Category Archives: Letters

Skynyrd ain’t our Enemy…

I recently published a post entitled An Inconvenient Truth the subject of which was the recent controversy involving Southern Rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd interview with CNN their distancing of themselves from the Confederate Battle Flag, fan outrage, and Gary Rossington’s (last original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd) clarification and pledge to keep flying the flag at their live shows.

Today I want to take the discussion in a new direction, one that will most likely get me as much or more hate mail than it will positive responses. That being said, this is what I feel, and this is what I feel is right to say.

Michael Givens, Commander in Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans

I like most of you was both angered and disappointed when Lynyrd Skynyrd appeared on CNN and declared that they were dissociating themselves from the Confederate Flag, I found their Facebook page and shared my displeasure with them like THOUSANDS of my fellow Southerners and Skynyrd fans did. I was quite please , when Gary Rossington posted his statement clarifying his position on the flag stating that:

I wanted to clarify the discussion of the Confederate Flag in our recent CNN interview.  Myself, the past members and the present members (that are from the South), are all extremely proud of our heritage and being from the South.   We know what the Dixie flag represents and its heritage; the Civil War was fought over States rights.
We still utilize the Confederate (Rebel) flag on stage every night in our shows, we are and always will be a Southern American Rock band, first and foremost.  We also utilize the state flag of Alabama and the American flag as well, ‘cause at the end of the day, we are all Americans.   I only stated my opinion that the confederate flag, at times, was unfairly being used as a symbol by various hate groups, which is something that we don’t support the flag being used for. The Confederate flag means something more to us, Heritage not Hate”

It was good to know that so many of us spoke out and it was even better that somebody listened. Gary Rossington listened and tried to make things right, now where I come from, that’s all a man can do , or be expected to do.  So why are so many of my Southern brothers in the ranks of the Sons of Confederate Veterans still raking him over the coals?

Michael Givens, Commander in Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans could never be described as a simple administrator, or a bureacrat within the ranks of the 31,000 that make up the Sons.  He is an Independent film maker, he is articulate, proactive and thinks outside of the box in his duties. In short his has been an excellent commander but in the case of Lynyrd Skynyrd, specifically Gary Rossington’s statements he is wrong. Responding to Rossington’s statement he left the following comment in the comments section at the band’s website, www.lynyrdskynyrd.com stating:

“Dear Gary, Lynyrd Skynyrd, management, `et alia’,

I am the Commander-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. We are an organization, chartered in 1896 by veterans of the War for Southern Independence for the purpose of promoting the true history and principles of the Confederate soldiers’ cause. On behalf of our 31,000 members I write you today to express our deep sadness and concern over your present stance toward our venerable banner of the South. Your use of the flag in a manner that is up lifting and not aligned with any form of hate has been a stalwart defense of the flag’s true symbolism for many years. We appreciate and applaud your past efforts on behalf of our common ancestors.

Our biggest concern comes from your statement on the 8th of September 2012 to CNN. You disclosed, “But I think through the years, you know, people like the KKK and Skinheads and people have kind of kidnapped the dixie rebel flag from the southern tradition and the heritage of the soldiers.” Sir, our ancestors wrote the definition of that flag with their blood and when they furled the flag at the last battle they tucked their God-given liberty inside. The KKK and the Skinheads do not define our flag any more than the NAACP or any other hate group.

I am sure you do not agree with their hateful views of our flag, therefore I must ask you, who will stand up for the TRUTH, if not you and if not me? The answer is no one and without us the truth will be buried with the American Confederate flag. That is why we must not capitulate to their nancy demands.

Like many men in my organization, your music has been the soundtrack of my life. Your songs have helped define my own identity and Southernness. I have been a fan from the beginning. I was at the second to the last concert of the original band in Johnson City, Tennessee. All my best friends were at the Greenville, South Carolina concert a few days later. Then, our lives were changed forever—some much more than others. We have always been there for you. Your fans have not let you down. Do not let us down.

My fear is that you are living the song, WORKING FOR THE MCA and that Lynyrd Skynyrd has become the subject of a re-branding effort that hopes to make a kinder, gentler Lynyrd Skynyrd. I worked in the ad world for twenty years; re-branding’s not what we need. We need the honest and courageous Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Stay true to your people.

Please fell free to contact me if I may help. I wish you the very best and remain,

Respectfully yours,

Michael Givens Commander-in-Chief Sons of Confederate Veterans scv.org michaelgivens.com”

This was a good statement, a proper statement, and it should have stopped there, however; since making the statement he has also added :

“They still have not put it back in merchandise and the fact that they capitulated in the first place continues the acid rain of angst.”

Commander Givens has also seemingly become obsessed with a few nameless individuals in the comments (all 53 of them) section on the band’s website www.lynyrdskynyrd.com  stating: “My letter to Skynyrd has brought out the loons. Y’all might want to chime in”, as well as being obsessed with the the moderators on the site.

Sir, perhaps Gary Rossington did some soul searching after the CNN interview and the backlash from the fans. The end result is that the band will once again fly the flag that has been the symbol of the band for over 40 years, and our heritage for 150 years.

You , me, or anyone else for that matter has no right to demand what kind of merchandise they sell. The free market will determine the demand. Isn’t that what our ancestors fought the war to begin with? Besides, Gary Rossington isn’t telling us what merchandise to sell.

While you have been trying to bring Lynyrd Skynyrd under the heel, a major developement has occurred in Alabama. The Herald Standard is reporting that:

“Council members in an Alabama city voted Tuesday to stop a group’s work on a new monument honoring a Confederate general who was an early leader in the Ku Klux Klan.

