Nov 9, 2022 - Memorials to the Past, Southern Heroism    Comments Off on A Constitutional Struggle

A Constitutional Struggle

Moses Jacob Ezekiel was sculptor of the magnificent Monument to Confederate War Dead in Arlington Cemetery, dedicated in June 1914. As a young Virginia Military Institute cadet in early May 1864, he and his fellow classmates were summoned to battle in the Shenandoah Valley to repel Virginia’s invaders. Their bravery in the attack resulted in the capture of an enemy artillery battery. In 1869 Ezekiel studied under a Berlin sculptor renowned for his Classical style, then returned to America.

A Constitutional Struggle

“In reality, no one in the South would have raised an arm to fight for slavery. It was an evil we had inherited and wanted to get rid of. Our struggle was simply a constitutional one, based upon State’s right, and especially on free trade, and no tariff.”

Moses Jacob Ezekiel, sculptor of the Monument to Confederate War Dead, Arlington, Virginia. Dedicated June 1914.

Oct 29, 2022 - Black Soldiers, Lincoln's Grand Army, Northern Culture Laid Bare, Race and the North, Tales of Jim Crow    Comments Off on “Wouldn’t Command Negroes in Service”

“Wouldn’t Command Negroes in Service”

Antebellum Pennsylvanians in general did not want black people living within State borders and “free” black people there led circumscribed lives. We recall that William Penn himself was a slaveholder and the State formerly slaveholding; Frederick Douglass believed Philadelphia the most segregated city in the US, and Pennsylvania troops expressed concern that freedmen might journey northward and take their place in the workplace.

“Wouldn’t Command Negroes in Service”

“On August 16, 1862, in the battle of Deep River Run, Virginia, Company F of the 85th Pennsylvania assaulted and drove the Confederates from their intrenchments. Ed Leonard, of said company, had fired at the retreating Southern color bearer. When his gun was empty, he ordered the color bearer to halt which he refused to do.

Leonard threw his gun at him thinking he would knock him down with it – but he was just far enough away for the gun to turn once and the bayonet went through the body of the color bearer, killing him. Leonard picked up the flagstaff, tore the flag from it, and concealed it about his person, intending to send it home. But the hidden flag was discovered, and he was required to turn it into headquarters.

For this act of bravery Leonard was commissioned a captain. When assigned to his new command, he found it was a Negro company; he then returned the commission and went back to his company as a private.”

(“Wouldn’t Command Negroes in Service,” W.T. Rogers, Knoxville, Tennessee, Confederate Veteran Magazine, May 1912, page 213)

Oct 29, 2022 - Historians on History    Comments Off on Possibly Other Motives

Possibly Other Motives

“I have always been struck by the intensity of the feelings generated against slavery and slaveholders in men who had no direct or first-hand contact with either. Yet there was much about their actions and reactions which suggested something more real and personal. I have suggested the possibility that behind the determination to put slavery on the road to ultimate extinction there may have lain drives that had little to do with Negro slavery or the American South . . .”  Historian Avery O. Craven

Unable to Settle the Great Differences

“The South in 1860 knew only that the party which was hotly intolerant of the whole body of Southern institutions and interests had triumphed in the elections and was about to take possession of the government, and that it was morally impossible to preserve the Union any longer.

“If you who represent the stronger portion,” Senator John C. Calhoun stated in 1850, in words which perfectly convey this feeling in their quiet cadences, cannot agree to settle the great questions at issue on the broad principle of justice and duty, say so; and let the States we both represent agree to separate and depart in peace.”  (Division and Reunion, 1829-1909. Woodrow Wilson. Longmans, Green and Co., 1912; pp. 209-210)

Deconstructing Historical Memory

Like the Russian Bolsheviks before them, the African National Congress regime in New South Africa renamed established cities and roadways for heroes of its communist revolution. In post-revolution Russia, the Society of Marxist Historians “demanded a review of all existing historical literature,” with students at the Institute of Red Professors formed into brigades preparing assessments of large portions of existing literature for publication in the press. The same process of assessment moves forward in New South Africa, as it does in the United States.

