Jeers to the Lazy C’s Claims on the War Between the States

by lewwaters

The Lazy C is hard at it again, doing their best to destroy “PRIVATE PROPERTY rights” and spew revisionist history.

Odd how their revisionist history stated in the screen capture from the Saturday July 11, 2015 Cheers & Jeers column is deemed so important when there are ample quotes from the era showing the opposite of their claim.

Col Confederate Flag

For example, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

“I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists.” Lincoln from an 1858 letter.

“I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of … making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”

“I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” Lincoln in the Lincoln – Douglas debates

“I view the matter as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion,” adding “I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition.” Lincoln in explaining his rationale with the Emancipation Proclamation.

“We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free.” William Seward, Lincoln’s Secretary of State expressing the hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation.

“If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.” Lincoln 1862 letter to Horace Greeley

“This war must go on till the last of this generation falls in his tracks, and his children seize his musket and fight our battle, unless you acknowledge our right to self-government. We are not fighting for Slavery. We are fighting for independence, and that or extermination we will have.” Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy as quoted in a July 25, 1864 New York Times editorial, “Is Peace Attainable? How?”

“It was only during Reconstruction that the cause of the war, slavery, was wedded so inextricably to the war’s eventual byproduct, emancipation. But six months after Fort Sumter, these issues were so hotly contested that the Union effort seemed threatened not merely by the surprisingly capable Confederate forces, but by the battle over abolition and its place in the Union fight. How could the remaining states in the Union prevail if they were so divided over the issue of freeing the slaves?”

“Seemingly always there to stir up more trouble, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner leapt into the headlines with a speech at the Republican State Convention in Worcester on Oct. 1 called ‘Emancipation: Our Best Weapon.’ In trying to transform the war for Union into a ‘war of abolition,’ conservatives feared that Sumner would draw out the war and poison the Republicans as ‘a ‘John Brown Party’.” A War Not for Abolition, New York Times October 11, 2011

Finally, the one part that I feel most dispels this revisionist history of the war fought solely over ending slavery, The Corwin Amendment proposed by President Buchanan and promoted by President Abraham Lincoln, a constitutional amendment that would have protected the institution of slavery and made it fully legal for all time in the states where it then existed.

If, as claimed by revisionist historians and the likes of the Lazy C, the war was solely about slavery, this one offer would have prevented the war and very well might have restored the Union prior to any hostilities, in my estimation.

Let there be no mistake, I personally feel slavery was a hideous institution that never should have been. My argument is not to defend slavery, but to show the truth that while an issue at the time, the North’s War of Aggression against the South was about much more.

I also make no claim of Black people in America ever being treated well overall. To do so would be a complete fallacy as it is a well documented fact that they have been wrongfully treated throughout America and our history, not just in the South. But, that is a subject for a future post.

As much as slavery should have never existed, neither should Lincoln have sent Troops to the South after South Carolina ousted the Union Army from their land at Ft. Sumter. Nor should Lincoln have been allowed to get away with the many violations of the Constitution in the Northern States, arbitrary midnight arrests of thousands of civilians suspected to have sympathies to the Confederacy, arresting the legislature of Maryland to prevent a legislative vote on secession, establishing Martial Law to forcibly keep Northerners in line and more.

Also ignored by so many is that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declaring slaves free in states not under his control, not only still allowed slavery to exist in the states under Union control where slavery was practiced, but would have allowed slavery to exist in the South if they surrendered.

Another fallacy is that the South wanted to overthrow the United States Government. If that was the goal, Gen. Lee could have easily done that by surrounding Washington D.C. early in the war and arresting Lincoln and the government since the Confederacy was winning the early battles.

He did not as the goal was the same as when the Colonies rebelled against Great Britain, freedom to self determination and Liberty from an oppressive government.

Even citizens of the North were very reluctant and opposed to a fight for freedom of slaves, as stated in this PBS article, The Civil War and emancipation 1861 – 1865

“President Lincoln insisted that the war was not about slavery or black rights; it was a war to preserve the Union. His words were not simply aimed at the loyal southern states, however — most white northerners were not interested in fighting to free slaves or in giving rights to black people. For this reason, the government turned away African American volunteers who rushed to enlist. Lincoln upheld the laws barring blacks from the army, proving to northern whites that their race privilege would not be threatened.”

