What’s In a (Confederate) Name?

Memorial Hall, U. S. Naval Academy remembers fallen graduates.

Visitors to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis are engulfed in history. The magnificent grounds on the Severn River (known officially as “the yard”) abound in monuments, plaques, halls, and displays memorializing the nation’s naval heritage. Names of heroes adorn stately buildings and major walkways.

The Naval Academy’s mission statement reads: “To develop Midshipmen morally, mentally and physically and to imbue them with the highest ideals of duty, honor and loyalty in order to graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.”

That mission requires teaching historical examples of those ideals, including the heroes  around the yard. As first-year students (“plebes”) in 1963, we had their history pounded into our young heads. What was not emphasized to us was that two of them also were Rebels who now are enmeshed in controversies surrounding public references to the Confederacy.

The academy superintendent’s residence is dedicated to the first superintendent, Franklin Buchanan. The Weapons and Systems Engineering division resides in Maury Hall remembering Matthew Fontaine Maury, a pioneer in naval meteorology and navigation.

Admiral Franklin Buchanan, CSN

Franklin Buchanan, a Marylander, became a midshipman in 1815 and served 45 years around the globe. He commanded the sloops-of-war USS Vincennes and Germantown in the 1840s and the steam frigate USS Susquehanna with Commodore Matthew Perry’s Expedition to open trade with Japan, 1852–1854.

The navy at midcentury experienced crises in leadership and discipline characterized by the abolition of flogging, increasing pressure to outlaw alcohol afloat, and a bungled attempt to reform the moribund officer seniority system.

A near mutiny on the training brig USS Somers in 1842 led to summary hanging of the alleged ringleader, a midshipman who was the son of the secretary of war. The long Pacific cruise of the unhappy sloop-of-war USS Cyane witnessed rampant drunkenness and feuding; upon return, nearly every officer was court martialed, including the captain.

Hidebound careerists in the small, inbred service insisted that the profession of the sea must be taught at sea on ships as it always had been; classroom and book learning would not work. Promotion was rightly a long, slow march up the seniority ladder. For forty years after the founding of the Military Academy at West Point, they stonewalled academic training for naval officers.

Captain Buchanan was prominent among reformers who disagreed as the navy evolved from ancient wood and canvas to steam propulsion, iron armor, and advanced armaments. At the request of the secretary of the navy, he submitted plans for a naval school, which was finally established in 1845 at Fort Severn in Annapolis. Buchanan served as first superintendent until 1847 and then commanded warships during the Mexican War. He was Commandant of the Washington Navy Yard in the spring of 1861.

Anticipating that his home state would secede, Buchanan resigned his commission, but when Maryland remained in the Union, he requested to be reinstated for continued service in the U. S. Navy. The lame-duck administration of President James Buchanan (no relation) had routinely accepted southern officer resignations. The Lincoln government, less forgiving of rebels, summarily dismissed Franklin Buchanan from the service, a deep insult to his honor.

Buchanan “went south” to be warmly accepted into the Confederate Navy at his old rank, one of the most senior officers to do so. Confederate Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory appointed his most aggressive captain to command naval units defending Hampton Roads, Virginia, with the title of Flag Officer. The revolutionary ironclad CSS Virginia (ex USS Merrimack) would be his flagship and key to dominating that critical waterbody.

Flag Officer Buchanan planned the campaign that became the two-day Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862. He directed his squadron and until wounded, captained Virginia on the first day, destroying the wooden warships USS Cumberland and Congress in the worst defeat the U. S. Navy suffered until Pearl Harbor. The next day, Buchanan’s second in command, Lieutenant Catesby ap R. Jones, commanded Virginia against the USS Monitor in the first battle of ironclads.

Buchanan became the Confederacy’s only full admiral, commanding naval forces at Mobile Bay, Alabama. He supervised construction of the ironclad CSS Tennessee and captained her against Admiral David Glasgow Farragut’s Union fleet on August 5, 1864, until surrounded and pummeled into submission.

Commander Matthew F. Maury, USN

Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury hailed from a prominent Virginia family. A carriage accident in 1839 rendered him unfit for sea duty, so Maury devoted himself to the study of naval meteorology, navigation, charting winds and currents.

