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Jun 4, 2021 - Antebellum Realities, Democracy, Foreign Viewpoints, Historians on History, Uncategorized    Comments Off on Cultural Mediocrity and Majority Tyranny Sweeping the Globe

Cultural Mediocrity and Majority Tyranny Sweeping the Globe

Two young visitors from the Old World who briefly studied America, Alexis de Tocqueville of France and Russian Alexandr Lakier, were historians, jurisprudents, and both involved in public service careers. It is said that Alexis de Tocqueville was fascinated by the idea of political equality in America and wished to obtain first-hand knowledge of this. While Tocqueville, the philosopher, spoke with the upper classes, Lakier was a better reporter on the typical American. Tocqueville arrived in 1831, Lakier in 1857.

Cultural Mediocrity and Majority Tyranny Sweeping the Globe

“Tocqueville came with overpowering credentials. He was able to see everybody who was anybody – presidents, senators, judges, university presidents, scholars, men of letters. He managed, in the brief time he was here, to interview statesmen like Albert Gallatin, John Quincy Adams and Edward Livingston; jurists like Chancellor Kent and Joseph Story; scholars like Edward Everett, Francis Lieber and Jared Sparks; luminaries like Daniel Webster and William Ellerry Channing, and his thinking was profoundly influenced by what these distinguished men told him.

Lakier came on his own, and depended on fortuity for his interviews. He talked with the most miscellaneous people – shipboard acquaintances, workingmen, petty officials, farmers, fur traders, and newly arrived immigrants – a pretty good cross-section of American society.

There was a pervasive melancholy in much that Tocqueville wrote, a conviction that though democracy was indeed the wave of the future, that wave would drown out much that was precious – that democracy would expose every Old World society to the threat of cultural mediocrity, majority tyranny, and the ultimate subversion of liberty.

Lakier, who was by nature more sanguine and more buoyant, looked with confidence to the future – a future that would see the triumph of equality and a closer friendship between the United States and his own nation.

Lakier saw too, that the example of America could not be confined to the Western Hemisphere, but would sweep around the globe . . . “They will have an influence on Europe, but they will use neither arms nor sword nor fire, nor death and destruction. They will spread their influence by the strength of their inventions, their trade, and their industry. And this influence will be more durable than any conquest.”

(A Russian Looks at America: The Journey of Aleksandr Lakier Borisovich in 1857, University of Chicago Press, 1979, excerpts x-xiii)

Jan 17, 2021 - American Military Genius, Carnage, Lincoln's Blood Lust, Myth of Saving the Union, No Compromise, Pleading for Peace, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots, Uncategorized    Comments Off on “Not Since Hermann Destroyed the Roman Legions”

“Not Since Hermann Destroyed the Roman Legions”

The Wilderness battle was fought July 1-3, 1864: 104,000 Union troops versus 61,000 Southern. Once again the carnage was appalling and once again Lincoln had the opportunity to end the struggle against the South’s independence as the British did some eighty years earlier with the colonies. Several peace conferences committed to saving the lives of soldiers and civilians alike would end in failure as Lincoln stood firm in his conviction to rule all the American States, and nearly half in subjugation.

“Not Since Hermann Destroyed the Roman Legions”

“Before the close of the day Grant’s army was on the south side [of the Rapidan], four thousand wagons filled with forage and ammunition, beef-cattle, cavalry, artillery and infantry. This feat was so pleasing that Grant regarded it as a great success and “undoubtedly a surprise to Lee.” The ensuing night the Union army entrenched and camped in the Wilderness, that tangled forest in which Hooker had come to grief.

Now that Grant was busy with his operations, Lee had not been idle. He had observed the movements of the enemy from every angle and had made a report to his government. Yet the crushing numbers of the enemy gave him concern. He made no excuses, raised no questions and expressed no doubts, but he must have more troops.

By April 30 the federal plans had been foreseen by Lee, precisely as they had been worked out by General Grant, and he had prepared his line of defense. In the Wilderness, he would attack Grant’s army on its left flank and throw it back on the Rapidan. He would make a strategic offensive and concentrate his forces and shut Grant up in that dense jungle.

Of this strategy of Lee’s it must be said it was one of his boldest and most skillful. His proposed plan, experts declare, broke all modern precedent – it was to be a duel in the dark. Such an engagement had not been fought since Hermann destroyed the Roman legions in the forest of Teutoburg.

