Confederate revisionism refers to historical revisionism regarding the politically correct view on the Confederate States of America, the American Civil War/War Between the States (1861-1865), and its aftermath.
- 1 Slavery
- 2 Secession and war causes
- 3 Emancipation Proclamation
- 4 Anarchy, starvation, diseases, and mass deaths of Blacks after emancipation
- 5 A "Good War" necessary for emancipation?
- 6 Abraham Lincoln
- 7 Predetermined defeat?
- 8 Censorship and other authoritarian measures in the North
- 9 Mercenaries
- 10 POW camps propaganda
- 11 Claimed atrocities against POWs at the Battle of Fort Pillow
- 12 Jewish aspects
- 13 Treatment of the South during the war
- 14 Reconstruction era
- 15 Confederate monuments and symbols
- 16 See also
- 17 External links
- 18 References
See the Slavery article on various less politically correct aspects of slavery in the United States and elsewhere.
Secession and war causes
Regardless of what importance slavery had for the Southern decision to secede, emancipation was initially not part of the official Northern justification for making war, which was to suppress a rebellion, not to free the slaves in the South. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued only in 1863.
Most Southerners were not slave owners. According to the 1860 census, 4.8% of the free population in the slaveholding states were slave owners (and with this including free Blacks who owned slaves). A somewhat more politically correct figure is that 26% of the free "families" in the slaveholding states included one or more slave owners. However, the term "family" as used in the census is arguably misleading, with a "family" being defined as "one or more persons living together and provided for in common. A single person, living alone in a distinct part of a house, may constitute a family; while, on the other hand, all the inmates of a boarding house or a hotel will constitute but a single family, though there may be among them many husbands with wives and children. Under whatever circumstances, and in whatever numbers, people live together under one roof, and are provided for at a common table, there is a family in the meaning of the law." Thus, for example, all the free servants and farmhands who lived at a plantation would likely be counted as supposedly being members of a slave owning "family".
Furthermore, assuming that the slaves received less than free workers, and were in effect lowering the wages of free workers through competition, then emancipation may have been predicted to be economically beneficial for non-slave owners. There were also other stated costs for non-slave owners, such as taxes used to protect the slave property of slave owners, the risk of slave uprisings, and costs of participation in militia groups aimed at prevent uprisings and recapture escaped slaves. During that war, wealthy owners of large numbers of slaves were exempt from service in the Confederate army, while independent farmers having no slaves had to go off to the front. Thus, it has been argued that much of the support for the Confederacy and/or slavery would have had other causes than self-interest from slave-owning.
One explanation is by arguing that the independence of the Confederacy was motivated by non-slavery issues. One argument is regarding states' rights being restricted, although critics of this argument have argued that slaveholding states and the Confederacy were willing to limit states' rights, even those of non-slaveholding states, if this supported slavery, such as regarding measures against escaped slaves.
Another explanation is argued attempts by the Northern States to implement policies beneficial for themselves but negative for the Southern States. One example is that the Federal Government received most of its income from tariffs on imported goods (increasing their prices) and with most of this tariff income coming from the Southern states but with little being returned back. The tariffs were beneficial for Northern industries and financial interests.
Northern fears of the effect of secession included that the South would close the Mississippi River (or possibly institute tariffs on the trade on it) and that other parts of the Union could use the example to secede in the future. Another contributing factor, possibly influenced by the general imperialism during this time period, has been argued to be that Untied States should not lose power/status due to losing parts of the country and on the contrary was destined to expand further and acquire more territory.
Some of the initial support for the conflict on both sides have been argued to be due to underestimating the consequences, with a common belief being that even if war occurred, it would be quickly settled, likely in a single battle.
The balance of power within the Union between the North and South was shifting against the South as the North was becoming more populous than the South.
The conflict may argued to be related to a conflict between two different cultures/ethnicities, related to different immigration patterns to Northern and Southern states.
