A Yankee Apology

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Maverick, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Maverick

    Maverick
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    Article by James Perloff

    As a conservative, I normally take an uncompromising stand on every issue, weather abortion or gun control, defense spending or religious freedom. So I long wondered why I felt ambivalent about the War Between the States. On one hand, I could never condone slavery. Who could doubt the universal intent of the founding fathers in declaring "...all men are created equal?" And hadn’t the Yankees fought to preserve the USA I treasure as a patriot? On the other hand, I admired the South’s deep-rooted conservatism.

    During the War Between the States, few people were uncertain about their sympathies. So had I lived then, resolute conservative that I am, surely I would have taken a stand. But on whose side?

    Deciding to investigate, I obtained a heavy volume of Abraham Lincoln’s correspondence and speeches. Having recently read the distinguished letters of America’s patriarchs, such as Washington and Jefferson, I expected something commensurate. I was surprised and disappointed. Lincoln’s early writings often sounded rather neurotic, and presented a political not above penning anonymous denigrations of opponents in the local press. I saw little of the nobility of Lincoln’s Mount Rushmore neighbors. But, age often yields character, and as Lincoln approached the presidency, his writings began to manifest deep-felt
    concern for mankind. During the war, he appeared steeped in its gravity. One could sense a burden over the casualties, sincere patriotism and reverence for God. After reading Lincoln, I concluded he had been on right’s side.
    However, Proverbs 18:17 says: “ The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him. “ Deciding the Confederacy deserved equal time, I was pleased to find a dusty copy of Jefferson Davis’ The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.

    Previously, I had not known such books existed. Being raised in the North, I had only heard Yankee perspectives on the war. The South’s viewpoint reached me through prisms of Northern historians. I even attended Colby College--alma mater of Benjamin Butler, whose infamous order, permitting his troops to treat any disrespectful lady of New Orleans “as a woman about town plying her vocation, “ made him one of the most hated figures in Dixie.

    Davis’ book revealed a new world. Here were not the words of a politician, but of a statesman, like his namesake, our third president. Rise and Fall not only contained a blow-by-blow of the entire war, but an exhaustive, lucid exposition on secession and state’s rights. Jefferson Davis apparently did far more homework that President Lincoln. He not only studied the Constitution, but the original minutes of the constitutional convention, the ratification statements of each state, and nearly all the important debates and correspondence related to those proceedings. Davis exploded the arguments of Lincoln, Webster and other 19th century Unionists, and demonstrated that the states originally confederated understanding that each would retain its sovereignty.

    [snipped to comply with copyright legislation. Please provide a link for this article]

    [ December 24, 2005, 07:34 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  2. jarhed

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    Dear Maverick, do not feel alone. I was raised in Michigan, but come from good East Tennessee stock. I too was intrigued by what I was taught in school about the war between the states. I wondered why all my cousins called it "the War of Northern Aggression." I decided to find out. After somewhat the same sort of cathartic experience which you describe, I can now honestly say, that, while being opposed to slavery, I am even more opposed to Federalism run-amuck. It has done more damage than that dying institution ever did. I can say that, while hating war, if hostilities recommence tomorrow, I would be forced to pack up my family and hasten down below the Mason-Dixon line.

    Another thing that might interest you is an investigation into the practiced faith and moral standing of the opposing commanders and troops. It is said that because of Stonewall Jackson's morning preaching (every morning at 4AM at the top of his lungs so the whole camp could hear) there will be tens of thousands in heaven.

    And finally, a little criminal investigation into the way the Southern civilians were treated by Union troops (read, RAPE, PILLAGE, PLUNDER), compared to the way Southern invaders treated the Northern civilians in Penn. and Maryland (I could not find any record of abuse, only deferential quarter given for the opposing loyalties of the locals). All very interesting.
     
  3. robycop3

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    I still believe GOD allowed the CW to be fought as punishment for slavery.

    What appalls me is the treatment of freed slaves. Not having learned the things necessar to survive on their own, having always been housed, clothed, & fed by "massa", many died because they could find no work nor any home. (Usually, "massa" simply ordered'em off his property, except in a few cases when they became hired hands for the former massa.

    While speaking about aggression and atrocities, let us remember Andersonville, the notorious Southern POW camp for Feds. Its commander, Major Wirz, was one of the few Rebs hanged as a war criminal.

    I agree Gen. Butler shoulda been charged as a war criminal himself.
     
  4. Johnv

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    The War has been over and gone for over a hundred years. Men on bother sides have been turned into heroes, and rightly so. Any apology requested has been given by way of the blood of the men on both sides. No further apology is needed. Both sides won, and both sides lost. Let us move on.
     
