Skip to comments.War Crimes Against Southern Civilians
Posted on 08/28/2013 8:03:18 PM PDT by NKP_Vet
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“Women and children, no-combatants, are not the enemy.”
Yes, they are. If you don’t want your women and children killed then don’t wage war. This isn’t a civil court action, this is war.
Much of Civil War history is untrue because like most history, it is written by the victor. The story we hear is that hundreds of thousands of Southern men went to war over an issue that only affected six percent of the population. Read this book and learn the truth: there was no shining Northern force fighting a moral battle for the sake of ending slavery; there was no oppressive Southern force fighting to preserve it; and after the South declared its independence, the Union ruthlessly invaded, leaving Southerners no choice but to defend themselves.
The rebels seemed to have trouble with their accounting.
When people died, if they were too busy, they didn’t report it. Lee in particular didn’t keep track of his losses very well. Still his army was very small indeed when he surrendered it.
Add to that the problem of southern deserters looting southern homes, raping and stealing and such, because such people didn’t have reliable officers guiding them and restricting their activity. Sherman’s orders forbade entering private houses.
When a small homesteader came home and saw his house burned and his family killed, he may have reported that it was done by the Yankees, and such primary documentation would indeed be available. The facts of the matter may indeed be different: Sherman’s men focused their depredations on large plantations. Southern deserters also needed food, but moved in smaller groups, and so applied their attention to smaller farms.
Paul wrote of the slavery of his time.
Slavery in the time of the insurrection was legally different, in some ways harsher, in some ways less so. No Jubilee for the southern racial slaves.
Legal differences would make blanket application of Paul’s advice on one insititution to another at least questionable, and at worse unfair.
They lost the war, in part because of 40 regiments of southern men who fought for the US government against the insurrection.
The south began the war to further, extend and protect slavery.
The US government with many southern men as well as northern men, fought to end the insurrection.
Ending slavery was one way to weaken the insurrection, and crucially, the insurrectionists.
The history of the war of the rebellion is documented by the histories of surviving parties of both sides.
Southern partisans are embarassed by the cause for which they fought, and so seek to divert attention away from slavery, with falsehood. Jeff Davis wrote two volumes of fiction on the subject of the war.
Facts are, the south began their insurrection to further, extend, and protect the institution of human slavery. The US government suppressed the insurrection, at great cost.
As Lincoln said:
“ Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’
If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?
Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Movies potray a saintly north:
Like “The Outlaw Josie Wales” which potrayed US Army shooting down unarmed surrendering confederate solders with Gatling guns. May I point out that no such event ever happened.
Actually the movie business has been overly kind to the slave power.
Lincoln said it very well during his second inaugural.
They could have said whatever they wanted. He was not going to allow them to leave the union.
You keep trotting out that tired old line like as if it had some sort of relevance or cleverness to it. It doesn't. That's known as a non sequitur.
No, the founders weren't evil - but the slavers who attempted to rend our nation and went to war against their neighbors in shameless pursuit of their Peculiar Institution - they were certainly evil. And those who defend them have some evil in them as well.
Correct, in April of 1861, just as the war with UK was not about independence in April of 1775. I don't really know anybody who claims the purpose of the war in early 1861 was freeing the slaves. That's a strawman argument. As if purposes and goals of wars remain unchanged.
Purpose of the war changed, or perhaps expanded is a better word, in both cases over the first year or year and a half of fighting. Thus Declaration of Independence issued 15 months after fighting started, and Emancipation Proclamation issued 17 months after fighting started.
No, but if they'd freed their slaves, or even put freedom on the calendar, Britain and France would have recognized them, broken the blockade and they would have gained their independence.
But the problem was that the reason they wanted independence was to protect slavery, so independence without slavery was irrelevant. The CSA Congress debated the issue of whether to free even the slave soldiers they were recruiting as late as well into 1865, when most opposed the idea despite the utter peril of the times.
Also, of course, had they freed their slaves they would have had no terribly important reason to leave the Union in the first place.
Nevertheless, the southern states saw his election as a threat to slavery, as evidenced by their Declarations of Causes, among many other documents, and seceded to protect their property interests.
And there's one fact you can't deny: When the war was over, slavery was dead.
I'd suppose that is "common wisdom", because I've read similar things often before.
Nor have I ever read a really serious explanation of the Bible's views toward slavery.
Perhaps its out there, somewhere, but I haven't seen it.
So here goes:
To claim the Bible has "no opinion" on slavery is to miss the entire forest on account of so many trees!
In fact, God hates slavery for His chosen people, it's why he brought them out of Egypt, it's what most of the Old Testament is all about -- Israel's struggles to first escape slavery, and then to eradicate their love of slavery from their own hearts.
