Browsing "Southern Patriots"

Grecian Horses into the Southern Troy

Jefferson Davis served as both a United States Representative and Senator from Mississippi, Secretary of War, 1853-1857 under President Franklin Pierce, and President of the Confederate States, 1861-1865. He was a staunch Southern Unionist who strived to find peaceful solutions to the sectional controversies that would lead to secession of the Southern States.  The “Know-Nothingism” mentioned below was a Northern nativist political party of the late 1840s and 1850s which opposed the immigration of Irish and German Catholics — Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts and New Yorker Millard Fillmore were leaders of the party.  The following is excerpted from Jefferson Davis’ address of October 2, 1857 at Mississippi City.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Grecian Horses into the Southern Troy

“Colonel Davis rose . . . and referred to various events in the early history of Mississippi . . . that she had never violated the compact of our Union, and unresistingly borne disproportionate burthens for the support of the general government in peace . . . [and] at the first call for soldiers to maintain the honor of the national flag, had, like a Spartan mother, girded the sword upon her sons, who knew well they could never return to the maternal embrace unless they came covered with honorable fame or wrapped in the shroud of death.

[Regarding incessant Northern aggressions borne by the South, were] we to have more compromises to gather further disappointment, and sink still lower from the equality which our Fathers maintained, and transmitted to us? Fraternity and mutual alliance for the interests of each was the motive and purpose for which the Union was formed.

Preparation in the South to maintain her rights in any contingency which the future might and was likely to bring forth, would best serve to strengthen her Northern allies, if they remained true; and would best enable her to dispense with their services, if they should desert.

It was not upon mere party relation that his hopes were founded; it was upon the elevating, purifying power of the doctrine of State rights and strict construction [of the United States Constitution] – the Shibboleth which none but Democrats can pronounce.

In the earlier, and might well be said, in the purer days of the Republic, Mr. Jefferson pronounced the Northern Democracy the neutral allies of the South, and if that alliance was broken there was surely no other on which to rely.

From the foundation of the Government, the party opposed to the Democracy, under its various names and issues had always evinced its tendency to centralization by the latitudinous construction of the powers delegated to the Federal Government.

As examples, he cited the charter of the United States Bank, the enactment of a tariff for protection, a system of internal improvements, a genera distribution of public lands and of public treasure, and last, lowest in tone, and, as its name implied, in intelligence, Know-Nothingism, with its purpose to concede to the Federal Government the power to prescribe the terms on which naturalized citizens should be invested with the right of suffrage in the States.

He said that he considered every departure from strict construction of grants to the Federal Government, as the introduction of another Grecian horse into our Southern Troy, and he invoked every Mississippian to united and vigilant resistance to every such measure.

The South, as a minority section, can alone be secure in her rights by resolutely maintaining the equality and independence of the States, and thus alone could we hope to make our Union perpetual and effective for the great purposes for which it was ordained and established.

He then urged the necessity of home education, of normal schools, and Southern school-books, as the next step after the mother’s pious training in the formation of that character which was essential to progress toward that high destiny to which his anticipation pointed.

If, as was sometimes asserted, Governments contain within themselves the elements of their own destruction, as animate beings have their growth, their maturity to decay; if ours, the last, best hope of civil liberty was, like the many experiments which preceded it, to be engulfed in the sea of time . . . [he hoped] Mississippi would stand conspicuous for all that was virtuous and noble; that through the waves of fanaticism, anarchy and civil strife, her sons would be the Levites who would bear the ark of the Constitution, and when unable to save it from wreck, that in the pile of its sacred timbers their bones would be found mingled.”

(Speech at Mississippi City; The Papers of Jefferson Davis, Volume 6, 1856-1860, L. Crist/M. Dix, editors, LSU Press, 1989, excerpts, pp. 138-139; 153-155)

“Pray Excuse Me,” the Death of President Davis

“Pray Excuse Me,” The Death of President Davis — December 6, 1889

“His constant attendant has been Mrs. Davis, who have never left his bedside since his illness began. In a comfortable home wrapper of gray and black this gentle ministrant was always at the invalid’s side, and if she left for a moment he asked for her, and was fretted or uneasy until she returned.

The lamp of life waned low as the hour of midnight arrived; nor did it flicker into the brightness of consciousness at any time. Eagerly, yet tenderly, the watchers gazed at the face of the dying chieftain. His face, always calm and pale, gained additional pallor, and at a quarter to 1 o’clock of the morning of the 6th day of December death came to the venerable leader..

