Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Confederate Monument in Forest Park

Brigadier General John Taylor Hughes has shared the following PDF:
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Shelby's Battle Flag

I retired 2 yrs ago and now have more time to research history. Like I told you on the phone, I'm the gg grandson of Gen. E. Kirby-Smith and look a lot like him at 40 yrs. In my research travels I found out about the event at the Rio Grande and our Battle Flag. I've read several different accounts of the event and have found the account by Edwards to be the most accurate. It's funny, I was initially interested in the event thinking Kirby Smith was with Shelby. But found out he crossed at Eagle Pass June 26, 1865. While Shelby crossed July 4, 1865. I have found the ceremony on July 4 to be a moving, patriotic and historically important. Being that the Fourth is a family event and Eagle Pass isn't the coolest place to be; never the less, that's when it happened. We are re creating the original event with limited compatriots, keeping to Edwards account. I will be acting in Gen. Shelby's place with black plume. We are staging another event after. It is an idea i've had since learning about this. Maybe it's my Christian upbringing and faith but I can't help but think of the Battle Flag and our righteous cause with that view. John the Baptist bringing the Holy Spirit into a new soul in a river. Christ rising from the dead to everlasting life. Anyway, what we are going to do is bring the Battle Flag that Shelby's five cols. laid gently on the bottom of the River, up into the light again, to fly once again for Freedom.
In light of the recent events involving the Flag that we all love; and the attack on the South. Rather than shy away we should all stand strong and together in the defence of the real America. DV

Your obedient servant,

Steve Ledbetter
Texas John Slaughter #2074
Tombstone, Arizona Territory, CSA

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The sinking of the Sultana: A disaster lost in the lingering fog of the Civil War

The sinking of the Sultana: A disaster lost in the lingering fog of the Civil War

The men on the boat had seen all manner of death and despair.
They had witnessed friends and fellow soldiers shot dead on muddy battlefields. They had endured dirty, disease-ridden Confederate prison camps in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. They were tired and injured, sick and underfed.
But, in late April 1865, they also were happy and relieved.
Robert E. Lee had surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. The Civil War had drawn to a close and, however improbably, they had survived it.
Months earlier, on Christmas Day, a Union soldier from Ohio named John Clark Ely had sat in a prison camp in Mississippi, wondering whether he would see home again. "Such a day for us prisoners. Hungry, dirty, sleepy and lousy," he wrote in his journal. "Will another Christmas find us again among friends and loved ones?"
Now he seemed to have his answer.
Ely was among the more than 2,000 paroled Union prisoners of war, many of them still teenagers, crowded aboard the steamboat Sultana as it pulled away from the docks at Vicksburg, Miss., on April 24. They were headed up the Mississippi River, bound for their farms and families in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and other places they hadn't set eyes on in far too long.
"Oh, this is the brightest day of my life long to be remembered," Ely wrote before the trip commenced.
The brightness would not last.
"All of these guys were on their way home after going through so many ordeals," said historian and author Alan Huffman. "People were just dying around them constantly for four years. You set foot on this boat and you think you're on your way home. You're home free. And really, the worst was ahead."
For two days, the woefully overcrowded boat lurched northward. Melting snow in the north had contributed to one of the worst spring floods in memory. The Sultana stopped in Memphis on April 26 and continued north later that night. About 2 a.m., seven miles upriver from Memphis, a boiler exploded. Two more exploded in rapid succession, visiting yet another hell on men who had already endured so much.
"Some were killed instantly by the explosion. Others awoke to find themselves flying through the air, and did not know what had happened," Huffman wrote in his book, "Sultana: Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History." "One minute they were sleeping and the next they found themselves struggling to swim in the very cold Mississippi River. Some passengers burned on the boat. The fortunate ones clung to debris in the river, or to horses and mules that had escaped the boat, hoping to make it to shore, which they could not see because it was dark and the flooded river was at that point almost five miles wide."
Still others faced a horrible choice: remain aboard the floating inferno, or jump into the river and risk being drowned by the panicked masses in the waters below. Making matters worse, many of the men didn't know how to swim.
"When I came to my senses I found myself . . . surrounded by wreckage, and in the midst of smoke and fire," an Ohio soldier recalled in a collection of survivor essays, "Loss of the Sultana and Reminiscences of Survivors," published in 1892. "The agonizing shrieks and groans of the injured and dying were heart rending, and the stench of burning flesh was intolerable and beyond my power of description."
"It was all confusion," remembered one Michigan soldier. "Brave men rushed to and fro in the agony of fear, some uttering the most profane language and others commending their spirits to the Great Ruler of the Universe."
"There were some killed in the explosion, lying in the bottom of the boat, being trampled upon, while some were crying and praying, many were cursing while others were singing," recalled another Ohio soldier. "That sight I shall never forget; I often see it in my sleep, and wake with a start."
The Sultana disaster killed an estimated 1,700 or more of the passengers — a death toll higher than caused by the sinking of the Titanic half a century later. While it remains the worst maritime catastrophe in U.S. history, the Sultana was relegated to brief mentions in the country's newspapers, overshadowed by the end of the war and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln less than two weeks earlier. Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had been tracked down by authorities and killed the day before the Sultana explosion. The Sultana story could not compete with headlines such as "Lee Surrenders!" "President Murdered!" and "Booth Killed!"
"It didn't really get a lot of press coverage because of where and when it occurred and who the victims were. These were mainly enlisted men; they hadn't made any mark on history," said Jerry Potter, author of "The Sultana Tragedy: America's Greatest Maritime Disaster." "The nation had just finished four long, bloody years of civil war. Over 600,000 men had died. People were accustomed, unfortunately, to reading about Gettysburg and Antietam and Chickamauga and Shiloh. They were used to reading about death, and I think the country was just somewhat calloused toward it."
Greed, incompetence, recklessness and bad luck all played a role.
The trouble started the moment the steamboat docked in Vicksburg. One of its boilers had sprung a leak on the way from New Orleans and needed repair. The boat's captain, J. Cass Mason, brought in a mechanic who wanted to replace a ruptured seam. That job could take days and cost Mason time and money, so he insisted that the mechanic hastily patch the leaky boiler.
The government's offer to pay $5 or more per man to transport Union POWs back north after the war meant big money for steamboat captains such as Mason. It also sowed the seeds of corruption, as boat captains commonly offered kickbacks or other bribes to Army officers willing to load their vessels with as many men as possible.
That was part of the reason the Sultana, built to hold about 375 passengers, was crammed with 2,400 — about six times its recommended capacity — as it began the journey to Cairo, Ill. Every corner of the boat was occupied by weary soldiers, so tightly sandwiched together that many could find no place to sleep and barely any place to stand. The decks of the 260-foot-long boat sagged and creaked under the load.
"It was corruption and gross negligence," Potter said. "It was a horrible comedy of errors."
Hours after the explosions, the Sultana sank to the bottom of the Mississippi. Bodies continued to surface downriver for months; many were never recovered. Mason, the boat's captain, was among the casualties.
Despite claims of Confederate sabotage, a government inquiry determined that too little water in the boilers, coupled with the shoddy repairs and the strain of the heavy load, probably contributed to the disaster. There were investigations and military tribunals, but ultimately no one was held fully accountable for America's worst maritime calamity.
For those who survived the Sultana explosion, through luck or resourcefulness or some combination of the two, the event shaped the rest of their lives.
"The war trumped all their previous travails," Huffman wrote. "For those who were also former prisoners, captivity trumped the war. And for those who survived the Sultana, the disaster trumped everything."
Some survivors slipped into alcoholism and depression. Others wrote about their experiences in newspaper and magazine articles, sometimes omitting parts of the narrative or embellishing their own heroism, but always desperately trying to make sure the tragedy was not forgotten. Many carried with them burns and other lasting physical injuries to accompany their psychological wounds.
Huffman said the story of two Indiana farm boys, Romulus Tolbert and John Maddox, illustrates how different men wrestled with the demons of war and of the Sultana.
They had fought side by side in the war, ended up in the same prison camp and wound up together on the doomed steamboat. After the disaster, back in the same home town, Tolbert embraced a quiet life of stability. He married, built a house with a picket fence, farmed the land and rarely spoke of the Sultana. Maddox remained restless. He suffered failed marriages and health problems, couldn't hold down a job and seemed haunted by the past.
"How they dealt with it was very different," Huffman said. "That wasn't uncommon. Some people were just beaten down by these things; other people just became sort of stoic and endured it. There wasn't any template."
More than two decades after the disaster, survivors of the Sultana in different parts of the country began holding annual reunions around the anniversary of the catastrophe. Eventually, their numbers dwindled, until the last survivor died in 1936. By then, their children and grandchildren had grown up hearing the extraordinary tales of hardship, loss and survival.
"This is, and always has been, something that defines our family," said Mary Beth Mason of Silver Spring. Her grandfather, William Carter Warner, joined the Union Army's 9th Indiana Cavalry as a teenager, became a prisoner of war and survived the Sultana, managing to swim ashore after he was blown into the river.
Mason's grandfather died before she was born, but she and her siblings grew up hearing his life story from her father. She still has a copy of the official survivor's certificate her grandfather received in September 1888 from the Sultana Survivors Association.
"My grandfather could have died in Cahaba prison when he was 16," Mason said. "He could have died on the Sultana, but he didn't. . . . Of course, it's important in my family. My father would have never been born. I would have never been born."

