Today’s political virtue-postings and “hue and cry” against the South’s Confederate monuments honoring her soldiers is based upon the specious charges of Treason, Slavery, and Racism. This, however, is “presentism,” which is history twisted to conform to present-day politics – in this case to today’s racist Progressive Identity Politics. Progressives have taken a page out of George Orwell’s 1984: “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
To accuse the Confederacy of treason, one must first wipe one’s feet on the Declaration of Independence, signed by the thirteen slave-holding Colonies that seceded from the British Empire in 1776. Lincoln’s invasion of the Southern States, which he did not recognize as being out of the Union, is treason according to Article 3, Section 3 of the U. S. Constitution. Self-defense against invasion, conquest, and coerced political allegiance is not. No Confederate was ever tried for treason after the war.
To claim that the Confederacy “took up arms to destroy the Union in defense of slavery” please see above. To claim that the United States waged war against the Confederacy to end slavery, one must ignore not only Lincoln’s emphatic disclaimer to the contrary in his First Inaugural Address, but also the fact that his Emancipation Proclamation, issued two years later, stated plainly that slavery was alright as long as one was loyal to his government - proven the following summer when West Virginia, a so-called “slave State,” was admitted into the Union.
As for racism, please note that the first “Jim Crow” laws originated in the North. After many Northern States abolished slavery for its inutility in their mercantile economy, the owners sold their slaves South and the States passed “Jim Crow” laws prohibiting any Blacks – either slave or free - from returning. The North’s strong objection to slavery in the Territories was based on Northerners’ strong objection to Blacks in the Territories. The sainted Lincoln - himself a White supremacist who supported his home State of Illinois’ “Jim Crow” laws - worked until the day he died to have the freed Blacks deported to Central America or back to Africa.
As for Black racism, remember that it was Black Africans who captured and sold Black Africans into slavery in the first place. Furthermore, United States Census records in the nineteenth century listed many free Black owners of slaves in both the North and the South – some owning hundreds.
So what was the War “about”? Don’t confuse the many causes of secession with the single cause of the war, which was secession itself! The peaceful withdrawal of any State from the voluntary Union of sovereign States would have in no way prevented those remaining from having “a more perfect Union.” So what was the real reason for Lincoln’s war to “save the Union”? Follow the Yankee dollar and know the Truth. With the South’s “Cotton Kingdom” out of the Union, the North’s “Mercantile Kingdom” would collapse. So Lincoln – rejecting peace overtures by Confederate diplomats - launched his armada against Charleston Harbor to provoke South Carolina into firing the first shot. South Carolina responded to Lincoln’s provocation just as Massachusetts – the self-anointed “Patriot State” - had responded to King George’s provocation at Lexington and Concord in 1775.
Virginia, “The Mother of States and of Statesmen,” stood solidly for the voluntary Union of 1788 she had given so much to create and perpetuate. But when Lincoln called for her troops to invade and subjugate the Confederacy, Virginia refused, indicted Lincoln for “choosing to inaugurate civil war,” and immediately seceded. Four other States (including occupied Missouri) followed her out. There stands the Truth, not with the North’s “Court Historians” and their mythical “Battle-Cry of Freedom.”
Union at the point of a bayonet is slavery to a despotic government. Confederate monuments speak Truth to this Power. No wonder the Marxist heathen rage and have been incited to rioting, vandalizing, and tearing them down under the approving eyes of “The Party of Big Government” and its handmaidens in the media. And no wonder public schools, colleges and universities – government funded indoctrination centers for “The Myth of American History” – have cast the Truth down the Orwellian “memory hole.
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