August 10th, 2013

Sherman on kinder, gentler war

Did William Tecumsah Sherman foresee the future?:

Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.

But his words seem archaic and bloodthirsty to most non-Jacksonian modern liberal ears:

War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.

I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy.

Those are the themes Sherman harped on over and over: that you can’t make war easy because that will make things worse rather than better, because war cannot be made better, only worse. But far from being bloodthirsty, you can almost hear the profound regret in his voice that this be so.

He doesn’t like it, he hates it. He is only stating it.

War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it [war]. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.

This war differs from other wars, in this particular. We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.

Sherman was most famous for saying “War is hell.” Here’s the toll war took on him—how old is he in this photo?

Sherman

Hint: that black armband he’s wearing was an emblem of mourning for Lincoln, and Sherman was born in 1820. Therefore he’s 45 years old in the picture. He’s dealt out and seen way too much suffering, and it’s aged him.

[NOTE: Sherman's friends and family always called him "Cump." He was one of eleven children of a prominent attorney, but his father died when he was young and William was taken in by the family of another prominent attorney. Sherman later married one of that man's daughters.]

113 Responses to “Sherman on kinder, gentler war”

  1. Eric Says:

    Our most humane liberal military expedition was the Iraq mission, peaking with the ‘Surge’. It was kinder, gentler war (and post-war) pitted against as vicious and inhumane an enemy as we’ve ever fought.

    And it worked. We won.

    Or at least we were winning when Obama bungled it and our peace-building mission was ended prematurely.

    Now terrorist bombs are mass murdering Iraqis again.

  2. assemblerhead Says:

    The only way “peace” will be achieved in the Middle East = the “Roman Peace”.

    Just like the ( Roman Empire / Roman Army ), go in, kill everything and everyone. ( Destroy / Raze ) everything.

    Gets real peaceful after that.

    Sherman’s “March to the Sea” may have used that idea.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The difference between the Civil War’s Sherman, WWI’s “Black Jack” Pershing, WWII’s Patton and today is the adoption by the American military of “Just War Theory”.

    All of our self-defeating Rules of Engagement (yes under Bush as well), nation building, police actions, etc. is directly attributable to the premise that war should be proportionate.

    “despite their claims that they will do whatever is necessary to defend America, our leaders believe that it would be wrong—morally wrong—to do so. They believe this because they consistently accept a certain moral theory of war—one that has come to be universally taught in our universities and war colleges. This theory is accepted, at least implicitly, not only by intellectuals, but by our politicians, the leadership of our military, and the media. And while the American people are not explicitly familiar with this theory, they regard the precepts on which it is based and the policies to which it leads as morally uncontroversial. The theory is called Just War Theory. To understand today’s disastrous policies, and to reverse them, it is essential to understand what this theory holds.”

    “Just War Theory”

    “Consider the following passage from the book ‘Just and Unjust Wars’ by Michael Walzer:”

    A soldier must take careful aim at his military target and away from non-military targets. He can only shoot if he has a reasonably clear shot; he can only attack if a direct attack is possible . . . he cannot kill civilians simply because he finds them between himself and his enemies.

    Simply not to intend the deaths of civilians is too easy. . . . What we look for . . .is some sign of a positive commitment to save civilian lives . . . if saving civilian lives means risking soldiers’ lives the risk must be accepted.” my emphasis

    “Walzer’s prescriptions are not the idle musings of an ivory tower philosopher; they are exactly the sort of “rules of engagement” under which U.S. soldiers are fighting—and dying—overseas. When our marines in Baghdad do not shoot back when fired upon from a mosque, or when our helicopter pilots are shot down while flying too low in an attempt to avoid civilian casualties while in pursuit of their targets, they are following the dictum that we should show a “positive commitment to save civilian lives” even if this entails “risking soldiers’ lives.

    ‘Just and Unjust Wars’ serves as the major textbook in the ethics classes taught at West Point and dozens of others colleges and military schools. More broadly, Just War Theory—for which ‘Just and Unjust Wars’ is the most popular modern text—is the sole moral theory of war taught today.”

    “Just War Theory” was first advanced by St Augustine and is based upon the philosophical question; how would Jesus have us conduct war when it is unavoidable? Notice the premise, war must be avoided if at all possible, which of course encourages attempts at appeasement. “Just War Theory” explicitly rejects Sherman’s view that “War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it.”

  4. rickl Says:

    While I know that many of our Southern brethren and cistern* are not particularly fond of Sherman, I think he had it exactly right as to how wars should be conducted, as did Curtis LeMay with regards to the bombing of Japanese cities. The object is to inflict maximum pain and damage on the enemy, so as to get it over with as quickly as possible and leave no doubt in his mind that he has been utterly defeated.

    *obscure B. Kliban reference

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Eric:

    Actually, the Iraq War didn’t “work” in the very way Sherman predicted such wars would not “work.”

    Pay particular attention to these two quotes of Sherman’s:

    “I would make this war as severe as possible, and show no symptoms of tiring till the South begs for mercy.”

    “We are not fighting armies but a hostile people, and must make old and young, rich and poor, feel the hard hand of war.”

    Now, I don’t know whether that would have changed anything for the better in the case of Iraq. I do know it’s what happened in WWII vis a vis both Germany and Japan. I also know it’s not acceptable anymore to the vast majority of people. So we have these fulminating wars that never seem to end.

  6. Ymarsakar Says:

    Curtis LeMay was focused on tactics for its own sake. He had no conception of strategy, logistics, or the end game. Thus his “art” consisted of nothing but incinerating people.

    What’s the point of incinerating the Japanese when it wasn’t the factory workers and the militia that decided not to surrender?

  7. rickl Says:

    Eric:
    The problem with Bush’s approach to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is that they would have required decades of consistent policy in order to come to fruition.

    That is simply impossible in a democracy. When the government changes hands every few years, the incoming party has a natural tendency to repudiate the policies of its predecessor and institute its own policies.

    That means that if a war lasts more than a few years, there will be an inevitable drift in the war aims and desired outcomes. Eventually there would be public pressure to reach a negotiated settlement.

    The above would be true even if we didn’t have an anti-American traitor like Obama in charge.

    I’ve used the same argument to explain why our space program has been unfocused and adrift for the last 40 years.

  8. Ymarsakar Says:

    Military necessity is determined by only one thing.

    Have you won without any casualties? Have you won with the limited amount of casualties?

    If Lemay’s actions were militarily justified, it would have been backed up by Japan’s surrender. But it wasn’t. Thus the lives he used up, the lives he sacrificed for his mission, were in vain. No human can contest this because war is not something single humans can end or begin by themselves.

    If the result is that you win the war, it cannot be argued by lawyers, twisted logick, or con men. On the other hand, if you fail to achieve the enemy’s submission and your own victory, then no matter the glory of your tactics, no matter the number of your victories (Vietnam), no matter how loyal or courageous your soldiers are, it will all have been a fool’s journey.

    That is the nature of war. In modern days, people argue mostly because we got way too many enemies inside America we never vanquished, crushed, or incinerated. That’s all. Nothing too complicated to it.

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    Whether people use mercy and justice in war, or whether they use cruelty and undiscriminate attacks upon the civilian infrastructure and public morale, doesn’t matter.

    It literally doesn’t matter.

    The only thing that matters is result.

    Can you, you as in the brain behind that Computer Screen there, achieve the result of forcing the Islamic hordes to surrender to you? Can you do it?

    Can you force the Left to give up?
    Can you make the Left surrender?

    Can you get rid of the LEft?

    Whatever your means or methods, it doesn’t matter in the least. So long as you accomplish the goal. So long as you can show that your methods reach that goal. It is enough.

  10. rickl Says:

    Ymarsakar Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    If Lemay’s actions were militarily justified, it would have been backed up by Japan’s surrender. But it wasn’t.

    As it happened, Japan surrendered because of the atomic bombs.

    But if they didn’t exist, then the choice would have been either to continue the systematic bombing of their cities, or an invasion of the home islands.

    The first option would have resulted in fewer American casualties.

    The atomic bombs saved literally millions of lives; mostly Japanese lives.

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    The atomic bombs had nothing to do with Lemay. HIs strategy and tactics, if you can call it that, wasn’t even close.

    Most people don’t actually understand why the Japanese surrendered or what caused it to begin with. They just argue over Leftist talking points as if the history of the war began and ended with Leftist claims about atom bombs. Futile, to begin with.

  12. rickl Says:

    I didn’t say the atomic bombs had anything to do with LeMay. He may not have even known about them, for all I know.

    I said that if they didn’t exist, then his ideas about tactics would have been the default going forward.

    OK, so why did the Japanese surrender? I’ve always thought it had a lot to do with the atomic bombs.

  13. Randy Says:

    While I believe Sherman is correct on the approach to war, I have mixed emotions on the specifics. If only the war was more clearly about eliminating slavery, and not preserving the union. I believe the south was fully within its right to secede, but the issue that brought in on was so tragically wrong. The right to secession is implied in the very existence of our nation. Too bad the circumstances were so indefensible. Yeah, I guess I’m hijacking the thread, sorry, like I said I have very mixed emotions on this…

  14. Oldflyer Says:

    Self serving comments by Sherman. I wonder how history would treat Robert E. Lee if he had pursued a Sherman style scorched earth policy in Pennsylvania? I believe that he could have; except that his moral stature would never have permitted it.

    Sherman’s idea was that if you cannot defeat their armies, destroy their homeland. Sherman did not care if there was any viable South once the war was over. How would that have helped in Iraq or Afghanistan?

    As to the picture of Sherman; who is to say that the war was the cause of his grotesque visage? Maybe he was just a grotesque person in a General’s uniform. Fascinating, the hatred of like people simply because they chose to separate themselves from a Union that was veering from the one they had accepted voluntarily only a couple of generations earlier.

    LeMay was Shermanesque certainly. The tactics he advocated resulted in the slaughter of an untold number of Germans, and ten of thousands of U.S. Airmen. They seemed necessary at the time, but the Strategic Bombing Survey conducted after the war presented a very mixed picture of results. (It is true the British were much worse; they never pretended to be bombing militarily strategic targets. Death, destruction and revenge were the freely admitted goals.)

    Lest there be any doubt, I will admit that I am a Southern-American. (Well, we don’t actually use the hyphenated construct; we are simply Americans, despite the ravages inflicted on our ancestors, and our potential inheritances, by the War of Northern Aggression.)

  15. sdferr Says:

    Dr. Hanson seems to say that Gen. Sherman wasn’t so much a killer of men as he was a destroyer of stuff (cities), things and morale. I take his word for it though.

  16. rickl Says:

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to derail this thread into a discussion about World War II.

    At the time of 9/11, I was a member of the Libertarian Party. I was the secretary of my local county chapter.

    But they lost me with their pacifist stance. I was firmly in the “nuke Mecca” camp. I believed that the way to deal with Muslim jihadis was to make them fear us. I didn’t care whether they liked us; I just wanted to make them wet their pants every time they saw an American flag.

    I cautiously supported Bush’s war in Afghanistan and Iraq. (I always regarded them as two theaters in the same war, not two separate wars as they are commonly described.) I thought, OK, maybe I’m a hothead, and the goal of bringing Western “democracy” to the Middle East was worth a try, as opposed to simply incinerating them.

    (On the other hand, though, “democracy” is not a stable form of government, as the Founders were well aware and we are rediscovering today. When so-called “Republican” presidents advocate “democracy”, we are truly doomed.)

    Well, as well-intentioned as that policy was, it would take decades of consistent policy in order to bring it to fruition. That is simply not possible, as I indicated in my previous comment.

    So now I’m back in the “nuke Mecca” camp.

    I want to see a Constitutional amendment declaring that Islam is a totalitarian political philosophy and not a religion. Therefore it has no protection under the First Amendment and can be outlawed in the United States. Then we close down all mosques and deport all Muslims, at bayonet point if necessary.

    Of course, we’ll need to outlaw Leftism first.

  17. Conrad Says:

    Sherman had a little son who died during the war. So did Lincoln. So did Jeff Davis. So did Stonewall Jackson (actually a daughter in his case, I believe). All these men had to confront that particular personal tragedy while also dealing with carnage of the war itself.

  18. Ymarsakar Says:

    One of the lasting results of a total war is certain resentments that hold over the generations.

    Whenever you kill people, expect them and their ancestors to curse you and yours for quite awhile. That is the responsibility of using the power to “kill” and destroy. It’s also why the Chinese philosophers of old advocated not using this ‘yang” power beyond a certain point.

    http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/sherman/sherman-to-burn-atlanta.html

    Thus Sherman’s burning of Atlanta is to the South much like the Alamo was to Texans back in the day.

    It’s very hard for any society, tribe, civilization to be able to see, feel, and understand both sides of any conflict. The concept is just very foreign to human survival.

    It’s also particularly easy to manipulate a society’s resentment against a foreign enemy to the benefit of an elite few born to rule. Whether the South resented Lincoln, the North (Republican Northerners, the Democrats in the North loved secession), and anybody arguing for slave freedom or slave equality, didn’t really matter all that much. Old wounds can be repaired. But not when political forces shape the future using such resentment. Not when they control entire generations of people using their hate for a people they have never understood.

    The War of Northern Aggression? If that was really the case, how come the Northern Democrats were mostly sympathetic to secession and their Southern Democrat’s policies. It wasn’t so much a War of the North vs the South. As a war of Republicans vs Democrat politicians.

  19. rickl Says:

    Ymarsakar Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    It wasn’t so much a War of the North vs the South. As a war of Republicans vs Democrat politicians.

    That means that the upcoming civil war will be the American people against the government, since Democrat and Republican politicians are now largely on the same side.

  20. blert Says:

    LeMay created SAC. Made peace its profession, deterrence its primary mission.

    LeMay godfathered the B-52, as well.

    =========

    Sherman did not run a liquidation campaign in Georgia.

    Instead, he ran an anti-economic campaign that shut down the Confederacy.

    At the absolute heart of his gambit was the total disruption of gun powder shipments around and up to Virginia.

    Lost in most historical accounts, Lee surrendered only after he’d run out of ammo, literally no bullets/ powder beyond the pitiful handfuls held by the ranks. By that time, his force was strategically surrounded, nothing could come in. Still, some of his men still wanted to fight on. (!) He had to talk them down.

    Sherman’s very harsh attitude was compounded by his experiences. He’d founded LSU. It (actually its predecessor) was his last posting before flying north upon the rebellion.

    Sherman is also justly famous as the US Army’s man on the scene at the American River: Sutter’s mill and Marshall’s gold strike. He was part of the official, confirming, delegation that reported to President Polk. His report went out under the name of his boss. He was only 27/28 at the time.

