RE: A "Civil" War
Dear SHNV Friends,
My friend Calvin _______ gently wanted to correct the use of the term “Civil War” by the Salisbury Post newspaper in North Carolina. Calvin wrote, “You mean The War Between the States, sorry Tim, that really
"gets my goat" when I hear that term. (He thought I had written the link.) A civil war is when one part of a country is trying to overthrough that country. The South were seceeding and you know how the rest happened.”
The summary Calvin had read was written by the newspaper for their own link, and not by me. Calvin is correct in saying that the war was not a "Civil" war, but it also was not a "War Between the States" as so many very faithful and well-meaning fellow Southerners use the term.
"The War Between The States" was a propagandistic term officially adopted by a vote of the Radical Republican U.S.A. Congress and used by some Southerners after its adoption, because it was less offensive to them than "The Civil War.” But its use is not an accurate use of the American English language; however, it is a persistent term that the “reconstructed” South accepted for a period of time. Its use should die an easy and necessary death.
It was not a “War Between The States.” Various States were not at war with each other. Yankee’s in the past like the term “War Between The States”, because Lincoln’s not want to recognize the legitimacy and authority of the new Republic called The Confederate States of America. The term was meant as an insult to those who voted for secession. It was Lincoln’s way and that of the Radical Republicans of saying "I don’t give a damn what you voted in your Southern State governments." Just as bad was the term adopted by the United States Department of War, "The War of the Rebellion."
This war was a conflict not between a loose group of random Southern States, but between the Republic known as The Confederates States of America and the newly consolidated nation of The United States of America. [Note: Our Founders discussed and soundly rejected the idea of forming a “nation.” Nations have strongly centralized governments. Instead, they formed a “Republic.” Lincoln knew the difference between
these two terms when he began using the term “Nation” in his Gettysburg Address.]
Also, this was not a “Gentlemen’s War.” That would have required that both parties were gentlemen. There was nothing gentlemanly about the barbaric behaviour of the United States of America. It was more like the
Christian gentlemen of the CSA resisting the infidel barbarians of the USA. This is why many clergy of the period and European historians call this war "The Last Stand of Christendom."
A syntacticly more accurate name is “The United States War to Prevent Southern Secession.” Note that the South did not make or begin a war to become and establish a separate Republic. It was a separate Republic
based on the legitimate and legal expression of their vote to secede voluntarily from a union they had entered voluntarily. The United States of America initiated the war to prevent the voluntary withdrawal of the Southern States from the union or compact. The syntax of the title "The United States War to Prevent Southern Independence" places the responsibility for starting the war where it belongs, and that is on the United States of America.
Also, the CSA did not fight a country called “The North” or “The Union.” The South fought the United States of America. Had the South won the war the USA would not have been destroyed though the South would likely have
been overrun by yankee refuge’s seeking political asylum from the violent and radical centrists of the USA.
Timothy D. Manning, M.Div
160 Longbridge Drive
Kernersville, North Carolina 27284
Phone: (336) 420-5355