The Selma City Council voted 4-0 with two members abstaining to stop all work on the monument to Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest until the courts decide whether the city or a Confederate heritage group owns the cemetery property where the monument would be rebuilt.

The vote came after a group of protesters marched to City Hall.

Demonstrations by civil rights groups about 10 years ago led to the relocation of a Forrest monument from outside a city building near downtown to a section of a city cemetery honoring Confederate war dead. But Forrest’s bust was removed and apparently stolen from atop a 7-foot granite memorial earlier this year, and efforts to rebuild it have drawn protests and calls by civil rights activists not to replace it.

Detractors say Forrest traded black people like cattle, massacred black Union soldiers and joined the early Ku Klux Klan. His defenders dispute much of that and counter with stories that depict him as a protector of slave families and defender of the weak who resigned from the KKK”

I ask you this; Who is more of a threat to our heritage? A group of friends who admit they were wrong and moves forward, or a group of well organized individuals, who will never admit when they are wrong and will not be happy until they destroy everything we hold dear?

Commander Givens, I respect you, but I would respect you a hell of a lot more if you got off your computer, stop having a teenage-style chatroom smack down with a nameless idiot and get your ass down to Alabama to confront the REAL threats to our heritage. respectfully,Clint E. LacyMember Colonel John T. Coffee Camp #1934, Osceola, Missouri

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Father “Abram” Ryan: Missouri Native, Priest / Poet of the Confederacy

The following article was written by an anonymous blogger known only to the world as “Enemy of the State” and submitted to the Southeast Missourian “Speak Out” forum found at the following URL: http://www.semissourian.com/forums/speakout/thread/3331

Adored throughout the South, Cape Catholics ignore Missouri’s Most Famous Priest
Posted by Enemy of the State on Wed, Jun 22, 2011, at  6:09 AM:

"Enemy of the State": anonymous blogger/ modern day partisan

One Hundred, and Forty Six Years ago, on June 24th, 1865, the Poet Priest of the Confederacy, Father Abram Ryan, released his most famous poem, “The Conquered Banner.

It appeared in a pro-southern Catholic newspaper, the NEW YORK FREEMAN’s JOURNAL, since then, millions of southern children learned it by heart and recited it in classrooms throughout the south.

My guess is that no Cape Girardeau Catholics ever heard of Father Ryan, who was a free lane Chaplin to our soldiers in the Confederate Service, but they should have.

Nashville named a high school after Father Ryan.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp #302 in San Diego, CA, named their camp after Father Ryan.

A memorial plaque has been erected at his former parish, Immaculate Conception Church, in Knoxville, Tennessee.

A memorial park with a statue of Father Ryan is in downtown Mobile, AL.

Father Ryan is commemorated on the Poet’s Monument in Augusta, Georgia, along with Sidney Lanier, Paul Hamilton Hayne, and James Ryder Randall

There is a stained glass window at the Confederate Museum in New Orleans

There is a stained glass window depicting Father Ryan at Bapst Library, Boston College

A memorial plaque graces the front of St Boniface Church in Louisville KY, the remaining active portion of the Franciscan Monastery where he died. The adjoining monastery building is now apartments.

Why then, should Cape Girardeau Catholics honor this great man, a devoted priest, who risked his life to tend to the needs of loyal Confederate soldiers?  It is because Father Ryan has a Cape Girardeau history.

Born born on February 5, 1839 in Hagerstown, Maryland, his parents soon moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was educated at the Academy of Christian Brothers.  Later, Later Ryan studied for the priesthood at St. Mary’s of the Barrens Seminary near Perryville.  He was ordained a Priest in the Vincentian order on September 12th, 1860.  As a new priest, he taught theology at St. Mary’s of the Barrens and was also listed in 1860-61 on the faculty roster of the diocesan seminary in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

It was from this area, that Father Ryan answered the call of the Archbishop of New Orleans who was recruiting Catholic Priests to be free lance Chaplins for the Confederate Service.  Father Ryan began to be absent from duties due to “illness” so that he could travel to minister to troops in Tennessee, and Kentucky, Louisiana.

According to wikipedia, “Fr. Ryan began formal full-time clerical duties in Tennessee in late 1863 or early 1864. Though he never formally joined the Confederate Army, he clearly was serving as a free-lance chaplain by the last two years of the conflict, with possible appearances at the Battle of Lookout Mountain and the Battle of Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga (both in late November 1863), and well-authenticated service at the Battle of Franklin (November 1864) and the subsequent Battle of Nashville (December 1864). Some of his most moving poems–“In Memoriam” and “In Memory of My Brother”–came in response to his brother’s death, who died while serving in uniform for the Confederacy in April 1863, probably from injuries suffered during fighting near Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.”

All this makes Father Ryan a notable, highly regarded priest, to risk his life, even though he wasn’t in the Confederate Army, to minster to the troops.

However, that may not have been Father Ryan’s greatest accomplishment, though I would venture that to those who Father Ryan attended, they may disagree.  Father Abram Ryan is best known as the Poet Priest of the Confederacy.

His poems, “CSA”, “In Memoriam”, and “The Conquered Banner” were, and still are, treasured in the south, and helped sooth it in it’s most difficult time, that being when they lost their war for Independence from the tyrannical northern government.

The latter, “The Conquered Banner” was required to be learned by all southern school students for many, many years, just as we were required to memorize the tyrants “Gettysburg Address.”

