Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Total war had made its lethal debut"

"By the end of the [Civil War] the process of radicalization made possible by identifying war aims with a humanitarian cause had turned the conflict into a merciless and bloody war of attrition in which the Confederacy did not figure as a real state with any legitimate humanitarian claim to existence. Southerners had become in the eyes of their opponents subhuman demons defending a reactionary order, a dark power dedicated to block the forward march of emancipatory progress. One need only read the newspaper accounts of the day to understand that this is no exaggeration. Confederate efforts to reach a settlement were thus rebuffed and 'total' war had made its lethal debut.
"The history of the modern age is written largely in celebration of this disastrous shift in ethical authority. Those who oppose it are depicted as history’s villains when they lose. The million young Southern men who tolerated four years of merciless deprivation and war, convinced as they fell that they were defending their homes and families, now figure in our national story as bigoted racists who devoted their efforts to the utterly unjust defense of a repressive and anti-humanitarian status quo. Their very battle flag has become a symbol of evil."

Dr. T. H. Pickett, "War, Power, and Supremacy:
A Conservative Interpretation," Modern Age, Summer 2006, pages 200 and 204.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893) Confederate Hero

As Confederates marched off to defend their independence in 1861, they were stirred by such songs as “We Conquer or Die.”

The war drum is beating, prepare for the fight!
The stern, bigot Northman exults in his might.

The composer, James Pierpont, knew the enemy firsthand. Southerners would have been surprised to learn that he was a Bostonian, the son of a fanatical abolitionist! In 1863 Pierpont published another great Confederate war song, “Strike for the South.”

Strike for the South! It must never be said
that her banner was furled to the foe.
Let those stars ever shine in bright glory above,
and the pathway to victory show!

When the war came Pierpont was in Savannah, Georgia, where he worked as music director at the Unitarian church, and he joined the First Georgia Cavalry Regiment. He would share the bitterness of defeat with his adopted Southland, never returning to the North. After the war he taught in Quitman, Florida, and was organist at the Presbyterian church there. He died in Winter Haven, Florida in 1893, and at his request was buried in Savannah—far from his frigid Massachusetts birthplace.

Before the war young Pierpont had written a number of sentimental songs. In 1850 he composed a winter ballad for a Boston Sunday school entertainment. He published the sheet music in 1857. It was a bright, happy song of young people reveling in the snow-filled New England countryside. Not until the twentieth century did his tune become a Christmas favorite. Over the years its popularity grew. A Bing Crosby/Andrews Sisters recording in 1943 sold over a million discs.

This Christmas season when you hear children singing “Jingle Bells” remember the composer, James Pierpont. Here was a man who let go family and his native land that he might serve a truly noble cause—that he might “Strike for the South.”

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Missouri Wildfires

The exodus of Californians fleeing recent wildfires has been characterized by TV media as, "the largest peacetime evacuation of Americans since the Civil War."
We're a little confused by their terminology, but the statement may at least be an acknowledgment that such things happened during Lincoln's War.

Non-combatants fled Charleston when that city was shelled by Federal terrorists, and Atlanta was forcibly depopulated after its capture by Billy ("War is Hell") Sherman. Women and children slept in parks and cemeteries when the boys in blue burned Columbia, and wherever the Union-savers appeared, multitudes were left homeless.

But the most horrendous of forced evacuations occurred in occupied Missouri, where Yankees were having a difficult time pacifying the population. On August 25, 1863 Brig. Gen. Thomas Ewing issued his infamous Order No. 11. Everyone–more than 20,000 civilians–living in his 3,000 square mile district had fifteen days to get out. Refugees were robbed and murdered as they departed, and their homes were torched. The devastation was so compete, fires often spreading to fields and forests, that the four counties became known as "The Burnt District."

"The order settled the border war," Ewing proudly told the Washington Post. "It was approved by Major General [John] Schofield and by President Lincoln."

Y'all, this was one war the Nazis won.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Maybe it was hell for some of them Yankees ..."

Former slave Henry D. Jenkins of Fairfield County, South Carolina, interviewed in 1936:

"When the Yankees come, what they do? They did things they ought not to have done and left undone the things they ought to have done. Yes, that ’bout tells it. One thing you might like to hear. Mistress [Sara Howell, wife of plantation owner Joseph Howell] got all the money, the silver, the gold and the jewels, and got the well digger to hide them in the bottom of the well. Them Yankees smart. When they got there, they asked for the very things at the bottom of the well. Mistress wouldn’t tell. They held a “court of enquiry” in the yard; called slaves up, one by one, good many. Must have been a Judas ’mongst us. Soon a Yankee was let down in the well, and all that money, silver, gold, jewelry, watches, rings, brooches, knives and forks, butter-dishes, waiters, goblets, and cups was took and carried ’ way by an army that seemed more concerned ’bout stealin’, than they was ’bout the Holy War for the liberation of the poor African slave people. They took off all the horses, sheep, cows, chickens, and geese; took the seine and the fishes they caught, corn in crib, meat in smoke-house, and everything. Marse General Sherman said war was hell. It sho’ was. Maybe it was hell for some of them Yankees when they come to die and give account of the deeds they done in Sumter and Richland Counties.”

From SC Slave Narratives, vol. 14, pt. 3, pp. 23, 26; quoted in Walter Brian Cisco, War Crimes Against Southern Civilians (Gretna, LA: Pelican, 2007), pp. 185-6.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another book we recommend: DOWNSIZING THE U.S.A.

"We believe the time has come to reconsider secession as a viable option for dealing with our own problems of big government, big military, big business, big labor, and big cities. America has become an unworkable meganation which defies central management and control ... Our states should be allowed to secede from the Union; megastates such as California, Texas, and New York should be permitted to break up; and megalopolises such as Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York should be encouraged to downsize and possibly even split with their respective states. Decentralization and devolution are pretend solutions to problems which require radical surgery, not just more political rhetoric."

Thomas H. Naylor and William H. Willimon, Downsizing the U.S.A. (page 241).

Friday, October 19, 2007

"How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him ..." I Kings 18:21

Dr. Gregory A. Boyd told of attending a Fourth of July worship service held at one American mega church. At center stage stood a cross and a huge American flag. After singing praise choruses and patriotic songs, a video was shown.

"The video closed with a scene of a silhouette of three crosses on a hill with an American flag waving in the back-ground. Majestic, patriotic music now thundered. Suddenly, four fighter jets appeared on the horizon, flew over the crosses, and then split apart. As they roared over the camera, the words "God Bless America" appeared on the screen in front of the crosses.

