Re: Memorial to state’s Confederate soldiers needs balancing context"
Seems that you need to take your editorial writer back to school so he or she can learn about the REAL history surrounding the Civil War.
The fact that the author wrote "It was fought to defend the institution of slavery" demonstrates that he/she is essentially without a clue when it comes to the history to be "balanced."
In March, 1861, after the South seceded but before hostilities started, President Buchanan and President-Elect Lincoln strongly supported and pushed through the House and Senate what is known as the "Corwin Amendment." This amendment to the Constitution, had it been ratified, would have forever protected slavery as it then existed.
"Article Thirteen: 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 institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State." – Submitted to the Senate by Corwin and supported by President-Elect Lincoln as the proposed 13th Amendment to the Constitution as voted on by that body on February 28th, 1861. The Senate voted 39 to 5 to approve this section passed by the House 133-65 on March 2, 1861. Two State legislatures ratified it: Ohio on May 13, 1861; and followed by Maryland on January 10, 1862. Illinois bungled its ratification by holding a convention.
Presented with the opportunity to return to the Union, protect slavery forever and win both in priciple and in practice the Southern states did NOT return to the Union. If the South’s intent was "to defend the institution of slavery" why did they rebuff the chance to do exactly that?
In December, 1862, in his State of the Union Address, President Lincoln offered the Southern states gradual compensated emancipation with slavery not ending entirely until 1900.
Given the chance to stop a costly war that was being waged primarily on Southern soil and preserve slavery for another 37 years the Southern states STILL did not return to the Union.
With two significant opportunities to preserve slavery either forever or for another 37 years the Southern states did not come back to the Union. The reason was simple – slavery was NOT the issue and did not become a significant issue until after 1863 with the issuance of the hypocritical "Emancipation Proclamation" which freed exactly no one.
"…So Englishmen saw it. Lincoln’s insincerity was regarded as proven by two things: his earlier denial of any lawful right or wish to free the slaves; and, especially, his not freeing the slaves in ‘loyal’ Kentucky and other United States areas or even in Confederate areas occupied by United States troops, such as New Orleans." – The Glittering Illusion: English Sympathy for the Southern Confederacy, Sheldon Vanauken, 1989, Washington, DC: Regnery/Gateway
The real issues were the ruinous tariffs and taxes being visited on the Southern states which provided 70% of the Federal budget, only 10% of which was then reinvested in the South. The main of the Federal budget was being spent to develop the infrastructure to support growing Northern industrialization.
"The South has furnished near three-fourths of the entire exports of the country. Last year she furnished seventy-two percent of the whole…we have a tariff that protects our manufacturers from thirty to fifty persent, and enables us to consume large quantities of Southern cotton, and to compete in our whole home market with the skilled labor of Europe. This operates to compel the South to pay an indirect bounty to our skilled labor, of millions annually." – Daily Chicago Times, December 10, 1860
"They (the South) know that it is their import trade that draws from the people’s pockets sixty or seventy millions of dollars per annum, in the shape of duties, to be expended mainly in the North, and in the protection and encouragement of Northern interest…. These are the reasons why these people do not wish the South to secede from the Union. They (the North) are enraged at the prospect of being despoiled of the rich feast upon which they have so long fed and fattened, and which they were just getting ready to enjoy with still greater gout and gusto. They are as mad as hornets because the prize slips them just as they are ready to grasp it." ~ New Orleans Daily Crescent, January 21, 1861
"…the Union must obtain full victory as essential to preserve the economy of the country. Concessions to the South would lead to a new nation founded on slavery expansion which would destroy the U.S. Economy." – Pamphlet No 14. "The Preservation of the Union A National Economic Necessity," The Loyal Publication Society, printed in New York, May 1863, by Wm. C. Bryant & Co. Printers.
"What were the causes of the Southern independence movement in 1860? . . . Northern commercial and manufacturing interests had forced through Congress taxes that oppressed Southern planters and made Northern manufacturers rich . . . the South paid about three-quarters of all federal taxes, most of which were spent in the North." – Charles Adams, "For Good and Evil. The impact of taxes on the course of civilization," 1993, Madison Books, Lanham, USA, pp. 325-327
Of course, the South’s fear of Federal abuse of power was also validated by Lincoln’s conduct.
"Among the unconstitutional and dictatorial acts performed by Lincoln were initiating and conducting a war by decree for months without the consent or advice of Congress; declaring martial law; confiscating private property; suspending habeas corpus; conscripting the railroads and censoring telegraph lines; imprisoning as many as 30,000 Northern citizens without trial; deporting a member of Congress, Clement L. Vallandigham of Ohio, after Vallandigham – a fierce opponent of the Morrill tariff — protested imposition of an income tax at a Democratic Party meeting in Ohio; and shutting down hundreds of Northern newspapers." – "Constitutional Problems under Lincoln," James G. Randall, 1951, Urbana: University of Illinois Press
Finally, because of the specific terms of the so-called "Emancipation Proclamation" Northern slave states like Delaware continued legal slavery for eight months after the South surrendered and slavery ended there. In December, 1865, when the 13th Amendment was finally ratified only two states had voted against it – Texas and DELAWARE.
In fact, the United States was for eight months the last slave nation in North America – something the state of Delaware obviously wanted to continue.
History is a fascinating thing. It is too bad so few people (including the author of this editorial) know so very little about it. Perhaps in advocating "balance" you would consider offering the opportunity for an editorial response to "balance" your editorialist’s lack of factual knowledge.
Somehow I doubt that "balance" will be forthcoming – sort of like how being "inclusive" always seems to involve the exclusion of anything Southern.
Through painstaking research and thorough, uncommented documentation we celebrate the courage, sacrifice, and heritage of ALL Southerners who had to make agonizing personal choices under impossible circumstances.
"The first law of the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true. Moreover, there shall be no suspicion of partiality in his writing, or of malice." – Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
We simply ask that all act upon the facts of history. We invite your questions.
Your Obedient Servant,
Colonel Michael Kelley, CSA
Commanding, 37th Texas Cavalry (Terrell’s)
"We are a band of brothers!"
". . . . political correctness has replaced witch trials and communist hearings as the preferred way to torment our fellow countrymen." "Ghost Riders," Sharyn McCrumb, 2004, Signet, pp. 9
"I came here as a friend…let us stand together. Although we differ in color, we should not differ in sentiment." – LT Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, Memphis Daily Avalanche, July 6, 1875