None But American Citizens Could Have Done These Things
The Southern States left the union, taking with them the Constitution of the Founders. The North was then governed by nothing but an ever-changing higher law which was interpreted and enforced by whoever held the reins of power. What then commenced, was "a war betwixt the Yankees and the Americans," according to prevailing Clampett wisdom.
Bernhard Thuersam, Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
None But American Citizens Could Have Done These Things:
"I would as soon believe…that every soldier in the Army of the Potomac, from its general to its humblest private that followed its banners, did not, in his heart, respect and honor the lofty courage, consummate skill, and patient constantcy of "that other army," which, although vastly inferior in numbers and appointments, yet kept it four years on the short but bloody journey from the Potomac to the James, and piled every inch of its pathway with ghastly monuments of the slain!
Let not the sneer of the supercilious, nor the taunt of the ungenerous over our final defeat deceive us in this matter, or cause us to abate one jot of our just claims to the high place in history which posterity will award us. Years hence when, as I trust, time and a (more just) policy shall have healed many an ugly wound and quieted many an aching heart, the story of the great civil war will be read around a thousand firesides among the homes of the North, and as the glowing recital burns upon the ear, how that one-fourth of the people of the United States, without manufactures and almost without arms, without ships, arsenals or foundries, shut out from all the world by a sealed blockade, for four long and terrible years fought back and kept at bay the other three-fourths, who were aided by manumitted slaves, who had great navies, their own and the workshops of the world at their control, and whose slaughtered armies were filled up again and again from the swarming populations of Europe; struggled with the great armies of McLellan and Grant, Sherman and Sheridan, and Buell, until the world was full of their fame;
A thousand fathers, burning with the unconfessed pride of country and of race, will say to their sons who wonder how all this could have been: "They were the countrymen of Washington and Jackson. These were Americans—none but American citizens could have done these things!"
(Address to the Literary Societies of the University of North Carolina by Ex-Governor Zebulon Vance of North Carolina, June 7, 1866)