"The congregation responded with roaring applause, cat-calls, and a standing ovation. I saw several people wiping tears from their eyes. Indeed, as I remained frozen in my seat, I grew teary-eyed as well—but for entirely different reasons. I was struck with horrified grief.

"Thoughts raced through my mind: How could the cross and the sword have been so thoroughly fused without anyone seeming to notice? How could Jesus’ self-sacrificial death be linked with flying killing machines? How could Jesus’ people applaud tragic violence, regardless of why it happened and regardless of how they might benefit from its outcome? How could the kingdom of God be reduced to this sort of violent, nationalistic tribalism?" [From The Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power is Destroying the Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2005, page 88.]

A foreign-exchange student from Finland, attending one South Carolina congregation's patriotic service, could only be confused about the true meaning of the Gospel. Amid militaristic flag-waving, the unintended message she received was that Christianity is the exclusive religion of America.

A musician at an Upcountry, SC church respectfully requested that he not be required to sing a hymn that glorified war and military conquest. That brother was asked to go.

At another self-proclaimed "Bible-believing" church in the SC Midlands, a family was told to leave when they declined to pledge allegiance to the US flag.

Has America become our god? What must the Creator of the universe think of such idolatry?

In their promotion of "civil religion," too many American Christians seem to assume that the Prince of Peace waves the Star Spangled Banner, as they confuse God with Uncle Sam. What can this be called except blasphemy!

"You shall have no other Gods before Me," proclaims the First Commandment (Exodus 20:3). Have we forgotten that, as Christians, our true citizenship is in heaven? (Philippians 3:20). Jesus said, "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations," (Mark 11:17) not just our own.

Individual Christians will always hold a variety of views. What we may not do is use the Savior's church to promote that which is secondary and secular. The cause of Christ is superior to all allegiances—even of loyalty to country—and we dare not erect barriers based on our own prejudices. All—regardless of nationality or political opinion—must be welcome in God's house and invited to enter His Kingdom.

The Church of Jesus Christ has a creed that has nothing to do with opinions or patriotism, and a commission to be about her Master's business, not Caesar's. Just as politics has no place in the pulpit, patriotic songs and symbols too must be left at the door.

The flag of the United States, like the banner of every other country, symbolizes that which is passing and perishable, and has no legitimate place in a Christian sanctuary.

Friday, October 12, 2007

DeRosa's new book is now available!

The framers of the Confederate Constitution were, from long experience, well aware of Washington's appetite for power, and convinced that centralized government inevitably leads to tyranny. When Southerners set up their own federal system after secession, their supreme objective was political decentralization and the rule of law (in contrast to rule by law) as protection against abuse of power. Dr. DeRosa is absolutely correct when he says, "the original and ongoing campaign against CSA principles is a ruse to augment the scope and reach of a coercive centralized government, at the expense of individual and community self determination."

Professor of political science and expert in constitutional law, DeRosa is author of the classic study The Confederate Constitution of 1861. In his new book, he goes on to make the compelling argument that truly democratic principles are to be found in the Southern model of government. If Americans are ever to regain their liberties lost at Appomattox, it will be in a return to the fundamental principles embodied in the Confederate Constitution. Bold and insightful, Redeeming American Democracy is a must read!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Henry Timrod's World Tour

One hundred and forty years ago, on October 7, 1867, Henry Timrod died in Columbia, South Carolina. He was not yet 39 years old, living in abject poverty, and his death from tuberculosis was hastened by seldom having enough to eat in post-Sherman Columbia. Two years earlier, he had lost his home and business to Sherman's arsonists. Two of his sisters, and his own 10 month old son Willie, died in a single month—additional victims of Lincoln's War. Yet when Henry Timrod died, he was arguably the finest poet in America.

Born December 8, 1828 in Charleston, educated there and at the University of Georgia, Timrod spent a decade tutoring children of plantation families. He began writing verse as a teenager, his subjects usually nature or romance. The coming of Southern independence stirred him deeply. He became widely known in February 1861 with the publication of his poem "Ethnogenesis." Others, such as "The Cotton Boll," "Charleston," "Christmas," "Carolina," and "Spring" secured his fame as "laureate of the Confederacy."

This writer first encountered Timrod's "Ode" (in honor of the Confederate dead) when a high school student in the 1960s, in California. Studying American literature in college we read many of his other poems. Yet over the years, as the blight of political correctness settled across the land, Timrod was increasingly neglected and his work began to disappear from anthologies.

In late August of last year, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan released a CD of his newest work called "Modern Times," and it soon rose to number one on the charts. Within days, out in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a disc jockey named Scott Warmuth decided to do a Google search of Dylan's lyrics. What he found was astonishing. In one song, "When the Deal Goes Down," Dylan used poetic phrases from no fewer than four Timrod poems. Warmuth discovered many more examples of Dylan "borrowing" from the Southern poet. "I told my neighbor Chris about what I had turned up regarding Bob and Timrod," remembered Warmuth, "while our kids were riding bikes in the street between our houses one Sunday afternoon. It got his dander up, and he went and wrote the New York Times a letter ..."

Reporter Motoko Rich of the Times did some research, and her article appeared on September 14, 2006; asking tongue-in-cheek, "Who's This Guy Dylan Who's Borrowing Lines From Henry Timrod?" The word was out! Quickly other papers reprinted the story, or ran their own. From London to Atlanta; Sydney, Australia to Osaka, Japan—the story of the Timrod/Dylan connection appeared in at least 42 newspapers in 18 countries. It was discussed on-line on countless thousands of websites, blogs, and forums. National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" interviewed discoverer Scott Warmuth.

Some denounced Dylan's "plagiarism" while others defended his borrowings. Someone pointed out, for what it's worth, that the word Timrod can be spelled from the letters in "Modern Times."

Sales of Timrod's poetry spiked on Amazon. One on-line reviewer said, "After all the noise about Dylan's supposed borrowing from Timrod, I thought I'd give him a look. What one discovers is thoughtful and colorful poetry of a 19th century man ... [Except for] the Dylan furor, I never would have discovered him." He gave Timrod five stars.

The real story here, and cause for rejoicing? That Henry Timrod, neglected for so long, was discovered by legions of new readers. Truly, God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Secession: America's oldest tradition

What do South Carolina, Alaska, Vermont, Hawaii, and Texas have in common? Among other things, citizens in each state are working for independence. It seems that there are secessionist movements active now in no fewer than 25 American states! Most are concerned about liberties lost to the federal leviathan, and senseless wars waged by the empire. (Of course the SPLC pretends to see racism afoot, but that's how they make a living). For more, check out today's Associated Press article: Secessionists Meeting in Tennessee

Monday, October 1, 2007

The sincerest form of flattery ...

