Historical Ignorance and Confederate Generals

GwilymT

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
The problem with running out the "slavery had nothing to do with the war" myth or not, is that there are very few people who actually propose it today. There is of course the Southern Lost Cause myth that emphasizes states rights instead of slavery, but even these omit the idea that "slavery had nothing to do with the war".
On the other hand, there is a Northern myth that rarely comes under such close scrutiny -- that the Civil War was all about freeing the slaves. The Glorious Cause of Freedom or as Lincoln said, " a new birth of freedom". It clearly was not and this is equally false. The proximate cause of the war was the secession of the Confederate states. Ending slavery was never a war aim of the Federal Government. Even the Emancipation Proclamation was used as a war measure to weaken the South because to do more would have damaged the Federal war machine.
Today some of the pillars of the “Old Southern Culture” can make readers cringe: aristocracy, bigotry, secession, confederacy, and, of course, slavery. Importantly, uncomfortable antebellum characteristics were not confined to the South. The North, the Midwest, the Far West, and the Border States all evidenced their own unique characters in this period — many of them no longer acceptable to modern society and opinion: greed, exploitation, nativism, religious intolerance, and perhaps the worst — a lack of restraint. Most Northerners were racists, and they treated even black freeman with brutality when they did not ignore them. They did not want them in their communities except as servants, drudges, and laborers. By these standards many of the heroes of the last century were not very nice people.
Although the questions of slavery or abolition stood out at the time, Southern nationalism was fueled not only by the endorsement of continued slavery, but also by a growing contrast between a conservative Southern culture rooted in agriculture and a progressive Northern industrial society increasingly in favor of popular suffrage, a changing role for women, widening democracy, and social reform. While there remained a strong belief in American individualism, personal strength of character, and the ability of a man to overcome the handicaps of his environment, such concepts were identified more and more with Southern resistance to social reform. A tone of condescension and disdain even entered the rhetoric of the Northern reform movements. Failing to acknowledge any good in Southern society because it was tied to slavery, Northern reformers made no attempt to hide their universal disapproval of all things Southern.
I think you’d be very hard pressed to find anyone claiming that the North started out to free slaves. That was a happy result, not their cause. On the other hand, those that claim slavery wasn’t a cause for the south are a dime a dozen and their argument is a fantasy.
 

Stone in the wall

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
John Brown lost a battle but ended up winning the War!!!! He was willing to die for his cause. Unlike others who tucked tail and surrendered after supporting a Lost Cause......
John Brown was a failure and as I said he didn't win his war. No blacks stepped up to support him, or fight for their own freedom. Seems he also tucked tail and surrendeed.
 

Belfoured

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 3, 2019
Actually not sure I'd assert no slaves in New Mexico, the Mexicanos had enslaved natives.

After Congress prohibited slavery in 1862 in territories, NM citizens petitioned for compensation of 600 slaves.
You're correct. Although it was illegal under Mexican law, slavery existed. It became legal with the Purchase and the 1850 Compromise. I believe also that the Territorial Governor, a slave-owning transplant from Missouri, still owned slaves.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
John Brown was a failure and as I said he didn't win his war. No blacks stepped up to support him, or fight for their own freedom. Seems he also tucked tail and surrendeed.
Actually there were African Americans in his small group. John Brown was trying to seize arms so slaves could fight for their freedom. Brown was captured while holding hostages not running away. Brown eventually did win the war by helping to bring about the ACW.
Leftyhunter
 

Potomac Pride

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
Georgia
Actually there were African Americans in his small group. John Brown was trying to seize arms so slaves could fight for their freedom. Brown was captured while holding hostages not running away. Brown eventually did win the war by helping to bring about the ACW.
Leftyhunter
Brown's raid resulted in the death of innocent people including a railroad worker who was a freed black man and the Mayor of Harpers Ferry. Furthermore, his raid did not result in the liberation of any slaves.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Brown's raid resulted in the death of innocent people including a railroad worker who was a freed black man and the Mayor of Harpers Ferry. Furthermore, his raid did not result in the liberation of any slaves.
Innocent people die all the time and it definitely occurred in the ACW. My point is Brown helped bring about the ACW and let us not forget the Gentle Parson freed slaves in Missiouri.
Leftyhunter
 

Stone in the wall

Sergeant Major
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
Actually there were African Americans in his small group. John Brown was trying to seize arms so slaves could fight for their freedom. Brown was captured while holding hostages not running away. Brown eventually did win the war by helping to bring about the ACW.
Leftyhunter
All in his group were already Free Blacks, but one.
 

LetUsHavePeace

Volunteer
Joined
Dec 1, 2018
Actually Grant wrote his father in April 1861, and did refer to the confederates as traitors:

"Whatever may have been my political opinions before, I have but one sentiment now. That is, we have a Government, and laws and a flag, and they must all be sustained. There are but two parties now, traitors and patriots and I want hereafter to be ranked with the latter, and I trust, the stronger party."​
Mea culpa. I should have made clear the distinction between what Grant thought about "parties" - i.e. politicians - and what he thought about soldiers. I cannot find any comment of Grant's that accuses Confederate soldiers of being traitors. It was not in his nature to condemn anyone who fought for what he thought was his "people" - not Mexicans, not Indians, not Americans.
 
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