Descendants of Sultana survivors have continued to meet in recent decades to remember a tragedy that the nation barely acknowledged at the time and that has been relegated to a footnote ever since.

This April, to mark the 150th anniversary of the disaster, they will gather in Marion, Ark., just across the Mississippi River from Memphis. They will board a boat and travel upstream to where the Sultana sank and lay a wreath on the river to honor those lost. They will visit the spot where the wreckage of the steamboat now lies under a field on the Arkansas side of the river.
"We've done a lot to keep the story and to spread the story," said Norman Shaw of Knoxville, Tenn., who as founder of the Association of Sultana Descendants and Friends has been organizing gatherings since 1987. He expects 100 people or more to attend this year. "These fellows felt history forgot about them. . . . We're following the wishes of the original survivors to keep the story alive."
In the spring of 1865, the boys on the boat had wanted nothing more than to go home. Most never made it past Memphis. Today, many of them lie in the Memphis National Cemetery under simple white headstones engraved with the words "Unknown U.S. Soldier."
But not all of the graves are anonymous.
One marker is etched with the name of John Clark Ely, the Ohio soldier who never saw his next Christmas.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sherman captures Fayetteville, NC (His letter to Grant, March 12, 1865)

From: cbp0521@yahoo.com

Read this letter this morning about Sherman's capture of Fayetteville and I had to reply.  The website is pro-Lincoln. I would suspect I'll get banned from the site..........for telling the truth.  Remember the Women's Home on Dick Street was headquarters for the SOB Sherman.


With his invasion of North Carolina underway, Sherman took time after the capture of Fayetteville, North Carolina to bring Grant up to speed with his immediate plans:

FAYETTVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA, Sunday, March. 12, 1865.
Lieutenant-General U. S. GRANT, commanding United States Army, City Point, Virginia.

DEAR GENERAL: We reached this place yesterday at noon; Hardee, as usual, retreating across the Cape Fear, burning his bridges; but our pontoons will be up to-day, and, with as little delay as possible, I will be after him toward Goldsboro. A tug has just come up from Wilmington, and before I get off from here, I hope to get from Wilmington some shoes and stockings, sugar, coffee, and flour. We are abundantly supplied with all else, having in a measure lived off the country.