Maury conducted the first systematic study of the oceans, pioneering a new science of oceanography, and was instrumental in founding the United States Naval Observatory in 1854 where he served until 1861.

Maury collated data from hundreds of logbooks filed by merchant, naval, and whaling captains recording information along the tracks they sailed. He supervised the plotting of weather observations, winds, currents, temperatures, and whale sightings over all the seas at all times of the year over many years, thus refining general and seasonal patterns in regions like the Gulf Stream, equatorial doldrums, tropic trade winds, and polar seas that had not been fully understood.

This newfound knowledge to plot courses optimizing wind and sea conditions was a revolution in ocean navigation facilitating the phenomenal success of clipper ship trade. Maury’s Whaling Charts of the World, issued in 1852, scientifically charted the habitat and migrations of sperm and right whales. His most famous work, The Physical Geography of the Sea (1856), compiled study results with detailed charts.

Maury became a world-renowned scientist known as “Pathfinder of the Sea” as well as an influential proponent of naval reform, including a school to rival West Point. He helped launch the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1848, and was the leading spirit behind standardized, global, weather observations for a “universal system” of meteorology.

In 1851, Maury dispatched an expedition to explore the Amazon River valley. He hoped that Brazil would serve as a “safety valve” allowing excess slaves to be resettled or sold there, and over time, reducing or eliminating the curse of slavery. He campaigned for British and American naval patrols on the coast of Africa to stop the illegal slave trade. Maury wrote to a dear cousin: “I am sure you would rejoice to see the people of Virginia rise up tomorrow and say, from and after a future day…there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in Virginia.”[1]

Still, Maury followed Virginia into the Confederacy. “No military man can permit himself to accept service with a mental reservation” he explained to a friend. “All who are foes of his flag, and whom his country considers enemies of hers, are enemies of his…. The line of duty, therefore, is to me clear — each one to follow his own State, if his own State goes to war; if not, he may remain to help on the work of REUNION.”[2]

Commander Maury, CSN, significantly advanced the technology of electronic mines or “torpedoes,” which were said by the Secretary of the U. S. Navy in 1865 to have cost the Union more vessels than all other causes combined. Maury spent most of the war abroad studying torpedoes, procuring ships and supplies, and applying his considerable influence to promoting peace. Through speeches and newspapers, he tried desperately to convince other nations to intervene and stop the war. Post war, Maury continued teaching, lecturing, and writing with international celebrity until his death in 1873.

So, should Naval Academy buildings be named for Rebels like Buchanan and Maury? Those who originally inscribed the names were celebrating contributions to the United States Navy and to the nation without reference to the—also significant—assistance to rebellion. Immaculate heroes and absolute villains are exceedingly rare. Very few of the thousands who pass by every year are even aware of that history, much less “insulted” by it as if predecessors did what they did personally to spite us.

We who spent four years surrounded by those monuments, plaques, and halls were rather too occupied earning a degree and a commission to be looking for insults from dead people or to be taking the past personally. These two men marched briefly across a few pages among thousands in our history texts, but as far as I recall, caused no concern. The same is probably true today. And just how would Americans who are angry, afraid, or hurting be materially helped by changing the names on two buildings?

On the other hand, we must be mindful of who we memorialize as inspirations for officer trainees. Recent events have heightened awareness on these issues; understanding does evolve. Former rebels must accept consequences of their actions, and there is no shortage of heroes, including those who might have been unjustly neglected. Renaming the Buchanan and Maury buildings would be small and symbolic but perhaps worthwhile contributions to the causes of sensitivity and public confidence.

Such men should not, however, be erased from history books and not only for their accomplishments before secession. Perhaps more importantly, stories like theirs are central to understanding the immense conflict. These Americans made painful choices with conflicting motives at difficult times, as did many others then and since. We now judge that Buchanan and Maury made one very wrong decision, but who would walk in their shoes?

We must evaluate their actions within the context of the times against common standards of “duty, honor and loyalty.” However bad events are now, it is instructive to understand the greatest American crisis. Today’s issues are in many ways continuous of the past—no less weighted with moral import and potential impact on future generations. What can we learn from them to help with current troubles as Americans continue to make choices good and bad?