There was nothing remarkable about the death-bed scene. The departure of the spirit was gentle and utterly painless. There were no dry eyes in the little assembly about the bed, and every heart bled with the anguish which found vent in Mrs. Davis’s sobs and cries.”

The Times-Democrat gave the following account of the closing scene: At 12:45 o’clock this morning Hon. Jefferson Davis, ex-President of the Confederate States, passed away at the residence of Associate Justice Charles E. Fenner. Only once did he waver in his belief that his case showed no improvement, and that was at an early hour yesterday morning, when he playfully remarked to Mr. Payne: “I am afraid that I shall be compelled to agree with the doctors for once, and admit that I am a little better.”

At 7 o’clock Mrs. Davis administered some medicine, but the ex-President declined to receive the whole dose. She urged upon his the necessity of taking the remainder, but putting it aside, with the gentlest of gestures whispered, “Pray, excuse me.” These were his last words.”

The [New Orleans] Daily States said in its editorial:

“Throughout all the South there are lamentations and tears; in every country on the globe where there are lovers of liberty there is mourning; wherever there are men who admire heroic patriotism, dauntless resolution, fortitude, or intellectual power and supremacy, there is sincere sorrowing. The beloved of our land, the unfaltering upholder of constitutional liberty, the typical hero and sage, is no more; the fearless heart that beat with sympathy for all mankind is stilled forever, a great light has gone out – Jefferson Davis is dead!

No one of all the illustrious personages who have adorned the history of the Union, served that union in the field, in the Cabinet, and in the Senate, better than he. But all the enactments of Congress; all the fierce and bitter denunciations of the North; all the vituperations, malice, hatred, and misrepresentations that the press and the leaders of the North have heaped upon Jefferson Davis, and by which for twenty-five years they have sought to brand him “traitor,” have failed of their purpose, and he stands forth today as one of the grandest examples of patriotism and as one of the most indomitable champions of liberty that has ever appeared upon the arena of human affairs.

Jefferson Davis is dead; but the principles for which he struggled, for the vindication of which he devoted his life, for which he suffered defeat, and unto which he clung unto death, still live. The fanatical howlings of the abolitionists, the tumult and thunders of civil war, the fierce mouthings of the organizers of reconstruction, and reconstruction itself, that black and foul disgrace of humanity, are all departed, sunk into silence like a tavern brawl, but the constitutional principles upon which the Confederacy was founded and for which Jefferson Davis spoke and struggled, for which he gave life and fortune, still survive in all their living power; and when they shall have been, if ever, really destroyed, this Republic will be transformed into one of the most oppressive and offensive oligarchies that has ever arisen amongst the civilized nations of the earth.”

The Times-Democrat of the 10th had this editorial:

“If there was ever the shadow of doubt in the minds of the people of the United States of the hold of Jefferson Davis upon the hearts of the Southern people that doubt has been removed. From city and country, from every nook and hamlet, have come expressions of profoundest sorrow over his death; of grief at the passing away of the great Confederate chieftain.

They turned to him as the Mussulman to his Mecca — the shrine at which all true Southern-born should worship. There has never been any division of sentiment as to the greatness of Jefferson Davis. He has always been the hero of his people — their best beloved. From the day that Lee laid down his arms at Appomattox to the hour of Jefferson Davis’s death the Southern people look upon the ex-President of the Confederacy as the embodiment of all that was grand and glorious in the Lost Cause.

Standing alone as a citizen without the power to exercise his citizenship, the last surviving victim of sectional hate and malevolence, he was an exile while on the soil of his native land and in the midst of his own people. Jefferson Davis will go to the grave bathed in a people’s tears.”

(The Davis Memorial Volume; or Our Dead President, Jefferson Davis, and the World’s Tribute to His Memory, J. Wm. Jones, B.F. Johnson & Company, Publishers, 1890, excerpts, pp. 473-509)

Dec 3, 2016 - America Transformed, Recurring Southern Conservatism, Southern Conservatives, Southern Patriots, Southern Statesmen, Southern Unionists    Comments Off on Jefferson Davis on the South’s Inalienable Birthright

Jefferson Davis on the South’s Inalienable Birthright

The following public address by Jefferson Davis before the Mississippi Legislature on March 10, 1884 may have been his last; he admonishes his listeners to teach their children to honor and revere their fathers who died in the cause of political liberty freedom, and the consent of the governed. Davis crossed over the river to rest under the shade of the trees on December 6, 1889.