"Evidence of what the average Southerner did fight for is found in historian James McPherson's new book, What They Fought For, 1861-1865. McPherson read more than 25,000 letters and 100 diaries of soldiers from both sides in the War Between the States to try to understand what, in their own words, these young men thought they were fighting for. "These were the most literate armies in history to that time," McPherson writes. Their median age was 24; most of them had voted in the 1860 election, "the most heated and momentous election in American history." And they were voracious readers of newspapers who frequently engaged in ideological debates and expressed strong political opinions in their letters and diaries. McPherson concludes that most Confederates "fought for liberty and independence from what they regarded as a tyrannical government." [...] The letters of many Confederate soldiers "bristled with rhetoric of liberty and self government," McPherson found, coupled with "a willingness to die for the cause." Confederate soldiers also believed they were defending their country against foreign invaders."
Another argued contributing cause is mistakes and uncompromising provocations during the secession crises by Lincoln, who is argued to at first have believed that secession would not occur. Later, he is argued to have believed that the South would be easily and quickly defeated due to supposed lack of popular support in the South for the war, contributing to him provoking the start to the war by dispatching resupply ships to Fort Sumter, thus breaking his commitments and assurances to the South that he would not reinforce the Federal forts in the South, knowing that this would start the war, but for propaganda reasons wanting the South to fire the first shoots. After this, Lincoln issued an executive proclamation calling for volunteers to form an army to invade the South, despite during the earlier war with Mexico having criticized the then President for violating the Constitution's requirement that only Congress can declare war.
A related view is that "Lincoln's call for troops is what caused the war—not secession, not slavery, and not firing on Fort Sumter. The prospect of an American president sending troops to fight other Americans was too much for Virginians—and most other Southerners and many non-Southerners—to swallow."
Another view is that slavery was the primary issue. A politically correct view is that this was due to the political influence of wealthy slave owners who benefited from exploiting both slaves and poor non-slave owners.
A less politically correct view is that support for slavery in the Confederacy was due to views such that emancipation was predicted to cause widespread negative effects for society, such as increasing crime, miscegenation, and racial group conflicts. The 1804 genocide of Whites in Haiti and the following societal/economic developments in Haiti were seen as a warning example.
See also John Brown on his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, stated to have had the 1804 slave rebellion in Haiti as a major inspiration and to have escalated prewar suspicions and tensions.
There was Southern concern over that many Northerners praised Brown or otherwise viewed slaveholders as criminals deserving harsh punishment, including capital punishment. "Republicans also promoted a sharp criticism of slavery called The Impending Crisis of the South, written by a Southerner named Hinton Rowan Helper. Sixty-nine Republican Congressmen endorsed the book, which became an official party tract — the Republican party distributed an estimated 100,000 copies. Helper, who was vilified in his native North Carolina, was blunt: Our own banner is inscribed: “No co-operation with slaveholders in politics; no fellowship with them in religion; no affiliation with them in society; no recognition of pro-slavery men, except as ruffians, outlaws and criminals.” He also wrote: “It is our honest conviction that all the pro-slavery slaveholders deserve at once to be reduced to a parallel with the basest criminals that lie fettered within the cells of our public prisons.”". This caused concern when the Republicans won the election (with only 39 percent of the popular vote in a four-way race).
Another complication was that compensating the slave owners economically for emancipation would have been very expensive. One estimate is that "even if the payments were spread over 25 years, the annual costs of such a scheme would involve a tripling of federal government outlays (Ransom and Sutch 1990: 39-42)!"
After 1807, by law no new slaves were allowed to be imported into the United States. "many today would say that Southerners deserved their problems, having brought them on themselves by enslaving blacks. But of course they did not. By 1861 most were born into a slaveholding society. Most were not enthusiastic about it, but had little idea what to do. Anyone interested in just how divided whites were about slavery might look at the debates in 1831-2 in the Virginia House of Delegates. There was heated argument favoring no emancipation, gradual emancipation, immediate and total emancipation, and Lincoln’s solution of sending blacks back to Africa. They ended by doing nothing. Part of the sentiment favoring keeping slavery came from Tidewater, where large landholders depended on slavery, and partly from the sense of having the tiger by the tail: “Dear God, what now?”"
A possibly related issue was Southern resentment against argued misleading and incorrect anti-slavery campaigns in the North (while ignoring the very poor conditions for Whites in Northern industries) and incitements of slaves in the South to escape, rebel, and murder their slave-owners.
