Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sudden Death: Charles S. Stewart

Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Stewart

       Charles S. Stewart was born in New York in 1828, but moved to Mobile, Alabama where he made a living as a merchant. He would marry Julia Brown before the Civil War began. When the war began, Stewart joined the Confederate Army and fought at Shiloh and the actions around Corinth. In May of 1862, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and placed in command of Fort Morgan guarding Mobile Bay. 

Fort Morgan as it looked during the war

       Congress authorized the construction of Fort Morgan following the War of 1812 when it was realized the country needed these fortifications to guard against invasion. It took over seven million bricks to construct the fort. The fort was named after Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan and was completed by 1834. 
       In early 1863, a rumor reached the South that a new fleet of ironclads were about to attempt taking Mobile. Stewart wanted to test the strength of his forts heavy caliber cannons. The brave leader decided to oversee the cannon fire for himself. Somehow, one of the 32 pound cannons had accidentally been loaded with twice the powder needed. When the order to fire was given, the gun exploded. Large pieces of the metal tube flew in all directions. 

Death of Charles Stewart

       Five artillerymen were killed by the exploding artillery piece. Charles S. Stewart was struck in the head by a two hundred pound fragment of the gun tube. Reports state that Stewart was beheaded by the flying shrapnel. 
       One soldier wrote, "I immediately went over and found that his head had been entirely severed from his body and scattered around for some distance, one side badly bruised and one arm broken. All the pieces of his head were picked up and carefully washed and placed in the coffin."
       A dental bridge in Stewart's mouth was knocked out and twisted. It was recovered by an officer along with the stars of his lieutenant colonels insignia and a few buttons. They were sent to his grieving wife. 

Dental bridge, stars, and buttons

       One of Charles Stewart's granddaughters placed a monument at Fort Morgan supposedly at the spot where he died. Legend holds that Colonel Stewart's blood still stains the bricks there. 

Monument marking spot of Stewart's death

       Today, Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Stewart rests in Mobile's Magnolia Cemetery. He was a brave leader. He proved this at Shiloh and around Corinth. He also proved his bravery when he stood with the cannon crews as they test fired the guns he was commanding to hold Mobile Bay. 

Stewart's grave in Magnolia Cemetery, Mobile, Alabama

*Update on this blog: I found an entry on that placed Stewart's grave in Birmingham's Elmwood Cemetery. I'd wondered why he would be carried to Birmingham for burial when he actually lived on Dauphin Street in Mobile. Thanks to Martha Blount, a direct descendant of Colonel Stewart I have finally located his grave. He is not buried in Birmingham. Someone made an error on Findagrave. Martha taught me a lot of good info on Colonel Stewart and his wife that I plan to share in a future blog in the next week or so. Thank you Martha for the correction and I can't wait to visit his grave soon. Now if I could just talk Martha into one of Colonel Stewart's autographs to go on my wall with the rest of my collection.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Death of another Stonewall

John Stevens Bowen

       Anyone who knows anything about the Civil War will quickly identify "Stonewall" Jackson. Most people with a little Civil War knowledge can identify Patrick Cleburne as the "Stonewall of the West." Very few people know that there was a third "Stonewall" in the Confederate Army during the war. 
       John Stevens Bowen was the other man nicknamed "Stonewall" and lost that nickname due to his death. He is not as famous as Jackson or Cleburne and the reason is simple. Despite being a great commander and well loved by his men, Bowen didn't die in combat. His death was a lot less glorious as the other two "Stonewalls." 
       Bowen was born in Georgia in 1830 and attended the University of Georgia. He left before graduating and entered the United States Military Academy. He was suspended a year because he had refused to tell on another student he'd caught out after hours. He returned to the academy and graduated in the class of 1853. 
       Bowen would spend three years in the U.S. Army before resigning to become an architect back in Georgia. He became a lieutenant colonel in the Georgia Militia before moving to Missouri just three years before the Civil War began.
       Bowen was initially captured in Missouri by Federal General Nathaniel Lyon. Upon his exchange he was quickly given command of a brigade in Leonidas Polk's corps. When Confederate Major General George Crittenden was dismissed from service for drunkenness, the logical choice to replace him was John Bowen. Sidney Johnston chose John Breckinridge instead because Breckinridge was the ex-vice president of the United States and a more popular man among the public. Bowen was relatively unknown. 
       Bowen remained in command of a brigade at the Battle of Shiloh where he was severely wounded and out of action for quite some time. Upon his recovery, Bowen took command of a division under John Pemberton at Vicksburg. He would be Pemberton's most trusted subordinate. 