The same considerations apply to other public memorials and statues in the news. Refining our understanding of history and making reasonable accommodations are worthy endeavors, but rewriting history is not. Nihilistic, anarchistic, irresponsible voices have, without public consensus, demanded not just refinement but radical revisions and even destruction of the past and its symbols.

Self-appointed revolutionaries openly declare intentions to overturn time-tested institutions and founding principles. They employ anger, fear, envy, hate, greed, violence—tools of the demagogue—to divide, manipulate, and dominate citizenry. They are enabled by self-serving public officials, facilitated by pervasive ignorance, mob mentality, and blaring digital megaphones.

Abraham Lincoln saw the Civil War as the third great test of republican government. The first was the founding, as he said at Gettysburg, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The second was establishment with the Constitution.

The final trial is whether this nation “or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure” against attempts to destroy it from within, its most serious threat and still an open question. His answer was “increased devotion to that cause” so “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Devotion requires understanding.

Without honest, objective historical discussion, the odds for national survival are greatly diminished. To be “insulted” or angry at history is profoundly counterproductive. Once history becomes the plaything of today’s power politics, it loses all ability to instruct or inspire. That way lies not enhancement of painfully acquired freedoms firmly rooted in the past but destruction. We must be incredibly careful what is renamed, rewritten, or removed and why.

————

[1] M. F. Maury to Mrs. Blackford, December 24, 1851 in Diane Fontaine Corbin, Matthew Fontaine Maury — Biography (Original edition London. 1888. Wikisource Edited and Illustrated, 2009), Chapter IX.

[2] M. F. Maury to Wm. C. Hasbrouck, March 4, 1861 in Corbin, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Chapter XIII.

About Dwight Hughes

Dwight Hughes is a retired U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officer and Vietnam Veteran. He speaks and writes on Civil War naval topics. www.CivilWarNavyHistory.com
This entry was posted in Memory, Monuments, Navies, Ties to the War and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to What’s In a (Confederate) Name?

  1. I don’t know if the Naval Academy still has the same rule, but in the early months of the 2000 decade, when my son was a freshman at St. John’s College, which is immediately across a very small street from the Academy, at least the first year plebes were required to wear their uniforms at all times when they were out and about in Annapolis. The much less law abiding St. Johnnies would arrange to “redress” their friendly plebes in civilian clothes so all of them could hang out together at various places in the city and drink. This comment has little to do with questionable names and everything to do with the inclination for lawlessness in the hearts of most teenagers.

  2. Meg Groeling says:

    Alas, it seems there is no middle ground at present. Thanks for this thought-provoking piece.

  3. Donald Smith says:

    “Renaming the Buchanan and Maury buildings would be small and symbolic but perhaps worthwhile contributions to the causes of sensitivity and public confidence.”

    Is this really an issue at Annapolis? If midshipmen are triggered by knowing that the superintendent lives in Buchanan Hall, or having to go to class in Maury Hall, then imagine how easily they’ll be triggered at sea by the Chinese and Russian navies.

    President Eisenhower declared that Confederate veterans were to be viewed as American military veterans. Isn’t that enough justification for leaving Buchanan and Maury Halls undisturbed?

    If we’re really concerned about sensitivity—-are there any monuments anywhere to William T. Sherman? In his memoirs, written more than two decades after the Civil War ended, he said he was glad that productive white farmers and ranchers had settled the American West, displacing “useless Indians.” If Buchanan and Maury have to go because of sensitivity concerns, than Sherman cannot stay. There are many, many other examples.

    Those who feel the need to rebuke Matthew Fontaine Maury’s memory can take comfort in the knowledge that the city of Richmond tore his monument off of Monument Avenue. So, you can consider Maury rebuked.

    For those who’ve seen monuments they respect torn down in recent days—and not just Confederate ones, mind you—don’t be surprised if they adopt an attitude of…if you didn’t speak up when my monument was being pulled down, I’m dang not sure going to help you protect yours. If the new rules apply to my ancestors, they apply to yours, too. That may not be a high-minded approach, but humans are often not high-minded. Especially if they feel they’ve been treated with disrespect.