The North may be viewed as hypocritical, as slavery was existed in the North before it existed in the South (and before this among Amerindians, who enslaved each other). When slavery became economically unprofitable in the North, the slaves were sold to the South. However, Northern abolitionists, who viewed slavery as a sin, demanded that Southern slave owners should receive no economic compensation. Northern states that outlawed slavery at the same time discouraged free Blacks from settling in them, such as by state legislatures passing laws that restricted Black land ownership.
The American movement to end slavery had many members in the South, where the effort focused on cooperating with slave owners in finding ways to end the practice. However, the rise of the above mentioned Northern abolitionist movement and anti-Southern campaigns changed the effort to end slavery in the United States from a cooperative to an adversarial one. Southerners became defensive and defiant toward Northern abolitionists who condemned them as sinners regardless of the treatment of slaves and cooperative attempts to end slavery.
Yet another less well-known aspect is that "Although some slaves were driven for long hours, northern anti-slavery tracts abounded with accounts of how the excessive leisure of slavery would be ended under strict, Northern employment practices. They promised that abolition would produce a decisive rise in the nation’s productivity." See also the section "Long-lasting negative effects for areas using slaves" in the Slavery article.
The "Free Soil" movement opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, which would as one effect further reduce the Southern influence in the Union. It has been argued that the primary motivation for support for this movement was not concern regarding the treatment of Black slaves, but concern regarding rich slave owners outcompeting poor Whites regarding access to land.
The importance of slavery for the war may possibly have been overstated by both sides in their wartime propaganda, compared to less motivating issues such as the size of the tariffs, by the North as slavery was seen as most moralistic justification for not allowing the South to secede, by the South as the best motivator was seen as emphasizing the argued negative effects of emancipation.
"There has been much analysis of the cynical and political nature of Lincoln’s own Emancipation Proclamation — that it “freed” only those slaves in the Confederacy over whom he had no control, that it’s purpose was to dissuade France and Britain from recognizing and aiding the Confederacy, that it had to wait for a Union victory — but Prof. Davis goes further. Lincoln did not believe Congress had Constitutional authority to meddle with slavery in the states, but he claimed he had the authority, as a war measure, to free the slaves of anyone “in rebellion.” Prof. Davis explains that the proclamation really was a practical, war-fighting measure in the sense that Lincoln believed many slaves would walk off the job, shutting down the Southern economy.
This was not all. In his initial proclamation of September 1862, Lincoln implicitly called for slave insurrection, and even Yankees understood what that implied. Former governor of New York Horatio Seymour remarked in horror that it was a “proposal for the butchery of women and children, for scenes of lust and rapine, and of arson and murder.” Lincoln himself expected revolt and massacre, noting that because of the proclamation, “the character of the war will be changed. It will be one of subjugation and extermination.” Later, he told Ohio congressman William Holman he was disappointed blacks had not revolted. For the most part, however, there was jubilation over the proclamation in the North, where most people believed emancipation would cripple the South and stop the war. Such is the background of what is taught to school children as a humanitarian gesture towards our black brothers."
Anarchy, starvation, diseases, and mass deaths of Blacks after emancipation
A 2012 revisionist book stated that the end of slavery was followed by anarchy, starvation, diseases, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Blacks. This was stated to have been covered-up for reasons such that "abolitionist, when they saw so many freed people dying, feared that it proved true what some people said: that slaves were not able to exist on their own."
A "Good War" necessary for emancipation?
Slavery was, at time of the war, economically profitable for slave owners in the South compared to paying free wage-laborers, for certain types of work such as at plantations, which has been argued to mean that the war was necessary for emancipation and thus was a "Good War".
One argument against this is that while paying the slave owners for emancipation would have been very expensive, just the economic cost of the war was far higher. Other costs included that "the Civil War claimed more lives than all other American wars combined, and the increase in population since 1860 means that a comparable war today would cost 7.5 million lives."
Furthermore, slavery had previously been economically profitable in the North, but this had changed, in part due to large-scale immigration, meaning availability of many free workers who were willing to work for very low wages. The continued large-scale immigration could have caused the same to occur also in the South.
Also, it has been argued that "most Western countries— the British Empire, Canada, Mexico, even Cuba— managed to abolish slavery in the 19th Century without violence. No doubt American slavery would have expired eventually as well, of its own economic obsolescence— just as, say, indentured servitude disappeared once trades people figured out that it was cheaper and more efficient to hire day laborers than to feed, shelter and clothe their servants."