The army is in splendid health, condition, and spirits, though we have had foul weather, and roads that would have stopped travel to almost any other body of men I ever heard of.

Our march, was substantially what I designed–straight on Columbia, feigning on Branchville and Augusta. We destroyed, in passing, the railroad from the Edisto nearly up to Aiken; again, from Orangeburg to the Congaree; again, from Colombia down to Kingsville on the Wateree, and up toward Charlotte as far as the Chester line; thence we turned east on Cheraw and Fayetteville. At Colombia we destroyed immense arsenals and railroad establishments, among which wore forty-three cannon. At Cheraw we found also machinery and material of war sent from Charleston, among which were twenty-five guns and thirty-six hundred barrels of powder; and here we find about twenty guns and a magnificent United States' arsenal.

We cannot afford to leave detachments, and I shall therefore destroy this valuable arsenal, so the enemy shall not have its use; and the United States should never again confide such valuable property to a people who have betrayed a trust.

I could leave here to-morrow, but want to clear my columns of the vast crowd of refugees and negroes that encumber us. Some I will send down the river in boats, and the rest to Wilmington by land, under small escort, as soon as we are across Cape Fear River.

I hope you have not been uneasy about us, and that the fruits of this march will be appreciated. It had to be made not only to destroy the valuable depots by the way, but for its incidents in the necessary fall of Charleston, Georgetown, and Wilmington. If I can now add Goldsboro' without too much cost, I will be in a position to aid you materially in the spring campaign. Jos. Johnston may try to interpose between me here and Schofield about Newbern; but I think he will not try that, but concentrate his scattered armies at Raleigh, and I will go straight at him as soon as I get our men reclothed and our wagons reloaded. Keep everybody busy, and let Stoneman push toward Greensboro' or Charlotte from Knoxville; even a feint in that quarter will be most important. The railroad from Charlotte to Danville is all that is left to the enemy, and it will not do for me to go there, on account of the red-clay hills which are impassable to wheels in wet weather.  I expect to make a junction with General Schofield in ten days.

Yours truly,
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General.

Grant was now free to initiate his campaign in Virginia with the assurance that North Carolina would offer no refuge to Lee's army if he could force it to abandon Petersburg and Richmond.

My Remarks...

Since Fayetteville is my hometown and I have relatives in Charleston and other parts of the Carolinas, I felt a need to offer a few remarks. My Scottish ancestors came to Fayetteville in 1753.

Sherman didn't put in his letter than his men stole everything in sight from non-combatants, leaving them to starve to death. He stole their livestock, their vegetables, their clothes, their guns, and would have poisoned their wells if he had thought about it. Any black man that resisted him and didn't want to leave their homes were taken in chains. The South didn't lose the war due to lack of courage and stupidity on the part of generals; they lost it because they ran out of men to fight it. They didn't have the never-ending supply of immigrants coming into Boston and NY that immediately became soldiers. Almost always out-numbered the Southerner won battle after battle against Federal forces. The country that the Founding Fathers envisioned ended when Lee had to surrender to Grant. The dying institution of slavery in the South was finally "over", and now every state government and every citizen of every state are slaves to the centralized government in Washington, DC. The union of "free and independent states" over for good. Welcome to the Socialist States of America, courtesy of Lincoln, who Karl Marx greatly admired and for good reason.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Status of Confederate Veteran

From: hk.edgerton@gmail.com

To: OIGCounsel@oig.treas.gov

Dear Sirs,

In the court case, McCulloh vs. the State Bank of Maryland, with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, delivering the opinion of the Court.... Any theater that the Federal Government operates in, it is the supreme entity.

This letter is intended to serve as a twofold complaint against the State of Florida,who in its capacity to satisfy the political agenda of the 501C3 organizations known as the NAACP ( National Association for the Advancement  for Colored People),and the Southern Poverty Law Center who have misused their non-profit status to try and destroy the 501C3 Heritage organization," the Sons of Confederate Veterans" because of its corporate logo; the U.S. Congress mandated venerated symbol known as the Confederate Battle Flag.

This complaint is extended to include the entity of the Executive Inn of Knoxville, Tennessee who in its capacity of U.S. commerce would refuse to rent a room in my behalf because they refused to accept the non-profit papers of the Sons coming from their Department of State because those corporate papers had the corporate logo (the Confederate Battle Flag) of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

To carry out a plan to eliminate an American Veteran (Confederate soldier) from the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. A soldier so declared to be in Public Law 85-425; US Statues at Large Volume 72, Part 1, Page 133-134. The Florida Attorney General so ruled that the State of Florida has its very own interpretation of what merits an American Veteran, thereby in the process of content discrimination excluding the names of 3 formal Confederate soldiers that were so nominated by its Advisory Committee to this Hall.

By Federal Act of Congress (May 23, 1958) all Confederate Veterans are recognized as United States Military Veterans, and deserve all the rights and honors pertinent to such service with Veteran status.

I anxiously await your reply.

HK Edgerton                                            

Chairman Board of Advisors Emeritus                                            

Southern Legal resource Center    


Confederate Call to Prayer

   Sons of Confederate Veterans
                                 SCV  Telegraph  
The Sons of Confederate Veterans

It was a week ago, on the Seventeenth day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen that a mentally disturbed, racist individual entered the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina under the false pretense of worship. It was with Christian love and care that the Pastor and members of the congregation welcomed that young man. There within that Church where the Gospel of the Peace of Jesus Christ was being actively shared we note that Christ's Words in the Gospel of John 13:35 was and still is being seen today: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

While the worshipers motives were pure in the Christian Faith, the motive of the young man was not evidenced for over an hour when his hypocrisy was seen in what Christ stated in the Gospel of Matthew 15:8 in that "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." Sadly, the murderer did not respond to the Christian love shown to him for his heart was far from that place of worship.

