Saturday, January 31, 2015
Friday, January 30, 2015
Greetings Patriots! We have much to share about the incredible turnout, events, and experiences during the Lee-Jackson Holiday weekend in Lexington, Virginia. This will be the first of several reports, in an attempt to inform, inspire, and properly thank all of those who had a part in making it the biggest and best ever!
Ever since the City Council voted to ban ALL flags from city light pole flag stands (except the US flag, Va State Flag and non-existent Lexington City Flag), the Va Flaggers have taken to the streets of Lexington on the State Lee-Jackson Day Holiday, which is the Friday closest to Robert E. Lee's birthday. This Friday, BY FAR, was our best ever, with more folks attending, and more opportunities to educate and change the hearts and minds of those willing to listen, and stand up to those who refuse to hear or accept the truth regarding Lee and Jackson, their flags, and the men who fought and died beneath them.
We started the day with 54 folks meeting at Jackson Cemetery for instructions, information, and an invocation, asking God's protection and blessing on our endeavors. Armed with flyers, flags, and the determination of our ancestors, we took to the sidewalks of Lexington, spreading out and taking positions at city light poles from the Stonewall Jackson Cemetery stretching down Main Street and over to Washington & Lee University. It was a beautiful sight to behold, looking down from Main at the flags of our forefathers lining the streets of the city once considered "The Shrine of the South". The weather, ominous just the day before, was almost perfect. Temperatures reached the upper 40's, with sunshine and a gentle breeze to lift our flags throughout the day.
At 1:00 pm, we gathered just a few blocks from the city center on Route 60 to raise the first Lexington Memorial Battle Flag, as reported earlier. Our numbers continued to grow, as over 60 folks attended the dedication, and then headed back to Lexington to resume flagging.
By the time we left the Lexington sidewalks at dusk, over 80 people had joined us, many flagging for the first time, and all reporting very positive exchanges and experiences with citizens, tourists, and students throughout the day. We printed 350 flyers and were completely out of "ammo" (the term coined by our own Sgt. Troutman for our literature) before the day was over!
Exhausted, but galvanized by the incredible turnout and success of a very long day, we met at Country Cookin' (by invitation of the good folks there!) and counted over 100 in attendance, double what we had reserved, as more folks came in that evening. After a great meal and last minute instructions for Saturday, we retired for the evening with great anticipation, realizing that the influx of folks who could not take off work to be with us Friday would mean even more flags and Flaggers on Saturday.
Great press coverage and more photos here: http://www.thenews-gazette.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1925%3Aflagging-the-holiday&catid=77%3Abreaking-news&Itemid=395
Excellent commentary here... http://www.southern-thangs.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-really-big-confederate-flag-in.html?m=1
...and here: http://www.parispi.net/opinion/columns/article_fac881ea-9ffe-11e4-8dd3-ffd6a2fa21c6.html
Stay tuned...much more to come...
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
Marching into North Carolina with six thousand garrison troops from Savannah and Charleston under his command, Lieutenant-General William J. Hardee halted at the Smith Plantation near Averasborough. In a well-chosen defensive position with the Cape Fear River on the west flank and Black River on the east, Hardee placed three lines with his veteran troops in the last. His 16 March 1865 battle against over thirty-thousand veteran enemy troops was the first serious impediment Sherman experienced since departing Atlanta.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"Unsurpassed Valor, Courage and Devotion to Liberty"
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"
(see also: www.circa1865.com)
Hardee's Gallant Stand at Averasborough
"The Confederates had suffered terrible losses. The First South Carolina Heavy Artillery had borne the brunt of [enemy] assaults and suffered heavily, losing 215 killed, wounded or captured out of 458 officers and men engaged. [Major James J.] Lucas's battalion had also suffered severely. "Captain Richardson's company went into the fight that morning ninety strong," reported Samuel Ravenel. "At roll call the next morning only nineteen answered," a staggering loss of 80% in just a few hours' fighting.
Later that morning [Col. William] Butler's (Rhett's) brigade reported to [Major-General Lafayette] McLaws with only 400 combat-ready men in the ranks. Butler had gone into battle with 1,051 men that morning and therefore lost an astounding 62% of those engaged. His brigade's officer corps suffered especially heavy losses. The First South Carolina Regulars lost 3 officers killed, 6 wounded and 2 missing, while the First South Carolina Artillery lost 4 killed, 6 wounded and 2 missing.
