BIGOTED ACADEMICS and DEMOGOGUES FAIL TO HIGHJACK THE SESQUICENTENNIAL
By J.A. Davis, Chairman SCV Public-Media Relations Committee, Gainesville, GA
Media Release – January 11th, 2011 – For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
J. A. Davis
Public-Media Relations Committee
Sons of Confederate Veterans
Fifty years ago under the leadership of President Eisenhower, I joined all of America in commemorating the 100th anniversary of a war that deeply divided the nation not only in the war years, but for generations to follow.
Eisenhower’s Letter explaining his reverence for General Robert E. Lee – dated Aug. 9th, 1960
The Centennial proved to be a great harmonizer for citizens of all states. Well planned historical events took place throughout the four year event. Tourism advanced beyond expectations as Americans from all sections showed a desire to learn more and visit exhibitions and programs where the events of the war took place. Emphasis of the timetable of events were presented in schools and in the media.
Recognizing an opportunity to seize on the 2011 Sesquicentennial of the war and to control the agenda, a small group of known left wing academics, in league with some liberal media and some individuals known as professional race profiteers and hate industry leaders, asserted themselves as the leaders of the Sesquicentennial.
They were on their way when they ran into a group of volunteers known as the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The Sons are best known as the SCV. They represent 31,000 members in almost 1,000 chapters (camps) located in home towns across America and several countries beyond.
SCV camps are generally well regarded as good citizens who pay a lot of civic rent where they are located. Each camp on a local basis conducts at least one major community improvement project annually, often more. They also appear in full Confederate uniforms and muskets in parades and civic events, generally taking honors for not only their appearances, but for their willingness to work with the civic community for education and perpetuation of the community heritage.
When the academics launched their attempted take over of the Sesquicentennial by setting their parameters for how each of us must view the war, the SCV went into action.
The academics’ initial attack, with almost total ‘mainstream’ media support, was to denigrate the combined thousands of observances and events planned by the SCV by characterizing them as "celebrations." They criticized plans carefully made in a number of states to present programs and exhibitions representing the events of the area during the war. The goal is attracting tourism and a opportunity for Americans to better understand the events, issues, actions, causes and results which took place 150 years ago.
Their initial attack represented no less than an attempt to throttle free speech. It was classic book burning and censorship. Worse, their shrill rhetoric which included labeling Confederate veterans as ‘traitors’ and their descendants as ‘racists,’ set the wrong tone for an observance that should have mirrored the unified success of the 100th anniversary.
Among the delusions with which the academics are vehemently trying to indoctrinate the public is that the war of 1861 occurred for one reason and one reason only: Slavery. They accept nothing else despite the overwhelming amount of scholarship written on both sides by the people who were involved at the time, not in the atmosphere of today where political correctness and new interpretations of history reign supreme.
The SCV does not deny slavery as an issue though it is not the only issue. Like many historians of the period, the SCV agrees the issue grew with occurrences during the war based on the progress of the war, the economics, the politics and the mood of the people.
How could slavery alone have been THE cause of the war when the Union offered the Corwin Amendment, the original 13th, guaranteeing that slavery, where it existed, would be protected in perpetuity? The Amendment overwhelmingly passed the U. S. Congress and was endorsed by President Lincoln. It was not accepted by the southern states as their view of the issues included a number of Constitutional liberties lost, some of which continue to be trampled today. The southern states wanted INDEPENDENCE… especially from excessive tariff taxation that had just doubled as a result of the 1860 Morrill Tariff (The higher tariff passed the House in May 1860, and Senate in Feb. 1861 after the departure of Southern senators due to secession; President Buchanan signed it into law March 2, 1861). The southern states paid over 75 percent of the total tariffs collected prior to secession.
The question begs, why these pretenders of the truth have such serious amnesia they never mention the Corwin Amendment? A good question for their publishers and students would be, Why?
WHY is it that they also forget the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution of July 25, 1861 (after hostilities were underway) passed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress that specifically states that the war is being waged "to preserve the Union," and "not for overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States." Shouldn’t we take the word of the U.S. Congress of 1861 as to WHY they were waging war on the southern states? ?
