It Weren’t No Dad Blasted "Civil" War!
Demastus, I get your daily in my inbox and devour it each morning. Thank you for your dedication! — Gerry Lyons, Life Member, SCV
I thought maybe you would like this, maybe include it in one day’s ‘News & Views.’ I composed it in response to someone referring to the "Civil" War who shoulda known better, bein’ from the ‘Mountains of Virginia,’ and all, on another forum. But it was all in good fun. And boils sown some oft-forgotten (or never learned, by Yankees) aspects of the history of the WBTS.
It were’nt no dad-blasted civil war! Getcher terminology right! It was the correctly labeled "The War of Southern Secession," or the "War of North’n Aggression," Gen’l! In the South, it’s commonly just referred to as "The War Between the States" ("WBTS"). Some proper Southern Ladies were know to simply call it (my favorite): "The Late Unpleasantness." By definition, a "civil" war is two factions fighting for control of a single gummint. The English Civil War (1642-48, & dragging out to 1651) was just that. Charles the First was fighting a military campaign against a group called the "Parliamentarians" also known as the "Roundheads," led by Oliver Cromwell, for control of all of England. Charles I lost his head over it.
The legally established governments of the Southern States of the United States of America voted in 1860 and 1861 to ‘secede’ from the compact they’d signed in the late 1780s called the Constitution of the United States, and form their own government. The Confederate States would have been content for the representatives of the Federal Government just to pack up and go back north and leave them alone, but they were baited into a confrontation in Charleston harbor in April, 1861, a little blow up called "Fort Sumter," then, the Yankee Prezidint, one A. Lincoln, called for volunteers to suppress the ‘rebellion’ and force the Southern States to surrender their newly-claimed sovereignty and rejoin the so-called "Union," led by him. The Northern States had been ripping off the agrarian South for decades, before this, and the war didn’t really start ‘about slavery,’ at all.
Wahll, might makes right, as usually, and the Rebellious Southern States finally succumbed to repeated military invasions of their soil by the far more populous and industrialized Northern States, which mercilessly beat them into unwilling submission in four years of what became the first "total war," a war against every aspect of a society, not just its military forces.
That Yankee Prezzidint, A. Lincoln, in his Address at Gettysburg, Nov. 19,1863, renamed it a "civil war," and it stuck; what began as a struggle over individual States’ Rights to secede from the Union they’d voluntarily joined, as stated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,-That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…"
It’s that last part that the Southern States were trying to obtain, the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and institute their own new government. That’s what Thomas Jefferson tol’ um to do. And the North kicked their butts for it. As H.L. Mencken pointed out, the ‘Gettysburg Address" is great poetry, but it’s all lies! It’s all b.s.! The Government then ‘conceived in liberty’ and fighting for its freedom, was the Confederacy! The Union was the oppressors, trying to maintain the status quo! It probably was a good thing, after all, that the U.S.A. didn’t split in two, at that time. But don’t call it a "Civil" war. That’s a dastardly Yankee misnomer!