The remnant of Butler's shattered brigade withdrew to [Brigadier-General Stephen] Elliott's second line of defense. Capt. Armand L. DeRosset's Fayetteville Arsenal Battalion, about 170 strong, held that portion of the second line to the left of the Fayetteville-Raleigh Road. When the Federals attacked . . . and drove the Arsenal Battalion from its initial position, the situation grew desperate. DeRosset then turned to the commander of the . . . Twenty-second Georgia Battalion, and recommended that both commands counterattack and drive the Yankees back.
While he was barking out orders for the counterattack, DeRosset took a bullet that passed through both lungs. He was too severely wounded to be moved, and was left on the battlefield to die.
About 1:00PM, an all-out Union assault on the second line began. As soon as the [enemy] cavalry gained the road, a heavy volley tore through its ranks, delivered by the Thirty-second Georgia and the First Georgia Regulars . . . [who] managed to get off three volleys before the Union cavalry took refuge in the safety of the swamp.
Concerned about the mounting numbers of casualties, Sherman [would not] press the retreating Confederates. After nearly a full day of hard fighting, [the enemy] had driven the Confederates from two defensive lines. However, the victorious Federals still had to contend with Hardee's main line, which would prove far more challenging than the first two.
Fortune had smiled on Hardee's outnumbered troops that afternoon [of the second day of fighting], permitting them to hang on in the face of repeated Union assaults. All of Sherman's attempts to turn the third line had failed, and the Union commander was in no hurry to try his luck again. The Southerners' well-prepared breastworks, good selection and use of terrain . . . contributed greatly to the success of Hardee's well-planned and well-executed defense in depth.
Hardee's demoralized and largely untested command had performed beyond his wildest expectations . . . [stopping] Sherman's advance in its tracks for an entire day and had bloodied the Northern veterans in the process. More importantly, Hardee's troops bought precious time for [Lieutenant-General Joseph E.] Johnston, allowing him to concentrate his forces around Smithfield."
(No Such Army Since the Days of Julius Caesar, Sherman's Carolina Campaign, Smith and Sokolosky, Ironclad Publishing, 2005, pp. 109; 115-116; 123-124)
Sunday, January 25, 2015
On January 10, 1876 in the United States Senate, Georgia Senator Benjamin H. Hill replied to bloody-shirt waving James Blaine's contention that Northern soldiers were tortured in Southern prisons.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Blaine Keeps Waving the Bloody Shirt
"In 1876, eleven years after the South surrendered, Mr. James G. Blaine of Maine, stood up in Congress and poured out "a lot of hate-born lies as malignant as human tongue ever uttered or human brain ever concocted:"
"Mr. [Jefferson] Davis," cried Mr. Blaine, "was the author, knowingly, deliberately, guiltily, and willfully, of the gigantic murders and crimes at Andersonville. And I here before God, measuring my words, knowing their full intent and import, declare that neither the deeds of the Duke of Alva in the Low Country, nor the massacre of St. Bartholomew, nor the thumb screws, and the other engines of torture of the Inquisition, begin to compare in atrocity with the hideous crimes of Andersonville."
Mr. Hill's reply: "If nine percent of the [Northern] men in Southern prisons were starved to death by Mr. Jefferson Davis, who tortured to death the twelve percent of the Southern men in Northern prisons?" (See Secretary Stanton's statistics).
(Truths of History, Mildred Lewis Rutherford, Southern Lion Books, 1998, pp. 100)
Saturday, January 24, 2015
As the Southern States departed the old union to form a more perfect one, they took with them the old Constitution of the Founders -- leaving the North to its own peculiar political revolution. As Prince Napoleon observed in 1861, the North behaved as a European monarchy would, calling its unhappy subjects "rebels," and brutally suppressing those seeking liberty.
Bernhard Thuersam, Circa1865
Liberty No Longer Sacred to Republicans
"In Washington, the field was left free to the partisans of the Union and also to the men of the Republican party—the party that led Lincoln to the presidency—because of the departure of most of the Senators and Representatives of the seceded States. Therefore, Congress and the Cabinet are in almost complete agreement as to the necessity of waging war to its bitter end. The Confederates are to be treated as rebels—as if they were the subjects of a monarchy instead of the citizens of a republican confederation. In a word, they have to be vanquished by arms, in the style familiar to old Europe.
This great determination, coinciding with the ascension of the Republican party to power, marks the beginning of a new era for American society. It launches her on a road — from which her founders and older statesmen would certainly have withdrawn –filled with dangers, but which might also lead her to supreme greatness. Mr. Lincoln and his friends seem to have decided to go ahead without worrying too much about the somber predictions of the Democratic party, which lost the last election, and which evokes, at every turn, the memories of the past — Washington, Jefferson, Monroe and Jackson.
