The Father Of Waters Flows Unvexed To The Sea
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  • Richard Finlay

    both links go to the “good ole rebel” song

  • Pete

    In many ways, the American Civil War was the second war of independence … but it was the one that failed.

    • Jim__L

      It’s interesting to read Lincoln’s early writings on the issue of Texas’ secession from Mexico. He seemed to be arguing that the principles of the American Revolution meant that separating from a government and going your own way was a sacred right.

  • phineasfahrquar

    “it is fitting that America observes the 150th anniversary of the war under the leadership of an African American president. ”

    Such a shame he turned out to be the worst president since Buchanan.

    Regarding Vicksburg, study of the campaign should also put to rest the notion that Grant was a “grind it out” butcher. Until settling in for the actual siege, he conducted the campaign as a model of maneuver and swift movement.

    • bpuharic

      You mean other than the white president who got 4400 troops killed and spent 2 trillion

      for nothing?

      • Tom

        As opposed to this guy, who spent over four trillion for nothing? And botched whatever good the white one might have done?

        • bpuharic

          4 trillion? Meaningless and vague, as always. No specifics at all…characteristic of America’s far right

          • Fred

            One thing I love about you, b., is your consistency. You can always be counted on to confuse invective with argument and vehemence of expression with rigour of thought. You’re a beacon of stability in an insane world.

          • bpuharic

            We didn’t spend 4400 US lives and 2 trillion? Who knew!

          • Corlyss

            Consistency anyway.

          • Tom

            (Nods) Keep telling yourself that.

  • Corlyss

    “freeing their slaves from the curse of bondage and freeing my family from the curse of slave owning.”
    It was pretty unrealistic to expect people to abandon their property without a fight. If we had to have a civil war over something, I’m glad it was over property rights and not some silly tribal thing like an illegitimate son and his line being cast out of the family while the legitimate son and his line were pampered.

    • Anthony

      A point on 1860’s southern property rights: “While more than 600,000 were killed in the Civil War, the planter elites (real property owners) suffered few casusalties. The law, designed by the planters and for the planters, exempted one slaveholder from military service for every twenty slaves held. As hundreds of thousands of men died to preserve the southern plantation (property rights) economy, many big slaveholders and their sons sat out the war on their porches….” So, whose property was fought for exactly?

      • Corlyss

        What’s the source of your quote?
        Why do you suppose survey after survey shows most Americans don’t believe in confiscatory taxes? They believe that someday they could be as wealthy as Rockefeller, so they don’t want a regime that is going to rob them of their wealth before they even get a chance to make it. Slavery was the South’s way of life. Something like 90% of the confederate soldiers didn’t own slaves, but I’d bet good money they thought they might someday. They were fighting for a way of life that held potential for them, not for southern slave owners.

        • bpuharic

          Most Americans believe a fairy tale, courtesy of the right. We have less social mobility than virtually any western country. There is no right to own slaves. There is no right to slavery. There is no ‘property’ right in slavery. There is nothing in slavery at all except pure evil

          • Corlyss

            Sure. 150 years later, everyone gets that except a few African and Asian profiteers. But its a modern conclusion that ought not to be superimposed on behaviors of the past when such behavior was legal and acceptable to large segments of the populations in a variety of nations.

          • bpuharic

            Except it wasn’t. It was already banned in most civilized nations and most of the founding fathers knew it was evil, though they participated in this ‘peculiar institution’. That it was evil was beyond question. And it remains so today, regardless of revisionist southerners.

          • Corlyss
          • bpuharic

            Much obliged for proving what I already said.

        • Anthony

          Again you miss the point. My purpose is not do research for others but to supplement statements potentially erring; Hedgehog thinking has never been an attribute.

          • Corlyss

            Okay. What was your point that I missed? That poor schlubs were flimflammed into shedding blood and treasure to protect the wealth of a few? I merely suggest that they weren’t flimflammed if they believed that someday they might share the slave owners life style, esp. if they could move into western lands and take their peculiar institution with them. One might even argue that with the exception of a couple of Early’s raids and the unfortunate foray into Pennsylvania, the South fought mostly to prevent the loss of any land to the North. They believed if they could keep defeating the North every time it ventured south, they’d get the North to sue for peace eventually. They almost succeeded.

          • Anthony

            Give it a rest, thanks.

    • bpuharic

      Property rights? How in the name of justice can you use that term as applied to human beings?

      • Corlyss

        By avoiding presentism.

        • bpuharic

          Since they knew it was wrong then, your statement is at best racist, at worst genocide.

          • Corlyss

            LOL Blah, blah, blah.

    • Jim__L

      Corlyss, you’re not actually showing sympathy for Ishmael and his descendants here, are you?

      • Corlyss

        Definitely not. I’m doubtful that Arabs retain a capacity to grasp mythic symbolism and poetic metaphor. They might have had it once in the middle ages, but it seems to have eluded them since they decided to play the World Victim center stage.