    It was HIS report that informed the Presidential address — starting the ’49ers on their way.

    Stepping back, this was the event that hyper-accelerated the Civil War. It brought both California and Oregon into the Union. Neither was economically favorable for slavery.

    But then, neither was Texas. The Rebellion killed Sam Houston. Cattle ranching does not ‘work’ with slaves.

    (Slaves would be riding with mount and tack. Do the math.)

  21. George Pal Says:

    After McLellan had lost a quarter of his army while never engaging a third of it, in the single bloodiest day in American military history (Antietam Sept. 17, 1862) – all to keep casualties to a minimum, Lincoln had had enough.

    Much of the Federal staff, with political ambitions, careerists, and perhaps those who hadn’t much appetite for a questionable civil war were replaced by a new bunch, none of them brilliant, but all knew how to fight without cringing: Sheridan, Sherman, Grant. Sherman wasn’t the only one who’d set great store by grim war. Sheridan, on assignment from the president, went to Prussia and there had made his thoughts on war known and may have inspired future Huns (and us).

    Attributed as having been said by Phillip Sheridan to Bismarck:

    “You know how to hit the enemy as no other army does but you have not learnt how to annihilate him. One must see more smoke of burning villages, otherwise you will not finish off the French.”

    Forty-five years After the Franco-Prussian War:
    (from Ford Maddox Ford’s “No More Parades”)

    A Character, Christopher Tietjens, a British soldier, WW I raging on, remembers a year old incident, but still on his mind. A German shell had landed on a Belgian town killing two beautiful young women, the toast and desire of all the soldiers and officers in the area. Tietjens:

    “What sort of fare was that?… To be desired by six thousand men and smashed into little gobbets of flesh by Hun shells?… according to the rules of service.”

    Further on: Tietjens:

    “General Campion, accepting with equanimity what German planes did to the hospitals, camps, stables, brothels, theatres, boulevards, chocolate stalls, and hotels of the town, would have been vastly outraged if Hun planes had dropped bombs on his private lodgings… the rules of war!… You spare, mutually, each others headquarters, and blow to pieces girls that are desired by six thousand men apiece…”

    Tietjens, in this, even among the British and French, is in the minority (at least vocally and fervently),

    Twenty-five years later:
    London, Coventry, Hamburg, Mannheim, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki – old men, children, and women (beautiful and plain).

    The pendulum swung to far. And we have, in so many ways learned nothing of war and realize less about ourselves as humans.

  22. Ymarsakar Says:

    I said that if they didn’t exist, then his ideas about tactics would have been the default going forward.

    OK, so why did the Japanese surrender? I’ve always thought it had a lot to do with the atomic bombs.

    Okay your initial comment wasn’t that clear, but I understand what you mean to communicate now.

    Yes, his adoption of incineration bombing tactics to cover up for the fact that various problems prevented any effective use of high aerial bombing and low aerial bombing was almost suicide in the casualty rates for bomber crews, would indeed have been continued.

    Curtis LeMay mentioned once that if such methods decreased the war’s length by a day, it would be justified. However, it didn’t decrease the war by even a single day, in my analysis. That doesn’t mean LeMay was incompetent. Just that his desire for peace wasn’t backed up by any strategic objectives or planning of his, because he had none. It was all based on destroying the war production of the Japanese through aerial bombardment. That was his job, so to speak. His job was thus not to seek an end to the war. That was a slightly higher level post. LeMay’s tactics worked in Japan. It worked in Vietnam. But those tactics didn’t support the strategic goals of the US in Japan.

    LeMay’s aerial mining of harbors was much more effective. Since he didn’t have a strategy in mind and wasn’t too worried about it, his tactics were all over the place. Doing whatever he thought might contribute, isn’t a particularly efficient method. It is one way to fight a war though.

    US strategic goals in Japan can be summed up as

    1. End the war in US favor with as little American casualties.

    2. End the war before Russia comes in here and makes another East Berlin wall with nukes pointed at us.

    3. End the war with the fewest Japanese casualties.

    By mining the harbors, LeMay aided the submarine blockade of Japan and a little firebombing of the fields would mean the Japanese can be starved to death. 100% extermination as a tactic would support Strategic goal 1 and 2, but not 3.

    LeMay most probably thought that like Germany, destroying the war production methods of the japanese would make invasion easier, which would end the Japanese regime and either force surrender (because they can no longer fight) or destroy the head and make surrender meaningless (forever guerilla warfare, violates strategic goal 2 and 3 and maybe even 1). LeMay, thus wasn’t particularly thinking about the post war reconstruction and occupation. That was up to his higher strategic bosses to consider, like Truman.

    But what that means is LeMay’s own tactics aren’t justified by military necessity. Because it didn’t support American strategy, and it also didn’t contribute to Japan’s surrender.

    Japan wasn’t going to surrender even if their war production means were rendered to zero. Truman’s administration and war council, after a few months, realized this from their casualty reports. They then sought out different ways. So long as Truman believed that firebombing would make the Emperor and his military staff surrender, he gave it a go. But as it looked more and more like it was irrelevant, they changed tactics.

    Tokyo was firebombed. Fire, being indiscriminate, could have killed the Emperor or generated another reason for him to declare Eternal War.

    The Truman special projects branch, at the time of the Atomic bomb production completion, had to select a target. They refused to target Tokyo and Yokohama, because their new idea was that Japan would never surrender, until the Emperor surrendered. And the Emperor cannot be convinced to surrender, if he believes his military officers who tell him lies all the time about Glorious Imperial Victory that will never submit to American invasion. The Emperor also cannot be convinced to surrender if a firebomb blows his body up in flames, conveniently speaking. A nuke blowing up Tokyo accomplishes the same end result.

    Long story short, the second nuke made out of mass producible plutonium that a scientist informed Hirohito could be made in easy production mode, finally convinced Emperor Hirohito that his military aides were BSing him. On the night before his radio address ordering the nation and his military to surrender, some military officers were planning on kidnapping him and putting him in safe keeping until the war was over (every Japanese was dead from bombs and invasion forces). One American bomber made Tokyo go lights out at night, preventing the ambush squad from locating Hirohito’s motorcade.

    Then morning came and the famous radio address was made. If Hirohito had been killed or if something else had been killed in a slightly erroneous “bombing” that made him insane, he could easily have ordered the entire population of Japan to fight to the death. And 99% of them would have. Which would have destroyed America strategic goals 1, 2, and 3 in short succession.

    Thus the general idea that American patriots use to fight Leftist lies about the atomic bombs is correct. But only generally. It wasn’t that the bombs plus firebombing convinced Emperor Hirohito that the war was unwinnable. It was an entire succession of tactics and strategy that brought about a miracle. At any point in that time, something could have gone real wrong and America would end up invading Japan, Russia would end up there sooner or later, and there’d be West Japan vs East Japan even now. Like NOrth korea vs South Korea. East Berlin vs West Berlin. Even now. If Curtis Lemay’s firebombing of Tokyo had killed Hirohito or made him insane… well, who knows how many Americans would have died. Atom bomb or not, it wouldn’t have made Japan surrender without one person being alive with the right motivation and freedom of movement.

    Curtis Lemay’s tactic of destroying enemy war production wasn’t wrong. But not all tactics support every strategy. By his own words, his tactics didn’t help end the war, at least by any military proof. So by military necessity, his tactics were unnecessary. War is cruel like that. No matter how hard you try, no matter how good your intentions… if your strategy fails or doesn’t exist, your war is lost. Vietnam. A miracle occurred in Japan and saved their people from themselves, from the US, and from Russia. Shrugs. But miracles aren’t going to happen for everyone.

    The very nature of war requires that the people that “start it” be willing to shoulder the burdens of command, the taking of lives, and the sacrifices necessary. LeMay can be counted as responsible enough to try, even if he had no idea what his tactics were doing on the strategic level. We all have to “try” every method of winning, no matter how cruel or merciful the methods are, in the hopes that “something” works. But at the same time, what we do may also doom our own nation to perpetual slavery or total annihilation.

    Yet the people who “start wars” or “finish them” cannot give up. They cannot give up against Democrats. They cannot give up against the Leftist alliance. Giving up is the same as giving them victory on a silver platter.

    Sherman is much akin to LeMay, although Sherman had least had a strategy he could justify.

  23. rickl Says:

    There’s another thing I want to mention. Ron Paul is widely hated by conservatives, but he said something shortly after 9/11 that bears attention.

    He suggested that the way to fight Muslim terrorism is by using the Constitutional provision of “letters of marque and reprisal”. I think he was really onto something there.

    Muslim terrorist cells are decentralized by nature. Despite all of the talk about “al-Queda”, they really don’t have a hierarchical structure. Muslims know that it is their holy duty to attack and subjugate the infidel any way they can. They don’t need orders from a central authority.

    “Letters of marque and reprisal” would be Congress giving the green light to American citizens to wage private war against Muslim terrorists any way they see fit. Small groups of Americans could then do whatever they deem necessary without orders from a central authority. It would be fighting fire with fire.

    There would be no need for a vast liberty-destroying national security apparatus, such as the TSA or the NSA.

    Needless to say, the statists of both parties want absolutely nothing to do with this.

  24. sdferr Says:

    Memoirs of Gen. W. T. Sherman, complete

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    As for the next civil war, suffice it to say that it will be American patriots vs “everyone else”.

    By everyone else I mean the entire world. Both those inside American borders and without

  26. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Sherman’s motivations, as well as the purpose of his actions are greatly misunderstood, most especially in the South. Sherman was NOT a butcher. Sherman did NOT enjoy war. Sherman was a strategic tactician who understood that to decisively defeat an enemy both his will to resist and his logistical ability to resist must be destroyed.

    Sherman understood that, “We are not fighting armies but a hostile people” i.e. a society fighting to preserve a way of life built upon slavery. Only in destroying the societal infrastructure upon which that slavery dependent society rested, could both Southerner’s will to resist and their logistical ability to resist be eviscerated.

    Sherman left Southerners with nothing left to fight for… and did so in the most humane manner possible, quickly and decisively. That today, he is not honored in the South is due to a lingering belief that the South had the right to unilaterally and extra-legally secede and that Sherman was Lincoln’s agent in denying them that right.

  27. rickl Says:

    Ymarsakar Says:
    August 10th, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    As for the next civil war, suffice it to say that it will be American patriots vs “everyone else”.

    By everyone else I mean the entire world. Both those inside American borders and without

    Yep, you’re right. I can see it.

  28. Ymarsakar Says:

    I’m not sure why American public education does not teach the root causes of the first US civil war. You’d think the Leftists and Democrats would love “root causes” talking about American defeatism and suffering.

    But they don’t. They avoid this particular subject. Why?

    Is it perhaps because it has something to do with how the Democrat party was able to control the entirety of the “South” after US Civil War 1?

    Initially the Constitution compromised with Southern states concerning slaves, since they had to have them to make cotton and other products that are easier to use slaves for. Thus slaves were considered property. But also gave a representative population boost to the voting power of Southern politicians, the Democrat kind and the land owning type.

    Property gives you more votes? Amazing. That’s just like Chicago, where the more grave stones you have, the more Democrats there seem to be.

    The Southern Democrats knew that it didn’t matter whether Lincoln wanted their slaves or not. The continuing acceptance of new frontier states was going to break the stranglehood of Democrats on various laws concerning that little “property” dispute. So they decided they were going to have a quick victorious war and put the North in their place, as those property stealing fools.

    People have to remember at the time that Southern “gentlemen” were composed of reasonable sorts (General Lee) and the Trayveon Martin sort. I’m not kidding here.

    http://history1800s.about.com/od/abolitionmovement/a/sumnerbeaten.htm

    These Democrat slave owning fools actually thought the North were a bunch of Republican pu**ies or something. They completely detested such “weaklings”. They went around talking about “how dare those Northern fops disrespect us honorable gentlemen of the south. We own property and contribute to the white man’s civilization with our products and sense. They need a “canning”, a beating, to put them in their place”.

    How different is that concept from a Traveyon martin’s concept that you need a beating cause you looked at him wrong?

    The South, was thus, ruled by violence, caste, and honor. It was also ruled by Democrat greedy slave masters that had the power to order other Southerners like Lee to fight and kill in the name of the Glorious South.

    …There’s something wrong about that picture. And in the end, it turned up Very Wrong.

    Instead of attempting to transfer Southern wealth from an economy based on slaves and the use of slaves as part of their voting power, they refused to do so. For Democrat party politics. For personal wealth. For arrogance. For any number of “dumb” reasons, really.

    But the dumbest reason certainly had to be their belief that force could be used against those Northern sissies and they would back off and let the South go. With their property.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    As for why Southerners hate Lincoln, Sherman, and others, etc.

    Just look at what Democrat party propaganda did to their ancestors. They have been brought upon, from day 1 of their birth, on the resentment and hatred towards the North, the “Republicans”, and various other associated candidates.

    All for what? So Democrats can claim 90% of Southern votes. Cause otherwise, those “Republicans” will come in and steal your stuff… again. Better vote Democrat, cause the whitey will beat your moma’s face in, like they shot Trayveon. Right? It looks the same right?

    That is right, after all.

    You’re not dealing with pure resentment and hate. Pure resentment and hate is understandable. But no black man alive was ever whipped and made a sexual slave by sarah Palin or some other white kid, boy, or girl. The black girls weren’t raped by Duke Lacross students. Palestinian children were HEAD CAPPED AND SLAUGHTERED FOR FUN by Israeli men and women looking for kicks and giggles. So where does this come from?

    This comes from their parents. This comes from the tribe. This comes from their ancestors. That isn’t a bad thing. Southern militarily enrollment and Apache enrollment is very high, vs their pop percentage. That is due to their respect of their elders and their ancestors. Ancestor worship isn’t bad. In fact it is very productive and useful for a warrior society.

    But Southerners weren’t obeying their ancestors. Their ancestors were enslaved by Democrat party politics for entire generations and they never even realized it. It wasn’t until Reagan people could even admit to voting for a Repub.

    How much of the South’s racism, hate, and fury was a result of individual racism and how much a result of Democrat politics and propaganda?

    It’s a very dangerous question to ask of history.

  30. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Sherman did not care if there was any viable South once the war was over. How would that have helped in Iraq or Afghanistan?”

    I’ve just explained that it was NOT a case of Sherman “not caring” but rather that his actions were a necessity to win the war by a permanent settling of the issue of the South’s secession, a requisite for a permanent peace.

    As for how that would have helped in Afghanistan, it would have resulted in an unmistakable and unforgettable lesson for Islam, that only destruction lay upon the path of directly attacking America. If we had pursued a Sherman style strategy, we would not have attacked Iraq but instead, would have laid waste to Iran.