    I thank you for writing on a difficult subject; you did it well and thoughtfully. Posts like that are what make ECW a great website.

  4. William Anderson says:

    I am suffering from outrage exhaustion, but I am fighting it. Excellent comment.

  5. rlp413 says:

    Thank you for your article. Your solid research shows throughout. Thoughtfully and honestly presented.

  6. nygiant1952 says:

    No buildings at West Point are named after the traitor, Benedict Arnold. In fact, the only monument to Arnold, at Saratoga, has no inscription.

    The fact is, these are not monuments to heroes, but to traitors and were erected in the era of Jim Crow, manifested by the dis-enfranchising of the Afro-American citizens, separate but equal treatment, poll taxes, and the denial of due process, because of lynching.

    Thee monuments are dedicated to the Lost Cause, an erroneous and false interpretation of American History.

    If we are going to study American History, let’s get it right, this time!

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      Indeed Giant, let’s get it right. Let’s identify the sins and crimes of the Democrat Party throughout their existence. You know, with all this revisionism underway as far as (how appropriate) the ‘white-washing’ of history that is being undertaken by them, do tell: why are the names of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson not being targeted for removal from all vestiges of memory and existence? After all, their administration undertook the illegal spying on Martin Luther King to try to disgrace and discredit him. That information that they ‘produced’ exists today. Seeing how movies are being edited and even removed, and virtually ALL historical entities and references are not only under review but under full fledged assault, we DO need to remove them from this life, right? That is YOUR side’s criteria nowdays, isn’t it?

      Hmmm?

    • Donald Smith says:

      We are going to keep saying this as long as is necessary: Confederate monuments were erected for several reasons, among them a desire to commemorate the sacrifice and bravery of fallen loved ones. Many were erected around the 25 and 50 year anniversaries of the war, and those are common time intervals when people remember past wars.

      You are entitled to your opinion, we are entitled to ours, and no one person or group should get to decide what the “right” interpretation of American history is.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Well, the Lost Cause interpretation is erroneous..the cause of the war was not States Rights, the slaves were not happy on the plantation, and the North was not the aggressor.

        These monuments glorify the era of Jim Crow.

        Do you really think that if allowed the vote, Afro-Americans would erect monuments to their oppressors?

    • Some monuments were motivated at least in part by Lost Cause mythology and racism, but not all were. Motivations are varied, complex, and often contradictory things. More important is what such memorials represent to us now and to future generations. The Academy buildings, for example, were named by naval professionals focused on naval history who chose Buchanan and Maury for their contributions despite or regardless of Confederate service. To say that these decisions were inspired by Lost Cause aspirations or racial animus is simply not supportable. We might now conclude that rebellion disqualifies anyone from such recognition despite or regardless of other contributions, a perfectly reasonable position. But such decisions must be reached without anger or destruction through communal consensus. The comparison to Benedict Arnold is superficial. I believe Arnold was motivated primarily by self interest and not so much by truly divided loyalties and perceived duty.

    • Michael penrod says:

      You do however have Lee gate named for Robert E. Lee. While a former Superientendent of the West Point Lee is obviously also a hero of the south.

      The two naval officers, like Lee, should be remembered within the contact of the history of the two academies for their contributions to the development of their respective schools. But, they should not be remembered for their respective roles in defense of a fledgling nation state that had at its core the principal of chattel slavery.

    • Major Crawford says:

      I’m 4th Generation Combat Veteran. Gave 30 years of my life for all Americans. Even idiots..

  7. John Pryor says:

    Who enshrined you as the Lord High PooBah of all things right and proper? Did you even read the article before you spouted? Maury alone did more in his lifetime to advance human transportation, commerce and true diversity than you or I certainly have! A pygmy getting his sense of worth attacking a true giant over one aspect of his life.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Who made you the moderator?

      Fact is, Maury resigned his commission and entered the service of the rebels, thus becoming a traitor to the United States. And only his monument was removed…the globe which is symbolic to his oceanography work, remains.

      • Debra Page says:

        Isn’t the globe offensive to flat-earthers? That should probably be removed, too.

