Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352
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|39th Miss. Walker wrote:
Maam, I missed this. I'm not sure how much was meant for me but I'll do my best to answer some of it.
I think it is also a misnomer to give the western troops the credit for warring against slavery. The vast majority of the western men despised the negro. Many times the men refused to fight with them and in many cases the officers relegated them to only labor duty, such as Sherman's Pioneer Corp. Sherman even went so far as to seen his Colored Troops on a feint towards Charleston and to have them occupy Charleston to keep them away from his main army. Hell there were even race "riots" between Colored Troops and the white soldiers in places like Beaufort, SC. Actually I haven't. I think you've got me confused w/ another poster. That said The average western soldier in the US Army didn't really give a tinkers damn about slavery one way or the other. Then he ended up down in the deep south and saw the effects of slavery first hand. I literally cannot tell you how often I have read mens disgust at the practice of slavery; seeing children who were obviously a white mans in slavery, slaves as white as they and the mistreatment. "I wouldn't treat a rabid dog this way!" All too many men of the US Army found themselves turned into abolitionists by what they saw in the South; they saw slavery first hand and made a decision that it was an evil that needed to be stomped out. They blamed slavery for the war, they blamed it for the death of their friends, for taking away 3-4 years of their lives and they were not inclined to be forgiving toward an institution they blamed for so much. As a note there were no black men "officialy" w/in Shermans Pioneer units; but they were there. THey were also there in the Grand Review, and Sherman did not protest; he felt they had earned a place in the ranks of his Army. Sherman was a racist, probably 2/3 of the white males in the country were racist. He was also a sexist, homophobe and probably a bunch of other things that end w/ "ist" but he understood that it was slavery that had brought about the war and so did Mosby, Longstreet, Johnson and a whole host of CS soldiers who saw the 20 slave exemption rule for what it was. Thousands of CS soldiers reacted accordingly and voted w/ their feet.
While the South did a great job with the Lost Cause, don't think for one moment that the Northern writing of the war was any less propagandistic. I wouldn't disagree w/ that; but I do believce the Lost Cause should have been crushed at its roots.
It still remains that the root cause was slavery, that was number one. But as I posted earlier it was not necessarily the reason the common solder fought, on either side. I would agree wholeheartedly w/ that.
"There were plenty of men willing to give up democracy for slavery, not as many willing to give up slavery for democracy..."
I don't buy it. It was not an either or. There was no talk of democracy in any quarter. Nice catch phrase but irrelevant. It makes sense to me, an over simplification perhaps but one that rings very true to my ears. I don't believe the slaveocracy was overly interested in the opinion of non slave owners... unless of course they agreed w/ them.
In the South slavery was an economic issue. The South had more property value in slaves than it did in all of it's land and industries combined. The very essence of it's existence was being threatened. I could not agree more, it was money, lots and lots of money in slaves. Something like 4 million slaves at an average value of say $700 makes the property value of slaves alone about... lets see carry the... good god thats a lot of zeroes $2,800,000,000. That kind of money in the hands of what percentage of the population? Is it any wonder they could dominate southern politics the way they did?
The State of South Carolina seceded from the Union on it's own. Other states followed suit. Much of the upper South did not secede until Lincoln called for the raising of the troops to invade the South, to put down the rebellion. It was the threat of invasion that caused them to join the Confederacy. I would disagree w/ this... those that refused to secede faced invasion from only one direction; ask Kentucky from which direction that invasion came.
To all, as a note, I use red highlights as an easy cop out for me. I don't see green or blue worth a hoot... they look gray to me, different shades of gray but gray. When people use greens and blues I typically cut and paste it to Word, and do some creative magic to try and follow the conversation. My red font is not intended as a shout or flame. I hope none take it that way; if so my apologies.