The U.S. Navy is terribly embarrassed over a San Diego barracks built in the shape of a huge swastika, and is scrambling to obscure the symbol with $600,000 worth of landscaping. It's difficult to see how its design could have been a mistake, though we hope it was no more than that and, after all, it was a government project. But it doesn't take a Google satellite image to note the striking similarities between the architecture of Hitler's Reich and Roosevelt's New Deal. As an example, above are images of the Federal Reserve Board Building, Washington, D.C.; and of the Reich Chancellery, Berlin. Now that's embarrassing!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"We must seize the torch from their hands"

We are upholding the great principles which our fathers bequeathed to us; and if we should succeed, and become, as we shall, the dominant nation of this continent, we shall perpetuate and diffuse the very liberty for which Washington bled, and which the heroes of the Revolution achieved. We are not revolutionists; we are resisting revolution. We are upholding the true doctrines of the Federal Constitution. We are conservative. Our success is the triumph of all that has been considered established in the past. We can never become aggressive; we may absorb, but we can never invade for conquest any neighboring State. The peace of the world is secured if our arms prevail. We shall have a Government that acknowledges God, that reverences right, and that makes law supreme. We are therefore fighting, not for ourselves alone, but, when the struggle is rightly understood, for the salvation of this whole continent. It is a noble cause in which we are engaged ... The glorious inheritance which our fathers left us we must never betray. The hopes with which they died, and which buoyed their spirits in the last conflict, of making their country a blessing to the world, we must not permit to be unrealized. We must seize the torch from their hands, and transmit it with increasing brightness to distant generations.

From "Our Danger and Our Duty," a tract written in 1862 by Rev. James Henley Thornwell and distributed to the people and the armed forces of the Confederate States.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Soldiers' Monument, Santa Fe, New Mexico

How could the capital of a state be named "Holy Faith"? Surely some sensitive soul in multicultural America is offended, right? We'll save that subject for another time.

Our topic today is the monument that stands in the center of the historic Square in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Erected shortly after the War for Southern Independence, the obelisk recognizes the service of U.S. troops at the battles of Valverde and Glorieta Pass, where they "fought with rebels." It is said that the word "rebels," used here to describe Southern soldiers, is the only place where that word appears on a monument. At least that was the story told in 1880.

The monument goes on to hail those blue-clad warriors who fell "in battles with savage Indians." In 1973 a young man wearing a ponytail took it upon himself to chisel off the offending word, "savage."

His assumption was, of course, that in less enlightened times all Indians were labeled "savage," and such bigotry must be eradicated. It has since been pointed out that in the 1860s Southwest, the term "savage Indians" applied specifically to tribes such as the Apache and Navajo, not to the settled Pueblo Indians, who were often at war with the nomadic "savages" themselves.

But wait a minute! Should they be calling Southern patriots a bunch of "rebels"? Now that's offensive!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

As strange as it may seem to us today, opposition to slavery in antebellum America was based largely on racism.

Most of those marching in the anti-slavery crusade wanted that institution kept out of the western territories for the simple reason they wanted no blacks living there. Rhode Island senator James Burrill asked rhetorically if the West should be settled by “free white men,” or “by slaves, and blackened with their continually increasing progeny?” David Wilmot, congressman from Pennsylvania famous for his proviso banning slavery from territory acquired in the Mexican War, expressed the same view. “The negro race,” complained the abolitionist, “already occupy enough of this fair continent.” “All the unoccupied territory,” said Republican Horace Greeley, “shall be preserved for the benefit of the white Caucasian race—a thing which cannot be except by the exclusion of slavery.” Abraham Lincoln shared that widespread prejudice. “The whole nation is interested that the best use shall be made of these territories,” he said in 1854, speaking of America’s western lands. “We want them for the homes of free white people. This they cannot be, to any considerable extent, if slavery shall be planted with them.”

Years earlier, Alexis de Tocqueville encountered this attitude during his travels in America. “Race prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists,” the Frenchman wrote, “and nowhere is it more intolerant than in those states where slavery was never known.”

True to his observation, the Illinois Constitution of 1848 required that laws be enacted to “prohibit free persons of color from immigrating to and settling in this state.” “When we say that all men are created equal,” proclaimed Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, “we do not mean that every man in organized society has the same rights. We don’t tolerate that in Illinois.”

The final solution to the nation’s race problem, according to Lincoln? The peaceful deportation of every black from American soil, a dream he said would be “a glorious consummation.”

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Sound familiar, compatriots?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Lincoln and Slavery too!

Clint Johnson, in The Politically Incorrect Guide to the South (pp. 143-4) has this to say about The Great Emancipator’s willingness to leave slavery alone:

“The Corwin Amendment (introduced by Congressman Thomas Corwin of Ohio and endorsed by Senator William Seward of New York in the Senate) passed the House 133 to 65 in February 1861 and the Senate 24 to 12 on March 2, 1861. It stated: ‘No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the Power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institution thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.’

“In other words, Northern legislators (most Southerners had already left Washington) affirmed that they had no intention of abolishing slavery. President-elect Abraham Lincoln told Congress in his inaugural address that he would support efforts to ratify the Corwin Amendment as the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution. He said, ‘I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution … has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.’

"So Lincoln agreed that it was already ‘implied constitutional law’ that slavery could not be abolished by federal law and had ‘no objection’ to this ‘being made express and irrevocable.’”

Lincoln was obsessed with consolidating federal power—in destroying once and for all the Constitutional restrictions that stood in the way of politicians like himself—not with ending slavery. Lincoln denied Southerners their right to self-government, not their right to own slaves.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

United States War Criminals

Images courtesy of:

Sunday, August 26, 2007


The church in question, it was discovered, openly promulgates a “White Value System,” and proclaims itself “a congregation which is Unashamedly White.” “We are a European people, and remain ‘true to our native land,’ the mother continent, the cradle of civilization … We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a White worship service and ministries which address the White Community.”

Don’t get excited. This is all made up. But can’t you imagine the “breaking news,” the denunciations by civil rights leaders, the candidate stuttering to explain, and then withdrawing in disgrace?

Well, it’s not entirely made up. The statements quoted above are taken from the website of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, the 8,000-member congregation where Dr. Jeremiah Wright is senior pastor. And where Sen. Barack Obama is a member. All we’ve done is insert the words “White” in place of “Black,” and “European” in place of “African.”

