Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Making Sense of Juneteenth


         I’ve been trying to make sense of this new Federal holiday called Juneteenth. I did a little research to try and understand it. I googled its origins and found the explanation that CBS news gives as extremely hilarious. Does anyone do any research before writing anymore or has the country become that “dumbed down” that there is no fear of someone having the intelligence to learn the truth?

          Before you get upset with me, read this entire article. I don’t have a problem with people celebrating the end of slavery. I do have a problem with it being limited to just people with African ancestors who were slaves. Native Americans were slaves, Irish were slaves, the Jewish were slaves, and the list goes on and on. I also have a problem with the explanation given for Juneteenth.

          According to Emily Mae Czachor a news editor for CBS, the proclamation freed the slaves, but couldn’t free everyone in Confederate controlled states. Has this person even read the proclamation? Did the proclamation free a single slave? The answer to both questions is probably the same. No.  

          The proclamation was issued as a war measure only. President Lincoln understood two things about the slaves. The first was the fact that they kept the Confederate Army fed and the second that they were home while Southern soldiers were at the front. If he could incite slave rebellions in the heart of the Confederacy, he could finally win a war that he was losing. The most surprising thing to Mr. Lincoln was the fact that the slaves in the South remained loyal. Not a single slave insurrection occurred during the war.

          The states of Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri would retain their slaves until the 13th Amendment was passed. If Lincoln was so concerned with freeing slaves, these would have been the first he freed. These states were still part of the United States and were under his control. He not only never freed a single slave in these states, there were more he could have freed, but didn’t.

There were twelve parishes in Louisiana that were exempt from the proclamation because it was controlled by the Federal Army. (That’s right, these slaves remained slaves. It wasn’t just Louisiana either. There were forty-eight counties of Virginia (which illegally became the state of West Virginia see Article IV, section 3 of the United States Constitution) that were not freed by the proclamation because it was occupied by the United States Army. There were another seven counties of what is still Virginia that were excluded. Not a slave in Tennessee was freed by the proclamation because it was occupied by the Federal Army.

Unfortunately, none of this is taught in schools anymore and if it were, it would just be ignored. So how many slaves did the emancipation free? The answer is zero. You see, Mr. Lincoln didn’t free a single slave he could have freed, but attempted to free slaves that he had no ability to free. I can see why it is such an important holiday, can’t you?

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

The Last Moments of Two Mississippi Brothers


On top is Lt. Enoch Henderson Williams and on bottom is Joseph Green English Williams, both of Company C, 40th Mississippi Infantry. (Photo's courtesy of Danny Jones.)

       One of the saddest stories of the Civil War happened at the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee. Two brothers fought in the same company in the 40th Mississippi Infantry. Enoch Williams was born in 1806 in Georgia. He died one year before the war began. At some point he moved his family to Atalla County, Mississippi. Nothing is known about his wife except her name was Nancy. He had five children, four boys and a girl (some sources state that he actually had six boys and a girl). His oldest son William Williams died two years before the war began at the age of 26. 
       Enoch's second son was named Enoch Henderson Williams. He enlisted in Company E, 18th Mississippi Infantry when the war began. Just after the Battle of Shiloh, Enoch transferred to Company C, 40th Mississippi Infantry where he was commissioned a lieutenant. Enoch's brother Joseph Green English Williams also enlisted in Company E, 18th Mississippi Infantry. It was noted that as the two brothers were growing up, they were inseparable. They both attended Mississippi College together and it quickly became obvious that the younger brother Joseph was the better student. It made sense that they would both join the Confederate Army together. Joseph transferred to the 40th Mississippi with Enoch and was also commissioned a lieutenant. 