  5. just-want-peace

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    I found the foregoing extremely interesting, and expect to follow up on some of the references.

    If you think it's been discussed enough, why did you participate? Leave it to the ones who ARE interested! :rolleyes:

    Except for current politics, for the most part just about every subject at some time is re-introduced.

    Should we just "move on"? If so, it'll be the end of BB!
     
  6. Johnv

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    The reason I posted was because these threads rarely producce fruit. They typically end up in a shouting match, often with the pro-south people accusing all others for all the woes of today, and the others accusing the pro-south people of being anti-american.

    But hey, if you can gleen some fruit from it, then by all means, I encourage the attempt.
     
  7. hillclimber

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    You're rigth Johnv, but the war was for states rights and had little to do with the slaves other than to give Lincoln a bit larger hammer. America Lost.
     
  8. Brother James

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    Where in the Bible does God condemn slavery? To the contrary He sets out the rules of it.
     
  9. larry9179

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    I'm a Southerner by birth and by choice, but I'm glad we didn't win the Civil War. I agree with a state's right to govern itself but I too hate slavery. To me, the greatest figure in that war wasn't Lincoln or Lee or Jeff Davis. It was a Union colonel, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. He was a man that changed the course of history and affected the lives of billions of people. Here's how:

    In July, 1863, at Gettysburg, PA, Col Chamberlain's Maine regiment controlled the outermost flank of the Union Army. Chamberlain was a professor of history and rhetoric at Bowdoin College in Maine, but he found himself leading a regiment of the state's finest soldiers here at Gettysburg. Three times it had forced back Rebel attacks on Little Round Top. By this time half of Chamberlain's force was either dead or wounded. There were but two rounds of ammunition per man and the Confererates were forming for another charge. In the last charge both sides were fighting face to face, some even exchanging blows across the walls because they were out of ammo. Chamberlain's officers and NCOs were talking to him about retreating, but Chamberlain knew that if his unit failed to hold this high ground that the Confederate forces could swing around and capture the rest of the Union army in a pincers movement.

    Standing on a hastily built wall of rocks and branches, Chamberlain watched as the Rebels began their last advance on his lines. Rather than follow the advice of his staff, Chamberlain ordered that the men fix bayonets and prepare to charge the Confederates. His sergeants were shocked but they followed his orders. Then Chamberlain yelled, "Charge! Charge! Charge!" and his few remaining men poured over the walls to meet the Rebels.

    Upon seeing the Union soldiers charge, the Confederate troops stopped in their tracks. They thought that some reinforcements must have just come up because the units they were fighting could not have had enough soldiers left to charge with.

    The Confederate soldiers turned and ran. Some dropped loaded rifles in their attempt to get away. Eventually over 400 Rebel soldiers were captured and the Union line held.

    You might think that Chamberlain only affected the outcome of one battle in this war, but historians agree that had the Union lost this battle, the war would have been over by the end of the summer. The Confederates has beaten the Union Army everywhere before Gettysburg - from Manassas (twice) to Richmond and South Carolina. If the Confederates had defeated the Union army at Gettysburg, it would have had an unopposed route to Washington D.C. But because Chamberlain ordered his men to charge, the tide of the battle turned and Lee's Army lost many regiments.

    Because of his decisive actions, Chamberlain was promoted to general. He was cited with the Congressional Medal of Honor and went on to conduct several successful campaigns thru the end of the war. Of all the Union officers under Lincoln's command, he chose Chamberlain to receive Lee's surrender at Appomatox. Although Grant was present to sign the treaty, it was Chamberlain's units that accepted the surrender of the men and their weapons. As the Confederate soldiers were allowed to leave for home, Chamberlain had his men present arms as a show of respect and forgiveness.

    Chamberlain's story doesn't end there. He went back to Maine where he ran for governor. He won it by the greatest landslide to date. After serving for three terms, Chamberlain left politics to take over as President of his alma mater, Bowdoin College. While governor, Chamberlain received a letter from an anonymous Alabama soldier who claimed to have had him dead to rights in his sights twice but something kept him from pulling the trigger both times. The soldier said that he was now glad that he hadn't shot the colonel.

    There is no doubt that God had a plan for this teacher from Maine. He had a hedge of protection around him while he was serving his purpose.

    If Joshua Chamberlain had not ordered his men to charge, there would not be a United States as we know it today. There would probably be two or even three countries occupying the U.S. today. The effects of slavery and race relations would be even worse today if the South had won the war.