No need to dwell on the liberal double-standard when it comes to the “R-word.” We all know how that works. What seems most striking though, is this church’s double-mindedness. Shouldn’t Christians seek to uphold their Creator’s value system, not one based on race (whatever that means)? Those in Rev. Wright’s flock may prefer the company of those who look like themselves, but the Savior’s church cannot be built on bigotry.

Friday, August 24, 2007

"And guide our coward feet"

The Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, first such vessel to destroy an enemy warship, will go on display at its own museum in North Charleston, South Carolina in 2012. Built in Mobile, Alabama and shipped by rail to Charleston, the Hunley used a spar torpedo to sink the U.S.S. Housatonic on the night of February 17, 1864. After signaling with a blue light that its mission was accomplished, the submarine and her crew were mysteriously lost.

The Hunley lay on the bottom, a virtual time capsule, until raised on August 8, 2000. She was commanded by Lt. George E. Dixon, and just as many predicted, the gold piece given him by his girlfriend as a good luck charm was found aboard. The coin had stopped a bullet at Shiloh, saving his life. The vessel and related artifacts continue to undergo study and preservation at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center at the former Charleston Naval Base. Her eight gallant crew members were interred at Magnolia Cemetery in April 2004. At least 50,000 attended the funeral, including 10,000 re-enactors.

On July 1, 2000 the Confederate flag was brought down from the dome of the South Carolina State House, victim of a ferocious campaign of hate and ignorance unprecedented in our history. Providentially, the Hunley broke the surface exactly 38 days later.

James E. Kibler wrote a poem called “For George Dixon, Commander of the C.S.S. Hunley” (included in his fine collection, Poems From Scorched Earth, Charleston Press, 2001). Dr. Kibler concludes with these lines:

The last, you sank the Housatonic,
Showed out your gleaming signal light of silver blue
And headed into light of history,
Exploded golden charm still at your side,
To bring the light as lamp to this dark selfish age
And guide our coward feet.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Unionist from Greensboro

During the “Secession Winter” of 1860-1861, Congressman John Adams Gilmer (1805-1868) of Greensboro did all he could to keep North Carolina in the Union. “Ultra men,” particularly those down in South Carolina, had for decades been “conspiring for disunion,” said Gilmer. He made an impassioned speech on the floor of the House, calling for moderation and peace. The Congressman countered secessionist sentiment in his state by mailing, at his own expense, 100,000 pieces of unionist literature to fellow North Carolinians.

Gilmer’s devotion to the Union was such that President-elect Abraham Lincoln offered him a cabinet post! After careful consideration, troubled over Lincoln’s ultimate intentions, Gilmer finally felt he must decline.

On April 15, 1861 Lincoln called up 75,000 troops to crush the seven-state Confederacy. John Adams Gilmer, a delegate to North Carolina’s Convention, now cast his ballot for secession. The vote, taken five months to the day after South Carolina’s, was unanimous. North Carolina spoke as one: There must be no coercion of fellow Americans!

Gilmer was elected to the Second Congress of the Confederate States. His only son and his younger brother joined the Southern army. North Carolina—a state solidly for the Union until the tyrant Lincoln declared war—put 120,000 troops in the field to battle for their liberty.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Paladins of Liberty's Cause

“If our ancestors could awaken from their graves, they could not but look with approbation upon their descendants … confident that the cause of liberty for which they fought could not be left in better hands than those which maintained it on the bloody fields of Manassas, of Shiloh, and of Sharpsburg. A hundred years hence, and we, too … will assume the proportions of Paladins, and with ghostly hands thrust from our unforgotten graves, challenge future generations to prove themselves men by measuring their strength, their virtue and their heroism with out own.”

Henry Timrod, February 1864

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


"Finally, let us pray that our courage may be equal to every emergency. Even though our cause be just, and our course approved by heaven, our path to victory may be through a baptism of blood. Liberty has its martyrs and confessors, as well as religion. The oak is rooted amid wintry storms. Great truths come to us at great cost, and the most impressive teachers of mankind are those who have sealed their lessons with their blood. Our State may suffer; she may suffer grievously; she may suffer long. Be it so: we shall love her the more tenderly and the more intensely, the more bitterly she suffers. It will not follow, even if she should be destined to fall, that her course was wrong, or her sufferings in vain ... Let it be our great concern to know God’s will. Let right and duty be our watchword, liberty, regulated by law, our goal; and, leaning upon the arm of everlasting strength, we shall achieve a name, whether we succeed or fail, that posterity will not willingly let die."

Rev. James Henley Thornwell
November 21, 1860— twenty-nine days before South Carolina seceded from the United States.
South Carolina League of the South

Monday, August 20, 2007

Millions of American children are returning to school, where they will begin each day with the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag. The ritual began in 1892, at the instigation of “Christian Socialist” Francis Bellamy (1855-1931).

A harmless recitation, or nationalistic indoctrination? How can an empire as diverse as the USA be “one nation”? If the people of Vermont or Alaska or South Carolina should want out, what becomes of that very permanent word, “indivisible”? And if people are denied their right to choose, can there truly be “liberty and justice for all”? That the Federal Flag Code requires the US flag be flown in a superior position to any other, including the Christian flag, makes meaningless the phrase “under God.”

The original pledge required the fascist salute pictured above. Don’t know why that was ever changed.
South Carolina League of the South

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"Yet all must be endured ..."

This letter was written by Robert E. Lee to his daughter, on Christmas Day 1861, from his military headquarters south of Charleston, South Carolina.

“My Dear Daughter:

“Having distributed such poor Christmas gifts as I had to those around me, I have been looking for something for you … I have sent you what I thought most useful in your separation from me and hope it will be of some service. Yet how little it will purchase! … I send you some sweet violets that I gathered for you this morning while covered with dense white frost, whose crystals glittered in the bright sun like diamonds, and formed a brooch of rare beauty and sweetness which could not be fabricated by the expenditure of a world of money.

“May God guard and preserve you for me, my dear daughter! Among the calamities of war, the hardest to bear, perhaps, is the separation of families and friends. Yet all must be endured to accomplish our independence and maintain self-government. Your old home, if not destroyed by our enemies, has been so desecrated that I cannot bear to think of it.

“I pray for a better spirit and that the hearts of our enemies may be changed. In your homeless condition I hope you make yourself contented and useful. Occupy yourself in aiding those more helpless than yourself. Think always of your father.