Bowen: The hero of Port Gibson

       Bowen delayed Grant's approach to Vicksburg at Port Gibson despite being outnumbered and because of his action there he was promoted to Major General. He continued to serve under the inept Pemberton, fighting at Champion Hill and served as Pemberton's rearguard afterward. 
       During the siege of Vicksburg, Pemberton became extremely sick with dysentery. Dysentery was a deadly disease during the Civil War. It was a combination of bloody diarrhea, fever and extreme pain. Bowen was paroled after the surrender of Vicksburg and was travelling with his wife when he was forced to stop near Edwards, Mississippi. On July 13, 1863 just nine days after he was surrendered at Vicksburg, John Bowen died. 

Walton House, death site of John Bowen

       John Stevens Bowen, the other "Stonewall" of the Confederate Army was thirty-two years old. He is not as well known as the other two for several reasons. The way he died helped contribute to this, but also because he died just as he was reaching the best part of his career. He is another Civil War officer that we must ask ourselves the question. Had he lived, what might he have accomplished?

Cedar Hill Cemetery, Vicksburg Mississippi

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alfred Iverson: A General and His Burial Trench

Alfred Iverson, Jr.

       Alfred Iverson was born in 1829 in Clinton, Georgia. Iverson's father was a United States Senator, but decided on a military career for his namesake. He enrolled young Alfred in Tuskegee Military Institute in Alabama. Iverson left school at the age of seventeen to fight in the Mexican War. His father raised a regiment of Georgia volunteers and Alfred served as a second lieutenant. 
       Iverson would leave military service in 1848 to become an attorney, but he decided to return to the military in 1855, being commissioned a first lieutenant in the United States cavalry. He would resign from the Federal army when the Civil War began and because of his father's friendship with President Davis, he would be commissioned colonel of the 20th North Carolina Infantry. 
       He would be severely wounded in his first action at the Battle of Gaines' Mill, but was distinguished for his action there. This would be one of his best battles. It seems he was snake bit for much of the rest of the war. He recovered from his wound in time to see action in the Maryland Campaign. At South Mountain when Brigadier General Samuel Garland was killed, the entire brigade broke and fled the field. At Antietam, Iverson's regiment ran from the field, but he managed to reform them and lead them back into the fray. 
       Following the battle, Iverson was promoted to brigadier general. Senior Colonel Duncan Kirkland McRae of the 5th North Carolina Infantry resigned his commission in disgust. The new brigadier would be held in reserve at Fredericksburg. 
       Following the battle, Iverson attempted to bring an old friend in as colonel of the 20th North Carolina Infantry. Twenty-six officers protested to the action and Iverson attempted to have all of them arrested. When he failed to promote his friend, he childishly refused to promote anyone else to the position of colonel in the regiment. 
       Iverson led his brigade into battle at Chancellorsville, suffering heavy casualties and being hit in the groin by a piece of shell fragment. During this time, he continued to argue with his subordinates. Many in the brigade began to complain that he was a coward because he had gone to the rear during the battle to seek reinforcements. 
       On the first day at Gettysburg, Iverson sent his brigade against an entire Federal corps alone. Most historians believe that Iverson was intoxicated. When he ordered the brigade forward, he shouted, "Give them hell!" He then watched them advance alone while he stayed in the rear. The brigade advanced against the line of Federals who were crouched behind a stone wall. They lost 900 men in a very short period of time. The brigadier then cursed his men as cowards after the attack failed. Iverson had only 500 men left in his brigade, but Lee relieved him from command of the brigade for the remainder of the battle. 
       The men fell in a nearly straight line and were buried on the spot. After the battle, once the bodies decayed, the ground sank and locals called these spots 'Iverson's Pits'. A veteran returned after the war and dug into these pits finding buttons, bullets and teeth. It was all that remained of Iverson's men. 