    • Jim__L

      I think WRM at one point calculated the cost of the Civil War to the South, and decided that the losses were so high that a “rational actor” South would have chosen to lose their “property” by freeing the slaves, than by having their property burned down by Sherman, et al.

      • Corlyss

        Yeah, but that didn’t all come clear until after they’d been in the war for 3+ years. Perhaps they didn’t get it until Sherman cut a swathe thru their most productive regions. It’s the product of 20/20 hindsight.

        • Jim__L

          Relying on the “chance of war” is always a risk. A thoughtful analysis of the South’s chances in such a war could probably have come up with that scenario as a possibility.

  • Andrew Allison

    Re: “the Siege of Vicksburg ended in a glorious American victory”

    Did you perhaps intend “a glorious Union victory”? Or for the United States of America? It was hardly glorious for the Confederates, and probably of relatively little interest to Canada and South America. Having had the pleasure of traveling in both the latter regions, I have learned how unwelcome is the presumptuous presumption that America and the USA are synonymous.

    • Tom

      A victory for the North was a victory for all of the Americas.

      • Jim__L

        Interestingly, Winston Churchill was of the opinion that it was a setback for Europe.

    • Corlyss

      “unwelcome is the presumptuous presumption that America and the USA are synonymous.”
      Perhaps, but they might as well be since the other two huddle under our defense umbrella and depend on us like children do their parents for a good deal of their economic well-being. So America=USA is fine by me.

      • Andrew Allison

        By your logic, you should expand your definition to USA = North and South America, Europe, and every other country which meets the criteria.

        • Corlyss

          LOL. I take your point but I’ll settle for the hemisphere

    • bpuharic

      The confederacy was not a nation. It was an American victory because confederates were Americans.

      • Andrew Allison

        I’m confused. It was an American victory because confederates (who, I seem to recall lost the battle) were Americans?

  • Dan King

    I post an article about Thomas Jefferson and slavery here: http://trotskyschildren.blogspot.com/2013/06/thomas-jefferson-political-correctness.html

    • Corlyss

      Interesting article. Thanks.

  • circleglider

    History is always written by the victors.

  • bpuharic

    Well spoken, Prof. America, for all her faults, is a nation which has always tried to right her own evils…and sometimes even succeeds.

  • rheddles

    Thank you for remembering Vicksburg instead of the other battle. Yours is the only comment I have seen about it this week. Vicksburg was the turning point in the war, the other battle just a big mistake.

  • lehnne

    Slavery was a universal accepted practice and had many variants. It wasn’t until the 18th century that people began to think it wasn’t a good idea and advocated for its abolition. An issue worth exploring is why did it it take a brutal war to end it in America? My guess is that it had something to do with money as the taxes on Southern agricultural exports were the main source of revenue to the federal government and they were not about to let that money get up and walk away.

    • rheddles

      My guess is that why it took a war had something to do with the messianic self righteousness and stinginess of the English New Englanders and the pig headed stubbornness of the Scots Irish Southerners led by the selfish slaveholding Charleston elite.

    • Bart Hall

      *NO* It was the taxes on southern manufactured *imports* which were the main source of revenue. Protective tariffs for northern manufacturers.

      It was the sudden Republican take-over of both houses of Congress and the Presidency which led southerners to secede because they had no remaining options to avoid massive tax increases to fund a growing government.

      At that time *Democrats* were the party of small, constitutionally-limited federal government.

      • lehnne

        I stand corrected, thank you my recollection was faulty and mixed up terms

      • Tom

        Ah, no. There’s a reason that every single one of the first seven ordinances of secession mentions slavery and abolitionism.

      • Corlyss

        Boy, that’s an insight that only tax law profs have ever advanced, and maybe only one at that. Charles Adams makes a plausible case for it. http://www.amazon.com/Good-Evil-Impact-Course-Civilization/dp/1568332351/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1373089680&sr=1-2&keywords=history+of+taxes

        Fully 75% of the taxes collected by the Feds in those days came from the import duties charged at southern ports for all the stuff that they couldn’t manufacture for themselves. In his first inaugural, Lincoln told the South, essentially, secede if you want to go your own way, but you WILL pay your taxes or we’ll come down there and collect them by force. Slavery was an emotional issue on both sides but so was money.

  • Bart Hall

    Keep your eyes open for a new book from Karen Abbott (Harper Collins) about the Van Lew spy ring in Richmond. She breaks new ground in detailing *how* it worked, rather than simply what it did.

    In the run-up to Gettysburg and Vicksburg, pretty much anything discussed in the Confederate White House was conveyed to authorities in Washington within a few days.

    By 1864, it was in Grant’s hands within 48 hours. Several of the key operatives were former slaves.

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