Thus the Sons of Confederate Veterans condemns the tragedy and we share in the mourning of the families affected by this tragedy that occurred in Historic Charleston, South Carolina.

Within the city of Charleston, the people of the South saw the passage of South Carolina's Ordinance of Secession and the Opening of our War for Southern Independence. It was there in One thousand eight hundred and sixty-four that the Spirit of Liberty still animated the people to endure bombardment day and night from a foreign invader. So it was within that winter, that thousands of Confederate Soldiers turned their hearts to our Lord Jesus Christ and became such dedicated Christians that once our War for Independence ended in failure some One hundred fifty years ago, they endured the crucible of mistreatment, abuse and cruelty under the hands of an occupying Federal Army until one thousand eight hundred seventy-seven.

The Christian Spirit which was strengthened through the storm of War and spread so much throughout the conquered South that this region within the restored Union has become known as The Bible Belt and such heritage was uniquely felt in the wake of this horrendous shooting in our beloved city of Charleston, South Carolina.

It was thus with dismay and sadness that we within the Sons of Confederate Veterans have observed a renewed assault upon all vestiges of our Confederate Heritage in the wake of this time of mourning. Those that are antagonistic towards our emblems of heritage have begun to wage an ethnic cultural cleansing, the likes of which have been unseen in quite some time. One by one we have watched as stores have banned the sales of Confederate themed merchandise, Legislatures have begun calls anew to change the locations or displays of Confederate related Statues, Memorials, Automobile plates, Flags and other related Icons of Southern heritage.

Just as those who gathered in worship on the seventeenth of June did not know the heart and motive of the young man assembled with them, the same is true in that one cannot know the heart and motive of all who don or fly a Confederate flag. We within the Sons of Confederate Veterans know why we fly our flags and tend to our ancestors graves - to honour, preserve and respect our American Veterans who served the Confederate States of America. While so doing in a spirit of Christian love and respect towards others who judge us or do not share or understand our motives we do denounce the use of the Confederate Battle Flag and any other Confederate symbol by any hate group and/or the Ku Klux Klan any extremist group or individual espousing political extremism and/or racial superiority as the desecration of a symbol to which any hate group and/or the Ku Klux Klan has no claim; and maligns the noble purpose of our ancestors who fought against extreme odds for what they knew was just, right, and constitutional.

Thus is was in the bleak January of one thousand eight hundred sixty-five, that the Confederate Congress called upon, President Jefferson Davis, to call the nation to prayer, to implore God's help in time of trouble. President Davis stated in his proclamation:

"It is our solemn duty, at all times, and more especially in a season of public trial and adversity, to acknowledge our dependence on the mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and to bow in humble submission before the footstool confessing our manifold sins, supplicating His gracious pardon, imploring His Divine help, and devoutly rendering thanks for the many and great blessings which He has vouchsafed to us."

I ask all you believers within the Confederation, while we are under this renewed attack to: "let the hearts of our people turn contritely and trustfully unto God; let us recognize in His chastening hand the correction of a Father, and submissively pray that the trials and sufferings which have so long borne heavily upon us may be turned away by His merciful love; that His sustaining grace be given to our people, and His divine wisdom imparted to our rulers; that the Lord of Hosts will be with our fellow compatriots, and fight for us against our enemies who would seek to destroy, degrade and abuse our honoured heritage; and that He, our Lord will graciously take our cause of vindication into His own hand and mercifully establish for us a lasting, just and honorable peaceable existence of the unsullied display of our Confederate heritage.

I concur with President Davis' sentiments in that we should not forget to render unto His holy name the thanks and praise which are so justly due for His great goodness, and for the many mercies which He has extended to us amid the trials and sufferings of this strife being waged over our heritage.

Now, therefore, I, Charles Kelly Barrow, Commander-In-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, do issue this my proclamation, appointing DAY OF THE WEEK, the 26th day of June, as a day of public fasting, humiliation and prayer, (with thanksgiving,) for "invoking the favor and guidance of our Almighty God and Saviour Jesus Christ;" and I do earnestly invite all compatriots to observe the same in a spirit of reverence, penitence and prayer.


Deo Vindice!

Charles Kelly Barrow
Sons of Confederate Veterans

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Thursday, June 25, 2015

There ought to be a battle flag flying on every members front porch

Unless one is ashamed of his heritage or a coward, it would seem to me that now more then any other time, there should be battle flags flying on homes and displayed on vehicles. Let’s just cut to the chase here. We can choose to cower to political and socialists manipulations, (I’m too scared to display the flag…might upset my neighbor) or we can fly the flag many of our ancestors died for defending liberty and freedom and be PROUD to display it.

There ought to be a battle flag flying on every members front porch, every day, 365 days a year.  Hughes Camp will be happy to sell you one if you don’t have one.
I will provide a bumper sticker with a battle flag on it FREE to any member of the Missouri Division who will display it on their vehicle if they are too tight to pay a dollar for it. I will even pay the postage for the extreme tightwads out there. 

I’m not one to mince words. It is time to man up and fly the flag.

Tim Borron
Missouri Western Brigade Commander

Lincoln's Muscovite Friends: Why the Confederacy Failed to Attract Foreign Recognition

By Bernhard Thuersam


The lack of foreign recognition, especially from England and France, during the War Between the States is often cited as a primary reason for the fall of the Southern Confederacy. It is commonly related by historians that those two countries and others would not support the South after Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863 as anti-slavery sentiment was ascendant internationally.

Though Radical Republicans viewed the proclamation as a diplomatic trump card which assured no European recognition for the American South, it was seen abroad for what it was – incitement to race warfare and virtually identical to England's two previous emancipation proclamations. The first was issued by Virginia's Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, in November 1775; the second proclamation was made by Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane in 1814. Both had freed slaves who flocked to His Majesty's banners and were intended to bring colonists to their knees as their slaves reverted to massacre as occurred in Santo Domingo.

