History is the propaganda of the victorious. Voltaire
“The Myth of American History” claims that the righteous North went to war against the evil South to free the slaves, and that Confederate war memorials are monuments to Treason, Slavery, and Racism and must be torn down. This myth has become “the lie agreed upon” by all, to make the conveniently-dead Confederacy the scapegoat for our sins. But as Thomas Carlyle said, all lies are cursed and damned from the beginning. Only the truth will make us free.
Consider the truth: To accuse the Confederacy of treason, one must wipe one’s feet on the Declaration of Independence, signed by the thirteen slave-holding Colonies (1) that seceded from the British Empire in 1776. Lincoln’s war on the Southern States, which he did not recognize as being out of the Union (2), is treason according to Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution. Self-defense is not. No Confederate was ever tried for treason, much less convicted, but why not Lincoln?
As for slavery, the wealth of New York and New England was founded on the African slave-trade and the manufacture and shipping of slave-picked cotton (3). To claim the North went to war to free the slaves, one must ignore Lincoln’s disclaimer in his First Inaugural Address, ignore his Emancipation Proclamation two years later plainly stating that slavery was alright as long as one were loyal to his government (4), and ignore that West Virginia, a “slave State,” was admitted into the Union afterwards. Slavery was not abolished in the United States until Lincoln and the Confederacy were in their graves (5).
As for racism, please note that the first “Jim Crow” laws originated in Northern States long before the war (6). Alexis de Tocqueville, in his Democracy in America, testified to the virulent racism in the North. The North’s strong opposition to slavery in the Territories was due to its strong opposition to Blacks in the Territories. Lincoln, a documented and life-long White Supremacist, supported these “Jim Crow” laws (7) and worked until the day he died to deport freed Blacks to Central America or back to Africa (8). As for Black racism, remember that it was Black Africans who captured and sold Black Africans into slavery in the first place (9). Furthermore, early US census records listed many free Black owners of slaves - from New Orleans to New England (10).
What, then, is the truth about that war? Do not confound the many causes of secession with the single cause of the war, which was secession itself. Follow the dollar and know the Truth. Cotton was “King” in the mid-nineteenth century, and with the South’s “Cotton Kingdom” out of the Union and free-trading with Europe, the North’s “Mercantile Kingdom” with its piratical tariffs would collapse (11), so Lincoln – rebuffing all peace overtures by Confederate diplomats - launched an armada against Charleston Harbor to provoke the South into firing the first shot. South Carolina responded to Lincoln’s provocation just as Massachusetts had responded to King George’s provocation at Lexington and Concord, and Lincoln got the war he wanted (12). Virginia, “The Mother of States and of Statesmen,” stood solidly for the Union until Lincoln called for her troops to invade and subjugate the Confederacy, whereupon Virginia refused, indicted Lincoln for “choosing to inaugurate civil war”(13), and immediately seceded. Four other States (including occupied Missouri) followed her out. There stands the Truth - not with the North’s mythical “Battle-Cry of Freedom.” Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” claiming his war of invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance against the South was to save “government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” is pure Orwellian doublespeak. How else would one define political allegiance at the point of a bayonet? Slavery was just the smelly “red herring” dragged across the track of an unconstitutional and murderous usurpation of power, but that takes the wind out of the sails of the Racial Grievance Industry, and knocks a hole in “The Myth of American History.”
A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, the author graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1967 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a Regular Commission in the US Army. His service included qualification as an Airborne Ranger, and command of an Engineer company in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star. After his return, he resigned his Commission and ended by making a career as a tugboat captain. During this time he was able to earn a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, with an international focus on war and cultural revolution. He is a member of the Jamestowne Society, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Society of Independent Southern Historians. He currently lives in Richmond, where he writes, studies history, literature and cultural revolution, and occasionally commutes to Norfolk to serve as a tugboat pilot