Iverson's Pits

       General Lee later made Iverson the temporary provost marshall of his army, which removed him from combat command. Lee then sent Iverson back to Georgia to organize a cavalry brigade. Iverson then took command of a division of Joseph Wheeler's cavalry during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. 
       Iverson did manage to defeat a larger command of Federal cavalry at this time. Major General George Stoneman and a large portion of his command were captured by Iverson. This meant that Iverson captured the highest ranking Federal officer captured during the war. 

George Stoneman

       Iverson became a business man in Macon, Georgia following the war, but soon moved to Florida where he began to farm oranges. He moved back to Atlanta to live with his daughter and died there in 1911. He rests today in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia. 

Alfred Iverson years after the war

       Numerous stories have been written about Alfred Iverson. One is about a soldier who seeks revenge on Iverson for the murder of so many North Carolina soldiers at Gettysburg. There are several stories surrounding the burial trench that became known as Iverson's Pits. One colonel who was lay mortally wounded after the assault at Gettysburg stated that he would make sure that his men would never have to serve under the imbecile Iverson again. One North Carolina soldier wrote that Iverson sent his brigade ahead "Unwarned, unled as a brigade, went forward Iverson's deserted band to its doom." 

Iverson's Grave in Atlanta, Georgia


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Carolina Cavalier: James Johnston Pettigrew

Brigadier General James Johnston Pettigrew

       One of my all time favorite generals is James Johnston Pettigrew of North Carolina. He was born in 1828 in Tyrrell County at Bonarva, the family plantation. The slim boy suffered health problems growing up in the swampy region and as a result was forced to spend a great deal of time indoors. He was tutored at the plantation and learned so fast that he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at the age of fifteen. Pettigrew is considered one of the finest scholars to ever attend the university. 
       He graduated first in the Class of 1847 at the age of 18 and held the record of highest grade  point average at the school until just a few years ago. Upon graduation, Pettigrew was appointed an assistant professor at the United States Naval Observatory. He studied law, dabbled in politics and finally decided to travel the world. He would eventually write a book about his travels, but it was considered a dull work. 
       At this point in his life, Pettigrew was considered a serious man, always thoughtful, but never wasting his time uselessly. He was described as slender built, olive complexioned and  possessing dark piercing eyes. 
       When the war began, Pettigrew had very limited military experience. He had served briefly as a colonel of a militia regiment in 1859. He was in Charleston when the war began and captured Castle Pinckney. Frustrated about not seeing any action, he resigned his commission and joined Hampton's Legion as a private. 

Pettigrew early in the war

       Just hours before the Battle of Manassas, Pettigrew was commissioned colonel of the 22nd North Carolina Infantry and missed the battle. He was extremely frustrated about not having combat experience. President Davis attempted to promote Pettigrew to brigadier general, but the man would have none of it. He claimed he didn't have the experience necessary for the promotion. Two weeks later, he would cave in to the pressure and accept the promotion. 
       Upon hearing of Pettigrew's promotion, a member of his family asked to be placed on his staff because he assumed it would be a place of safety. Pettigrew responded, "I assure you that the most unsafe place in the brigade is about me. By all means, get rid of this idea of a safe place, which you will regret after time. The post of danger is certainly the post of honor."
       Pettigrew would see his first action at the Battle of Seven Pines. Just as his brigade advanced against the enemy, Pettigrew was struck in the neck by a bullet. The projectile passed through his throat, slicing artery's, damaging nerves, muscles and his windpipe. The wound was thought to be mortal. Pettigrew refused to allow any of his men to leave the ranks to carry him to the rear. He soon passed out. Sometime during the night he would receive another gunshot wound and a bayonet slash to one of his legs. He would awake the next morning a prisoner of war. 
       Pettigrew was exchanged in August of 1862 and sent home to recuperate from his wounds. He would then take command of a brigade of North Carolina Infantry and see action at New Berne. Though the battle was lost, Pettigrew was praised for gallantry. 
       In May of 1863, Pettigrew's brigade was sent back to Virginia to join Robert E. Lee's army on its invasion of Pennsylvania. His command saw some of the fiercest fighting there on July 1, 1863. Despite losing a lot of good men and a large portion of his staff, Pettigrew was lucky to be unharmed. When Henry Heth was wounded early in the action, Pettigrew took command of the division. 
       On July 3, Lee ordered Pettigrew to lead Heth's division in Pickett's Charge against the Federal center. The division advanced under a galling fire. Portions of his left flank gave way and fell back, but the center and right advanced on across the field. Pettigrew's horse was killed beneath him, but he continued to advance on foot with his men. He advanced to within a hundred yards of the Federal line when his hand was severely wounded by canister fire. (Canister is hundreds of small round balls fired at close range from cannons.)
       He stayed on the field and watched his division charge further than Pickett's Virginians before being one of the last to leave the field. He slowly walked to the rear and met General Robert E. Lee. Lee said, "General, I am sorry to see you wounded; go to the rear." Despite the pain, Pettigrew saluted and continued on his way. 