Private Columbus Marion Williams (Photo courtesy of Danny Jones)

       Another brother Columbus Marion Williams joined Company E, 18th Mississippi Infantry and records show that he got sick, was sent home where he died. Family sources say he was severely wounded at Gettysburg and was captured. When he was exchanged he was sent home to Mississippi to recuperate. According to the family, he died of gangrene in the still unhealed wound in 1870 at the age of 25.
       The source that claims there were six brothers says five of them died in the war and only Columbus survived. The names of these brothers or where they possibly served and died are not known if they even existed. 
       The story becomes much more melancholy. At the Battle of Franklin, Enoch and Joseph were still lieutenants in the 40th Mississippi Infantry in Winfield Featherston's Brigade. They went into the assault on the right flank of the Confederate Army having to fight their way past an Osage abatis. At some point in the fight, Enoch was shot in the stomach and Joseph was severely wounded in the arm. They were found the next morning, both had deceased, both holding the other brother's wound attempting to staunch the flow of blood. Each had tried to save his brother's life over his own. 
       They were probably buried together, the Confederate dead were placed in the ditch outside the earthworks. Later, Carrie McGavock of the Carnton Plantation had these men exhumed and placed in the Confederate Cemetery behind her house. Enoch was recognized (probably by something written in his pocket), however Joseph was not. Enoch rests in the Mississippi Section of the Confederate Cemetery in grave number 3. Joseph rests in an unmarked grave either in the Mississippi Section or the Unknown Section of the Cemetery. We can only hope they are buried near each other. Enoch was 27 and Joseph was 24. 
       The only information I could find about the one surviving sibling was Nannie Elizabeth Williams married a man named Johnson. I couldn't find any information on whether they ever had any children. Nannie died in 1911 at the age of 62. She rests today in Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, Tennessee. The story becomes even sadder when you realize that the only chance for the family line to continue was through Columbus. He married Francis "Fannie" Elizabeth Sallis. They had two children, one child which was born dead in 1868 and a daughter born in 1869 named Elma Marion Williams. Unfortunately, she died at the age of three. Fannie lived until 1926. All four rest today in Sallis Cemetery, Sallis, Mississippi. 


Monday, January 23, 2023

Another Civilian Death: James W. Jackson

James W. Jackson

       James W. Jackson was 38 years old when the Civil War arrived at his front door. James lived in Alexandria, Virginia just across the river from Washington, D.C. He was the owner and operator of the Marshall House Inn. Before Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and his 11th New York "Fire Zouaves" arrived at his inn, he was already semi-famous. James flew the Confederate (1st National) Flag atop his hotel which was clearly visible from Abraham Lincoln's office in the White House. 

James Jackson's Marshall House

       Lincoln and his cabinet had observed the large Confederate flag flying across the Potomac River and discussed it. James Jackson had been quoted as saying they would take down his flag over his dead body. When Virginia voted to secede from the union, the following day, Federal troops occupied Alexandria. Ellsworth immediately entered the Marshall House and asked a boarder about the flag. The boarder had no knowledge of the flag. Ellsworth then climbed the stairs and removed the flag from the flagpole. While making his way down the stairs, Ellsworth met James Jackson carrying a double-barreled shotgun. Jackson shot Ellsworth in the chest at close range killing him instantly. He missed with the second barrel as he shot at a Private Brownell. Brownell shot Jackson in the face and then repeatedly bayonetted his body before throwing him down the stairs. 

Private Francis Brownell (above left) and Colonel Elmer Ellsworth

       Both sides considered each man a martyr and hero. No one seemed to question the legality of soldier's employed by the Federal government trespassing and removing private property. James Jackson left behind a wife and three children ranging from ages six and twelve years old. He rests today in the city cemetery, Fairfax, Virginia. Elmer Ellsworth was 24 years old and had never married. His only brother Charley had died the year before of smallpox at age 18. Both rest today in Hudson View Cemetery, Mechanicsville, New York. 


