The Fall of the South: A Sesquicentennial Wake By Bill Buppert

“So far from engaging in a war to perpetuate slavery, I am rejoiced that slavery is abolished. I believe it will be greatly for the interests of the South. So fully am I satisfied of this, as regards Virginia especially, that I would cheerfully have lost all I have lost by the war, and have suffered all I have suffered, to have this object attained.”

-Statement to John Leyburn (1 May 1870), as quoted in R. E. Lee: A Biography (1934) by Douglas Southall Freeman.

On this day, 9 April in 1865, the Lincolnian project to enslave the entire nation under the yoke of Union supremacy, central planning and a country administered by national political fiat and the naked fist of government aggression prevailed. The South and the Confederacy for all it flaws died at Appomattox.

Lee is often erroneously quoted as saying the following:

“Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand. Supposed made to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (September 1870), as quoted in The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, pp. 497-500.”

No lesser literary luminaries and historians have said this is false than Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Dade Foote, Jr. and Bruce Catton. This appears to be historical myth-making by Mr. Dabney. My casual research and interest in Lee find this simply does not fit in his character; now there were certainly Confederate worthies who professed such sympathies.

Lee is certainly one of the greatest captains of arms in the history of the West. A far more competent and talented warrior than the base incompetency and abject martial malpractice of George Washington; he joins the ranks of Douglas Haig (WWI) and Pompey (Rome) for an exaggerated sense of warrior skills untethered to reality. Lee was at the forefront of a Confederate high tide that was destroyed by the Gettysburg debacle and worsening political travails in the South as Davis tried to emulate the Sovietized system of the Union to salvage a victory.

At least the South fought to fight a just war in defending their own soil from invasion. I am amused at Union apologists who claim that the South fired the first shot at Fort Sumter. Let me employ a tortured analogy; you buy a house and the owners refuse to vacate and bring friends with guns to ensure you can’t possession of your rightful property. Such was the case in Sumter where the Fort commanded the entry and exit to richest transportation hub in the south employing constant threats against the indigenous community it sat in the middle of. As my friend Paul Bonneau points out: “…that by retaining ownership of Sumter and attempting to collect the excise tax this in itself was an act of war.”

The War Between the States was a Second American Revolution, the last gasp of trying to unshackle the nation from the Constitutional straitjacket that extinguished liberty at every turn. Alexander Stephens, the Vice president of the Confederacy had other ideas. He is no hero of abolition nor a moral man in regards the disposition of humans in chains:

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

Lincoln claimed this was his only disagreement with Stephens but the curious ability of Lincoln to free all slaves outside his legal jurisdiction and maintain it within his control regime. Historian Clarence Carson has astutely commented: “It should be noted, however, that as of the moment it was issued and to the best of Lincoln’s knowledge, the proclamation did not free a single slave. It did not free a slave in Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, nor in any state or portions of a state within the Confederacy occupied by Union troops…In short, Lincoln freed only those slaves over which he had no control. No doubt that was by design.”

As Al Benson Jr. notes: “What it amounted to was, that, as an effective propaganda tool, the proclamation freed only those slaves that the North had no jurisdiction over and it didn’t free any slaves over which the North had some jurisdiction.”

Author Webb Garrison, a former dean of Emory University noted that: “…the Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure – not an edict issued in a dramatic move to better the lives of blacks. No one knew this better than the author of the proclamation. Nine months after it was issued, he told Salmon P. Chase ‘The original proclamation has no constitutional or legal justification except as a military measure’.”

There was no major politician except Charles Sumner on either side interested in the least in emancipation much less abolition of black chattel slavery. Sumner would famously ask Lincoln: “Do you know who is at this moment the largest slaveholder in the United States?” Sumner informed Lincoln that he was the largest slaveholder because the President “holds all the slaves of the District of Columbia.” This ended on paper in 1862.

This war was about slavery but not in the commonly held beliefs that permeate the nonsense about the conflict in the government school systems. This war was about the Union grasp at codifying a new kind of slavery just as awful as chattel or indentured servitude. The object was to chain tax cattle to a regime that could rob them at will and ultimately using every power at its disposal to drain a person’s resources and at worst cage and murder them when it saw fit.

The essential result of the horrific conflict was to put everyone on the plantation under any Constitutionally protected” territory or state.In the end, slavery was a contextual sleight of hand by political means to codify who would be owned by the state in what fashion.

Go guerrilla indeed, what would the future have wrought?

