From Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney:
“The Confederacy ranks a few notches down from Naziism in the hierarchy of immoral regimes. …”
New York Times columnist Gail Collins, in a column headlined “A Confederacy of Dunces,” wrote: “April is the cruelest month. Or if you live in Virginia, Confederate History Month.”
Along with furious denunciations of Confederate History Month, in two Page One stories in a row, a Washington Post editorial “Airbrushing Virginia’s History,” noted, among other things, the following about Virginia’s governor:
“Inexplicably, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has issued a proclamation that blatantly airbrushes the history of Virginia, the Civil War and the United States, again raising questions about how far the Old Dominion has evolved, or not.
“It’s fine that Mr. McDonnell decided to proclaim April as Confederate History Month; the Confederacy is an important chapter of history that merits study and draws tourists to Virginia. But any serious statement on the Confederacy and the Civil War would at least recognize the obvious fact – that slavery was the major cause of the war, and that the Confederacy fought largely in defense of what it called ‘property,’ which meant the right to own slaves. Instead, Mr. McDonnell’s proclamation chose to omit this, declaring instead that Virginians fought ‘for their homes and communities and Commonwealth.’ The words ‘slavery’ and ‘slaves’ do not appear.
“Even more incendiary is the proclamation’s directive that ‘all Virginians’ must appreciate the state’s ‘shared’ history and the Confederacy’s sacrifices. Surely he isn’t including the 500,000 Virginia slaves who constituted more than a quarter of the state’s Civil War-era population, who cheered the Union and ran away to it when they could.”
While Gov. McDonnell has apologized for not including slavery in his original proclamation, the Washington Post should surely also apologize for its really despicable publishing of any comparison of the Confederacy to Nazi Germany – as well as for the incredible historical ineptitude of contending that Virginia’s 500,000 slaves “cheered the Union and ran away to it when they could.”
- Historian Ervin Jordan of the University of Virginia, author of “Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia” (1994), wrote of what he termed a “cover-up” that started back in 1865:
“During my research I came across instances where black men stated that they were soldiers, but you could plainly see where ‘soldier’ is crossed out and ‘body servant’ inserted or ‘teamster’ on pension applications.”
Another black historian, Roland Young, says he was not surprised that blacks fought. He explains that “some, if not most, black Southerners would support their country” and that by doing so they were “demonstrating it’s possible to hate the system of slavery and love one’s country.” This is the very same reaction most African-Americans showed during the American Revolution, where they fought for the colonies, even though the British offered them freedom if they fought for them.
- Jordan explains that “biracial units were frequently organized by local Confederate and state militia commanders in the response to immediate threats in the form of Union raids.” Dr. Leonard Haynes, an African-American professor at Southern University, stated, “When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you’ve eliminated the history of the South.”
- The “Richmond Howitzers” were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at First Manassas (or First Battle of Bull Run) where they operated Battery No. 2. In addition, two black regiments, one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. “Many colored people were killed in the action,” recorded John Parker, a former slave.
- Dr. Lewis Steiner, chief inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission, noted, while observing Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson’s occupation of Frederick, Md., in 1862: “Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number (Confederate troops). These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, state buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, Bowie knives, dirks, etc. … and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army.”
- Frederick Douglass reported: “There are at the present moment many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty, not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the federal government and build up that of the rebels.”
- During the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913, arrangements were made for a joint reunion of Union and Confederate veterans. The commission in charge of the event made sure they had enough accommodations for the black Union veterans, but were completely surprised when unexpected black Confederates arrived. The white Confederates immediately welcomed their old comrades and saw to their every need. Nearly every Confederate reunion included those blacks that served with them, wearing the gray.
- The first military monument in the U.S. capital that honors an African-American soldier is the Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery. The monument was designed in 1914 by Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish Confederate, who wanted to correctly portray the “racial makeup” in the Confederate Army. A black Confederate soldier is depicted marching in step with white Confederate soldiers.
At reunion events of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I have met black descendants of Confederate soldiers.
On Sunday, April 11, the Washington Post kept up the beat(ing) by quoting Princeton history professor Sean Wilentz’s statement:
“Secession was and is a form of treason.”
This, despite the fact that Princeton was once the site of a battle won by treasonous secessionists who were fighting against the government headed by King George III.
Professor Wilentz also lamented “the doctrines of state sovereignty and rebellion that have justified the Confederacy’s cause …” (as well, it should be remembered, as the cause of 13 rebellious states in 1776).
There was also a Washington Post quoting of former Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Andres Martinez, who wrote:
“I managed to avoid the Lee Highway almost entirely.”
According to Martinez, Gen. Lee was “a guy who lost his house because he betrayed this nation, and is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers.”
On the basis of such deadly incredible reasoning, all of the U.S. losses in our Revolutionary War are the reasons that huge D.C. monument to the secessionist (and slave-owner) should now be renamed. And so should that city and one of our states – which are also named in honor of the Father of Our Country.