Over and over, throughout the Old Testament, God and His prophets remind Israel that their allegiance is owed to Him because He freed them from bondage to humans.
So there could not be a stronger Biblical condemnation of slavery for God's people.
And what is the New Testament all about, if not to make all people who accept Christ into God's chosen people?
The simple fact is that God does not want His people to be slaves to other men, or to sin (note Romans 6:6, Galatians 4:7 & 24).
And the New Testament is also quite clear that God does want His people to be "slaves" to God's law (i.e., Romans 6:18 & 7:25)), to Christ's love, and for those who wish to become leaders: slaves to each other (Matthew 20:27, Mark 10:44).
The New Testament is also clear in condemning slave traders as amongst the worst law breakers.
For that particular gem, I'd invite you to begin reading at 1 Timothy 1:8.
2 Peter 2:19 "people are slaves to whatever has mastered them."
Could there be a stronger condemnation of slavery?
We might not get another chance at liberty this century...
Your statement here is untrue, slanderous and evidence of profound misinformation about actual history.
Remember first, there was no Civil War in early 1861, until after secessionists provoked it, started it (at Fort Sumter) and formally declared war on the United States, May 6, 1861.
The Confederacy then sent its agents, military supplies and eventually armed forces into every Union state and territory it could reach.
And all that began before a single Confederate soldier had been killed in battle with any Union force.
Second, despite huge exaggerations perpetrated by pro-Confederates, the recorded truth is that very few atrocities were committed by either side against the other's civilians, but both sides did practice "living off the land" in the other's territories.
For a listing of the "top ten" Civil War atrocities, check out this link.
Of the ten worst atrocities listed, three by Union forces, seven by Confederates.
Bottom line: by comparison with other wars -- i.e., First or Second World Wars -- the US Civil War was a fight amongst gentlemen.
In historical fact, despite innumerable incidents, outgoing President Buchanan refused to be provoked into war against secessionists.
And incoming President Lincoln announced in his First Inaugural Address that secessionists could not have war unless they themselves started it.
Which they promptly did, at Fort Sumter and soon after formally declared war on the United States.
The fact is that Civil War came because secessions believed it a better alternative to seemingly never-ending efforts at peaceful processes.
If you're talking about the Civil War itself, I'd say that's far from true.
If we go all the way back to Gone with the Wind, or Birth of a Nation, it's clear that even liberal Hollywood has bent over backwards to be "fair and balanced" toward Southerners.
Of course, I do watch very few movies, so there might be whole genres out there I don't know about, but can't think of even one recently which matches your description.
Can you name some?
DManA the next time you feel that irresistible urge to go crazy on us, please shut down your computer, get up and go for a long walk to clear your head.
This post of yours, and several others like it are unworthy of Free Republic.
And you're making the rest of us look bad, pal.
So go do something else, please.
“Which they promptly did, at Fort Sumter and soon after formally declared war on the United States.”
Go back and read the hundreds of threads on this topic.
I have read virtually all CW threads in the past five years or so.
Regardless of who claims what, there are two irrefutable facts:
The fact is, the choice for war was made by the Confederacy for reasons which we can discuss, if you wish.
Possibly, but he still made provision in the law for an Israelite creditor to take a brother Israelite into slavery for debt. The Law treats slavery throughout as a fact of life. There is not a hint of it being a sin or wrong.
The Israelites didn't want to be slaves, no more than anybody else did. But they hated being slaves themselves, not slavery.
Joshua enslaved an entire people, the Gibeonites.
I seriously doubt you could hate slavery and slavers more than I do. It is very nearly the ultimate sin, the denial of humanity of a brother human.
But I also don't deceive myself that the Bible contains no single explicit denunciation of the institution. As I've said before, I believe the underlying principles of the Bible point to eventual end of slavery. But the words themselves, unfortunately, don't.
The most recently released Civil War movie was about northern Copperheads who were apparently early civil rights leaders. They were non-racist but anti-war. The bad guys are evil Republican violators of civil rights.
As anybody who knows anything about the Copperheads will attest, this portrayal is ludicrous.
The funny part about this is that to denounce Union policies as war crimes, one must denounce US policies in WWII far more forcefully. After all, Union forces never killed entire cities full of civilians, as the US Air Force did multiple times. The two Bomb strikes are only two of many.
Are the Greatest Generation the greatest criminals in history?
Here’s an interesting compilation of 47 biblical verses referencing slavery.
The best way, IMO, to think of the practice in the ancient world, is that it never crossed anybody’s mind it could be abolished. Anymore than anybody in the modern world has suggested getting rid of gravity.