I leave with the lyrics of the splendid homage by Unreconstructed Rebel to Reconstruction after the war.

Oh, I’m a good old Rebel,
Now that’s just what I am;
For this “fair land of Freedom”
I do not care a damn.
I’m glad I fit against it-
I only wish we’d won.
And I don’t want no pardon
For anything I’ve done.

I hates the Constitution,
This great Republic too;
I hates the Freedmen’s Buro,
In uniforms of blue.
I hates the nasty eagle,
With all his brag and fuss;
But the lyin’, thievin’ Yankees
I hates’ em wuss and wuss.

We got three hundred thousand
Befo’ they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever
And Southern steel and shot;
And I wish it was three million
Instead of what we got.

I can’t take up my musket
And fight’ em now no mo’,
But I ain’t a-goin’to love’ em,
Now that is sartin sho’;
And I don’t want no pardon
For what I was and am;
And I won’t be reconstructed,
And I do not give a damn.

Resist.

 

Bill Buppert
thirdgun@hotmail.com
19 Comments
  • Juan del Sur
    Posted at 07:38h, 09 April Reply

    I think there is an interesting question that would arise if the South had achieved its independence and we were now living in the same land space with two countries based on similar constitutions. Would the competition of ideas have made us a better and perhaps more successful people? The two constitutions were similar, but the CSA constitution had installed some improvements on the USA constitution, so the South might actually have held the long term advantage. Would either one or both countries still be held in slavery to the Rothschild bankers? How would the American land have grown or suffered with two competing governments? Would either one of these countries have devolved into a police state similar to what we have today in 2015?

    Of course, the comment could be offered here that the great American downfall actually started when the ‘Constitution for the united States’ was first implemented. The earlier Articles of Confederation had treated the states as sovereign states, and the passage of the Constitution with its two additional branches of government helped usher in the devolution of the many sovereign states into the single organized crime syndicate that we live in today, and which probably should be called the United State. Or, as some would prefer, the republic should now be called the United States of Israel.

    And, yes, I am one of those that wish the South had won. I am extremely sad and disgruntled at how the once shining city on the hill has become the largest terrorist organization on earth. I never asked for that, and I no longer support that crime syndicate. In America’s case, we have learned that big is bad. It’s really bad.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 08:04h, 09 April Reply

    Alexander Stephen’s Causes of the War is an excellent read and quite roundly dispels that he thought the War was about slavery, or that he felt the sole reason for the existence of the CSA was to protect the “peculiar institution”. Surely he was a man of his times in the regards of slavery and that is no excuse, but mere context that has to be considered.

    In the end, I am certain that the CSA most likely would have ended up with a slightly smaller leviathan than the one we struggle under today, for it is assuredly true that all government grows and liberty gives way. As much as I love the act of defiance displayed by the South, it was still a State, and one, lest we forget in our romance, that had as its foundation the legal enslavement of other human beings.

    For reasons right or wrong, it was the moneyed interests that got us involved in the conflict of arms (on both sides). No where does history bare out that those in power wont use the jack boot of the state apparatus to stay in power.

    The peoples that truly wished to be free and escape institutionalized theft and tyranny went west. And even over time that turned into the like of such abominations as Kalifornia.

    Resist indeed.

    Cheers!
    CM

  • El Burro Grande de Terciopelo
    Posted at 17:50h, 09 April Reply

    I offer this book as an education for the Southron and not; Everything You Were Taught about the Civil War Is Wrong, Ask a Southerner!, Lochlainn Seabrook. A well researched and footnoted (sp?) treatise on the lies we have been told about the South and especially the WONA.

    My main point is this, anarchy is never going to work and if we cannot hope to form a system of government based on natural law without some form of a “state”, what is there for freedom loving folks? Romans 13 and other portions of the Bible address the fact that we are fallen and need some form of system to assure our Natural Rights. W. Cleon Skousen’s work, The 5000 Year Leap, is an excellent work demonstrating at least the philosophical genius of the Founders. God desires His Creation to be free in all aspects of the concept. The rub is in how it is achieved pragmatically.

    • Cumberland minuteman
      Posted at 09:55h, 10 April Reply

      “My main point is this, anarchy is never going to work and if we cannot hope to form a system of government based on natural law without some form of a “state”, what is there for freedom loving folks”

      I beg to differ unless you can explain away 900 years of anarchy in Iceland and over 1000 years of anarchy in Ireland.