R.E. Lee”

Friday, August 17, 2007

Strom Thurmond Haunts Connecticut

A young man from Connecticut, John R. Downey, chose to attend the University of South Carolina over three decades ago, where he earned his master’s in 1975 and a law degree two years later. Downey met Strom Thurmond while in the Palmetto State, and came to admire the senator. Returning to Connecticut, Downey did well in his profession, and in 2001 was named a judge of the Superior Court.

On June 26, 2003 Thurmond died at age 100. His public life was long and extraordinary. Elected to the State Senate in 1932, he went on to serve as circuit court judge until America entered World War II. The returning war hero was elected governor of South Carolina in 1946, and ran for president as a third-party candidate in 1948, carrying four states. In 1954 the people sent him to the U.S. Senate on a write-in vote. Thurmond was elected to eight terms, served as chairman of the Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, became President Pro Tempore, and for half a century was one of the most influential leaders in American political life.

According to court records, the morning after Thurmond’s death, Judge Downey, opening court for the day, praised Thurmond as “a great American,” one who “was able to see life and reality and grow” as he evolved from segregationist and who bettered race relations and helped appoint blacks to federal judgeships.

Now Downey, 56, is being considered for promotion to the Appellate Court, and his words of eulogy are coming under scrutiny. Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, claims that the judge’s praise of the “longtime segregationist” was “very inappropriate” and promises to make trouble for Downey.

Downey lauded the South Carolinian for changing his racial views. Legions of liberals, led by Senator Joe Biden at Thurmond’s funeral, have done the same thing. Lawlor’s critical attitude is bizarre, even for a New Englander.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Remembering the days ..."

The above photo was scanned from pages 484-5 of the 1968 Garnet and Black, then the yearbook of the University of South Carolina. Do you notice anything extraordinary (other than the fact that 40 years ago even students dressed up for football games)? Flying above the student section of Carolina (now Williams-Brice) Stadium is a huge Confederate battle flag! And it was not placed there by some rebellious undergraduate, but by those in charge of Coach Paul Dietzel’s football program. In 1967, Confederate flags were often seen at pep rallies and games, and every time the Gamecock Marching Band played “Dixie” (yes, that happened often!), the students went wild.

South Carolina’s current coach, Steve Spurrier, spends much of his time trying to keep his players out of the Richland County Detention Center. But what really makes him mad is, in his own words, “that damn flag.” Last season a fan displayed one before a game, and the coach was terribly embarrassed.

For those embarrassed by the ol’ ball coach, call 1-800-327-8606 to order your “PUNT SPURRIER” bumper sticker.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

For your edification and amusement, reproduced here are two contemporary political cartoons featuring the Sainted Abraham.
The one on top, from Harper's Weekly (January 3, 1863) has Columbia confronting Lincoln and asking, "Where are my 15,000 sons-murdered at Fredericksburg?" Lincoln says, "This reminds me of a little joke -" Columbia responds, "Go tell your joke at Springfield!!"
"Extremes Meet" is the title of a cartoon from the British Punch (October 24, 1863), comparing Lincoln with the Czar of Russia. The caption reads:
"Abe: Imperial son of Nicholas the Great,
We sir in the same fix, I calculate,
You with your Poles, with Southern rebels I,
Who spurn my rule and my revenge defy.
"Alex: Vengeance is mine, old man; see where it falls,
Behold yon hearth laid waste, and ruined walls,
Yon gibbets, where the struggling patriot hangs,
Whilst my brave myrmidons enjoy his pangs."
Stephen Dill Lee was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1833, and educated at a military school for boys. He graduated from West Point in 1854. After serving in the U.S. Army for nearly seven years, he resigned in February 1861, returning to his native state to accept a commission as captain of artillery in the Regular Army of South Carolina. A member of Beauregard’s staff during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, he later commanded the Washington Light Artillery of the Hampton Legion. Lee rose steadily in rank—fighting in Virginia, defending Vicksburg, commanding a corps in the Army of Tennessee—becoming before war’s end the Confederacy’s youngest lieutenant general.

Lee married Regina Harrison of Mississippi and settled in the Magnolia State. He was elected to the state Senate, served as the first president of Mississippi Agricultural and Mechanical College (now Mississippi State University), and helped establish Vicksburg National Military Park. Elected commander-in-chief of the United Confederate Veterans in 1904, Lee had delivered his now famous charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans six years earlier. Though the sectional conflict over slavery was one issue leading to secession, Lee wanted it understood “that we did not fight to maintain slavery, but for constitutional rights.”

In May 1908 the seventy-five year old general took ill and died while attending a reunion of Union veterans at Vicksburg. Lee’s remains were returned to his hometown of Columbus where thousands of mourners gathered and flags flew at half-staff by order of president Roosevelt. Rev. W.A. Hewitt of First Baptist Church, Lee’s pastor, spoke of his friend’s faith. “He had bravely met the enemy on many a hard fought field, but the greatest enemy he met was death. He met that enemy with the same courage, and won the greatest victory of his life. Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”

“O death, where is they sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?”
1 Corinthians 15:55

Monday, August 13, 2007

“Forcibly to destroy slavery was to destroy the political power and the economic and social foundations of a whole people. Whether or not slavery was essential to the South, it was essential to the South to have the power to maintain slavery. If the North could control one, she could control all. This was the issue, the tragedy, that slavery had become the proving ground of the South’s fight to maintain her rights as a minority within the Union.”

Margaret L. Coit, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning John C. Calhoun, American Portrait

Friday, August 10, 2007

His religion was America

“Thank you, sir, for your service and moral courage.”
“You are a great inspiration.”
“I am sure there was a special place in Heaven for you.”
“May you sit tonight at the right hand of God.”

From notes left at the website.

Who is the recipient of these bouquets, left by his worshipping admirers? None other than William Tecumseh (“War is Hell”) Sherman.

We can only assume that Uncle Billy’s fascist fans know who it is they’re talking about. After all, it’s not as though his career and character were a secret.

Biographer Michael Fellman acknowledges “what Sherman sometimes referred to as the ’final solution of the Indian problem,’ which he defined as killing hostile Indians and segregating their pauperized survivors in remote places where they would not threaten white settlers.” General Sherman told President Grant, “We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children.”

But he didn’t only hate Native Americans. Just a few years earlier, Sherman was waging a “hard war” of extermination against Southern-Americans. Confederates, said Sherman, could expect to be “involved in the destruction that awaits armed rebellion against the nation’s will.” His army burned homes, churches, farms, and businesses; plundered towns and entire districts; forced into exile unoffending civilians; arrested and imprisoned women and children; shelled cities with the stated goal of terrorizing non-combatants; and committed murder. (And to think, Southerners wanted to leave a great country like that!)