About midway through the war, slavery transitioned to a cause for the war as we read from PBS,

“Though ‘contraband’ slaves had been declared free, Lincoln continued to insist that this was a war to save the Union, not to free slaves. But by 1862, Lincoln was considering emancipation as a necessary step toward winning the war. The South was using enslaved people to aid the war effort. Black men and women were forced to build fortifications, work as blacksmiths, nurses, boatmen, and laundresses, and to work in factories, hospitals, and armories. In the meantime, the North was refusing to accept the services of black volunteers and freed slaves, the very people who most wanted to defeat the slaveholders. In addition, several governments in Europe were considering recognizing the Confederacy and intervening against the Union. If Lincoln declared this a war to free the slaves, European public opinion would overwhelmingly back the North.” (emphasis added)

It is well known that history is written by the victors and nothing shows that more than the North’s oppression of the South over the last 150 years in fabricating the cause of the war. In my estimation, they had to do that in order for them justify the war in the first place, forgetting that everywhere else slavery was ended, it did not require such a war.

We will never know for sure, but several people have claimed slavery was very gradually dying in the South. Reinforcing my speculation in that regard, I read from Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his article, Free Blacks Lived in the North, Right?

“In that raging year of Lincoln’s election and Southern secession, there were a total of 488,070 free blacks living in the United States, about 10 percent of the entire black population. Of those, 226,152 lived in the North and 261,918 in the South, in 15 states (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) plus the District of Columbia. Let me break that down further: A few months before the Confederacy was born, there were 35,766 more free black people living in the slave-owning South than in the North, and removing D.C. from the equation wouldn’t have shifted the result. And they stayed there during the Civil War.”

“At no time before the Civil War (at least not after the first U.S. Census was taken in 1790 and future states were added) did free blacks in the North ever outnumber those in the South!”

And, we cannot forget that many of those Free Blacks voluntarily fought for the Confederacy for any variety of reasons.

For some insight into the main reasons the war was fought, I invite you to read Walter Williams
Dec. 2, 1998 article: The Civil War wasn’t about slavery

American & Confederate FlagI’ve said many times to friends that this current flap over the Confederate Flag is not about the flag itself so much as it is the complete eradication of Southern Heritage, a heritage steeped in the desire of and willingness to fight for freedoms and liberty. Black or White, doesn’t matter, Southerners hold a deep respect for America’s promise of freedom and liberty and even though it was denied in the past to some, that desire remains today.

Once that is gone, a large block of resistance to totalitarian rules is gone.

Likewise, my recent research into the War Between the States, seeking out early documents, speeches, letters and what have you convinces me more than ever those modern revisionist historians and media like the Lazy C are completely full of crap!

Stand up for yourselves, America.

18 Comments to “Jeers to the Lazy C’s Claims on the War Between the States”

  1. Lew, I agree that whatever is good about Southern Heritage is under attack with the current blind and ignorant national (not South Carolina) attack on the battle flag. I used to think along the same lines myself until I learned that Robert E. Lee did not fight for slavery – he abhorred the institution and considered it a blight on the country. He freed his family’s slaves reluctantly because they depended on him and his prosperity for their own sustenance.

    Ulysses S. Grant freed his family’s slaves on his deathbed.

    I used to believe that Jefferson Davis was a traitor – he wasn’t. He was never tried for treason because his stand was entirely constitutional at the time.

    Most recently, I read this book: What They Fought For by James M. McPherson.

    The book examines hundreds of letters and diaries of soldiers on both sides written in the heat of the conflict. Slavery is barely mentioned in those personal writings. Soldiers on both sides were acutely cognizant of the constitutional questions at stake, though. Both sides saw the present conflict as an extension of the wars with England.

    Quoting from a socialist website and the book – In introducing the material, the author makes the general point that a large number of the soldiers on both sides “were intensely aware of the issues at stake and passionately concerned about them.” He notes “that these were the most literate armies in history to that time,” since more than 80 percent of Confederate soldiers and more than 90 percent of white Union soldiers could read and write. Furthermore, most of the soldiers were volunteers and their median age at enlistment was 24, which meant that a majority had voted in the election of 1860, “the most heated and momentous in American history.”