Friday, January 20, 2023

The Sad End to William Bruce Mumford


William Bruce Mumford

       It's bad enough for a soldier to die in war, but when civilians are killed it's worse, especially when that civilian is executed. William Bruce Mumford was one of those civilians. He was forty-one years old when the Federal Navy arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana. He'd served the United States in two previous wars. He'd fought in the Seminole War and was wounded in the leg during the Mexican War. He would walk with a limp for the remainder of his life. Mumford made no bones about where his loyalty lay in the upcoming conflict and would have served the state of Louisiana had he been physically capable. 
       From the USS Pocahontas a Captain Morris and several U.S. Marine's marched to the mint in town and removed the Confederate flag and replaced it with the U.S. flag. He did this without orders, the town itself had not yet been surrendered. A crowd soon arrived and became enraged over this act. Captain Morris notified them that removing the U.S. flag would result in them being fired on by the warship. Seven men, including Mumford decided to remove the flag anyway as it had been placed there illegally. The ship did indeed open fire on the seven men, but only Mumford was wounded by a flying piece of brick. Mumford limped to the mayor's office to present him the trophy, but the angry mob tore it to shreds as he went there. Upon arrival, there wasn't much of it left. 
       When the Federal Army finally arrived three days later, Union General Benjamin "Beast" Butler heard about the incident and demanded that Mumford must pay for this "crime." He ordered Mumford arrested and tried before a military court on charges of "high crimes...against the laws of the United States. Of course, he was found guilty in this "kangaroo court." It mattered not that the city wasn't even occupied or had surrendered when he removed the flag. It mattered not that he had served the United States as a soldier in two previous wars. Butler was basically judge and jury. He ordered Mumford to be hanged, but was kind enough to allow Mumford to decide the spot he would die. Mumford chose to be executed in the courtyard of the mint where the so-called "crime" had occurred. 
       Mary Mumford, William's wife asked General Butler to visit her and he complied. Despite the pleading of Mary and the children, Butler refused to save the man. Despite repeated pleas from different citizens, Butler remained unmovable on granting clemency. 

The Site of Mumford's Execution

       Butler allowed Mumford to say a few words before his execution. He proclaimed his devotion to the Confederacy, but he also spoke of his love for the U.S. Flag and what it's original meaning before it waged an unconstitutional war against weaker states. He proclaimed his love for the original U.S. Flag and his support for it through two of it's wars. After he was hanged, Louisiana Governor Tom Moore called him a hero. His body was left hanging in front of the mint for almost an hour. General Robert E. Lee demanded of General Henry Halleck why a civilian was hanged for removing a flag before a city had officially surrendered. President Jefferson Davis went a step further. Due to Butler's proclamation which basically called all New Orleans women "ladies of the night" and Mumford's hanging, he ordered that Butler was to be treated as a war criminal and if captured to be executed on the spot without a trial. 
       There is a funny irony to this part of the story. Prior to the presidential election of 1860, Butler believing that a moderate candidate could save the Union, had nominated Jefferson Davis for president fifty-seven times to no avail. Years later, Butler would arrange a job for Mumford's widow in Washington, D.C. Mumford was originally placed in a vault in Cypress Grove Cemetery, but he rests today at the foot of a Confederate monument in Greenwood Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana. He left behind a wife and five children ranging from age's five to thirteen. 

Mary Mumford

Mumford's Grave

Monday, January 16, 2023

A Tale of Two Brothers


Lieutenant Nicholas "Nick" A. Caufield

       The Caufield brothers lived in New Orleans, Louisiana when the Civil War began. The oldest Nick worked as an accountant. His younger brother William worked as a clerk. Both enlisted in Company F, 5th Louisiana Infantry which was sent for service in Virginia. Nick was elected lieutenant, while William served as a private. Nick was absent back home in New Orleans from November 1861 until February 1862 where he was recruiting for the regiment. 
       Not a lot is known about the two between February of 1862 and the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) in September of 1862. We know they were both present for 2nd Manassas and Chantilly. It was at Sharpsburg in Maryland that the brother's, serving in Brigadier General Harry T. Hays's Louisiana Infantry Brigade, were posted in the "Bloody Cornfield." It was there that Hays had his men lie prone on the ground because of all the incoming artillery fire. 

Private William Caufield

       As they lay on the ground, William lay in front of his brother, reclining on his elbow and talking to a Lieutenant Gubbins. A Lieutenant Fitzpatrick beside them was wounded and Nick asked if he was hit. A moment later a shell struck hitting William passing completely through his body. The same shell cut off one of Private Fitzsimmons's legs, then cut off both of a Private Jenkins feet before striking Nick in the lower part of the back and exiting his chest. Nick's heart was torn from his chest. One Federal shell had killed Nick Caufield, William Caufield, and Private Fitzsimmons and wounded Private Jenkins. 
       The burial location of these three men are unknown, probably originally buried on the field and possibly removed to a cemetery later. Nick Caufield was 26 years old. His brother William was just 21. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Baptist Interpretation of the Bible

