"Live not by lies." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Over a year ago I took out the following full-page ad in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
“VMI’s removal of any of her monuments for the sake of an ignoble appeasement is embracing a politically correct lie in violation of her Honor Code and a repudiation of her Cadets who died on the Field of Honor.”
Since then, VMI has been falling all over herself to repudiate her noble Confederate heritage for the sake of “taking a knee” to the politically correct lie known as “The Myth of American History,” which claims that the righteous North went to war against the evil South to free the slaves.
Lincoln himself, in his First Inaugural, specifically stated that he was not going to war over slavery, but to collect the revenue. Are we to call “Honest Abe” a liar? Cotton was “King” and with the “Cotton Kingdom” out of the Union, the North’s “Mercantile Kingdom” would collapse, so Lincoln rebuffed all peace overtures from the South, provoked the firing on Ft. Sumter, launched his war, and drove the South back into the Union at the point of the bayonet. Follow the dollar and know the truth. The noted historian Barbara Tuchman most succinctly and accurately called it “The North’s War against the South’s Secession.”
If the North were going to war to free slaves, why didn’t she free her own? There were slave States in the Union throughout the war. Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation as a desperate war measure halfway through it when the South was winning her independence. It had nothing to do with trying to end slavery in the United States. Why else did Lincoln's proclamation state that slavery was just fine as long as one were loyal to his government? Why did he admit West Virginia – a slave-State – into the Union afterwards? And why was slavery constitutional in the US throughout the war? The slavery issue was just the smelly “red herring” dragged across the tracks of a murderous and unconstitutional usurpation of power.
“Stonewall” Jackson once owned some slaves. So what? George Washington owned far more slaves than Jackson ever did. What is to be done with his statue, and his arch? Abraham Lincoln, according to Kevin Orlin Johnson’s research in his book The Lincolns in the White House: Slanders, Scandals, and Lincoln’s Slave Trading Revealed, once owned and sold slaves from his father-in-law’s estate, and General Grant owned slaves through his wife’s estate in Missouri all through the war. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, everyone – Blacks included - was complicit in slavery in some way, just as we all are complicit in capitalism today. The US Census of 1830, for example, lists many free Black owners of slaves - from New Orleans to New England. Don’t try to make the South the scapegoat for a world-wide institution as old as recorded history (see Leviticus 25, for example, or the Greek and Roman Classics). That, too, is a lie. The South did not “enslave” anyone. Black Africans captured Black Africans and sold them into slavery to White people in the first place, and Yankee slave-traders brought them over here. According to the January 1862 New York Continental Monthly, New York, Boston, and Portland were the largest African Slave-trading ports in the world at the time of Lincoln’s election. The wealth and prosperity of New England was founded on the African slave trade, and the wealth and prosperity of the North was based upon the manufacture and export of Southern staples. It would be interesting to know if John Brown wore a shirt manufactured from slave-picked cotton when he was hanged.
Virginia stood solidly for the Union she had done so much to create, until Lincoln called for her troops to invade the Confederacy. Virginia refused, indicted Lincoln for “choosing to inaugurate civil war,” and immediately seceded. Four other states, including occupied Missouri, followed her out. VMI and her Cadets fought and died to defend Virginia from invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance – just as their fathers had done in 1776 when the thirteen (slave holding) colonies seceded from the British Empire. For VMI to repudiate her noble heritage for the sake of an ignoble appeasement based upon a bald-faced lie is a shame and a disgrace.
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