Bernhard Thuersam www.Circa1865.com

 

 Jefferson Davis on the South’s Inalienable Birthright

“Friends and Brethren of Mississippi:

Reared on the soil of Mississippi, the ambition of my boyhood was to do something which would redound to the honor and welfare of the State. The weight of many years admonishes me that my day for actual services has passed, yet the desire remains undiminished to see the people of Mississippi prosperous and happy, and her fame no unlike the past, but gradually growing wider and brighter as the years roll away.

It has been said that I should apply to the United States for a pardon; but repentance must precede the right of pardon, and I have not repented.

Remembering as I must all which has been suffered, all which has been lost, disappointed hopes and crushed aspirations, yet I deliberately say: If it were to do over again, I would do just as I did in 1861.

No one is the arbiter of his own fate. The people of the Confederate States did more in proportion to their numbers and means than was ever achieved by any in the world’s history. Fate decreed that they should be unsuccessful in the effort to maintain their claim to resume the grants made to the federal government.

Our people have accepted the decree; it therefore behooves them, as they may, to promote the general welfare of the Union, to show the world that that hereafter as heretofore the patriotism of our people is not measured by lines of latitude and longitude, but is as broad as the obligations they have assumed and embraces the whole of our ocean-bound domain.

Let them leave to their children and their children’s children the good example of never swerving from the path of duty, and preferring to return good for evil rather than to cherish the unmanly feeling of revenge.

But never teach your children to desecrate the memory of the dead by admitting that their brothers were wrong in their effort to maintain the sovereignty, freedom and independence which was their inalienable birthright.

Remembering that the coming generations are the children of the heroic mothers whose devotion to our cause in its darkest hour sustained the strong and strengthened the weak, I cannot believe that the cause for which our sacrifices were made can ever be lost, but rather hope that those who now deny the justice of our asserted claims will learn from experience that the fathers [built] wisely and the constitution should be construed according to the commentaries of the men who made it.

It having been previously understood that I would no attempt to do more than return my thanks, which are far deeper than it would be possible for me to express, I will now, Senators and Representatives, and to you, ladies and gentlemen, who have honored my by your attendance, bid you an affectionate, and, it may be, a last farewell.”

(The Davis Memorial Volume; or Our Dead President, Jefferson Davis, and the World’s Tribute to His Memory, J. Wm. Jones, B.F. Johnson & Company, Publishers, 1890, excerpt, pp. 450-451)

Jefferson Davis, Ardent Unionist

The author below points out that all of Jefferson Davis’ Congressional speeches featured a “strong and outspoken national feeling,” while New England politicians whipped up sectional animosity at every turn. This was seen as well in the war with Mexico as Davis spoke often of the national devotion and heroism of American soldiers in that conflict, though a prominent Northern politician bespoke for the American army, “a welcome with bloody hands to hospitable graves.” Massachusetts refused military honors to Captain George Lincoln, killed at Buena Vista and son of an ex-governor of that State.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Jefferson Davis, Ardent Unionist

“On the 29th of December [1845], Mr. Davis spoke in a very earnest and impressive manner upon Native Americanism, which he strongly opposed . . . in opposition to [federal] appropriations for improvement of rivers and harbors; upon the Oregon question, and in favor of a resolution of thanks to General [Zachary] Taylor and his army.

On February 6, 1846, the House [of Representatives] . . . having under consideration the joint resolution of notice to the British Government concerning the abrogation of the Convention . . . respecting the territory of Oregon, [was addressed by Mr. Davis]:

“Sir, why has the south been assailed in this discussion? Has it been with the hope of sowing dissentions between us and our Western friends? Thus far, I think, it has failed. Why the frequent reference to the conduct of the South on the Texas question?

Sir, those who have made reflections on the South as having sustained Texas annexation from sectional views have been of those who opposed that great measure and are most eager for this. The suspicion is but natural in them.

But, sir, let me tell them that this doctrine of political balance between different portions of the Union is not Southern doctrine. We, sir, advocated the annexation of Texas from high national considerations. Nor sir, do we wish to divide the territory of Oregon; we would preserve it for the extension of our Union. It is, as the representative of a high-spirited and patriotic people, that I am called on to resist this war clamor.

[If war with Britain ensues] . . . Mississippi will come. And whether the question be one of Northern or Southern, of Eastern or Western aggression, we will not stop to count the cost, but act as becomes the descendants of those who, in the war of the Revolution, engaged in unequal strife to aid our brethren of the North in redressing their injuries . . .

