The Confederate Army Never Invaded the U. S. Capitol. On January 6, 2021, Their Battle Flag Was There.

On January 6, 2021, I was appalled to see that the United States Capitol was invaded and trashed, with people killed. Americans did this to their own Capitol because of lies told by the President and his supporters. On top of all that happened, Confederate battle flags were paraded in the Capitol and on its grounds. This was a travesty that the Confederate army never could accomplish!

In the past few months, I have heard more news reports and even some people talking about another Civil War in this country. As a Civil War historian, I must remind people that the Civil War claimed 750,000 American lives, according to the National Park Service—a number raised from 625,000 during the Sesquicentennial. That death count is more than all of our other wars put together. With today’s weapons, the total death count would be much higher.

On the battlefields, I have had people ask me, could the two sides have compromised to avoid the Civil War. I answered that there were many compromises leading up to the war, however, there was one topic that could never be agreed upon: slavery. Before and during the war, the South fought to protect slavery. In fact, their vice president, Alexander Stephens, stated in his “Cornerstone” speech why slavery was so important to the Confederacy. Now, we hear that white supremacists’ groups are trying to take over the government because, in the future, white people will no longer be the majority race in America. I have even heard people say that there could be a race war in this country. How can we do this to each other as Americans?

As a former bank manager, then later a bank executive, I was informed as early as the 1970s that the population of America would change and that minorities would become a majority in the 2030s or 2040s. Whites will still have a plurality of the population as the minorities are of various ethnicities.

We must deal with the topic of racism in this country. If not, it will destroy this country.

We can no longer go to other countries and talk about how strong our democracy is. On televisions seen throughout the world, we looked just like some other country without control of our people. We had a coup attempt. We are no longer the shining star in this world.

In July of 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early led the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia to the edge of Washington, D.C., and fought the Battle of Fort Stevens. The Confederate Army was in Washington, D.C. However, the Union soldiers within the city and the Union VI Corps came up from Petersburg, defeated Early and drove him away from the city. Confederate flags were in Washington, D. C., but their flags never reached our Capitol. On January 6, 2021, that battle flag, a symbol of white supremacy, was flown inside of our “Nation’s Capitol.” I wonder what President Abraham Lincoln and General U. S. Grant would think and say if they were here on that day. I wonder….

About Steward T. Henderson

Civil War historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and living historian with the 23rd Regiment USCT and 54th Massachusetts Infantry Co. B. I am also a member of the Trail to Freedom Committee in the Fredericksburg, VA area and a member of the John J. Wright Museum in Spotsylvania, VA.
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117 Responses to The Confederate Army Never Invaded the U. S. Capitol. On January 6, 2021, Their Battle Flag Was There.

  1. will says:

    Didn’t bother me,I was happy to finally see the Confederate flag on the capitol,move it back to Richmond where the capitol belongs.

  2. Dan says:

    I was glad to see that the guy with the confederate flag in the capitol has been arrested. It was a disgrace.

  3. Donald Smith says:

    “I wonder what President Abraham Lincoln and General U. S. Grant would think and say if they were here on that day. I wonder….”

    I think they would have said “Look at those jerks. What happened to the Capitol Police? How did they get into the Capitol in the first place?”

    “We can no longer go to other countries and talk about how strong our democracy is.”

    After one riot, America is no longer a good example for the rest of the world? If other countries are unhappy with us, let’s point to the tens of thousands of Americans sleeping forever in cemeteries overseas. The American cemetery at Normandy is just one of many such places. They can also look at the Berlin Airlift Memorial at Templehof Airfield in Berlin, and the Army soldiers who’ve guarded the DMZ since the 1950s.

    If, after all that America has done to safeguard and rebuild the world since World War II, the world turns its back on us because some jerks got out of hand on one afternoon in our nations’ capital, then that’s ingratitude and selfishness on their part.

    Let’s not make last Wednesday into more than it was.

    • Lyle Smith says:

      We will all know America sucks when people stop immigrating here, especially people of color who seem to like it a lot. It’s amazing how nonplussed they are at all the white supremacy around them.

  4. Well, yea, I got a bit of a thrill when I saw the flag finally get there. But, seriously, the Confederate generals I believe I have come to know would have totally disapproved of how the flag finally arrived.

    Tom Crane

  5. Stephen Recker says:

    All last summer we were told to ‘understand the rioteors and looters’ and to ‘take their complaints seriously.’ Now, as if by magic, we get to prosecute them and call their complaints ‘lies.’ When did the rules change? I missed the memo.

    • Diane Mcvey says:

      I totally agree with Stephen Recker Where was the outrage all summer when cities,police stations and businesses were attacked and set on fire? I also don’t like comments about President Trump who along with his family and any associates including General Michael Flynn has been persecuted lied on FISA warrants to protect Hillary ( ask Michael Steele)

  6. nygiant1952 says:

    The desecration of or Capitol, the Citadel of our Democracy,was a cowardly act performed by terrorists. The sad thing is, that these terrorists were ignorant of US History and ignorant of the US Constitution.

    Incited by the defeated President, the terrorists rioted and tried to over-turn the results of the last election just because they didn’t win period.

    A sad day for Democracy and a sad day for the freedom-loving peoples of the world.

  7. Robert J Rainey says:

    If you add in the southern civilian population that were murdered, starved to death burned out of their homes, the total death numbers would be 50,000 more. This article implies that all the people that caused the destruction were ALL Trump supporters. If you pay attention to the way these miscreants were dressed, like the violent leftist radicals of the past year, having a MAGA hat on does not make you a Trump supporter. A skunk can no more change his strips simply by putting on a different hat. The FBI has reported this week that they have arrested one leftist with more to follow.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Fact is, this was a demonstration, incited by the President, to march to the Capitol and over-throw the duly elected President-elect and Vice President -elect. ( Please refer to the comment by the President to “take back our country”)

      Pesky thing, those pesky facts.

      • charles jones says:

        You would not know a constitutional or actual fact unless it hit you in the head. Lets try some and see. 1. Biden team will not be allowed to hold power. 2. Military will be in control 3. President used military to distribute vaccine for virus. (allowed covert positioning of units prepared to give “shots” to “invisible enemy”. Also mobilized FEMA in accordance with National Emergency which will place military units with FEMA. They now have around 200+ “quarantine” sites. 4. “Shadow Govt” under FEMA until situation resolved then 8 yrs Trump possible. He does not have to though. His mission is complete for the most part. He revealed corruption on all sides to normies. 5. Also, Operation Warp Speed. Do you get it? Deep Underground Military Bases which have secretly allowed atrocities and infiltrator quarters will now become tombs. Think. Arleigh Burke. Project Thor. How fast?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        The distribution of the vaccine is a disgrace. Lying to the American people about the election , and inciting insurrection, is impeachable.

    • John Foskett says:

      So Rudy had no idea he was posing with an Antifa member last month; we all know “Bigo” Barnett’s track record as a lefty activist; and Mo Brooks was unwittingly hosting an assembly of “leftist radicals”.

    • Bob Ruth says:

      Robert, you’re absolutely right. In fact, I have it on very good authority that Elvis and JFK Jr. (who we all know are still alive) were behind the plot by antifa to infiltrate the rally and storm the Capitol. Along with all those baby-killing pedophiles who control the Deep State and Hollywood.

      All those neo-Nazis, white supremacists, QAnon conspiracy advocates, Three Percenters, Oath Keepers and right-wing anarchists who have been arrested by the FBI are actually antifa activists in disguise.

      Robert, can’t wait for your next inciteful post. Keep up the good work

      .. .

  8. Paul Hunt says:

    Where’s Rodney King when we need him? Most of you are probably too young to remember him. Memory is selective.

  9. Rod says:

    The Left has to “read between lines” to conjure up the claim that Trump incited the Capitol breach. The Left is good at reading between the lines because that is its standard MO regarding the Constitution. Jefferson said when he reads between the lines all he sees is blank paper. Americans would be smart to listen to Jefferson. After all, it was the consistent attempts of the North to circumvent the intended meaning of the Constitution that caused the South to secede. Lincoln’s choice to invade and force the South back into the Union was the cause of the war. And he invaded the South in violation of every ideal expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The right of any people to a government of their own consent was the essential doctrine that defined America prior to Lincoln. If the South had any desire to invade the Capitol as Steward Henderson suggests, the war would have ended after 1st Bull Run. The South had no desire to carry its battle flag to the Capitol. It simply wanted to be left alone to govern itself. Ironically the Americans who desired true republicanism and self-government would have made that sacred American right available to all Americans had they invaded the Capitol in ‘61 and re-established the founding principle of government by consent. That they chose not to allowed Lincoln to ultimately usurp that founding principle by force of arms. True liberty for all Americans has been only a memory since the Lincoln rebellion.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      1.Actually, we Democrats don’t need to read between the lines…we can just read the lines……“Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer. And we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. And we’re going to have to fight much harder. …because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

      “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore, and that is what this is all about. And to use a favorite term that all of you people really came up with, we will stop the steal.”

      Take back our country…from whom?

      What steal? The election was fair and square, and Trump was declared the Loser.

      2. Slavery was the cause of the Civil War, as is explained in the Cornerstone Speech.

      3. Lincoln went to war because Rebel forces fired on the Federal installation in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter.

      4 Jefferson had urged Johnston and Beauregard to attack DC, but the rebel forces were too undisciplined and too dis-organized.

      • Rod says:

        You said:

        “ 2. Slavery was the cause of the Civil War, as is explained in the Cornerstone Speech.

        3. Lincoln went to war because Rebel forces fired on the Federal installation in Charleston Harbor, Fort Sumter.

        4 Jefferson had urged Johnston and Beauregard to attack DC, but the rebel forces were too undisciplined and too dis-organized.”

        It amazes me the ignorance regarding history that keeps getting spewed as truth! How in the world do you arrive at the conclusion that the Cornerstone Speech explains “slavery was the cause of the Civil War?!?” Do you even know the source of Stephen’s use of “Cornerstone?” The “cornerstone’ being referred to was actually property rights. Stephens is merely quoting what Henry Baldwin, Northern born Assoc.SC Justice, proclaimed in Johnson v. Tompkins, 1833. Calhoun had used the same quote in a major speech in Congress in ‘49. The argument of all three men is that slavery is protected by the Constitution as property rights. Any attempt to end slavery outside if a Constitutional Amendment is lawlessness. And property rights law argued Baldwin is the Cornerstone of the American ideal. Stephens was arguing that all Americans must operate within the Constitution. The consistent failure of the North to do so over the prior 70 years is what drove the South to secession. It was infidelity to the Constitution and NOT slavery that was the Southern reason to leave the Union. Slavery was yet just another occasion, in a long list of examples of Northern infidelity to the Constitution. It was the most recent and most blatant violation of the
        Constitution and was the final straw.

        If the South seceded to protect slavery, why did it turn down Lincoln’s offer of a Constitutional Amendment making slavery permanent and irrevocable? Why did the South turn down his offer to keep slavery in the Emancipation Proclamation if it returned to the Union before the Proclamation went into effect? Why did the South begin as early as Spring of ‘62 looking to end slavery in hopes of gaining foreign support in its fight for independence (see the following revelation from 8 Union Congressmen regarding the South seeking to end slavery in ‘62:

        https://www.loc.gov/resource/mal.1713000/?r=-0.818,-0.749,2.636,3.213,0

        Note in this letter to Lincoln they call Southern attempts to end slavery a “fact now made history.”)