More generally, there was a worldwide abolition movement by Europeans during this time period, eventually abolishing slavery throughout the world, meaning that various anti-slavery, non-violent criticisms and measures, both inside and outside the United States, would likely have continually increased. See also Slavery: Abolition of slavery.
Abraham Lincoln is in surveys very often ranked as the best United States President.
One reason for his popularity is his assassination, making him a difficult to criticize martyr, and causing him to be seen as not directly responsible for the many postwar problems. His death became one justification for the harsh treatment of the South. "Southerners were likewise in no position to attack Lincoln. The South's situation after the war was similar to that of post-World War II Germany, that is to say, utterly defeated, prostrate, the victim of inflammatory lies about atrocities at Andersonville, etc. Hence, the only prudent course for Southerners was to promote those aspects of the Lincoln Myth (e.g., his alleged kindliness and magnanimity) so as to defuse Northern anger and work patiently for the amelioration of the condition of the South."
Less politically correct aspects include statements such as the 1858 statement "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that 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. 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 "made it clear on many occasions that he abhorred the very thought of social or political equality for blacks, and that although he considered slavery an evil, he saw no future in America for free blacks. He thought that the races should be separated [...] General Benjamin Butler reported a conversation with the President in early April of 1865, by which time the war had been won and Lincoln’s assassination was only a few days away. Lincoln said to him, “But what shall we do with the Negroes after they are free? I can scarcely believe that the South and the North can live in peace, unless we can get rid of the Negroes.” Lincoln then spoke of Butler’s experience in moving large numbers of men by sea, and mentioned that the United States had a large navy. He asked Butler to draw on his wartime experience and devise a plan to send blacks overseas."
Another view: "To his dying day, it appears, Lincoln did not believe that harmony between white and black was feasible, and viewed resettlement of the blacks as the preferable alternative to race conflict. "… Although Lincoln believed in the destruction of slavery," concludes black historian Charles Wesley (in an article in The Journal of Negro History), "he desired the complete separation of the whites and blacks. Throughout his political career, Lincoln persisted in believing in the colonization of the Negro.""
Another criticism is regarding deceitfulness regarding personal opinions, frequently changing his supposed personal views to fit the particular audience he was addressing. Thus, when addressing different audiences before the war in Illinois, Lincoln stated very different supposed personal opinions depending on the audience. Furthermore, he was an atheist, had written an essay denying the divinity of the Bible, but was despite this willing to invoke the name of God to garner support if there was something to be gained from this.
Lincoln believed in superstitions and omens, was often depressed after seeing blackbirds, and would interpret dreams that he had in ways that can only be described as superstitious 
One criticism for hypocrisy is regarding "the famous letter to Lidia P. Bixby which Lincoln cultists love to cite. The text of the famous letter is as follows: Dear Madam: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. [...] This letter received much publicity in the North, calculated as it was to touch the heart of any reader. [...} Lincoln's own son, Robert Todd Lincoln, was of military age and was also a resident of Massachusetts during the bloodletting of the War between the States. Unlike Mrs. Bixby's sons, however, Abraham Lincoln's son fought the war at Andover and Harvard. Only in the closing months of the War did young Robert finally see military service. His service was confined to serving on General Grant's staff where he enjoyed a bird's eye view of the war's conclusion with the rank of Captain and Assistant Adjutant General. But Lincoln's behavior in sheltering his son from the war at same time he was consigning the sons of so many Northern mothers to battle contrasts sharply with the behavior of Robert E. Lee and other Southern leaders. Most of the sons of Southern leaders fought in the war."
See also the article on the phrase "all men are created equal" on the use of this phrase by Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address.
One view is that the outcome of the war was inevitable due to the greater resources of the North. Another view is that the South did not actually need to achieve a total military victory, but instead just needed to cause sufficient Northern losses, point to hardships and suffering caused by the war in both the North and the South, or otherwise increase sympathies for the South, in order to turn the public opinion in the North against the war.