Deconstructing Historical Memory

“It may be a trifling issue to deracinated sophisticates, but landmarks in the country’s founding history are slowly being erased, as demonstrated by the ANC’s decision to give an African name to Potchefstroom, a town founded in 1838 by the Vortrekkers.  Pretoria is now called Tshwane.  Nelspruit, founded by the Nel family (they were not Xhosa), and once the seat of the South African Republic’s government during the first Boer War, has been renamed Mbombela. Polokwane was formerly Pietersburg.  Durban’s Moore Road (after Sir John Moore, the hero of the Battle of Corunna, fought in 1808 during the Napoleonic Wars) is Che Guevarra Road; Kensington Drive, [now] Fidel Castro Drive.

Perhaps the ultimate in tastelessly hip nomenclature is Yasser Arafat Highway, down which the motorist can careen on the way to the Durban airport.

The Afrikaans tongue, in particular, has come under the ANC’s attack, as the government attempts to compel Afrikaans schools to adopt English. Afrikaans-speaking universities have been labeled as “racist” in the New South Africa, and have been forced to merge with “third-rate black institutions so that campuses may be swamped by blacks demanding instruction in English.”

On the supplanting of the Afrikaans language, Dan Roodt relates: “Not so long ago, and Indian employee at my local branch of the Absa Bank demanded to know if I was a legal resident in South Africa upon hearing me speak a foreign language, Afrikaans.”

The ANC’s attempt to tame and claim South African history mimics the effort by American elites to deconstruct American history and memory, documented by Samuel Huntington in “Who Are We?”  Wishing to purge America of her “sinful European inheritance,” bureaucrats, mediacrats, educrats, assorted policy wonks and intellectuals trashed the concept of America as melting pot.

In its place, they insisted on ensconcing multiculturalism, inherent in which is a denunciation of America’s Western foundation and a glorification of non-Western cultures.  This mindset does not permit pedagogues to reject faux Afrocentric faux history outright.  They dare not – not if the goal of education is to be achieved, and that goal is an increase in self-esteem among young Africans, in particular.

Other self-styled victim groups, notably natives and women, have had their suppurating historical wounds similarly tended with curricular concessions. Thus, of the 670 stories and articles in “twenty-two readers for grades three and six published in the 1970s and early 1980s . . . none had anything to do with American history since 1780.” The trend, documented by Huntington, accelerated well into the year 2000, when Congress, alarmed by the nation’s historical Alzheimer’s, made an anemic effort to correct decades of deconstruction. It allocated more funds to the Department of Education, which is a lot like letting the proverbial fox guard the historical henhouse.”

(Into the Cannibal’s Pot, Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, Ilana Mercer, Stairway Press, 2011, pp. 80-81)

Black Recruits Unwelcome in Philadelphia

The North’s use of generous bounties for paid volunteers and resorting to the of black slaves as troops was an unmistakable admission that popular support for the war against the American South was nearly extinct by 1863.  Once Lincoln allowed dislocated and captured slaves to be counted against States troop quotas, Northern State agents swarmed into the occupied South in search of (and arguing over) black recruits who would leave white Northern men safe from Lincoln’s threat of conscription.

It is ironic that a Pennsylvania training camp for black recruits was named “Camp William Penn,” a slaveholder who founded the colony which bears his name.

Black Recruits Unwelcome in Philadelphia

“In spite of announcements assuring blacks of pay equal to that of the white soldier, actual practice belied this promise. White enlisted men received thirteen dollars a month with a clothing allowance of an additional three dollars and fifty cents. Black soldiers, however, were paid only ten dollars per month, three dollars of which might be deducted for clothing.

Blacks were also generally denied bounties. Bounties were cash bonuses paid to volunteers by federal, State, or local authorities as an incentive to enlist. These bounties often totaled more than five hundred dollars or more, a generous amount exceeding the average annual wages for a Northern worker.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania eventually contributed a token bounty of ten dollars to each black recruit.

The War Department had also refused to commission black officers. A manyfold rationale stood behind this decision. First, the concept of black troops would be more acceptable [in the North] if white men exclusively were permitted to become officers in such units. Organizing “colored” regiments would create thousands of new positions for regimental officers. The awarding of these commissions to whites could create more support for the program and could reward those who had already shown support.