Will Dismukes - Ballotpedia

Alabama State Representative Will Dismukes

       I'm so happy that I'm not a Baptist. It seems their "politically correct" version of the Bible doesn't read like everyone else's. Will Dismukes went to a party celebrating the birthday of Confederate General and hero Nathan Bedford Forrest. The democratic party can't fathom why he did this, but the truth is, their party has no hero worth mentioning in the same sentence with General Forrest. You expect such ridiculousness from the democrats because they will use anything for a vote. The Baptist Church shouldn't have surprised me either. 
       In case you are wondering why I'm blaming the Baptists, they forced Will Dismukes who happens to be a Baptist preacher to resign because of his attending the Forrest party. Now why would the Baptist church do this? After all, doesn't the Bible teach forgiveness. Following the war, General Nathan Bedford Forrest became a member of the church and asked for forgiveness for all of his sins. According to the Bible, God forgave him of those sins, but the Baptist church obviously doesn't forgive. 
       For anyone who would like to know the truth about Forrest's salvation, I highly recommend the book called "Nathan Bedford Forrest's Redemption" by Shane E. Kastler. Mr. Kastler is amazingly a Baptist preacher, although once that denomination finds out about the book he's written, he'll probably be forced to resign. Mr. Kastler did some painstaking work tracing General Forrest's entry into the church and according to the Baptist General Forrest was saved. Now what will all these modern day Baptist do if they were to meet General Forrest in heaven. I suppose they will resign and ask God to send them elsewhere. 
       Let us look at a few Bible verses the Baptist need to read and learn. In Luke 6:37 Jesus says, "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven." Again from the book of Luke, 17:3-4 Jesus says, "Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him." 
       In Mr. Kastler's book, General Forrest confessed his sins and asked for God to forgive him, yet the Baptist refuse to accept this. They should try reading 1 John 1:9 it says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Matthew 6: 14-15 Jesus says, "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, you heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions." 
       I happen to have a friend who is a Baptist preacher, although I'm not sure which sect he is a part of, but I happen to know he thinks like Will Dismukes and forgives those who have asked for forgiveness. So please don't think I'm bashing all Baptists, but it seems the main leaders of that church are so politically correct they choose to please men over God. I would like one of them to explain to me how Will Dismukes deserves to be treated the way he was for celebrating the birthday of a man who completely changed his life and asked his Savior to forgive him his sins, yet they refuse to. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Christy S. Coleman and the American Idiocracy: If you'll follow...

Christy S. Coleman (the all knowing obviously)

       I recently agreed to a debate with Christy Coleman, even against her and her minions, by myself. Who won, well, I'll let you decide. Christy chose to debate me in private and left her minions out of the parts that didn't suit her agenda. Therefore, it was all Christy and her minions in public, but was it all Christy during the debate? I'll let you be the judge. According to Christy and her minions, she is the foremost expert on the American Civil War and it is all about the most "Holy" north versus the "Evil" South. Before debating Christy, I had no idea that the "holy" north only agreed to have slaves prior to the American Revolution as a means to appease the South (that's right, holy northern states embraced slavery as a means to kiss a Southerners ass according to Christy, this one truly cracks me up). You heard me right, her most "holy" north hated slavery, but accepted it to appease the Southern states, and according to her minions, she is the genius on that time period. All bow to the great Christy Coleman, the expert (in her own mind) on slavery all the way back to father Abraham, Useless Grant or anybody else who owned slaves. It's all the South's fault, right Christy?
       Hey, you Christy followers, you need to line up and drink her Kool-Aid, don't ask what's in it, you don't have the intelligence to understand what she is serving, just drink it, you idiots. Don't worry, Christy has BLM and the NAACP on her side, who cares about the truth when it comes to our nations history. She has the Federal government giving her and her self-righteous group 10 million dollars a year, how much do the rest of us get from the government. Oh, that is right, we just pay in, Christy just withdraws, welcome to the idiocracy of 2020. Pay these idiots to do the thinking, let the government take all your money and give to these idiots so they can get a vote. Oh, Christy told me that we agreed on most points except the war was only about slavery. The Federal government loved the African race and believed in what the constitution preached so much, that they went and wiped out the American Indians just ten years after freeing the Africans and declaring all men are equal. In this "shit-poor" country, all men are created equal as long as you have enough of your race to count in an election. Welcome to the world of Christy Coleman and her ignorant minions.