The notion that slavery can and should be denounced, opposed and eventually abolished evolved directly out of Christian doctrine. No other society in the history of the world has come up with the remarkably radical idea that “all men are created equal.”
Today we take the idea so for granted that Christianity and the Bible get no credit for it, which is a shame.
BTW, I believe your link regarding Civil War atrocities has at least one major inaccuracy.
It refers to Quantrill’s men raping the women of Lawrence.
I’ve read many accounts of this atrocity, and none refer to any such thing. In fact, there are many accounts of Quantrill’s men, despite being drunk out of their minds, tipping their hats to the women of Lawrence in deference as they toss their husbands and sons into the burning buildings.
Buchanan was praying for the clock to run out on his term before he would be forced to make a decision.
Forest meet trees, trees meet forest, you guys would get along great if you could only see each other... ;-)
I would argue that the Bible itself (forest) is a denunciation of slavery (trees) as an institution.
I'll say again: the strongest possible denunciation of slavery, and the biggest theme of the Old Testament, is God's leading a reluctant Israel out of slavery in Egypt.
Israelites don't really want to be free.
Freedom scares them.
They constantly look for excuses to return to slavery, and of course they want to make others their slaves too.
The relationship of slave & master is fundamental to human nature, and loyalty to God first is a difficult, conscious effort requiring much pain and sacrifice.
Israelites don't want to do it, and are constantly back-sliding to the old ways.
This, by the way, is precisely what's happening in the USA today -- freedom takes courage, honor and self-discipline, and we now have majorities who find slavery to the Government far easier and more enjoyable.
We are the old Israelites...
The New Testament takes the word "slave" and turns it into a metaphor: 2 Peter 2:19 -- "people are slaves to whatever has mastered them."
The New Testament tells us to be "slaves" to God's law, slaves to Christ and, if we wish to be leaders, slaves to each other.
It does not tell slaves to escape their masters, but rather advises slaves in precisely that behavior which is most likely to win them their freedom.
In the mean time, it offers "slavery to Christ" as the alternative which makes all lesser-human forms of slavery irrelevant.
Truly, FRiend, the forest is huge and beautiful.
So take some time away from examining the trees with your microscope, and look at the forest through a telescope... ;-)
I'm thinking of movies like "Gettysburg" (1993) and "Gods and Generals." (2003)
Seems to me that both movies treated both sides with respect, certainly in no-way matching Shadowstrike's description.
Thanks, we could begin with this one:
Exodus 21:16 ESV / 51:
Both literally and metaphorically, the Bible is all about exchanging our slavery to lesser human masters & vices, for devotion to God's law, Christ's love and to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Yes we did provoke it, I never said we didnt. First rule of war is strike first, best defense is a strong offense.
As for the rest If you say so...
Of course the evidence says otherwise, ask the director at the Atlanta Archives...
But we’ll go with your account, I have the fresh shrimp, sunshine and southern women, along with an influx of folks moving here to the terrible backwards south for some reason to console myself against your “superior position” so like I said up thread I am not so sure who really won the war...
Now that is the true spirit of Confederacy!
If all our pro-Confederates would also admit as much, then about half the debate on these threads would go away...
ejonesie22: "Of course the evidence says otherwise, ask the director at the Atlanta Archives..."
When the director at the Atlanta Archives posts their evidence on Free Republic, I'll be happy to consider it.
But in the mean time, all reports I've seen show serious efforts made to prevent atrocities against civilians on both sides, with occasional exceptions which pale in comparison to those committed in other wars -- WWI & WWII for examples.
ejonesie22: "so like I said up thread I am not so sure who really won the war..."
The same could easily be said of Germany and Japan since WWII.
Both enjoy wealth beyond the dreams of their grandparents' generation, both vacation in the world's most exotic locations, both are highly respected by their neighbors and the world community as a whole.
Both spend about 1% of their GDPs on national defense -- while the US spends 4.6%.
Who won the war?
Who shoulders the responsibilities?
Whose economy is groaning under the weight of now 70+ years of massive investments in blood & treasure for national defense and international peace?
How does that saying go about loneliness at the top?
Maybe it's not just loneliness, but also poverty.
Years earlier there was “The Great Locomotive Chase” and “The Hunley” - neither potentials for the Oscar, but both interesting treatments of their respective subjects, and both respectful of both sides of the war.
If there is a movie that fits Shadowstrike’s prescription I don’t know what it is. Josie Wales stands as the most revisionist treatment I’ve seen (FTR: I still liked the movie in spite of their flight of fancy).