        The South continued efforts to end slavery to gain foreign support and were doing so in the Duncan Kenner mission when Lee surrendered. If preserving slavery was the Southern cause for secession, why was it willing to end it to gain independence? Self-government and independence was why the South seceded and NOT slavery. You have to understand the context of the Cornerstone Speech and the four Declarations of Secession that are always trotted out as proof that the Southern cause was slavery. Actions speak louder than words, and Southern actions say they seceded to gain independence, and fought because their sovereign waters were invaded at Sumter. Lincoln deliberately provoked war as he admitted in order to prevent Southern independence that would have cut off his revenue, which he also admitted. It isn’t always who fires the first shot that causes a war. Provocation is just as culpable and more so!

        At 1st Bull Run the Confederate forces were anything but disorganized or undisciplined. They had just conquered a much larger and better equipped foe. They didn’t pursue the defeated yankees because they believed that the recent defeat would bring the Union Army to the negotiating table. Jeff Davis repeatedly asserted that all the South wanted was to be left alone to govern itself. Though some Generals might have thought a conquest of Washington the best means to bring about self-government, Confederate leadership recognized the conquest of Washington to be antithetical to their own philosophy of self-government. They had no desire to rule the North, but the North had every desire to rule and exploit the South. Which side was practicing the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rod, realize we are only discussing Stephens’ Pre-Civil War Cornerstone Speech. Ignore what he said after the rebels were defeated. That’s revisionist history.

        1. No where in the Cornerstone Speech, are the words ‘Property rights” mentioned

        2. Here is what Stephens said in the speech….”Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. ”

        3.The Civil War intervened before Lincoln was inaugurated. And Lincoln was faithful to the platform of the Republican Party

        4. Recall that Lincoln would do anything to preserve the Union…hence his reasoning in allowing the rebel states to return to the Union.

        5. If the Rebels wanted to free the slaves, why didn’t they?

        6. There would be no foreign intervention because that would be a tacit approval of slavery…especially when those foreign countries had abolished slavery

        7.Johsnton and Beauregard both thought their troops were dis-organized and un-disciplined after the battle. And they knew that the Union would never sue for peace after just one battle, Thats just wrong.

      • Rod says:

        If you knew of the Baldwin speech that Stephen’s is referencing, you would know exactly why slavery was a constitutional argument about property rights and NOT slavery itself. I have written extensively on the Cornerstone Speech. You cannot ignore Stephen’s source and understand his meaning. Take time to read the first 3/4ths of the speech instead of focusing on your presentist interpretation of a paragraph that came well into the last half of the speech. And I do not thing I said a thing that Stephens may have said post war. But you are WRONG to dismiss what the Southern statesmen said after the war as “lost cause myth.” That is a popular tactic used by modern historians to conveniently dismiss what Southerners said they seceded and were fighting for. Sorry, but you do not get a pass employing that tactic. Especially when what they said were their reasons stands up to historical scrutiny if you look at primary sources instead of listening to historians driven by modern political agenda rather than true history!

        That the Confederacy was willing to end slavery beginning as early as ‘62 and most likely in late ‘61, is all the proof you need to see they did not secede to preserve slavery. That they didn’t end slavery prior was because of the impossible circumstance created by Northern efforts to keep blacks out of the North and the West due to racial prejudice. They wanted the South to bear all the cost of emancipation including the social and economic cost of a destitute people suddenly turned out landless and penniless. Humane and economic concerns regarding the black people given the North kept them bottled up in the South is why the South did not consider freeing the slaves before the war. It wasn’t feasible! But when your own freedom is at stake, concern for the slaves had to take second place. The South was willing to risk the economic and humanitarian disaster if it meant its independence.

        I do not have time at present to address your other remarks, but I think I’ve addressed the most important.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rod…a few points….

        1. There is absolutely no mention of Baldwin, nor Johnson v Tompkins, nor slaves as property, in the Cornerstone Speech.

        2. The Cornerstone Speech unequivocally mentions as slavery as the reason the Rebels left the Union.

        3. What the Rebels said after the war , is pure revisionist history, and has to be taken in that context.

        4. The primary sources….like the ordinances of secession some rebel States, wrote they are leaving because of slavery. Pesky thing those pesky primary sources.

        5. If the Rebels were so willing to end slavery in 1861, then why… During the first two years of the war Lincoln repeatedly offered ‘compensated emancipation’ to the border slave states that remained in the Union and any Confederate states interested,” Foner said. “But they all rejected it. Lincoln was willing to pay but Southerners were not willing to give up their slaves, for money or for any other reason.” This resolution was Lincoln’s second attempt to pay slave owners to free their slaves.

      • Rod says:

        Again, point by point:

        “1. There is absolutely no mention of Baldwin, nor Johnson v Tompkins, nor slaves as property, in the Cornerstone Speech.”

        Ok, lets repeat it again. Stephen’s did not need to spell out his meaning. The meaning of “The Cornerstone” was common knowledge at the time, as an obvious reference to Baldwin’s statement that “Slavery is the corner-stone of the Constitution; the foundations of the government are laid and rest on the right of property in slaves, and the whole structure must fall by disturbing the corner-stone.” The reference was clear to Stephens audience as he almost quoted Baldwin’s famous words verbatim.

        In a Texas speech, in 1845, Stephens made clear his philosophical position regarding slavery. He said:” I am no defender of slavery in the abstract —liberty always had charms for me, and I would prefer to see all the sons and daughters of Adam’s family in the full enjoyment of all the rights set forth in the Declaration of American Independence…” In 1861 the reality was that slavery was inherited by the South in numbers too vast to simply end as the radical abolitionist were calling for. Given that the North was diligently seeking to prevent blacks in the North and Western territories, Stephens argument is that the best means for the South to manage so large a population of inferior and destitute people is by slavery, and that means is legal in the Confederate Constitution just as it is in the US Constitution. Any assailment on slavery is an assault on the Constitution and its guarantee to rights in property. This is what Southern statesmen and columnist meant when they often stated that slavery was “the occasion and not the cause of secession and war.” Slavery was yet another example of Northern infidelity to the Constitution and therefore the South wanted out.

        Stephen’s emphasis regarding black inferiority was common to both North and South. Lincoln believed it so more than Stephen’s, for Lincoln believed black inferiority permanent. If you read a few lines further after Stephen’s cornerstone reference, you see him stating that by education blacks can assimilate into Christian society. Lincoln on the other hand: “There is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe, will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality.”

        2. The Cornerstone Speech unequivocally mentions as slavery as the reason the Rebels left the Union.

        You will have to quote where Stephens says this in his speech. I do not think you can. He does say slavery was “the IMMEDIATE cause of the late rupture and present revolution.” Why do you think he used the adjective “immediate?” Throughout the previous portion of his speech he had just listed the many clarifications made in the Confederate Constitution that were a direct result of the many ways in which the North had usurped the compact around which the union was formed. By “immediate” he is using a synonym for “occasion” which I have previously discussed in your first point. Slavery was not the only cause of secession, but only the most recent and I would argue the most legally justified reason for secession. For the violations of the Constitution involving the slavery issue were many: the unequal treatment of the States in regards to equal property rights , access and enjoyment of the territories; the violation of the tranquility clause in allowing abolitionist to encourage slave revolts; the harboring of criminals involved in the John Brown terrorism; the violation of the intended purpose of the fugitive slave clause. It was repeated Northern infidelity to the Constitution that was the cause of secession, slavery issues merely involved the most recent violations.

        3. What the Rebels said after the war , is pure revisionist history, and has to be taken in that context.

        You are obviously indoctrinated in the belief in a “Lost Cause Myth.” There was a Confederate Cause in 1861 that was Lost in 1865. Confederates refer to the American Civil War, War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, War in defense of themselves and their independence as the “Lost Cause.” However the “Lost Cause Myth” or “Lost Cause School” is a recent connotation used by agenda driven revisionist Historians to publicly dispute, marginalize, invalidate and disenfranchise, the Confederate memory “Lost Cause” perspective of the War. I challenge you to provide me with one so called “Lost Cause Myth” that I cannot validate as an accurate recollection of the causes of secession and war… just one! I do not mean here a mistake in a recollection of the specifics of particular battles, but of the philosophical principles and Northern constitutional infidelities for which the South claimed to have seceded and fought. I warn you do not try to dismiss tariffs, internal improvements, bounties, unequal treatment of the States, centralization of power in opposition to State sovereignty, and in sum infidelity to the Constitution as post-war fabrications regarding Southern motives. I will load you up with quotes both before and during the war that validate post-war Southern claims regarding their motives. I find it very intellectually adolescent of you to simply dismiss Stephens’ post-war remarks regarding the cornerstone speech. What is your evidence that what he claims is not true? Was not the speech given extemporaneously? Therefore is it not a good possibility that the speech was not reported accurately? Who are you to deny Stephens’ explanation of what he meant??? After all, shouldn’t Stephens know more than anyone else??? Where is your evidence that Stephens was not a man of high integrity and honesty??? Read the statements of men who knew him and see if you can find one that labels him a liar!

        4. The primary sources….like the ordinances of secession some rebel States, wrote they are leaving because of slavery. Pesky thing those pesky primary sources.

        What you fail to ascertain is WHY slavery was mentioned? Was a desire to go against the tide of world opinion and isolate themselves as men determined to keep their fellow man in bondage really a motive to which you can claim any veracity? Both Lincoln and Lee stated that the South did not desire slavery. Hear Lincoln: “I have no prejudice against the Southern people. They are just what we would be in their situation. If slavery did not now exist among them, they would not introduce it.” Hear Lee: “The best men in the South have long desired to do away with the institution of slavery, and were quite willing to see it abolished.” Were these men lying? Do you know Southern motives better than them? Why had many Southern States discussed how to end slavery long before secession, but tabled the matter when they could not find a way to do it humanely and pay for it? If slavery issues were not merely a symptom of a much more fundamental concern to the South, why then did four slave States not secede until Lincoln called for troops to invade Southern States? The issue that caused secession was repeated violation of the Constitution, slavery being only the most recent occasion.

        Ending slavery was not going to be easy unless you are Lincoln and do it by force with no regard for the welfare of the freedmen. As I’ve mentioned before, the social costs as well as most of the financial cost would have fell entirely on the South. Where were all those freed going to go? They had no land nor money, how were they to survive without turning to a life of mendicancy and crime; especially the elderly, the incapacitated, and the very young who depended on the cradle to grave welfare of the master? When Lincoln was asked at the Hampton Roads Peace Conference “what was to become of the freedmen, he said “root hog or die.” And the freedmen did die by the hundreds of thousands because of Lincoln’s unplanned “war measure” ( see Sick From Freedom by Dr. Jim Downs). Southerners actually cared for and had humane concerns for the slaves. You see it in the Mississippi Declaration of Secession where it laments that the North wants to end the slave’s current condition without providing a better.” Note that only four out of eleven States mention slavery issues as the “immediate cause” of secession. Four do not speak for the whole, and even those four if read closely and not through the lens of presentism clearly indicate that slavery was a symptom of the cause and not THE cause of secession. Fidelity to the Constitution was THE cause of secession. That is made clear by the willingness to end slavery to gain independence. That, as you argue, foreign nations turned them down has no bearing on my point. The point is the Confederacy was willing to end slavery to gain independence and hoped that foreign nations would take the offer. And you are wrong to say none were willing to take the offer because they had ended slavery. France said it would accept the offer if Britain would. Only because Britain would not did France not move to support the CS. And Britain’s Prime Minister did not say anything about slavery as a reason for rejecting the offer. He had economic reasons. But nonetheless, the South sought to end slavery, as difficult as that would have been, if it meant they could gain support in their fight for independence from a section of the country that not only consistently violated the Constitution, but also the founding ideal of government by consent of the governed.