    Bush and the neocon rationale in attacking Iraq was twofold; to plant ‘the seed of democracy’ in the Middle Eastern nation considered most suitable, predicated upon the disproven premise that mankind’s desire for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness superseded cultural and religious imperatives.

    And secondly, to send a message to the rogue and ‘enabling’ nations*, providing logistical support for jihadist terrorism, that it would no longer be tolerated. Qhaddafi got the message. Iran remained undeterred because the democrats and MSM immediately began to sabotage Bush’s efforts with the American public, immediately after the democrats voted him the power to attack Iraq.

    *“Rogue states never turn out to be quite the pariahs they are deemed. They are only able to cause, or at least threaten to cause, mayhem because they enjoy the covert support – usually by means of technology transfers – of one or more major powers within the charmed circle of global ‘good guys’.” Margeret Thatcher

  31. Ymarsakar Says:

    Oops, that should have been Palestinians children were not capped in the head. Reference to Al Dura or whatever they called it. Fake propaganda operations to drive up hate and rage on an artificial level.

    It’s not as good as the real deal. But since modern propaganda is very convincing, the illusion is about as good.

  32. waltj Says:

    Sherman never hated Southerners, whether they had seceded or not. That is abundantly clear from contemporary accounts of the Civil War. He was more than willing, however, to create zones of destruction 15-20 miles wide during his marches through Georgia and South Carolina. Civilians caught in the path of his armies were told to leave while their property was either confiscated for his armies’ use, or destroyed. A hard-handed policy? Certainly, especially looking back on it from the 21st Century, but relatively mild by historical standards. Think of Carthage, Constantinople in 1453, or just about any place conquered by the Mongols for a comparison. There are no records of mass slaughters of civilians by either side during the Civil War, to include forces under Sherman’s command. Those Southerners who had their houses burned, their crops and livestock taken, and their remaining possessions destroyed survived to rebuild.

    Something else to remember about Curtis LeMay’s reasoning for firebombing Japanese cities: unlike Germany, which had distinct industrial, commercial, and residential zones, much of Japan’s war materiel came from cottage industries, which farmed out piecework to be done in private homes. Thus, it was far more difficult to identify targets for what was then considered “precision” bombing. Also, the newly-identified jet stream played havoc with the bombing accuracy of the B-29s from 30,000 feet. Add to that the lack of a credible night-fighter force and the wood-and-paper construction of many Japanese buildings, and it’s easy to see how LeMay could conclude that coming in at night from 5,000-9,000 ft. and saturating a city with firebombs would be more effective than trying to hit discrete military or industrial targets during the day from high altitude. As it turned out, he was right. Japanese production dropped dramatically after the fire raids started, and continued to decline throughout the remaining six months of the war. Another major factor was the wildly-successful American submarine campaign, which essentially severed Japan from its raw materials, most of which had to be shipped in from abroad.

  33. Mr. Frank Says:

    Sherman applied his total war approach to the Indian Wars. His policy was essentially one of extermination.

  34. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Actually, in the 1960′s American public education did teach the root causes of the first US civil war. I have no certainty as to when that changed but it did change.

    The Constitution compromised with the Southern states concerning slaves because in the early summer of 1787, following a highly contentious, days long debate during the Constitutional convention, John Randolph of Virginia rose and focused the debate with a singularly succinct comment, “Gentlemen, the issue is not whether we shall have slavery but whether we shall have union”…

    The issue was not whether Lincoln wanted slaves or not, he was quite willing to continue slavery if it preserved the union. Nor was there a ‘continuing acceptance’ of new frontier slave holding states. The Missouri Compromise in 1820 had determined that as western states were admitted to the union, for every ‘free’ state there would be a slave holding state. The reason the South was so upset was the rise of abolitionist sentiment in the nation and the fear that slavery would be first strangled in its spread and eventually outlawed.

    Ironically, for the South, secession was NOT about ‘states rights’ but rather solely about the continuance of slavery, necessary for its way of life. Had the continuance of slavery not been an issue, the South would never have desired to secede.

    States rights was an issue for the North, which denied that a state could unilaterally and extra-legally secede from the union.

  35. Ymarsakar Says:

    I heard a lot from my Southern compatriots about their ancestors experiences and why they didn’t like Republicans or the “North”.

    But my loyalty wasn’t to those Southern Democrats. My loyalty was to the America of today, it demanded that I see clearly who our enemies were, the foreign and domestic.

    I don’t particularly like society telling me what is right or wrong. Because Society Can Go to Hell. That can be taken metaphorically or literally.

    I realize how difficult it is to break through the historical propaganda, because they got those stories and views from their ancestors. And their ancestors weren’t evil or bad in the eyes of the South.

    But do people get it now? Do people understand how fully the black community is controlled by Democrats?

    If people can’t even convince Southerners, who have been told for generations that their ills were the fault of the North, what exactly can we hope for from blacks in America? From Moslems? From Feminists? From gays? From whatever?

    The best the South could do was “vote Republican” and split off the “North” from “Republican”. But that meant Sherman and Lincoln became easier to hate, detest, scorn.

    Is this the Fing Best Humanity can do? We got to find some scapegoat like Tray or Zimmeran to pommel to make ourselves feel better?

    If that’s the case, I can tell you this. America will fall into hell. For we will all DESERVE IT.

  36. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Sherman applied his total war approach to the Indian Wars. His policy was essentially one of extermination.”

    I have no idea of what Sherman’s racial views consisted. But Sherman, during the civil war, did not employ a ‘total war’ approach. As waltj just pointed out, “Civilians caught in the path of his armies were told to leave while their property was either confiscated for his armies’ use, or destroyed.”

    Historically, characterizing Sherman’s approach to the Indians as ‘total war’ and one of “extermination” (essentially genocidal) would only be justified if he didn’t accept surrender.

  37. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Society may not have a right to tell us what is right or wrong. But society has a perfect right to establish laws and to impose proportionate consequence for the breaking of its laws. As for, Society Can Go to Hell… no man is an island.

    John Stuart Mill, the great English philosopher had insight into this issue:

    “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

    “Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.”

  38. Toy Says:

    Sherman was called “Cump” as a nickname for his only given name, Tecumseh, the great Shawnee warrior, who was also from Ohio. The name “William” was tacked on later, when he began living with the Ewing family. It was considered more respectable to have a normal English name. Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio, less than 40 miles from Tecumseh’s home in Chillicothe.

  39. Toy Says:

    That should have said, he was named after Tecumseh, the great Shawnee warrior.

    If you are ever in southern Ohio in the summer, there is a wonderful outdoor drama, “Tecumseh” that is put on every year in Chillicothe. The play is by Allan Eckert, who also wrote many books about the American frontier. Horses, cannons, battles, history,betrayal, and a little romance–what more could one want in a show?

  40. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “Ron Paul is widely hated by conservatives” rickl

    I beg to differ, Ron Paul is NOT hated by conservatives. Many of his ideas and assertions are ridiculed by conservatives as intellectually bankrupt.

  41. Ymarsakar Says:

    Please take a look at this case exhibit. Specifically the years following the US Civil War.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Governors_of_Georgia

    That’s a small slice and hint of Democrat dominion over the hearts and thoughts of the South. Oh country tis of thee.

    Before the Civil War, it looked somewhat normal, with factional disputes over federalism vs state’s rights. Patriots arguing with each other basically. But after the US Civil War, things began to change, if they hadn’t already. A new party split was introduced shortly before the first US Civil War.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGYacVNLMiY

    Georgia on my mind

    The Left seeks to deconstruct history and society in order to dominate it and enslave the spirits of free men and women. But the methods of looking back in the past and seeing the difference between sins, victories, and victories is merely a tool.

    If people want somebody to hate for the suffering of their ancestors, they don’t need some dead white guy. You got plenty of em. Democrats

    Right here. Right now. You can see them. If anything, what I don’t understand is why people who love their home state of Georgia would Ever Forgive the Democrat party.

  42. Randy Says:

    The word “rebellion” used above is very,uh.. grating, and I think not at all supported by facts. I probably shouldn’t read this thread anymore.

  43. Ann Says:

    The Missouri Compromise in 1820 had determined that as western states were admitted to the union, for every ‘free’ state there would be a slave holding state.

    But then in the Compromise of 1850, the South got the concession that the New Mexico Territory could become slave states in the future. Some of that land was above the line agreed to in the Missouri Compromise. And the South also got a stronger Fugitive Slave Act.

    And wasn’t Sherman’s policy in the Indian Wars to exterminate the buffalo in order to force the Indians onto reservations?

  44. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Ann,

    The Compromise of 1850 promised much to the South but delivered little.

    “the new New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory could in principle decide in the future to become slave states (popular sovereignty), even though Utah and a northern fringe of New Mexico were north of the Missouri Compromise Line where slavery had previously been banned in territories.

    In practice, these lands were generally unsuited to plantation agriculture and their existing settlers were non-Southerners uninterested in slavery. The unsettled southern parts of New Mexico Territory, where Southern hopes for expansion had been centered, remained a part of New Mexico instead of becoming a separate territory.” my emphasis

    “wasn’t Sherman’s policy in the Indian Wars to exterminate the buffalo in order to force the Indians onto reservations?”

    Yes, and that was entirely consistent with the strategic tactics Sherman employed during the civil war.

  45. Ymarsakar Says:

    To put it another way, I owe my existence to my parents, grand parents, and ancestral line. I don’t owe my existence or my status or my resources to society.

    In that sense, human connections aren’t an excuse for some unrelated social morality to start determining things they know nothing about. It’s not government, based on force. Society generally uses other things, like propaganda, shame, honor, and various other social status tools to enforce its decrees. Which basically amount to majority rules or a popularity contest.

  46. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The ancient Greeks established that logic and reason are not cognizant of propaganda, shame or majority rule. much less popularity. Honor, to be viable, must rest upon logic and reason. That societies, including our own present day society, do not honor logic and reason does not invalidate the validity of logic and reason, not even in the least.

  47. Oldflyer Says:

    Since my post I have read some pure offal justifying Sherman’s actions. “He did not hate, etc.” “He just did what he had to do to…” Where have I heard that before?

    No, he just destroyed everything in his path so that not only was there nothing for the Confederate Army to use; there was nothing for all of the innocent women and children to live on either.

    My God people. Sherman–and Sheridan too, in the Shenandoah Valley campaign— were monsters. In the 20th century, they would have been executed as war criminals if they were not on the winning side.

    These are the types of Generals who are now castigated for their actions in the Indian Campaigns, but praised for their butchery in the South.

    They won, so their apologists got to write history. They were able to defeat an out manned, and underfunded Confederate Army, even though they had to stoop to unspeakable tactics to do so. Heroes all.

  48. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “No, he just destroyed everything in his path so that not only was there nothing for the Confederate Army to use; there was nothing for all of the innocent women and children to live on either.”

    NO, he destroyed the logistical assets that allowed the South to resist. That “there was nothing for all of the innocent women and children to live on either” was a necessary consequence of Sherman’s destruction of the logistical infrastructure of which the South’s ability to resist consisted.

    “In the 20th century, they would have been executed as war criminals if they were not on the winning side.”

    That is true. The 20th century’s adoption of ‘Just War Theory’, which you are supporting is exactly what has led to the present state of affairs…

  49. parker Says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jREUrbGGrgM

    “They should never have taken the very best… Like my father before me I will work the land and like my brother above me who took a rebel stand; he was just 18, proud and brave, but a Yankee laid him in his grave. I swear by the mud below my feet you can’t raise a Kane back up when he’s in defeat.”

    I have one quarter Shawnee blood and three quarter Irish-Scot hillbilly blood in my veins. I take a rebel stand. I do not acknowledge defeat because I can not foresee the end game. What I do know is that all they can do is kill me. I am at peace because I acknowledge we are all born dying.

    BTW, Joan Baez recording The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down is blaspheme.

  50. parker Says:

    GB,

    While I do not wish to defend the institution of slavery, I do know that the real issue was not the ugly truth of slavery, but the will of DC to force, with rivers of blood, the autocratic power of DC to control the states. Lincoln created the power of DC to run roughshod over the 9th & 10th. Power does reside in the barrel of a gun but that is a 2 way street.

  51. Beverly Says:

    You tell ‘em, Oldflyer! Give ‘em hell!

    That war was a POWER play by the North, not some “moral crusade.” Reconstruction killed my great-great grandparents in their 30s. We called it “Re-destruction.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_p0lbEuKzk

  52. Bobbsey Says:

    I am somewhat surprised that people of the south still bring up Sherman. The rich and powerful of the south wanted war and he gave it to them. The same goes for elitist imperial Japanese officers. There was a plan in place to blame everything on the atomic bomb, (The USSR loved this plan and pushed it). I still find it amazing that people believe this propaganda.

  53. rickl Says:

    The Civil War sure was complicated.

    That can be shown by the fact that here we are, still arguing about it 150 years later.

    The Civil War sure was complicated.

    That can be shown by the fact that here we are, still arguing about it 150 years later.

    I’ve been a Northerner all my life. Slavery was evil. Yet the Union victory over the South cemented the primacy of the Federal government over the States, a fact which still haunts us to this day and which is increasingly becoming intolerable. As things stand now I would side with any state or group of states that chooses to secede.

    I believe that the Southern states had the right to secede from the Union. Yet, then as now, a breakup of the Union would weaken us and leave us vulnerable to interference by foreign governments in American affairs. After all, that was why the various States joined together in the first place. Lincoln understood this and that is why he sought to keep the Union together at all costs. One the one hand, Lincoln was one of our greatest Presidents. Yet on the other hand, I am sympathetic to the view that he was a tyrant and a dictator.

    Other countries managed to abolish slavery without fighting a bloody war. That shows that there was more to the origins of the Civil War than just slavery. Competing economic and political interests were involved. It was mainly the rich plantation owners who owned slaves and agitated for secession. The average poor white Southern farmer didn’t own slaves, and the average poor Northern working man didn’t give a damn about Southern slaves, and actually considered competition from freed blacks to be a threat to his own livelihood. See the New York City draft riot in 1863. It featured the spectacle of free Northern blacks being lynched by angry mobs of white working-class citizens who didn’t want to risk their own lives in order to free Southern black slaves who would then compete with them to lower their own wages.

    But if the Confederacy had been allowed to go its own way, it would have become a primitive economic backwater compared to the rapidly industrializing North. Maybe in time they would have seen that their plantation-centered economy was holding them back, and slavery would have died out naturally. Maybe.

    Getting back to Sherman, I definitely do agree with his approach to fighting wars. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of it, though.