And I am not really Pro Confederate, I am pro South, the Confederacy is long gone. Ironically its’ spirit is being reborn in the desire of all Americans to throw off the shackles of an ever more burdensome Federal Government. Ironic in that I have seen “Yankees” sounding like the Southerns of 1860...
What goes around comes around. It may even be folks coming out of the South that strike first again, this time to defend the USA, if it ever rises to that level...
I have seen lost causers lament, “The south shall rise again!” and remarked on several occasions that they should pry their eyes a bit wider open so that they could notice that the south HAS risen - and doing comparatively well (all things considered).
If they can see past their small-minded southern bigotry and look at dispassionately at the true indicators they would see that it was leftism - not “northern-ism” that killed much of the rust-belt. The same leftism (or progression-ism or liberalism if you will) that threatens the new south - not northerners. Y’all ain’t immune and the notion that it comes from some sort of “norther invasion” of the south bringing leftist views to the pure south is simply nonsense. Your enemy lives amongst you, and they were there long before any damn yankees moved in.
“Ironically its spirit is being reborn in the desire of all Americans to throw off the shackles of an ever more burdensome Federal Government.”
There’s no irony there because it was the southern slavers who sought to expand the burdensome federal government by imposing the Peculiar Institution upon the rest of the nation. The irony was that southerners rebelled against the homeland only to impose an even greater burden upon themselves.
“Ironic in that I have seen Yankees sounding like the Southerns of 1860...”
Now that IS ironic - and sad as well.
No, didn't miss it.
Sherman's March is listed as Number 8 of the "top ten" worst atrocities of the US Civil War.
This particular site claims 1,000 civilians may have died, but the fact is there are no contemporary records (i.e., news reports, legal actions) to confirm anything remotely close to that number.
Further, much of the Atlanta destruction blamed on Sherman was actually caused by Confederate General Hood's orders to burn anything of military value there.
The report also claims Sherman's troops raped or murdered many slaves (not white women), and that Sherman himself saw and did not stop that.
I've never seen such charges analyzed (who, what, when, where, why, etc.) or confirmed.
The same report lists the Number One Civil War atrocity as Camp Sumter, Andersonville Prison, Georgia, where the death toll of Union POWs was 13,000 of 45,000 held there -- about 30%.
But notice that overall, most of those "top ten" atrocities, while real and tragic, involved only a few dozen people at most, are few in number, and pale in comparison to other notorious war crimes -- the WWI "Rape of Belgium" and WWII's Holocaust, come to mind.
ejonesie: "Ironically its spirit is being reborn in the desire of all Americans to throw off the shackles of an ever more burdensome Federal Government."
And of course, that is the Big Lie being told by today's pro-Confederates.
It's the opposite of historical truth, it's infuriating nonsense, and cannot possibly lead to political success today.
The historical truth of 1860 was that the "ever more burdensome government" of that day was the Slave Power, which by 1860 had all but made slavery constitutionally legal in not just the South, but in every state.
With the Compromise of 1850 making the Federal Government responsible for enforcing Fugitive Slave Laws, and the Supreme Court's 1857 Dred-Scot decision letting slave-holders take their "property" to any state, it was the Slave Power which oppressed the consciences and fears of most Northerners.
And when it began declaring secession in late 1860 the Slave Power's reasons had nothing to do with real oppressions (i.e., as spelled out in the 1776 Declaration of Independence), but rather with their fears about what might happen in the future under a "Black Republican" President Lincoln.
So, all claims that the North was somehow "oppressing" the South in 1860 are total distortions, and cannot, must not become the basis for some New Conservative mythology justifying... what?
Another insane attack on some future Fort Sumter?
ejonesie: "It may even be folks coming out of the South that strike first again, this time to defend the USA, if it ever rises to that level..."
The “leftism” you speak of IS COMING from the North and the Far Western US, and not just to the South but to the Midwest and such as well. We do have Yankees who move here wanting to “change” us backwards Southerners and they find more than a few wistful local Utopians to cheer them on. Indeed we have a paper here in Jackson that is full of their tripe. Fortunately the vast majority of folks that move here love what they see and fit right in rather quickly with the bulk of us who tend to be on the conservative side. Pure, no but old American values seem to be holding faster here than elsewhere this day and age.
I won't even begin to address the South wanting to expand the fed. That Hokum is put to bed by history rather well. But your side "won" so of course you are correct.
“Now that IS ironic - and sad as well.”
Why is it sad, are you a fan of Government over reach?
"Sigh" if you want be we are going down a road that is fundamentally chaining the entire nation. Is your bias against the South going to paralyze you from saving the whole?
Sorry, but "Hokum" is what pro-Confederates tell each other, and try to shove down the throats of anybody else who'll listen.