"What are you doing?" the Democrats inquire. "You trampled down the fundamental principle, basis of our success and power — the principle which recognizes the freedom of each State within the confederation, just as each citizen is free within each State. By riveting the State to the confederation, with an indestructible chain, by denying the State a right to secede, you prepare the way for the enslavement of citizens by society and for the destruction of individualism. No liberty is sacred to you any longer.
In the name of the public good you are changing the American republic into something similar to what the Convention made of the French Republic (the ideal of political and administrative unity). We will become a pale copy of our elders rather than the precursors of a new humanity. The military element responsible for your triumph will be needed to keep you in power. You are going to travel the same road as the French Revolution, and you will be lucky if you can also find, under the scepter of a soldier of genius, order and glory in obedience instead of the degrading catastrophes illustrated before your eyes by the military regimes in Mexico and the South American Republics."
All these historical prosopopoeias leave Mr. Lincoln's friends rather cold. I suspect them of being rather ignorant of what is called philosophy of history. Without worrying too much about general principles, they run to where the house is burning and throw onto the fire all that they can lay their hands to in order to put it out. Their financial inventions to raise money would cause laughter even among the most ignorant in economics."
(Prince Napoleon in America, 1861, Camille Ferri Pisani, Indiana University Press, 1959, pp. 44-46)
Friday, January 23, 2015
Lincoln's re-election in 1864 "was closer than either the popular or electoral votes" indicated, and without the soldier vote in six crucial States, Lincoln would have lost to George B. McClellan. The slim margins of Republican victory in most States "were probably due largely to the presence of soldiers as guards and as voters at the polls," and had Illinois, Indiana Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New York's votes gone to McClellan, "he would have had a majority in the electoral college despite Lincoln's popular plurality.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Bayonets Secure Lincoln's Re-election
"Throughout the summer [of 1864] the Union prospects were in a decline. Grant's armies, despite repeated reinforcements, made no headway, and the casualty lists from the Wilderness to Cold Harbor mounted alarmingly. Sherman, maneuvering in the mountains of Georgia, seemed totally useless. July and August saw Republican hopes at rock bottom.
Early in July . . . The [Republican] Pennsylvania Governor [Curtin] was "down on things generally," and on the War Department in particular. Already Curtin had told Lincoln that he would not consider himself responsible for raising troops or for carrying elections. Pennsylvania was 80,000 men behind [its quota] in troops and the Governor believed the draft would meet general opposition from Republicans as well as from Democrats.
At the same time [Massachusetts Governor] John Andrew was disgusted with the situation and was hoping to find some means of getting both Lincoln and [John] Fremont to withdraw in favor of a third [Republican] candidate. The consensus seemed to be that the war languished and Lincoln would not or could not bring peace. War-weariness and a desire for peace was everywhere.
[New York Times editor Henry J.] Raymond asked [Simon] Cameron's advice . . . let Lincoln propose to Jeff Davis that both sides disband their armies and stop the war "on the basis of recognizing the supremacy of the constitution" and refer all disputed questions to a convention of all the States! Raymond went to Washington to lay the proposal before the President, but Lincoln did not accept it.
Sherman's victory before Atlanta reinvigorated the Republican campaign. The President wrote to Sherman to let Indiana's soldiers, "or any part of them, go home to vote at the State election." This was, Lincoln explained, in no sense an order. Sherman understood that it was a command. He sent soldiers home, and on election day in October the soldiers gathered at the Indiana polls. The Nineteenth Regiment of Vermont Volunteers voted in Indiana that day, but many a Democrat found his vote challenged. When the votes were counted, [Republican Governor Oliver P.] Morton had been elected by a majority of 22,000.
On that same day the need for Lincoln's aid was illustrated in Pennsylvania. There it was thought not necessary to send the soldiers home. [Governor] Curtin . . . determined to appoint some Democratic commissioners to collect the soldiers' votes. As the commissioners passed through Washington, however, the Democrats among them disappeared, under [Secretary of War Edwin M.] Stanton's orders, into the Old Capitol Prison.
Lincoln conferred with Cameron and [Alexander] McClure and asked [Generals] Meade and Sherman to send 5,000 men to Pennsylvania for the November election. The generals sent 10,000, and Lincoln carried the State by nearly a 6,000 majority, while the soldiers in the field added 14,000 more.
