Saving “Uncle George” MacDonald

Saving “Uncle George” MacDonald

“The Osceola (Missouri) Democrat raised money to send “Uncle” George McDonald of St. Clair County, a colored Confederate veteran, to the Confederate Reunion at Columbia last month. In 1861 “Uncle” George went off with the men of St. Clair County and fought in several engagements.

At Wilson’s Creek a Minie ball plowed through his hip and buckshot struck him in the face. George lay groaning upon the ground when he was found by Owen Snuffer, a lieutenant of his company. Snuffer stooped down, examined the black man’s wounds and stanched the flow blood from them. “For God’s sake,” cried the suffering negro, “give me a drink of water.”

Snuffer’s canteen was empty but midway between the firing lines was a well. To reach it the lieutenant was to become the target of sharpshooters, and it meant almost certain death. But with bullets falling all around him like hailstones he pushed forward until the well was reached. And then he discovered that the bucket had been taken away and the windlass removed. The water was far down and the depth unknown.

The well was old-fashioned – stone-walled. Owen pulled off his long cavalry boots and taking one in his teeth he let himself down slowly, hand over hand until the water was reached and the boot filled. He then climbed up, straddling the well and clutching with hands and feet the rocky walls. Reaching the surface again he picked up the other boot and safely made his way back to his lines and brought water to “Uncle George.”

Returning from the war, “Uncle George” settled near Monegaw Springs and has reared an intelligent, honest and industrious family. One of his children educated himself, graduated the Smith University in Sedalia, and is now the pastor of a church in Kansas. Another child is a waiter at the Commercial Hotel in Osceola, an establishment known for high integrity.”

(Confederate Veteran, Volume XI, November 1903, pg. 494)

Nov 1, 2023 - Indians and the West, Southern Heroism, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Brigadier-General Stand Watie

Brigadier-General Stand Watie

Brigadier-General Stand Watie

Brigadier-General Stand Watie was born in 1806 to Oo-wa-tie, his Cherokee father and half-Cherokee, half-European mother in Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation (near today’s Rome, Geogia). His original name was “Degataga,” meaning “Stand Firm.” When his father was baptized in the Moravian Church as David Uwatie, the son’s name was changed to Isaac S. Uwatie. As an adult, the son modified his name to Stand Watie.

Learning English at a Moravian Mission School, he helped publish the school’s “Cherokee Phoenix” tribal newspaper. By the time he attained adulthood his father had become a wealthy planter holding numerous African slaves.

After the northern States had decided upon war and invasion of the South, Watie, appointed Colonel, raised a regiment known as the Cherokee Mounted Volunteers in July 1861 and became known as a gifted field commander and bold guerrilla leader.

His poorly armed troops participated in some 27 major engagements during the war as well as minor skirmishes, primarily utilizing guerilla tactics. At the Battle of Pea Ridge in early 1862 his Mounted Rifles captured an enemy battery though the battle was lost. After October 1862 Watie’s command was known as the Cherokee Mounted Rifles.

In October 1863 his unit routed detachments of the First Kansas Colored Regiment. In May 1864 Col. Watie was promoted to brigadier-general and a month later his men surprised and captured the enemy steamer J.R. Williams. The following September the Mounted Rifles captured an enemy wagon train at Cabin Creek with supplies worth an estimated $1.5 million. By this time Watie’s command had expanded included men from the Creek, Seminole, Cherokee and Osage tribes. The Seminole tribe in the West organized several cavalry regiments which fought alongside Southern forces; Seminole sharpshooters wreaked havoc at the Ocean Pond Battle in Florida as they picked off northern officers behind their troops.

In 1865 Gen. Watie refused to surrender his command to the enemy after Gen. Robert E. Lee and Gen. Joseph E. Johnston capitulated in the East and kept his Cherokee Mounted Rifles in the field for nearly a month after Lt.-Gen. Kirby Smith’s surrender of the Trans-Mississippi Army in late-May 1865. Thus, he became the last Confederate General to surrender which he did on June 23, 1865.

