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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: A CENTURY OF YANKEE WAR CRIMES

Friday, September 19, 2008


By Jerry C. Brewer, Native Texan

Immediately following the War of Northern Aggression, during which Sherman, Custer and Sheridan wantonly ravaged Southern property, destroying crops, burning homes and killing innocent civilians, their attention was turned to the west and the Plains Indians. The great nations of the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho and Comanche stood between the big business Republicans in the east who were intent on western expansion to line their pockets with the millions to be made there. So, in order to accomplish that, it was necessary that those nations be removed. That meant the government, controlled by Republican business interests, must be enlisted for Northern railroads and other big business interests to gain control of Indian lands.

Since the victors always write their version of history to vindicate their cause, it is claimed that the Indian nations were savages and preyed upon helpless, peaceful, white settlers. The truth is that these nations had roamed the great plains for centuries, hunting the buffalo, raising their families and living as nomads. Following the War of Northern Aggression, the United States government cast greedy eyes westward and saw fortunes to be made by powerful railroad barons that would also fill government coffers. But the rightful inhabitants of those lands, the Indians, first had to be removed. And, since the Indian was considered sub-human (Sherman called them "nits") he could be eradicated with impunity. It was not the Indian who made war upon the whites. It was the Washington elite who made war on the Indians in order to take their homes from them.

That's where Sherman, Sheridan and Custer entered the picture---and with a vengeance. With the approval of their Commander-in-Chief, Abraham Lincoln, that criminal triumvirate had waged war against the Southern civilian population, in violation of every honorable principle governing warfare. "...As Sherman explained in a famous letter to his adjutant R. M. Sawyer, the enemy was subject to the government and its armies such that 'any and all rights which [the generals] choose to enforce the war—to take their lives, their homes, their lands, their everything'—was permissible. ...Almost alone among Civil War (sic) generals, Sherman forsook God as well as the rules of war, and, to all appearances, never entertained the possibility that Providence would make him pay" (Harry S. Stout, "Upon The Altar Of The Nation," Penguin Books, pp. 400-401). That was his rationale, approved by Lincoln, of making "total war" on the civilian population of the South.

The same was true in the Valley of Virginia where yankee generals David Hunter and Sheridan, along with their toady, George Custer, made war on the civilian population. Unmentioned in the memoirs of moral scum like Grant are the atrocities wrought in the Valley and elsewhere by the invading huns from the North, and they are far too numerous to document in such a short work as this. However, one eyewitness account from the pen of Henry Kyd Douglas, who was an officer under Jubal Early's command, will suffice for our purposes. Douglas quotes the son of Virginia's ex-Governor Letcher in describing the devastation of Lexington, Virginia and the burning of the Letcher house: "The officers and men sent by Hunter to do the work at once surrounded the house and plundered it—while others of them were pouring something inflammable over the furniture and setting fire to it. They refused to allow my mother to have anything carried out, not even a change of clothes; everything was destroyed that was not stolen. One officer, whose name we never knew, offered to assist in saving valuables: he got a trunk, but Captain Berry of a Pennsylvania Regiment who was in charge of the burning, refused to let him carry it out: an altercation followed when a soldier picked up the trunk and carried it into the yard. Captain Berry ordered other things that some persons were attempting to carry out to be seized and thrown into the burning building. All the buildings were burned. The roof of my grandmother's house caught fire and when a Negro servant tried to extinguish it, the soldiers threatened to shoot him if he did not come down. ...Captain Berry and many of his soldiers were extremely rude and insulting to my mother and sister. No reason, except the order of General Hunter, was given for burning our house. Washington College was plundered, apparatus destroyed, books torn up, etc." (Kyd, "I Rode With Stonewall," Fawcett Publications, Greenwich Conn., 1961, p. 277).

By 1868, Sherman was Commander of the Division of The Missouri which encompassed the plains states and whose objective was to make war on the Indians living there and eradicate them for the Republicans back east. Under his command were George Custer and Phil Sheridan. Both Sheridan and Sherman determined to wage the same kind of warfare against the Indians that they had inflicted upon the South in the War of Northern Aggression. Sheridan wrote to Sherman that, "I am of the belief that these Indians require to be soundly whipped, and the ringleaders in the present trouble hung, their ponies killed, and such destruction of their property as will make them very poor" (Stan Hoig, "The Battle of The Washita," 1976, University of Nebraska Press, p. 53). Sherman, of course , approved the suggestion.