Father Ryan published volumes of poems, on the war, the military, and on other circumstances and several volumes of his work is even now available on eBay.

Imagine if you will, a Father Ryan Museum in Cape Girardeau.  Cape would become a stopping point for not only bus loads of vacationing Catholics, but southerners who remember him fondly from learning about him in their high school years.

I am sure that there are records in Cape Girardeau that prove that Father Ryan was at the diocesan Seminary, (St. Vincents) and also at St. Mary’s in Perryville.  Some enterprising Catholic ought to look into it as we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of our nations launch of it’s struggle for freedom from the vicious tyranny of the north.

At the very least, the Knights of Columbus ought to commemorate a plaque to this great man, this extraordinary Priest, Father Abram Ryan.

Why Lincoln has the blood of 630,000 on HIS hands

A VERY good and informative article by Frank Conner about Lincoln the megalomaniac- webmaster

This article was originally published by the Descendants of Point Look Out blog:

To justify their claims that our Confederate ancestors were like Nazi concentration-camp guards–and therefore that all Confederate symbols must now be obliterated, the civil-rights activists argue as follows: the Southern states rebelled against the Union, and started and fought the “Civil War” to protect the unspeakably-evil institution of slavery.

Those are blatant lies, and it is very important for all Southerners to know that. But because the North won the war, you have to look very hard to find the books which tell the truth.

*** John S. Tilley’s “Lincoln Takes Command” and Ludwell Johnson’s “North Against South” are two such books.

I took most of the material below from those books several days ago, to refute a claim in the SCV list server that Lincoln couldn’t have been THAT bad a person. Well, he was.

The North’s Republican party came out of nowhere in 1854, formed from the wreckage of the Whig party (the Northern Conscience-Whigs), and from the Free-Soilers and the Know-Nothings. It opposed slavery, and it demanded a powerful national-government which would subsidize Northern industrialization. The new Republican party grew very rapidly. Not surprisingly, its key bankrollers were Northern capitalists–financiers, shippers, industrialists, etc. Two of its founders and strongest political-leaders were Salmon P. Chase (first a senator and then a governor); and William H. Seward (also a governor and a senator).

There were two factors about the election of 1860 which disturbed the Southerners so badly that Southern states subsequently seceded. First was the Republican-party platform for 1860. Basically, the Northern capitalists wanted the U.S. government to tax (only) the South deeply, to finance the industrialization of the North, and the necessary transportation-net to support that. In those days, there was no income tax. The federal government received most of its revenue from tariffs (taxes) on imported goods. The Southern states imported from England most of the manufactured goods they used, thus paid most of the taxes to support the federal government. (The Northerners imported very little.) In 1860, for example, just four Southern-states paid in 50% of the total tariffs.

In 1860, the averaged tariff-rate was 18.84%; the Republicans spread the word that they were shooting for 40%–which could bankrupt many Southerners and would make life much harder for most of them. The Republican platform included a transcontinental railroad (following a Northern route); extensive internal-improvements to extend the transportation net for the Northern manufacturers; a homestead act which would eliminate the only other important source of federal funding, etc.

Second, if the Republicans somehow managed to gain control of Congress AND the White House, they would then be able to use the federal government to enact and enforce their party platform–and thus convert the prosperous Southern-states into the dirt-poor agricultural colonies of the Northern capitalists. And given the trends in demographics, the Southern states would never be able to reverse that process. The intent of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution would then have been subverted completely: the Southern states would no longer be governed with the consent of the governed–but instead bullied mercilessly by the Northern majority. Why, then, remain in the Union?

Came the election.

At the 1860 Republican convention in Chicago, Chase and Seward were the favored candidates. Lincoln was a dark horse. In national politics, he had served only in the House, and only for one two-year term–1847-49: he had left Congress 11 years earlier! Lincoln had only three things going for him: he was considered a political lightweight, who could easily be manipulated by the power brokers; he himself was from Illinois, so the convention hall was located on his own stomping-grounds; and both he and his campaign manager–David E. Davis–were extraordinarily-adroit politicians.

In 1860 the vast majority of the Republicans did not want war. But the relatively-mild Seward had earlier coined several phrases which led many to believe mistakenly that he was a warmonger. And if Seward might possibly lead the country into war, the hot-head Chase would probably do so. Lincoln the unknown murmured soothing words of peace–which went down well. Meanwhile, he and Davis manipulated that convention behind the scenes in ways that would make today’s dirty-tricks advocates turn green with envy. Consequently, Lincoln won the Republican nomination.

Meanwhile, the numerically-far-stronger national Democratic-party was busy self-destructing over the issue of slavery.

So when the 1860 election-returns came in, it turned out that the Republicans had won the White House, and substantial majorities in the House and the Senate. When that message sank in, Southern states began seceding from the Union–beginning with South Carolina on 20 December 1860.

Several of them said that the main issue was the protection of slavery, but that was strictly for local consumption by people who did their thinking solely in terms of simple slogans. The Southern legislators could do their math; thus they knew full well that the only truly-safe way to protect the institution of slavery would be for the Southern states to remain in the Union and simply refuse to ratify any proposed constitutional-amendment to emancipate the slaves. For slavery was specifically protected by the Constitution, and that protection could be removed only by an amendment ratified by three-quarters of the states. In 1860 there were 15 slave states and 18 free states. Had the number of slave states remained constant, 27 more free states would have had to be admitted into the Union–for a total of 60 states–before an abolition amendment could be ratified. That was not likely to occur anytime soon. But with the Southern states seceding, the issue of slavery could then be settled by force of arms at any time.