Lincoln was aware that he held no authority as president to interfere with a State's labor force and policies, but his proclamation was simply a war strategy designed to strike at the agricultural strength of the South. This is why invading Northern forces seized African workers and carried them off – thus denying the South of the ability to plant and harvest crops.

The Russian minister at Washington, Baron de Stoeckl, expressed dismay over Lincoln's proclamation to Secretary of State William Seward, and referred to it "as but a futile menace" because "it would set up a further barrier to the reconciliation of the North South – always the hope of Russia." Writing to his government, de Stoeckl charged the radical Republicans with forcing Lincoln to issue the decree out of desperation, and with plans to inaugurate a reign of terror to silence critics of their regime.

Stoeckl questioned the Emancipation Proclamation's intent as it offered the protection of Lincoln's government as a premium to slave owners who remained loyal to his regime, and was simply a military weapon rather than an important document proclaiming human liberty.

It is worth pointing out here that Lincoln could have played a more humane trump card by encouraging a convention of the States to settle the problems of the Union in 1861 – much the same as was done in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation that some said were not effective – and the new federated arrangement agreed upon in 1789. The convention would have found a peaceful solution to a more perfect union, or unions.

A more plausible explanation for the reluctance of the British and French to intervene on behalf of the South is not well known, but very well-documented in several important volumes. The most revealing is James Morton Callahan's "Russo-American Relations during the American Civil War" published in January, 1908 in West Virginia Studies in American History, Series 1, Number 1. In this paper Callahan begins: "After the grand and sudden emancipation of [twenty million] serfs by the Czar" on March 3, 1861, "the admiration for Russia was assiduously cultivated in the North for intimate political reasons."

Foremost among the reasons behind this Northern interest in Russia was the neutral attitude of England and France in 1861, as well as later British shipbuilding aid to the Confederacy and the offer of French mediation – not to mention French intervention in Mexico for unpaid debts.

The Czar applauded Lincoln's efforts to suppress an internal rebellion which he equated with the independence-minded Poles resisting Russian troops. Ironically, both the Czar and Lincoln were emancipating serfs and slaves respectively while crushing independence movements with an iron hand.

It should be kept in mind that despite Russian serfdom being somewhat different than the African slavery inherited from British colonialism, Czar Alexander II was well-aware of the numerous serf uprisings that had caused his father, Nicholas I, such anguish, especially after the 1848 socialist revolts in Europe. Alexander saw more revolts inevitable and used an autocratic decree to hasten the act after his nobles could not agree upon a gradual solution. Perhaps Lincoln was influenced by the Czar's actions and concluded that slavery could only be abolished if the Union was saved – even by fire, sword and a million perishing in the act.

Though many heralded the Czar's humanitarianism toward the lowly serf, former Cornell President Andrew Dickson White, who served for a time in St. Petersburg in 1855 and 1892-94 wrote that "I do not deny the greatness and nobleness of Alexander II . . . [but] feel obliged to testify that thus far . . . there is, as yet, little, if any, practical difference between the condition of the Russian peasant before and since obtaining his freedom."

As Lincoln's minister at St. Petersburg, Cassius M. Clay, began his diplomatic duties in June 1861 and soon reported to Secretary of State Seward that the Czar was earnest in "the hope of the perpetuity of friendship between the two nations" which was "increased by the common sympathy in the cause of emancipation." Clay suggested to Seward the potential alliance of Russia, Mexico and the United States in an effort to discourage European recognition of the Confederacy. He reasoned that if France or England dared recognition, they would have to face the Russian fleets in addition to Lincoln's ever-increasing war machine.

Clay added in his message to Seward that the United States "could not trust England with our national life," and that in "Union with Russia land and army at no distant day to settle accounts with her in China and the Indies."

General Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania was selected to succeed Clay in St. Petersburg in January 1862, and according to a published statement by Senator James Harlan of Iowa, Cameron was secretly charged by Lincoln to interview Czar Alexander II. Lincoln was troubled by "the possibility of interference by England or France in behalf of the Confederacy" and subsequently received the Czar's assurance that in the event of intervention, the friendship of Russia for the United States will be known in a decisive manner, which no other nation will be able to mistake." The Crimean defeat administered by England and France was not forgotten.

After Northern defeats and reverses mounted by October 1862 and France sought British and Russian aid in mediating the American conflict, Lincoln wrote the Czar in search of an alliance should European recognition of the South become reality. He was assured that Russia would not be a party to any mediation, and that Lincoln could rely upon Russian support.

In May 1863 Clay returned as minister at St. Petersburg and found that England, Austria and France were desirous of mediating the Polish-Russian conflict on behalf of the Poles, and with hopes that the United States would join. Clay was instructed by Seward to refuse any and all intervention into Russian affairs which of course pleased the Czar, and the United States was rewarded with a grant of a charter for a telegraph line through Russian territory

In his "Lincoln and the Russians" Albert A. Woldman notes that years before in Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln took a leading part in protesting against "the foreign despot" Russia who "in violation of the most sacred principles of the laws of nature and of nations" had conquered Hungary with an unwarranted armed intervention when she was fighting to break free of Austrian tyranny.

Lincoln may have held some sympathy with the rebellious Poles, but the need for a strong Russian ally to help defeat his own "rebellion" modified previous views. He and Seward issued an official statement that "Polish grievances would be righted by the liberalism, sagacity and magnanimity of Czar Alexander II."

Lincoln's refusal to help mediate the Polish uprising drew sharp criticism from the Missouri Republic, charging in an editorial that "the pale corpse of Poland's murdered liberty" would continue to haunt Lincoln for years to come. Britain's Punch magazine characterized Lincoln as collaborating with the Russian bear, and the French depicted Lincoln shaking the bloody hand of the Czar.