    Newspapers were widely read in both armies and political discussion took place, according to the diaries McPherson quotes, on a wide scale. Several units, he writes, established debating societies which considered quite complex social questions. One such society organized among convalescing soldiers debated the following: “Resolved that the present struggle will do more to establish and maintain a republican form of government than the Revolutionary war.”

  2. Robert, all slaves were freed by the end of 1865 with the ratification of the 13th amendment, outlawing slavery. Ulysses Grant lived on much longer and became President. George Washington freed the slaves he had for 56 years upon his death, which was a fairly common practice I believe.

    Grant owned one slave outright that he freed in 1859, but managed more on his wife’s farm throughout the war Between the States. also freed by the 13th amendment.

    Davis demanded a trial for treason and it became a dilemma for the Union: Jefferson Davis: The famous trial that never was

    It also set the stage for the claim of the war was solely about slavery and took nearly a century to achieve by ignoring many real documents of the time, to include letters, magazine articles and newspaper articles.

    In my research I have come across more than one historian giving an honest search for the truth claiming some records were very obviously altered to reflect what someone wanted it to say, mostly in the case of a Black Confederate Soldier switched to being a “man-servant.”

    Black Southerner have been filled with a load of bunk about their history, as Professor gates admitted about his own ancestry in one of the articles I link to above. Even he was astonished to discover his own ancestors, although once slaves, were free before the American Revolution and remained free throughout the War Between the States.

    Maybe if the truth about the war had been taught all of these years instead of pitting us against each other over the past 150 years, just maybe there would not be the animosity between the races today. But, that we will never know.

  3. My mistake. Yes, it was 1859 that Grant freed his slave.

  4. The hubris that spawned the misconception in Lee’s mind that people were better off as Christian slaves than as heathen aboriginals was the same hubris that led Lincoln to believe that blacks were not fit to attend dinner functions in polite society. White supremacy was mainstream then and has been until very recently having been taught in school science textbooks to illustrate the truth of Darwinism. Frederick Dougglas recognized that Lincoln was both a product of his time and a harbinger of better things to come.

    “I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of his country, we are compelled to admit that this unfriendly feeling on his part may be safely set down as one element of his wonderful success in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendous conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that conflict. His great mission was to accomplish two things: first, to save his country from dismemberment and ruin; and, second, to free his country from the great crime of slavery. To do one or the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy and the powerful cooperation of his loyal fellow-countrymen. Without this primary and essential condition to success his efforts must have been vain and utterly fruitless. Had he put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the Union, he would have inevitably driven from him a powerful class of the American people and rendered resistance to rebellion impossible. Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.”

    Even though presently we consider ourselves above prejudice and bigotry still our outlook is tainted with a tinge of the assumption of racial superiority – it is human nature I fear.

  5. Yes, he inherited a mass number of slaves when his father-in-law died. The provision of the will called for them to be freed within 5 years if the plantation were profitble. Lee held them for that 5 years because the plantation was not profitable, but freed them at the end as mandated in the will.

    Also blurred by revision, the tale of Jefferson Davis and his wife taking in a young mulatto boy, Jim Limber that became fast friends with their children.

    Revision claim they did not see him as an equal based on a letter where he was referred to as their “pet.” Ignored is that the word “pet” back then meant a favored one.

    When Davis’ family was captured, Jim Limber was separated from them by Union soldiers, never to be heard from again, even though Jefferson Davis tried to find him and be reunited. Doesn’t sound to me like a man that hated Black people.

  6. As I indicated in the post, Lincoln’s desire, beside shredding the constitution and Bill of Rights as he did, was to have all freed slaves and Black people deported from the U.S. claiming the races could not live together and blaming much of the cause of the war on the fact that Blacks were in the country.

    One big mistake too many people make with history is they judge olden times by today’s standards. While we can look back and see wrongs and something that never should have been, we have to remember times were different then as were attitudes, Blacks and White included.

    We don’t want to repeat the past, but we must judge it within its own time.