        Another reason to mention slavery was a great political strategy. Lincoln had previously stated that regarding Southern secession “we will not let you.” The South knew if secession could be made to appear about slavery, it would place Lincoln in the difficult position of trying to raise an army in the racist North because of slavery. The plan almost worked as the Northern press and even members of Lincoln’s own cabinet were asking “why not just let the South go.” Lincoln had to counter loud and often with the economic consequences of such an action.

        5. If the Rebels were so willing to end slavery in 1861, then why… During the first two years of the war Lincoln repeatedly offered ‘compensated emancipation’ to the border slave states that remained in the Union and any Confederate states interested,” Foner said. “But they all rejected it. Lincoln was willing to pay but Southerners were not willing to give up their slaves, for money or for any other reason.” This resolution was Lincoln’s second attempt to pay slave owners to free their slaves.

        Remember that the South first had turned down multiple offers to keep slavery, one which would have amended the Constitution to make it forever impossible for Congress to end slavery! That was Lincoln’s first offer. They turned it down because they did not secede to protect slavery. They also did not secede over Northern attempts to ban slavery in the territories. Secession meant they had no claim at all on the territories!

        Obviously you have not read the reasons expressed by the congressmen of slave States who wrote letters to Lincoln explaining why they rejected the offer. Eric “the Red” Foner certainly isn’t going to point out the reasons provided in those letters! They do not support his Marxist agenda in defining secession and war. Here is a letter signed by 20 congressmen explaining why they turned down his offer. Not a word of a desire to keep people in bondage is mentioned:

        https://www.loc.gov/resource/mal.1708800/?sp=10&r=-0.163,-0.775,1.271,1.55,0

        They most emphatically talk about violations of the Constitution as motive for secession, but they flat out deny that slavery was ever a motive for secession. And their reasons for rejecting Lincoln’s proposal are economic, along with a strong doubt that he could get the funds passed through Congress. They also mention that it would be unequal treatment of the States (a Constitutional violation) for the slave States to be required to bear most of the burden for emancipation.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        5. If the Rebels were so willing to end slavery in 1861, then why… During the first two years of the war Lincoln repeatedly offered ‘compensated emancipation’ to the border slave states that remained in the Union and any Confederate states interested,” Foner said. “But they all rejected it. Lincoln was willing to pay but Southerners were not willing to give up their slaves, for money or for any other reason.” This resolution was Lincoln’s second attempt to pay slave owners to free their slaves.

        Remember that the South first had turned down multiple offers to keep slavery, one which would have amended the Constitution to make it forever impossible for Congress to end slavery! That was Lincoln’s first offer. They turned it down because they did not secede to protect slavery. They also did not secede over Northern attempts to ban slavery in the territories. Secession meant they had no claim at all on the territories!

        Obviously you have not read the reasons expressed by the congressmen of slave States who wrote letters to Lincoln explaining why they rejected the offer. Eric “the Red” Foner certainly isn’t going to point out the reasons provided in those letters! They do not support his Marxist agenda in defining secession and war. Here is a letter signed by 20 congressmen explaining why they turned down his offer. Not a word of a desire to keep people in bondage is mentioned:

        https://www.loc.gov/resource/mal.1708800/?sp=10&r=-0.163,-0.775,1.271,1.55,0

        They most emphatically talk about violations of the Constitution as motive for secession, but they flat out deny that slavery was ever a motive for secession. And their reasons for rejecting Lincoln’s proposal are economic, along with a strong doubt that he could get the funds passed through Congress. They also mention that it would be unequal treatment of the States (a Constitutional violation) for the slave States to be required to bear most of the burden for emancipation.

        Rod, Let’s go over the points again.

        1. You are making a tremendous assumption that “The meaning of “The Cornerstone” was common knowledge at the time,”…as most people in the South couldn’t even read let alone understand a Supreme Court decision. Plus there are no primary sources that indicate that the decision was widespread.

        Everyone in 1806…everyone , was racist. So your comments regarding Lincoln are moot. What is important, is thatLincoln’s attitude changed towards Afro-Americans.

        2. “The Cornerstone Speech unequivocally mentions as slavery as the reason the Rebels left the Union.”…tell me where in that sentence that I saw slavery is the immediate cause of the Civil War? Realize that the Cornerstone Speech proclaims that slavery and white supremacy were not only the cause for secession, but also the “cornerstone” of the Confederate nation.

        Firing on Fort Sumter, a Federal fort, was the immediate cause of the Civil War.

        Let’s not change the words around now, or mover the goal posts…OK?

        3. As a historian like myself, I know you are well aware, that one must look at the date and era where comments are made and things are put down in writing. The memories of soldiers all fail as your aware, and one must look at the date that they acutuallly write what the remember, inured r toggle credence.

        What Stephens writes after the Civil War, is pre, 100% revisionism, and has to be treated as such. For instance, when some Southerner writes that Tariffs were etc e cause of secession….one only has to check the votes of the most recent tariff Bill to see that the South voted for that same tariff!

        The Lost cause is just a myth, to explain that the South never really had a chance to win the war, since the Union fought with one hand behind its back.
        What is so noble in perpetuating slavery?

        Your comment…”I find it very intellectually adolescent of you”. I love it when someone brings this comment into the conversation…it means I am I am winning. The personal insult is the last refuge of the one being schooled.

        4.Your comment has no historical relevance in that the slaves were treated abysmally.

        Union soldiers went to War in 1861 to preserve the Union. That is well documented. They did not goto Wart o free the Afro-Americans…also pretty well documented. I refer youth books by James MacPherson.

        5. As I told you before, Lincoln was following the Platform of the Republican Party, to preserve the Union. In fact Lincoln had stated that he would free, all the slaves or half of the slaves, or none of the slaves, in order to preserve the Union.

        Where the South made its mistake was, leaving the Union. The South had a Supreme Court decision, that stated that slavery was legal, that Blacks were not citizens and that the Missouri Compromise was un-Constitutional.

        What they feared was the losing control of slavery if more non-slave states entered the Union.

        There was no way that Southern slave owners were going to give up their slaves…if they weren’t going to die it for money, then they never were.

        Realize that the Rebels never armed slaves into a fighting force.

        OK! There!!……I do hope my comments clean up the mis-conceptions you have about the Civil War. As always, I am more than willing to discuss with you in a mature way, your mis-interpretation.

        Respectfully submitted,
        NYGiant

      • Rod says:

        Well you certainly do have down the standard talking points of the nationalist and socialist historians that dominate the modern academic discipline. They are so oft repeated that I yawn when I hear them. And you continue to insist that they are true even though I have refuted each with the historical evidence. But I will try once more:

        “Rod, Let’s go over the points again.”

        1. “You are making a tremendous assumption that “The meaning of “The Cornerstone” was common knowledge at the time,”…as most people in the South couldn’t even read let alone understand a Supreme Court decision. Plus there are no primary sources that indicate that the decision was widespread.”

        Wrong! Per capita. More people were educated in the antebellum South than in the North. The South had a higher per capita income than did the North. The lowest per capita income State in the South (Arkansas) had a higher per capita income than the best State in the North (Connecticut), (If I recall my source correctly this fact is covered in Time OnThe Cross by Engels and Fogleman). Southerners used that wealth to send their children to the Middle Temple, Princeton, etc… in greater percentages than did the North. When Calhoun was valedictorian at Princeton, more than half the student body was from the South. Regarding primary sources mentioning the SCOTUS decision, as I said previously, Calhoun wrote a speech in 1849 that was signed by most of the Southern Congressional Delegation and if I recall correctly it was titled Address to the Southern Congressional Constituency. It was a wide spread speech in the South because it was to all the Southern States from their congressional representatives. The Baldwin opinion was a major point in that speech in defense of constitutional property rights using slavery as the most recent occasion of Northern constitutional infidelity.

        “Everyone in 1806…everyone , was racist. So your comments regarding Lincoln are moot. What is important, is thatLincoln’s attitude changed towards Afro-Americans.”

        My point in mentioning this was to point out why Stephens believed that slavery was the best means of managing so large a population giving the historical circumstances at that time even though in the abstract he was against slavery. You missed the point entirely!

        2. “The Cornerstone Speech unequivocally mentions as slavery as the reason the Rebels left the Union.”…tell me where in that sentence that I saw slavery is the immediate cause of the Civil War? Realize that the Cornerstone Speech proclaims that slavery and white supremacy were not only the cause for secession, but also the “cornerstone” of the Confederate nation.”

        Again, it does not say that unless you force that meaning on the speech. You are reading what you want it to mean instead of what it does mean! White supremacy was not unique to the Confederacy as you yourself mentioned above. It was the commonly held attitude of both North and South, the only difference being the reaction to it. The North wanted all the slaves gone and had two primary strategies to accomplish that goal. Deport them all to any place but here, or cut them off from the welfare of the master to die out. Given those two goals is it any wonder the South saw slavery as a “positive good,” something modern historians distort to mean something it does not. What it meant was that though Southerners believed slavery to be wrong just as Lincoln admitted, they also saw it as a good given the historical circumstances where the North had only two inhumane strategies with the ultimate purpose to rid America of blacks. In the meantime Northerners such as Lincoln promoted laws that forbid any new blacks from migrating into their States. This bottled up all the slaves in the South where no land and not enough jobs were a available to accommodate them if freed. The vast Western territories could have been used to end slavery by dispersing the freed population onto lands where they could provide for themselves. But the North would not hear of it. expressly stating they wanted the territories reserved to the caucasian race. So though the South believed slavery a violation of natural law (just as Stephens admitted), they also knew that when circumstances dictated and the ideal not attainable, natural law says you do what causes the most good and least harm. This is what was meant by the pro-slavery stance of Southerners. They saw slavery much in the same way as Oscar Shindler of WWII fame. Keeping Jews enslved in his munition factories saved them from certain death in the concentration camps.

        “Firing on Fort Sumter, a Federal fort, was the immediate cause of the Civil War.”

        The South would have never fired on Sumter had Lincoln not sent ships as provocation and as he said “accomplished” what he intended.

        “Let’s not change the words around now, or mover the goal posts…OK?”

        I do not change anything. I read the historical evidence in its context rather than forcing current popular political agenda onto the text.

        3. “As a historian like myself, I know you are well aware, that one must look at the date and era where comments are made and things are put down in writing. The memories of soldiers all fail as your aware, and one must look at the date that they acutuallly write what the remember, inured r toggle credence.”

        You must also not turn a blind eye to the antebellum and bellum evidence in order to dismiss what Confederate memory had to say after the war. Not one major tenet of the so called Lost Cause School” fails to stand up to scrutiny regarding the evidence before and during the war… not one! If you can show me a post war claim that cannot be supported by the evidence I anxiously await your revelation. You like so many today just buy in to agenda driven historians without doing the work to establish if what they claim is true!

        “What Stephens writes after the Civil War, is pre, 100% revisionism, and has to be treated as such. For instance, when some Southerner writes that Tariffs were etc e cause of secession….one only has to check the votes of the most recent tariff Bill to see that the South voted for that same tariff!”

        The South voted for the most recent tariff bill as a COMPROMISE! But time and again during the antebellum period they stated that any tariff rate that exceeded revenue needs and was merely protectionist they were opposed to. They wanted tariff rates below 10%, but compromised at rates below 20%. Now here came Lincoln wanting 40%. Plenty of reason alone to secede. To say that tariff concerns were a post war fabrication to cover for slavery as their cause is simply shoddy research or downright dishonesty! The Cornerstone Speech itself mentions tariffs as an issue resolved by the Confederate Constitution. I do believe the speech happened long before any post-war period. And if you want volumes of speeches during the war or the antebellum period regarding tariff concerns, I can load you up!

