General Polk defended- Yankees get another history lesson

1. Published in "ActiveVoice: Inviting Challenge, Opinion & Response" (i.e. Letters to the Editor of Episcopal Life, November, 2006)

Polk Attack Unwarranted

I take extreme umbrage at the attack on Bishop [Leonidas] Polk and the University of the South in a letter ("Historians protest advertisement published in Episcopal Life’s Convention Guide"). To use today’s politically correct standards to smear a man dead for 140 years and deride an institution for its practices or 150-or-so years ago, is both unthinking and un-Christian. The writers should well have heeded an English saying: "The past is a different country. They do things differently there."

There were many causes for The War, 1861-6; slavery was only one. Equally important was an unjust tariff that enriched the North by impoverishing the South. Another was the effort by New England ministers to arouse a slave rebellion that would exterminate whites in the South just as they already had been in Haiti.

Southerners did not fight four years for slavery. They fought unsuccessfully to protect their homes from arsonists, killers, looters and vandals in the armies and fleets that Lincoln set upon them. Any one doubting this can consult a book of Northern sins, The Uncivil War, Atrocities of the Union Army and Navy, from Official Records- Union records, that is.

Arthur Chesser
Knoxville, Tennessee

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