But Lee was not bound by rule. He practiced his own theory of the art of war and, in the coming campaign, was to furnish such an example of the use of natural features to neutralize a superior force as will always be a model. Grant’s telegraph lines were to be rendered useless, his artillery rendered useless, his artillery wholly ruled out, the guns, three hundred of them, to stand silent. Cavalry was to be still more useless.

Five times the federal charge was made and five times it failed. [The last days’ assault] lasted but sixty minutes, yet it was one of the most disastrous Union defeats of the war. Six thousand Union soldiers were killed or wounded in an hour, and Cold Harbor passed into history with Fredericksburg. The fatality among the Union officers was astounding; they literally went forward and led their men into battle and death.  The loss to Lee’s army was slight.”

(Robert E. Lee: A Biography, Robert W. Winston, William Morrow & Co., 1934, excerpts pp. 291-292; 306-307)

Jan 10, 2021 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on A Sovereign and Independent Nation

A Sovereign and Independent Nation

A Sovereign and Independent Nation

Florida, a territory acquired by the United States through an 1819 Treaty with Spain, began its move toward Statehood in the late 1830’s. The preamble to its 1838 Constitution agreed with the United States Congress of Florida being a free and independent State, and qualified to voluntarily become a State within the 1789 Constitution’s confederation of States. Florida’s legislature ratified the document and joined that confederation on March 3, 1845.

On January 10, 1861, the State of Florida withdrew from that confederation which it determined to be a threat to the peace and prosperity of the State. As the new Southern confederation of States did not yet exist, the legislature in Tallahassee declared Florida to be “a sovereign and independent and nation.”

In part, the withdrawal from the 1789 confederation is as follows:

“We, the people of the State of Florida in convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish and declare that the State of Florida hereby withdraws herself from the Confederacy of States existing under the name of the United States of America, and from the existing government of the said States; and that all political connection between her and the government of said States ought to be and the same is hereby totally annulled, and the said Union of States dissolved, and the State of Florida hereby declared a sovereign and independent nation . . .”

(The Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida, William W. Watson, Columbia University, 1913, pg. 64)

Remembering Pearl Harbor

The sacrifices of those who served in the American military in December, 1941 should be recounted often for us all to ponder and appreciate that the 3000 Americans who died at Pearl Harbor should not have perished in vain.  The sincerest memorial to those who fought and died in this tragedy (and others in American history) is to analyze and discuss the multitude of reasons why it happened and how we ensure that American servicemen are not knowingly put in harm’s way for political purposes ever again. 

As there is far too much information available today for the surprise attack myth to survive even cursory scrutiny, and thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and declassification of hundreds of thousands of decoded Japanese messages, we can now get a very clear picture of how events unfolded in 1940-41.

The myth reported by our historians and the media is that the United States was minding its own business until the Japanese launched an unprovoked attack at Pearl Harbor, thereby dragging a reluctant US into a world struggle.  In reality, the US under FDR had been deeply involved in Far Eastern affairs for some time, and those policies actually provoked the Japanese attack. 

As Oliver Lyttleton, British Minister of Production stated in 1944…”Japan was provoked into attacking America at Pearl Harbor.  It is a travesty to say that America was forced into the War.”

After FDR’s numerous provocations toward Germany without retaliation (while the US was neutral) he switched his focus to Japan and had assistance with Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, who stated in October 1941 that “for a long time I have believed that our best entrance into the war would be by way of Japan.” 

And as early as January 27th, 1941, US Ambassador to Japan in Tokyo, Joseph C. Grew noted in his diary that “there is a lot of talk around town to the effect that the Japanese, in case of a break with the US, are planning to go all out in a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor.  Of course, I informed our government.”  Even Admiral Ernest J. King wrote a prescient report on 31 March 1941 that predicted a surprise Japanese dawn air attack on Hawaii as the opening of hostilities. 

The US had prepared for a Japanese-American conflict since 1906 with “War Plan Orange” which predicted the Philippines as the expected target, attacked by surprise as the Japanese were notorious for.  By early 1940 Claire Chennault, an American airman hired by the Chinese, was urging General Hap Arnold and Roosevelt to provide bombers with which to firebomb Japanese cities in retaliation for their attacks on China.