"hindsight has dimmed recognition of how close the Confederacy came to achieving its aims. "For the South, a tie was as good as a win," he says. It needed to inflict enough pain to convince a divided Northern public that defeating the South wasn't worth the cost. This nearly happened at several points, when rebel armies won repeated battles in 1862 and 1863. As late as the summer of 1864, staggering casualties and the stalling of Union armies brought a collapse in Northern morale, cries for a negotiated peace, and the expectation that anti-war (and anti-black) Democrats would take the White House. The fall of Atlanta that September narrowly saved Lincoln and sealed the South's eventual surrender. [...] In his new book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, he identifies points when Lee's army came within minutes of breaking the Union line. If it had, he believes the already demoralized Army of the Potomac "would have gone to pieces." With a victorious Southern army on the loose, threatening Northern cities, "it would have been game over for the Union.""
The situation would also have changed if other countries intervened.
Thus, propaganda and censorship in order to influence internal and external opinions were very important aspects of the war.
Lincoln "interfered with the functioning of constitutional government in the North by arresting elected representatives of the people and holding them for military trial. By Executive Order he closed down hundreds of newspapers in the North that criticized the war. He abolished the writ of habeas corpus and is estimated to have held as many as 20,000 civilians in detention without trial."
In Europe, a network of immigration agencies across Europe were organized, which offered free land in exchange for military services under the Homestead Act of 1862. An estimated 400,000 - 500,000 mercenary troops were enrolled in the Northern army. It has been argued that these foreign mercenaries accounted for the "mysterious repletion of our army during the four years of war" and that "Without the large influx of mercenaries, the primitive and wasteful military tactics of Grant would have sickened the Northern public far sooner than it did."
POW camps propaganda
During and after the war, alleged Southern atrocities at POW camps (especially at Andersonville/Camp Sumter), including alleged deliberate killings of POWs, were an important part of the wartime and postwar propaganda and an important justification for harsh treatment of the South in general, during and after the war. Revisionist views on this include that there were poor conditions in the camps, but that these were to large degree caused by factors such as the general food and resource shortages in the South (which was unable to properly clothe and feed even its own soldiers), overcrowding caused by a Northern refusal to exchange prisoners (since this was seen as being more beneficial for the South), and the Southern rail and water transportation system being so crippled during the final two years of the war that movement of supplies, especially to peripheral points like Andersonville, frequently became impossible.
The alleged deliberately harsh treatment of Northern POWs by the South was used as justification for deliberately harsh treatment of Southern POWs by the North, such as by deliberately cutting their food rations despite available food.
"the North could not claim lack of food or medicine as a reason for the horrifying high death rate in the prisons. In fact, the North refused to permit the shipment of medicine or food to Union prisoners in Southern hands. Jefferson Davis offered to pay two or three times the market price for medicine in commodities such as cotton, tobacco or even gold for the exclusive use of Northern prisoners, to be dispensed by Northern surgeons. This offer was ignored by Lincoln. Finally, the Confederates offered to release 13,000 of the most desperate cases without an equivalent exchange by the Lincoln government. The Lincoln administration waited from August to October to collect the prisoners. After they were released, atrocity photographs of the men were circulated in the North to show how the typical prisoner in Southern hands was supposedly treated."
The death rates in the camps in the North and the South (and even the numbers of prisoners) are uncertain. Supporters of both sides have cited statistics to prove that the death rates and suffering were greater in the enemy camps. Overall, the death rates have been argued to be similar, despite the abundance of food and much greater available medical resources in the North.
Holocaust revisionists have argued for a number of similarities with Holocaust propaganda, such as argued false and widely published atrocity stories by former prisoners and by persons falsely claiming to be former camp prisoners, document fabrications, show trials, and camp propaganda being used as a justification for exploitation and harsh treatment of the civilian population in general. A comparison has been made between Zyklon B and an early vaccine for smallpox, and that likely saved prisoner lives, but that was falsely rumored to be deliberately poisoned in order to kill prisoners.
Trial of Henry Wirz
Another Holocaust comparison is between the trial of Andersonville/Camp Sumter commandant Henry Wirz and Holocaust trials such as the Dachau trials. The revisionist Jett Rucker has written that of the many witnesses who wanted to testify, some in support of Wirz, "less than twelve witnesses were called, each of these quite evidently carefully vetted, scripted, and rehearsed, a circumstance very much in evidence and much noted by Joseph Halow in his moving book, Innocent at Dachau.
