ATROCITIES AND OPPRESSION Experienced by the Southern People

by Connie Chastain Part 1 of 3

What virtually all those seeking to justify removal of Confederate monuments leave out, either because they don't know it, or

because they think the whole truth will jeopardize their position...  A common claim on Facebook and media report comment threads says the war was not to protect states' rights but to allow the continuation of slavery. It says, "The Southern states said so, read their declarations of secession."

spence.somewhereWell, only four states issued secession declarations, so why did the others secede? Those four -- South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas -- were states of the "first wave" of secession (which included Florida, Louisiana and Alabama). The declarations do state that slavery was ONE of the reasons for secession. There were also other reasons listed, but typically, people ignore all but slavery.

At this point, we have to ask, "If slavery was the only reason, why were these others included? Since they were included, we have to assume they were as legitimate to the issuers as slavery; so why are they ignored? Obviously, from a desire to falsely restrict the narrative.

The "second wave" of secession included the states of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee. None of them issued Declarations of Causes but some did mention in their secession ordinances that they were seceding because the federal government was trying to coerce them to send troops to invade the seceded states. Thus, their reason for seceding was genuinely states' rights -- their right to not be coerced by the federal government. This is almost totally ignored by critics of the Confederacy.

The secession declarations state the reasons for seceding. They were not declarations of the reasons for fighting a war. Secession is not war. It is a peaceful, political act. War is military violence. Confusing the two is a mistake most critics of the Confederacy make repeatedly and continuously.

Except for a handful of abolitionists, perhaps, the north was not interested in ending slavery, even after they abolished it at the state level (and sold rather than freed many of their slaves, in order to keep their black populations as small as possible). It was too important for their way of life. New England's maritime interests had made fortunes in the triangular slave trade (and continued raking the money in smuggling slaves when the trade was outlawed) and made more fortunes shipping slave-grown cotton to Europe. New England's textile industry made fortunes processing slave grown cotton in their mills. Northern banks made fortunes financing the purchase of plantations and slaves, and northern insurance companies made fortunes insuring slaves.

So basically, both north and south benefited enormously from slavery; the major difference was that the slaves were no longer domiciled in the north.

The north emphatically did not invade the South to free slaves. Read Lincoln's call for volunteers. Not a word, nary a syllable about slaves, slavery or freeing. It was to "preserve the union." To the industrialists of the north, this must have sounded like "keeping the cotton flowing northward unimpeded by some new national border." The war didn't become "about slavery" until two years into the fighting, when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (and caused epic desertion in the union army).

When the South seceded, the north was so mindlessly outraged that slave owners and dirt farmers no longer wished to be politically associated with them, they sent to the South an invasionary force of barbarians wearing military uniforms to kill Southerners and destroy everything it could.

Most Americans are clueless about the extent and nature of the savagery perpetrated upon the Southern people by the union army, fueled by their "woman scorned-style" outrage and their simple but visceral hatred for Southerners.

Stunned by victories of the fewer and less well-armed defenders, the union army took to warring on civilians. The official union records include orders by Sherman to murder civilians in Fairmount and Adairsville, Georgia and burn their homes. The yankee army shelled towns with no military presence or significance.. (When shelling towns, the righteous yankees used church steeples as targets.)

About 50,000 Southern civilians died in the war, many from these shellings.

Here's a partial list of the towns burned by the barbarians culled from the Official Records.

Osceola, Missouri, burned to the ground, September 24, 1861 
Dayton, Missouri, burned, January 1 to 3, 1862 
Columbus, Missouri, burned, reported on January 13, 1862 
Bentonville, Arkansas, partly burned, February 23, 1862 
Winton, North Carolina, burned/reported  February 21, 1862 
Bluffton, South Carolina, burned, reported June 6, 1863 
Bledsoe's Landing, Arkansas, burned, October 21, 1862 
Hamblin's, Arkansas, burned, October 21, 1862 
Donaldsonville, Louisiana, partly burned, August 10, 1862 
Randolph, Tennessee, burned, September 26, 1862 
Elm Grove and Hopefield, Arkansas, burned, October 18, 1862 
Napoleon, Arkansas, partly burned, January 17, 1863 
Mound City, Arkansas, partly burned, January 13, 1863 
Hopefield, Arkansas, burned, February 21, 1863 
Eunice, Arkansas, burned, June 14, 1863 
Gaines Landing, Arkansas, burned, June 15, 1863 
Sibley, Missouri, burned June 28, 1863 
Hernando, Mississippi, partly burned, April 21, 1863 
Austin, Mississippi, burned, May 23, 1863 
Columbus, Tennessee, burned, reported February 10, 1864 
Meridian, Mississippi, destroyed, February 3 to March 6, 1864

"For 5 days 10,000 men worked hard and with a will...with axes, crowbars, sledges, clawbars, and with fire, and I have no hesitation in pronouncing the work as well done. Meridian, with its depots, store-houses, arsenal, hospitals, offices, hotels, and cantonments no longer exists." -- wtsherman

Washington, North Carolina, sacked and burned, April 20, 1864 
Hallowell's Landing, Alabama, burned, reported May 14, 1864 
Newtown, Virginia, ordered to be burned, ordered May 30, 1864 
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, burned, June 12, 1864 
Rome, Georgia, partly burned, November 11, 1864 
Atlanta, Georgia, burned, November 15, 1864 
Camden Point, Missouri, burned, July 14, 1864 
Kendal's Grist-Mill, Arkansas, burned, September 3, 1864 
Shenandoah Valley, devastated, reported October 1, 1864 by sheridan 
Griswoldville, Georgia, burned, November 21, 1864 
Somerville, Alabama, burned, January 17, 1865 
McPhersonville, South Carolina, burned, January 30, 1865 

Barnwell, South Carolina, burned, reported February 9, 1865 
Columbia, South Carolina, burned, reported February 17, 1865 
Winnsborough, South Carolina, pillaged and partly burned, February 21, 1865 
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, burned, April 4, 1865

Also, there was the sack and pillage of Athens, Alabama on June 30, 1862,  Colonel Turchin and his men committed rapes and other atrocities on the inhabitants. Turchin was court-martialed and put out of the military. What happened next? Turchin was rewarded by lincoln,  promoted to Brigadier General and put back in the military.

Part 2 of 3 to be published Wednesday, August 23, 2017

 

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