In Columbia, South Carolina, the general’s men gang-raped black women on the streets as the city burned. “I like niggers well enough as niggers,” Sherman confided to a friend, though only “fools & idiots promoted their advancement.” There were no black soldiers in his army of course, for “I won’t trust niggers to fight yet.” Still, said Sherman, “I profess to be the best kind of a friend to Sambo.”

In July 1862, Sherman stopped all cotton trading carried on in Memphis by, in the general’s words, “Jews and speculators.” When Orangeburg burned during his march through South Carolina, Sherman promoted the tale that the town was not torched by his troops, but that “some Jew did it.”

Did we mention that Hitler thought highly of the Union cause?

Sherman’s crimes are of course excused by the History Channel, academic historians, the establishment elite, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and flag-waving American patriots everywhere. After all, he helped the sainted Abraham “save the Union.”

Tom DiLorenzo pointed out that “saving the Union” may be compared to a man who is abusing his wife, causing her to leave. The man finds her, beats her up, drags her back into the house, and says— ”If you leave again, I’ll kill you!” The man is then praised for “saving the marriage.” But this analogy can only speak to those who believe that political unions, like marriages, must be voluntary— that coercing others is wrong.

Dr. Harry Stout of Yale University Divinity School recently said, “Sherman’s religion was America, and America’s God was a jealous God of law and order, such that all those who resisted were reprobates who deserved death.”

Sherman’s religion was America. That explains a great deal, then and now.

South Carolina League of the South

Thursday, August 9, 2007

"The Angel of Marye's Heights"

Nineteen year old Richard Rowland Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment must have stared in disbelief to se the enemy advancing. The young sergeant knew how strong the Confederate position was. This December 13, 1862, Longstreet’s Corps was firmly entrenched on Marye’s Heights, overlooking Fredericksburg, Virginia. Holding the high ground on Lee’s left, the Southerners were sheltered in a sunken road, protected by a stone wall, supported by strong artillery. It seemed incredible that the Yankee invaders would dare attack. But Ambrose Burnside was doing just that, hurling five divisions against the impregnable line. Wave after blue wave went forward, to be cut down before even reaching the wall.

At the end of the day, thousands of dead and wounded Union soldiers lay sprawled across the ground. All through that bitterly cold night, Sergeant Kirkland was tormented by the pitiful cries of the wounded. Moved with compassion, at daylight he loaded himself with canteens and slipped over the wall. Would a sniper’s bullet claim him? Kirkland went to the nearest sufferer and gave him a drink. Another he covered with his own coat. A cheer went up from the Federal lines. For an hour and a half not a shot was fired as “the Angel of Marye’s Heights” carried water to his fallen foes.

Less than a year later, Kirkland himself died defending his country at the battle of Chickamauga.

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you …” - Jesus, in Matthew 5:44

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

“The state’s rights interpretation of the Constitution was not, as its enemies have alleged, a mere theoretical rationalization made up for the defense of slavery. It is, rather, a living heritage of great power, absolutely central to the understanding of American history. It was the fundamental issue of the most bloody war in which Americans have been involved.”

Dr. Clyde N. Wilson, editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Man Who Put the Flag on the Dome

John Amasa May was born in Graniteville, near Aiken, South Carolina, in 1908. He graduated from Wofford College, attended Harvard Law School, and completed his legal education at the University of South Carolina in 1934. The very next year the young attorney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. His career was interrupted by World War II. May spent five years in the army, rising to the rank of major, and in 1946 found himself on the team of prosecuting attorneys at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Returning home, May was re-elected to the S.C. House in 1948. He would represent Aiken for nearly two decades.

John May was fascinated by the history and personalities of the War for Southern Independence. He cherished his Confederate heritage, something that “grows brighter with each passing day to guide and inspire us.” May was the author or co-author of four books, including the classic South Carolina Secedes. A long-time member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Compatriot May served as division commander in 1960, and in 1964 was elected commander-in-chief of the SCV. In the legislature he headed up the Confederate War Centennial Commission.

Under John May’s leadership, the Confederate battle flag was hoisted to its place of honor atop the capitol dome in 1962. It remained there until a campaign of bigotry and ignorance, unprecedented in scope and intensity, brought it down thirty-eight years later.

On October 5, 1966 May spoke to Columbia’s Wade Hampton Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy:

“Today, more than ever before, we need the virtues of Robert E. Lee, the courage of Stonewall Jackson, the daring of Wade Hampton, the loyalty of our noble women, and the unselfish sacrifice of the men who wore the gray. Let us, as guardians of this noble trust, devote ourselves to the needs of America of our day— and strive for unity, for peace, and for brotherly love.”

Monday, August 6, 2007

Stonewall Jackson's Way

Victory! Telegraphic reports spoke of Yankee invaders in full flight! Eager for details, a crowd gathered at the Lexington, Virginia post office. There, on this hot July day in 1861, they breathlessly awaited the arrival of further news of the glorious triumph near Manassas.

They would have been thrilled had they known that Thomas J. Jackson, V.M.I. Professor and deacon at the local Presbyterian church, behaved brilliantly in the war’s first great battle. At a critical moment, Jackson’s brigade withstood a furious assault. “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall!” shouted Bernard Bee to his own wavering men. Beauregard himself characterized Jackson as “an able, fearless soldier and sagacious commander.” Deacon Jackson would privately confide to his wife that “we fought a great battle, & gained a great victory,” quickly adding that “all the glory is due to God alone.” Though “God made my brigade more instrumental than any other in repulsing the main attack,” he cautioned her that “this is for your information only. Say nothing about it.”

The mail was in! “Now we will have the news!” announced Rev. William S. White. “Here is a letter from General Jackson himself!” Everyone congregated around the preacher as he opened the envelope and began to read aloud.