        “The Lost cause is just a myth, to explain that the South never really had a chance to win the war, since the Union fought with one hand behind its back.
        What is so noble in perpetuating slavery?”

        Not sure what you mean by the Union having one hand behind its back, but it certainly had the advantage in manpower and munitions to win with only one hand. You simply cannot deny its advantage. And why do you ask “what is so noble in perpetuating slavery?” The very question demonstrates that your Marxist style analysis is showing. The South did not secede or fight to perpetuate slavery as I have clearly and successfully argued. The South would not have been willing to end slavery to win the war if slavery was what they seceded and fought for!!! And they stated time and time again that slavery was the “mere occasion and not the cause of secession and war.” They repeatedly said it all during the war. If you want those quotes I can load you up on this topic also. You must understand the South’s pro-slavery stance in light of the historical context and what the South did. Actions not only speak louder than words, but lend meaning and motive to words.

        “Your comment…”I find it very intellectually adolescent of you”. I love it when someone brings this comment into the conversation…it means I am I am winning. The personal insult is the last refuge of the one being schooled.”

        Name one point you have made that I have not refuted with evidence. Again, your comment displays an adolescence in claiming victory from obvious defeat.

        “4.Your comment has no historical relevance in that the slaves were treated abysmally.”

        Yet again more popular fabrication. I suggest you read the only study of slavery conducted in the antebellum period titled A Southside View of Slavery. It was a study conducted by a Boston abolitionist who went South for 3 months for the express purpose of seeing first hand the evils of slavery. Much to the surprise of Dr. Nehemiah Adams, Southern slavery was nothing like the embellishments that abolitionists were making. Adams concludes:

        “The impression here made upon me…the slaves were unconscious of any feeling of restraint…they had sources of enjoyment and ways of manifesting it which suggested to a spectator no thought of involuntary servitude.”

        Read also the writings of French aristocrat de Tocqueville:

        “The prejudice of the race appears to be stronger in the States which have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists. In the South, where slavery still exists, the negroes are less carefully kept apart; they sometimes share the labor and the recreations of the whites; the whites consent to intermix with them. The habits of the Southern people are more tolerant and compassionate.” Alexis de Tocqueville, French Aristocrat who toured the US in 1831.

        Read the words of Northern travel writer, architect, and abolitionist after he toured the South:

        “I am struck with the close cohabitation and association of black and white. Negro women are carrying black and white babies together in their arms; black and white children are playing together. They all talked and laughed together; and the girls munched confectionary out of the same paper, with a familiarity and closeness of intimacy that would have been noticed with astonishment, if not manifest displeasure, in almost any chance company of the North.” Frederick Olmsted, Northern architect and travel writer.

        Read the words of a member of the USCT when asked why didn’t the slaves revolt when left on the farms with just women, children and the elderly while the rest of Southern men were away fighting the war:

        “That the negroes did not revolt is one of the incomprehensible features of our Civil War. Every chance for success was theirs, nor were they ignorant of their opportunity for striking an effectual and crushing blow against their oppressors. Why was it not done? Several potent causes combined to render any widespread insurrection at that time impossible. There was in the first place a genuine affection for the white race, implanted in hundreds of thousands of negroes by amalgamation, there was, in no less degree, a race love created by the foster parental relations which negro women sustained toward white children; there was also a genuine desire on the part of the negro men to discharge worthy the duties with which they were entrusted by their absent masters. But the supreme and all-pervading influence which restrained them was rooted in their religious convictions; for the slave negro, unlike the modern freedman, was a being in whom religious fervor was intensely and over-whelmingly manifest.” William Hannibal Thomas, 5th United States Colored Troops. The American Negro, published 1901.

        Now ask yourself why none of the historians you read (Foner, Blight, McPherson) have mentioned these primary sources. Agenda much?!? You have been duped my friend! I have read McPherson and sat through semesters on the Civil War under both Blight at Yale and Foner at Columbia. I know the agenda of these so called historians and it is not honest history. I have a friend who studied under McPherson and he readily admits McPherson’s bias.

        “Union soldiers went to War in 1861 to preserve the Union. That is well documented. They did not goto Wart o free the Afro-Americans…also pretty well documented. I refer youth books by James MacPherson.”

        It really had to disappoint McPherson when all his research regarding the motives of Southern soldiers as revealed in their letters home clearly showed their motive was NOT to preserve slavery!

        Now ask yourself why the South seceded to preserve slavery if not one major political party was proposing emancipation in the antebellum period… not one!

        5. “As I told you before, Lincoln was following the Platform of the Republican Party, to preserve the Union. In fact Lincoln had stated that he would free, all the slaves or half of the slaves, or none of the slaves, in order to preserve the Union.”

        Ask yourself why “preserving the Union” was so important to Lincoln and the North.The Union would have gone on without the Southern States. The problem was not preserving a particular number of States in the Union. Preserving the Union was a euphemism for keeping the revenue flow from and exploitation of the Southern States intact. This is the very reason the South seceded and it had nothing to do with slavery itself. It had everything to do with the North having for 70 years sought to circumvent the Constitution in order to exploit the South economically and politically. Even the desire to prevent slavery in the territories was a corollary of this desire to exploit. Had slaves been allowed in the territories, the fear was their masters would form pro-Southern States there and gain control of Congress. The South seceded to rid itself of these bad neighbors.

        “Where the South made its mistake was, leaving the Union. The South had a Supreme Court decision, that stated that slavery was legal, that Blacks were not citizens and that the Missouri Compromise was un-Constitutional”

        Southerners readily admitted as secession was being debated that slavery was better protected in the Union than out. But they seceded anyway, why? Because slavery was not their cause for seceding.

        “What they feared was the losing control of slavery if more non-slave states entered the Union.”

        What they feared was greater Northern exploitation if more Northern States entered the Union!

        “There was no way that Southern slave owners were going to give up their slaves…if they weren’t going to die it for money, then they never were.

        Realize that the Rebels never armed slaves into a fighting force.”

        Not only did they offer to give up slavery to gain their independence, they explicitly stated many times that Independence was worth giving up slavery. And you need to realize that historians like Kevin Levin are wrong about slaves serving in the Confederate military. While the Confederate central government would not arm slaves to fight due to respect for States Rights, the States themselves did indeed recruit and arm blacks in their State regiments. My own state of Tennessee passed a law allowing blacks to serve in integrated units a full year before Lincoln grudgingly allowed blacks to serve in segregated units in the Union army. And near war’s end, Davis central gov’t finally agreed to arm slaves if and only if the States, the masters, and even the slaves agreed to serve.

        Finally I recall reading where you repeated the same old myth that Lincoln evolved in his attitude toward blacks. You need to read the recently discovered evidence found in foreign archives that show Lincoln was planning to deport ALL BLACKS out of the country because of his racism. He was working on arrangements the week he was assassinated. Read COLONIZATION AFTER EMANCIPATION, by Magness and Paige. I still hear the echoes of Foner’s head exploding when this evidence was found. Turns out the Blair brothers and General Butler were right when they stated Lincoln never moved from his racist desire to rid America of ALL blacks. Not voluntary, but ALL.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rod,
        You are wrong in your assumptions.

        1. Before the 1860s most of the South had only a rudimentary public school system. After the Civil War, southern states ultimately created a dual educational system based on race.

        Realize that Afro-Americans were denied a chance to learnt read or write. And since Afro-Americans are used to determine representative status and taxation, they are used to show that the South had one of the lowest literacy rates .

        Per capita income…thats just a diversion.

        As far as Stephens comment about managing such a large population, indicates that slavery was an out of date economic system…. You simply missed that , I guess.

        Please define socialist historians. Do you mean social science historians?

        2. You are showing a complete mis-understanding of the cause of secession and the cause off the actual fighting. There was no positive good for slavery…period.

        The reason the South wanted to expand slavery to the Western territories had to do with the cash crop of cotton and the depletion of Southern land due to over-use .

        Lincoln had every right to re-supply a Federal fort, on Federal land.

        3.Thanks for agreeing with me that the South did vote for tariffs.

        Realize that the North never fully mobilized to fight the South as it has in 20th Century wars. Southern soldiers are dumb-struck to see such plentiful farms and men their won age farming instead of marching off to war. I thought you’re aware that.

        I suggest you read a book on the Civil war, and avoid revisions t history. You have been sadly duped.

        Lincoln really believed that the union was perpetual, based on the documents of the FF. read the Article so fo Confederation in addition to the US Constitution and Declaration Independence.

        What you are completely ignoring, is Lincoln’s evolution on the subject of slavery and the Civil War. In Lincoln’s history, his thoughts evolved and they are pretty well documented

        There…Thats should keep you busy for a while.

        I think the personal insults should cease, since it detracts from your comments, and makes me think I am in battle of wits with an un-armed opponent.

        Let me know if I can educate any further on the Civil War.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        FYI…that book you mention….Colonization after Emancipation…just a few things….

        1. There is a quote by Lincoln to General Banks….the two races could gradually live themselves out of their old relation to each other, and both come out better prepared for the new.”

        2. Joh Hay, who was one of Lincoln’s secretarys wrote ” the two races could gradually live themselves out of their old relation to each other, and both come out better prepared for the new.”

        In an April 11, 1865 speech, Lincoln advocated voting rights for Blacks who were veterans of the Civil war or were literate.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rod,

        Concerning the book, Colonization After Emancipation….there is no evidence, absolutely no evidence that Lincoln was going to rid the United States newly liberated slaves.

        https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1035&context=cwfac

        sorry.

      • Rod says:

        I just finished a lengthy response to your previous post and it dissapeared. Arrgh!!! Now I’m in no mood to tackle you link to Guelzo’s review of Colonization. I read it a while back and found he provides no evidence for what he attempts to dismiss in the book. None! There is a good rebuttle to Guelzo’s critique and if I find it I will post the link, but not now… later. Too frustrated at the moment after expertly dissecting and disputing you prior post only to have it not post.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        When a post disappears, usually it is a sign from the moderators, to desist with that line of inquiry.

      • Robert J Rainey says:

        You are certainly not a creditable historian with all the assertions you’ve made, most half truths and towing the victors storyline and conveniently ignoring important truths from the southern point of view. In other words, it’s unbalanced.
        This country will never be united after 4 yrs of bs accusations against Trump, his supporters and conservatives. The garbage that came out of the mouths of the Dems at the Impeachment hearing shows the Dems care nothing for unity, same old hateful statements that will further fracture this country. The hearing was a kangaroo court of a banana republic.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Robert,

        Pesky thing those pesky facts. Why don’t soured the Cornerstone Speech and get back to me.
        Realize that the Southern point of view , was the perpetuation of slavery.

        As far as todays Democrats are concerned, they did not incite a riot nor did they storm the Capitol to over-turn the results of the election. Even the Republicans , for the most part, agreed that Trump was wrong to incite a riot.

        The sorry thing is, there is growing concern that several GOP representatives where in league with the terrorists.

  10. Stan Killian says:

    Steward, you stated in your column that ” We had a coup attempt.” I assume you were talking about the efforts of the Democrats and Washington insiders that have been trying to destroy the Trump presidency since he was elected? They spied on his transition team, used a phoney and discredited dossier to start a witch hunt resulting in Mueller’s two year investigation with no finding of Russian collusion, obtained multiple FISA warrants to spy on Trump and his associates based on the dossier, which they knew had been discredited. When all that failed, they impeached Trump over a very nothing phone call using a bunch of hearsay witnesses, then neglect to investigate the recorded crowing of a sitting Vice President demanding the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating his son’s involvement in corruption. Now that’s the definition of a Coup!

