To the Editor, Richmond Dispatch-Times
22 May 2008
The recent article by Viola Baskerville regarding the Civil War Sesquiesentennial was breathtaking and deserves sober comment to refute her unsubstantiated claims about our history. I hope your paper will entertain a reasoned rebuttal with more historical accuracy.
For Baskerville to claim that the war was only about slavery is naive, and Lincoln’s approval of the original 13th Amendment and the joint resolution of Congress clearly stating the limited goal of the war settle that question. The war was about money as all wars are, and the free trade ports of an American Confederacy would have bankrupted Northern industrialists and the Federal government which depended on tariffs from Southern ports. This and the hypocritical slavery agitation by the descendants of New England slave traders caused the Southern States to follow Jefferson’s words on self-government as enunciated in his Declaration of Independence, and emulate the colonists of 1776 who seceded from England. There is no difference between those earlier colonists who held slaves, and the American Southerners who held slaves in 1861; and the large and growing free-black population in the South made it obvious that left to its own solution to slavery, Virginia and the South would have emancipated the slaves brought here on British and New England slave ships. The questions Baskerville should ask are this: Why did African tribes capture and sell their own people into slavery; Why did the Northern States wage total war upon other Americans and deny them self-government; and why did Lincoln initiate a war that would kill and maim millions of Americans just to maintain a territorial union at gunpoint? She should also know that the 14th Amendment is fraudulent and was never ratified by the States as required by the United States Constitution.
My making emotional claims without historical basis, Baskerville is misleading our young people with revisionist history and obscuring the truth from your readers.
The Sesquiesentennial should honor and commemorate the patriotic Virginians of 1861 who defended the Constitution against domestic enemies, and sought self-government in the very same manner as the Founders in 1776.
Bernhard Thuersam, Executive Director
Cape Fear Historical Institute
Post Office Box 328
Wilmington, NC 28402