Brigadier General Pettigrew

       During the retreat to Virginia, Pettigrew continued to command Heth's division. At Falling Waters, Maryland, Pettigrew was receiving orders from Heth about being the rearguard, a group of forty drunken Union cavalrymen charged through the Confederate lines. The General's horse was shot beneath him. He immediately came up with his pistol in his hand and began to stalk one of the troopers through a garden. It was at this point that he was hit in the stomach by a pistol ball. All forty of the Federal cavalrymen were killed in the fight. 

Site of Pettigrew's mortal wounding

       There was a chance the general could be saved if he would allow himself to be captured again. Pettigrew refused saying he would rather die than be a prisoner again. He was carried across the Potomac River and placed in the Boyd House where he died three days later. He had just turned thirty-five two weeks earlier. 

Boyd House

       The death of Johnston Pettigrew was extremely hard on his family. Although he had no prior military training, he was extremely intelligent and quickly learned to command men. 

Pettigrew's frock coat

       Robert E. Lee said of the man, "The army has lost a brave soldier and the Confederacy an accomplished officer." 
       One staff officer noted, “Pettigrew’s brigade would have followed him wherever he led, or gone wherever he told them to go, no matter how desperate the enterprise.” 

Pettigrew's grave

       North Carolina held a day of mourning for General Pettigrew. A large crowd gathered for his funeral. A friend wrote, "More than anything, he loved liberty, but he felt that to love liberty was an empty mockery unless that love was exhibited in sacrifice which its acquisition requires."
       James Johnston Pettigrew rests today in the Pettigrew Family Cemetery, Tyrrell County, North Carolina. He was possibly the most intelligent general in the Confederate army. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Mad Hatter: The story of Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett

       Thomas P. Corbett was born in London, England around 1832 and emigrated with his family to New York City. He later became a hat maker in York, New York. He soon married, but lost his wife in childbirth. After her death, he packed up and moved to Boston, Massachusetts where he continued his trade as a hatter. It was there that he joined the Episcopal Church and changed his name to Boston in honor of the city where he converted to Christianity. 
       He soon began to imitate Jesus and grew his hair long in an attempt to look like his Savior. In 1858, Corbett was walking down a city street when he was tempted to sleep with a prostitute. He immediately castrated himself with a pair of scissors. He ate a meal and attended a prayer meeting, blood dripping from his crotch before almost collapsing and being carried for medical attention. 
       He joined a militia regiment at the beginning of the Civil War, but eventually moved to the 16th New York Cavalry Regiment. He was captured in 1864 by John Mosby, the 'Gray Ghost of the Confederacy' and sent to Andersonville Prison Camp in Georgia. He would be exchanged within five months and return to his company as a sergeant. 
       Corbett was with the 16th New York Cavalry when they apprehended John Wilkes Booth at the Garrett Farm. He was one of the members that surrounded the barn. David Herold, Booth's accomplice surrendered, but Booth refused. The barn was set on fire to flush the assassin from his hiding place. The unit had orders that Booth must be brought back to Washington alive and no one was given permission to fire. 
       A gunshot rang out and John Wilkes Booth was hit in the neck. When the detectives walked around the barn and asked who fired the fatal shot, everyone denied they had fired their weapon. Finally, Boston Corbett admitted to having shot Booth. The detectives were very sloppy in their work and failed to check and see if Corbett's weapon had been fired at all. Today, some historians doubt the shot was fired by Corbett. Later in life, when asked why he had shot Booth, Corbett claimed the Lord had directed him to do so.