With many of the officers now serving on the Rio Grande he had enjoyed a personal acquaintance, and hesitated not to say that all which skill, and courage, and patriotism could perform, [and] might be expected from them.

“Those soldiers, to whom so many [in New England] have applied depreciatory epithets, upon whom it has been so often said no reliance could be placed, they too will be found, in every emergency renewing such feats as have recently graced our arms, bearing the American flag to honorable triumphs, or falling beneath its folds, as devotees to our common cause, to die a soldier’s death.”

(The Life of Jefferson Davis, Frank H. Alfriend, National Publishing Co., 1868, excerpts, pp. 38-40; 45-46)

 

Nov 17, 2016 - Southern Culture Laid Bare, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots, Southern Women    Comments Off on The Temper of Southern Women

The Temper of Southern Women

Southern women during the war were known to have destroyed their precious libraries than to allow Northern occupiers to enjoy its contents, as well as knocking in the heads of wine casks rather than permitting Northern soldiers to sample their choice contents. The author of the following was born in Indiana, migrated to Virginia in 1857 and later served in the Nelson (Virginia) Light Artillery.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

The Temper of Southern Women

“During the latter part of the year in which the war between the States came to an end, a Southern comic writer, in a letter addressed to Artemus Ward, summed up the political outlook in one sentence, reading somewhat as follows: “You may reconstruct the men, with your laws and things, but how are you going to reconstruct the women? Whoop-ee!”

Now this unauthorized but certainly very expressive interjection had a good deal of truth at its back, and I am very sure that I have never yet known a thoroughly “reconstructed” woman. The reason, of course, is not far to seek.

The women of the South could hardly have been more desperately in earnest than their husbands and brothers and sons were, in the prosecution of the war, but with their women-natures they gave themselves wholly to the cause . . . to doubt its righteousness, or to falter in their loyalty to it while it lived, would have been treason and infidelity; to do the like now that it is dead would be to them little less than sacrilege.

I wish I could adequately tell my reader of the part those women played in the war. If I could make these pages show half of their nobleness; if I could describe the sufferings they endured, and tell of their cheerfulness under it all; if the reader might guess the utter unselfishness with which they laid themselves and the things they held nearest their hearts upon the altar of the only country they knew as their own, the rare heroism with which they played their sorrowful part in a drama which was to them a long tragedy;

[I]f my pages could be made to show the half of these things, all womankind, I am sure, would tenderly cherish the record, and nobody would wonder again at the tenacity with which the women of the South still hold their allegiance to the lost cause.

Theirs was a particularly hard lot. The real sorrows of war, like those of drunkenness, always fall more heavily upon women. They may not bear arms. They may not even share the triumphs which compensate their brethren for toil and suffering and danger. They must sit still and endure. The poverty which war brings to them wears no cheerful face, but sits down with them to empty tables and pinches them sorely in solitude.

After the victory . . . [the] wives and daughters await in sorest agony of suspense the news which may bring hopeless desolation to their hearts. To them the victory may mean the loss of those for whom they lived and in whom they hoped, while to those who have fought the battle it brings only gladness. And all this was true of Southern women almost without exception.

[The] more heavily the war bore upon themselves, the more persistently did they demand that it should be fought out to the end. When they lost a husband, a son, or a brother, they held the loss only an additional reason for faithful adherence to the cause. Having made such a sacrifice to that which was almost a religion to them, they had, if possible, less thought than ever of proving unfaithful to it.”

(A Rebel’s Recollections, George Cary Eggleston, Indiana University Press, 1959, pp. 83-85)

Nov 1, 2016 - Myth of Saving the Union, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Soldiers Worthy of the Women of the South

Soldiers Worthy of the Women of the South

The Battle of Shiloh was fought on 6 April 1862 in Tennessee, a battle that might have ended the careers of Grant and Sherman had Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston prevailed. In the postwar, Gen. Alexander P. Stewart saw the near-victory of Southern arms there “as [the Army of Tennessee’s] one chance to truly destroy a Federal army and change the course of the war in the West.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Soldiers Worthy of the Women of the South

“Perhaps because of the storm or criticism which had assailed him after the surrender of Fort Donelson, [Johnston] unselfishly offered the command to [Gen. PGT] Beauregard. The Creole general refused the responsibility, but he drew up the faulty plan of attack which Johnston adopted; namely, the placing of one corps behind another in three long thin lines of battle instead of advancing by columns.