After the Republicans gained control of the presidency and the Congress, eleven Southern states eventually seceded from the Union–specifically to avoid becoming the helpless agricultural-colonies of the Northern capitalists.

This move took the Northern capitalists completely by surprise. The South was like the little boy who was forever crying “wolf.” Southern states had been threatening to secede ever since the Tariff of Abominations and the days of Calhoun; the North no longer took those threats seriously. But with the South now gone, there would be no federal funding to industrialize the North–for the Northern citizenry would certainly never agree to be taxed to pay for it. And far worse than that, the many, many Northern-capitalists who had been earning fortunes factoring the Southern cotton-crop, transporting the cotton, and buying the cotton for New England textile-mills now faced financial ruin. The South normally bought its manufactured goods from Britain, anyway. Now, as a sovereign nation, the South could easily cut far better deals with the British financiers, ship owners, and textile mills to supply the South with all of the necessary support-services–leaving the Northern capitalists out in the cold.

This was all Lincoln’s fault! If he hadn’t been elected, the South wouldn’t have seceded; and the Northern capitalists would not now be in this mess.

So as President-elect Lincoln prepared to take office, he was in a world of hurt. He had the trappings of office–but not the power base to support him safely in office against the slings and arrows of his outrageous political-enemies. Both Seward and Chase had well-established power bases (financial backers, newspapers, magazines, personal political-organizations, etc.); both of them wanted Lincoln’s job; both of them merely awaited the first opportunity to spring a political trap on him, subject him to deadly ridicule, and thereafter cut him off at the knees.

Given time, Lincoln–who, after all, did occupy the presidency–could weld together a formidable power base of his own; but right at the beginning of his term he was perilously vulnerable. He MUST now have the support of the Northern capitalists.

Lincoln was a Whig masquerading as a Republican, because that was now the only game in town. He didn’t care anything about the slavery issue; he preferred to temporize with the abolitionists. But he couldn’t temporize with the Northern capitalists. He would have to drag the South back into the Union immediately, or he’d (figuratively) be shot out of the saddle and discredited very quickly; then Seward or Chase would really be running the country; and Lincoln could forget all about being reelected in 1864. That was unthinkable. But there was no way Lincoln or anyone else from the Republican party could possibly talk the Southern states back into the Union at this stage of the game; so he would have to conquer them in war. (He assumed it would be a 90-day war, which the Union Army would win in one battle.)

If you read Lincoln’s first inaugural-address with any care at all, you’ll see that it was simply a declaration of war against the South. It was also filled with lies and specious reasoning. In 1860, the official government-charter for the U.S. was the U.S. Constitution. In writing it, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 (some of the most-canny politicians in the country) had pointedly omitted from it the “perpetual union” clause which had been a main feature of the unworkable Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, the U.S.-government charter adopted only six years earlier in 1781. Under the Articles, no state could secede lawfully unless all states seceded simultaneously. But the Constitution–which Lincoln had just taken an oath to uphold–did not contain that clause (or any other like it); so any state could secede lawfully at any time. The South did secede lawfully. Honest Abe flat-out lied when he said that was not so; and he subsequently used his blatant lie to slaughter 623,000 Americans and Confederates eventually–in order to perpetuate himself in political office.

Lincoln needed an excuse to start his war of aggression, because Congress did not want war and would not declare war of its own volition. The most-likely hot-spot in which Lincoln could start his war was Charleston Harbor, where shots had already been fired in anger under the Buchanan administration. But the newly-elected governor of South Carolina, Francis Pickens, saw the danger–that Lincoln might, as an excuse, send a force of U.S. Navy warships to Charleston Harbor supposedly to resupply Maj Anderson’s Union force holed up in Fort Sumter. So Gov Pickens opened negotiations with Maj Anderson, and concluded a deal permitting Anderson to send boats safely to the market in Charleston once a week, where Anderson’s men would be allowed to buy whatever victuals they wished. (This arrangement remained in effect until a day or so before the U.S. Navy warships arrived at Charleston). Maj Anderson wrote privately to friends, saying that he hoped Lincoln would not use Fort Sumter as the excuse to start a war, by sending the U.S. Navy to resupply it.

Before his inauguration, Lincoln sent a secret message to Gen Winfield Scott, the U.S. general-in-chief, asking him to make preparations to relieve the Union forts in the South soon after Lincoln took office. Lincoln knew all along what he was going to do.

President Jefferson Davis sent peace commissioners to Washington to negotiate a treaty with the Lincoln administration. Lincoln refused to meet with them; and he refused to permit Secretary of State Seward to meet with them.

After Lincoln assumed the presidency, his principal generals recommended the immediate evacuation of Maj Anderson’s men from Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor–which was now located on foreign soil. To resupply it by force at this point would be a deliberate act-of-war against the C.S.A.

It turned out that Lincoln’s postmaster general, Montgomery Blair, had a brother-in law, Gustavus V. Fox, who was a retired Navy-captain, and wanted to get back into action. Fox had come up with a plan for resupplying Fort Sumter which would force the Confederates to fire the first shots–under circumstances which would force them to take the blame for the war. Lincoln sent Fox down to talk with Maj Anderson about the plan, but Anderson wanted no part of it. Lincoln had Fox pitch the plan to his Cabinet twice. The first time, the majority said that move would start a war. But the second time, the Cabinet members got Lincoln’s pointed message, and capitulated.