The [black recruits] of Camp William Penn constantly experienced another reminder of their inferior status through the discriminatory policy of the streetcars of Philadelphia. Of the nineteen streetcar and suburban railroad companies that operated in and around Philadelphia, eleven outright refused to permit blacks to ride.  The other eight tolerated black riders but required them to stand on the front platform with the driver.”

The “Grand Review” and battalion drills had all been executed in the friendly confines of the training camp itself. Colonel Wagner and the other [white] commanders recognized the risks they would face when their units left their camp. Earlier in the year, on September 18, the 3rd Regiment of US Colored Infantry marched through Philadelphia on its way to war. At that time the mayor and concerned officials compelled them to march unarmed and in civilian clothes.

[An] underlying tension still simmered because of the many residents who harbored deep prejudices.  This threatening situation had caused the mayor to delay an earlier planned parade of the 3rd US Colored Troops even after it had been publicly advertised.  During the 6th’s [US Colored Regiment] parade the fear of violence prompted marching officers to carry loaded revolvers to be used in an emergency. The enlisted [black] men, carrying musket and bayonet, “were not trusted with any ammunition.”

(Strike the Blow for Freedom, The 6th US Colored Infantry in the Civil War, James M. Paradis, White Mane Books, 1998, pp. 17-29)

Hatred and the Thirst for Vengeance

In truth, those States who remained in the 1789 Constitution under Lincoln’s presidency continued as “the Union” – while several Southern States decided to form a more perfect Union known as a Confederacy. In this manner Lincoln’s Union was saved – so why did he wage war against the States which is the very definition of treason?

In addition, the invading Northern army was not truly reflective of Northern society as rising casualty lists, coffins and those maimed for life returned home early in the war and enlistments dwindled. By mid-1862 volunteers no longer came forward and Lincoln had to resort to foreigners, conscription and generous bounties for outright mercenaries.

An alleged restoration the Union evaporated quickly as the invading armies descended into indiscriminate destruction, looting and property confiscation – and the erection of puppet governments in conquered areas.

Hatred and the Thirst for Vengeance

“[I]n reality Sherman was remarkably free of malice toward the Southern people. He urged a warfare of terror not out of vindictiveness, but simply to win the war as quickly as possible [and without regard for the human cost].

And many other Northerners were drawn to the hard policy by their deepening hatred of Southerners. The death of tens – eventually hundreds – of thousands of Northern men inevitably stirred cries for revenge. Simple victory and the restoration of the Union would no longer suffice; there must be retribution. It now seemed clear that the Southern people as a whole were not misled and innocent of treason, but willful and guilty.

Northerners concluded that Southern society as it existed was simply incompatible with American nationhood. Even if vanquished in war, the South would remain a menace to the Union unless its very society was fundamentally reformed. All the previous elements that represented this society had to be swept away so that the South could be reconstructed in the image of the North. Only then could America fulfill its sacred destiny.

The Northern invaders now had a very different mission: not to conciliate, but to conquer and avenge; not to protect but to seize and destroy; not to restore but to prepare the way for a new South, and a new nation.”

(When the Yankees Came: Conflict and Chaos in the Occupied South. Stephen V. Ashe. UNC Press, 1995, pg. 52-53)

Oct 20, 2022 - Foreign Viewpoints, Historical Accuracy, Immigration, Southern Culture Laid Bare, Southern Patriots    Comments Off on Foreigners Serving the Confederacy

Foreigners Serving the Confederacy

The following is historian Dwight Dumond’s book review of Ella Lonn’s “Foreigners in the Confederacy found in the North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, January 1941. pp. 85-86.

Foreigners in the Confederacy. By Ella Lonn. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1940.

“This record of the services rendered to the Confederate States of America by foreigners and by foreign-born citizens will take rank as one of the foremost contributions to the mounting volume of revisionist literature in that field of American history. In it we have presented, for the first time, an adequate appraisal of the importance of a large segment of the Southern population. It might not be too much to say that, for the first time, we have been told of its existence; and the telling has shattered some venerable traditions.