    Like I said, it’s complicated.

  54. blert Says:

    http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/cooper.htm

    The above speech was the sole and only mechanism used by Lincoln to run for the presidency.

    He never, otherwise, went on the stump. He gave absolutely no other speeches.

    Yeah, it was a different era.

    Within this critical speech MOST of the after action claims of the rebels are laid bare to be false, to be revisionism of a sorts.

    THE most critical pre-war event was Dred Scott. It was within its ober dicta that the southern Democrat slavers extended via FEDERAL COURTS the reach of southern enslavement statutes.

    It was the South that imposed the Federals on the North, FIRST. And this USSC decision was the mechanism.

    It was ONLY after Dred Scott that slave chasers were able to enforce (Federal) writs upon slaves/ property that had made it even as far north as the 49th parallel. The new train system meant that going up to get them was quite practical, indeed.

    Within the ober dicta, there were provisions for how southern ‘property owners’ were to be able to RETAIN (and use) their slaves while on northern travels — which use was now to be state sanctioned (as in Federally sanctioned) — whereas at all times prior, slaves had to be left behind — down south.

    Before Dred Scott, even taking a slave north of the Mason-Dixon made him legally free. (So it wasn’t done.)

    Consequently during the Buchanan years, free states were forced to endure the ‘special institution’ — right in their midst.

    Unlike the southern rebels of 1861 — the northern boys of 1857 just bit their tongues and wrote screeds against slavery.

    The now chronic injustice of slavery was forced into the northern social spaces (train stations) compounding “Uncle Tom” the book.

    (BTW, Stowe modeled Uncle Tom on Jesus Christ — and said so explicitly. That’s why Uncle Tom takes all of the abuse like a saint. This religious aspect is entirely lost on politically active Blacks, going back for at least a century. To repeat, Stowe used the New Testament as the basis for her morality tale. At the time, everyone got it. Today, practically no-one gets ‘it.’)

    There are no end of southern descendants who argue the southern cause — but who have NEVER read the Cooper Union speech, nor Uncle Tom, nor Dred Scott AND its lengthy ober dicta.

    It’s this last that triggered the war. The USSC (packed with southern, slaver owning, justices) de facto wrote a series of new Federal statues via that mechanism.

    This reality is missing from ALL high school history texts, going back forever.

    Even Lincoln’s Cooper Union address goes into arcana that is not addressed outside of specialty college courses.

    No-one can trust the information that they’ve picked up from high school (north or south) — or ever the typical college course.

    The Civil War is too propagandized.

    The factions blot out the facts not friendly to memory.

    Buchanan is the villain — NOT Lincoln.

    The overreach of the USSC is seen in the present day: Roe V Wade should’ve NEVER been adjudicated by the Court. They fell into writing Federal law — AGAIN.

    And, now with Roberts and Obamacare: it’s worse than Dred Scott. Such overreach is going to blow-up the Federal budget and crash the economy — taking the rest of the planet with us.

    The Wan can kill more people than Hitler and Stalin combined by just running an Alfred E. Neuman presidency. He’ll be infamous — in the end.

  55. SteveH Says:

    I contend the modern liberal is perfectly fine with slavery, as long as it’s disguised as a 100% tax on income with a complicit media that reassures everyone of its fairness.

  56. carl in atlanta Says:

    I missed this thread yesterday, but do have a couple-three of comments:

    1. On November 15, 1864 — not quite 149 years ago– General Sherman gave orders to burn all public buildings, machine shops, depots, and arsenals in Atlanta. He then resumed his infamous March to the Sea. It’s hard for northerners to understand, but the memory lingers down here, especially among the rural Scots Irish whose ancestors were unlucky enough to have lived in the path of the March. Me? I’m a city boy; I’ve always been blessed by the incredible economic boom resulting from the “Yankee invasion” of our fair city over the last 60 or so years. Please, keep coming!

    2. In the aftermath of war, the United States government treated Japan and Germany far, far better than it did the South after the Civil War. I’ve always blamed that on John Wilkes Booth and the twelve year reign of terror (called “Reconstruction” by the North) his insane (and stupid) act spawned.

    3. Talking about Sherman’s prematurely aged look, here’s a photo of a confederate officer in Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virgina (my great-great grandfather) taken in 1863 when he was 48 years of age. This was taken one year before he was killed at Spotsylvania. Hard, hard times. We who dwell in the 21st century simply cannot comprehend what life must have been like then.

  57. Randy Says:

    Blert, Dred Scott was a disaster and both the final cause of the war for the very reasons you state and a great argument for states rights an against centralized power.

    However, your continued use of the word “rebel” is, I believe, deliberately provocative. The states individually had no duty to remain in the union. The right to secession was implicit in the manner of the nation’s birth and in the structure of the resulting government. There was nothing in the instruments of our creation that repudiated the states right to secede, nor do did those who executed those instruments have the authority to repudiate this right for their decendents. If you accept the legitimacy of our founding, then you have to accept the legitimacy of secession.

    It’s a shame that the test case for states rights centered around the evil of slavery.

  58. ziontruth Says:

    Late to yet another interesting thread… dang those time zone differences.

    First off, I have to say I find rickl’s excerpt about “letters of marque and reprisal” most fascinating. The idea of decentralized retaliatory self-defense in the face of Islamic terrorism is quite simply a breath of fresh air in a day when lumbering, centralized, government-managed responses replete with insane rules of engagement rule the day. Too bad it wasn’t implemented, for, as rickl says, it was against the interests of the Big Govt. crowd on both sides of the political aisle.

    I think the comparisons to the waging of war in Iraq and Afghanistan are misguided. The bringing of those countries under American administration was the easy part and was carried out speedily. However, the policy implemented after taking control of those countries, the policy of nation-building and generally “winning hearts and minds,” meant there couldn’t be a debate on Sherman in that context anyhow. “Winning hearts and minds” puts the military in chains from the outset; like the saying goes, it’s all downhill from there.

    Maybe Sherman’s point wasn’t about how war was to be waged in and of itself, but how it was to be waged so as to avoid guerrilla warfare. If so, then he was remarkably prescient in this, because we of the early 21st century have the hindsight of knowing guerrilla warfare to be the bane of even the strongest army.

    Sherman may already have been confronted with the dilemma of ruthless warfare vs. “winning hearts and minds.” As the American Civil War was brother against brother, it was only natural for many to recoil from total, merciless warfare. This is to contrast with the reasons modern militaries have constrained themselves. In the Belgian Congo it was still within reason to avoid crushing a rebellion with untold bloodletting because the indigenous population supplied the manual labor needed to make use of the resources, but Vietnam started the disturbing trend of “winning hearts and minds” that is effectively a ball and chain tied to every soldier’s leg.

    The worst offender in the “Insane way to treat the enemy” department is undoubtedly my country, which, upon retaking its territories in 1967, left the entire population of Arab colonists squatting on the land instead of booting them out like the foreign implants they are; the result has been the incessant drumming of low-key guerrilla warfare that makes the daily news.

    The way out? To quote rickl again: “I didn’t care whether they liked us; I just wanted to make them wet their pants every time they saw an American flag.” I’d say this attitude needs to be the norm even without sending a single trooper abroad.

    Governments fail us in this age; the social contract is in tatters, the populace surrendering their God-given rights for trinkets in return; unjust laws everywhere are forcing people to make the choice between survival and abiding by the law.

  59. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Sherman wasn’t the only one:

    The fact that slaughter is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.

    — Carl von Clausewitz

  60. Randy Says:

    As to the original topic, I believe that modern ideas of kind and gentle war makes things harder for non-combatants by dragging conflicts out without end. The concept also overlooks the fact that conflicts between nations are not just conflicts between soldiers. If we could implement some set of rules for war that reduced suffering for non-combatants and for soldiers as well, then we could just as well rule out the use of bombs and bullets. Perhaps we could settle conflicts with the use of single combat by a champion from each side, or with a football game, or maybe a game of monopoly.

    But war is what happens when the rules break down. What happens after single combat when your champion loses? Will your entire nation submit? Or will they resist? They’ll resist. The rules always break down when your way of life, or even your existence is threatened. The rules of war will always be enforced by the winner and so will never rise above winner’s revenge.

    So was Sherman right or wrong? In my mind it has to do with the rightness of his cause. If he was fighting strictly to eliminate the evil of slavery, then there is an avenue to say that he was right.

    But if it was to keep the union together, he was WRONG and his actions were indeed EVIL, even if you liked the outcome of eliminating slavery.

  61. Ymarsakar Says:

    2. In the aftermath of war, the United States government treated Japan and Germany far…. better

    This comes from US post facto victory propaganda. It doesn’t come from the people who actually lived in Japan or Germany.

    The Japanese didn’t have their own government until several years after the occupation forces. During the process, Nobody Speaking Japanese Could Get a Job or Contract from the US occupation HQ. You had to speak English or have connections to the GHQ. They still, due to restrictions and arguments over US-Japan status of forces security treaties, cannot produce a military worth anything without US approval, which they have not gotten even though some political factions in Japan hate having to relying on somebody else for defense.

    In comparison, Georgia was able to use the KKK and other political rallying factors to throw off the Republican military governors and representatives that were sent to reconstruct civil liberties for blacks. Japan was never allowed such “leeway” in choosing their own fate. Yet the South calls the Japanese occupation “better”?

    By whose standards are we using to judge “better”?

  62. Ymarsakar Says:

    Does anyone even realize the politics that went into deciding the US base at Okinawa not the Japanese mainland? Does the people who like to elevate their own “victim” status in the South ever realize what the hell was going on in Okinawa in the years after the end of WWII?

    Yet they speak as if they know what the US did in Japan and what the Japanese situation was.

  63. Randy Says:

    ziontruth wrote:

    “Governments fail us in this age; the social contract is in tatters, the populace surrendering their God-given rights for trinkets in return; unjust laws everywhere are forcing people to make the choice between survival and abiding by the law.”

    This statement is no mere trinket.

  64. Ymarsakar Says:

    So was Sherman right or wrong? In my mind it has to do with the rightness of his cause. If he was fighting strictly to eliminate the evil of slavery, then there is an avenue to say that he was right.

    If he was fighting to end slavery, Sherman would have been wrong. Because he’d just be another tyrant imposing his beliefs upon the South who disagreed and had their wealth tied up in slaves and plantations.

    By fighting for the Union, which protected the economic and civil liberties of Southerners and Northerners, Sherman was fighting for a just cause.

    Yet certain peculiar individuals in the modern era think in the reverse. That by fighting to end slavery in the South, Sherman would be “right”. But Union was “wrong”.

    In a sense, Sharpton and Obama are fighting to end “institutional slavery”. How do you like their methods and goals. Their goal is just, so whatever they do is right? Bakabakashi. Ridiculous.

    If you accept the legitimacy of our founding, then you have to accept the legitimacy of secession.

    Right? Determined by whom? By your own government. Essentially you mean to say might is right and whether anyone can rebel or not is determined by their military actions. The 13 Colonies knew they had to fight a Revolutionary War to win their independence.

    Independence is not given to you by a “right”. The fools that thought this, started up a war because they thought just like that. That it was their “right”, which they didn’t have to win in the first place. Spoiled rotten really. The Founding Fathers knew exactly what the consequences were, tried everything they could to avoid war, and peacefully, logically, reasonably wrote up a textual justification for what their final actions were to become. To build upon the South’s Democratic political decision to form their own political monopoly using the sacrifices of the Founding Fathers is veritably treason to the nation itself. Democrats in the South didn’t spend 10% of the time and effort to avoid war or to seek independence in a just or legitimate fashion. Instead they were able to convince the super majority of Southerners that it wasn’t the Democrat’s faults, it was the “North’s” fault. All too easy to turn a people’s eyes outwards against foreign foes rather than look at the enemies inside their gates.

    Just because something is a right, you get it for free, is that what people think? Just because something is a right, you have the authority to command the entire world to leave you alone? You have no “rights” except that which is protected by the US Constitution. Outside the US Constitution and its military enforcement, you have no “rights”.

    To obtain your own “right” to anything, you need your own paper politics backed up by force.

    The Founding of the United States of America was built upon the blood of tyrants and patriots. Where exactly was the South going to get the blood of tyrants and patriots to pay for their “rights” again? If they didn’t even realize a long war was going to happen, that’s just another sin of their Democrat leaders.

    On States’ rights, it was the Southern Democrats who didn’t want to accept the right of new states to choose slavery or anti slavery that began the motivation to form their own country. Their own country free of interference from other political factions that might break free the Democrat dominion over blacks and whites. It is no different than San Fran or Detroit or Chicago lobbying to secede because they don’t want to pay for the taxes on the Iraq war. They want the money for other things. They don’t want people interfering with their plantation system.

    1. Rights are based upon sacrifice. Robert E Lee and other anti slavery Southerners were ordered to sacrifice to win the rights for Democrat plantation owners to live free of anybody telling them they had to respect the rights of other people in the Union.

    2. The Southern Democrats took war to be a joke and thought the NOrtherners were too weak to wage a sustained war. Which was only partially true.

    3. All the Southerners that died can be blamed on Democrat politicians both before and after the First US Civil War.

    As for the benefits of society; it doesn’t exist. All society can do is be a parasite or drag net. All the good people do, they do of their own free will and internal instinct. The others are merely parasites going with the flow, the bandwagon, doing what society tells them is right. The moment society gains enough power to dictate to individual freeholders what is right or wrong, is the moment parasitism becomes the primary dominating spirit in that area. Society merely distributes the resources of the workers. It does not, in itself, create anything useful or of lasting worth.

  65. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s only natural that these rifts are going to be opened again, sooner or later.

    After all, the First US Civil War was lost by Democrats. The Second One may well be won by Democrats, now that they have learned from their mistakes with whiteys in the South and have applied more adjusted control methods to their inner city blacks.

    All of the root reasons for why minorites obey the Left, can be found to have its genesis around the First US Civil War.

    In that respect, WWI lead to the Genesis of WWII. The First US Civil War and its consequence, will lead inevitably to the Second US Civil War.

    Southerners, at least the original 13 colony sort, does not know or accept the truth of what happened centuries ago. Modern blacks do not know or accept the truth of what happened decades ago or centuries ago.

    Counter insurgency, insurgency, both have to win the propaganda war. There is no excuse, no easy path, no “right to victory”, no “right to secession”.

  66. Ymarsakar Says:

    This undying hate and resentment against some dead white males centuries long ago, is the kind of hate I referred to when I said that people do not hate the Left enough to be able to defeat their alliance’s power.