Meanwhile, Congress got wind of the plan. Horrified, they called Gen Scott and others to testify about it; Scott and the other witnesses said they wanted no part of the move against the Confederacy in Charleston (and nor did Congress). Congress demanded from Lincoln–as was Congress’s right–Fox’s report on Maj Anderson’s reaction to the plan. Lincoln flatly refused to hand it over to them.

Lincoln sent to Secretary Cameron (for transmittal to Secretary Welles) orders in his own handwriting (!) to make the warships Pocahontas and Pawnee and the armed-cutter Harriet Lane ready for sailing, along with the passenger ship Baltic–which would be used as a troop ship, and two ocean-going tugboats to aid the ships in traversing the tricky shallow harbor-entrance at Charleston. Fox’s plan was to send 500 extra Union-soldiers to reinforce Maj Anderson’s approximately-86-man force at Fort Sumter–along with huge quantities of munitions, food, and other supplies. The Confederacy would, of course, resist this invasion–in the process firing upon the U.S. flag. The unarmed tugs would, of necessity, enter the harbor first, whereupon they would likely be fired upon by the C.S.A., giving Lincoln the best-possible propaganda to feed to the Northern newspapers, which would then rally the North to his “cause.”

Lincoln sent orders for the Union naval-force to begin its journey so as to enter Charleston Harbor on 11 or 12 April. Next, Lincoln sent a courier to deliver an ultimatum to Gov Pickens on 8 April, saying that Lincoln intended to resupply Fort Sumter peaceably or by force. There was no mistaking the intent of that message.

Lincoln had set the perfect trap. He had given President Davis just enough time to amass his forces and fire upon the U.S. Navy. But if Davis acquiesced instead, Lincoln need merely begin sending expeditionary forces to recapture all of the former Union-forts in the South now occupied by Confederate forces; sooner or later Davis would have to fight; and the more forts he allowed Lincoln to recapture in the interim, the weaker would be the military position of the C.S.A. As a practical matter, Davis was left with no choice.

Accordingly, the C.S.A., informed that the U.S. Navy was en route, demanded that Maj Anderson surrender the fort forthwith. Anderson refused; Beauregard’s artillery bombarded Fort Sumter into junk (miraculously without loss of life inside); and Anderson then surrendered with honor intact. The U.S. Navy arrived during the bombardment–but because elements of the force had been delayed for various reasons, did not join in the fight. The Navy was allowed to transport Anderson’s men back to the U.S.

Thereafter Lincoln wrote to Fox, pronouncing the mission a great success. Lincoln ended his letter by saying, “You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort Sumter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result.”

Folks, that ought to be plain enough for anybody to understand.

Now Lincoln had his excuse for a war (assuming that he continued to lie his head off about it–which he did); but there was no reason for him to believe that Congress would declare war against the South on his say-so. In fact, there was every indication that they would not. So instead of calling Congress into emergency session and asking them to declare war (which was their prerogative, and not Lincoln’s), Lincoln simply declared war himself–by calling the C.S.A.’s defense of its sovereignty in Charleston Harbor an “insurrection” against the U.S. government. Lincoln did not call Congress into session until several months later–when his war had progressed so far that Congress could not then call it off, but as a practical matter would have to rubber stamp it.

So Lincoln started the war virtually single-handed.

Without vulnerable dark-horse Abraham Lincoln assuming the presidency in 1861, I do not believe we would have had a war. Nobody wanted one except Lincoln and a few rabid-abolitionists and some Northern-capitalists whose fortunes were threatened. I consider Lincoln a megalomaniacal sociopath whose like we have not yet seen–and I pray we never will see.

Why the South fought…

As the Civil War sesquicentennial quickly approaches one question has been and will continue to be debated; why did the South fight?

Liberal bloggers, Northerners, government entities such as the National Park Service as well as Lincoln apologists have made the war about slavery.

The debate whether or not black Confederates existed and in what capacity seems to be a favorite subject for those who make the slavery argument. Does it really matter in what capacity that black Southerners served in the Confederate army?

It does to the Lincoln apologists. It matters because if they allow themselves to admit that blacks served in the Confederacy with honor, it takes away from the myth that Lincoln was the great emancipator.

With this in mind they would rather take a racist approach to the question of black Confederates, making statements such as “oh they were just body servants” etc to protect the image of Lincoln, all the while taking away the honor that these men achieved in fighting for their home. Their state. Their Country.

Why did the South {both black and white} fight the North?

Why not let the common Confederate soldier speak for himself?

Recently 82-year-old Jefferson Smith shared a letter written by his grandfather prior to being killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. The letter was published in Virginia’s “The Daily Progressive” and is self-explanatory:

“I am 82 years of age. My grandfather served the Confederacy under North Carolina Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew. He died at the Battle of Gettysburg. I will allow his thoughts, written to my grandmother just a couple of weeks prior to that battle, to speak for themselves.”