    If there were no UNITED States, there would have been no nation strong enough to stand in the gap against the evil governments and rulers like Hitler, Hiro Hito, and Saddam Hussein. There would be no nation rich enough to feed the hungry of the world or to do any of the fantastic things it has done over the past one hundred and fourty years.

    We live in a democratic United States today because of the decision of one man - a man who changed the future not only of his country, but of the entire earth, a man who fulfilled God's purpose on his life.

    We don't know who the next Joshua Chamberlain is. It could be someone well known, or it could be an unknown - like the lady who led Billy Graham to the Lord. We don't understand how our decisions to do the right thing at the right time can affect the lives of generations yet unborn; or the wrong decisions we make that destroy future generations - like Madeline O'Hare.

    If history teaches us anything, let us learn from it that every one of us has great potential and that we're each connected by a thin, invisible thread to possibly hundreds of thousands of other lives that only we can reach.
     
  10. Brother James

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    I think I'm going to be sick reading this Yankee propaganda larry. Imagine being glad that your people got raped and pillaged by a bunch of Christ rejecting infidels!
     
  11. LadyEagle

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    Move on to what? Perhaps if you have ancestors who bled and died on these battlefields, you might feel differently and not want to "move on."

    I was just at the Stones River National Monument today, in fact. Each time I go there, I know I am on sacred ground.

    Casualties from the Battle of Stones River: 24,645 (12,906 Union and 11,739 Confederate)

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/stones.htm


    Amen. [​IMG]
     
  12. Major B

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    I am sure that is exactly what the slaves went through.
     
  13. Major B

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    And, the results would be the same, only worse. The Confederacy only had one chance, that the North got tired and quit (almost happened). Even then, as Shelby Foote says, the North fought the whole war with one armed tied behind its back. Had the North ever put full effort into the fight, it could have been worse.

    My great-grandfather, understanding that the people most oppressed by the system of chattel slavery were the white working class people, left home at 43 and joined the 1st Volunteer KY Cavalry (union) White working-class people were forced to compete with slaves, and were relegated by slave owners to doing dangerous jobs that "capital investments" like slaves could not be risked doing.

    Blacks and poor and working class whites were kept down to enable the 1700 or so large landowning families perpetuate their skewed social system.

    As far as the faith of Southerners, there were certainly Christians like Lee and Jackson, but any church historian can tell you that prior to the revival in the Southern Armies (after they started losing the war), the Bible Belt was in the North.

    Butler, Sherman, and others were certainly war criminals. However, when a small minority of states, nearly bereft of industry and operating as a Confederacy (a form of government usually ill-suited to survival) attempt to defend themselves against a much better equipped, organized, and trained force, they are going to get what they ask for.
     
  14. shanniereb

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    I've been interested in the American Civil War for a long time. I really enjoy talking about it, especially with fellow Christians. Many treat our history as a taboo subject. I am Southern, I of course have a Southern perspective on the war. I have read many books: "Christ in the Camp", "The Great Revival in the Southern Armies", and "Chaplains in Gray". The religious aspect has always interested me. I found out this is how the Southern states became known as the "Bible Belt". The men who were saved during these great revivals came home to a ruined land, they started churches in hope of reviving their faith and their land. There's been a lot of debate on Lincoln, and many people will argue with you on these things without ever lifting a finger to read a book or anything on the subject. I won't go there right now. I was taught to respect the men of both sides. I have been a Civil War reenactor, and I think they all thought they were doing their duty as they seen fit. Shannon
     
  15. The Galatian

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    It's over. Lee and Grant saw the need for reconcilliation and forgiveness, and the terms they worked out were a model for the nation's recovery.

    Bitter and vindictive people on both sides prevented it, of course.

    It's a pity that some people even today cannot be as great-spirited as these two soldiers.
     
  16. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    I agree, Galatian. We are one nation now and should stand as one.

    §ue (loves the North and the South both)
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    We are a divided nation. We are divided by morals, ethnicity, party lines, and more. We are not one nation any longer.
     
  18. fromtheright

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    I too have a touch of Confederate, or at least Southern nostalgia, and I don't often post in these threads about the Civil War but I agree with robycop that

    I believe it was George Mason in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 who said that God punishes national sins by national calamities and that God would punish this nation for slavery.
     
  19. shanniereb

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    A house divided cannot stand, and Lady Eagle is right, we are now divided more by morals, party lines, etc...If God judged us for slavery then He will also have to judge us for abortion and other things. Different century, different sins. Shannon
     
  20. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Divided or not, we are still one nation UNDER GOD. We have the same President.

    There is division in every nation, but ours is still the greatest one on earth...
     

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