In April of the previous year, Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, whom Sherman had given command of the Department of the Missouri covering the entire state of Kansas, met with Cheyenne and Sioux chiefs at Fort Larned. Hancock told the chiefs that further action by them against whites traveling the overland trails would be punished. Cheyenne Chief Tall Bull arose to speak and told Hancock the Indians did not like the railroads being built through their land. Ignorant of Indian protocol of letting each man have his full say, Hancock interrupted the chief and threatened that, "If you should ever stop one of our railroad trains, and kill the people on it, you would be exterminated" (Hoig, p. 5). On April 19, Hancock ordered the destruction of 251 Indian lodges—111 Cheyenne and 140 Sioux—in an abandoned village. "All of the lodges and goods of the camp were thrown into huge piles and set on fire, including some 436 saddles, 942 buffalo robes, and other accoutrements." It was "estimated that it would take 300 buffalo to replace the destroyed Indian lodges" (ibid, p. 9).

Now, fast forward one century to the Vietnam War in 1968. The My Lai Massacre took place in March of that year, in which up to 500 civilians were shot and killed because they were suspected of aiding the Viet Cong. "On March 16, 1968, troops of Charlie Company, 200th Infantry Regiment of the Americal Division landed in the village following artillery and helicopter gunship preparation. Colonel Oran K. Henderson urged his officers to "go in there aggressively, close with the enemy and wipe them out for good." Lieutenant-Colonel Frank A. Barker ordered the 1st Battalion commanders to burn the houses, kill the livestock, destroy foodstuffs, and perhaps to close the wells.

"On the eve of the attack, at the Charlie Company briefing, Captain Ernest Medina informed his men that nearly all the civilian residents of the hamlets in Son M? village would have left for the market by 0700 and that any who remained would be NLF or NLF sympathizers. He was also asked whether the order included the killing of women and children; those present at the briefing later gave different accounts of Medina’s response. Some of the company soldiers, including platoon leaders, later testified that the orders as they understood them were to kill all guerrilla and North Vietnamese combatants and "suspects" (including women and children, as well as all animals), to burn the village, and pollute the wells"

"On 17 March 1970, the United States Army charged 14 officers, including Major General Samuel W. Koster, the Americal Division’s commanding officer, with suppressing information related to the incident. Most of those charges were later dropped. Brigade commander Henderson was the only officer who stood trial on charges relating to the cover-up; he was acquitted on December 17, 1971.

"After a 10-month-long trial, in which he claimed that he was following orders from his commanding officer, Captain Medina, William Calley was convicted, on Sept. 10, 1971, of premeditated murder for ordering the shootings. He was initially sentenced to life in prison. Two days later, however, President Nixon made the controversial decision to have Calley released from prison, pending appeal of his sentence. Calley’s sentence was later adjusted, so that he would eventually serve four and one-half months in a military prison at Fort Benning" (

It was hypocrisy in the highest degree that Americans condemned Lt. William Calley, the only man to be convicted in the wake of My Lai, while allowing history to exonerate the same kind of brutal disregard for human life and property that characterized Abraham Lincoln, William Sherman, Phillip Sheridan and George Custer. Neither those men, nor their subordinates ever faced a court of justice for their brutalities against innocent Southerners or Plains Indians. Instead, they have been immortalized as heroes in America's pantheon of gods.

Today, you and I live in a sordid world, created by big business Republicans of New England, along with radical abolitionists, and Universalists who deny the Deity of Jesus Christ. Honor, duty, dignity and civility began their decline as America's guiding principles in that period between 1860 and 1865. Northern business and religious socialism were well served by the tyrant Lincoln and his war criminal progeny in carrying out policies of genocide, and cultural and ethnic cleansing in the 1860s and the ensuing decades of the 19th century. Nothing will ever turn back the tide that overwhelms our once decent and God-fearing society that today almost universally embraces Humanism as a National Religion. America began her descent into that dark abyss during the reign of Lincoln and no one can tell when the judgment of God will be visited upon us. One can only say with Thomas Jefferson, that, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever."


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