The French newspaper La Patrie of January 12, 1864 wrote "is it right that fifty million Muscovites should unite to retain ten or twelve million Poles under a detested yoke? Is it right that twenty million Northern Germans and Irishmen [the North's immigrant population] should unite to impose on eight million Southerners an association they spurn?"

The strong international denunciations of his ruthless Polish campaign caused the Czar concern regarding the possibility of war and reminded him of his fleets bottled up in the Baltic and Mediterranean by the British and French navies in the Crimean War ten years earlier. He made secret arrangements to send his fleets to the open sea and friendly ports of the United States, which would then be in "a favorable position for cruising against British commerce in the Atlantic and Pacific, should war suddenly break out over the tempestuous Polish question."

Those fleets were ordered to remain in American ports and await the outcome of negotiations regarding Poland. Though nothing in the fleet admirals' orders referred to assisting Lincoln in his war upon the American South, the inference was clear that Britain and France should not interfere with the conquest of the South lest they hasten war with Russia.

At the same time it was clear to Lincoln, Seward and Clay that an alliance with Russia against England and France would be beneficial in thwarting French designs on Mexico. Clay wrote Seward in September 1863 that "the time had come for all America to unite in a defensive alliance to sustain the Monroe Doctrine."

Callahan writes that "While rumors of contemplated Franco-English intervention in favor of the Confederacy were still afloat, Russia sent a fleet under Admiral [Andrei Alexandrovich] Popov to San Francisco, and soon  thereafter (September 11 and 24) sent another under Admiral S.S. Lessoffsky to New York.

Americans in both cities and across the North interpreted this show of naval force as evidence "of sympathy and encouragement for the Union," and both San Francisco and New York held endless "receptions, processions and various festivities" which "finally ended in a great Russian ball in honor of the guest." Harper's Weekly opined that the United States had outgrown Washington's policy against entangling alliances and that diplomatic relations and an alliance with Russia would prevent European interference in US affairs and "mark an important epoch."

In a further gesture of friendship with his new ally, Seward provided navigation charts for the American coast to the Russian fleets. Additionally, the governor of Rhode Island invited Admiral Lessoffsky to visit that State with his fleet; on December 5, 1863 Seward welcomed the same fleet after it had ascended the Potomac to Washington.

The Continental Monthly of February 1864 commented upon Northern enthusiasm for their new friends and especially New York City, which "had gone mad over the Muscovites, forgetting the woes of Poland while they kissed the hands of the knout-bearers of the Czar, and agitated for alliance between what they called the twin sister empires of the future . . . "

Admiral Lessoffsky and his officers were given a grand banquet at Boston in June 1864 with an oration by the renowned New Englander, Edward Everett.

Some questioned the true purpose of the Russian visit with Charles Sumner of Massachusetts writing a friend in October 1863 that "foreign intervention will introduce a new, vast and incalculable element . . . You will observe the hob-nobbing at New York with the Russian admiral. Why is that fleet gathered there?"

Callahan tells us that "it was believed that Lessoffsky had secret orders to place his fleet at the disposal of the President in case the United States should be attacked by France and England. There is no doubt the appearance of the fleets in American harbors caused apprehension in the European courts as they saw the Russians posturing for war. In his memoirs, Cassius Clay wrote of the Russian fleets: "Whatsoever may have been the ultimate purpose – Russia thus made a masterly exhibition which broke up the Mexican invasion [by France] and prevented a foreign invasion of the United States."

New York banker Henry Clews related (Literary Digest, March 5, 1904) that Seward had informed him that when Confederate armies threatening Washington, he had requested a Russian fleet be sent to New York as a shrewd manner of demonstrating to Europe a Russo-American alliance.

There is no doubt that both Lincoln and Seward were well aware of Russian intentions and that their "action toward us . . . were but moves made by her upon the chessboard of European diplomacy," though both "took full advantage of the fortuitous circumstance and used it astutely for the best interest of the Union cause."

An interesting commentary on Lincoln's wartime leadership came from another foreign observer, Rudolf M. Schleiden, Minister to the United States from the Bremen Republic. In February 1864 he mentioned in a dispatch "that Lincoln said to a Judge Thomas, of Massachusetts, that he would be satisfied if his successor was elected from the Republican Party. If that did not take place [Lincoln] feared that he would spend the rest of his life in jail for repeated violations of the Constitution." (Rudolf Schleiden and the Visit to Richmond, April 25, 1861, Ralph Haswell Lutz, American Historical Association Annual Report, 1915, Washington, 1917, pp. 212-216)

The appearance of Russian friendship at that time was described by the Odessa-born American historian Frank A. Golder in 1915: "It was a most extraordinary situation, Russia had not in its mind to help us but did render us distinct service; the United States was not conscious that it was contributing in any way to Russia's welfare and yet seems to have saved her from humiliation and perhaps war [with England and France]. There is probably nothing to compare with it in diplomatic history."

As a postscript to the Russo-American friendship, Callahan notes the 1867 treaty whereby Russia transferred Alaska to United States control which few understood the logic of. Given the anticipation of war, those like Charles Sumner saw Russia "stripping for the contest with England," providing North Pacific ports for the American navy and setting the stage for American absorption of Canada.

Intimately informed of Russian motives, Clay wrote from St. Petersburg that "the Russians hoped the cession might ultimately lead to the expulsion of England from the Pacific." Secretary Seward, interviewed shortly after the Alaska purchase explained that it was an effort "to limit England's coast line on the Pacific, strengthen American influence in British Columbia," and to hasten the destiny of Canada into political union with the United States.

For the same purpose of hostility toward England, Northern politicians suggested the acquisition of Greenland and Iceland from Denmark as a further step toward "hemming in" Great Britain. The Alaska cession was viewed by many in the North as the beginning of a new national policy which would continue with annexation of British Columbia and Canada, the Sandwich Islands and naval stations for the US Navy on the coasts of China, Japan, West Indies and Caribbean. Seward's nationalist energies had now broadened as he envisioned the United States joining the major powers of the world and pursuing even grander opportunities.