    • Lyle Smith says:

      This is actually an important take… many of the people there were there to stop a coup in their mind and not participate in a coup. There were also a number of black Trump supporters there. One was right near the woman who was shot dead.

      Here is a self described left progressive journalist talking about what happened. He actually entered the capitol building with the protesters. Great conversation and now a primary source for future historians.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFJdjO0fD4E

      I also agree that nobody could tell you why Trump was impeached by the Democrat House the first time.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Actually, those people at the rally were there to march on the Capitol to prevent the Congress from doing what the Constitution tells them….counting the Electoral College votes. So, they were in reality, anti- Democracy.

        I can tell you why Trump was impeached, the first time…it was his using a foreign leader to dig up Dort on his potential political opponent…Joe Biden, because Trump know Biden could defeat him in an election.

        And he did!

        You might want to compare how Trump tried to strong arm the Ukraine President and how Trump tried strong arm the Georgia Secretary of State.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      The GOP attempted a coup , incited by the president, when terrorists marched on the Capitol ignorer to change the will of the people who elected Biden President.

      As fas as your other comments…
      1. No one spied on the Trump campaign..that has been shown to be false.
      2.Mueller’s investigation showed that the Trump campaign willingly welcomed the release of e-mails stolen by the Russians.
      3. The GOP initially paid for that dossier.
      4.Trump tried to string arm the Ukraine President too dig dir up on Biden…just like he tried to strong arm the Georgia Secretary of State into finding 12,000 votes that did not exist.

      Biden’s son was investigated, and the Senate found NOTHING.

  11. Brent Oman says:

    Is this really what ECW wants for content? An odd choice, and no surprise that increasingly emotional comments are being made. I don’t come to ECW for current affairs. Goodbye for now.

  12. Brent says:

    I don’t need a lecture. I’d suggest that ECW would be wise to delete comments for this post.

  13. Ted Romans says:

    I agree with Brent, I used to look forward ever morning to reading the latest articles on the ECW website. The insightful and knowledgeable views of what happened to us at a very tragic time of our common history. If I wanted to be subject to a lecture on current events and then be told that I could be a White Supremacist because of my personal views may differ than ones of the author, perhaps it may be time for me to look for another source of Civil War History readings.

  14. Ted Romans says:

    I agree that there are always at least two sides to every story or episode in our common American history. But the numerous view points that I am interested in from this website concerns what happened in the Civil War, not current events. If I wanted to read or listen to someone’s view on the chaotic times that we are living in, I would utilize CNN or MSNBC. My opinion is that ECW is not the proper venue or sounding board for this type of discussion.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      I can understand where you are coming from.

      We are still dealing with the same concerns that the Civil War left us, 150 years after the end of the war. We are still dealing with the Civil War Amendments.

  15. John B. Sinclair says:

    Maybe I am missing something in all these posts, but at least 5 people died in this insurrection (six if you count the Capitol Hill police officer who committed suicide the following morning). Our Capitol was literally taken over by a mob. A Capitol Hill police officer was murdered. Other officers were beaten with pipes and poles and hit by fire extinguishers thrown at them. Does anyone doubt that bad things would have happened if any Representatives, Senators, or Vice President had been caught by any of these rioters? Those who seem to be minimizing what happened should think again.

  16. Robert Denney says:

    Thank you Mr. Sinclair for making the exact point of the people who visit this site to discuss the Civil War.

    Your post had absolutely nothing to do with the Civil War.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Robert, I strongly disagree.

      Once the terrorists paraded in the Capitol with a Confederate Battle Flag, that act brought the Civil War to the discussion.

      • Brent Oman says:

        You believe that just because someone carried a Confederate Battle Flag it brings the Civil War to the discussion? Public display of the Confederate flag offends me, but not because it makes me think of the Civil War. Until the past is accepted as the past, we can’t move forward. A major cost was paid by this country to end slavery. Are we in a perfect society? Hardly. But constantly going back to blame all of today’s issues on an institution stamped out by a bloody war is insulting. You can’t get to where you want to go driving a car while you’re looking in the rear view mirror.

        There is no willingness to discuss, only blame and accuse. “Unify” means comply and obey.

        I fear for the future of our country. I’m glad I won’t be around 40 years from now to see what it has become.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Brent,
        First of all…This was my comment…”Once the terrorists paraded in the Capitol with a Confederate Battle Flag, that act brought the Civil War to the discussion.” You changed my comment, by removing the word…..”Capitol”. Please don’t do that.

        Second. Realize that a Confederate Army under Jubal Early attacked Fort Stevens, and my have had a view of the Capitol…..so Yes!, bringing a Confederate flag to the Capitol does bring the Civil War into the discussion.

        The only place for any Confederate flag is a museum, or at the grave marker of a soldier who fought. for the Confederacy. That, honors the Confederate lag.

        The United States we live in today, was determined by the Civil War. And we are still living with the consequences of racism.

      • Brent Oman says:

        I’m sooooo sorry that I left the word “capitol” out. Geez. The Civil War absolutely determined the country we live in today. No question about that. But you refuse to move forward. That is your problem, not mine. I actually can’t believe that I’ve wasted this much time with you and this discussion.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Next time, don’t omit words which affect the meaning of a comment.

  17. John B. Sinclair says:

    Mr. Denney:

    In response to your belief that only Civil War posts should be listed here, I respectfully refer you to your 1/9/21 (3:14 p.m.) response to Chris Mackowski’s post on “The Confederate Flag and the Assault on the Capitol.” Please also reread Stewart Henderson’s original post above and subsequent posts to which I was responding here.

  18. Brent Oman says:

    I also tend to discount comments by anyone who doesn’t post their name. Its easy to lecture and create controversy when you’re hiding behind a screen name. nygiant1952. There are plenty of places online to engage in political “discourse”. This shouldn’t be one of them.

  19. Robert Denney says:

    Good evening Mr. Sinclair,

    Regarding the previous post to Mr. Mackowski’s article, I did start off with a reference to the Confederate Naval Jack, but then diverged to current events like Mr. Henderson has done. Therefore, guilty as charged.

    Subsequent posts in response to Mr. Henderson’s article have made me see the error of my ways.

    Unfortunately, I can’t retract that previous post. Once it goes on the WWW, it never goes away as you have aptly pointed out. To remember my post from 6 days ago, you must have a search function on this site that I don’t have. The only other person who can remember something I said 6 days ago is my wife.

  20. John B. Sinclair says:

    Mr. Denney:

    Thank you for your gracious remarks. No, I don’t have a magical search function; I simply remembered you are a frequent contributor. Unlike your honesty, I hesitate to admit what my own wife says about my memory! We are all Americans and should respect each other’s considered opinions. Hopefully, we will meet one day on a Civil War battlefield tour. My regards.

  21. Taylor says:

    I came to this website because of a real interest in the U.S. Civil War, going back decades. I can understand why some would want this blog restricted to discussions of the Civil War, but current events obviously have a connection to that war and the years that followed it.

    I am drawn back to this website because, in spite of obvious differences of opinion among those commenting, the discussions have remained relatively respectful, and informative compared to what is expressed on some other sites and even in mainstream media. Emerging Civil War is providing a less-hostile and rather welcoming environment for civil discussion. I suggest it should be commended for that and encouraged to continue, and I trust that contributors to the discussions will endeavor to maintain a higher level of discourse regardless of viewpoints.

    I also think it will be Green Bay by a two touchdowns. If you’re an L.A. fan, I’m just kidding…

  22. Michael Bradley says:

    I would like to note that the Confederate flag carried into the capitol is an Army of Tennessee pattern battle flag, not the Army of Northern Virginia pattern flag which was carried by Jubal Early’s command.

    I would also note that the quote concerning slavery from the “Cornerstone Speech” did not originate with Stephens but comes from a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court and referred to the United States as having slavery as the cornerstone of its economy and society. Stephens, in his speech, also discusses states rights and the tariff as causes for secession.

    • nygiant1952 says:

      Mike….Stephens’s speech declared that disagreements over the enslavement of African Americans were the “immediate cause” of secession and that the Confederate constitution had resolved such issues

      The Cornerstone Speech is so called because Stephens used the word “cornerstone” to describe the “great truth” of white supremacy and black subordination upon which secession and the Confederacy were based:

      The only mention of tariffs…he Confederate constitution eliminated the tariff and prohibited the central government from spending on internal improvements.

      The Cornerstone Speech is evidence that the South mainly fought to defend slavery and not to protect states rights or for any other reason.

  23. Dan says:

    People need to get over the emotional defending of the confederacy. The Lost Cause is dead. Anyone who studies the war with an open mind knows exactly what it was about.

    A confederate flag does not belong at any political protest or political event. It’s no different in that context than a swastika or any other anti-American symbol. Keep it in a historical context only, because in any other context it’s a disgrace.

    • Donald Smith says:

      Umm, no, calling the Stars and Bars an “anti-American symbol” is not only wrong, it’s silly. And comparing it to a swastika makes your reasoning skills look pretty poor.

      Confederates were American, just not Unionists. Those Confederates, after the war, mostly followed the admonitions of Robert E. Lee and became good citizens of the USA. Nowadays, you’ll find much more enthusiastic support for the Stars and Stripes in the South, than you will in many of the major cities of the North.

      Lastly, what qualifies you to decide what symbols are acceptable at a political protest in the USA, and which ones aren’t? First Amendment much?

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Confederates were rebels, against the United States….they were not citizens and they were not Americans. They became Americans and citizens once they were pardoned. Robert E Lee had nothing to do with that pardon.

        The Confederate flag is the flag of a defeated insurrection. You don’t see the swastika flag flying in Germany.

      • Donald Smith says:

        If you are going to say that the Stars and Bars is the same thing as the Nazi swastika, you’re going to take this discussion to the point where there can be no meeting of the minds between those of us who have Confederate ancestors and those who don’t.

        When you compare Confederate soldiers to the SS, you’re crossing a line. Don’t expect those of us with Confederate ancestors to accept accusations like that.

        Confederates did not try to destroy the U.S.A.—they tried to create their own country. They didn’t invade Northern territory with the intention of conquering it, as the Nazis did in Europe and Russia.

        Are you hinting that American slavery, as odious as it was, was the same thing as the Final Solution?

        If the Confederacy was as evil as you imply, why did Sherman and Grant treat their defeated foes with such respect at the surrender ceremonies at Appomattox and Bentonville. Are you saying that Chamberlain called the Union soldiers to attention at Appomattox, to honor the 19th century version of the SS?

        Your reasoning is shallow and your end conclusion foolish. If you’re trying to “cancel” those of us in ECW who are proud of our Confederate ancestors, this is a good way to go about it.

        If it will help, at the ECW symposium, I am willing to engage you in a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate on this subject: “Resolved: The Stars and Bars Symbol is the Same Thing as the Swastika.” I’ll take the side that opposes that resolution.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        The Swastika and the Confederate flag have become symbols of White Supremacy. The evidence of this is at Charlottseville where white supremacists carried Confederate and Nazi flags side by side. In the 1970s, we all saw the Nazification of the KKK when both groups attacked a Communist Workers Party rally, resulting in 5 deaths.

        The Confederate soldiers were traitors to the United States.

        President Lincoln wanted peace to come to the Union and felt he needed to treat the Confederate soldiers such that they would not rebel again. The terms of the surrender were generous: Confederate soldiers would have to turn in their rifles, but they could return home immediately and keep their horses or mules.