“My dear pastor,” began Jackson, “in my tent last night, after a fatiguing day’s service, I remembered that I had failed to send you my contribution for our colored Sunday School. Enclosed you will find a check for that object …”

Not a line about the battle. Not a word that would bring glory to himself. There was only a clear and abiding concern for his Master’s work. That was Stonewall Jackson’s way.
South Carolina League of the South

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Faith of Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton’s world was crumbling around him. The army had just been forced back at Bentonville. In this final Confederate spring of 1865 the Southern cause was all but lost. No less bleak was Hampton’s own future. In February his home near Columbia had been torched by Federals, forcing his wife and their small children to flee. His sisters joined the throngs of homeless refugees after flames consumed their home, Millwood. Only a few months earlier Hampton had watched in horror as sons Preston and Wade were struck by bullets at Burgess’ Mill. Preston died there. Hampton’s brother Frank had been cut down at Brandy Station in 1863. The general himself had three times suffered terrible combat injuries. Yet through all the carnage and heartache and loss, Wade Hampton’s Christian faith remained unshaken.

He had just received a tearful letter from his youngest sister, Mary Fisher Hampton. She was distraught—nearly overcome with anxiety that her brother was about to be killed. Hampton responded in a patient and gentle letter dated March 30, taking time from his duties to encourage his sister’s faith and calm her fears.

“You must not worry & fret about me, for it grieves me greatly to think of you doing so. Your faith should be strong enough to make you know that God orders all things for the best. I am in His keeping & you should be quite content to trust me there. I hope & believe that He will keep me for those who are so dear to me & whose prayers go up so constantly for me. But I am sure that whatever happens, is wisely ordered. Let this hope sustain you: place your confidence in God, & having asked Him to answer your prayers, leave the issue to Him.”

South Carolina League of the South

Saturday, August 4, 2007

What he really meant was ...

A reader sent this:
The only thing worse than Lincoln is a flip-flop Lincoln!
"Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world." Congressman Abraham Lincoln, 1848
It should have read...
"Any politician anywhere, being inclined and having the power, has the right to rise up, and shake off an existing opinion, and form a new one that suits him better."

Friday, August 3, 2007

"It was a sad day ..."

Maj. Gen. Matthew C. Butler (1836-1909)

“It was a sad day when this great light of constitutional government was put out [the Southern Confederacy], by superior force and overwhelming numbers. Its record will survive through the ages among the grandest and greatest efforts of mankind to establish and perpetuate a form of government best suited to the happiness and welfare of its inhabitants. Its civic history is no less brilliant than its military, and the two combined make a record unsurpassed in human effort.”
Speaking at a reunion in Chester, SC, 1899

“If in less than half a century after the event [Southern secession], the trend of political power towards centralization in the Federal government, and in like proportion has minimized the powers and influence of the States and people, it requires no great stretch of prophetic opinion to say what the next half century will bring forth, and how wise and far-seeing the statesman and publicist were who struggled against such a tendency.”

Speaking at the unveiling of the Wade Hampton monument, Columbia, SC, 1906

Caribbean Choices

Puerto Rico has, since 1508, been under the control of foreigners. After nearly four centuries of rule, the Spanish ceded the island to the United States in 1898. Since 1952, when a new constitution was adopted, Puerto Rico has been “Estado Libre Asociado,” the “Commonwealth.”

The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007, introduced in the U.S. Congress in February, would allow the people of Puerto Rico to choose their political future in a plebiscite to be held before the end of 2011. Three times in recent decades (the last in 1998) Puerto Ricans have voted in non-binding referendums on which they prefer: 1) retaining their current Commonwealth status, 2) choosing statehood, or 3) opting for independence.

There hasn’t been much support for changing things. Puerto Rico, as the only U.S. Commonwealth, enjoys a certain autonomy, and though her people pay the usual array of local taxes, they are not subject to the federal income tax. Should they ever choose statehood, Puerto Ricans would be able to elect five congressmen and two senators, but would be required to send their tax dollars to Washington as well.

Why can’t all Americans, not just Puerto Ricans, be given such a choice? When will Sen. Lindsey Graham introduce “The South Carolina Democracy Act of 2007”? What voter wouldn’t jump at the chance to trade him and his seven colleagues for no more IRS!

South Carolina League of the South

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Still true!

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either."
Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss), at a party celebrating Thurmond’s 100th birthday
South Carolina League of the South

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Points to Ponder

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

“We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavoring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still.”
John Stuart Mill

“For the average American freedom of speech is simply the freedom to repeat what everyone else is saying and no more.”
Gore Vidal

“The right to agree with others is not a problem in any society; it is the right to disagree that is crucial.”
Ayn Rand

“Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.”
Salman Rushdie

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
William F. Buckley, Jr.

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984

South Carolina League of the South

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What's next?

Steve Spurrier, the NAACP, and sensitive souls everywhere claim to be horrified by that 48-inch square piece of nylon at the Confederate soldier monument on South Carolina’s State House grounds. If only it disappeared, all would be right with the world.

Granted, they’re still mad at Mississippi. But what about some of our other neighbors? The flags of Alabama (adopted in 1895) and Florida (1885) are clearly patterned on the Confederate battle banner. Arkansas’ (1924) seems inspired by the battle flag, and that of North Carolina (1885) had its origins in a design used during the War for Southern Independence. Georgia’s new flag is the very image of the Confederacy’s First National.

Why aren’t the anti-flag zealots offended? Are they truly that ignorant? More likely, these flags and other symbols and reminders of Confederate heritage will be targeted should the one in Columbia fall. The NAACP (“the Klan with a tan”) and their liberal white allies are never satisfied.

We’re reminded of what Charlie Condon, then attorney general, said back in 1999 when these bigots were demanding the Confederate flag come down from South Carolina's State House dome:

“In my judgment, moving the flag would be a victory for the extremist groups. They would immediately start planning their next crisis, their next outrage, their next demand. That’s what they do. Controversy is their business. It is not possible to appease the merchants of hate. It is a mistake even to try.”

South Carolina League of the South

Monday, July 30, 2007

"Secession filled me with hope"

Lord Acton (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, 1834-1902), British historian and philosopher of liberty, is best remembered for his epigram, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” What is perhaps less well known, though it should not be surprising, was his sympathy for the Confederate cause. After the war, in November 1866, Lord Acton expressed his views in a letter to Robert E. Lee.

Without presuming to decide the purely legal question, on which it seems evident to me from Madison’s and Hamilton’s papers that the Fathers of the Constitution were not agreed, I saw in State Rights the only availing check upon the absolutism of the sovereign will, and secession filled me with hope, not as the destruction but as the redemption of Democracy. The institutions of your Republic have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy. I believed that the example of that great Reform would have blessed all the races of mankind by establishing true freedom purged of the native dangers and disorders of Republics. Therefore I believed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty, our progress and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo.”
South Carolina League of the South

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sally Louisa Tompkins

Mrs. Tompkins, a wealthy twenty-eight year old widow, was living in Richmond when the first battles of the war began filling the streets with wounded soldiers. She organized a hospital in a home donated for that purpose and poured her own financial resources into it. Robertson Hospital quickly gained a reputation for providing the best care available, prompting military authorities to send to her their most seriously injured.