        And why stop at monuments? Coca-Cola was created by a former Confederate during the Jim Crow era, which automatically means he did it to intimidate and oppress free blacks. Same goes for Mcilhenny Tabasco Sauce, BB&T Bank, and Hanger Prosthetics. And, of course, Fanta was created in WWII by the Nazis because Coca-Cola refused to sell them product during the war. But Coca-Cola bought the rights to Fanta afterward.

        I’m sure if we dig deep enough, we could probably destroy every landmark and product in our country because of some shady past or wrongdoings somewhere, but should we? And who exactly is ‘without sin’ that should be casting these stones?

  8. robertceltic says:

    Great article, well written and much needed at a time when our culture, history and heritage are under attack.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The monuments don’t tell the real story of the Civil War, but of the Lost Cause. They were erected in a period of American History where the Afro-American was denied their rights under the US Constitution. And they were placed next to Court Houses to intimidate any Afro-American to remind him, they wouldn’t find justice.

      The only thing under attack, is the Lost Cause.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        The only thing being ATTEMPTED is the Democrat Party’s efforts to remove their culpability and involvement in the Confederacy and resultant ‘Lost Cause’. We all get that. Except now the same mobs doing that are trying to cover their tracks by attacking ALL standing monuments and statues. This is all part of their continuing hissy-fit over losing the 2016b election. If Hillary had won, we’d never hear a peep about any of this. It never would have happened.

  9. John Davis says:

    nygiant1952 you are ad idiot.

  10. John Pryor says:

    Don, as hard as it can be to be adults in a room, let’s try. I have no trouble with either Buchanan, as the real founder of Annapolis, and especially Maury, a giant in marine science. It’s like the French Revolutionaries slandering the entire life work of Louvoissier because he might have cooked the books. No one’s fingernails are totally clean in the Civil War era, but they are still giants compared to the sniping midgets of the modern era.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Actually , it’s like the French convicting Petain for treason and being a traitor to France, for collaborating with Nazi Germany, despite being the Lion of Verdun, in World War 1.

      Only had Buchanan and Maury remained loyal to their country, could they be considered giants.

  11. BillF says:

    These men did not consider themselves to be traitors. Most of them did not resign until their state seceded. They thought they were patriots, rising to the defense of their state, with all that entails: perhaps defense of a way of life, which may have included slavery; defense of relatives that still lived there; defense of the place you were born; “the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods”.

    It is hard for us to imagine the state being above the country, but that’s the way it was since the Revolution. I don’t know what’s right or wrong, but it’s a very complicated and nuanced question and we continue to look at people of 150 years ago with the morals and standards of today, What will people think of us 150 years from now?

  12. Anne Carson Foard says:

    It’s wonderful to be able to agree with the conclusion of this article. It’s all American history, even the controversial parts. Without those, and the easier parts, we would not have arrived where we are now; despite room for improvement, “where we are now” is a very impressive place.

  13. scott s. says:

    I guess we’re fortunate the “41 for freedom” boats aren’t around any more. I’m more surprised I haven’t heard anything about Tecumseh.

  14. nygiant1952 says:

    If you want to honor those rebels who fought against the United States, do it on a battlefield, where their sacrifice was made. And visit a cemetery and honor them on Confederate Memorial Day, by placing a Confederate flag…not the ANV battle flag, next to their headstone.

    Monuments next to Court House buildings are just a reminder to the Afro-American citizens, of intimidation, of separate but equal, of not being allowed to vote…a precious American right.

    • Debra Page says:

      Cemeteries aren’t safe, either. Just take a look at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland. And courthouse land for monuments were not used to intimidate blacks; they were the central locations for their counties and communities and public land, so an ideal spot to remember soldiers who died from the county.

      By your same logic, were all the Martin Luther King, Jr. statues, monuments, roads, bridges, etc. erected to intimidate white people?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Cemeteries are vandalized all the time, unfortunately. Probably copy-cat imitators.

        The monuments at a Court House were put there to intimidate Afro-Americans from participating in the judicial process, that Afro-Americans would not find justice. Didn’t you read..To Kill a Mockingbird, in high school?