While we cannot excuse Japan’s aggressiveness in Asia in the 1930’s, those in high position in the United States government continually provoked the Japanese by freezing assets in the US, closing the Panama Canal to her shipping and progressively reducing exports to Japan until it became an all-out embargo along with Britain’s. 

The Philippines, by 1941, were reinforced to the point of being the strongest US overseas base with 120,000 troops and the Philippine Army had been called into service by FDR.  General MacArthur had 74 medium and heavy bombers along with 175 fighters that included the new B-17’s and P-40E’s with which to attack or defend with.  The mobilization of troops and munitions has always been recognized as preparation for attack and we thus assumed this posture to the Japanese.

The US then implied military threats to Tokyo if it did not alter its Asian policies and on 26 November 1941, FDR issued an ultimatum that Japan withdraw all military forces from China and Indochina as well as break its treaty with Germany and Italy.  The day before the 26 November ultimatum was sent, Secretary of War Stimson wrote in his Diary that “the question was how we should maneuver [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot.” 

The bait offered was our Pacific fleet.

In 1940, Admiral J.O. Richardson, then commander of the Pacific Fleet, flew to Washington to protest FDR’s decision to base the fleet in Hawaii instead of its normal berthing at San Diego. His concern was that Pearl Harbor was vulnerable to attack, was difficult to defend against torpedo planes, lacked fuel supplies and dry docks.  Richardson came away from his meeting with FDR “with the impression that, despite his spoken word, the President was fully determined to put the US into the war if Great Britain could hold out until he was reelected.”

Roosevelt relieved Richardson of command with the comment that the admiral “didn’t understand politics.” He replaced Richardson with Admiral Husband Kimmel, who was still concerned about Pearl Harbor’s vulnerability but did not challenge FDR.

Also to be considered was the April, 1941 ABD Agreement FDR concluded with the British and Dutch in Indochina which committed US troops to war if the Dutch East Indies were invaded by the Japanese.  Add to this the 1940 $25 million loan and Lend-Lease aid provided to China.

The Dutch and British were of course eager for US forces to protect their Far Eastern colonial empire from the Japanese while their military was busy in a European war.  And FDR’s dilemma was his 1940 election pledge of non-intervention (unless attacked) to the American people and the US Constitution, which allowed only Congress authority to declare war.  

One of the most revealing elements in FDR’s beforehand knowledge of Japan’s intentions was breaking of the Japanese diplomatic and naval operations codes as early as mid-1939. Copies of all deciphered Japanese messages were delivered to Roosevelt and the Secretaries of War, State and Navy, as well as Army Chief of Staff Marshall and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Harold Stark. 

With no deciphering machines in Pearl Harbor, though three machines went to Britain, the commanders in Pearl Harbor were left completely dependent upon Washington for information.  It must be understood that with this deciphered information, our government officials could not have been better informed had they had seats in the Japanese war council.

It is in this bare political light that Pearl Harbor should be examined and judged for historical perspective.  Our military should not be pawns used by presidents to initiate war, the very fundamental reason the Founders deliberated extensively on the establishment of a standing army which might be used as such.

As nothing happens in a vacuum and the post-World War One US Neutrality Acts were in place to avoid the political machinations that dragged us into that conflict, FDR’s steady erosion of US neutrality and secret agreements led to that unnecessary loss of brave American service-men.  We hopefully have learned from this.  Bernhard Thuersam

Sources:

Betrayal at Pearl Harbor, Rusbridger & Nave, 1991, Summit Books

The Years of MacArthur, Vol 1, D. C. James, 1970, Houghton Mifflin Company

Blankets of Fire, Kenneth P. Werrell, 1996, Smithsonian Institution Press

Desperate Deception, Thomas E. Mahl, 1998, Brassey’s Books

Pearl Harbor: The Secret War, George Morgenstern, 1947, Devin-Adair Co.

Ten Year’s in Japan, Joseph C. Grew, 1944, Simon & Schuster

Nov 20, 2020 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Will They Ever Learn?

Will They Ever Learn?

“The American Conservative, in its March 14 [2005] issue, carried an excellent article on “The Living Room War.” The author, Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University, pointed out that the American homefront seems to be disengaged from the actual current war. This, he writes, is a moral failure and is unlike the situation in previous wars.

