Today is the 156th Anniversary of Gen. Lee’s Surrender. I propose that it should be declared as a day of National Mourning.

Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Yes - there was slavery in the south, but there was slavery all over the world back in those days. Slavery existed in the northern states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and the Yankee state of Rhode Island was a major hub in the international slave trade. It is absolutely wrong in my opinion to crucify the south on the cross of slavery. The sanctimonious northern states, fueled on propaganda, invaded a section of the country that was foreign to them and which they had little or no understanding of. The northern armies went into the southern states with guns blazing, without understanding the ultimate ramifications of their actions.

I think it was Voltaire who said “when in doubt, refrain.”

The war was fought primarily because the benighted Yankee masses were drunk on spurious propaganda that was emanating from the pens of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Hinton Rowan Helper.

The southern states were trying to exit the Union, they only wanted to be left alone, and they were fighting because they were being invaded by a hostile military force.

The 9th of April should be declared as a day of National Mourning.
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
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May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
I would think that a celebration would be more appropriate.

But as Grant said at the time, "The war is over, the Rebels are our countrymen again, and the best sign of rejoicing after the victory will be to abstain from all demonstrations in the field."

It was a great victory, but also the end of a tragic war for a rotten cause, so I understand his point about not rejoicing.
 

J C J Barefoot

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Joined
Sep 10, 2019
Thirty years before the war Andrew Jackson, a southern President threatened South Carolina with a Federal invasion unless they withdrew the Nullification Acts. South Carolina with drew the Nullification Acts. John Quincey Adams, as a member of the House proposed a resolution of succession of the New England states and the southern House members exploded in a purple rage at JQA screaming that the proposal amount to treason. The "compact" theory of Jefferson Davis had been rejected by Supreme Court Justices---almost all of whom were southern for many years before the war. It was clear by the political and historical record that the south found no right to leave the union until they got an election that they refused to accept. As far as international law of the sea was concerned no state in Europe recognized the Confederate states as independent.
Beyond all that, Fort Sumpter had something to do with the opening of violence.
 

jackt62

Captain
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Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
Yes - there was slavery in the south, but there was slavery all over the world back in those days. Slavery existed in the northern states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and the Yankee state of Rhode Island was a major hub in the international slave trade. It is absolutely wrong in my opinion to crucify the south on the cross of slavery.

But by 1860, slavery had already been abolished in the northern states as well as in Britain, France and their possessions. In the western hemisphere, with the exception of Brazil, the southern American states were virtually alone in persisting in its continuation. Nevertheless, I and many others would agree that its is wrong to "crucify" only the south on the cross of slavery. Lincoln himself acknowledged in his 2nd inaugural address that the responsibility and penance for slavery was not restricted to just the southern states:

"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."
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
As far as international law of the sea was concerned no state in Europe recognized the Confederate states as independent.
I want to take issue with this only in so far as that European states recognizing the Confederates as independent isn't really a matter of "international law of the sea".
 

J C J Barefoot

Private
Joined
Sep 10, 2019
I want to take issue with this only in so far as that European states recognizing the Confederates as independent isn't really a matter of "international law of the sea".
It certainly was in maritime law which , unless I am woefully mistaken was the basis and root of international law. The Trent being but one example. Still, I have eaten many a humble pie so I am coachable. Elaborate on why I am mistaken.
 

Saphroneth

Major
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
It certainly was in maritime law which , unless I am woefully mistaken was the basis and root of international law. The Trent being but one example. Still, I have eaten many a humble pie so I am coachable. Elaborate on why I am mistaken.
The recognition of nations is a matter of individual foreign policy, not international law of the sea. You may be thinking of the status of belligerent, which among other things applies when a blockade has been declared.
 

Johhny Quest

Private
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Two points:

1) Logically, if you think it deserves to be a day of "national mourning" then you'd first have to establish that the Nation . . . as a whole . . . sees it that way. Otherwise, it's the tyrannical imposition of one dogma on an entire nation. So does the nation . . . as a whole . . . see it that way?

Let's do a simple exercise. If we go back to the 1860 Census, and assume that the entire population of Free Persons in the following states: VA, MO, KY, TN, GA, NC, AL, MS, LA, SC, TX, AK and FL . . . were pro-Confederacy, you get 9.2 Million Free Persons.
Out of a total population of 31.4 Million, that's 29%.

But of course, the entire population of those states DID NOT all support the Confederacy. A better estimate is that only around half, or 5.5 Million Free persons, supported slavery. That's 18%.

So we can assume that your "mourners" would be 18-29% of the nation, with 70-80% celebrating the victory, not mourning it.

Of course, nothing prevents modern supporters of the Confederacy mourning the day. Just like various religions in America celebrate different holidays, there's no reason why one segment of the population can't celebrate 9 April and another mourn it.

2) I also want to comment on these two statements:

The war was fought primarily because the benighted Yankee masses were drunk on spurious propaganda that was emanating from the pens of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Hinton Rowan Helper.

The southern states were trying to exit the Union, they only wanted to be left alone, and they were fighting because they were being invaded by a hostile military force.

Neither of those are correct. Stowe was born in 1811 and Helper was born in 1829. The issue of slavery goes back 20-30 years before Harriet Beecher Stowe was a twinkle in daddy's eye.

Even worse, your statements ignore that the Southern states seized federal property and fired on federal facilities.

In fact, the South took the Election of 1860 as a trigger to launch war even though Lincoln emphatically denied that he had any intention of doing anything against the South or slavery in general.

Lincoln said the following at the very beginning of his 1861 Inaugural Address: First Inaugural Address (1861)

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered.

There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that-- I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read: Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.
 

JerseyBart

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I will not mourn a rebellion that cost 600,000 lives and many more men wounded and lives/families ruined. Thank God it ended.
 
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