        And those soldiers didn’t die for the Afro-American….and they didn’t die defending the United States.

        They died trying to keep those Afro-Americans in bondage.

        If while people are intimidated by MLK, then you have to wonder, how much racist are they?

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        I think it s safe to conclude that the museums will be next.

      • Debra Page says:

        Probably. Or the media will put such a spin on it that people will be afraid to go to museums with ‘racist’ material, lest they be labeled as ‘racist’ themselves.

  15. Lyle Smith says:

    Wonderful article. If only profit-seeking news (greed) was this serious every single day.

    “They employ anger, fear, envy, hate, greed, violence—tools of the demagogue—to divide, manipulate, and dominate citizenry.” – I would add deceit, racism, and iconoclasm to this list. I think it is also pretty clear now that many of them are anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. Chock full of hate these folks are.

  16. nygiant1952 says:

    Hello all….
    1. treason…The US Constitution is pretty explicit on treason…in fact, it is the only crime mentioned in the Constitution. The Constitution says the treason consists of “levying war” against the United States; or “adhering to [the] enemies [of the United States], giving them aid and comfort.”. The Founding Fathers didn’t give us any modifiers, to apply when dealing with treason. According to the US Constitution, Arnold, Buchanan , and Maury all committed treason.

    2. sniping….Name calling is the last refuge for those who don’t have the facts and can’t debate. It reflects more on their immaturity than anything else.

    3.Thank you for backing me regarding no buildings at West Point are named for Arnold. That was a bit of a stretch for me. I always entered through the Stony Lonesome Gate.

    4. I’ve always been more fearful of the KKK than I have, of any liberal, progressive group.

    • Debra Page says:

      So what was the point of President Andrew Johnson pardoning them in 1868 if they were still considered traitors??

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Johnson, a Democrat, was determined to return the nation to its former state as quickly as possible. And that is his power, under the US Constitution, to pardon.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Just curious here: what about those who were conscripted? Are they ‘traitors’ too?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Nice question Doug.

        Conscripts made up about 10% of the Rebel Army.

        Read the US Constitution…did they fight against the United States or give aid and comfort to the enemy? “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

        The FF did not say that those conscripted into the Army and fought against the United States were exempt.

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      Wow. I’m sure those conscripts who couldn’t pay for a stand-in were concerned with the Constitution when they were faced with imprisonment or worse form those calling the shots in their states.

      I have another question for you Giant: seeing how the destruction of the monuments and statues are underway, do you support digging up Confederate graves and destroying them as well? It’s a fair question, seeing how some among the same ‘movement’ were advocating that in the recent past. While they centered mostly on Nathan Bedford Forrest’s remains, as we have seen with the statues, once one goes, they ALL are targeted. So will YOU be advocating for that as well?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Doug, I usually use the conscripts issue to emphasize my belief that the Civil War was a Rich man’s war, but a poor man’s fight. At least thats what my Uncle told me, as he attended the Reconciliation in 1915 with His Grand-Father who lost a leg at Gettysburg. His Grand-Father told him that…and I kind of believe, what has been passed down in my family.

        As far as your to your question, It’s my belief that you need a Court Order to dis-inter any grave, and you have to have a reason.
        Maybe our lawyer friends on this panel can give us an answer.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Court order? How many ‘court orders’ and laws are the mobs who are destroying the monuments adhering to, with your blessing I will add? Are the rabble and scum who are already desecrating graveyards adhering to court orders? Yeah, anarchists and looters and ‘insurrectionists’ will always follow the law!

        I don’t disagree with assertions about ‘Rich man’s war’ and so on. And that is irrelevant. The fact is, a number of men were FORCED to take up arms for both sides. Absent committing genuine “crimes against humanity”, they didn’t have any say-so in what befell them. They faced the wrath of their leaders/’governments’ if they refused or disobeyed. To lump them in with those who actually made the decisions and pulled the levers of power is a gross injustice to them.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Doug…You had mentioned digging up graves…I only said you need a court order to dig them up.

        You are really moving the goal posts now.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Giant, I did mention digging up graves. And as I correctly pointed out, the very entities that have had no use for official edicts or things like ‘court orders’ are not going to concern themselves with them when it comes to excuses to desecrate graves.