    If only this hatred can be re-diverted to its true and correct target, after centuries long propaganda campaigns by the enemy have set it in stone against targets not directly threatening to the Leftist alliance.

    Even if this proves futile or provides no feasible military benefit, the mistakes learned will prove critical in converting the Jewish, gay, and black communities over from the Left’s side.

    Even if they have given up on controlling the South after the new generations broke free of such chains, I still worry that such memes planted deep in can be used to our detriment sometime in the future.

    Americans may wonder why is it that people under totalitarian governments don’t hate their leaders enough to kill them. Instead they go after weaklings like Jews or other nations they can conquer. Ever wonder about that?

    All the answers rest in American history. You don’t have to take one step outside these borders to figure out how it all works.

    The Japanese also suffered many deaths. Many more deaths than Southerners under Sherman or Lee combined. Yet they do not curse America so much as curse their own country’s leadership. Why was that? Because they could hate their own leaders, because one of their own leaders was the good guy. They could just dump all the hate unto the military staff and call them the war criminal cowards, while praising Emperor Hirohito for the good deed he alone did. But the South didn’t have that. They didn’t have a single leader that had the interests of humanity or the South, at heart.

    The black community? They don’t have a single community leader with the interests of the blacks at heart.

    This despair, this desire for vengeance, this resentment, this eternal hatred can easily be used by those of us who know how to manipulate the psychological strings of humans. The Left definitely knows how. They’ve done so in the past, they will do so in the future.

    People quote the Japanese about being thankful for the atomic bombs and GHQ occupation policies? Do people even realize how ironic that is juxtaposed against American hatred of Lincoln, Sheridan, and Sherman?

  67. rickl Says:

    I love this thread. This is one of the best internet discussions I’ve seen in a long time.

    I linked it late last night at Ace of Spades just before I went to bed, although I don’t know whether anyone came over here from there. I think I’ll link it again in the next open thread.

  68. Randy Says:

    “By fighting for the Union, which protected the economic and civil liberties of Southerners and Northerners, Sherman was fighting for a just cause.”

  69. Richard Aubrey Says:

    WRT privateering. It was legalized piracy. The western navies’ officers and men made a chunk of change by capturing the enemy’s shipping. The Brits, at least, had prize courts which would determine the value of the prize and, in effect, buy the ship and cargo from the vessel which captured it. Mostly it was cargo vessels because capturing a fighting ship damaged it, if not sunk it, and getting a damaged ship to a prize court was difficult and the value may not have been much. In addition, it would divert the capturing ship from whatever its mission was for not much money. Coup de poing capture–’cutting out”–a combat ship could be lucrative.
    IOW, privateering was privately-funded and self-supporting blockade. People went into it, fronting the money for a ship, crew, supplies, equipment, in the hopes of making money.
    So to institute marque and reprisal, we’d need prize courts or at least a ready market for what was captured.
    And there isn’t much to capture from distributed terror cells. It would have to be a philantropic effort.
    Maybe if there were a reward for manpads.
    Since, with the exception of Antarctica and some small contested areas in the vicinity of Israel, every patch of dry land on earth is under the sovereignty of a sovereign nation, every land-bound privateering expedition would amount to an invasion by a group licensed to do so by the US. Problems?
    So that means capturing the stuff–whatever it is–on the high seas. Which is pretty much not where the terrs’ stuff goes and when it does, it’s in ships flagged by a sovereign nation.

  70. Randy Says:

    “By fighting for the Union, which protected the economic and civil liberties of Southerners and Northerners, Sherman was fighting for a just cause.”

    I don’t see how this is materially different than fighting to protect the civil liberties of southerners who were enslaved, except for the introduction of the protection of self interest when you said “and northerners”. The north had no economic property right over the south to protect.

    “Essentially you mean to say might is right and whether anyone can rebel or not is determined by their military actions. The 13 Colonies knew they had to fight a Revolutionary War to win their independence.”

    No, I mean the exact opposite. The 13 colonies knew that as a matter of practicality they had to fight a war to win their independence, but their pre-existing right to “dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth” justified the force they knew they would have to use against the other power which refused to recongnize that right.

    “Might makes right” is the attitude that says that the right to secede was given up by losing a war. A rule which states that a people have a right to secede provided that they can win a war is no rule at all apart from “might makes right”

    “On States’ rights, it was the Southern Democrats who didn’t want to accept the right of new states to choose slavery or anti slavery that began the motivation to form their own country.”

    Southern resistance to the right of new states to self determination on the issue of slavery was hypocritical, but Southern secession did not strip the right of self determination from new states.

    “Outside the US Constitution and its military enforcement, you have no “rights”

    “1. Rights are based upon sacrifice.”

    Rights are “protected by sacrifice”. We believe that we “are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights”. To me, these are not empty words. I know that we have to be prepared to fight to keep these rights, but the rights are not justified by blood.

    “2. The Southern Democrats took war to be a joke and thought the NOrtherners were too weak to wage a sustained war. Which was only partially true.”

    So? They still had a great chance to win, so the choice to fight instead of submit was not necessarily un-wise. Perhaps not nearly as un-wise as the choice their great grandfathers made the previous century when they set out to fight the great military power and could not have prevailed without the interference of another European power. Either way, this has no bearing with regard to the rightness of their cause.

    “3. All the Southerners that died can be blamed on Democrat politicians both before and after the First US Civil War.”

    I love blaming democrats, but the republicans in the north could have pursued another strategy. But those strategies would only have resulted in a weaker central government, so they chose “might makes right”.

  71. rickl Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says:
    August 11th, 2013 at 11:55 am

    WRT privateering. It was legalized piracy.

    I think in the modern context, against Muslim terrorists, it would be legalized vigilantism.

    But I like the idea. I think it’s the way to go. The alternative, a bloated, expensive, lumbering, top-down, centralized government response, is clearly not working; and it’s enabling a totalitarian state that is destroying what’s left of our liberty.

  72. rickl Says:

    ziontruth Says:
    August 11th, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Maybe Sherman’s point wasn’t about how war was to be waged in and of itself, but how it was to be waged so as to avoid guerrilla warfare. If so, then he was remarkably prescient in this, because we of the early 21st century have the hindsight of knowing guerrilla warfare to be the bane of even the strongest army.

    To go off on yet another tangent, see the Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    Read the whole thing, as they say.

    While he is widely reviled today for taking part in the massacre of black Union soldiers and being an early member of the Ku Klux Klan after the war, he almost single-handedly prevented a guerilla war in the South after the end of the Civil War. While his forces were not defeated, upon learning of Lee’s surrender, he basically told his troops, “The war’s over. We lost. Go home, and be upstanding law-abiding citizens.” He could have just as easily ordered them to wage guerilla war, and they would have eagerly done so.

    At the Wiki link, see his May 9, 1865 address to his troops, and also his speech to a black organization in 1875, which was after he joined and left the KKK.

    Like I said, it’s complicated.

  73. Richard Aubrey Says:

    rickl.
    Yeah, but what are the new privateers to actually do? Kill people? We have a military for that, which is sufficiently–so far–powerful that people will probably have to let the incursion go on. Not the same as a couple of dozen private citizens with small arms.
    And which people?
    And who fronts the money? Would that be a crime under international law?
    Right now, there’s no practical reason, other than being caught at it, that a citizen can’t put a trip to someplace or other on his Mastercard, show up and acquire a gun and start shooting. Not happening that we know of.

  74. carl in atlanta Says:

    Ymarsakar at 10:28AM:

    Regarding the post-war treatment of Japan, have you read this ?

    It’s hardly hagiographic. MacArthur may indeed have been a preening, narcissistic prick, but by this and every account I’ve read he was very, very good to Japan. And I believe he is well regarded there even today.

    And what equivalent of the Marshall Plan did the Federal government provide to the defeated South? Please don’t cite the TVA or other New Deal programs. I’m talking about the immediate aftermath of the Civil War.

    I’ve always believed that had he lived, Lincoln would have followed through with his promises to heal the nation. He certainly “talked the talk.” But we’ll never know.

  75. Roy Says:

    Regardless of what you believe about slavery and the right of the southern states to secede, the war itself was triggered by southern arrogance.

    I, personally, believe that the southern states did indeed have the right to secede. However, they did *NOT* have the right to seize federal forts, arsenals, and other installations by force.

    The federal government, i.e. the entire nation had an interest in those facilities, yet men of the southern states thought they could just unilaterally go in and take them without any adverse reaction from the rest of the nation.

    Fort Sumter was the triggering event that set off the holocaust. (Ironically, a southerner was in command of the fort.) And why? Negotiations were ongoing between the Lincoln administration – an administration that had been in power for less than a month – and representatives of the Confederate government. But, no. Those so-called “patient southerners” couldn’t wait. Pride and ego was at stake. So they just decided to take it by force by bombarding it into submission. Causus Belli.

    Well what in bloody hell did they expect was going to happen next?

    I’ll tell you what they expected. They expected the same thing the Japanese expected in December 1941, that the US government would simply roll over and sue for peace. After all, everyone “knew” that one southern soldier was as good as ten Yankees!

    Well it didn’t happen then and it didn’t happen in 1941 either.

    Did you know that when the south kicked off the “War of Northern Aggression” there was not a single cannon factory within its borders? (The Tredegar Iron works was in Virginia – a state that had not yet seceded and joined the Confederacy at the time.)

    In the movie “Gone With the Wind” – yeah, I know it was only a movie, still – in a scene at the very beginning, when all the southern boys were celebrating the start of the war, Rhett Butler gave them a small dose of reality when he stated about the south: “…all the south has in abundance is cotton, slaves, and arrogance!”

    So true. And, though the slaves are all gone, and cotton isn’t what it used to be, the arrogance hasn’t changed very much in the intervening 152 years.

    I admire William T. Sherman. If you read his memoirs, you find that he did not hate southerners. Indeed, he lived among them until the war itself commenced. He tried to warn those within his circle that they were making a grave error by commencing the war. But of course nobody listened. Well, he was right. And the only reason southerners of today hate him so much is because they are still butt-hurt over the fact that this was one Yankee that showed them what war was *really* all about.

    Roy – Who was born and raised in the south, but whose ancestors fought on the side of the union against the slave power that brought such misery to his people.

  76. rickl Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says:
    August 11th, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    rickl.
    Yeah, but what are the new privateers to actually do? Kill people?

    Yes. Or whatever they decide to do to disrupt terrorist cells.

    We have a military for that, which is sufficiently–so far–powerful that people will probably have to let the incursion go on.

    But that way is much more expensive. Our military is better suited for opposing other governments’ militaries, rather than small terrorist cells.

    Not the same as a couple of dozen private citizens with small arms.

    Or hundreds, or thousands, or millions. If the American people are truly turned loose on them, the Muzzies will have serious problems.

    And which people?

    Anyone who wants to participate.

    And who fronts the money? Would that be a crime under international law?

    As I understand it, it probably wouldn’t involve much expenditure of public money. Private citizens would be free to utilize their own resources.

    And who cares about international law? Not me. Do you think Muslim terrorists are hindered by international law?

    Right now, there’s no practical reason, other than being caught at it, that a citizen can’t put a trip to someplace or other on his Mastercard, show up and acquire a gun and start shooting. Not happening that we know of.

    With letters of marque and reprisal, Congress would give a green light to American citizens to take matters into our own hands. We wouldn’t have to worry about “being caught at it”.

    ***

    Sorry, Richard. I didn’t mean to “fisk” you. But I couldn’t help it.

    This is well outside our normal understanding of behavior among nation-states. Yet it is in the Constitution, and empowers the people, rather than the government.

    And Muslim terrorism has little or nothing to do with nation-states.

  77. rickl Says:

    carl in atlanta Says:
    August 11th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I’ve always believed that had he lived, Lincoln would have followed through with his promises to heal the nation. He certainly “talked the talk.” But we’ll never know.

    I agree. All available evidence indicates that Lincoln would not have been vindictive towards the South after the war.

    But he was assassinated by an open Confederate sympathizer, which really got the northern Republicans’ blood up. So they went for revenge.

  78. carl in atlanta Says:

    “But he was assassinated by an open Confederate sympathizer, which really got the northern Republicans’ blood up. So they went for revenge.”

    Yes. Yes they did. And they took their time in exacting it.

  79. L Nettles Says:

    Some thoughts on Uncle Billy and southern resentment.

    I went to Elliot Williams funeral. Elliot was buried in the original part of the local national cemetery. It was kind of a big deal to get him in there instead of across the road in the new part. While waiting for the grave side part of the service, my wife commented that there seemed to be a lot of space left here in the original cemetery. As I looked at her, I saw she had her back to the historical marker that marked the mass grave upon which we stood. A mass grave of Union Soldiers who died at the Stockade after being transferred from Andersonville because of Sherman’s March. The conditions of the Stockade would be considered a War Crime by today’s standards and that mass grave is why my town has a National Cemetery.

    The rest of the story is that Elliot was Chief Boatswain’s Mate James Elliot Williams and he got preferential treatment at the National Cemetery because he was awarded the CMH. So a local boy raised in proximity to war crimes against the Union earned his nations highest honor and helped knit up its wounds.

  80. Ymarsakar Says:

    MacArthur may indeed have been a preening, narcissistic prick, but by this and every account I’ve read he was very, very good to Japan.

    I doubt many hate MacArthur. But why is that? Judging by the conditions of the Japanese, they have more right to claim that their resources and political rights were taken away than Southern states like Georgia, who over ruled and over turned Republicans from the North very easily.

    Why do they not hate a foreigner like MacArthur? Some say he treated them well, in the sense of economic rebuilding. Certainly that would contribute to it. But more than that ,I would say MacArthur was seen well because he was given moral standing by Emperor Hirohito, who stood by his side and supported. The nationalists in Japan would find it had to curse or attack the GHQ policies if the very Emperor of Japan ordered them to stand down.

    But the Republican Reconstruction efforts in the South never had such support. For whatever reasons, Generals Lee, Bedford Forrest, and a number of people did not contribute or were not allowed to contribute or did not have enough political power in the Democrat party to decide anything vis a vis Republican governors and reconstruction.

    I would say that this very disconnect is why people hated the Reconstruction. Not because the Reconstruction was horrible or intended to be horrible, but because the internal politics of Southern Democrats made it that way through the way they handled post civil war events.

    As such, normally people would divide up their hate between their own leaders and foreigners. But the South didn’t do that. The only difference I can see is that Japan had their own leaders working with the occupation for the best interests of Japan. Georgia and other states, had no leaders that wanted to improve conditions for black Georgians or white Georgians, but instead wanted to own the political power at the expense of Republicans, promoting horrible economic conditions and social riots.

  81. Ymarsakar Says:

    So they went for revenge.

