Sunday, October 7, 2012

Again Dr. Guelzo Responds with Revisionist Views



Dear Madam:

Your refusal to go to the sources is not a badge of accomplishment, but of evasion. Consider the following:

 *   There is no such order as you describe in "the public record." You could not find it. It does not exist.

 *   Because Marx said nice things about Lincoln (he also said nasty things, too) no more proves that Lincoln was a communist than the fact that alcoholics served in the Union army proves that Lincoln was an alcoholic.

 *   The Benson-Kennedy books are a standing joke. They are not in the slightest degree "well-sourced," and are taken seriously as history only by the sorts of people who took Bernie Madoff seriously as a financier

 *   South Carolina did not constitutionally withdraw from the Union, because there is no consitutional mechanism for withdrawing from the Union. Show me the article, the clause, the wording in the Constitution which describes withdrawal.

 *   I have read the 10th amendment. You have not. The amendment contains no specifics about what the federal and state governments do or do not do, whereas Article 1 section 10 lists a series of very specific prohibitions and restrictions on the actions of the states.

 *   Ft. Sumter was always the property of the Federal government. It was begun as a Third System fortification in 1829 under an act of Congress, with Congressional funding, and was always occupied by a Federal garrison (even if was only a token garrison) and flew the U.S. flag. Anderson did not disobey his orders in moving the Moultrie garrison to Sumter, because his orders specifically allowed him to use his discretion about moving the garrison if at any point he considered the garrison to be threatened.

 *   Since you did not bother to read the Constitution on habeas corpus, I will do it for you. It says that the write may be suspended in times of rebellion or national emergency. It does not state which branch has the authority to do so. Since mob rule in the streets of Baltimore had already cost the lives of U.S. servicemen at the time of suspension in 1861, Lincoln would have been impeachably remiss in not suspending the writ.

 *   Lincoln's "plan" was this: he proposed sending an unarmed transport, with food and medicine, to Sumter, with public notification to the governor of South Carolina. Any government vicious enough to fire on an unarmed transport would show at once what its true nature was. It did.

Kindly understand that you are speaking in defense of a Confederate regime which imposed an internal passport system on its people, invented the first steeply-graduated personal income tax, levied the first conscription law on Americans, nationalized private industries, and above all reduced four million human beings to chattel slavery. Only Hitler and Stalin exceeded this regime in its brutality, hatred of freedom, and contempt for business, capital and enterprise. And yet you defend it. You seem to imagine that because the modern-day federal government has become a bloated and uncontrollable bureaucracy, that anyone in the past who opposed the federal govermment (namely, the Confederacy) occupies the same ground as those who today resist that bureaucracy. That is untrue. The Confederacy, not Lincoln's Union, is the model for what we have to-day.

(Dr) Allen C. Guelzo

Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era

Director, Civil War Era Studies Program

Gettysburg College

300 N. Washington Street

Gettysburg, PA  17325