        OK?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Doug…..You need a court order to dis-inter .

  17. l5ance55@yahoo.com says:

    Sounds ridiculous to me

  18. Daren Kelly says:

    It’s Tragic that these Naval officers,just like Robert E. Lee and other Southern soldiers, preferred to uphold the South’s Peculiar Institution of Slavery (aka “State’s Rights”), rather than continue the effort, to live up to the directives of our Declaration, and our Constitution. The statues and memorials to these men, were probably sustained, or allowed in order to welcome the CSA back to the USA.
    I don’t think there should be a Hall of Shame for these men. But their should be an institution, like the Holocaust museum that might remind us all, that we must consider the consequences of our decisions, before we take action. .

  19. Plm.cj7@gmail.com says:

    I wish people could just understand the way things were in those days. The loyalty to your state is something that no one in this time could even begin to understand. The officers and soldiers didn’t level the union because of they wanted to it was because the government in there state chose too . Loyalty to state came before all else. Wealthy decided. Yes the Confederates were traders and should be treated as such . But after the war we were all united States citizens . The monuments that hold no historical value should come down . But we need to find a better way to move forward. We all need to realize it’s not just white people that are racist it go’s every witch way. I love this country with all my heart and watching it tare itself apart is more than I can take some days .

    • Douglas Pauly says:

      Some great points, but when dealing with the mob mentality, and elected officials cater to that mob, you get the situation we’re in now. We’ve ALL been lied to from the get-go about the fate of the statues and monuments. They were to be preserved and ‘relocated’. It was a ll a big, fat leftist lie.They were, and are, slated for complete destruction, period. I’m personally wondering when the American leftist agenda will truly go global? After all, we know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we also know they used a lot of slaves to build it. When will Rome and all its vestiges be obliterated? It’s all about revising the history concerning slavery.

  20. Debra Page says:

    For any older folks out there, is this what it was like during McCarthyism?

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Hi Debra,
      Nice question. I recall some of that era. From what I understand, President Truman had signed am executive order screening all civil servants for loyalty. World War 2 was over, and the Soviet Union had created a bloc of nations that they occupied in defeating Nazi Germany, and created a puppet state in all of them. The Soviets had also tested an atomic bomb.

      McCarthy became involved in 1950 when in a speech, he held up a piece of paper and declared he had the names of over 200 Communist sympathizers in the State Department. Fact is, no names were on the list.

      McCarthyism was the practice of making accusations of treason against someone, without any evidence , what so ever.

      Hollywood was pretty had hit with many people in the industry black-listed. And even to this day, there are still ramifications in Hollywood because these false accusations.

      This is an interesting topic, and hopefully we can have a nice exchange of ideas, IF the moderators allow us.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Don’t forget that McCarthy has been proven right as far as many of his assertions and accusations. Was he a political opportunist? No doubt, but geezz, we’re talking about Washington, DC here. His procedures and approach have been condemned. YET, time and scholarship and basic research have proven that he was indeed right about the fact that the US government had been penetrated repeatedly by the USSR. Heck, the Russians and KGB themselves confirmed that when they opened up their archives after the Soviet Union’s collapse.

        I invite one and all to read the link below. The WashPo is no friend of anything or anyone affiliated with the GOP, yet, try as they do to savage every vestige of McCarthy, even they have to admit that he was right.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1996/04/14/was-mccarthy-right-about-the-left/a0dc6726-e2fd-4a31-bcdd-5f352acbf5de/

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Doug…you are so wrong about McCarthyism.

        McCarthy, however, located no communists and his personal power collapsed in 1954 when he accused the Army of coddling known communists. Despite a lack of any proof of subversion, more than 2,000 government employees lost their jobs as a result of McCarthy’s investigations.

        Operative word…NO COMMUNISTS.