Postwar, Gen. Watie returned to Indian Territory to rebuild his home, which enemy soldiers had burned to the ground. He journeyed to Washington to represent the Cherokee during the 1866 “Cherokee Reconstruction Treaty” proceedings, which resulted in the tribe being deprived of vast tracts of land in exchange for reinstatement in the north’s Union.

Gen. Watie returned to his Honey Creek Plantation home where he died in 1871. (WIKI).

North Carolina Union Men of 1861

North Carolina Union Men of 1861

“Many a gallant Tar Heel has maintained that he did not fight against the flag of the United States, but against the man who was carrying it and endeavoring to use it to overturn the constitutional principles in support of which it gained a place among the proud ensigns of the nations. These “Unionists” were the only true loyal men of 1860 who said, ‘I will stand by the Union as long as the obligations under which it was formed are observed.’”

(North Carolina Union Men of 1861.  W.A. Graham, North Carolina Booklet, Vol. XI, No. 1, July 1911, pp. 11-12)

Lincoln’s View of Carpetbag Politicians in the South

Lincoln’s View of Carpetbag Politicians in the South

“Executive Mansion, Washington.

November 27, 1862.

Hon. Geo. F. Shepley, Military Governor of Louisiana:

“Dear Sir: Dr. Kennedy, bearer of this, has some apprehension that federal officers, not citizens of Louisiana, may be set up as candidates for Congress in that State. In my view there could be no possible object in such an election.

To send a parcel of Northern men here as Representatives, elected, as would be understood, (and perhaps really so,) at the point of a bayonet, would be disgraceful and outrageous; and were I a member Congress here, I would vote against admitting such men to a seat.

Yours, very truly, A. Lincoln.”

(Civil War and Reconstruction, James G. Randall. D.C. Heath and Company, 1937. pg. 701)

The Conspiracy Which Brought on the War

The Conspiracy Which Brought on the War

The article in this number on the “Sudden Change in Northern Sentiment as to Coercion in 1861,” by Dr. James H. McNeilly of Nashville, shows that there was evidently a deeply laid plan to force the South into making the first hostile demonstration in order to arouse that sentiment which would respond to the call for troops necessary to invade this section. It is well-known that the general sentiment in the North was against making war on the seceding Southern States, but there was a powerful political element which really wanted war and could see the value of forcing the South into making an offensive move. Forcibly illustrating this spirit is the following quotation from a thoughtful writer of the South:

“On February 2, 1861, Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in a letter published in the Memphis Appeal, wrote of the Republican leaders as follows:

‘They are bold, determined men. They are striving to break up the Union under the pretense of serving it. They are struggling to overthrow the Constitution while professing undying attachment to it and a willingness to make any sacrifice to maintain it. They are trying to plunge the country into a cruel war as the surest way of destroying the Union upon the plea of enforcing the laws and protecting public property.’

Shortly after Douglas wrote this letter Senator Zach Chandler of Michigan, wrote to Gov. Austin Blair which proves the conspiracy of the men determined on war. Virginia had solicited a conference of States to see if some plan could not be devised and agreed upon to prevent war and save the Union. Chandler wrote Governor Blair that he opposed the conference and that no Republican State should send a delegate. He implored the governor to send stiff-necked [anti-compromise] delegates or none, as the whole idea of compromise was against his judgement. Chandler added to his letter these sinister words: ‘Some of the manufacturing States think that a war would be awful; without a little bloodletting this Union will not be worth a curse.’”

(The Conspiracy Which Brought on the War. Confederate Veteran, Vol. XXIV, No. 10, October 1916. pg. 436)

 

Sep 19, 2023 - Newspapers    Comments Off on To General Hardee’s Advantage

To General Hardee’s Advantage

“So bitter was Sherman’s feelings against newspapers that he is said to have refused an introduction to Horace Greeley, explaining that Greeley’s newspaper had caused him a heavy loss of men in his Carolina campaign of 1865.