My lovely wife. I do so miss you, and the life we have there on the small plot of land God has given us. More and more, it seems that my thoughts are drifting back there to reside with you. Yet, as badly as I desire to be back home, it is for home for which I deem it best for my presence here with these other men. The proclamation by the Lincoln administration six months prior may appear noble. Were I here in these conditions, simply to keep another man in bondage, I would most certainly walk away into the night and return unto you. God knows my heart, and the hearts of others here amongst me. We know what is at stake here, and the true reason for this contest that requires the spilling of the blood of fellow citizens. Our collective fear is nearly universal. This war, if it is lost, will see ripples carry forward for five, six, seven or more generations. I scruple not to believe, as do the others, that the very nature of this country will be forever disspirited. That one day, our great great grandchildren will be bridled with a federal bit, that will deem how and if they may apply the gospel of Christ to themselves, their families and their communities. Whether or not the land of their forefathers may be deceitfully taken from them through taxation and coercion. A day where only the interests of the northern wealthy will be shouldered by the broken and destitute bodies of the southern poor. This my darling wife, is what keeps me here in this arena of destruction and death.

These noble men who willingly sacrificed themselves for the sake of future generations knew exactly why they were fighting. They knew with such clarity that their words proved prophetic in so many ways. I have the feeling that the recent censorship of Virginia history textbooks would have come as no surprise to these men for they already knew what was at stake and this is why they fought so desperately without hesitation.

This is why the South fought.- Webmaster

Letter to the Editor:

Every one admits that the United States is in deep poo poo because we have no money.  China owns us.

Suggested tax raises are a ramped idea in our Senate/Congress/Executive branch.  George (the idiot) Bush and the Communist Obama agree that no matter what Americans do that the U.S. tax payer must send billions to Africa because it is the right thing to do and that this is what we are about.

That is only Africa, I hope you know about the rest of the world that the tax payer keeps up ( like the millions that Clinton pledged to Pakistan). A long story short, what if there was no United States to suck on?  Would it not make more sense to stop all Foreign Aid, bring home our troops, vote out all the democrats and republicans that don’t support the Tea Party movement, and try to save our selves?  One day then maybe we could again support poor people who want to help themselves?

We are in deep poo poo because of the U.S. government!  Which is no surprise to us as our ancestors gave their all to preserve a republican government in the South realizing that there was no hope for the north  (barney f– and ted kennedy for example).  They ( the Congress/Executive and Judicial) no longer respect the  Constitution!  Our forefathers fought two wars over taxes, the American Revolution and the  War for Southern Independence!  Try to put that on the History Channel and you will learn that the liberal politically correct woman in charge will not allow it.

We are the last of our race, let us be the best!

Yours in our Cause!

Billy Ed Bowden

Commander, James Utz Camp,

Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Kevin Levin is at it again…

As the title states, Mr. Levin is at it again. This time in an article posted on November 28, 2010 entitled, “What does your Civil War soldier have to say?” In it Mr. Levin discusses how Civil War statues are “interpreted” stating: “our understanding of the meaning of these sites is always changing.”  The statue in question is located in Charlottesville , Virginia and is pictured below:
 
 Of course Mr. Levin couldn’t resist posting an editorial he read in the paper as a reason to discuss it. The editorial which was posted in Virginia’s “The Daily Progress” newspaper on November 27, 2010 and entitled “An Apology from a Confederate Soldier” states:
“My name is Johnny Reb, the young soldier you see downtown every day at the courthouse. I killed and died for the Confederate States of America. I now see the great pain and suffering I brought to my family and my country in this misguided war. I am sorry too for attempting to perpetuate the slavery of Africans, brought here in cruel servitude, an enduring stain on America’s heritage of liberty.

“If I could rise from my grave, I would walk to President Lincoln’s memorial in Washington and ask his forgiveness. And I would ask to shake the hand of President Obama and thank him for his service in healing the great country America has become despite my mistake.”

You’ve got to be kidding me! Asking Lincoln for HIS forgiveness? Thanking President Obama for “healing” this nation? Unbelievable. Lincoln tore this country apart limb from limb, and Obama is working on it as I write this.

Perhaps Levin’s motive for posting this editorial is because it truly reflects how HE believes.

I distinctly get the impression that Levin’s liberal theory that the statue’s meaning has somehow changed over the years is based on a broader theory that liberals adhere to when approaching the Constitution.

Levin believes that statues are “living” “breathing”  markers whose meaning and purpose is open to interpretation and change.  Well Mr. Levin, it isn’t, and neither is the Constitution!

As for the editorial, there is no need to ponder what the soldier would say if he could talk.  General Lee  in a letter to ex -Texas Governor Stockdale once wrote:

“”Governor, if I had foreseen the use these people desired to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox, no, sir, not by me. Had I seen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand.”

If the Confederate soldier memorialized on the statue in question, could talk and was able to meet Abraham Lincoln, he would not ask for his forgiveness, he would say, “May God have mercy on your soul”.

-Webmaster

 

Letter to the Editor: New Confederate Monument

A well attended memorial was held just outside Richland, Mo. last Saturday at the most beautiful Beulah Baptist Church in memory of the Confederate Soldiers killed in The Battle Of Monday Hollow. This was possible due to the efforts of John W. Wilson representing the Camden County Historical Society and the Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation.

Many dignitaries gathered to help honor the many fallen soldiers sent to a mass grave in a hollow not far from Beulah Baptist. After almost 150 years of little recognition those brave men, family and friends can now rest assured their efforts have been properly recognized.

After inspirational hymns by Brandi Kincaid and Missy Miller, prayers by Beulah Baptist Pastor Clifton Hodges and Father Owen Henderson, as well as moving words from Diane Franklin, Kris Franken and Aron Koeppen the honoring ceremony was handled by John Wilson, Commander Jim England of The Missouri Sons Of Confederate Veterans and Terry Cadenbach, Commander of the 4th Missouri Cav/President MCWRA. A beautiful memorial was unveiled and the inscription was read to a gun salute and taps.