Keeping in mind that the 1867 Act of Confederation [strongly influenced by former Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin] was prompted by fears of a two million-man Northern war machine marching northward after 1865, and Russia's hatred for England, Canadian motivations seem clear.

Though it seemed the United States was doing Russia a favor by purchasing Alaska, American consul to France John Bigelow said in 1867 that "I doubt if there was any member of either house of Congress who supposed the government then had any other motive in the purchase of Alaska than to recognize its obligations to the Czar."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Confederate Monument at Forest Park was vandalized


The hits just keep on coming.  Overnight, the Confederate Monument at Forest Park was vandalized.... "black lives matter", etc.  Who didn't see this coming, right?!?!?  I am furious.  I have called the Mayors Office and have demanded to be contacted in return.  I personally hold Mayor Slay at the very least ... partially responsible for this act of vandalism.  I am demanding to know what will be done to restore this monument to its previous condition, and I have also volunteered to assist in that cleanup.  If we are allowed to do so, I would suggest that we all attempt to go and clean the monument up.   I will keep you posted in that regard.

Now... let's take a deep breath or two... for all of our detractors, etc., we are seeing a flood of support as well.  I can tell you that I am getting quite a few folks wanting to now join the SCV and as you probably know, Confederate flag sales have incredibly spiked.  Let's hold on to the positives, we have to do so!

More to come later I'm sure.  Please share with your memberships.

Darrell Maples - Commander
Missouri Division - SCV

Jefferson Davis, Last of the Senate Giants

From: bernhard1848@gmail.com

Jefferson Davis was a Unionist and struggled to his last days as a Mississippi Senator to push Congress toward a solution to the sectional crisis. He belonged to the Calhoun school that saw preserving the rights of the South in the federal Union as paramount; he saw secession as a last resort of the States in order to preserve their sovereignty, if the Constitution they had ratified voluntarily in 1787, and its federal agent, became destructive of those rights.  Davis was born on this day in 1808.

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"

Jefferson Davis Last of the Senate Giants

"The theory of State Rights and the belief in secession had been understood in both sections equally, when advantage dictated understanding: as late as 1846 the State government of Massachusetts had been willing to secede, had passed resolutions to that end, in opposition to the Mexican War. 

The North alone now repudiated State sovereignty because it had no interest to serve with its support. After the Republican senators had rejected the Crittenden Compromise, which gave to them every eventual advantage and to the South nothing in the end, they would not listen to a proposal of a convention of the States; they were then challenged for a compromise proposal of their own, but not a Republican replied.

At this distance it is certain that the deadlock exactly suited the North, for its purpose was to subdue the South at all costs; in a policy that conceded nothing and demanded everything, the North meant to "ride over the South rough-shod."

The South was willing at this time to accept any measure that guaranteed it even less than its Constitutional rights in the territories; but the north no longer desired equality of sectional power; the North was bent on domination.

By refusing to budge from this position, the North forced the South to act for its preservation, and by means of the slavery issue the shrewdness of the Yankee succeeded, as always, of putting his enemy in the wrong.

There was probably not a single phase of the conflict that Mr. Davis failed, in a sense, to understand; and yet, in the end, he could not see why men would not follow the law, or why the inflamed sections would not abide by compromises.  Men sometimes act reasonably, but never logically; this was a distinction that Mr. Davis, being logical, could not grasp.

[After his final speech and resignation from the United States Senate after Mississippi had seceded, Davis] painfully moved through the crowded Senate chamber out into the street, [and for him] the old Constitutional republic came . . . to a dramatic end. There would no longer be a Union in the exact sense of that word; there would be a uniformity; for one of the two types of American civilization must absolutely prevail.  Davis left the Senate smaller; it would never be so large again; he was the last of the Senate giants.

All the night of January 21 he suffered, sleepless; the nervous strain of the last six months had broken him down. His neuralgia had spread film over one iris; he was almost blind in that eye.  Mrs. Davis, anxious in the next room, heard him say, again and again, in a tone of agony:

"May God have us in His Holy keeping, and grant that before it is too late peaceful councils may prevail."

(Jefferson Davis, His Rise and Fall, Allen Tate, Minton, Balch & Company, 1929, pp. 12-13)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

South Carolina Events Spread to Missouri


In light of all that has taken place in South Carolina recently, and the memorial service we conducted to honor  5 Missouri Partisan Rangers this past weekend, we the SCV here in Missouri just came under attack again.  At the memorial service this past weekend, as we do at just about all of our events, the Salute to the Confederate flag was said by those SCV members in attendance.  Well... the Columbia, MO newspapers got wind of this and I have been inundated with contacts from various media outlets.  If your camp is contacted, please attempt to route those contacts to and through me.  By doing this, we are giving one, consistent message to the press.  I ask you for your prayers as I deal with these people, that God might give me the right words to say.  Please also pray for all of us in the SCV and for the organization itself.  We are NOT what they say we are.  We MUST stand firm in our beliefs and our knowledge of the truth.  Please share with your camp memberships.
Darrell L. Maples - Commander
Missouri Division - SCV

Jefferson Davis: "Let Us Alone and Peace Will Come."

