[FlagFight] Pro-Confederate LTE’s-Albany Ga. Newspaper
The Albany Herald newspaper has printed 4 pro-Confederate Letters To The Editor in the past 5 days in rebuttal to a May 29 anti-Confederate article by Albany Georgia socialist and ACLU lawyer James Finkelstein (originally from Pennsylvania).
Rebuttal letters # 1 and #2 were posted previously.
Whenever anti-Confederate LTE’s are published in newspapers we in SCV, UDC, and other Southern / Confederate heritage groups or organizations need to respond with rebuttals and use this opportunity to educate the public.
Thanks to SCV compatriots Ottens and Regenstein for responding and submitting these excellent articles.
Both letters are posted below by permission.
Commander SCV Camp 141
Lt. Col. Thomas M. Nelson
Pro-Confederate Letter # 3 by Russell J. Ottens SCV Commander Sylvester Georgia Camp
"Writer Omits Facts When Convenient"
Mr. Finkelstein’s recent letter about the Confederacy conveniently omits several historical facts. When discussing the infamous slave ship known as The Wanderer, no mention is made that it was built in a Long Island shipyard and registered in the Port of New York. New York investors were the ones who profited from its human cargo. New Yorkers made great fortunes from the slave trade and the institution of slavery was legal there until 1827. Mr. Finkelstein references the cruel treatment of slaves in Georgia, though conveniently, no mention is made of the cruelty bestowed upon slaves in New York as documented in Narrative of Sojourner Truth published in 1850. No mention is made of the racism of New Yorkers as exemplified by the infamous New York Draft Riots of 1863. During one horrible week, hundred of blacks were hung from lampposts or drowned in the East River by angry mobs that wanted no part of Mr. Lincoln’s war.
Mr. Finkelstein states, “After the North prevailed, there were zero slaves in the United States.” This is simply not true. The slaves in Kentucky and Delaware were not released from bondage until December 1865, eight months after “the North prevailed” in its war to crush Southern Independence. Slavery existed in the United States throughout the duration of the war. Anyone who claims the U.S. fought a noble crusade to end slavery is simply a liar. A country cannot claim to be fighting for the end of an evil institution while at the same time permitting that institution within its own borders. The War Between the States is far more complex than revisionist historians try to make it. My Confederate ancestors fought to defend their new nation from invasion by a foreign power and I will always revere their efforts.
Russell J. Ottens
Pro-Confederate Letter #4
"Union Was No Friend To American Jews" by Lewis Regenstein SCV member
It is odd to see James Finkelstein’s letter, "Southern Cause was no Noble One," praising the Union actions in the Civil War ("In My View", 29 May), since he and his family would have been severely persecuted had they had the misfortune to find themselves in Union-captured territory during much of this time.
On December 17, 1862, in the worst official act of anti-Semitism in American history, Union General Ulysses S. Grant issued his infamous "General Order # 11, expelling the Jews "as a class" from his conquered territories within 24 hours. Grant also issued orders on 9 and 10 November 1862 banning Jews from travelling southward on trains, and General William T. Sherman was also known for his openly expressed hatred for Jews.
As a result of Grant’s expulsion order, Jewish families were forced out of their homes in Paducah, Kentucky, Holly Springs and Oxford Mississippi, and a few were sent to prison.
Other top Union officials supported and endorsed the Order, and it was not until 4 January, 1863, that Lincoln had Grant’s odious order rescinded. But by then, Jewish families in the area had been expelled, humiliated, terrified, and jailed, and some stripped of their possessions.
In addition, Jews in Union-occupied areas, such as New Orleans and Memphis, were singled out by Union forces for vicious abuse and vilification.
Meanwhile, in the South, Southern Jews were playing a prominent role in the Confederate government and armed forces, largely being treated as equals as they had become used to for a century-and-a-half.
Some 3,000 or more Jews fought for the South, practically every male of military age, including the Confederacy’s Secretary of War and later State Judah P. Benjamin, and over two dozen members of my extended maternal family, the Moses’ of Georgia and South Carolina.
We know first hand, from their letters, diaries, and memoirs, that they were not fighting for slavery, but rather to defend themselves and their fellow soldiers, their families, homes, and country from an invading army that was trying to kill them, burn their homes and cities, and destroy everything they had.
It was this same Union Army (led by many of the same Civil War generals) that engaged in virtual genocide against the Native Americans in what we euphemistically call "the Indian Wars," often massacring harmless, defenseless old men, women, and children in their villages.
Grant’s little-remembered Nazi-like decree and his other atrocities should serve to remind us what the South was up against, and why many native Southerners revere their ancestors’ courage, and still take much pride in this heritage.