The Beautiful Beulah Baptist Church could have not been more hospitable in their efforts and after the ceremony the lady’s provided a most bountiful and delicious spread of food imaginable.Do yourself a favor and make the extra effort to stop by this most beautiful little church just outside Richland, Mo. on Highway 7 to salute these most honorable Soldiers of our Confederacy as well as the efforts all above mentioned.

Paul Garrison is a resident and former Alderman of Lake Ozark Missouri and is a member of the Colonel John T. Coffee Camp #1934, Osceola, Missouri

Letter to the Editor

Duty

This may be controversial to some amongst us but the time has come for the issue to come forward.

It is obvious after reading many memoirs and books (not of the PC persuasion) of our men of Missouri, Southern men, those members of the SCV and of the entire Country of Sons of the South, that many of you have spat upon what you have professed to believe.

When you, as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) or a Citizen with Southern heraldry stand in the way, prevents, personally or in cooperation with those against us in honouring our Confederate Ancestors and what they tried to accomplish to make a better world for us, really have no place amongst us that try so hard to live up to our obligation to our Confederate Ancestors.

I have said in the past that there is a place for all members in the SCV. I must come forward now and say that I was wrong with that belief. Only those members that truly believe in our Confederate Ancestors, those that do not stand in the way in honouring them, have earned the right to accept the honour of being a part of the Sons of Confederate Veterans or their beliefs.

When a project is presented to your community to honour one of these honourable men and you do not embrace it, you stand against it; you have again spat upon their graves. Why would you do this? The only thing it can be is for personal gain in your community. If this is what you are achieving, you may indeed gain for a time but in the end you will have failed. You will have failed your family–past, present and future, and most importantly you will have failed yourself.

We as Southerners must stand tall, fast and unflinching to bring the true history and beliefs of our Confederate Ancestors. If you cannot accomplish this small task, maybe you should look elsewhere to rest in the shade of our mighty Oaks.

Gary Ayres

Commander

Col. John T. Coffee Camp #1934

Osceola, Missouri

Liberal Media Praises Va. Gov. McDonnell

From the Friday Oct. 1’st, 2010 issue of the Kansas City Star:

“Earlier this year, a mini-controversy erupted when Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell endorsed April as “Confederate History Month” with a declaration that made no mention of slavery. McDonnell was met with a torrent of criticism. McDonnell expressed sincere regret, then edited the declaration to specifically name slavery as the Civil War’s primary cause. Last week, McDonnell went further, naming April “Civil War History Month,” and saying of his initial statement, “My major and unacceptable omission of slavery disappointed and hurt a lot of people — myself included.”

Politically, McDonnell and I line up on opposite ends of the spectrum. But I found his statements, both in April and last week, noteworthy because, in politics, forthright admissions of wrong are generally avoided. Moreover, I am a minor Civil War buff who has spent the last year visiting battlefields around the country — Shiloh, Fort Pillow and Petersburg, among others — many of which are still struggling to offer a broad, inclusive history of the Civil War.

Responding to McDonnell’s rejection of Confederate History Month, Brag Bowling, commander of the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, offered insights into why that struggle rages. “Nobody’s ever been able to reason with me and tell me why we’re honoring Yankees in Virginia,” Bowling said. “The only northerners in Virginia were the ones that came to Virginia and killed thousands of Virginia citizens when they invaded.”

Bowling’s perspective is, at best, blinkered. Some 6,000 black Virginians fought for the Union — and, more accurately, their own freedom — during the Civil War. Most of the 180,000 black soldiers who fought in the Civil War were not “Yankees” but escaped slaves, freedmen either from the South or with roots in the South. They were not Yankee invaders, but Southerners. As was Union Gen. Winfield Scott of Virginia. As was Union Gen. George Henry Thomas of Virginia. As was the western half of Virginia, which formed a new state, rather than secede from the Union. But none of this meshes with Bowling’s comfortable rendition of history. And so, in the interest of that comfort, he erases what he does not like.

That malady of shrinking away from discomfort is at work in how we tell Civil War history at our battlefields. The South is doing better detailing a more complete story of the Civil War. Sometimes it verges on bizarre. At Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park in Western Tennessee, I was shocked to see a film that effusively praised Forrest while also praising the colored soldiers who fought against him.

At Shiloh, a park ranger beautifully narrated the biography of Andrew Jackson Smith. Born a slave, Smith fled when told that his “master” would be bringing him into the Confederate Army. Instead, Smith ran 25 miles through the rain and presented himself to Union forces. As a servant to Maj. John Warner, Smith was shot in the head at Shiloh but survived. He went on to fight for the Massachusetts 55th, holding aloft the regimental colors after the flag-bearer was cut down. In 1997 — some 60 years after Smith’s death — he was given the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton. There were no monuments for Smith, or any other black people, at Shiloh, much as there are no monuments for any of the United States Colored Troops at The Crater.

Through a concerted effort, neo-Confederates have left many of the battlefields of the South awash with the Lost Cause. Petersburg should be a mecca for African-Americans, but if you watch the film that’s shown in the visitor center, the sadness with which it regards the demise of a republic founded on white supremacy, you’d understand why it isn’t. You can’t talk about African-American history without talking about the Civil War, and yet the battlefields where that war raged are decidedly alien places for people like me.