Another view of Sergeant Corbett

       Boston Corbett was arrested for disobeying orders, but Secretary of War Edwin Stanton would free the man. He would be given his share of the reward money for capturing Lincoln's killer. He then served as a witness against Henry Wirz, the commandant of Andersonville Prison Camp which resulted in that officers sentence to be hanged. Some believe Stanton released Corbett as an exchange for damning testimony against Wirz. 
       Following the war, Corbett returned to Boston and continued his living as a hatter again. He soon moved to Connecticut and later New Jersey. His life was slowly beginning to unravel. He attended a soldiers reunion in Ohio in 1875 where he threatened several men with a firearm. He eventually moved on to Kansas where he was arrested and sent to the Topeka Asylum for the Insane. 
       Corbett didn't stay in the asylum very long. He soon escaped and claimed he was heading to Mexico, but he traveled to Minnesota where he built a cabin in the woods near the town of Hinckley. There was a severe drought there in 1894 and a fire soon swept through the area. It is believed that almost 800 people died in the Hinckley fire. Corbett is believed to be one of those who perished. His body was never found. 

Hinckley, Minnesota following the fire

       It has been suggested that the use of Mercury in the hat making trade lead to the mental problems that plagued Corbett throughout his life. He is supposedly the first person to be coined the nickname, "Mad Hatter." 

The original Mad Hatter

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Mystery General: Brigadier General Robert Charles Tyler

Robert C. Tyler the mystery man of the CSA

       Very little is known of the life of Confederate Brigadier General Robert Charles Tyler. He was born around 1833, but that is also disputed among historians today. Most believe Robert Tyler was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but some claim his birthplace was Jonesborough, Tennessee. 
       Little is known about his early life. No one is sure where he went to school or if he attended college at all. What is known about his life prior to the Civil War is that he went with William Walker in his attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua. The attempt was initially a success but was eventually defeated due to the lack of support from the U.S. government. 
       He had gained valuable experience commanding troops in Nicaragua and this would help him during the Civil War. Another Confederate officer that served in the filibustering attempt was Louisiana's Roberdeau Wheat. Tyler would leave Nicaragua and return to Baltimore before settling in Memphis, Tennessee. The only other information we have pertaining to Tyler's life is the fact that he helped form the Knights of the Golden Circle.
       When the war began, Tyler raised a company and became a major in the 15th Tennessee Infantry. Other historians believe he was a major on the staff of General Frank Cheatham. Regardless, he would see action at Shiloh where he would be wounded. He recovered in time to be promoted to colonel of the 15th Tennessee. Confederate General Braxton Bragg liked something about General Tyler because he would make him the provost of the army. 

Robert Charles Tyler

       Nothing else is known about Tyler until the Battle of Chickamauga. If he fought at Perryville or Murfreesboro the records have been lost. From his promotion to colonel in June, 1862 until September, 1863, nothing is known of his life or whereabouts. In November, 1863, Colonel Tyler would be shot in the leg during the Battle of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga. The wound was bad enough to cause the leg to be amputated. 
       Robert Tyler would be out of action for the winter. He would receive a promotion to brigadier general in the Confederate army in March, 1864. Many historians believe that General Bragg secured this promotion for Tyler. He was given William Bate's brigade of Tennessee troops when Bate was promoted to major general. The brigade would be called 'Tyler's Brigade' for the remainder of the war, but Robert Tyler would never recover from his wound enough to take command. 
       He was sent to a military hospital in West Point, Georgia. The area there was guarded by a small redoubt which was named Fort Tyler in his honor. President Jefferson Davis ordered Tyler to take command of this redoubt until he recovered enough to take command of his brigade. He was still in this assignment when Federal cavalry approached on April 16, 1865. It was one week after Robert E. Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.