        If the ECW has a symposium on the Nazi and Confederate flags…I will not attend.

      • Dan says:

        Donald, I would save your concerns about reasoning skills for the people who don’t realize that taking up arms against a country, by definition means “anti.”

        The confederates were an enemy of the US, in the same manner as all enemies of the US. By firing on the US military and killing loyal citizens.

        The confederate flag represents a treasonous rebellion, and it represents white supremacy and white nationalism. For those people who have an emotional attachment to the flag as a heritage symbol, they need to keep it in a heritage/history context. Because out of that context, it is just a symbol of treason and racism.

      • Donald Smith says:

        Dan, “I would save your concerns about reasoning skills for the people who don’t realize that taking up arms against a country, by definition means ‘anti.’”

        The North invaded the South, not the other way around. I’m glad the North beat the South, and I think the South was foolish to start the war and deserved to lose it. But the South did not try to destroy the USA—it tried to leave it.

        “The confederate flag represents a treasonous rebellion, and it represents white supremacy and white nationalism. For those people who have an emotional attachment to the flag as a heritage symbol, they need to keep it in a heritage/history context. Because out of that context, it is just a symbol of treason and racism.”

        You are entitled to your opinions. As I’m entitled to mine—one of which is that your reasoning is shallow and one-sided, and therefore the conclusions arising from that reasoning have little merit. Feel free to disagree with me. Politely, of course.

      • Donald Smith says:

        For nygiant1952

        “If the ECW has a symposium on the Nazi and Confederate flags…I will not attend.”

        I’m not saying that ECW should have an event on the main schedule to have this debate. But, there are breakout sessions for side discussions. That’s where our debate would be appropriate.

        Why wouldn’t you attend? I’ll lay out my arguments and you can lay out yours. If it was good enough for Lincoln and Douglas, certainly it’s good enough for us?

        This sounds like exactly the kind of issue ECW should discuss. Congressional Democrats want to remove all Confederate monuments from National Parks. Historical figures are getting canceled all around us. What better place than ECW to start some discussions where we can find some common ground?

        Unless, of course, you’re looking not for common ground, but a purging of a portion of America’s history and culture. If that’s what you really want—well, I can understand not wanting to put your name and face to that.

      • Dan says:

        Donald, yes we disagree. And your opinion of my opinion does not matter in the least. I’m very familiar with the emotional prejudice that southerners have about this subject.

    • Rod says:

      Anyone who studies primary sources and the context of that time know without a doubt that the CSA stood for retaining our founding principles and that the CS was prevented from the sacred natural right of exercising a government of its own consent. Those who claim the CS was all about preserving slavery are adolescent intellects at best, unstudied, and dishonest at worst. Why would the Confederacy immediately start looking to end slavery after secession, if slavery was what they seceded to preserve?!? Read this letter to Lincoln written by 8 Union loyal congressmen:

      https://www.loc.gov/resource/mal.1713000/?r=-0.818,-0.749,2.636,3.213,0

      “We are the more emboldened to assume this position from the fact, now become history, that the leaders of the Southern rebellion have offered to abolish slavery amongst them as a condition to foreign intervention in favor of their independence as a nation. If they can give up slavery to destroy the Union; We can surely ask our people to consider the question of Emancipation to save the Union.”

      That letter was written only weeks before Lincoln suddenly announced and surprised his cabinet with the EP. Does it make sense now what Lincoln was reacting to? And we know CSA Congressman Duncan Kenner was overseas still negotiating an end to slavery when Lee surrendered. Answer me this. Given this letter, was it slavery that prompted secession, or was it independence from a North that had for 70 years ignored the Constitution for the purpose of economic exploitation of the South?

      Explain to me without spin why the South was willing to end slavery, difficult as that would be from a humane and economic standpoint, if slavery was its ultimate cause?

      • John Foskett says:

        What is your evidence that the CSA had “offered” emancipation in exchange for recognition as of Summer 1862? What you’ve cited is hearsay from representatives of the border states still in the Union. All the diplomats had done at that point was imply that slaves might eventually be freed. If you’ve got evidence that Davis or the CSA government was actively considering that, feel free to post it.

        Duncan’s mission was in late 1864, when the handwriting was on the wall and the CSA was desperate. And even then it didn’t happen. In Winter 1865 – by a narrow vote – the CSA authorized recruitment of slaves but never acted on emancipation.

      • Rod says:

        Your question and attempted explanation is grasping at straws at best. Those 8 Union loyal, Lincoln loyal congressmen had no reason to lie to Lincoln about such an important matter. And if you read the details of the Kenner mission, you will see how secretive these attempts were, and for obvious reason. The CS leadership knew Lincoln would attempt to head off the purpose of such missions. And it appears pretty certain that his decision to act on the EP, something he had heretofore resisted, came on the heels of his receiving the letter from the eight congressmen. The CS mission would by nature and need be clothed in secrecy. A paper trail would be avoided, but those eight certainly had personal visits from CS congressmen as they were desperately trying to bring those border States on board with the CS cause. There is no paper trail for the Kenner mission either until it was revealed after the war. There is a note given to Kenner to be delivered in person to the CS Ambassador to France explaining the reason for the mission, but even that note does not mention the end of slavery per se, but rather states “there is no sacrifice too great” in pursuit of self-government and independence. Those 8 being congressmen from union loyal slave states were in a position to know, and somebody in the CS gov’t leaked the word.

        That the CS would be willing to end slavery, as extremely difficult as that would be given the North sought to bottle up all blacks in the South, should not cone as a surprise. Preserving slavery was not the CS cause as is made clear by the rejection of all offers to keep slavery made by Lincoln. Actions of the CS make clear that slavery was only the “occasion” and not the cause of secession. They repeat that often during the war. Slavery like tariffs, internal improvements, bounties, centralization are all occasions or symptoms of a much more fundamental concern: Northern infidelity to the Constitution, and a desire to end union with an unfaithful partner.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        “even that note does not mention the end of slavery per se,”

        QED

      • Rod says:

        Oh… forgot to respond to the oft used grasping that the Kenner mission was a late act of desperation:

        It matters not that times were desperate. You don’t give up your reason for being because you are desperate. Obviously preserving slavery was NOT the CS reason for being! Desperation was not regarding losing slavery but rather INDEPENDENCE! As Jeff Davis stated: we are not fighting for slavery but rather independence…” Interview with a Northern reported during the war. Slavery was the “occasion and not the cause of the war:

        “Slavery was the mere occasion and not the object or end of this war. The South is fighting for National independence and freedom from Yankee domination. The people are willing sacrifice all the slaves to the cause of freedom.” Richmond Inquirer, 1863.

        “Property in negro labor should not be a barrier to our independence. If it is found in the way, if it proves an insurmountable object to the achievement of our independence and separate nationality, away with it, let it perish.” Jackson Mississippean

      • John Foskett says:

        The “oft used grasping that the Kenner mission was a late act of desperation” – really? You’re the one who’s grasping. The mission happened in the context of Atlanta having fallen, Richmond/Petersburg besieged, Early’s Valley army destroyed, desertion and inflation rife, and Lincoln having been re-elected. The CSA was at the end of its rope. As for my request for evidence, you offer none – instead you give us excuses and speculation.

      • Rod says:

        The evidence is the letter that men loyal to Lincoln called in very adamant fashion “a fact now made history.” What possible reason could they have to describe the claim that way if they did not themselves have solid evidence of the fact? And is it just mere coincidence that a plot mentioned in ‘62 by Union loyal men is the same as one that later happened in ‘65? Were those 8 men so gifted that they could fabricate something that was at another time a reality? Historical critical method based on the given evidence says the CS was negotiating slavery’s end through most of the war in hopes of gaining independence. There was no “last minute desperation” which in itself makes no sense. You are asking me to provide evidence over and above what is already strong evidence, about a highly secret mission. Does it make sense that there would be written evidence? No! Just as there was very little contemporaneous evidence written about Kenner’s mission, one written note, so there is very little a out the ‘62 mission, one letter! If anything, a letter signed by 8 congressmen written to their President a out a highly important revelation should carry more weight than an ambiguous note written by Judah Benjamin to a diplomat!

        In regards to desperation, why would they ever give up their essential cause even if desperate??? Do you not see how that makes no sense at all??? As they said if they wanted to keep their slaves at any time during the war all they need do is lay down their arms and return to the Union. Lincoln had pointed out at Hampton Roads that if they returned to the Union, they would have more than enough votes to pass the Corwin Amendment.

        The only reason you are attempting to make the amount of evidence an issue, is because the evidence presented upsets your deep need to believe the CS was all a out preserving slavery.

      • John Foskett says:

        The answer is obvious. When it became clear that the CSA was going to lose the war without foreign assistance and would be “subjugated” back into the Union, some – but far from a majority – in the South had decided that it was worth offering some type of emancipation in exchange for keeping “independence”. Now how about some actual evidence about this in 1862 instead of speculating about why I “need” it? Lincoln was actively considering it in Summer 1862 and – guess what – he actually issued it on September 22. You appear to think that Davis, et al were actively considering it in Summer 1862 and yet September 1862, September 1863 and September 1864 all passed with only “crickets”. In fact, it never happened. That was one pretty deliberate process of roll-out.

      • Rod says:

        The letter of the 8 was written July 1862. Just prior to Lincoln’s sudden surprise announcement to his cabinet. Did the 8 Union Congressmen make it up out of thin air? And do you think such a mission would have been announced on CNN??? Lord the adolescent logic! It was a SECRET MISSION. Of course you are going to hear crickets, crickets are the sound of secrecy.

        Explain to me why 8 union loyal Lincoln loving congressmen would emphasize the truth of the mission by calling it a “fact now made history”??? Those are not the words of speculation!

        Also. Why did 20 other union loyal congressmen write Lincoln to express their disagreement with his notion that if the border States emancipated their slaves, the South would give up their cause knowing they could not succeed without the border States? Lincoln thought slavery was the CS’s “lever of power” around which they rallied the South for secession. These 20 congressmen wrote to him stating:

        “Nor do we, permit us to say Mr President with all respect for you agree that the institution of slavery is “the lever of their power” but we are of the opinion that “the lever of their power” is the apprehension that the powers of a common government created for common and equal protection to the interests of all will be wielded against the institutions of the Southern States.”

        They argue that the “lever of their (seceded States) power” is the fear of too strong a central government, and earlier in the same letter they point out how the North in control of the gov’t was willing to violate the Constitution, and that is what drove out the Southern States:

        “In both houses of Congress we have heard doctrines announced subversive of the principles of the Constitution and seen measure after measure founded in substance on these doctrines proposed and carried through which can have no other effect than to distract and divide all loyal men and to exasperate and drive still further from us and their duty the people of the rebellious states… To these causes Mr President, and not to our…we solemnly believe, we are to attribute the terrible earnestness of those in arms against the government and the continuance of the war.” https://cdn.loc.gov/service/mss/mal/170/1708800/1708800.pdf

        I guess all these congressmen( the 8 and the 20) who wrote both letters just a day apart were simply making things up!?! The ridiculousness of such a claim! These men were intimately acquainted with the seceded States and their motive.

      • Rod says:

        Oh, and I’m glad to see you admit it was independence that mattered most to the leadership of the CS, and not slavery. Again, no one gives up their reason for secession and war in order to successfully secede and win a war. The notion is simply silly!