The mendacity of all the witnesses against Wirz were borne out not only by many telltale inconsistencies and unlikelihoods in their testimonies but as well by revelations uncovered long after the tribunal (and the execution of its innocent subject), disclosing typically that the very identities of the witnesses had been falsified, and the evidence as to their whereabouts during the times they claimed to have observed Major Wirz’s acts most dubious.
The charges against Wirz bore a general resemblance to the charges against accused at Dachau: that said accused on such-and-such a date did, with malice aforethought, and so on, kill, strike, injure so-and-so, a prisoner in his charge, with one consistent exception that seems unbelievable in a present-day reading: no name of any victim was ever specified! Major Wirz was accused of a total of 13 single killings to which “witnesses” testified, on various dates including dates on which Wirz was documentably far away from Andersonville on furlough, but in every case, it was stated that the name of the victim was stated to be unknown. Wirz was hanged for killing—typically shooting—nobodies, an allegation the author stated his inclination to reject even had real, dead Andersonville inmates been named as victims.
One aspect of Wirz’s handling during and especially after the trial had potentially momentous implications, but these in fact never arose, evidently from Wirz’s heroic refusal to lie. Page carefully documents an initiative that came apparently from the office of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to commute Wirz’s death sentence on the condition that he give evidence implicating former Confederate President Jefferson Davis in a plan to starve or otherwise kill prisoners of war in his custody."
Claimed atrocities against POWs at the Battle of Fort Pillow
See Slavery: Slavery by Jews on this topic in general.
In the antebellum era, Jews have been stated to have been more likely than Gentiles to own slaves and to be disproportionately involved in the slave trade. "Only one genuine example exists of Jews actively conspiring against slavery. During the 1840s, Issac and Peter Friedman assisted Peter Still’s escape from Tuscumbia, Alabama. However, even this appears to be an isolated incident born out of personal sentiment for a particular slave rather than any ideological opposition to the institution of slavery. [...] Most striking of all were the political careers of David Levy Yulee and Judah P. Benjamin. Yulee served as a congressman from Florida from 1844 until its admission as a state four years later, at which time he was elected senator. In 1852 Benjamin was elected senator of Louisiana. “It is a singular fact,” observed the Western Democrat, “that the most masterly expositions which have been made of the constitutional and religious argument for slavery are from gentlemen of the Hebrew faith.” Both Yulee and Benjamin were staunch advocates of slavery. Benjamin purchased a large sugar plantation in Louisiana with a labor force of 140 slaves. Yulee earned a reputation as the “Florida Fire Eater” for his passionate speeches in support of the South, especially his campaign to expand slavery through the territorial annexation of Mexico and Cuba. [...] Nothing better defines the depth of Jewish support for the South and the institution of slavery than the Civil War. Southern Jews were staunch supporters of secession and war. Several assumed eminent positions within the Confederate government."
In the postwar period, Jews in the South have been argued to often have supported segregation.
There are several monuments/memorials located at various places to the Jewish plantation slave-owner of at least 140 slaves and Confederate Attorney General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin. Before the war, he was "a New Orleans delegate to a legislative convention where he successfully argued against counting slaves as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of representation in state elections." Despite this, and unlike non-Jewish slave owners and Confederate officials, he has been argued to be seldom mentioned or condemned and, for example, his monument near New Orleans has not been removed.
Lincoln has been criticized for allowing or ordering various harsh deportations of various Southern civilian groups. "Not all deportations were tolerated by the White House during the war. Thus for instance when General Grant ordered Jewish speculators expelled from Tennessee, Lincoln quickly issued a peremptory order to Grant, rescinding his order and rebuking him for having deported the Jewish speculators." See also General Order No. 11.
Treatment of the South during the war
The scorched earth policy during Sherman's March to the Sea included events such as the burning down to ground of the city of Atlanta after its surrender. This massive destruction was of no military importance. During the march of the Northern troops across Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah, Sherman created a charred corridor over 40 miles wide, destroying all railroads, seizing all provisions, pillaging, plundering and burning. There was no military force available to obstruct his course. Later, Sherman similarly torched Columbia, South Carolina, and laid waste to parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
"Nor were the outrages of the Northern armies confined to the states of Georgia and South Carolina. In Virginia, for example, between July 18 and July 23, 1862, General John Pope issued four general orders providing that the Union army would as far as possible subsist upon the country, i.e., steal food from the civilians. All villages and neighborhoods through which the Union forces marched would be placed "under contribution." Civilians living along the line of march would be punished if there were any injuries to railroads or other roads by bands of unknown guerillas. Also, Brigadier General Adolph von Steinwehr seized civilians as hostage so that they could be executed if any of his soldiers were killed by unknown persons. [...] Those refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States would be banished from their homes; if found at any point within the Federal lines or in the rear, they would be executed as spies. Anyone who communicated with the enemy was subject to the death penalty. As Hudson Strode points out in his marvelous biography of Jefferson Davis, a mother who sent her son a letter could be regarded as a spy."
