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….