Bacevich spoils it all when he starts out likening Fort Sumter to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. The last two were massive sneak attacks by foreign enemies. The firing on Fort Sumter was preceded by a gentlemanly warning and was completely bloodless. It would not have happened at all if Lincoln had not dissimulated about reinforcements and had a hostile fleet just outside. Nor does Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops after the fall of Fort Sumter at all resemble American unity and determination after Pearl Harbor.

To begin with, the call for troops was illegal, and the 75,000 was either mistaken or deceptive, since the conquest of the Southern people and destruction of their self-government eventually required over a million men. Furthermore, its immediate effect was to drive four more States out of the Union and require military occupation of to forestall the secession of three others.

And despite a temporary upsurge of militancy after Sumter, Lincoln’s government never had the degree of support in the North for its actions that characterized the public in the two more recent events.

Several hundred thousand [Northern] men evaded the draft by various means, many others were enlisted only by cash bonuses, public speakers and newspapers had to be suppressed, and a fourth of the army had to be recruited abroad.

When this kind of folklore is invoked, putting Southerners in the basket with Tojo and bin Laden, we despair of Yankees ever learning anything and ever appreciating our contributions to the USA.”

(Defending Dixie: Essays in Southern History and Culture, Clyde N. Wilson, Foundation for American Education, 2006, pg. 223)

Jul 5, 2020 - Carnage, Lincoln's Revolutionary Legacy, Sherman's Legacy, Targeting Civilians, Uncategorized    Comments Off on “Now I Am Become Death”

“Now I Am Become Death”

Only hours after the Pearl Harbor attack on 7 December 1941, US naval commanders in the Pacific were ordered to “execute unrestricted air and submarine warfare against the Japanese.” This, ironically, is the very policy which brought the US into the First World War, though it would not be until September 1943 that US submarines in wolf packs would decimate Japan’s shipping. Also, Claire Chennault of “Flying Tigers” fame was urging the firebombing of Japan’s cities well before Pearl Harbor. General Curtis LeMay, architect of the firebombing of Japanese cities, commented after Hiroshima that he thought the nuclear bomb unnecessary as nothing of military value remained to be bombed. It was purely of terror value.

“Now I am Become Death”

“Americans had entered the war violently opposed to the bombing of civilians, and during the campaign in Europe had generally opposed British terror bombing in favor of the costly but less indiscriminate technique of daylight “precision” air raids.  [With the order of 7 December], this changed in principle almost immediately in the Pacific.

Even a month prior to Pearl Harbor, George Marshall had instructed aides to develop contingency plans for “general incendiary attacks to burn up the wood and paper structures of the densely populated Japanese cities.”  

Three years later, with the arrival of the very long-range B-29 heavy bomber, the M-47 and M-69 napalm bombs, and General Curtis LeMay to command the Twentieth Air Force, these plans came to fruition.

On the night of 9 March 1945, 334 B-29s armed only with incendiaries would attack Tokyo at low levels, and in the ensuing fires 267,000 buildings would burn and over eighty-three thousand people would die. Japanese air defense against such night attacks was almost nonexistent, nor would it improve. By June, over 40 percent of Japan’s six most industrial cities had been gutted and millions dehoused.  Yet the Americans had a better way.

It is clear that the primary motive for the program was fear that Nazi Germany would develop nuclear weapons first. However, Ronald Powaski points out that, as early as November 1944, American officials were aware that Germany had no viable nuclear program, and the surrender in May 1945 made this a certainty. Despite this, work on the Manhattan Project not only continued but accelerated.

No one considered the Japanese a threat to develop a bomb. Rather, the bomb was being built to be used. On 1 June President Truman accepted recommendations that it be dropped on Japan as soon as possible – “without specific warning,” he recalled in his memoirs. “When you deal with a beast,” Truman wrote several days after, “you have to treat him like a beast.”

Less than a month earlier, the bomb’s chief designer, J. Robert Oppenheimer, as he watched its first test, remembered some lines from the Bhagavad Gita: “Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds; waiting the hour that ripens to their doom.”

(Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons and Aggression, Robert L. O’Connell, Oxford University Press, 1989, excerpt pp. 293-295)

Apr 10, 2020 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on

The fate of slain King Phillip’s wife and son after his defeat by New England settlers was to finish their days — “sold into slavery, West Indian slavery! An Indian princess and her child, sold from the cool breezes of Mount Hope, from the wild freedom of a New England forest, to gasp under the lash, beneath the blazing sun of the tropics!” The effect of King Phillip’s War upon the indigenous population of New England was to reduce it by nearly 80 percent — by death and starvation. The few who survived were enslaved.