The fact is that up until they began declaring secession in late 1860, the "Slave Power" used the Federal Government in every way possible to enforce and buttress slavery laws even in non-slave states.
So it was the Slave Power which oppressed the nation.
Along with declaring secession, the Slave Power immediately began to provoke, start and formally declare war on the United States -- what could possibly be more oppressive that starting a war on your fellow countrymen?
And while we're at it, the allegedly "conservative South" was first in line to support every liberal-progressive Federal Government expansion for over 50 years -- from it's beginning with Southerner President Woodrow Wilson (1912) all the way up to the presidential election of 1964 -- Johnson versus Goldwater.
Then and only then did the "Solid South" really begin to think more conservatively.
And even then, all southern states voted for Peanut Carter in 1976 and most even for Zippers Clinton both times.
Only in recent years has the "Solid South" become solidly conservative.
For that they deserve huge credit and sincere thanks.
But please, let's not pretend that somehow Southerners were always opposed to the expansion of Federal powers.
The truth is: when it supported themselves, they loved more Big Government.
Is it not the fight against Democrats and their history of evil that we gave in common? The Democrat Party that has migrated North, South, East and West, has had and still has this evil slavery mentality which it has not turned away from before the Civil War; and has changed for the worse - it is worse now than before. We would do better to remind people of the Democrat slaver Partys history of not only slavery, but of their racism, their KKK, their Progressive to socialists, communism, their hatred for god and Bible, their holocaust of babies, etc. They may now claim that they abhor the likes of the slavery of old, but in reality they just use different methods for the same means; some more ruthless then that of the 1800s. The Democrat slaver Party as a whole is evil and indefensible, the whole being how they were and how they are (worse) today. Why would anyone want to defend the Democrat slavers of then and now?
I meant God with a capital G.
Just so we're clear, in my life I've lived in five Southern states (Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Missouri and Texas) three Western states (Oklahoma, New Mexico and California) plus two Northern states (New York and Pennsylvania, where I live now).
In the army I was stationed in Germany.
I have traveled on business and vacation in every state except Alaska (sorry Sarah), and have relatives in every part of the country.
So I have no "bias" against anybody.
My acute "bias" is against politically motivated Big Lies, of which there seem to be a large number perpetrated in FR CW threads.
ejonesie22: "The real question will be, while you guys up north are busy still trying to write the history of 150 years ago to your favor..."
We're not trying to rewrite anything.
We're hoping to prevent pro-Confederates from telling lies about their past.
ejonesie22: "...are you going to stay so blind, so dedicated to being 'right' that you will let the nation fail because you don't want to be equated with some 'pro confederates'..."
FRiend, there is no way in h*ck Northerners are going to buy into a heaping pile of pro-Confederate mythology.
It just ain't going to happen, not now, not ever.
So give it up.
But as soon as you begin dedicating yourselves to the real truth of history, as soon as you confess that Southerners have advanced Big Government as much as anybody else, then, then, then we can all agree that things today are totally out of control and need serious remediation.
Then we'll be allies and FRiends, then we can let bye-gones be bye-gones, and I'll buy the first round of beer... ;-)
Thanks, you make excellent points.
Baloney. Leftists are entrenched in every corner of the country. Believing that is a cop-out and failure to accept responsibility for the problems in your own section. I participate on discussion sites that are hosted in various parts of the country including several in southern states. I read the opinions of people - "natives" and otherwise. It is blindly, naively foolish to blame all your troubles on carpetbaggers. Do you believe in the boogieman too?
Pure, no but old American values seem to be holding faster here than elsewhere this day and age.
The simple truth is that if you (editorial you) drive 30 minutes outside of virtually ANY city in ANY of the 50 United States you will find that same proclivity toward a more wholesome culture. ANY state. The south has no corner on the market - although I agree that they do hold those values to a greater degree per capita.
ME: Now that IS ironic - and sad as well.
You: Why is it sad, are you a fan of Government over reach?
No. What's sad is that otherwise decent and honorable people would go insane and attempt to blow up the world because they're not getting their way. Fortunately they are few and far in between.
I don’t think I recommended blowing up the world. However I would recommend defending what is right.
And if you note I did not blame our troubles on carpetbaggers, we have our own Utopian types. But western and northern libs empower them...
“You keep trotting out that tired old line like as if it had some sort of relevance or cleverness to it. It doesn’t. That’s known as a non sequitur.”
I’m aware that you don’t like that “tired old line” because you haven’t come up with a way to deal with it.
Feel free to return to your usual habit of scatological insults.
I already dealt with it fool.
It's an inextricable part of who they are...
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