By late 1861, War Department regulations requiring that all hospitals treating soldiers be operated by the military forced the closing of private facilities. The wounded would now be admitted to the sprawling, 3,000-bed Chimborazo Hospital. Mrs. Tompkins appealed to the Confederate president. Recognizing the quality and extraordinary success rate of her little hospital, Jefferson Davis determined to keep it open by outflanking his bureaucrats. Davis commissioned Sally Tompkins a captain of cavalry (unassigned) in the army of the Confederate States! Her hospital would continue saving lives for the duration of the war, under the direction of the Confederacy’s only female army officer.

After the war she continued to do all she could to help former soldiers of the Confederacy. Her final years were spent in Richmond’s Women’s Home. Having dedicated her life and exhausted her resources in the service of her country and its veterans, “Captain Sally” died in 1916. She was given a funeral with full military honors, as befitted a soldier of the South.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven …” Matthew 6-19-20a
South Carolina League of the South

Saturday, July 28, 2007

John C. Pemberton

Pemberton, born in Philadelphia of a Quaker family, graduated from West Point and became a career soldier. He served with distinction in the war with Mexico, wounded twice and lauded for bravery. Friendship with Southerners and marriage to a woman from Virginia combined with a firm belief in states' rights to confirm him as a Confederate. Rejecting pleas and promises from Winfield Scott, Pemberton resigned from the U.S. Army in April 1861, even as two brothers remained in Federal service.
Made a brigadier in the Confederate army, the Pennsylvanian soon found himself defending the southeastern coast and, in early 1862, raised to major general. Promotion to lieutenant general was followed by command at Vicksburg, where Pemberton would be forced to surrender his besieged and starving troops on July 4, 1863. Criticized across the South for the defeat, some grumbled about the general's northern birth and a few questioned his loyalty.
In disgrace, Pemberton resigned his commission as lieutenant general. A lesser man might have been tempted to retreat into bitterness or engage in finger-pointing. Pemberton chose instead to continue to give his all for the Confederate cause. Cheerfully accepting a commission as lieutenant colonel of artillery, a full four steps down in rank, Pemberton served ably in that capacity for the duration of the war.
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself." Philippians 2:3
South Carolina League of the South

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sam Davis

Sam was born on a farm in Rutherford County in central Tennessee. He enlisted as a private in the 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment soon after Lincoln declared war, but before the Volunteer State had officially declared independence. The teenager served first in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia before his regiment was ordered back to Tennessee. After recovering from a wound received at Shiloh, Sam transferred to Cpt. H. B. Shaw's Company of Scouts.
The young scout was carrying intelligence on enemy troop strength and dispositions when captured by Kansas cavalrymen near Pulaski in November 1863. His interrogators, including Brig. Gen. Grenville Dodge (one of the nastiest bullies ever to wear a Federal uniform), could get nothing out of him. Repeatedly threatened with death, Sam refused to name his sources of information. "I would sooner die a thousand deaths than betray a friend or be false to duty," said Sam. He went to the gallows with head held high, another martyr to liberty.
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." John 15:13
South Carolina League of the South

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Deo vindice

“In my heart, I believe that no resistance on principle, where freedom is the principle involved, is ever meaningless, or ever quite hopeless, even though history has fated it to fail. For it speaks, not to the present reality, but to the generations and the future.”

Whittaker Chambers

South Carolina League of the South

Monday, July 23, 2007

Democrats and The Citadel

In his book Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture (available from Amazon, $24.95), Clyde Wilson tells the hilarious story of the panic that ensued in 2004 just before the debate among Democratic presidential candidates at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. It seems that their chosen venue, Longstreet Theatre, had been named after former college president, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet. “And horrors!” writes Dr. Wilson, “Mr. Longstreet in the period before the War for Southern Independence defended slavery and advocated secession! Of course, the august aspirants for World Emperor could not be expected to meet on such unhallowed ground.” So they moved the debate to nearby Drayton Hall. But it turns out the hall is named for one of the largest slave owning families in South Carolina, and the building is surrounded by streets honoring yet more planters and slave holders.

Which brings to mind yesterday's Democratic debate at The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina in Charleston. Why were the alarms not sounded this time? After all, Citadel cadets fired the “first shot of the war,” and the Star of the West monument on the parade ground commemorates the event. Cadets fought as a unit during the War for Southern Independence, earning with their blood the Confederate battle streamers that fly today from the Citadel flag. Magnificent murals of battle scenes–paintings that feature Confederate flags–dominate the walls of the college library. The Citadel gave to the Southern army 4 brigadier generals, 17 colonels, 10 lieutenant colonels, 22 majors, 58 captains, and 62 lieutenants. The football stadium memorializes Johnson Hagood, Confederate brigadier. We could go on and on.

Could it be that Democrats–embarrassed four years ago by their zeal for PC–have decided to leave well enough alone? Or would that be giving them too much credit?

South Carolina League of the South

Spurrier and the flag

When University of South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier damned the Confederate flag in front of a liberal group a few months back, he received the accolades of the media elite even as he alienated countless longsuffering Gamecock fans. Spurrier, our highest paid state employee (with a reported annual salary of $1,300,000), refuses even to answer mail from those who questioned his outburst.

After much wrangling, the flag was lowered from the dome of the South Carolina capitol in 2000, and placed by the Confederate soldier monument on the State House grounds. Compromisers said that the banner should be displayed in a historical context, not in a position of “sovereignty.” Did doing so satisfy the bigots of the NAACP and their allies? You know the answer to that. Compromising with them is like trying to make peace with Hitler. The Sensitivity Police are never satisfied. Continued demands for boycott by the NAACP—and the cowardice of the NCAA in taking these hate-mongers seriously—should have made the coach angry. Instead, Spurrier lashed out at South Carolina’s Confederate heritage.

That heritage is intertwined with USC’s. When war came, the University (then South Carolina College) closed its doors as the entire student body went into Confederate service. Twenty former students rose to the rank of general officer in the Southern army, and buildings on the campus became a hospital. The War for Southern Independence is the defining event in our history as a people. Seventy-one thousand from the Palmetto State alone took up arms in defense of their liberty and their homes, and fourteen thousand died. In remembrance, is it too much to ask that a single flag fly on the State House grounds?

South Carolina League of the South

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