By clever feints Sherman had concealed his plans until Confederate General William J. Hardee got hold of a copy of the New York Tribune which contained a most obliging editorial.

At last, the editor “had the satisfaction to inform his readers (General Hardee was one of the readers) that Sherman would next be heard from around Goldsboro because his supply vessels from Savannah were known to be rendezvousing at Morehead City.” The disclosure cost the northern commander a fight which he had hoped to avoid.”

(The Newspaper Problem and its Bearing Upon Military Secrecy During the Civil War. James G. Randall. American Historical Review, Vol. XXIII, No. 2. Jan. 1918. pg. 311)

Aug 23, 2023 - From Africa to America, Slavery in Africa    Comments Off on The Efik Chief’s Slave Raids

The Efik Chief’s Slave Raids

The Efik Chief’s Slave Raids

“Once the native African chiefs saw that they could gain wealth from the sale of slaves to whites – some chiefs possessed European style two-storied wooden houses as early as 1785 – they soon found the means of providing yet more slaves. The Efik of Old Calabar, on the Cross River estuary in what is now the Calabar Province of Nigeria, ‘enslaved those of their own people who were guilty of theft or adultery, and also captured or purchased slaves from neighboring tribes.’

Isaac Parker, a ship-keeper who jumped ship in Duke Town in 1765 and remained there for six months, describes one of these raids. The Efik chief asked him ‘to go to war with him.’

He agreed, and they fitted out and armed the canoes and went upriver, ‘lying under the bushes in the day when they came near a village, and taking hold of everyone they could see. These are handcuffed, brought down to the canoes, and so proceeded up the river till they got to 45 captures. They then returned to Duke Town where the captains of the shipping divided the captives among the ships.

About a fortnight later they went out again for eight or nine days, plundering other villages higher upriver and capturing about the same number of villagers as before.

But the Europeans seldom engaged in the slave raids and used to buy their slaves from native brokers who lived in coastal towns. These slaves might be prisoners of war, criminals condemned to slavery, or debtors sold into slavery to satisfy creditors, or children stolen from a village.”

(The Slaves of Timbuktu. Robin Maugham. Harper & Brothers, 1961, pp. 32-33)

Jul 31, 2023 - American Military Genius, Historical Accuracy, Memorials to the Past, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Defeat Did Not Come from Lack of Material

Defeat Did Not Come from Lack of Material

The following is underscored by the words of Gen. U.S. Grant, III in a Sept. 1960 centennial address in Oswego, NY. He refers to the Cambridge Modern History’s assertion that: “between Oct. 26, 1864 & Jan. 1865 it was possible for 8.5 million pounds of meat, 1.5 million pounds of lead, 2 million pounds of saltpeter, 546,000 pairs of shoes, 316,000 blankets, 500,000 pounds of coffee, 69,000 rifles and 43 cannons came into the port of Wilmington alone.” (New York History, Jan. 1961, pg. 49).  

Defeat Did Not Come from Lack of Material

“Despite its obvious economic impact, the north’s naval cordon never really prevented the American Confederacy from acquiring more plentiful supplies of blankets, clothing and armaments than it had men to employ. Stephen Wise, the foremost contemporary expert on the blockade-running trade, concluded unequivocally: “Defeat did not come from a lack of material.”

Confederate States agents operating primarily in England and France under the direction of Ordnance Chief Josiah Gorgas’ specially established Bureau of Foreign Supplies provided a steady stream of wares despite limited means. By 1864 cotton sold at twenty-eight pence per pound compared to only nine pence in 1860. This seller’s market funded a massive Confederate credit line.

During the last six months of 1864, purchasing agents obtained $45,000,000 of credit on the basis of only $1,500,000 of government cotton. As the war continued and Southern resources dwindled, this trade increased in importance to the Confederate States war effort.