In a proclamation to the soldiers Johnston described the Union army as “agrarian mercenaries sent to despoil you of your liberties, property and honor.” Appealing to his men the show themselves “worthy of the women of the South, whose noble devotion in this war has never been exceeded in any time.”

The Confederate advance [at Shiloh] was so delayed by rain and muddy roads that Beauregard believed all chance for a surprise had been lost and urged returning to their base; but the other corps commanders favored attack, and Johnston was so confident of victory that he said, “Tonight we will water our horses in the Tennessee River.”

The Confederate attack early Sunday morning April 6 [1862] on [Sherman’s] advance division proved to be a surprise, announced only by a reconnaissance force that encountered the Confederate vedettes and mange to give the alarm so that the Federals got into line of battle for the attack. Grant was at his headquarters at Savannah, Tennessee, nine miles away on the other side of the river, when the battle began.

“Like an avalanche,” wrote Beauregard, the grey army drove the Federal troops from their camp and occupied Sherman’s headquarters at “the rude log chapel” of Shiloh. Instead of following up the victory, however, many of the Confederate soldiers stopped to plunder the camp.

At 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon [Johnston] was hit by a Minie ball which cut an artery in his leg. The wound was not necessarily mortal, but he remained in the saddle till he bled to death. The Confederates drove the Federals . . . nearly to the river; but, having used their reserve earlier in the day, they did not have the fresh strength to completer their victory.

At six o’clock in the evening . . . Beauregard halted the fighting . . . [as] the Southern troops had become hopelessly entangled, until they were a confused mob. Beauregard reported, his men were jaded by the previous day’s march through mud and rain, and they had fought twelve hours without food. The arrival of [enemy reinforcements] late that afternoon and during the night enabled the Union armies the following day to turn the tide of battle.”

(The History of the Southern Confederacy, Clement Eaton, Macmillan Company, 1954, excerpts, pp. 162-163)

Oct 29, 2016 - Recurring Southern Conservatism, Southern Conservatives, Southern Patriots, Southern Statesmen, Withdrawing from the Union    Comments Off on Judah P. Benjamin, Legal Giant of His Age

Judah P. Benjamin, Legal Giant of His Age

Only a year after the fall of the Confederacy, Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin had become a British barrister – by 1868 he had risen to Queen’s Counsel. An advocate of using former slaves in Southern armies, Benjamin saw that after the Confederate Congress approved of this in March 1865, no longer could the North claim it was fighting a war to free the slaves. Benjamin was severely injured in a streetcar crash in May 1880; against his physician’s advice, he returned to his law practice but was forced to retire in 1883.  He died ten months later in Paris.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Judah P. Benjamin, Legal Giant of His Age

“Judah Philip Benjamin, Louisiana’s most illustrious lawyer, was born a British subject of Jewish descent on the island of St. Thomas, West Indies, on August 6, 1811. As a child he moved with his parents to Charleston, South Carolina, and was educated at Fayette Academy, [Fayetteville] North Carolina, with two years at Yale. He left Yale at seventeen to accept a position with a commercial house in New Orleans. Poor but resolute, he supplemented his wages as a tutor in English.

Later employed as a clerk in a notary’s office Benjamin prepared for the law and passed the State bar examinations in 1832, just as he came of age. He gained something of a local reputation because of a published digest of decisions of the [United States] Supreme Court and rose rapidly at the bar. His part in the celebrated Creole case, involving delicate questions of international law, gave him national standing.

In his prosperity he purchased a plantation and made a study of sugar chemistry and new refining processes.

He was elected to the State legislature as a Whig in 1842, and ten years later to the United States Senate, serving two consecutive terms. He was the leading spirit in drafting the State constitution in 1852.

Active in the commercial development of New Orleans, Benjamin was one of the organizers of the Jackson Railway, now the Illinois Central. He projected a railway across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, and was of the opinion that the Compromise of 1850 placed the South at a national disadvantage that only an outlet to the trade of the Pacific could overcome.

When Lincoln was elected president, Benjamin advocated secession, and shortly after the withdrawal of Louisiana, he made a brilliant speech of resignation to the Senate.

Three weeks later [President] Jefferson Davis called him to the Confederacy’s cabinet as attorney general. Phlegmatic in temperament, Benjamin’s personality was a complement to the President’s high-strung spirit. Davis made him secretary of war in 1861, just when the problem of obtaining munitions from Europe had become acute . . . [and later] Davis appointed him secretary of state.