    That’s not what happened.

    The primary reason for why Reconstruction was held up was due to Lincoln’s VP, a Democrat. He vetoed like 90% of the bills, successfully, geared towards promoting black civil rights. Now Southerners may not have given a damn about that, but with those civil rights bills was a huge amount of capital and economic investment. Investment that was prevented from being applied, and the violence of the South prevented any good from what else flowed down there. So only “carpetbaggers” remained.

    If blacks could be freed, made into educated workers and cotton was turned into something both whites and blacks could benefit from instead of just a plantation system, it would have improved economic levels in the South greatly. Perhaps not as much as Japan, but not as bad as it was.

    As such, Reconstruction was not merely a Northern Republican effort. There were Democrats in the North as well…

    As for Rick and Richard’s topic of privateers or de-centralized cellular resistance, it’s not something of a pipe dream or theoretical non funded op. Flight 93 already happened. That was all you needed.

    De-centralized individuals, taking their own action. Richard Reed the Shoe Bomber? De-centralized action. The eyewitness id of the Marathon terrorists? De-centralized efforts of the eyewitness, who was captured and forced to obey the terrorists but escaped by putting his own life on the line.

    The list goes on. Why finding a list of ATF, TSA prevented terrorist actions. The FBI has a better track record than that. The military has an enormously better track record.

    So the point is, you don’t need to fund it. You don’t need to “generate” it or create it. It is already here. You just got to prevent the lawyers from killing the de-centralized leaders and prevent their funds from being taken by the IRS.

    Allow people freedom to protect themselves and they will obtain the power to protect their civilization, in time.

  82. Ymarsakar Says:

    There were several Reconstruction bills that Lincoln’s Republican party forwarded to Johnson. Johnson refused. He had Democrat reasons to do so. Democrats in the North and South were connected and allied.

    To make a long story short, without the bills being passed, the production centers of the North were not allowed to provide economic aid to the South, in any form whatsoever. Neither to the blacks that believed in Mr. Lincoln’s war for liberty. Neither to the whites that suffered even though they owned Zero slaves and hated the concept of slavery.

    Instead of supporting the military governors in Southern states with martial law and anti insurgency armies, they were defunded and left unsupported. The KKK then setup a terrorism web that dominated both black and white voters. Nathan Bedford Forrest was already out of the loop by then, as he opposed such things.

    With no law, no peace, no economic aid, the South fell into despair. And in came their savior, the Democrat party. All else followed out of that.

  83. Gringo Says:

    While Sherman and his army destroyed much property in their march through Georgia and the Carolinas, they killed killed very few civilians.

    I recall reading that Confederate General Joseph Johnston, who had surrendered to Sherman, had attended his funeral. Wiki tells the story.

    On 19 February, a funeral service was held at his home, followed by a military procession. General Joseph E. Johnston, the Confederate officer who had commanded the resistance to Sherman’s troops in Georgia and the Carolinas, served as a pallbearer in New York City. It was a bitterly cold day and a friend of Johnston, fearing that the general might become ill, asked him to put on his hat. Johnston famously replied: “If I were in [Sherman's] place, and he were standing in mine, he would not put on his hat.” Johnston did catch a serious cold and died one month later of pneumonia.

    A Confederate General’s reaction to Sherman’s death implies that he understood the reasons for Sherman’s tactics, and understood that they helped end the war.

    Were I in Johnston’s shoes, I would have worn the hat, feeling that attendance at Sherman’s funeral was sufficient measure of respect for Sherman. But Johnston was probably right about Sherman’s not wearing a hat at his funeral.

    I am the product of a North-South marriage, and have also split my life between both sides of the Mason Dixon line. I once attended a family reunion of my brother’s in-laws. It was a big affair- over 100 were in attendance. The family reunion even had its own song, with lyrics set to the tune of Marching Through Georgia. Definitely a northern family.

    In 1980 I recorded my grandmother recounting stories of the past. One of her stories was from HER grandmother in western Tennessee encountering some Union soldiers taking some provisions from the family farm. Not fond memories of Union soldiers. This also shows that Sherman was not the first Union general to have his army live off the land, and not off a supply train.

    Ymarsakar makes a good point that we were very fortunate to have the war against Japan end as it did.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrYlR6RwRCw Marching Through Georgia, as song by Tennessee [!] Ernie Ford.

  84. Callmelennie Says:

    Just a few small points to add

    Lincoln might have tolerated secession if the Southern states had not seized Union armamments located in the South. The specter of fierce, honor-bound society armed to the teeth and looking to race the North to the Pacific and seize up Southern territory must have been quite frightening to the North

    One reason the Civil War started was the belief on both sides that it would never take the deadly turn it did. The North never expected that a nation with a population one third its size would put up such resistance and the more militaristic South deemed the Union too soft and too unmotivated to stay in the fight for long. But then, once the reality hits you find you can’t end it, as that would mean the sacrifices that had already been made were all in vain.

    There was real gut feeling of hostility between the two parts of the country even before the war
    Many Southern groups had felt the sting of prejudice from Northern groups even back in the British homeland; cracker and redneck were slurs aimed at Southerner’s ancestors since the 17th century. And the institutions of slavery in the South and industrialization in the North was creating two radically different groups of people, who had little regard for each other

    Sherman may have shown some concerns for the Southerners in the immediate area, but his actions had drastic effects on the South as a whole. In a sense, it was the straw that broke the back of the Southern economy which led to the death by starvation of tens of thousands of white Southerners at the end of the war and in the immediate aftermath

  85. blert Says:

    Southern descendants whining about Reconstruction utterly miss the real Southern plaint: the Davis administration had hyper-inflated the Confederate Dollar into pulp.

    This asset destruction REACHED EVERYONE — and lasted long past the war.

    It was upon this calamity that carpet baggers could rip off/ LBO southern plantations on the ultra-cheap.

    This privation is a central plot element in “Gone With the Wind” — as in the Confederate Dollar was gone with the wind, too.

    Without the windfall profits to be had selling lumber to the Yankees, Tara would’ve been lost for a pittance. Scarlett was even willing to whore herself out — to war profiteer Rhett Butler (!) — until she stumbles upon a real tool. How naughty!

    Reconstruction was and is an entirely ironical term of art. Other than critical (military) infrastructures, most of the South had absolutely minimal construction/ reconstruction. There was no money. The economic value of cotton exports had collapsed. Without slavery, profit margins in the cotton trade evaporated. With rare exception, everyone who’d been on top had been bankrupted — if they were even alive.

    The southern climate drove all industrialization towards the north — until air conditioning became cheap. That took a full century after the Civil War.

    =======

    If the Confederacy had never rebelled… the abolitionists could’ve done absolutely nothing to frustrate slavery customs in the South.

    Lincoln stated PLAIN AS DAY (Cooper Union) that he, himself, had absolutely no intention to overturn the existing system. Period, stop.

    Further, by doing the math, it was obvious that even if subsequent events rendered the slave states a minority in the land — it would be entirely impossible to re-write the law at the national level to frustrate the slavery custom.

    To repeat: the slave states ALREADY had enough votes in Congress to block any abolitionist statutes. Texas, itself, could at any time create four additional slave states — by fission.

    ========

    This nation CAN’T permit the option of cession. To do so would entirely frustrate the entire purpose of the Constitution.

    What Lincoln figured out, and which still eludes many, is that cession can ONLY lead to America becoming a fractured clone of Europe — fighting stupidly and viciously forever and ever.

    A fractured America would NEVER be able to create, as it has, victory over the Nazis, Fascists and Shintoists… or prevail in the Cold War.

    Cession, under our Constitution, really does mean civil war.

    It’s better to bide ones time and rally at the polls — and save the gun powder.

    0bama IS Buchanan II. (Buchanan reached into the USSC to ‘adjust’ the Dred Scott decision. HE was behind the ober dicta. — whereas 0bama is behind the Roberts flip-flop. Barry pulled his string.

    He spends like Jefferson Davis.

    He IS Alfred E. Neuman as president.

    His maladministration IS spending large — like the Confederacy and the Revolutionary Congress. Both flat-lined their currencies. “Not worth a Continental…”

    At this point in time, a currency crisis can come out of the blue.

    Witness as to how fast the situation/ confidence in Greece, Spain and Italy blew up.

    Be prepared for the consequences of Mugabe on the Potomac.

    If the southern states had not bolted — NOTHING would’ve happened to affect southern economic interests. Period, stop. Read the Cooper Union address.

    At every prior point in American history, the issue had been kicked down the road. That’s the position that Lincoln ran on. He ran on DOING NOTHING.

    If the South had been defeated at Bull Run, Lincoln would’ve STILL not had the votes to thwart slavery. He didn’t want to touch it. It was the third rail of national politics. Read the Cooper Union address.

    It was southern Democrats (slavers) that tied the conflict to slavery — the peculiar institution. They did so via their wholly own newspapers. Their scandalous editorials are now dropped down the memory hole by revisionists.

    The sole and only states right that the south was concerned about was slavery. Outside of that issue, there was harmony, such as can be.

    Admittedly, the southern export-import economic engine wanted low tariffs — and was the cash cow territory for the entire nation.

    Whereas, the northern states were cash bleeders, requiring massive capital inflows to sustain the booming ramp in immigrant populations. (European immigrants (German, Irish) were NOT settling in the South. ( 1848 – 1861) Their labor was not needed/ valued.)

  86. Richard Aubrey Says:

    rickl.
    Okay. You’re talking about private vigilantism. You won’t get a letter from Congress about that.
    Muslim terrorists don’t have much concern about international law or sovereign states. But we do, and not only because we’re legally required to, but because that’s a habit of thinking. In fact, the Left loves to use it against us.
    It’s why the term “assymetric” is used.
    Satisfying thought. But think about it. Boatload of folks lands near Tripoli, Libya. Ask around for somebody who speaks English–meantime trying to reassure them about your weapons–and when you find somebody who speaks English, you ask for directions to the nearest militia HQ.
    Or you just start shooting people.
    Every military and police force in the world would arrest you in heartbeat, coming, going, or in the act.
    Think about it. The US had a bunch of people working for us in Iraq because we took care to tell the good guys from the bad guys. And that’s good because they can tell even better than we can.
    Now, quietly offing every nutcase mullah calling for jihad and throwing acid on infidel women and killing polio vaccination workers and what not might help. Seems their acolytes can’t operate without direct instruction.
    And our military can kill in small numbers, too. See bin Laden. Or drones.
    Or there’s The Three Conjectures. See The Belmont Club.

  87. Randy Says:

    This nation CAN’T permit the option of cession. To do so would entirely frustrate the entire purpose of the Constitution.

    I don’t think this follows. I think that the constitution properly understood restrains the hand of the central government from doing setting about to remake other regions of the USA just because they different. In fact, if the south weren’t still today on the receiving end of condescending attempts by the northern puritan heirs to use the ever centralizing power of the federal government correct our bad manners, these conversations might not sting the way they do and we might be able to forgot these things and we might not care whose fault the war was anymore.

    What Lincoln figured out, and which still eludes many, is that cession can ONLY lead to America becoming a fractured clone of Europe — fighting stupidly and viciously forever and ever.

    hmmm. maybe. I don’t know.

    A fractured America would NEVER be able to create, as it has, victory over the Nazis, Fascists and Shintoists… or prevail in the Cold War.

    Most likely.

    Cession, under our Constitution, really does mean civil war.

    How do you arrive at this?

  88. Indigo Red Says:

    I’ve been reading up on Julius Caesar this summer. Reading about his methods of war and justifications for same, I kept thinking of Sherman. Because of Sherman’s classical education at West Point, he would have been very familiar with Caesar’s campaigns and stratagems.

    J. Caesar preferred to lay waste to the enemies resources to the mass slaughter of enemies in battle and the aftermath. In this way he could then make the enemy an ally in the next campaign. This was in stark contrast to Napolean’s strategy, which was in vogue during the 1800s, that valued glory and fame over ending a war quickly and making allies, if not friends.

    Sherman disliked war but was very good at it. He wanted the war between the States to end quickly with as little killing as possible. During the Indian Wars that followed, he followed the same theory and ended the wars with the Plains Indians fairly quickly by destroying their food source. It’s not pretty, but it got the job done. The alternatives were to continue the off and on killing or the outright slaughter of the Indians, which was the preferred course for many law makers and most settlers.

    Sherman fought Caesar’s war. Eisenhower also fought Caesar’s war in WWII. It works.

  89. Beverly Says:

    Very late afterthought:

    Southerners fought for freedom.

    Only 2% of all white Southerners owned slaves: TWO percent.

    Therefore: Southerners fought for their freedom. Not for the planters’ interests, for cryin’ out loud. Most didn’t give a rat’s hairy posterior for the “peculiar institution” or for the planter class.

    A yeoman farmer’s cash income in the South in 1860 (per US Census): $50. Yes, fifty dollars. (Family farm owners = yeoman farmers: not tenants/sharecroppers). Cost of slaves? An old crone who could only manage housework would run you $200 (plus room and board); a young, strong fieldhand, $600-$800, and a skilled slave, like a carpenter, bricklayer, or blacksmith: $1,200.

    Because the North had them outnumbered 3 to 1; had most of the money (industrial versus agricultural economy), and most of the votes, and the Southerners were sick and tired of being tied by the leg to their overbearing neighbors, who kept beating them in Congressional tussles.

    Lastly: it wasn’t a civil war, because the South was Not Trying to take over the Union — they just wanted OUT. A civil war, properly speaking, is a battle over which faction will take control of the Nation.

    So the Southerners’ insistence on calling it “The War Between the States” is actually much more accurate.

    And again, I think Gen. Longstreet was right: “We should have freed the slaves — and THEN fired on Fort Sumter.”

    Night, y’all.

  90. Ymarsakar Says:

    Sherman’s methods did not destroy the insurgency that happened after the US Civil War was over. His goal was to end the war by breaking the will of his enemies to fight, based on morale and logistics.

    Since he spared the people, they regrouped into the KKK. All the planter class that controlled most high level Democrat politics, were never exterminated or eliminated. By the time they formed the KKK, Democrat power was fearsome enough that not even counter insurgency army operations launched by Republican military governors could defeat them, given the backing of North/South Democrats to the KKK.

    By killing Lincoln, the South assured that their future rested not in the hands of Northern Reconstruction, but in the hands of the Democrat party and their KKK para military, vote intimidating, insurgency wing. That was a nice life, if you had money and connections, but as we know with Democrat life in Detroit, New Orleans, Chicago, and DC, that doesn’t mean all that much for poor weak black and white farmers, workers, voters.