Fort Tyler

       The Battle of West Point, Georgia would be the only action where Robert Charles Tyler would command troops as a general officer. The units he commanded there were a few convalescents from the hospital and some Georgia militia. The total number he had to man the redoubt was about 120 men. The fort which was on top of a hill was only thirty-five square yards in size and had just three cannons. 
       One of Tyler's subordinates there looked over the incomplete redoubt and said, "Why, General, this is a slaughter pen!"
       "I know it," Tyler replied, "but we must man and try to hold it."

Artillery piece at Fort Tyler

       An entire brigade of Federal cavalry was on the scene by 10 a.m. and began to shell the redoubt. After two hours the bombardment stopped and the cavalry prepared to charge the fort. There were several houses near the redoubt and Federal sharpshooters took position in those homes. Ironically, Tyler had refused to allow his men to burn the houses because it would cause too much hardship on the family's that lived there. It would prove to be his undoing. 

Bombproof in the center of Fort Tyler

       When the bombardment stopped, General Tyler limped from the bombproof in the center of the fort to see what was occurring. A Federal sharpshooter from one of the houses shot him immediately. A second shot was fired at almost the same incident which clipped his crutch in two. Tyler collapsed on the ground. His men carried him to the flagpole and laid him beneath the Confederate flag. He would be dead within an hour. The flag had been presented to General Tyler by the ladies of West Point, Georgia and he had vowed to defend that flag to the end. 

Grave of Robert Charles Tyler

       General Tyler and his second-in-command Captain Gonzales would both be buried near the fort where they both rest today. Robert Charles Tyler would be the last Confederate general killed in action and the most mysterious of all. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Day Dixie Died: The Battle of Atlanta

       I just finished reading The Day Dixie Died by Gary Ecelbarger. This is probably the only book devoted entirely to the July 22, 1864 Battle of Atlanta. It begins talking about the upcoming United States presidential election. If the Union armies didn't show some success somewhere there was a very good possibility that Lincoln would have lost the election and the South may have gained its independence. 
       I enjoyed the first few chapters immensely. Mr. Ecelbarger briefly discusses the Confederate change of commanders with John Bell Hood taking command of the Army of Tennessee. He then jumps right into Hood's plan for the coming battle. Hardee asked Hood to adjust the point of attack so he could get his men in position in time for the assault. (Ironically, Hardee would be about five hours late after Hood agreed to the change.) 

Lieutenant General William J. Hardee

       I had read somewhere that Cleburne made the slowest march of his career the night prior to the Battle of Atlanta. The author (I can't remember the source) stated that Cleburne was overrated as a Confederate general and historians had covered up his mistakes at Atlanta. Mr. Ecelbarger does an excellent job explaining the problem with the night march. 

Major General Patrick R. Cleburne

       Cleburne's division had fought hard the day before the battle just east of Atlanta. He reported that it was the hardest fighting his division had seen during the entire war and his division had seen plenty of action. He was then forced to wait for Hardee's entire corps pass by the rear of his division before withdrawing his men from the enemy in his front. He then had to march in the rear of the rest of the corps which stalled quite often. I can see no fault in General Cleburne's performance at Atlanta. 
       Once you get to the actual battle in the book, Mr. Ecelbarger goes into so much detail with unit numbers that the reading becomes a bit difficult. I had to force myself to continue reading at times. I usually enjoy the fighting part of a good Civil War book more than the building up to the fighting, but that wasn't the case with The Day Dixie Died. 

Major General James B. McPherson

       Mr. Ecelbarger spent a good deal of time talking about the death of Federal Major General James B. McPherson (the highest ranking Union officer killed during the war) which I found very interesting. 
       He did an excellent job talking about the participants in the battle. He discussed Major General Frank Cheatham and his lack of experience in command of a corps. His attack from the west was out of sync with Hardee's attack and was just supposed to be a diversionary attack as ordered by Hood. Cheatham broke through the Federal center, capturing cannons and forcing units to retreat only to be counter-attacked and driven back where he had began his attack. 