New England’s History of Slavery

“[The] first code of laws in Massachusetts established slavery . . . and at the very birth of the foreign commerce of New England the African slave trade became a regular business. The ships which took cargoes of slaves and fish to Madeira and the Canaries were accustomed to touch on the coast of Guinea to trade for negroes, who were carried generally to Barbadoes or the other English islands in the West Indies, the demand for them at home being small.

In the case referred to, instead of buying negroes in the regular course of traffic, which, under the fundamental law of Massachusetts already quoted, would have been perfectly legal, the crew of a Boston ship joined with some London vessels on the coast, and, on the pretense of some quarrel with the natives, landed a “murderer” – the expressive name of a small piece of cannon – attacking a negro village on Sunday, killed many of the inhabitants, and made a few prisoners, two of whom fell to the share of the Boston ship.

The colonists of Massachusetts assumed to themselves “a right to treat the Indians on the footing of Canaanites or Amalekites,” and practically regarded them from the first as forlorn and wretched heathen, possessing few rights which were entitled to respect.”

(Notes on the History of Slavery in Massachusetts, George Henry Moore, D. Appleton & Company, 1866, excerpts pp. 28-30; 43)

Apr 10, 2020 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on The Free Trade, Irritated, Revengeful South

The Free Trade, Irritated, Revengeful South

Thaddeus Stevens in the early postwar hesitated at giving the vote to freedmen, but quickly saw the danger of that they may vote along with those they lived beside and trusted for so many years.  He also feared a backlash from his Pennsylvania constituents who already denied the vote to free blacks. Blacks could not vote there nor in New York and all of the former slave-trading New England States except Connecticut. By 1867 Stevens wisely recognized the political expediency of the controlled freedmen vote.

The Free Trade, Irritated, Revengeful South

“Unless the rebel States, before admission, should be made republican in spirit, and placed under the guardianship of loyal men, all our blood and treasure will have been spent in vain. Having these States . . . entirely within the power of Congress, it is our duty to take care that no injustice will remain in their organic laws.  Holding them “like clay in the hands of the potter,” we must see that no vessel is made for destruction. Having no governments, they must have enabling acts.

There is more reason why colored voters should be admitted in the rebel States than in the Territories. In the States they form the great mass of loyal men. Possibly with their aid loyal governments may be established in most of those States.  Without it all are sure to be ruled by traitors; and loyal men, black and white, will be oppressed, exiled or murdered.

There are several good reasons for passage of this bill. In the first place, it is just. I am now confining my argument to Negro suffrage in the rebel States. Have not loyal blacks quite as good a right choose rulers and make laws as rebel whites? In the second place, it is a necessity in order to protect the loyal white men in the seceded States.  The white Union men are in a great minority in each of those States.

With them the blacks would act in a body; and it is believed that in each of said States, except one, the two united would form a majority, control the States, and protect themselves.  Now they are victims of daily murder. They must suffer persecution or be exiled . . .

If impartial suffrage is excluded in the rebel States, then every one of them is sure to send a solid rebel representative delegation to Congress, and cast a solid rebel electoral votes. They, with their kindred Copperheads in the North, would always elect the President and control Congress. While slavery sat upon her defiant throne, and insulted and intimidated the trembling North, the South frequently divided on questions of policy between Whigs and Democrats, and gave victory alternately to the sections. Now, you must divide them between loyalists, without regard to color, and disloyalists, or you will be the perpetual vassals of the free-trade, irritated, revengeful South . . . I am for Negro suffrage in every rebel State.”

(“Ascendancy of the Union Party”; Reconstruction: 1865-1867, Richard N. Current, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1965, excerpts pp. 58-59)

Apr 10, 2020 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on No Complete Restoration

No Complete Restoration

“Supported by the Grant administration and fortified by military power, the Radical Republican State machines plunged the Southern commonwealths into an abyss of misgovernment.” So writes author James G. Randall in his 1937 classic “The Civil War and Reconstruction.”  Massive debts were foisted upon the Southern States through fraudulent bonds, excessive government salaries and Northern speculators, along with Radical governors terrorizing those citizens who protested. From this abyss arose the Ku Klux Klan.