    If the Democrat regimes of the South had truly overturned the fearsome, civil liberty destroying Republicans, their Reconstruction, and their Negro pet political representatives in the house, then why do I continue to hear vast amounts of stories about people and their ancestors dying and suffering in the Reconstruction?

    Or perhaps the violence of those Dems back then was the very reason why Reconstruction was so horrible. If they had cooperated and agreed to work with the occupation forces, perhaps they would have had as much economic gain as Japan or even Iraq.

    After all, it takes quite a bit of will power for Republicans to keep sending money, manpower, and supplies to a South that kept sniping off the heads of Republicans and former slaves. We wouldn’t tolerate it if Karzai kept killing members of Seal Team Six for his tribal bank accounts, nor would we tolerate it if Iraq gave our contract money to AQ and demanded more for “reconstruction”. Would Japan have been provided “more goodies” if they kept fomenting insurgencies against MacArthur, killing his subordinates, and destroying US supplies and bases?

    Why is it now that people expect “Reconstruction” to be a success given what their own ancestors did in support of the KKK and Democrat regimes? It’s not like they “don’t get it”, is it. It’s more like for the past 150 years, nobody was allowed to say much of anything against Democrat histories in the South. Only recently in the last 30 years, was it even possible to question such stories. Any politician or Southerner was determined not part of the South if they supported Reconstructionist type policies or other things that might have broken the deadlock post civil war. Much like the black community only considers a black guy that votes Republican as an Uncle Tom and a race traitor, the Southerners didn’t get far economically speaking when all they did for decades on end was kill blacks, whites, and fight the Republican party all the time. Didn’t leave much time to “Reconstruct” anything, now did it. But the plantation owners more or less recovered, and when the North sought to make more railroad and economic stimulus deals with the south, those Democrat society leaders benefited the most. And the money then “trickled” down to the poor and bought their votes. If the KKK didn’t lynch it out of them first.

    It’s pretty sad, but then again it’s not much different from how Detroit operated under Democrat control for the last… oh various numbers of hell eras.

    The Union won the US Civil War, but lost the post reconstruction phase due to insurgency. It’s not much different from other US wars in general lately. If Democrat McClellan had been elected during the First Civil War, the South would look pretty much like a number of Detroits and Chicagos right about now. In that sense, perhaps Obama’s just one of those late triggers that really should have happened long ago, except for Sherman’s interruption.

  91. Ymarsakar Says:

    General Robert E. Lee was at West Point. When the call for war went up, nobody informed him about anything. He quit the academy and left to fight for his home state, even though he wasn’t going there to fight to end slavery.

    Nobody got his vote on whether the South would secede and get into a war with the north. Nobody asked him a damn thing. Freedom?

    What kind of freedom is that. If Robert E Lee didn’t get a damn choice, what would a bunch of illiterate white farmers and hunters that didn’t even own land, have been consulted on?

  92. Ymarsakar Says:

    And btw, “freedom” is a nice word. But given what the South’s KKK wing did to white and black voters who didn’t support the Democrat party, and what the South was fighting for in terms of political power to use slaves as part of their population to keep the economic system sustainable, that starts looking less like freedom and more like serfdom in some other name.

    Freedom for white clans but not for anyone else that wasn’t a Democrat shill? How is that freedom. That only benefits Democrat politicians banked by the planter class. When the Democrats talk about wars using cannonfodder, perhaps they were referring to their first use of it in the US.

    The more people fight to keep their hate alive for some dead white guys, the more I tend to think this is just some fake hate that isn’t even real to begin with. Too weak and is merely used by enemy propagandists to distract the people of the South from figuring things out for themselves.

    I’m not going to ask people to stop hating their ancestor’s enemies or what not. That’s impossible. Emotions cannot be denied with mere words nor can a past steeped in blood be removed by some high minded rhetoric. Old wars cannot be refought today. But what about the enemies of today, who had a hand in your ancestors destruction and suffering? Why can’t anyone spare a little bit of the resentment and hate they have for some dead Union generals, and give it to the Democrats that are alive right now, right here?

    Is the hate of the people so Shallow and so Weak that they can’t branch off a tiny sliver and feel it against the people living today. Or have the Democrats succeeded in preventing their prior serfs from ever hating the Democrat party as much as they hate the dead Union leaders? It is as I said before, if the blacks really hated institutional slavery and white racism, they should put a bullet in every one of their Jackson, Sharpton, Holder lookalike community parasites. If they really had hate in their hearts. The fact that they cannot aim that emotion towards a better target… says bad things about their total freedom of judgment.

    The resentment that gave rise to the KKK and the long years of civil strife. The hate that produced Democrat political dominion for decades on end. Why can’t people use that kind of emotion for something productive now. Just a tiny bit, 10% of it, would be enough to motivate enough people to fight the Left of today. Just a tiny bit. It’s far better than having to justify a war fought for somebody else’s gain. It’s far better than trying to justify slavery and honor beatings of Northerners as freedom. It’s far better than attempting to avenge one’s family line by fighting the memory of dead Union generals. There’s an enemy right now that can be lynched, killed, burned alive. There’s no need to hate some dead white males to pay back your ancestors. You can pay back the ancestors the Democrats made suffer, right now. With the Democrats right now.

    There’s a bunch of alive white males. Or at least the ones that came after Robert Vizard Byrd and Drowning Girl Kennedy.

    But I guess it’s still too soon. People aren’t ready. the South has only begun to free itself from the shackles of Democrat mind control. The Democrats dumped the South when people started becoming financial and intellectually independent. It became harder to brainwash those kinds of people. The Georgia and Carolina states always had this idea that Blue Dog Democrats were different. They knew what the South needed in terms of economic policy, and were different from “Northern Liberal Democrats”. But with Obama, that isn’t such cut and clear any more.

  93. Ymarsakar Says:

    Btw, if any state ever breaks from the US, they can now be treated like Japan, Germany, Afghanistan, and Iraq. But unlike those states, the federal government will nuke you. Just so you know. Because that is a greater threat to the American heartland than foreign jihadists.

    So basically, any politician or opinion leader that thought successful secession was going to be peaceful, was basically doing propaganda for some ulterior goal. Misleading and deceiving the people that their cause will not require sacrifices, but is a “right”. That’s what the Imperial Japanese military did to their own people in WWII.

    Nobody in Germany, Italy, or Japan got to vote on what the Allies did to them. Yet their Reconstruction isn’t full of crazy insurgencies and breakdowns in social order like the South had. Even though the South had political rights, they had lower social order. Whose fault was that though? If insurgencies kill a bunch of people in Germany under Allied occupation, that’s the fault of the Allies + killers. But when insurgencies kill a bunch of people in Georgia, who is ruled by Democrats only, whose fault is that then?

    Because the rebels were pardoned and treated as members of the Union, citizens, they got the vote back. And then proceeded to use that power to disenfranchise blacks, for some reason.

    The facts of the history doesn’t line up with the propaganda we hear about how the First Civil War began and ended. There’s a big deep pit in America. And it has nothing to do with the modern propaganda about race. It does have something to do with the history of the Democrat party, though.

    One of the foreign perceptions of America is that we talk big about justice, nuke and bomb foreigners overseas and justify it as justice, but when the going gets tough, we make excuses and retreat. A lot of that comes from mental and spiritual sins/weaknesses from the First Civil War. A guerilla insurgency backed by economic, social, and political leaders made US leaders back down and sacrifice the blacks and most of the South. WWI and WWII were fought against nations that “successfully seceded”, one could say. Since they were their own country, it meant the US was just going to blow them up and scatter the ashes around. That was the US “really waging war”. This had the result that no insurgency happened afterwards. At least not major ones. The aid of local military or political leaders helped.

    In that timeline, Vietnam isn’t a first or outlier, but just a continuation of a centuries old trend.

    The fact that there was even enough planters and Southerners to “form” an insurgency called the KKK, meant Sherman wasn’t really into total war slaughter mode. It was just the propaganda that served political interests to portray him as so. Robert E. Lee counseled against such pride and anger, but he died way too soon and the Democrats in the North and South never did give him any power. He was just a figurehead, used as a national war hero to boost Democrat ratings. A sad fate really. I think Lincoln, if he listened to Sherman, might have appointed Confederate generals with Sherman and Grand, administration of all Southern states if Lincoln had lived.

  94. carl in atlanta Says:

    Not to “whine”, but I trust that everyone can at least agree that the Civil War proved one fundamental point: Regardless of any platitudes in the Declaration of Independence, there is no right to secede from the USA.

    Sort of like the Hotel California:

    “Relax, ” said the night man,
    “We are programmed to receive.
    You can check-out any time you like,
    But you can never leave… ”

    NTTAWWT.

  95. Armchair pessimist Says:

    Question to all of you upholding the right to secede: When the demographics tip heavily enough in the southwest states, what if they say Adios?

    Re Sherman: After the carnage of the 30 Years’ War the Europeans did by and large practice kinder, gentler wars. In one of the innumerable battles in the 18th Century the French politely invited the British to fire first, which from the vantage point of the murderous 20th century sounds laughable. Fredrick the Great boasted that when he had a war, which he frequently did, his peasants and merchants never noticed. When the allied armies entered France in 1814-15 to finish off Napoleon, they observed the strictest correctness toward lives and property. Again, try to keep the civilians out of it. This policy partly explains why France, which had so troubled all Europe for 25 years, was so swiftly reconciled & returned to the family of nations.

    True, Marches to the Sea, Dresdens and Hiroshimas work too, but taking that route is, so to speak, a double-edged sword.

  96. Randy Says:

    Carl in Atlanta says:

    “Not to “whine”, but I trust that everyone can at least agree that the Civil War proved one fundamental point: Regardless of any platitudes in the Declaration of Independence, there is no right to secede from the USA”

    We cannot agree on that point. The war that you referred to by that name proved “might makes right”. But of course that rule (1) never really needs proving, and (2) never renders a final verdict on any other broad principle.

  97. Richard Aubrey Says:

    ymar.
    You’re talking about individual reactions to terror attacks, mostly as the attacks get going or afterwards. I think Rickl is talking about privately-funded attacks on somebody or other. That wouldn’t be privateering under M&R, which presumes the result would be a self-supporting, possibly profitable, economic blockade. Not sure where he’s thinking of starting, Dearborn or Tripoli or Riyadh or someplace.
    I suppose it would depend on the individual’s sense of being offended. If somebody in my family suffered an acid attack here in the midwest, I don’t suppose I’d need a passport, or even to pack a lunch, to get started.

    V. Hanson observes that the South hates Sherman because he shamed their bold–just ask them–cavaliers in front of their women and slaves. Grant, on the other hand, who killed so many more of their men, is a noble opponent.

  98. Don Carlos Says:

    Beverley:
    Thanks for your voice of sanity.

    I find it scary that Neo’s post has generated a great deal of nutty invective from folks we usually think of here as “reasoned.”

  99. Gringo Says:

    Beverly

    Very late afterthought: Southerners fought for freedom. Only 2% of all white Southerners owned slaves: TWO percent.Therefore: Southerners fought for their freedom. Not for the planters’ interests, for cryin’ out loud.

    I would agree with Beverly that once the shooting began, the foot soldiers of the South, who had mostly been yeoman farmers before the war, were fighting to defend their homelands. Recall the anecdote that Shelby Foote told in Ken Burns’s Civil War epic. A Union soldier asked a captured Confederate soldier why he was fighting. “Because YOUR’E here.”

    However, the original reasons for secession had much more to do with slavery than with freedom. In the South Carolina Declaration of Secession, I found eighteen mentions of “slave.” [This would include "slavery," "slaveholding," etc.] There is but one mention of “freedom.” Eighteen to one: that is a pretty good indication that slavery was of much more importance for secession than freedom was.

    One objection to remaining in the Union was the election of a man who was opposed to slavery, although he had also often stated that slavery within the slaveholding states was protected by the Constitution.

    A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

    Lincoln was also opposed to the extension of slavery, wanting to keep it confined to current slaveholding states. The South knew that the addition of non-slaveholding states carved from the Western territories would end the control of Congress and the Presidency that the South had maintained for most of the history of the US. The election of Lincoln, without any support from the South, was an indication of how history was trending: no more Southern control of Congress and the Presidency. The South took its ball and went home.

    The South Carolina Declaration of Secession also complains of Northern refusal to support reclaiming fugitive slaves. The South Carolina Declaration of Secession cites Article Four of the Constitution in support of fugitive slave laws.

    The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows:
    “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”
    This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.

    To my admittedly incompletely informed mind, it would appear to me that from Article Four that the Constitution did sanction fugitive slave laws. On the other hand, enforcing of fugitive slave laws in the North would only increase rancor between North and South.

    Disclaimer: My family tree includes foot soldiers on both sides. It also includes a Confederate Colonel whose slaveowning father, according to family lore, was the biggest landowner in the county. My family tree also includes a member who was killed at Harper’s Ferry, fighting on the side of John Brown.

  100. Gringo Says:

    Beverly

    And again, I think Gen. Longstreet was right: “We should have freed the slaves — and THEN fired on Fort Sumter.”.

    Those who wrote the South Carolina Declaration of Secession had no intention whatsoever of freeing the slaves. No intention whatsoever. If you disagree with me, please read the document.

  101. DNW Says:

    I would recommend that most get a copy of Commager’s Civil War archives and peruse them when they have some leisure.

    Just reading the letters and opinions of those involved will be an eye-opener, as the moral sensibilities and emotional construction of the “average” contending parties could not be much more different.

    Obnoxious and puffed-up Fire-Eaters aside, I was dismayed and startled to find that the southerners in general expressed themselves in ways more congenial and in ways less fanatical than many, not all certainly, of the northerners whose selections were chosen.

    The ideological fervor, the virtual worship of “nation”, and “unity” and “mankind” of many of the northerners came as a complete surprise to me. A people they disdained as ignorant rubes had had the gall to find their secularized religion unappealing. The emotionalism of “the Northerner” of that time, my political ancestors, took me by almost complete surprise, even though I had been forced to read Transcendentalist literature in college and was familiar with at least one neurotic crackpot strain that had existed within the New England states.

    How’d you like to be laid up in a ward and have Walt Whitman fumbling at your bedclothes?

    No wonder we can’t all just get along.

  102. DNW Says:

    Gringo Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Beverly

    And again, I think Gen. Longstreet was right: “We should have freed the slaves — and THEN fired on Fort Sumter.”.

    Those who wrote the South Carolina Declaration of Secession had no intention whatsoever of freeing the slaves. No intention whatsoever. If you disagree with me, please read the document.”

    That is certainly true I would think for the first seven, or so of the seceding states.