      • John Foskett says:

        You don’t understand. 1862 and 1865 might as well have been 100 years apart. There was zero actual interest in trading emancipation for independence by anybody in the CSA in Summer 1862. By Winter 1865 times were desperate and the CSA was in a death spiral so some – but far from a majority – were willing to do that. You keep dodging one undisputed fact – even then it never happened. Feel free to explain that one.

      • Rod says:

        You say: “ You don’t understand. 1862 and 1865 might as well have been 100 years apart. There was zero actual interest in trading emancipation for independence by anybody in the CSA in Summer 1862. By Winter 1865 times were desperate and the CSA was in a death spiral so some – but far from a majority – were willing to do that. You keep dodging one undisputed fact – even then it never happened. Feel free to explain that one.”

        If there was “zero actual interest” in ending slavery in ‘62, why did 8 Union loyal congressmen with absolutely no motive to deceive their President say that Confederate intent to end slavery was “a fact now made history?” When I first discovered this letter in the Congressional archives I was astonished that I’d never read or heard any historian mention it before. I immediately got on the phone and contacted several academic historians and they had never heard of the letter before either! That it is in the digital archives says someone, at least a typist, has at least typed it in, but find one historian who mentions it anywhere. Let me know if you do! It is either unknown, or it is being suppressed by any that have seen it. This all tells me that no research has been done in the archives of the 8 congressional signees, to see what if any additional info can be gathered about how they became convinced of the CS plan to end slavery in ‘62. I plan to do that research once life slows down for me a bit, but at present I’m overwhelmed with other things. I’m betting there may be sources mentioned in those archives.

        You say “By Winter 1865 times were desperate and the CSA was in a death spiral so some – but far from a majority – were willing to do that.” First of all be reminded that 75% of all Southerners did not own slaves and that includes most of a thriving middle class that are often ignored by historians. They were the majority and would have had no qualms at all about ending slavery except for a couple I will explain later. Also, Kenner’s testimony about his mission (the only reason we know about it) says he began in ‘63 surveying State legislators regarding their support for such an offer. The response was unanimously positive. These men were typical politicians and would never had agreed to the mission if they thought the majority of their constituents would oppose it! So your claim that “far from a majority were willing to do that” is not supported by the evidence. You also continue to champion the twisted logic that desperation made the Kenner mission possible. Again, desperation in war is never a reason to abandon what you are fighting for. Not for any reason! INDEPENDENCE and not slavery was the ultimate cause of the CS. I believed the historical evidence proved this BEFORE I stumbled across the evidence of a ‘July ‘62 mission to end slavery corroborated by 8 Union congressmen. The specific philosophical and contextual historical evidence, if you move past a superficial reading generated by the past two generations of “historians” imposing present political agendas on the evidence, and remove the lens of Marxist style analysis that views all history as a class struggle between villains and victims, you can see what motivated the formation of the CSA.

        This brings me to your final question which I get asked often by the adolescents. You ask: “You keep dodging one undisputed fact – even then it never happened. Feel free to explain that one.”
        As far as I know, this is the first time you have asked me that, so I’m not sure how you accuse me of “dodging?” The answer is complicated which is why most “superficial historians” fail to see it.

        First: In the years leading up to the war not one major political party in the US ever called for the emancipation of slaves. Not one! The CS was not formed because of any such threat to slavery. The only group calling for such was a small minority in the North called abolitionists who, being religious in nature, called for “immediate” emancipation because they deemed slavery a “sin” and God demands immediate cession of sin. This same group called for uncompensated emancipation because you do not reward sinners for their sin. These same abolitionists were willing to promote and did use terrorist tactics in pursuing their unreasonable demands. These abolitionists were despised even in the North and by the likes of Abraham Lincoln who made fun of them when he stated in a jovial tone “We have abolitionists in Illinois, and we shot one the other day.” But they were allowed to carry on in their attempts to provoke slave insurrections, in their support of terrorists tactics such as John Brown, and in harboring criminals involved with Brown. This groups unreasonable calls for immediate and uncompensated emancipation put the South on the defensive and caused it to dig in its heels in defense of slavery knowing that such demands would have dire economic consequences (after all, the North allowed itself 25 years to end slavery and then sold its slaves South to avoid any economic consequence.) in the 1830’s, many Southern State legislatures had deliberated on ending slavery but could not settle on the means to pay for it or how to accommodate so large a population of destitute people. The desire to end the slavery it inherited had long been there, but the problem the South faced that the North did not was how to do it. Both Lincoln and Lee stated on record that most Southerners were against slavery, and Northern statesman Noah Webster admitted that the trend in the South had long been toward emancipation up until the unreasonable demands of Northern abolitionists.

        Second: Northerners diligently sought to keep slavery out of the territories, not for any moral concern for slaves, but because they feared if slavery was allowed in the territories, those lands were more apt to be settled by influential Southerners who had the money and power to form them into Southern allied States. “No slavery in the territories” was a political slogan and not a humanitarian one. Northerners having abandoned slavery and rid their States of most of their black population, became quite racist in their distance from blacks and made laws barring any new blacks from settling in their States. And they influenced many territorial governments to do the same in order to “preserve the territories for the white caucasian race. Northerners sought to keep all blacks bottled up in the South.

        Third, influenced by radical abolitionists and motivated to weaken the “slave power” (a euphemism for the political power that that the 3/5ths rule and Southern wealth created), a few Northern States passed laws in direct opposition to the fugitive slave clause in the Constitution.

        These three aforementioned issues created what the South called the “immediate cause” or “occasion” for secession. Superficial or agenda driven historians simply fail to realize the significance of these words. The desire to keep slavery was not what drove the South out. It was 70 years of Northern infidelity to the Constitution (and the list is long and mostly economic), of which the three mentioned slavery issues were yet more occasions.

        The first, promoting insurrection, terrorist tactics, and harboring criminals represented a violation of the Constitution’s tranquility clause. The second, a violation of the Constitution’s requirement for the equality of the States. Slavery being unique property to the South, any ban on slavery in the territories was a violation of both the Constitutionally protected property rights and the equal enjoyment and use of the commonly owned territories in violation of the equality of the States. It wasn’t a desire to keep slavery that motivated secession, it was Constitutional violations involving slavery that drove secession. No one with any political power posed a threat to slavery in 1861. And the new President asserted time and again he posed no threat to slavery where it existed. But policies of the Northern sectional Party just elected, which the South believed violated the Constitution (those mentioned above involving slavery plus the election of a President whose Party platform included high tariffs, and other economic goals) led the South to secede.

        So how does this explain the South’s pro-slavery statements. First this context shows that the South wasn’t “proslavery” because it wanted to “preserve and extend slavery” as is often claimed. It was proslavery because the opposition sought an immediate end to slavery that would cause an economic and humanitarian disaster in the South. Economic because of the demand for an immediate and uncompensated end. Humanitarian because the North sought to keep all blacks in the South on what amounted to a de facto black reservation. The problem was not the will to end slavery, the problem was how could it possibly be done in a humane manner given that the slave population was almost half of the total population. And the slaves were landless and penniless for the most part, and totally dependent on the master for legally required cradle to grave welfare. People who ask why not just switch over to a paid labor system do not realize that the master’s welfare included all the slave elderly, young and invalid who could not work, and all the excess labor that could be afforded as slaves that could not be as paid labor. What would become of all these people? Any end to slavery that did not involve a government plan to compensate slave holders and provide a available lands for slave’s subsistence, left the South in an impossible position regarding a humane and economically feasible end to slavery. Vast lands were a available in the West but the Republican Party would not hear of dispersing the population there! The only plan Republicans ever offered was colonization out of the country. And that option Southerners opposed because they had grown up in intimate relations with black people who were not only slaves but friends and family from childhood. The South had a song that was about its opposition to colonizing “Uncle Zack” and “Mammy” out of the country.

        It is this historical context that provides the meaning of “proslavery” not as a desire to preserve and extend slavery (in a population of 5 million you might find some Southerners who held that desire, but as Lincoln and Lee stated most did not). Proslavery and the description of slavery as a “positive good” had to do with the practical reality that given Northern anti-black racism (which was the primary meaning of Northern “antislavery”), the best means to manage the slave population was as slaves. The alternatives offered by the North, colonization or elimination by starvation, were in no way acceptable to a South whose social foundation was a Christian ethic, and whose social structure involve close relations with their black neighbors. Lincoln’s long history of being a colonizationist was also a motive for secession. Southerners viewed slavery as a temporary means of saving the slave population from Northern anti-black agendas without causing economic and humanitarian disaster. This was much the same as Oscar Shindler of WWII fame who used slavery as a humanitarian means of keeping Jews from certain death in the concentration camps.

        So now with all this context (and I could have added more) you can see why the South did not end slavery earlier, and why it only considered it at all if it mean gaining its independence. Ending slavery meant economic and humanitarian difficulties which even Lincoln had admitted he did not know how to avoid. But if it meant independence from a section of the Union that bad a long history of occasions of infidelity to the compact around which the Union was formed, then the South was willing to endure that hardship. Why they did not end slavery (as you asked) is because the foreign powers never agreed to the offer. Had they done so, the South would have gone through an economic and humanitarian disaster for nothing! And given Lincoln’s plans had he not been assassinated, their black neighbors who they considered like family would have been deported anyway if they did not gain the needed foreign aid to win the war.

        I can provide primary source evidence for each and every claim I’ve made above. I did not include it here because of time and space it would require. But this is how historical context lends meaning to historical evidence. When the context is considered, you can see why the South rejected the Corwin Amendment as well as Lincoln’s offer to keep slavery if it returned to the Union before the EP went into effect. You can see why it was willing to end slavery as early as ‘61 or ‘62 if it meant independence from an unfaithful and exploitive partner. You can see why Jeff Davis asserted in ‘63 that the South was not fighting for slavery. You can see why Southerners oft repeated before and during the war that slavery was the mere occasion and not the cause of session and war.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        If you had the documentation, you would have provided it.

      • Rod says:

        It took me an hour to type what I did!!! With an impatient wife waiting on me. And I doubt ECW would want a post that long. Ask for a specific evidence of anything I’ve said and when time permits I’ll post it! At present I’m staining a deck… a big one!!!

  24. nygiant1952 says:

    That’s easy Rod! The Confederacy NEVER was willing to end slavery.

    Look at a primary source…the Cornerstone Speech. This is what Stephens said..

    “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.”

    So, you are trying to tell us that, the Confederacy would remove it cornerstone?

    Plus, even when faced with surrender, the Confederacy NEVER enlisted slaves into the Army.

    • Rod says:

      What I’m telling you is you have a superficial understanding of the Cornerstone Speech and you simply refuse to look at Stephen’s reference to Baldwin’s meaning. That I’m right in saying Stephens was referring to the CONSTITUTION and its protection of property rights as The Cornerstone is held up by the historical context. What did that same CSA do almost as soon as it seceded? It started negotiating an END TO SLAVERY to gain independence. Guess how I know that… because a primary source signed by 8 Union loyal Lincoln loving congressmen said it was a “FACT NOW BECOME HISTORY.”

      So explain to me whose understanding of the Cornerstone Speech is supported by historical context and whose isn’t?!? The Cornerstone could not have been slavery, because indeed the CSA would not have surrendered its cornerstone. The adage “actions speak louder than words” applies here. Tell me why you choose to believe your interpretation of Stephens, and not the words of 8 congressmen, which obviously refute your claim that the CS was all about preserving slavery???

      I will be very busy the remainder of the day. Will look for your response tomorrow.

    • Rod says:

      Oh, something I promised earlier:

      http://philmagness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Magness-Page_ResponsetoGuelzo.pdf

      You really need to read the book before you trot out a Lincoln cultist to refute the book’s premise!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Hardly an objective book review.