General Benjamin Butler, who had occupied New Orleans, issued an infamous "Order Number 28" after a woman spat at a Northern soldier who persisted in making advances toward her. The order was seen as in effect stating a "right to rape" any female perceived as insulting a Northern officer or soldier and caused international condemnations. Butler was also criticized for various other reasons. Lincoln's reaction to the complaints was to give Butler the assignment of Commander of the Department of Virginia and North Carolina and Commissioner of Prisoner-of-War Exchanges. "When Lincoln appointed Butler he also warned Butler that if he were captured, "He [Jeff Davis] has a price on your head and will hang you for sure." This was the man Lincoln expected would be able to ensure humane treatment for prisoners of war and their exchange. The Confederate commissioner at first refused to meet with Butler. A few months after Butler's appointment, Grant ordered all further exchanges to cease."
"Sherman used Southern prisoners of war to clear mine fields by marching them back and forth across land outside Savannah where mines were suspected. Southern prisoners were also herded in front of Northern emplacements under Confederate artillery fire so as to force Southerners to fire on their own men. Thus in the siege of Charleston, 50 Confederate officers were placed in a holding pen in front of Fort Wagner on Morris Island, so as to expose them to the fire of Confederate batteries shelling the Northern positions. On June 23, 1864, an order was issued to this effect from the office of the Commissary-General of Prisoners in Washington, D.C."
After the Battle of Sharpsburg, it was announced that no Christian burials of Southern soldiers were allowed. The bodies were left out to rot and to decompose. Only after the rot had gotten to the point where the public's health was being endangered were the rotted remains scooped together and buried in unmarked common ground. Later, it was ordered that the Episcopal churches, in which it is the custom to pray for the leader of the country, were to pray for Abraham Lincoln in conquered areas of the South. If they refused to pray for Abraham Lincoln, Northern troops were to close the church and turn it over to Northern denominations. After the war soldiers were posed at military cemeteries to prevent Southern women from putting flowers on the graves of their deceased husbands, fathers, sons and brothers.
In Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, states that permitted slavery but that remained in the Union, Northern troops fired on pro-Southern demonstrators, dispersed legislatures, expelled elected officials, conducted large-scale deportations of suspected potentially disloyal groups, and otherwise demonstrated little respect for constitutional rights or liberties during the course of the war.
After the war, during the Reconstruction era, initiatives such as the Southern Homestead Act, Sherman's field orders, and Reconstruction-era legislation aimed to strip the land, assets, and voting rights of Southerners believed to have supported the Confederates during the war. The Reconstruction laws of 1867 disenfranchised the majority of Southern White voters as they could not take the Ironclad oath, which required they had never served in Confederate armed forces or held any political office under the state or Confederate governments.
According to an earlier common and less politically correct view, the Reconstruction era was a tragic era during which vindictive and radical victors imposed harsh military rule on a vanquished South and supported corrupt state governments dominated by unscrupulous carpetbaggers (pro-reconstruction Southerners), scalawags (pro-reconstruction Northerners in the South), and uneducated Black freedmen. More recent and politically correct views dispute this.
By 1877, reports of failures of the reconstruction policies had reduced Northern support and the Northern troops had been removed from the capitals of the Southern states.
Gradually, payment of a poll tax, passing of a literacy test, and/or other requirements were implemented in many Southern states. This effectively barred most Blacks and many poor Whites from voting and other forms of government participation. Segregation was implemented. Such measures ended in association with the Civil Rights Movement.
Argued anti-Southern tariffs and associated economic exploitation of the South, argued to be among the primary causes of the war as described earlier, were continued for almost eighty years after the war.