        The downfall of McCarthy started during the Army Hearings,. The Army undermined the senator’s credibility by showing evidence that he had tried to win preferential treatment for his aides when they were drafted. Then came the fatal blow: the decision to broadcast the “Army-McCarthy” hearings on national television. The American people watched as McCarthy intimidated witnesses and offered evasive responses when questioned. When he attacked a young Army lawyer, the Army’s chief counsel thundered, “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” The Army-McCarthy hearings struck many observers as a shameful moment in American politics.arthy

      • John Foskett says:

        As you note, McCarthy was a ruthless political opportunist. He also believed in nothing beyond self-aggrandizing, he was frequently in his cups, and he invented his phony war record. When he started fabricating “commies” in the Army and made a complete fool of himself on national television, Eisenhower finally developed sufficient duende to dump him. Nobody in his/her right or honest mind defends McCarthy today – and it’s got nothing to do with his being in the “GOP”. I’m not sure any legitimate Republican with any integrity or knowledge of history would even claim him.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Giant, you, and others, on here, can hate the inconvenience that history often provides all you want. The FACT is that the bad guys themselves acknowledged that McCarthy was RIGHT! Period. Was he right about everything, or everybody? I don’t know. But It also doesn’t matter. The KBG’s own archive confirm the extent of the penetration of the US government by Soviet operatives, including the administrations of FDR and Truman. I personally wish that all he claimed had been disproven, but again, the historic record is what it is. That ‘findings’ of and from the 1950s or any other period that don’t hold up now happens all the time. So your declarations that “no communists were found” might have been true THEN, but time and scholarship and basic research has proved otherwise. If you have any heartburn from any of this, perhaps your and yours should contact the Russians directly and ask them about it. If you do, let me know how that turns out.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Sorry Doug…wrong again. Only 3 people were spies for the Soviets…Alger Hiss and possibly the Rosenbergs.

        At least thats what my Soviet contact’s last message, the one I found in the Pumpkin, said.

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        Giant, you and others on here can continue to carry on about this if you like. You can hate me all you want, but that won’t change the fact that I am NOT a Russian, I do NOT work for their KGB, and I thus did NOT write the entries in their official archives! Those are THEIR words, no one else’s. I can’t help that, or change it..

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Doug, We think the world of you, because you are a Civil War Buff!! And we Buffs have to stick together!

      • Douglas Pauly says:

        LOL. Fair enough Giant. I can drink to that.

  21. ELISE A BARBOUR says:

    Beautifully written price! How true.

  22. William K Gray says:

    Read Lincoln’s statements under the Lincoln memorial, and tell me the war was over slavery. The emancipation proclamation was Jan. 1, 1863, yet the slaves in the north weren’t freed until June 1865. Many facts have been overlooked, erased, and re-written as the victor always tells the tale. Just because you read it from a book, online, or heard it from someone doesn’t make it fact.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Recall that Lincoln was a great believer in the Founding Fathers documents….the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution. Since slavery is alluded to in the Constitution, he knew it could only be abolished by an Amendment to that Constitution.

      Recall that the Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure….to deprive the rebels a source of man-power.

      At Gettysburg , Lincoln said….our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

      As far as the 2nd inaugural address is concerned…..This is what Lincoln said…..One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves not distributed generally over the union but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen perpetuate and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it……If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which in the providence of God must needs come but which having continued through His appointed time He now wills to remove and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him. Fondly do we hope ~ fervently do we pray ~ that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’

      So, Lincoln thought the war was over slavery.

    • Mike Maxwell says:

      Another forgotten, inconvenient fact: West Virginia was admitted to the Union on 20 June 1863… as a slave state.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Another forgotten inconvenient fact: Eighteen months after being admitted to the Union ,the West Virginia legislature completely abolished slavery, and also ratified the 13th Amendment on February 3, 1865.

  23. Timothy C Allen, USNA 1986, USMC 1986-91 says:

    One statistic you left out: how many U.S. Sailors and Marines died because of Buchanan and Maury’s efforts? Even one would be enough for me to say they were the enemy, and therefore undeserving of an honored name on a building at the United States Naval Academy. Their histories should certainly appear at the USNA Museum, with a plaque explaining how they used their formidable skills to kill members of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

  24. abdulaouf says:

    Writing with style and getting good compliments on the article is quite hard, to be honest.But you’ve done it so calmly and with so cool feeling and you’ve nailed the job. This article is possessed with style and I am giving good compliment. Best! Globe Valve

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