In 1864-65, Benjamin believed the cause of the Confederacy so acute that only the enrollment of slaves as volunteers, with the promise of freedom, could stem the tide. [After Congress had approved the use of black troops] an agent was sent to London, promising general emancipation in return for British aid in lifting the federal blockade. He was told that he had come too late.

When Richmond fell, Benjamin fled with the President’s party [but before Davis’ capture], Benjamin, unable travel farther on a horse, left his chief and escaped from the coast of Florida in an open boat. After many vicissitudes he made his way to the West Indies and to England.

At fifty-five he started life all over as a student of English law at Lincoln’s Inn in London. With a little money he eked out a livelihood as a writer for the Daily Telegraph. In recognition of his talents, the Benchers of his Inn of Court waived the usual three-years’ rule, calling him to the bar after less than five months.

Liverpool was the market for Southern cotton, and its business leaders had many connections with the merchants and shippers of New Orleans. Benjamin located in that circuit just as the last of his little fortune was swept away by the failure of his bank in New Orleans.

He had been engaged in the preparation of a Treatise on the Law of Sale of Personal Property which he published in 1868. Retainers immediately poured in upon him. He was made Queen’s Counsel, qualified to practice in all courts of common law and equity, and established himself without superior in cases on appeal.

His annual fees reached seventy-five thousand dollars, and his practiced increased until he was forced to confine his talents to cases before the House of Lords and Privy Council. Between 1872 and 1882, he appeared as counsel in no less than 136 important cases which came from every part of the British Empire.

Lawyer and statesman, known as the “Brains of the Confederacy,” Judah P. Benjamin was one of the legal giants of his age. His source of power lay in his profound knowledge of the law, his keen sense for analysis, and his faculty for succinct statement. Dynamic in determination, he rose again and again from defeat and poverty to success and fortune.”

(Judah P. Benjamin; Sons of the South, Clayton Rand, Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1961, excerpts, pg. 112)

 

Southern Remembrances in Stone

The South has not produced a domestic architecture since 1865 as distinctive as that of the Old South, though the traditions of older styles of architecture prevail to this day and thwart the acceptance of mediocre and soulless modernist (read: Marxist) boxes. The cities, big and small, of the South also enjoy a plethora of important works by notable sculptors commissioned to create permanent reminders of those who fought for the liberty and independence of the South.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Southern Remembrances in Stone

“America could never be called a sculpture-loving nation like France or Italy. A trip through either of these countries impresses one with the poverty of America sculpturally. The emotions, aspirations, and triumphs of these nations seem to have crystallized through the centuries into marble and bronze monuments.

A ready excuse for the lack of sculpture in the South is the poverty that was prevalent after the Civil War, the period in which the North erected so many of its monuments. That this explanation is not truly sufficient, however, is evident when one checks the sculptural commissions given in the South since the [First] World War.

The only State in the South that can boast of a long list of sculptured possessions is Virginia. Richmond as the capital has a fine array of monuments. Notable among these are Washington by Houdon; Robert E. Lee by Mercie; Jefferson Davis and General Wickham by Valentine. Charlottesville, the seat of the University of Virginia, has almost as many monuments as Richmond and several of high quality – a Lewis and Clark group and an equestrian Stonewall Jackson by Charles Keck; a second monument to George Rogers Clark of great merit by Robert L. Aitken, and the expressive Thomas Jefferson by Karl Bitter. Arlington, of course, adds to the State’s total.

A glance through the list off monuments in other cities in the State shows work by Henry Adams and Bryan Baker, monuments by Charles Keck in several places, and many monuments by George Julian Zolney. Even the smaller cities in Virginia are thus seen to call upon sculptors of national reputation to design their memorials.

After Virginia several States group together in the quantity and quality of their sculpture. Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas are about in the same class.

At Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Georgia, the most stupendous sculptural undertaking is in progress that has ever been conceived anywhere in the world. The idea of carving the face of the gigantic Stone Mountain as a memorial to the Confederacy originated with Mrs. Helen Plane and was adopted by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1916.

Gutzon Borglum was appointed sculptor, and carving was begun on 1923. In 1925, following severe disagreements, his contract was cancelled and Augustus Lukeman was appointed his successor. At present the three main figures of the central group, those of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson, are being carved. Immediately upon the completion of these figures, however, the next phase of the work to be undertaken will be the Memorial Hall.