      It seems odd that you would interject that anarchy is never going to work when you are surrounded by 100 examples of it in your everyday life.

      At one time we tried establishing a government based on “natural law” and welcome to the USSA. The entire notion of natural rights is an abstract human ideal that only exists in the fantasies of our own minds (or as we would say in the military “it briefs well”). If you don’t believe me, the next time you get mugged, hold up a copy of the constitution and tell the offender they are violating your natural rights to life, liberty and property and see what happens. The only “rights” that you have are those that you are willing and able to defend with violence if need be. And sad to say my friend, but this is anarchy (not chaos). Liberty requires self responsibility in all aspects of ones life, anything else leaves one woefully disappointed.

      “Romans 13 and other portions of the Bible address the fact that we are fallen and need some form of system to assure our Natural Rights.”

      Need I remind you that Romans 13 was written by a man (who never once met the tax and state rebel called Jesus of Nazareth) that was a prisoner of the Romans. Is there no wonder that it tells you to be a good slave (not a tenant of natural rights) and to succumb to the theft that the state calls taxes (not a tenant of natural rights). And why don’t you mention Romans 12?

      Cheers!
      CM

      • El Burro Grande de Terciopelo
        Posted at 14:40h, 10 April Reply

        CM,

        Thank you for your reply and please allow me to clarify. First, we may be closer in opinion than you think. It is important to note my worldview is entirely formed using the Bible as my lens, call me a fundamentalist and I will buy you a beer. I do not believe the Constitution grants ANY rights, it merely codifies what God has given His children. As far as your mugging example, I can probably make a better biblical case if you were standing beside me and the violence I initiated (hypothetically although I am NEVER unarmed) protected both of us than if I was alone, although I am permitted self-defense seeing that right to life seems to be pretty fundamental and important if I am to excercise all my other rights.

        As far as Romans 13, please understand my interpretation more closely resembles Chuck Baldwin’s than Franklin Graham’s. The Bible requires me exclusively to submit to Godly government and you are right, it may simply apply to the body of the church as many have observed Romans 12 to imply. It is a pretty jerky transition from R12 to R13, if R13 is all about being a slave to the secular state of which I am vehemently opposed. I am slave but to one, Jesus Christ. As far as Paul meeting Jesus, he did on the road to Damascus. As far as Jesus beeing a rebel, hell yea, a rebels rebel who destroyed all of secular and religious system’s oppression of His children. People mistakenly use the Tribute episode as justification it’s our Christian duty to pay taxes when the episode had nothing to do with taxes but to whom would one serve. An excellent discussion can be found here; https://www.lewrockwell.com/2010/03/jeffrey-f-barr/render-unto-caesar-amostmisunderstood-newtestamentpassage/ I especially like the fact that the Jewish leaders involved in the episode not only had unclean Roman money but possessed it in the Temple, no less. Reminds us of the hypocrites that would lord over us from the church pulpit and govt podium.

        As far as anarchy, most of the definitions I found alluded to disorder, confusion and lawlesness; implication that it is not pleasant for weaker folk. I cannot say I have a detailed knowledge of your examples of successul anarchy in history. I would be interested to know how inter-party disputes were resolved without some form of guidleines regarding natural law rights – can’t bust a cap in someone, or more appropriately in your historical example’s timeline – run someone through or bash them on the head with a rock, every time they build their stone wall 3 feet on your property line or libel you in public.

        Anyway, great discussion, is not that partly what these forums are about? The friendly exchange of ideas towards creating a better system than we have now?

        Shalom

        • cumberland minuteman
          Posted at 07:16h, 11 April Reply

          I’m so glad you found that article. I was searching my brain all last night trying to find it to post for you. HA HA, I guess great minds think alike.

          Understanding your misunderstanding of the word anarchy makes more sense. An (without) Archy (rulers) does not mean chaos at all. Chaos can and does exist in both the presence and absence of rulers, but true freedom never happens in the presence of rulers.

          As Bill and I have discussed, the word anarchy is too polar to use most of the time. He prefers abolitionism, I prefer voluntaryism, but either way it refers to a society based on human freedom and voluntary exchange versus forced exchange and human bondage (in the non kinky sort). If one carries these two characteristics to its obvious conclusion, there is no place for a State.