        Still waiting for some primary documents that say the Confederacy was going to free the slaves in 1861.

      • Rod says:

        Do you think what the 8 Union congressmen wrote about in July 1862 was decided over night? I’m guessing the plan was a part of the Trent mission that got headed off by Union spies. But any such negotiations would have had to be after as survey of the State legislators. Then it would involve a secret plan to run the blockades. So if the negotiations had already began by July of ‘62, it stands to reason that planning for such a mission began in ‘61. The later Kenner mission happened several months after a lot of planning. No doubt this first mission did too. At minimum it was early ‘62 that it was hatched. Regardless, the fact remains that at least two if not more missions involved ending slavery for independence. That alone dispels any claim that the CS seceded and fought for slavery. They repeatedly said during the war that slavery was not the reason, and their actions confirm their claims. Therefore we today must look at any evidence that might suggest slavery was the cause with a new focus on what was the real cause and why they said what they said.

        More later tomorrow

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rod, a couple of things…

        1. guess? guess? Don’t guess…let’s deal with facts. So far, you have provided no documentation

        2. You assume too much.

        3. Before the War, several States wrote in the ordinance of Secession, that slavery was the reason they were leaving the Union, and that is in addition to the Cornerstone Speech.

        4. Any comment made by the South regarding freeing slaves has to be taken disingenuously. As you and I know, the Emancipation Proclamation removed Great Britain and its Navy from breaking the Union blockade and interfering in the War. Actually, there was no chance that would have ever occurred, despite their bluster.

        5….”that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and moral condition. [Applause.] This, our new Government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

        As far as Lincoln favoring colonization, Hays said it was no longer a thought after the Emancipation Proclamation.

        Also realize that after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation, with the enlistment of Afro-America soldiers to protect and defend the Union, Lincoln was in no position to deny those same soldiers the right to live in the United States.

      • Rod says:

        It isn’t a book review. It is a rebuttal of Guelzo’s review by one of the authors of the book no less. I’d say he is qualified to that! On the other hand, Guelzo is certainly not objective given he is a leader in the cult of Lincoln and is seeing his long lived claim that Lincoln “evolved” crash and burn in the face of solid evidence! His reputation as a scholar is crumbling which is why his book review is grasping at straws.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        t isn’t a book review. It is a rebuttal of Guelzo’s review by one of the authors of the book no less. I’d say he is qualified to that! On the other hand, Guelzo is certainly not objective given he is a leader in the cult of Lincoln and is seeing his long lived claim that Lincoln “evolved” crash and burn in the face of solid evidence! His reputation as a scholar is crumbling which is why his book review is grasping at straws.

        Of course he is going to defend what he wrote….so what?

        What is important is that the book is removed from the actual Civil War, and is taken as just one aspect, not taken as a whole.

        Hays, wrote that any thought of colonization after the issue of the Emancipation Proclamation completely precluded any discussion of colonization.

        Plus, the EP provided for the enlistment of Afro-American soldiers to fight for and defend the United States, from the traitors and insurrectionists. So, Lincoln was in no position to deny them a home after fighting. Plus, Lincoln was making plans to allow freed Blacks to vote, if they had served in the Army and were literate.

        So taken as a whole with what we know and can document, colonization was no longer an option. You seem to just look at one aspect, and not really look at the whole, and put in all in context.

        See, you have to have a wide knowledge about the Civil War, like I do, to evaluate any scholarship.

      • Rod says:

        Lincoln may crystal clear that the EP was a war measure. It involved no humanitarian concern for black people. And if you really know history, you realize that this “war measure” was a reaction to a letter Lincoln received only weeks before. Obviously he was trying to head off Confederate emancipation. The end of slavery was therefore an unintended consequence of a war Lincoln initiated by provocation at Sumter and by raising troops to invade the South. And his self admitted purpose for war was to “collect the imposts.” That he had no concern whatsoever for blacks is evidenced by his response to the Southern delegation at Hampton Roads who asked him “what would become of the freedmen” reflecting the South’s genuine concern for the freedmen. Lincoln had no plan for taking care of the freedmen because they involved no concern in his mind. Therefore his telling answer was the old saying “root hog or die.” That is why hundreds of thousands of blacks died as a result of the dislocations of Lincoln’s invasion which had absolutely no plan for their welfare. He considered them mere pawns in a military strategy. So it should not be surprising that solid evidence found in foreign archives reveal he planned to rid America of ALL blacks as he told General Butler in ‘65 when discussing sending them to Panama.

        You call yourself a “historian.” That is the case if by historian you mean someone who fabricates history to promote a current political agenda. Dr. Clyde Wilson, Professor of History Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, had “historians” like you in mind when he said:

        “Historians used to know – and it was not too long ago – that the War Between the States had more to do with economics than it did slavery. The current obsession with slavery as the the ‘cause’ of the war rests not on evidence but on ideological considerations of the present day.”

        I’m still awaiting your explanation for why the CS turned down every offer to keep slavery, and then looked to end it as early as ‘62 and most likely began in ‘61? I’m still awaiting your explanation of how you can dismiss the historical testimony of 8 Union congressmen that the South was looking to end slavery to achieve independence? Were they all lying to their President??? I’m still awaiting how you can say the CS was all about preserving slavery, when the Duncan Kenner mission shows the CS was still negotiating an end to slavery when Lee surrendered? And I’m still awaiting how you can defend your understanding of The Cornerstone Speech vs mine, when every action and words of the CS during the war demonstrates that their cause was independence from a North that would not comply with the Constitution? Again, they turned down every offer to keep slavery, including an amendment that would have made slavery permanent and irrevocable, and they cut themselves off by seceding from any opportunity to expand slavery into the territories. They repeatedly stated that slavery, tariffs, internal improvements, bounties, and centralization were all occasions of the ultimate cause of secession – Northern infidelity to the Constitution. They simply no longer desired union with an unfaithful partner. The historical evidence is clear! Take off your postmodernist Marxist lens and you will be enlightened!

        You allow present agenda to dictate what evidence you see in history and what evidence you turn a blind eye. Your historiography is imbued with the worst kind of presentism!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Rod,
        If you want to believe the myths of the Lost Cause, go right ahead. Because that’s all you have…myths.

        And just to give you a clarification, Lincoln was thinking of issuing the EP months before, and only waited for a Union victory. There is no documentation at all that Lincoln was trying to head off the Confederacy, regarding the emancipation of slaves. as there is no documentation in any of the myths you expound about.

        For all the reading you have done on the Cornerstone Speech, was wasted ,since it is evident you really don’t know what you are talking about.

        We are still waiting for any documentation that the Confederacy was thinking of freeing its slaves in 1861.

        Realize that anything the South said about emancipation of slaves, was said disingenuously.

        My advice….look at the Civil Wars a whole, and not just certain aspects of it.

        Good luck in realizing the truth about the Civil War. I’ll help if you have any questions.
        Respectfully submitted,
        NYGIant1952, Civil War historian, par excellence, and Confederate Myth-buster

      • Rod says:

        You really need to read your own words while looking in a mirror. Lincoln had long been pressed by abolitionists regarding emancipation. Certainly it was on his mind because they would not let him rest regarding it. But his timing regarding finally doing it is only after the letter revealing CS emancipation plans.

        I’m done wasting time on you. Agenda has your mind closed tight.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Thank you

        I am no longer wasting my time with your ignorance.

        Have a nice life

      • Rod says:

        Good!!!

        When you have no answers for the evidence presented, retreat is a good strategy!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Good!

        Bask in your ignorance!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        And..FYI…you admitted defeat and retreated, first.

        pesky things those pesky facts

      • Rod says:

        You have a desperate need to “believe” in spite of the evidence.Your’s is a religion and not history. And I guess I missed the part where I surrendered?!?

        The “fact now made history” that the CS sought to end slavery until Lee surrendered is supported by strong evidence when you analyze by critical method the nature of the source. When you combine that evidence with the fact that the very same effort was being made at war’s end, the pattern is clear. When you consider all the other actions of the South that reveal motive, rejection of the Corwin Amendment, turning down the offer to keep slavery in the EP, relinquishing any claim to the territories meaning no priority to take slavery there, and the words of CS statesmen and newspapers that slavery was not the cause, there is no other conclusion to draw but that preserving slavery was NOT the CS cause. You intent to deny the facts is religious devotion to a cherished belief for whatever reason, but certainly NOT history. Agenda much!!!

      • nygiant1952 says:

        Strong evidence? You have presented NO evidence.

        Just repeating the same thing over and over and over, doesn’t make it real

      • Rod says:

        In tour case it certainly does.

        I’m gone. Got a house to get ready to sell!

        Enjoyed the debate!

      • Rod says:

        Oh, and if preserving slavery was the CS cause. Why did the last four, seven if you count the attempts of Ky, Maryland, and Missouri, not join the cause from the get go? They joined because they believed that Lincoln was in direct violation to the Constitution, and they knew that was the cause of the first States to secede.

      • nygiant1952 says:

        We call that a diversion and also call it, moving the goal posts.

      • Rod says:

        I call it a legit question that deserves more than a dodge!

        You said you were done with me, so be a man of your word! My wife is getting mad at me!!!

        Later…

      • nygiant1952 says:

        YOU said you were done with me.

        Try and live up to what YOU say.

  25. nygiant1952 says:

    Ron, as usual, you try and insult me, rather than providing facts.

    Stephens says the Cornerstone of the new Confederacy was slavery, and that is the cause for secession.

    The Confederacy never negotiated to end slavery/ You offer no primary documents, .

  26. Donald Smith says:

    For the sake of common ground here, and trying to find some middle ground, I will stipulate that white supremacists have used the Stars and Bars as a symbol. (They’ve also used the Stars and Stripes—I can show you many pictures of Klansmen parading in Washington D.C. with American flags).

    The Stars and Bars have been a symbol of rebellion, and of regional pride. Eugene Sledge, who wrote the epic memoir “With The Old Breed,” about Marines fighting at Peleliu and Okinawa, remembered how he and some of his fellow Southern Marines hoisted a Confederate flag on Peleliu after the fighting ended. Sledge said that the Southern Marines cheered, the Northern Marines frowned, and the Marines from the West Coast wondered what the fuss was all about. Sledge did not hoist that flag because he was a Nazi. He hoisted it because he was proud of his heritage.

    For those people who argue that, because Southern whites didn’t rise up and snatch the Stars and Bars from the Klan’s hands, that therefore the Klan now owns the Stars and Bars—would you have walked into a Klan rally during the Civil Rights era and snatched a Confederate flag from a Klansman? You’d have been beaten to a pulp. Your house could have been firebombed. All of a sudden, the customers for your business might have disappeared. The KKK was full of violent thugs, who would gladly have attacked anyone who opposed them, white or black. Opposing the Klan during the Civil Rights era wasn’t an easy thing to do. Implying that it was easy is silly.

    For those who persist in asserting that the Stars and Bars can only symbolize white supremacy and white nationalism, expect that many of us with Confederate ancestors will continue to view that assertion as unfair and unsupported by the evidence, and thus we’ll continue to reject it.

    • Dan says:

      It’s not just the racist aspect of the flag. It’s also the treason aspect. Many whitewashed misrepresentations were tolerated in the interest of reconciliation, for many decades. That era – call it the Lost Cause era or the pre-Civil Rights era – is over. The country is increasingly done with tolerating and appeasing supporters of that flag.

      The “middle ground” to be found is what I suggested earlier. Keep it in a historical and heritage context. Don’t bring it into a political context, or the blowback will grow and the flag and its supporters will become even more reviled.

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