In making April Civil War History Month in his state, Bob McDonnell has opened up the possibility of a more informed public discussion. But he has also taken a step toward giving a share of the Civil War back to the people for whom it was fought.”
Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/10/01/2267300/civil-war-legacy-should-be-shared.html#ixzz11AzCROu5

The author of this article,

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a writer and senior editor for The Atlantic and blogs at:  www.theatlantic.com/ta-nehisi-coates . Upon clicking on the link one will find that Mr. Coates is an African-American.  It comes then as no surprise that Mr. Coates rails against Mr. Bowling of the Va. Sons of Confederate Veterans for raising awareness about a politician that gave his word and then failed to keep it.
 
Really, how could Mr. Bowling know more than a Northeastern Intellectual who writes for such a prestigous magazine as “The Atlantic”? Mr. Coates calls the rewriting of the South’s history a “a broad reclamation of the Civil War, whose great legacy should be shared by all Americans”
 
Yes, All Americans except Southern Americans; right Mr. Coates?
 
Mr. Coates goes on to state that: “This is about clarity, honesty and the work of broadening out the vistas of history.”
If Mr. Coates was truly honest with himself and  his readers he would admit that he has a very big chip on his shoulder. He writes of the African-Americans that fought for the North; but what of the African-Americans that fought for the South?
 
There is no mention of “Uncle Charlie” Baker , who rode with Captain Bill Anderson in Missouri, or one of Quantrill’s most trusted scouts John Noland. A simple internet search will reveal many articles about Black Confederates. Among them, one by syndicated columnist Walter Williams (who just happens to be African-American ) who writes:
 
“DURING OUR WAR OF 1861, ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, “There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down … and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government.”

Dr. Lewis Steiner, a Union Sanitary Commission employee who lived through the Confederate occupation of Frederick, Maryland said, “Most of the Negroes … were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy Army.” Erwin L. Jordan’s book “Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia” cites eyewitness accounts of the Antietam campaign of “armed blacks in rebel columns bearing rifles, sabers, and knives and carrying knapsacks and haversacks.” After the Battle of Seven Pines in June 1862, Union soldiers said that “two black Confederate regiments not only fought but showed no mercy to the Yankee dead or wounded whom they mutilated, murdered and robbed.”

In April 1861, a Petersburg, Virginia newspaper proposed “three cheers for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg” after 70 blacks offered “to act in whatever capacity may be assigned to them” in defense of Virginia. Erwin L. Jordan cites one case where a captured group of white slave owners and blacks were offered freedom if they would take an oath of allegiance to the United States. One free black indignantly replied, “I can’t take no such oaf as dat. I’m a secesh nigger.” A slave in the group upon learning that his master refused to take the oath said, “I can’t take no oath dat Massa won’t take.” A second slave said, “I ain’t going out here on no dishonorable terms.” One of the slave owners took the oath but his slave, who didn’t take the oath, returning to Virginia under a flag of truce, expressed disgust at his master’s disloyalty saying, “Massa had no principles.”

Horace Greeley, in pointing out some differences between the two warring armies said, “For more than two years, Negroes have been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy. They have been embodied and drilled as rebel soldiers and had paraded with white troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in the armies of the Union.” General Nathan Bedford Forrest had both slaves and freemen serving in units under his command. After the war, General Forrest said of the black men who served under him “(T)hese boys stayed with me … and better Confederates did not live.”

You can read the whole article by clicking on this link.

The only reason that he is saluting Gov. McDonnell is purely out of political convenience and Mr. Coates as Jack Nicholson once said in the movie A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth!”    – webmaster

Penn State’s message to Southerners: Shut up and take it.

Wow, who would have thought that I, your humble editor of Across our Confederation would earn the distinction of being called, “the blogospheric mouthpiece of the Sons of Confederate Veterans”? : But that’s just what Sean Traitor  oops I mean Trainor recently stated on the Penn State  A PEOPLES CONTEST BLOG.

What did I do to earn this distinction from Trainor ? I had the audacity to criticize “artist” John Sims inflamatory works in which he desecrates the Confederate flag in every imaginable way.

Trainor states: “Sims’s provocative work seems to have aroused the most profound anger. An African-American artist working in a variety of mediums, Sims’s work at Gettysburg focused on the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate. His best known piece, “How to Hang a Confederate Flag,” features the Star and Bars intertwined in a noose”

The Penn State A PEOPLES CONTEST BLOG bills itself as, “The Official Blog of the Richards Civil War Era Center”.

First of all, I am not the voice of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I merely provide a forum for news and information for my fellow SCV members.

Second of all, the Richards Civil War Era Center obviously has a very poor screening process for who it allows to write for their blog.  Mr. Trainor might want to brush up on his history. The flag featured in John Sims “artwork” is not the Stars and Bars, it is the Confederate Battle Flag, (i.e. the St. Andrew’s Cross” ) the Stars and Bars was the First National Flag of the Confederacy.

Trainor also defends himself against my accusation of Gettysburg greed by stating, “Gettysburg College’s decision to display artist John Sims’s work on their campus, and the NPS’s decision to dispense with traditional military-historical interpretations of the battle and focus on the war’s political and social context and causes (i.e. slavery, emancipation, freedom, etc.). Taken together, these projects cost some $95 million dollars which Lacy views as a shameless expenditure of the Yankee Imperium (the money-grubbing Imperium, right?) to annihilate Southern ‘heritage’.”  As if none of this is our business.

My question for the thousands of descendants of Confederate Veterans in America and throughout the world is this; Should we really trust our history to people like Trainor who believe that $95 million dollars is not alot of money, and that the work of”artists like Sims is not  inflamatory?