In Georgia there are of further note several monuments by Daniel Chester French. The Spencer Memorial in Atlanta and the General Oglethorpe Monument in Savannah are by him, and both have harmonious bases by Henry Bacon, architect.

Mississippi possesses an important repository of sculpture in the National Park Cemetery at Vicksburg. Among the memorials in the Park are the works of such men as Lorado Taft, Herbert Adams, A.A. Weinman, and Solon Borglum.

In New Orleans, Lousiana . . . [is] the Wounded Stag by Antoine Louis Barye, which stands in front of the Delgado Museum of Art. The center of the historic Jackson Square is accented by one of Clark Hill’s famous equestrian statues of General Jackson. Effectively place on the plaza in front of the Courthouse is the bronze figure of Chief Justice White by Bryan Baker.

[In Austin, Texas are] her monuments to General Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin, and the cemetery her figure of Albert Sidney Johnston.

In the 1933 edition of the American Art Annual are listed thirty-three native Southern sculptors. The most widely known name among these is that of Augustus Lukeman, a native of Virginia. Others in the list who have achieved more than a local reputation are William Couper, Nancy Cox McCormick, Angela Gregory, Ernest Bruce Haswell, Bonnie MacLeary, Waldine Amanda Tauch, and Enid Yandell.”

(The Fine Arts, Ula Milner Gregory; Culture in the South, W.T. Couch, editor, UNC Press, 1934, excerpts, pp. 275-277)

Oct 22, 2016 - American Military Genius, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on They Can’t Whip Old Forrest

They Can’t Whip Old Forrest

At the Battle of Brice’s Cross Roads on 10 June 1864 in northeastern Mississippi, General Nathan Bedford Forrest commanded about 4,900 cavalry with twelve cannon – which he led against a well-equipped enemy force of 4,800 infantry and 3,300 cavalry, a total of 8,100 men. After the battle, the colonel of a Minnesota regiment blamed the defeat on under-supplied men and under-fed horses. The enemy commander’s career seemed over after this defeat by a less numerous adversary, though he re-emerged in 1877 to command the Seventh Cavalry of the dead Custer — leading that force against the less numerous Nez Perce.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

They Can’t Whip Old Forrest

“[Despite being outnumbered], Forrest attacked. Because of the thick undergrowth covering most of the area, the Confederates were able to close to within a few paces of [the enemy] infantry. The Federals called for a charge. Forrest’s sixth sense had placed him at the key point. As he dismounted, he shouted for his escort to do likewise. Accompanied by these daring fighters and with revolver in hand, he rushed the Federals.

In the hand-to-hand fighting, the bayonets of the Union infantry were no match for the heavy Colt revolvers. The center of [the enemy] line crumbled, while the Confederate brigades on the right doubled back the Union left upon Ripley Road.

[The Second Tennessee Regiment, sent to attack the enemy left and rear, sought] to deceive the Federals about their strength . . . [and] made a great commotion [as] a bugler galloped up and down the line sounding the charge.

Forrest knew that the crisis had come and that now the battle must be won or lost. Riding along behind his line, he told his people that the enemy was starting to give way and that another charge would win the day.

He told his young chief of artillery . . . to advance four of his guns, double-shotted with canister, to within pistol range of the Federals at the crossroads. At point blank range, they unlimbered their pieces and fired . . . into [the enemy] infantry with frightful effect. After a brief but savage fight, the Federals were routed from the crossroads, with the loss of three cannon.

[The enemy commander wrote:] “I endeavored to get hold of the colored brigade which formed the guard of the wagon train . . . [but] the main line began to give way at various points . . . Order soon gave way to panic. The army drifted toward the rear and was beyond control. No power could check the panic-stricken mass as it swept towards the rear.”

Several regiments, reinforced by two companies of the 55th US Colored Troops . . . attempted to check the onrushing Confederates; but assailed on the flanks, with [Forrest’s] guns sweeping their front with double-shotted canister, the Northerners broke. In their frantic efforts to escape, [Northern] soldiers pushed their comrades aside.

A mile beyond the bridge, some [enemy] infantry rallied, but [Forrest’s artillery] smashed this pocket of resistance, and as dusk faded into darkness, Forrest and his hell-for-leather troopers overpowered another roadblock hastily manned by black and white Union soldiers. During their nighttime crossing of Hatchie Bottom, [the enemy commander] and many of his officers panicked, and they abandoned fourteen cannon and most of their wagon train.

