallow interpretation comparable to saying the U.S. flag represents the genocide of the American Indians and abortion. James W. King
(Let it also be noted here that it was Northerners, New Englanders to be specific, who built the slave ships and transported their cargo of human flesh to the U.S. and sold them to Northerners and Southerners. It was the North that grew and perpetuated slavery, not the South. Slavery died in the North because it was not as useful in an industrialized society as it was in an agricultural one, and Northerners refused to work alongside of blacks. Those who slander the South, blame it for slavery, and slander it and its symbols are clearly ignorant of true history.)
"Truth crushed to the earth is truth still, and like a seed will rise again." Jefferson Davis