    And the hot heads of SC certainly did themselves no favors by attacking Sumpter, and probably had every intention of precipitating an open conflict that would force choices.

    They unfortunately succeeded. Much as in the Boer war, those most reluctant to fight, were the ones who carried resistance on the longest and most effectively, well after the hysterics and blowhards had run out of energy, if not spite.

  103. carl in atlanta Says:

    Randy at 8:32 AM:

    “We cannot agree on that point. The war that you referred to by that name proved “might makes right”. But of course that rule (1) never really needs proving, and (2) never renders a final verdict on any other broad principle.”

    I respectfully maintain that this was the very broad principle that was resolved by the war. [No invective intended!] Say what you will about the slavery issue, the very issue resolved by the war was whether the dissenting “States” (and given the outcome of the war I hope you’ll understand why I’m using those quotation marks) had the right to withdraw from the Union. The war determined for all time that they dis not have that right. Legally speaking, I believe this outcome is in effect effect a “binding precedent” (apologies to Al Gore for the use of his phrase in this context).

    It would have been far better had the issue been litigated to a judicial decision recognized as binding and final by all concerned, but alas, it was not. It was decided by force of arms.

    In my opinion the South deserves PLENTY of blame for being the first to “get physical” — talk about a mouse that roared! — but even today there is something truly unsettling (maybe including lingering pangs of conscience?) about the sheer ferocity of reaction of the federals.

    Might indeed does make right, and the victors do get to write the history. And slavery was indeed a despicable — and doomed — institution, but the war between the states was not all about slavery. If nothing else, the current histrionics about race in this country should serve as a warning about giving too much credence to simplistic arguments based on politically charged demagoguery. And the current deplorable state of the MSM (and academia) ought also to provide other lessons about the reliability of “received wisdom”.

    Like rickl said yesterday, “It’s complicated”.

  104. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Saw a C-Span discussion with the author of “What This Cruel War Was Over”–riff on “When This Cruel War is Over”–in which she said she looked at letters in state archives from both north and south.
    Both sides’ letters home, or to whomever, referenced slavery hugely more often than we would think. She talked about how disorienting it was not to find what she expected…talk about secession, autocrats, loyalty, ribbing regiments from other areas, etc…but both north and south talked about slavery.
    That the proportion of slaveowners was small is partly relevant. But non-slaveowners could rent slave gangs for temporary work, or harvest, or whatever. And if you weren’t a slave owners, your uncle might own half a dozen, which was capital you might inherit or at least which represented part of his wealth.
    Keep in mind further that the plans were to expand slavery to the west and to Central America–see William Walker and filibustering. A good many non-slaveowners might–some say they have the proof–were looking forward to a kind of Conquest of various areas and setting themselves up as the conquistadores did. Or at least finding more land to be worked with slaves.
    Thing is, south of the Ohio River there’s a distinct shortage of flat, fat blacksoil farmland. There are hills, hollows, delta, valleys. The good land was taken by the big shooters and the yeoman were in the hills and you can’t farm scenery.
    Example, come through IN and IL and cross the Mississippi at St. Louis. Instantly you go from flat, blacksoil farming to rocky hills. There are pastures, but almost no fields on the way to Branson or Rolla down I44. Gone that route a couple of times recently. I swear, west of the river I didn’t see an ag implement bigger than a lawnmower. No grain elevators on the horizon like gigantic cathedrals.
    Or south on I75; through VA to Williamsburg. If an ambitious guy wanted to improve himself, trying to get the good land from the power structure wouldn’t be where to start. Heading out–bringing or planning on buying–slaves would be more attractive.

  105. DNW Says:

    “The war determined for all time that they dis not have that right. Legally speaking, I believe this outcome is in effect effect a “binding precedent” (apologies to Al Gore for the use of his phrase in this context).”

    Sure, until it’s ignored and no one is willing to die for it.

  106. blert Says:

    Beverly…

    “Very late afterthought:”

    “Southerners fought for freedom.”

    They fought in solidarity for their communities. The Bill of Rights and all the rest were never imperiled by the war aims of the North. The ONLY issue on the table, at first, was cession. Lincoln refused to even bring up slavery as a point of contention. The issue was flagged by the Southern Democrat leadership – in signature editorials that are now Winston’d down the memory hole. They were the 19th Century’s version of “Why We Fight.”

    “Only 2% of all white Southerners owned slaves: TWO percent.”

    The ENTIRE structure of their economy turned on slavery – particularly the indirect effects. Whites benefited massively even without direct ownership of human property. The slave owners sustained well compensated White employees, numbered far beyond their own, to run their plantations. Even those not directly on the plantation payroll were indirectly employed. After a fashion, the plantations were the Forbes 400 of their era. EVERYTHING turned on them: politics, trade set-ups, cultural leadership, societal norms.

    “Therefore: Southerners fought for their freedom. Not for the planters’ interests, for cryin’ out loud. Most didn’t give a rat’s hairy posterior for the “peculiar institution” or for the planter class.”

    How to explain the post-war KKK? It’s not known as a refuge of the brilliant and wealthy. The plantation economy was also a caste ridden society. Upsetting that layer cake was THE bone of contention for the rankers.

    “A yeoman farmer’s cash income in the South in 1860 (per US Census): $50. Yes, fifty dollars. (Family farm owners = yeoman farmers: not tenants/sharecroppers). Cost of slaves? An old crone who could only manage housework would run you $200 (plus room and board); a young, strong fieldhand, $600-$800, and a skilled slave, like a carpenter, bricklayer, or blacksmith: $1,200.”

    America was so illiquid before the California gold rush that the wooden nickel was invented. (Wood ducked the counterfeiting laws.) Most of the specie in the country was foreign. (British, Austrian and Spanish) Vast zones in the interior functioned without money at all. Barter and animal pelts ruled such commerce. Hence the slang: making a buck is still with us. (A buck was a skin, of course.)

    “Because the North had them outnumbered 3 to 1; had most of the money (industrial versus agricultural economy), and most of the votes, and the Southerners were sick and tired of being tied by the leg to their overbearing neighbors, who kept beating them in Congressional tussles.”

    Most of the CASH was in the South, not the North. The North ran chronic trade deficits with Europe. It was so UNINDUSTRIALIZED that it always wanted tariffs to direct Southern (cash) purchasing power up to budding (not ready for prime time) firms in the North. The North DID NOT start the war with an industrial economy. It was the war itself that made the North an industrial power. (To be repeated in WWI and WWII, the latter the creator of world scale mass production.)
    War spending created America’s first mass produced goods: weapons. They were not on hand for Bull Run.

    It was during 1861 that the North started to produce hard tack in serious quantity for the soldiers in the field… shipped by train. This was the beginning of the mass logistics that we take for granted with the US Army.

    “Lastly: it wasn’t a civil war, because the South was Not Trying to take over the Union — they just wanted OUT. A civil war, properly speaking, is a battle over which faction will take control of the Nation.”

    Flatly wrong. History is filled with civil wars that went on, and on, and on, all started by cession. In the ancient day, cession normally took the form of putting a new crew on the throne – of just part of the previous polity – unilaterally – but sometimes not.

    Roman history is overrun with these travails. Alexander’s heirs went straight to civil war, too. The Orient was also riven by just such civil wars. There are really too many to count.

    “So the Southerners’ insistence on calling it “The War Between the States” is actually much more accurate.”

    Try “The War Between the Factions.” THAT’S an entirely accurate term. Within the South, itself, civility broke down. Many Scots-Irish in the hills absolutely would NOT support the plantation masters. Texas politics was split in two. Sam Houston bitterly opposed cession. He was more clear eyed than Rhett Butler. If you’re willing to throw in the vast bulk of the slaves, themselves; then the South didn’t even have a plurality of the Americans living in the Confederacy on their side.

    This truth is somewhat balanced by the Copperheads up north who were so anti-Lincoln that they’d do their best to sabotage the union and the cause.

    “And again, I think Gen. Longstreet was right: “We should have freed the slaves — and THEN fired on Fort Sumter.”

    The Fort Sumter propaganda opera was quite odd. It unfolded more like a Kabuki drama. Even after cession was ratified, the Federals and local militia were wining and dining each other – at the dockside.(!) Such custom was more in the style of the duel ritual. Indeed, the ENTIRE enterprise was conducted like it was a duel of honor. Not withstanding the agitprop, Federal casualties were nil. The Carolinians and Federals ‘shot’ at each other’s defense works in such a way and manner as to preclude their purported intent. Such an outcome had been negotiated before the first shot!

    The result was that the Fort’s officers could duly report a ferocious ‘battle’ (to Lincoln) while reporting (virtually) no blood. Ditto for the South Carolinians. Their personal martial honor was preserved. The whole episode was akin to a gauntlet slapping – this time with major canons.

    Most high school texts, even today, certainly in the North, never mention the farcical aspects of this ‘battle.’

    At the time, the Federals were up in arms, as they actually believed that the events were not staged.

    But, how else to explain the militia GIVING PERMISSION for the Federals to fire their guns, or that the only Federal fatality occurred when firing their own cannon? And, of course, the fort ‘couldn’t find’ any way of counter-battery fire worth a dang. By 1861, exploding shells were THE preferred way to sink warships. Yet, the fort commander explained away why his were unavailable for the fight. The South Carolinians suffered no casualties at all, save for one exploding cannon. Some battle. The timing was totally political.

    Lincoln was told that the fort was going to run out of food – strangely only days after he becomes President. What a coincidence. (!)

    Major Anderson gave up the fort – even though the militia didn’t have the capacity to make an opposed landing – and the USN was on the way, he still had food, and only one (accidentally) dead trooper.

    This is the stuff of Hogan’s Heroes.

    None of the players would’ve proceeded if they’d had the slightest clue as to how their drama was to be received. They thought that Lincoln would play it like Benghazi, like Barry.

    However, Lincoln was grim and determined to sustain the Union, something that obsessed him from 1837 onwards. He foresaw a century into the future, and the need to keep the USA one polity because the machinations of Europe.

  107. Gringo Says:

    carl in atlanta @ August 12th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    even today there is something truly unsettling (maybe including lingering pangs of conscience?) about the sheer ferocity of reaction of the federals.

    Neither side anticipated a long war. The North figured that its advantages in men and material would make it a short fight. The South figured that Northerners were a bunch of wusses who would fold at the first exposure to gallant Southern fighting spirit. Both were mistaken. Both were ferocious in their response. “In the Confederacy, at least 18 percent of white males of military age died between 1861 and 1865, three times the rate at which Northern white men died.” There is ferociousness both in being willing to kill and in being willing to die. As I see it, the North was no more ferocious than the South. Perhaps a better term than “ferocious” would be “determined.”

    And regarding “sheer ferocity,” I am reminded of the South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks’s caning of Senator Charles Sumner in the Senate chamber. There was plenty of ferocity on both sides.

    And regarding those who consider General Sherman’s destruction of property- with minimal killing of Confederate soldiers and civilians- to be ferocious, my reply is that his march through Georgia and the Carolinas, by demoralizing the South and by cutting off material supply of Lee’s army, helped end the Civil War. Which is more ferocious- or which is less merciful- a policy which helps end the war in six months, or a policy which results in two or more years of war?

    carl in atlanta, I would also point out that a slaveholding society is also built on the foundation of “might makes right.” Losing in “might makes right” to the North- heist on one’s own petard.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caning_of_Charles_Sumner

  108. Ymarsakar Says:

    It’s hard to deny the popular feelings and emotions conveyed in individual letters.

    So I won’t deny them their existence. However, I will note that if one sees the same letters from Iraq, Japan, Germany, Korea, and Afghanistan, we will find a particular feeling or emotion: patriotism. Complaints, certainly. Disagreement with officers, policies, and commanders, yes. But belief, if only in the work and comrades at hand, you would find in the super majority of cases.

    But where would you find the sentiments of an Obama, their COmmander in Chief? Where will you find his disdain, his cowardice, his murderous jealous entertainment streak in war? You won’t. You won’t find the sentiments of the leaders of the North and South, who caused, continued, maintained, and ended the war. You won’t find the sentiments of the insurgency that maintained an Era of Terror post war. You won’t find it in those letters.

    For the people that serve at the bottom, are not given close confidence in the war counsels of their masters. Their duty is to do or die. For good or evil. For victory or defeat.

  109. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Ymar,
    I suppose you could assert the troops had been sold a bill on slavery.
    On the other hand, what that means is that slavery was a big deal prior to the war. Good propaganda which fooled practically everybody on both sides.
    Point about the letters is that the northern troops despised slavery and the southern troops thought they needed to defend it along with everything else. Forrest said as much. It was not that they all agreed that slavery was the issue. It was that they thought hard about slavery themselves.
    I get somewhat annoyed when it seems as if the URP–usual run of people–are presumed to be incapable of thought or moral agency. But the worldly-wise need to claim it, or they’d be thinking what everybody else thinks and where’s the distinction in that?
    However, the two percent of the southerners who owned slaves paid a good deal of money to the manufacturing, importing, shipping and professional classes who themselves mgiht not own slaves.
    A bachelor lawyer living in a rented place in town might hire a married couple to run the household. The livery stable where he kept or rented horses might have slaves; the clients who paid him probably did, Slavery had more to do with society than merely picking cotton.

  110. n.n Says:

    First, what doesn’t break you makes you stronger. War must be waged in order to break your enemy’s body and spirit.

    Second, it is dissociation of risk which causes corruption. It is dreams of instant or immediate gratification which motivates its progress. War must never be entered into without recognizing its full consequences.

    While a consensus for waging war is desirable, a formal declaration of war is preferable. There must be a comprehensive distribution of risk.

  111. Armchair pessimist Says:

    The Civil War was like a necessary but horribly destructive cancer operation. The evil was removed but so were many healthy and vital organs. Oncologically speaking, the operation was a success but the patient is dying.

  112. Ymarsakar Says:

    Richard, the economic system was indeed reliant on slavery. Which was a problem. However, if Mr. Lincoln had shown in his words or action that he had attempted to wage war in order to shatter or change someone’s economy, that would be unjust and tyrannical. That was what I expected to find when I heard Southerners speak of Lincoln as a tyrant.

    I found no such thing, however. That was where I started digging.

    Expecting entire cultures and states to give up their economic life and blood in in order to submit to the federal government is indeed wrong and tyranny. But that was not Mr. Lincoln’s desire or goal. What the Southern leaders wanted and what the Northern leaders wanted, won’t be found in the personal letters of those at the bottom. Even though many people will infer such things once they have read it.

  113. The Democrat Institution of Slavery | Sake White Says:

    […] http://neoneocon.com/2013/08/10/sherman-on-kinder-gentler-war/ […]

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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