Major General Frank Cheatham

       The last chapter discusses how the battle affected the presidential election. Mr. Ecelbarger then goes into detail about the history of the Atlanta battlefield (it no longer exists) and the Atlanta Cyclorama (doesn't even include the flank attack which almost rolled up the Federal lines the way Jackson did at Chancellorsville). 
       Overall, its a very good book, just a little overly detailed for my taste during the combat. Mr. Ecelbarger tends to tell you every unit number and which company's were absent or detached. Some may enjoy all the unit numbers and etcetera, but I'm just not one of those guys. 

Part of the Atlanta Cyclorama

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Confederate Flag: Part 2

The First Confederate National Flag

       Another lie reported by the Montgomery reporter stated that there were more marchers than spectators because no one cared for the event. I guess it would have been too much trouble to check around and ask why. The men in charge of the parade decided it would be a nice gesture if they would invite the spectators present to march with the reenactors. My wife and children were among this group. It amazes me how the media twists stories to suit what they want. 
       You may wonder why newspaper reporters resort to stirring up controversy in their papers and I have the answer. This is a quote from an actual historian about present day reporters: "Newspapers are a thing of the past and they will stir up any controversy in order to sell a newspaper and save their jobs."

       These men understand what the flag stands for

       An African American friend of mine on Facebook understands what the flag meant. He was the president of the NAACP in Asheville, North Carolina and was forced out of office because he refused to declare the Confederate Flag as a racist symbol among other things. He supports the flag today and the following is a quote of what he believes: "The Civil War had almost nothing to do with the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln supported an amendment that would create permanent slavery, and five Northern states kept slavery until they were forced to abandon the institution, due to the 13th amendment. Even then, Delaware, a Northern loyalist state, refused to ratify the amendment. He believes that the South had a constitutional right of secession, arguing that not only was southern secession legal, it was justified. Outrageous tariffs drove the south into extreme poverty, and many unconstitutional actions of Abraham Lincoln lead to the secession of the Confederate States of America. H.K. Edgerton blames the North for the onslaught of racism in the twentieth century, pointing out that post-civil war poverty in the south, that lasted until post World War II lead to feelings of resentment, and resulted in the violent racism of the civil rights era. He points out that if the South had been allowed to go peacefully, both the United States and the Confederate States would have abandoned racism long before the 1900s, while keeping a booming trade alive between the industrial North, and Agricultural South."
       We can figure out which flag should be hated for flying over slavery very easily by going through the history of slavery in this country. It is estimated that around 645,000 African's were shipped to the United States as slaves. The idea of slavery began with something called 'indentured service' which meant a person worked for another person until a certain amount of time. This was used for both races, black and white. In 1769, Spain abolished the use of American Indian slaves in its territories. 
       In 1789, slavery had been legalized in New York, Ohio, Connecticutt, New Jersey, and Deleware among states in the south. By 1821 all the northern states except Deleware had abolished slavery. Ironically, Deleware would not abolish slavery until the 13th Amendment was ratified by congress after the Civil War. 
       The United States outlawed the importation of slaves into the country in 1808. Anyone found guilty would be tried for piracy and sentenced to death. Only one man was ever executed in the United States for importing slaves. That man was Nathaniel Gordon of Maine. Since the practice of importing slaves into America was outlawed in 1808, guess which flag was flying at the time. The Confederate Battle Flag wasn't invented until the 1860's. That leaves only one flag.

The only flag in this country that ever allowed slaves to be imported

       That is also the same flag that waged war on Native Americans and attempted to exterminate the race. I don't see that flag being denounced as racist. It seems that the political correct community decides it will rewrite history to suit their agenda. In the next couple of weeks I will write a blog on the true Abraham Lincoln and not the myth that school teachers and politically correct people try to cram down our throats today. I also plan on writing a few blogs to show that African Americans fought for the Confederate States during the war. Again, I hope I haven't offended anyone.