Commentary: Why just Confederates? Many through history committed atrocities


Reed Lannom
Guest Columnist


A campaign must be started immediately to remove all statues of and monuments to U.S. Supreme Army Gens. William T. Sherman, Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Sheridan for the following reasons:


In the 28-year span of the Plains Indian Wars from 1862 to 1890, the same top military leaders who commanded the Union Army in the Civil War were also the top military commanders in the U.S. Army’s war of genocide against the Plains Indians.


And Abraham Lincoln cannot be given a pass, as he authorized the 1862 Pacific Railway Act, instigating a systematic program of either extermination or relocation of the Plains Indians, precipitating the Plains Indian Wars. The Pacific Railway Act, writes author Dee Brown in “Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow,” “assured the fortunes of a dynasty of American families” — all of whom had deep ties to the Republican Party. The federal railroad subsidies enriched many Republican members of Congress. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania “received a block of Union Pacific stock in exchange for his vote” on the Pacific Railway bill, Brown wrote.


Also, Lincoln as commander in chief oversaw Union commanders Gen. John Pope and Col. John Chivington, who were responsible for the Dakota War of 1862 and the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864.


In the Plains Indian Wars, Sherman wrote to then-Supreme U.S. Army General Grant: “We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children.” Later, under President Grant, Sherman’s policy was that “all the Indians will have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers.”; it was a policy that entailed a “racial cleansing of the land.”


In a Dec. 18, 1890, letter to The New York Times commenting on the conclusion of the Plains Indian Wars, Sherman expressed deep regret that were it not for “civilian interference,” his army would have “gotten rid of them all” and killed every last Indian in the United States.


In their own words and actions, the most elite U.S. military and political leaders from 1862 through 1890 prove unequivocally that the Civil War was not about defeating white supremacy; and that white supremacy, far from dying at Appomattox, was emboldened and flourished after the Civil War.


Why do the politically correct historians of today deem Southern slavery so wrong but give a pass to the Northern policy of genocide? If you are going to condemn one, you must condemn the other. Based on today’s social justice warriors’ own criteria, they should have the same loathing for Grant, Sherman and Sheridan that they have for Gen. Robert E. Lee.


After all, slaves were considered property (more valuable than land), so Southerners were not in the business of murdering them, unlike the Northern onslaught against the Plains Indians. If we are going to pull down statues and monuments to the Confederate dead and start renaming everything of Confederate heritage, how are the U.S. Army and men like Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Stevens, George Custer and Rutherford B. Hayes, who were complicit in implementing a policy for 28 years of exterminating the Plains Indians, any different from Lee and the South?


On the one side, you had secession and slavery; on the other side, you had forced relocation to reservations and outright murder. Are you saying one is better than the other? If so, why? Based on the social justice warriors’ own standard, all statues, memorials, place names and schools erected or named in honor of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman and Sheridan should be removed or renamed.


The proponents of tearing down Confederate statues say this is a classic misdirection, and that we should stay on topic about the need to rid the nation of “racist” monuments of Confederate heritage. But that ignores the fact that the North’s top political and military leaders in the Civil War were also the top leaders who orchestrated the 28-year campaign of genocide against the Plains Indians. Both wars are intricately linked.


In its drive to erase all Confederate statues from public view, the political left has broken the covenant of mutual respect between the North and the South that reconciled the hatred of the Civil War period. The statues and memorials of the North’s top politicians and military men who were responsible for both wars and atrocities must be scrutinized as well.


If we are going to go down this road, let’s be honest with ourselves as a nation and start scrubbing clean all the names in American history who have directly or indirectly been racists and contributed to atrocities — and not just those from the South.


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Web Source: Confederates Not The Only Racists In US History