Foreign immigration into the United States during the two decades preceding the Civil War did not go entirely to the free states. In 1860 the foreign-born in Mobile constituted twenty- five per cent of the white population, in Charleston thirty per cent, in Savannah thirty-three per cent, in New Orleans forty per cent, in Memphis forty-two per cent. There were 3,263 Irish in Charleston, 3,100 in Savannah, 4,100 in Memphis. In New Orleans there were 24,398 Irish, 19,752 Germans, and 10,564 French. There were 43,464 Irish and 88,487 Germans in Arkansas. Ten per cent of the people in Texas were born under a foreign flag. Many races were represented among the 250,000 foreign-born in the Confederate States with Irish, German, French, and English predominating. They were slave- holding planters, merchants, professional men, skilled craftsmen, and unskilled workers.

Having discussed the geographical distribution of the several racial groups in her first chapter, Miss Lonn then traces their relationship to every aspect of the intersectional conflict. There is an excellent chapter on their divergent and changing attitudes toward slavery and secession; there are long accounts of the prominent military and civil officials under the Confederacy; and there is a chapter on military companies of foreign-born and one on foreign-born adventurers. The array of such prominent men is imposing – cabinet members Benjamin, Memminger, and Mallory; diplomats and special commissioners Henry Hotze, Father John Bannon, Reverend Patrick N. Lynch, and John A. Quintero; officers Patrick R. Cleburne, Prince de Polignac, Heros von Borcke, and a host of others; and entire companies of French, Polish, Italian, Spanish, and Irish troops, including the famous German Fusiliers of Charleston, the Emerald Guards of Mobile, and the Louisiana Zouaves.

Finally, there are three outstanding chapters dealing with the contributions of the foreign-born in special fields of military service such as engineering, secret service, ordnance, and medicine; with foreigners of distinction as teachers in schools and colleges, as businessmen, and as manufacturers; and with Confederate legislation and diplomatic conversations respecting foreigners in particular reference to citizenship and conscription.

It is a remarkable book, excellently documented, containing a splendid bibliography, and, considering the enormous quantity of facts and statistics presented, written with a pleasing style that excites admiration.

DWIGHT L. DUMOND

Oct 18, 2022 - Race and the South, Southern Patriots, Uncategorized    Comments Off on Louis Leon of Mecklenburg, Confederate Sharpshooter

Louis Leon of Mecklenburg, Confederate Sharpshooter

A German immigrant of the Jewish faith, Private Louis Leon was not unusual as a Confederate soldier from North Carolina. Many German Jews settled in Wilmington during the 1840s and 1850s, with many owning black slaves as was common then. In 1860, the Kahnweiler and Brothers store of Wilmington held five slaves; Charlotte dry goods merchants David Elias, Levi Drucker and Seigfried Frankenthal held slaves as well. In Atlanta, four of the six Jewish families in 1850 owned slaves – by 1860 this increased substantially plus David Mayer and Solomon Cohen were both slave dealers.

Captain Christian Cornehlson organized the German Volunteers in Wilmington in 1861, which became Company A of the Eighteenth North Carolina Regiment.  Of the 102 men in Company A, every officer and every enlisted man but 30 had been born in Germany. Residents Jacob Blumenthal and Henry Wertheimer died during the War; Solomon Bear was sent to Europe to arrange for goods and munitions to run the blockade into Wilmington. Simon Kahnweiler was also sent to Europe as a Confederate purchasing agent.

Returning to Wilmington postwar, German Volunteers M.M. Katz, Gustav Rosenthal, David Eigenbrunner and Jacob Weil all helped organize the Temple of Israel. (Bauman, 2010)

Louis Leon of Mecklenburg, Confederate Sharpshooter

“Louis Leon, a well-known resident of Wilmington and a veteran of Confederate States service, was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, November 27, 1841.  Three years later he was brought by his parents to New York City, whence he moved to Charlotte in 1858, and engaged in mercantile pursuits as a clerk.  Becoming a member of the Charlotte Grays, he entered the active service of that command, going to the camp of instruction at Raleigh on April 21, 1861.