[The advancing enemy] column, which had taken eight days to reach Brice’s Cross Roads, retreated to Memphis in sixty-four hours. Union casualties in the fight and retreat were 2,612. Forrest listed his losses at 493 killed and wounded . . . [and] captured 250 wagons and ambulances, 18 cannon, and thousands of stands of arms and rounds of ammunition, as well as Federal baggage and supplies.

A noted British soldier, Field Marshal Viscount Garnet Wolseley, in commenting on Forrest’s victory, called it “a most remarkable achievement, well-worth attention by the military student. He pursued the enemy from the battle for nigh sixty miles, killing numbers all the way. The battle and long pursuit were all accomplished in the space of thirty hours. When another Federal general was dispatched to try what he could do against this terrible Southerner, the defeated [enemy commander] was overheard repeating to himself . . . : “It can’t be done . . . it can’t be done.” Asked what he meant, the reply was, “They can’t whip old Forrest.”

(Leadership During the Civil War, Roman J. Heleniak and Lawrence Hewitt, editors, White Mane Publishing, 1992, pp. 82-84)

Oct 21, 2016 - American Military Genius, Recurring Southern Conservatism, Southern Conservatives, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Maury the Seer and Pathfinder

Maury the Seer and Pathfinder

Matthew Fontaine Maury was born in 1806 near Fredericksburg, Virginia, from a family descended from a Dutch sea captain. He spent most of the war in Europe procuring privateers for the Confederacy and perfecting his revolutionary electric mines. Maury returned to America in 1868 to accept a professorship of meteorology at the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, where he advanced the importance of weather forecasting.

Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com

 

Maury the Seer and Pathfinder

“Without his father’s knowledge or consent, young Maury talked Congressman Sam Houston of Tennessee into getting him an appointment as midshipman in the United States Navy. Since there was no naval academy then, he was immediately assigned to sea duty [at age nineteen]. His first trip was to Europe on the war vessel that took Lafayette back to France after his memorable visit.

He then went around the world, followed by a voyage to South America [and returning in 1834] he used his leisure in the publication of a work on navigation which he had begun during his sea duty.

In 1842 he was appointed superintendent of the depots of charts and instruments at Washington, afterward the hydrographic office. As naval observatory astronomer he added the task of determining the direction of ocean winds and currents. In 1855 he published “The Physical Geography of the Sea,” the first textbook of modern oceanography, which went through numerous editions and translations.

In the early 1850s the idea of a trans-Atlantic cable was being discussed, and Maury presented a chart representing in profile the bottom of the Atlantic, called the “telegraphic plateau.” The citizens of New York presented him with a silver service and a purse of five thousand dollars in appreciation of his contributions to commerce.

Maury cherished as a favorite project the opening of the Amazon Valley to free trade, hoping that the project would draw slaves from the United States to Brazil. In the growing antagonism between the North and South, his sympathies were naturally with his section, but he favored conciliation. Three days after the secession of Virginia, he tendered his resignation and proceeded to Richmond where he was commissioned a commander of the Confederate States Navy.

He established the naval submarine service at Richmond and experimented with electric mines . . . [and later was] sent to England as a special agent [who was] instrumental in securing needed ships and continued his experiments with electric mines. With the purpose of using these mines, he set out for America, but when he reached the West Indies the Confederacy had collapsed.

Confederates serving abroad were excluded from pardon under the amnesty proclamations; so Maury offered his services to the Emperor of Mexico in a scheme for the colonization of [Southerners]. When the revolution there intervened, he returned to England where he busied himself with perfecting his electric mines and where he wrote a series of geographies for school use. He was presented with a purse of three thousand guineas raised by popular subscription in gratitude for his services to the maritime world, and Cambridge University honored him with the degree of doctor of laws.

While on a lecture tour in the fall of 1872 in promotion of this idea, he was taken ill at St. Louis and died on February 1, 1873.

A self-educated scientist, Maury led his biographer, John W. Wayland, to write in 1930: “The thing than made Maury a great man was his ability to see the invisible . . . He saw the trans-Atlantic cable before it was laid. He saw a railroad across the continent before it was built. He saw a ship canal from the Mississippi to the Great Lakes before it was dug . . . He saw a great training school for our Naval officers . . . and weather reports for our farmers, long before either was a reality. He saw a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama more than a century before it was constructed.

He was a seer and pathfinder not only on the sea, but under the seas, across the lands, and among the stars.”

(Sons of the South, Clayton Rand, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1961, pg. 102)

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