Confederate monuments and symbols
Regardless of the causes of the war, as today support for any "White supremacist" pro-slavery view is nonexistent, those who today display and support Confederate symbols are not expressing support for any "White supremacist" pro-slavery view. They may do so for varying reasons, such as support for the South and/or more generally as a protest against political correctness and related recent societal developments.
Criticisms/attacks on monuments/symbols are not limited to Confederate monuments/symbols. For example, monuments to Christopher Columbus are also criticized/attacked and have been vandalized as supposed symbols of "White supremacy". Even statuses of non-Whites with less politically correct views on some issues may be attacked, as has happened for Mahatma Gandhi. See also the article on the Great Awokening on recent leftist attacks on American presidents, including Lincoln.
- Confederate Monuments Stand For White Heritage And Pride, Not States’ Rights Or History
- Why Did The Southern States Secede From The Union?
- The 10 Causes of the War Between the States
- The Union: Worth a War? https://codoh.com/library/document/2817/
- Selected Statistics on Slavery in the United States http://www.civilwarcauses.org/stat.htm
- Of inmates and families http://www.legalgenealogist.com/2014/08/19/of-inmates-and-families/
- Race and the South https://www.amren.com/news/2019/08/race-and-the-south-civil-war-history-slavery/
- Race and the War https://www.amren.com/features/2012/01/race-and-the-war/
- Southern History Series: The Genetic Basis of Southern Identity http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2019/05/17/southern-history-series-the-genetic-basis-of-southern-identity/
- 'Long May the Battle Flag Wave' http://codoh.com/library/document/2587/
- Shattering the Icon of Abraham Lincoln http://codoh.com/library/document/2163/?lang=en
- `Gods and Generals` and the National Question https://vdare.com/articles/gods-and-generals-and-the-national-question
- No, Lincoln Could Not Have 'Bought the Slaves' https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/no-lincoln-could-not-have-bought-the-slaves/277073/
- Fun with Slavery: Dark Spots in a Shining Sea of Twaddle https://www.amren.com/commentary/2017/07/slavery-haiti-uprising-civil-war/
- American History Series: Review: America Aflame: How The Civil War Created a Nation http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2019/07/16/american-history-series-review-america-aflame-how-the-civil-war-created-a-nation/
- Shades of Gray in a Dark History, A Review http://codoh.com/library/document/1701
- The 'Reparations’ Hoax https://www.amren.com/news/2018/12/reparations-slavery-american-history/
- Slavery in the New World https://www.amren.com/news/2017/10/slavery-david-brion-davis-inhuman-bondage/
- 'The end of slavery led to hunger and death for millions of black Americans': Extraordinary claims in new book http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2160484/The-end-slavery-led-hunger-death-millions-black-Americans-Extraordinary-claims-new-book.html
- 150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2013/06/150-years-of-misunderstanding-the-civil-war/277022/
- Second-guessing history: Was the Civil War necessary? .http://www.broadstreetreview.com/editors-corner/was_the_civil_war_necessary
- The Lincoln-Douglas Debates 4th Debate Part I http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/the-lincoln-douglas-debates-4th-debate-part-i/
- Abraham Lincoln and the Problem of Slavery https://www.amren.com/news/2011/02/abraham_lincoln/
- The "Great Emancipator" and the Issue of Race https://codoh.com/library/document/2451/?lang=en
- Patrick J. Buchanan: After Lee, It's Lincoln's Turn https://vdare.com/articles/patrick-j-buchanan-after-lee-it-s-lincoln-s-turn
- The Civil War Concentration Camps http://codoh.com/library/document/1987/
- The True Story of Andersonville Prison https://codoh.com/library/document/3112/?lang=en
- Jewish Confederates http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2013/06/05/jewish-confederates/
- Bicausalism Type B http://www.occidentaldissent.com/2013/05/26/bicausalism-type-b/
- Why Has Judah Benjamin’s Monument Not Been Removed? https://altright.com/2017/05/23/why-has-judah-benjamins-monument-not-been-removed/
- Judah P. Benjamin Memorial, Charlotte http://docsouth.unc.edu/commland/monument/883/
- Judah P. Benjamin Memorial http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/civilwar/monuments/ellenton/judah-p.-benjamin-memorial/memorial-plaque.jpg.php