During the second half of the war, at least 127 known British-built steamers did much to sustain the South’s war effort. An estimated sixty percent of the Confederate States total small arms, one third of its lead shot, and two thirds of its gunpowder had slipped through the north’s blockade. The most celebrated State-owned and operated vessel, North Carolina’s Ad-Vance, made eight round trips from Nassau between June 1863 and September 1864 before her eventual capture. As a result of this, Tar Heel troops enjoyed better and more plentiful supplies than any other State troops as a direct result.”

(“A Notorious Nest of Offense: Neutrals, Belligerents and Union Jails for Blockade Runners. Samuel Negus, TCU, 2010, pp. 8-9)

Jul 30, 2023 - America Transformed, Economics, Lincoln's Grand Army, Targeting Civilians    Comments Off on “This Class of People”

“This Class of People”

“This Class of People”

Of the infamous General Order No. 11, President Jefferson Davis considered Grant’s conduct as an arbitrary abuse of power; the Confederate States never issued any orders which singled out religious groups for discriminatory attack.  

“Speculators were swarming around Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters at Holly Springs, Mississippi, and following his forces in search of cotton to be bought as cheaply as possible and sold in the north. Grant complained to Assistant Secretary of War C.P. Wolcott about “Jews and other unprincipled traders” who flouted Treasury regulations, and ordered his commanding officer at Columbus, Kentucky to deny permits to all Jews who wished to travel south.

In other correspondence he expiated on his unfavorable opinions of Jewish traders with their “carpet sacks” and pockets full of gold.” When Grant’s own father, a leather merchant who came to Holly Springs with some Jewish tradesmen in hopes of making money from the cotton trade, Grant sent him north again and in cold fury issued his notorious General Order 11 of December 17, 1862.

This read: “The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department and held in confinement within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. Post commanders will see that this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and anyone returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs for sending them out as prisoners.”

(The Jew in American Politics. Nathaniel Weyl. Arlington House. 1968, pp. 58-59)

Jul 30, 2023 - Antebellum Realities, Historical Accuracy, Recurring Southern Conservatism, Southern Statesmen    Comments Off on American Jews in Grey

American Jews in Grey

To put the below in perspective, the number of Jewish men in the northern army was anywhere between 6,000 to 15,000. The Jewish contribution to the military effort of the Confederacy was significant, and Secretary of War John Seddon’s estimated that there were between 10,000 and 12,000 Jews fighting in grey.

American Jews in Grey

“At the time of the Civil War there were about 150,000 Jews in the United States among a white population of 27 million. Jews thus constituted slightly more than half of one percent of the total.

The intense loyalty of Southern Jews to the Confederacy was to be expected in view of the fact that the South was the first region in the United States to tear down the barriers blocking the political and social advance of Jews. Thus, the first Jew to serve as a State governor was David Emanuel, who, having distinguished himself for valor in the siege of Savannah in the Revolutionary War, was elected Governor of Georgia in 1801. In contrast, the last State to retain discriminatory laws against Jews holding public office was New Hampshire, which did not remove them until 1876.

The first Jew to be elected to the United States Senate was also a Southerner. David Levy Yulee was elected Florida’s first United States Senator in 1845. In Congress he was vociferous in his opposition to federal restrictions on the introduction of slavery into the territories to be acquired from Mexico.

The second Jew to serve in the Senate was Judah P. Benjamin, a man descended from Spanish Jews who were expelled from the peninsula, then ended to England, then to the American South. He left Yale without graduating, arrived in New Orleans with four dollars in his pocket, married into a distinguished Creole family, became an immensely successful lawyer and planter, and pioneered in the mechanization of sugar cultivation.

President Zachary Taylor nominated him for Attorney General; Millard Fillmore nominated him for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.”

(The Jew in American Politics. Nathaiel Weyl. Arlington House. 1968, pp. 50-51)

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