"This was a
That is CNN`s Roland Martin`s
summary judgment of the 258,000 men and boys who
fell fighting for the Confederacy in a war that cost as
many American lives as World Wars I and II, Korea,
Martin reflects the hysteria that
seized Obamaville on hearing that Gov. Bob McDonnell had
declared Confederate History Month in the Old Dominion.
Virginia leads the nation in
Civil War battlefields.
So loud was the howling that in 24
hours McDonnell had backpedaled and issued an apology
that he had not mentioned slavery.
Unfortunately, the governor missed
a teaching moment—at the outset of the 150th anniversary
of America`s bloodiest war.
Slavery was indeed evil, but it
existed in the Americas a century before the oldest of
our founding fathers was even born. Five of our first
seven presidents were slaveholders.
But Virginia did not secede in
defense of slavery. Indeed, when
Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated, March 4, 1861,
Virginia was still in the Union. Only South Carolina,
Georgia and the five Gulf states had seceded and created
the Confederate States of America.
At the firing on Fort Sumter, April
12-13, 1861, the first shots of the Civil War, Virginia
was still inside the Union. Indeed, there were more
slave states in the Union than in the Confederacy. But,
on April 15, Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers
from the state militias to march south and crush the new
Two days later, April 17, Virginia
seceded rather than provide soldiers or militia to
participate in a war on their brethren. North Carolina,
Tennessee and Arkansas followed Virginia out over the
same issue. They
would not be a party to a war on their kinfolk.
Slavery was not the cause of this
war. Secession was—that and Lincoln`s determination to
the nation in blood if necessary to make the Union
Nor did Lincoln ever deny it.
In his first inaugural, Lincoln
sought to appease the states that had seceded by
endorsing a constitutional amendment to make slavery
permanent in the 15 states where it then existed. He
even offered to help the Southern states run down
In 1862, Lincoln wrote Horace
Greeley that if he could restore the Union without
freeing one slave he would do it. The Emancipation
Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, freed only those slaves
Lincoln had no power to free—those still under
Confederate rule. As for slaves in the Union states of
Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, they remained
the property of their owners.
no army fought more honorably than
Robert E. Lee`s Army of Northern Virginia. Few deny
The great terrorist in that war was
William Tecumseh Sherman, who violated
known rules of war by looting, burning and pillaging
infamous March to the Sea from Atlanta to Savannah.
Sherman would later be given command of the war against
the Plains Indians and advocate extermination of the
"The only good
Indian is a dead Indian" is attributed both to
Sherman and Gen. Phil Sheridan, who burned the
Shenandoah and carried out
Sherman`s ruthless policy against the Indians. Both
have statues and circles named for them in Washington,
If Martin thinks Sherman a hero, he
might study what happened to the
slave women of Columbia, S.C., when
boys in blue arrived to burn the city.
What of the
Sons of Confederate Veterans, at whose request
McDonnell issued his proclamation? What racist deeds
have they perpetrated of late?
They tend the graves of Confederate
dead and place flags on Memorial Day. They contributed
to the restoration of the home of Jefferson Davis,
Hurricane Katrina. They publish the
Veteran, a magazine that relates stories of the
ancestors they love to remember. They join
environmentalists in fighting to preserve Civil War
battlefields. They do re-enactments of Civil War battles
with men and boys whose ancestors fought for the Union.
And they defend the monuments to their ancestors and the
flag under which they fought.
Why are they vilified?
Because they are Southern white
Christian men—none of whom defends slavery, but all of
whom are defiantly proud of the South, its ancient faith
and their forefathers who fell in the Lost Cause.
Undeniably, the Civil War ended in
the abolition of slavery and restoration of the Union.
But the Southern states believed they had the same right
to rid themselves of a government to which they no
longer felt allegiance as did
Jefferson and Madison, all slave-owners, who could
no longer give loyalty to the king of England.
Consider closely this latest
skirmish in a culture war that may yet make an end to
any idea of nationhood, and you will see whence the real
hate is coming. It is not from Gov. McDonnell or the
Sons of Confederate Veterans.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.