As many as six peace initiatives occurred before and during the war, nearly all coming from the South and ending in failure due to Northern Republican intransigence. "[Lincoln] offered us nothing but unconditional surrender," said Vice President Alexander Stephens on his return from the Hampton Roads Peace Conference of 3 February 1865, calling the meeting "fruitless and inadequate." Today is the birth date of President Jefferson Davis, Born 3 June 1808.
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"
"Let Us Alone and Peace Will Come of Itself"
"Lincoln was quietly sponsoring a peace initiative of his own [in July 1864]. He sent Col. James F. Jaquess, a Methodist minister [of an Illinois Regiment] . . . and [writer] James R. Gilmore . . . on a mission to Richmond.  Gilmore and Jaquess had a political motive to help Lincoln's faltering bid for reelection.
They wanted to prove that the Confederate's peace overtures were really concocted to embarrass Lincoln's government, to throw upon it the odium of continuing the war and thus secure the triumph of the "peace-traitors" in the November election.
With a personal note from Lincoln to General Grant, the two travelers crossed the battles lines at City Point, Virginia and entered Richmond . . . On Sunday evening, July 17, Jaquess and Gilmore encountered President [Jefferson] Davis, "a spare, thin featured man with iron gray hair and beard and a clear gray eye full of life and vigor," as Gilmore later described him.
"Our people want peace," Jaquess told Davis. "We have come to ask how it can be brought about."
In a very simple way," responded Davis. "Withdraw your armies from our territory, and peace will come of itself. We do not seek to subjugate you. We are not waging an offensive war . . . Let us alone and peace will come at once."
"But we cannot let you alone as long as you repudiate the Union.  That is one thing the Northern people will not surrender."
"I know.  You would deny to us the one thing you exact for yourselves – the right of self- government," Davis retorted. "You have sown so much bitterness at the South, you have put such an ocean of blood between the two sections, that I despair of seeing nay harmony in my time. Our children may forget this war, but we cannot."
"We are both Christian men," the minister said, "Can you, as a Christian man, leave untried any means that may lead to peace?"
"No, I cannot," said Davis. "I desire peace as much as you do. I deplore bloodshed as much as you do; but I feel that no one drop of the blood shed in this war is upon my hands – I can look up to my God and say this."
"I tried all in my power to avert this war.  I saw it coming, and for twelve years I worked night and day to prevent it but could not. The North was mad and blind; it would not let us govern ourselves, and so the war came . . . It is with your own people you should labor [to end the war]. It is they who desolate our homes, burn our wheat fields, break the wheels of our wagons carrying away our women and children and destroy supplies meant for our sick and wounded. At your door lies all the misery and crime of this war – and it is a fearful, fearful account."
"And slavery, you say, is no longer an element in the contest?" Gilmore asked.
"No, it is not," Davis replied. " . . . You have already emancipated two million of our slaves – and if you will take care of them, you may emancipate the rest . . . you many emancipate every Negro in the Confederacy but we will be free!  We will govern ourselves.  We will do it if we have to see every Southern plantation sacked, and every Southern city in flames."
As the interview ended, [Davis] said: "Say to Mr. Lincoln from me, that I shall at any time be pleased to receive proposals for peace on the basis of our independence.  It will be useless to approach me with any other."
(The Dark Intrigue, The True Story of a Civil War Conspiracy, Frank van der Linden, Fulcrum Publishing, 2007, pp. 145-148)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Halfway to our Goal at Champion Hill

Halfway to our Goal at Champion Hill

$90,000 to go to save 66 acres at this pivotal battlefield!

From Our President

Jim Lighthizer Photo
June 2015
Dear Fellow Dedicated Preservationist,
I wrote to you last month about the 66 historic acres on Champion Hill that needs to be preserved. I am pleased to send you an update today that we have raised half ($90,000) of the $180,000 needed to save this land!
The May 16, 1863 Battle of Champion Hill was the largest, bloodiest and most significant action of Ulysses S. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign. Located in the absolute heart of the battlefield, these 66 historic acres deserve our protection.
The purchase price is $640,000, and we are currently applying for a federal matching grant for $260,000. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow Civil War Trust member who wishes to remain anonymous, we have received a generous commitment of $200,000 for the preservation of Champion Hill. This brought our goal to $180,000. Now, we need just $90,000 more to make sure this land will never fall victim to development!
Together, you and I have already saved 406 acres at Champion Hill. Permanently preserving another 66 acres will enhance this battlefield as a memorial to the brave soldiers who gave their lives on that land 152 years ago. Let us honor those 5,400 soldiers who were killed, wounded or captured that day and save these crucial 66 historic acres at Champion Hill!

- Jim Lighthizer, Civil War Trust President

Congressman Hal Rogers and Civil War Trust at Mill Springs

Mill Springs U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers joined the Civil War Trust and local preservationists on May 23 to announce protection of 118 acres at Mill Springs.

War Department: Making History at Champion Hill

War Department In the most recent episode of our video series, War Department™, Historian Terry Winschel discusses the fighting on our target 66-acre tract at the Champion Hill battlefield.

"We are fighting the battle for Vicksburg"

Vicksburg Article In this article by Sam Smith, learn about the seesaw Battle of Champion as Union and Confederate forces struggle for control of the Jackson Road—the very land that the Civil War Trust is working to preserve!

Fortifications In4 Video

Fortifications In4 In this In4 segment, Historian Garry Adelman explains the various types of fortifications used by both sides during the Civil War!

Vicksburg Animated Map

Vicksburg Animated Map Watch our animated map of the Battle of Vicksburg and learn more about this important Civil War campaign and battle, sometimes called the turning point in the war.

June Civil War Battles

June Civil War Battles Expand your knowledge of the Civil War by learning more about some of the Civil War battles that occurred in the month of June. Access our history articles, photos, maps, and links for the battles listed below.

Dispatches from the Front Lines

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Leave-A-Legacy Challenge Complete!

Thank you to everyone who joined the Honor Guard legacy giving society during the Leave-A-Legacy Challenge—we have reached our goal of 500 new Honor Guard members during the Sesquicentennial!
If you haven't yet joined, please consider including the Civil War Trust in your estate plans to ensure that battlefield preservation can continue for years to come! Email legacy@civilwar.org for more information.
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Join us as we continue to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War! Visit www.civilwar.org/150 for sesquicentennial events, news and features.
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June 3-7, 2015
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July 16-19, 2015
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Charleston, SC
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