Why is it that those people never seem to remember that slavery was a national (and world wide) institution? Why do they continue to isolate the issue to the American South alone? They forget that of the 12 to 14 million slaves brought across the Atlantic from Africa, only about 500,000 or five percent were brought to what is now the United States (mostly to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Providence and other northern ports). The rest were taken to British, Portuguese, Spanish and French holdings in the Caribbean and South America. They also fail to note that all of these empires ended slavery peacefully, without a war, the last being Brazil in 1888.
For a non-partisan review of the Atlantic Slave Trade, and its world wide scope, we heartily endorse Hugh Thomas’ book:
The Slave Trade: The story of the Atlantic slave trade, 1440-1870, 1997, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 13:978-0-684-81063-8
and the review of it by Joseph Sobran entitled, Slavery in Perspective.
Despite the claims of superior scholarship by those people, their recollection of significant facts has huge and obvious gaps. Perhaps it has something to do with the old adage about absent minded professors. Another example they never mention is the inclusion of slave states in the Union and the Union military. Enterprising students should research the five Union slave states and the District of Columbia where slavery continued after the war began. Let’s not forget that Union military commander U.S. Grant didn’t free his slaves until December 1865.
Another obvious fact often ignored: The seat of the U. S. government, the District of Columbia, maintained slavery during the war those people claim was for the purpose of abolition. For the many who have swallowed their obviously false slavery-as-sole-issue claims, they should consider the irony of the slaves who were daily working on the remodeling of the U. S. Capitol while the members inside the chambers were discussing the war.
The further indoctrination (brainwashing) these professors have pronounced as "settled consensus" is their deluded opinion that there were no Black Confederates. For those people, their speculative "interpretive history" is a legitimate source. "No black would consider fighting for someone who would put them in the chains of slavery."
The SCV won’t get into a running argument with this type of "scholarship." Rather than be distracted from the work of the Sesquicentennial, the Sons of Confederate Veterans will leave the argument to true historians who prefer the whole record "without exaggeration and without omission" and valid sources over speculative fabrication. Reference The Slave Narratives published by the United States government. Add to that the Official Records of The War of Rebellion, also published by the United States government. Unless ignored, these volumes identify more than enough loyal free blacks who served the Confederacy to convince any fair minded person the numbers are significant. Other authors have identified more by unit rosters and state pension records. Look at old issues of Confederate Veteran magazine for interviews and comments from black veterans who referred to themselves as "soldiers" and their white comrades in arms who referred to them as "soldiers." On this question, we think the views of those who were THERE in the fighting hold more weight than anyone who follows a century or more later.
The weak assertion that blacks could not have served the Confederacy because of Confederate law is a direct insult to the free blacks who voluntarily joined state units for the defense of their homes and property. The proof is in the state pension rolls.
The most devastating defeat of the academic illusionists came from one they pictured as their own. For his PBS production of "Looking For Lincoln" Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., noted head of African Studies at Harvard University, attended a Sons of Confederate Veterans Reunion where he found more than a dozen black descendants of Confederate military veterans. He was so taken in finding another hidden truth that he interviewed some of them for inclusion in his two hour PBS special that aired to millions of Americans.
Additionally, at the SCV meeting, Dr. Gates met the Associate Archivist for the state of North Carolina, a black gentleman, who discussed the official North Carolina Pension Rolls which includes Black Confederate military. Skip Gates included him in the production as well.
It would be interesting to see the reaction of American veterans of all wars, still alive today, regarding the illusionists’ refusal to count blacks who served the Confederacy in support roles such as cooks, teamsters, construction units, medical units, cemetery workers and on and on. In all other U. S. military units, would it be proper to discount or omit mess hall personnel, cavalry support troops including mechanics in mechanized units, aircraft control and warning specialists, aircraft mechanics or naval and Coast Guard specialists who don’t carry rifles? Would anyone tell them they are NOT really veterans?
Black Confederate veterans have been shortchanged by those who would like to portray themselves as the pillars of racial progress.
The wrong leaning academics have met their foe. It is the Truth. Watch as thousands of events associated with the Sesquicentennial are produced somewhere, every week, for the coming four years.
Y’all come join us.