No Complete Restoration

“To use a modern phrase, government under Radical Republican rule in the South had become a kind of “racket.” A parasitic organization had been grafted to the government itself, so that the agencies of rule and authority were manipulated for private and partisan ends.

Often in the reconstructed States government bore a bogus quality: that which called itself government was an artificial fabrication. Where the chance of plunder was so alluring it was no wonder that rival factions would clash for control of the spoils, nor that outraged citizens, seeking to recover the government for the people, should resort to irregular and abnormal methods. At times, this clash of factions created the demoralizing spectacle of dual or rival governments.

Such, in brief, was the nature of carpetbag rule in the South. The concept which the Radicals sought to disseminate was that the problems of restoration had all been neatly solved, the country saved, and the South “reconstructed” by 1868.

That dignified publication known as the American Annual Cyclopedia began its preface for the year 1868 with the following amazing statement: “This volume of the Annual Cyclopedia . . . presents the complete restoration, as members of the Union, of all the Southern States except three [Virginia, Mississippi, Texas], and the final disappearance of all difficulties between citizens of those States and the Federal Government.”

The fact of the matter was that this “complete restoration” was merely the beginning of the corrupt and abusive era of carpetbag rule by the forcible imposition of Radical governments upon an unwilling and protesting people.  Before this imposition took place the Southern States already had satisfactory governments.

Though the Radicals used Negro voting and officeholding for their own ends, Republican governments in the South were not Negro governments. Even where Negroes served, the governments were under white [Radical] control.

That the first phase of the Negro’s experience of freedom after centuries of slavery should occur under the degrading conditions of these carpetbag years was not the fault of the Negro himself, but of the whites who exploited him.”

(The Civil War and Reconstruction, James G. Randall, DC Heath and Company, 1937, excerpts pp. 852-854)

Apr 9, 2020 - Uncategorized    Comments Off on Taking Refuge in the Clouds

Taking Refuge in the Clouds

Massachusetts Governor John Andrew, fearing election loss by supporting Lincoln’s incessant calls for more troops, pushed strongly for equal pay for Southern black men captured in the Sea Islands and credited to his State quota.  Though the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth were official Massachusetts regiments, the men were not from Massachusetts.  The Second Massachusetts Cavalry were bounty-paid men from California.

Taking Refuge in the Clouds

“A much sorer spot . . . was the matter of pay. Negroes in the army received $10 a month, of which $3 was paid in clothing; white soldiers received $13 plus clothing – a difference of $6 a month.  The pay of the Negro was based on a decision of the solicitor of the War Department, William Whiting, who on June 4, 1863, ruled that Negro soldiers were to be paid under the provisions of the Militia Act of July 17, 1862, which stipulated that persons of African descent could be used for military service . . . this Act did not have in mind Negroes actually bearing arms, and it referred only to those Negroes who had recently been freed from bondage. Nonetheless, until Congress acted, Negro soldiers were to be paid, said Whiting, as military laborers.

[Massachusetts Governor] John Andrew was greatly troubled over the solicitor’s ruling since he had promised the men of the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth equality in every respect with the other State regiments.  He urged the President to get an opinion from the attorney general, and Lincoln did so. Supporting Andrew, Bates reply stated that the $10 a month pay was meant for those Negroes who had been slaves.

Lincoln did nothing – [the 1862] elections were approaching. [Secretary of War Edwin] Stanton moved slowly too, doubtless because he feared that equal pay might interfere with the recruitment of white soldiers. When asked by John Mercer Langston what was the duty of colored men in view of the lower wage, Stanton took refuge in the clouds:

“The duty of the colored man is to defend his country, whenever wherever, and in whatever form, is the same as that of white men. It does not depend on, nor is it affected by, what the country pays. The true way to secure her rewards and win her confidence is not to stipulate for them, but to deserve them”

Disappointed over his failure at Washington, Andrew returned to the State house . . . In quick response Massachusetts lawmakers passed an act on November 16 to make up the deficiencies in the monthly pay of the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth.   

A week later the governor received an answer from the Fifty-fourth declining to accept any money from Massachusetts. [The] men of the Fifty-fourth wanted it known that had enlisted as other soldiers from the State, and that they would rather continue to serve without pay until their enlistments ran out, rather than accept from the national government less than the amount paid other soldiers.”

(The Negro in the Civil War, Benjamin Quarles, Little, Brown and Company, 1953, excerpts pp. 200-201)