[Illinois Governor Richard Yates] appealed to Lincoln to send troops to vote. It was essential to elect a [Republican] State Senate, three congressional districts depended on the soldiers, and even the Presidential and the State tickets were unsafe without the uniformed voters. Defeat [for the Republicans] in Illinois, added the Governor, would be worse than defeat in the field. Under such pleas the soldiers came, and Lincoln carried his home State by 189,496 to McClellan's 158,730.
[Many] soldiers voted Democratic in their camps only to have their votes switched in the post offices. Without the soldiers New York would have remained in the Democratic column. Maryland's vote was clearly the product of federal bayonets. Ohio was safe for Lincoln, and the election clerks at home merely guessed at the distribution of the army's vote."
(Lincoln and the War Governors, William B. Hesseltine, Alfred A. Knopf, 1955, pp. 376-382)
Thursday, January 22, 2015
"Bill Arp" was the nom de plume of Georgia writer and politician Charles Henry Smith (1826-1903) who enjoyed educating Atlanta Constitution readers unfamiliar with the history of New England. As a Confederate major during the War Between the States, he served on the staff of several generals including Francis Bartow. Below, he answers a letter to the editor from a Northerner castigating Georgians for the sin of slavery.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
Bill Arp on New England History
"Now, here is a gentleman of more than ordinary intelligence and education who does not know that the sin of slavery began in New England among his forefathers — not ours — and from there was gradually crowded Southward until it got to Georgia, and that Georgia was the first State to prohibit their importation. See Appleton's Cyclopedia (Slavery and the Slave Trade.)
He does not know that long after New England and New York had abolished slavery, their merchantmen continued to trade with Africa and sold their cargoes secretly along the coast, and . . . one, the "Wanderer," was seized and confiscated and its officers arrested. The "Wanderer" was built at Eastport, Maine, was equipped as a slaver in New York and officered there and a crew employed.
He does not know that Judge Story, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, when presiding in Boston in 1834, [stated to a] Grand Jury that although Massachusetts had freed their slaves, yet the slave trade was still going on and Boston merchants and Boston Christians were steeped to their eyebrows in its infamy. He does not know that when our national existence began the feeling against slavery was stronger in the Southern States than in the Northern.
Georgia was the first to prohibit it, but later on the prohibition was repealed. New England carried on the traffic until 1845 — and is doing it yet if they can find a market and can get the rum to pay for them. The last record of a slaver caught in the act was in 1861, off the coast of Madagascar, and it was an Eastport vessel. The slave trade with Africa was for more than a century a favorite and popular venture with our English ancestors.
King James II and King Charles II and Queen Elizabeth all had stock in it, and though Wilberforce and others had laws passed to suppress it, they could not do it. New England and old England secretly carried it on (see Appleton) long after slavery was abolished in the colonies. They could afford to lose half their vessels and still make money.
It is sad and mortifying that our young and middle-aged men, and our graduates from Southern colleges know so little of our antebellum history. The Northern people are equally ignorant of the origin of slavery and the real causes that precipitated the civil war. Most of them have a vague idea that slavery was born and just grew up in the South — came up out of the ground like the seventeen-year-old locusts—and was our sin and our curse.
Not one in ten-thousand will believe that the South never imported a slave from Africa, but got all we had by purchase from our Northern brethren. I would wager a thousand dollars against ten that not a man under fifty nor a schoolboy who lives North of the line knows or believes that General Grant, their great military hero and idol, was a slaveholder and lived off the hire and their services while he was fighting us about ours.
Lincoln's proclamation of freedom came in 1863, but General Grant paid no attention to it. He continued to use them as slaves until January, 1865. (See his biography by General James Grant Wilson in Appleton's Encyclopedia.) General Grant owned these slaves in St. Louis, Missouri, where he lived.
How many of this generation, North or South know, or will believe, that as late as November, 1861, Nathaniel Gordon, master of a New England slave ship called the Erie, was convicted in New York City of carrying on the slave trade? (See Appleton.)
Just think of it! In 1861 our Northern brethren made war upon us because we enslaved the Negroes we had bought from them; but at the same time they kept on bringing more from Africa and begging us to buy them. How many know that England, our mother country, never emancipated her slaves until 1843, when twelve millions were set free in the East Indies and one hundred millions of dollars were paid to their owners by act of Parliament?
It is only within the last half-century that the importation of slaves from Africa has generally ceased. Up to that time every civilized country bought them and enslaved them. English statesmen and clergymen said it was better to bring them away than to have them continue in their barbarism and cannibalism.
(From The Uncivil War to Date, 1865 to 1903, Bill Arp, Hudgins Publishing Company. 1903, pp 347-353)