  7. Yes, but we can’t help but apply our own filters to whatever we see. I have wondered if the South was fighting to preserve slavery why would a non-slave holder risk life and limb for an institution that impoverishes himself and his family? Applying my own predilections to the question leads me to surmise that fear would do the trick. No one, north or south, wanted black freed slaves, especially not armed black freed slaves, roaming their streets and neighborhoods at night. I see nothing in history or in my contemporaneous observations that would temper that supposition.

  8. And yet, as noted by Frederick Douglss early on in the war, there were armed Blacks fighting the Union Army in the Confederacy when the North still forbid them from serving.

    It is a very complex era of history, nowhere near as cut and dried as some try to make it.

    And there was also the New York Draft Riots when Lincoln instituted the draft to forcibly enlist Whites to fight against the South.

  9. The author makes a grave error in his article. Although he said, “Let’s set aside what people said and wrote later, after the dust had settled. Let’s wipe the historic slate clean and visit the South of 150 years ago through the documents that survive from that time,” it is very apprent he retains the notion of slavery being the main cause and seeks proof of just that.

    While slavery was indeed a part, it was not the whole part and if it were, the offer of the Corwin Amendment to constitutionally protect slavery in the slave states then should have precluded any hostilities, I believe.

    Then too, there is the matter of more Free Blacks within the South than in the North as well as Blacks that volunteered to fight for the Confederacy as well as numerous Black Slave owners in the South.

    It is far more complex than modern historians claim.

  10. The lack of the knowledge of history is amazing among the “educated class” is it not?

  11. They stopped educating some time ago an began indoctrinating.

    Sad to see those with some college degree that struggle to make change for a dollar without a calculator.

  12. History is the polemics of the victor, William F. Buckley once said. Not so in the United States, at least not regarding the Civil War. As soon as the Confederates laid down their arms, some picked up their pens and began to distort what they had done and why. The resulting mythology took hold of the nation a generation later and persists rights.

    The Confederates won with the pen (and the noose) what they could not win on the battlefield: the cause of white supremacy and the dominant understanding of what the war was all about. We are still digging ourselves out from under the misinformation they spread, which has manifested in our public monuments and our history books.

  13. This will be your last comment here, Nathan. Not because we are in disagreement, but because you previously came in under two names to support yourself. This one is approved to show how ignorant you are.

    On that, you cite some ridiculous claim that we SOutherners picked up our pens and began rewriting history from day one.


    I say that because you all have also portrayed us as backwoods, ignorant and uneducated hicks that did not even know how to write.

    You cannot have it both ways.

    Incidentally, no Confederate wrote Lincoln’s words for him that I quote above and Professor henry Louis Gates Jr. I often qute is a Black man, not supportive of the Confederacy, but a true historian interested in the truth, unlike your ilk.

    With that, I bid you farewell

  14. Hi Lew – I have written to you prior regarding the flags in Ridgefield. I found this story about the old Jefferson Davis Highway markers and their history in Clark County. I found it very interesting and I actually would agree with them placing the road marker there as it gives a true history of why the “unofficial” name of the highway was given. Like I said, I’m okay with the marker, the flags they fly don’t really have anything to do with the history locally however. Sorry for interrupting this thread, thought you’d like the information (Of course, you may already know this). I’ll stay out of the why the war was started history, everyone has their own claims and frankly they all hold a little truth to them. A little.

  15. No interruption at all, Steve. the post is basically about historical accounts and as you say, there is some truth in all accounts. I believe I succeeded in my intent, though, to show that slavery itself was not the sole issue. Others are free to disagree and some do.

    As for the flags, although they may have no local connection, other than we have Southerners and Confederacy supporters here, do have a place at a memorial in honor of Confederates. I am not of the mind that any private memorial should have to have a local connection as we saw in Portland when a street was renamed in honor of Cesar Chavez, who had never even visited Portland.

    We also see calls now up in Seattle to remove a Confederate memorial from a Private cemetery as well as Memorials and graves back east be desecrated and dug up.

    It is getting ridiculous while other objects such as the statue to Vladimir Lenin in Fremont remains untouched.

    Thanks for the article, I’ll add it to my files

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