The Gray’s were assigned to Col. D.H. Hill’s regiment, the First, as Company C, and took part in the Battle of Big Bethel, in which Private Leon was a participant.  At the expiration of the six months’ enlistment of the Bethel Regiment, he reenlisted in Company B [of] Capt. Harvey White, of the Fifty-first Regiment, commanded by Col. William Owen.

He shared the service of this regiment in its subsequent honorable career, fighting at Gettysburg, Bristow Station, Mine run, and the Wilderness, receiving a slight wound at Gettysburg but not allowing it to interfere with his duty. During the larger part of his service, he served as a sharpshooter.

On the 5th or 6th of May 1864, the sharpshooters of his regiment were much annoyed by one of the Federal sharpshooters who had a long-range rifle and who had climbed up a tall tree, from which he could pick off the men, though sheltered by stumps and stones, himself out of range of their guns.

Private Leon concluded that “this thing had to be stopped,” and taking advantage of every knoll, hollow and stump, he crawled near enough for his rifle to reach, and took a “pop” at this disturber of the peace, who came tumbling down.  Upon running up to his victim, Leon discovered him to be a Canadian Indian, and clutching his scalp lock, he dragged him back to the Confederate line.

At the Wilderness battle Leon was captured and from that time until June 1865 was a prisoner of war at Point Lookout and Elmira, N.Y.  Upon being paroled he visited his parents in New York City, and then worked his way back to North Carolina.

He is warmly regarded by his comrades of Cape Fear Camp, United Confederate Veterans, and has served several terms as its adjutant. When Col. James T. Morehead prepared a sketch of his regiment, the Fifty-third, Private Leon furnished him with a copy of a diary which he had kept from the organization of the regiment up to the 5th of May 1864, when he was captured.

(Chronicles of the Cape Fear River, James Sprunt, Edwards & Broughton, 1916, pp. 334-335; Jews at the Cape Fear Coast, Anton Hieke. Southern Jewish History, Mark Baumann, editor, Volume 13, 2010)

Oct 17, 2022 - Indians and the West, Race and the South, Southern Culture Laid Bare    Comments Off on Florida Indians and Bushwhackers

Florida Indians and Bushwhackers

The Seminole tribe of Indians is said to have originated in the 1750’s as a clan of Georgia Creeks separated from the main tribe and moved southward. They indeed held slaves as documented by Minnie Moore Wilson (Seminoles of Florida, 1910) who wrote of a Seminole chief told a traveling white abolitionist that though the white man’s slave was free, “the Injun esta lusta (negro) belong to Injun – now you go.”

Florida Indians and Bushwhackers

“Many plantation owners in Georgia and South Carolina lost slaves who escaped to the wilds of Florida and the frequent cross-border Seminole raids on plantations often killed entire families and carried off more slaves. This would eventually push the American government toward military solutions and the annexation of Florida.

The Seminole tribe initially acquired black slaves as gifts from the British after 1763 or were purchased by them in imitation of Europeans and held in “a type of democratic vassalage” to the tribe. Though not considered the equals of the Seminole and living in separate settlements, black runaways were trained to hunt, fish and fight against white settlers who lived on Seminole land.  After the tribe’s defeat in 1839, many of these “black Seminoles” accompanied the tribe to resettlement in the West. Interestingly, the name “Seminole” itself translates to “seceder” or “runaway” from the Creek nation, which occurred in 1750 under Chief Secoffee.

Only twenty-two years later the resettled Seminoles fought bravely against Northern soldiers in three Seminole Mounted Volunteer regiments of the Trans-Mississippi Department, led by Major John Jumper, whose Seminole name was “Hemha Micco.” Seminoles also fought alongside the victorious Florida and Georgia forces at the Ocean Pond (Olustee) battle on February 20, 1864.

One Northern soldier wrote a New York friend just after the engagement:

“The most desperate enemy that we have to contend with here is the Florida Indians in roving bands of bushwhackers [who] occasionally steal upon our picket lines under cover of night . . . Many Redskins are sharpshooters. During the recent battle, they took themselves to the tree-tops and picked off many of the officers of the Colored Troops.”

(Key West’s Civil War: Rather Unsafe for a Southern Man to Live Here.” John Bernhard Thuersam, Shotwell Publishing, 2022, pg. 143)

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