A View of the Yankee People
By Richard Patrick Samples
A Confederate officer captured at Gettysburg was writing to some friends on another subject when his mind turned to the Yankees:
"They believed their manners and customs more enlightened, their intelligence and culture immeasurably superior. Brim-full of hypocritical cant and puritan ideas, they preach, pray, and whine. The most parsimonious of wretches, they extol charity; the most inveterate blasphemers, they are the readiest exporters; the worst of dastards, they are the most shameless boasters; the most selfish of man, they are the most blatant philanthropists; the blackest- hearted hypocrites, they are religious fanatics. They are agitators and schemers, braggarts and deceivers, swindlers and extortioners, and yet pretend to Godliness, truth, purity, and humanity. The shibboleth of their faith is, ‘The union must and shall be preserved,’ and they hold on to this with all the obstinacy peculiar to their nature. They say that we are a benighted people, and are trying to pull down that which God himself built up.
"Many of these bigots express great astonishment at finding the majority of our men could read and write; they have actually been educated to regard the Southern people as grossly illiterate, and little better than savages. The whole nation lives, breathes, and prospers in delusions; and their chiefs control the spring of the social and political machine with masterly hands.
"I could but conclude that the Northern people were bent upon the destruction of the South. All appeared to deprecate the war, but were unwilling to listen to a separation of the old union. They justified the acts of usurpation on the part of their government, and seem submissive to the tyranny of its acts on the plea of military necessity; they say that the union is better than the Constitution, and bow their necks to the yoke in the hope of success against us. A great many, I believe, act from honest and conscientious principles; many from fear and favor; but the large majority entertained a deep-seated hatred, envy, and jealousy towards the Southern people and their institutions.
"They know (yet they pretend not to believe it) that Southern men and women are their superiors in everything relating to bravery, honesty, virtue, and refinement, and they have become more convinced of this since the present war; consequently, their worst passions have become aroused, and they give way to frenzy and fanaticism. "We must not deceive ourselves; they are bent upon our destruction, and differ mainly in the means of accomplishing this end. However, much as sections and parties that hate each other, yet, as a whole, they hate us more.
"They are so entirely incongruous to our people that they and their descendants will ever be our natural enemies."