Tag: civil war

Book Review: Our Man in Charleston


Our Man in CharlestonThe Confederacy was almost certainly doomed, even had it won the Civil War. Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey, explains why.

The book tells of Robert Bunch, Great Britain’s consul in Charleston, SC between 1853 and 1863. It shows Bunch to be the man most responsible for Britain’s refusal to recognize the Confederacy.

Bunch was sent to Charleston seeking the repeal or modification of South Carolina’s 1822 Negro Seaman Act, making it a crime for free black sailors to set foot in South Carolina. Any who did were arrested and fined. Unpaid fines led to imprisoned sailors being sold as slaves to pay the fine. This included black citizens of Great Britain, even if shipwreck victims.

The Urge to Purge


HoopSkirtAs I’ve said before, the primitive desire to purge our society of anything that makes us feel bad, particularly things that relate to history (no matter how far removed we are from the events in question) will continue, unabated, until people stand up and say “enough.”

Consider this opinion piece in the Washington Post, headlined “Remove the Southern belle from her inglorious perch.” The author, Elizabeth Boyd, makes the case for banning the hoop skirt. Yes, you read that correctly: The hoop skirt must be banned. But that’s not all.

Boyd, a “research associate in American Studies at the University of Maryland,” predictably trots out Dylan Roof’s murderous rampage as the rhetorical foot-in-the-door before urging the elimination of not only the Confederate flag, but a whole laundry list of cultural artifacts she connects to evil.

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I have noticed that the 4th has come & gone without precious rhetoric & pretentious promises that so much is to be gained from going back to the past. Maybe the past is unknown–maybe it is too well-known–but there is not a lot of it present. Here I see an opportunity to pester you with […]

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Take a Deep Breath About Confederate Nostalgia


shutterstock_149387531In the Washington Post, James L. Loewen makes an interesting point about Civil War monuments:

Take Kentucky, where the legislature voted not to secede. Early in the war, Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston ventured through the western part of the state and found “no enthusiasm, as we imagined and hoped, but hostility.” Eventually, 90,000 Kentuckians would fight for the United States, while 35,000 fought for the Confederate States. Nevertheless, according to historian Thomas Clark, the state now has 72 Confederate monuments and only two Union ones…

Neo-Confederates also won parts of Maryland. In 1913, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) put a soldier on a pedestal at the Rockville courthouse. Maryland, which did not secede, sent 24,000 men to the Confederate armed forces, but it also sent 63,000 to the U.S. Army and Navy. Still, the UDC’s monument tells visitors to take the other side: “To our heroes of Montgomery Co. Maryland: That we through life may not forget to love the thin gray line.”

Something Comes Back Up the Memory Hole


shutterstock_191505491During a week of depressing news, undoubtedly the most absurd was the decision by Apple, Amazon, and other online retailers to pull games and merchandise that feature the Confederate Battle Flag. If ever there was a moment that appeared to herald the ascendency of the Social Justice Warriors, that appeared to be it.

As it so happens, the fait was not quite accompli. As Reason reports, many of the games and apps are back — unblemished — likely due to outrage from fans and the sheer madness of the decision.

As of this writing, however, Amazon isn’t selling — or allowing the resale of — actual Confederate Battle flags, though you can find other flags that incorporate the design. There are plenty of books available that feature the flag on their covers, for what (very little) that’s worth. And yes, you still have your choice of Che Guevara flags.

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For this week’s installment of the pink police state blues, you can read Mr. James Poulos himself, the first & possibly last poet of the pink police state. He’s saying, we’re ruthless–we sometimes care more about abstract ideas than the people in front of us. I’m writing because I’ve been talking to an American friend […]

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Are We Rethinking Our Civil War Reconciliation?


RTX1HF3B-1024x734My family was in Iowa at the outbreak of the Civil War and I have one ancestor that fought for the Union. I grew up in the South but I was always grateful that the North won the Civil War. Slavery was noxious and a great evil in the American experiment. We could have had a peaceful resolution to slavery but the South broke the rules of the game and as they started to lose politically they tried their very, very best to destroy the United States. It was a very good thing that the Confederacy lost the Civil War — and in the long term — it was very good for all the states in the Confederacy that they lost the Civil War.

Having said that, I have always thought that America’s reconciliation after the Civil War is an under-appreciated miracle. The speed at which the country could unite against a common foe during the Spanish-American War — when many Civil War veterans were still alive — is remarkable. Not only that, but the career of Varina Howell Davis is equally amazing, going from being the First Lady of the Confederacy to becoming a celebrated writer in New York City.

Many have talked about the courage of Lee in making sure the Confederate Army did not break up and start guerrilla war against the Union, and rightly so. But equally important was the fact the the South could have just sat out of the American life as well. That would have been disastrous.

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Hey there Richochetti! I’m relatively new to the site, only just signed up last month but have been listening to as many podcasts as I can while sweep and mop at Gettysburg College (yes, THAT Gettysburg) as a “facilities service worker”. Earlier this year, I was recruited by some young Europeans to write for their […]

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Does Scarcity Yield Better Results?


While at a weekend church retreat, we discussed those amazingly beautiful letters to home written by soldiers of even the lowest rank on either side of the American Civil War. The question arose, does scarcity yield better results?

Did having only a few pages of paper and one pencil (and maybe even a pen!) make the soldier writing a letter home want to write a letter with punch and vigor that said everything he wanted it to say? In contrast, look at the language and diction of tweeting and texting, of emails and even full-on essays in blogs.