          The Irish example of an anarchical state is an interesting study as it had as most would presume the opposite a very complex system of laws and dispute resolution without having a state apparatus. May I suggest you google anarchy in ancient Ireland and peruse the plethora information at your leisure. Anarchy in no way means no rules. As an anarcho-capitalist I realize that free trade could not exist in the absence of rules. But it is the means in which rules are applied and that they apply to all parties equally.

          I can fully gauge and appreciate that your religion shapes your world view and won’t attack or argue that part, but I do have to wonder how you can find it consistent with those views, to give support to a State apparatus, as it violates the Commandments given by Moses. A State is based solely on coercion, theft and initiated violence, all of which are inconsistent with my understanding of the teaches of the covenant of Jesus of Nazareth.

          As well, I understand your notion to the myth of natural rights. Unfortunately, no such thing exist in reality or in nature. The concept of natural rights was created to argue against divine right, which was a claim that others can lay claim to the life liberty or property of another based upon some God given power (see Romans 13). It argued that no man has the right to rule another (unless of course in the time frame it was written you were a member of parliament or a slave holder then those rights didn’t pertain) and thus lies the contradiction. Keep in mind that the men that invoked natural rights ruled or even owned other human beings.

          So let us agree that society should be based upon the notion that no man has the right to rule or own another, or to dictate the path in which another man chooses to walk as long as he affords the same to the rest of his fellow man? If this be the case, then nothing other than a stateless society can be consistent in lite of those beliefs.

          Cheers my friend,
          CM

          • El Burro Grande de Terciopelo
            Posted at 09:49h, 20 April

            CM,

            First, these one-sided discussions via forum comments are never optimum for dialog. I would really appreciate an opportunity to sit in a room (preferably smoking fine cigars) to discuss this with you and Bill.

            I am not sure why you insist I favor the establishment of a State? As you rightly posit, how can I be a follower of Jesus Christ and be a proponent for a State? Let’s set aside semantics for now, I am of the opinion;

            1) a) our birthright is liberty, because God wishes it to be so. Liberty in thought, word and deed; as long as it b) does not infringe upon another’s as he is free to choose for himself and suffer/enjoy the consequences of same.

            2) Man is fallen, imperfect, unjust, selfish, etc. (sin nature, as you do not have to teach a child this behavior) at his core and therefore requires at set of guidelines to govern his behavior so he can fulfill 2) b) above.

            So, as a follower of Christ, those guidelines will come from Him (He is not simply a man but God, one part of the Godhead Trinity) and the conduit is the Bible (one can argue KJV, Geneva, etc.). In fact, Romans 1:20 says the existence of God is self-evident in his Creation. The Founders as a group were influenced by Cicero, Chief Counsel of the World’s largest pagan empire, who observed God’s Creation and determined that it had a Creator that this Creator deemed it to have an order, dare I say a set of guidelines.

            So, where order or beauty or love or peace or anything good exists, I posit God exists, or at least the guidelines He created, exist and a/the State typically is the antithesis of this condition.

  • Knuck
    Posted at 17:57h, 09 April Reply

    The War of Northern Aggression. Who made the most money? The culprit is…

  • eminencefrontman
    Posted at 19:41h, 09 April Reply

    As a descendant of both Union and Confederate veterans, living less than 30 miles apart at the time they enlisted (that’s eastern Kentucky for you,) I have thought long and hard about this matter. As a lad I relished hearing the stories of my paternal grandpa, which came complete with his .54 Harper’s Ferry smooth-bore and the undeniable knowledge it had been fired in anger. I felt great pride in knowing I was the offspring of someone I believed was a hero.

    But as I grew older I learned of how my maternal great-great-grandfather had joined the Union in February 1863, undoubtedly after learning of the Proclamation, and I felt equally drawn to the conviction he must have felt to have taken such a leap of faith.

    But in the end, I am left feeling nothing but disdain. No-one in my family, nor most families who sent sons and fathers off in Confederate grey, or Union blue, ever owned slaves or had even seen slaves in bondage. They fought largely in fear of what turning the racial/social order upside down would mean for their yeoman likes, or to spread the nation as free soil, unblemished by negros or the obscenity of chattel slavery.

    Ultimately, slavery only enriched the wealthiest 10% and we are now left to pick up the pieces of the world they left behind. The best analogy I can draw is, again as one who grew up in eastern Kentucky, of the devastation the coal industry has left for so many, while the elite profited and left the rest of us to clean up. I am latently angry at those who perpetuated the slave economy and whipped up the dogs of war to defend as a way of life most never knew but so many died fighting to defend or destroy. It is ever more obvious today we cannot exist as a multiracial society, and all of us–black and white alike– are left to deal with the ramifications of a world that benefited the only the elite, the future be damned.

    • MisterRE
      Posted at 05:07h, 10 April Reply

      I hear you man! Solid, gut felt sentiments. Thanks.

    • cumberland minuteman
      Posted at 10:06h, 10 April Reply

      As a native Virginian (my family came from the Shenandoah) I might have to disagree as to what both sides were fighting for. As families of small sustenance farmers, based up free labor that couldn’t compete with slave labor, I would say that it would be absurd to think that my ancestors fought for a system of labor that was detrimental to them.

      If you look at the constitutional ratification statement of the State of Virginia, they stated at the time of signing that they reserved the right to withdraw from the voluntary union if it became detrimental to their own powers to govern themselves. It wasn’t until after Lincoln called upon VA to send troops to put down “the rebellion” in SC that VA withdrew from the voluntary union, in which she was met with almost immediate invasion.

      Now I don’t know about you, but under the context of the time, if other countries (states) invaded my home, I think that would be sufficient motivation for a family of poor farmers to raise arms in defense of ones home, and not an economic institution that restricted my economic opportunities.

      Bearing in mind that my family came from a mere 50 miles from Monticello, I’m more inclined to believe that they fought for the right of self governance and state (their country) sovereignty, then for the institution of slavery. I could be wrong though.

      Cheers!
      CM

      • john mcginnis
        Posted at 10:51h, 10 April Reply

        Hmmm. Like say you should not be using Federal Reserve notes because it is detrimental to your economic well being today? Which they are considering that the TBTF banks are getting them essentially at a discount while you my friend have to earn them at full face plus inflation.

        One must also realize that each of us to a certain extent are trapped within the confines of our time period and societal bounds. Your ancestors may not even have known WHY they were bested by slave owners but they damn well knew that being a slave owner was a ticket to the big time economically. As a consequence they would support the institution even tho’ they were not a player. The chance to, out weighed being a member of that elite group.

        • GenEarly
          Posted at 12:33h, 10 April Reply

          Why are WE bested by slave owners? Welcome to the new plantation…the USSA. Even the late Russel Means welcomed the White Man to the Feral Gov Reservation.

          Grubered and Bonered we stumble along meeting the “new boss”, “same as the old boss”; Fooled Again, and again, and again; lashing out at the opposition while the Oligarchs prosper while hiding in plain sight.

          Who doesn’t see the Clintonista Crime Syndicate or the Bush NWO? ProgreSSives All, pushing Illegal Invasion, Wars, War Welfare, Socialist-Humanist Slavery Welfare, Police Statism, False Money, Debt Slavery, Bankruptcy and eventual Default. Sheesh! What does it Take?

          Et Tu Comrade?

        • cumberland minuteman
          Posted at 07:24h, 11 April Reply

          “Like say you should not be using Federal Reserve notes because it is detrimental to your economic well being today?”

          Not really, that would be more akin to saying that being fully aware that the monopolistic FRS and its fiat money would be a system that I would voluntarily leave my home and fight for.

          Now if China invaded the Cumberland because of the ill dealings of the FRS, I would still fight a foreign aggressor to my home, regardless of my full knowledge of the evil of the Fed. The Fed can start the fight, but once it enters my home, it matters not what the causis belli might be. All that matters is the invasion of a foreign force and the threat to my family, my freedom and my property.

          And years after the conflict, no matter who wins, to say that I fought to defend the fed and not my freedom would still be an untruth.

          Cheers
          CM

  • RRND - 04/10/15 -
    Posted at 03:50h, 10 April Reply
  • jsragman
    Posted at 06:03h, 10 April Reply

    Thank you for the kind words. Excellent, thought provoking article! A couple of books to ponder are The South Was Right by the Kennedy brother and Guns of the South (a novel) by Harry Turtledove.

    • Bill
      Posted at 06:15h, 10 April Reply

      I have read both and recommend the Kennedy brothers oeuvre. I also commend Dilorenzo’s books on Lincoln and Hummel’s superlative Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men and Edgar Lee master’s book Lincoln the Man.

      • James H
        Posted at 06:21h, 11 April Reply

        Bill, great work as always.

        I can second your recommendation re Di Lorenzo. There is a good piece by him that covers the high points currently on the front page at Lew Rockwell. Cheers.

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