Why No Side Choosing During The Civil War?

Most Americans have studied the American War Between The States….but the one question that seldom gets asked is….why did the European powers not choose sides to support?

After all it would have been the perfect time to flex their muscle and make in-roads into the United States of America or the Confederated States of America. The nation would be focused on the internal struggle leaving lots of opportunities for influence peddling.

So again….why no choosing of sides?

By the beginning of the American Civil War, the United States was a little more than 50 years of age. They had started to develop relationships with all the major powers in Europe and the rest of the world.

It was evident both sides wished to gain the support of specific major powers, to enable them to take advantage of both military and financial assistance.

However, each nation remained “officially neutral” throughout the entirety of the war (although most favored one or the other). Some did not go as far as recognizing the Confederacy as a real country, but rather saw the South as an organized rebellion.

In fact, the Union told all the European countries if they recognized the Confederacy’s legitimacy, it was equal to declaring war against the Union. This neutrality for the most part, however, did not keep European countries from participating in various ways


This would be an excellent question to ask grad students in either international relations or conflict management…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


Most people know the major wars of the American Civil War…..battles like Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Bull Run, etc etc…..but how many have heard of the Battle of Perryville?

Plus I have a loyal reader that is interested in the American Civil War….https://beetleypete.com/  if you have not visited his site yet then I suggest you do so for you will not be disappointed.

It is 1862 in Kentucky…..this battle was claimed by both sides as a victory…..that tells me it was a draw and fell from the minds of historians for they like winners and losers…

Here is the people and tactics of a little known battle of the War Between The States…..

Confederate Brig. Gen. George Maney maintained tight control of the three regiments in his first line as he pressed his attack against a key position on the extreme left flank of the Union Army on the afternoon of October 8, 1862. The Battle of Perryville had begun less than an hour earlier, and Maney’s brigade was part of a sledgehammer attack by the reinforced Confederate right wing against Maj. Gen. Alexander McCook’s I Corps.

Maney’s immediate objective was to drive the Federals from an eminence known as Open Knob, one of the key positions on the north end of the battlefield. Situated atop the knob was Lieutenant Charles Parson’s eight-gun battery. It was supported by the 123rd Illinois of Brig. Gen. William Terrill’s brigade.

Maney’s Rebels, clad in faded gray uniforms that matched the flora so well that Federal staff officer Samuel Starling thought from a distance that they wore camouflage, had reached a split-rail fence overgrown with brush partway up the east slope of the knob. With his regiments suffering additional casualties from Federal fire with each passing minute, Maney gave the order to charge.

Battle of Perryville: Death in the Kentucky Hills

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Palmetto Ranch

Your history lessons continue…..

What significance does this place hole in history?

(Pause here….and give those who need it time to use the Google machine)

In case you did not use Google then let me help….this was the very last land battle of the American Civil on this day in 1865.

By May 11, 1865, nearly everyone in the United States and in the moribund Confederacy considered the Civil War over. Both of the South’s principal armies had capitulated. Lieutenant General Richard Taylor had surrendered most of the remaining Confederate forces east of the Mississippi. President Jefferson Davis had just been captured, and his cabinet had scattered to escape Yankee vengeance. Even the elusive Confederate guerrilla William Quantrill had been fatally wounded. The martyred president, Abraham Lincoln, had been buried a week before, and Federal troops had begun their long occupation of Dixie. Arrangements were underway for a grand review — a victory parade — in Washington, and the War Department was preparing to muster out most of the huge Union Army. Peace had come at last.

As usual, things were different in Texas. Hostile forces still faced each other at the southernmost tip of the state, where the Rio Grande spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. On Brazos Santiago Island lay nearly 2,000 Union troops, including the 62nd and 87th U.S. Colored Infantry, the 34th Indiana and a few dozen loyal Texans who had volunteered for cavalry service but remained dismounted. Across the bay and several miles inland, fragmented battalions of Confederate cavalry guarded the Mexican border, beyond which French imperial forces and native Juaristas vied for control of the northern province.

Battle of Palmetto Ranch: American Civil War’s Final Battle

Now you know…..

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Was Newt Knight?

A True hero of the War Between the States.

Most of my regulars know that I live in the Deep South….Mississippi to be exact…..when I was in school I had to study the history of the state and not until later in life did I realize that we were not taught the whole history only a manicured version….

One situation that did not make my Mississippi History book in 1963 was the The Free and Independent Republic of West Florida…..I wrote about this here on IST….https://lobotero.com/2012/09/22/the-republic-of-west-florida/

Newton Knight was a Mississippian who was pro-North……(a Yankee lover)……

Ever hear the name Newton Knight, or the First Alabama Calvary? Not likely. The capitalist media, books, movies & TV, has always promoted stories of “former Confederate soldiers” who loyally served the Confederacy, just loved Gen. Robert E. Lee, had no issue with slavery, and so on. But there is another story, a hidden history, of poor white opposition to the Confederacy and to slavery.

Newton Knight was a poor white farmer who led a guerrilla band of “deserters” who fought the Confederacy tooth and nail. The First Alabama Calvary were anti-slavery pro-Union cavalry, mostly white but also Black, about 2,000 in total, who fought the Confederacy and eventually were escorts for Gen. Sherman during his historic march thru Georgia in 1864. But hardly anyone has heard of them.

Newton Knight – abolitionist guerilla leader in Mississippi A hidden history of the anti-slavery struggle

The movie “Free State of Jones” was about the exploits of Newton Knight…..the movie gave a basic look at the man although there were many incidents that were not accurate but made for some good Hollywood license.

Learn about the true man….this site gives you what Hollywood portrayed and what was real…..https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/free-state-of-jones/

I love history and Mississippi has had some great history as well as some really tragic history….Mississippi has now embraced this hero of the American Civil War….and is finally being given his due…..

“We Stood firm to the union when secession Swept as an avalanche over the state. For this cause alone we have been treated as savages instead of freeman by the rebel authorities.”

Newton Knight, Petition to Governor William Sharkey, July 15, 1865


This is great story that everyone should know before they talk bad about Mississippi….for not all Mississippians were not supporters of the Confederate cause.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Libya–The Other War

Once Qaddafi was killed the country of Libya sank into a civil war that has been raging now for 9 years…it all started in 2011….but there is a lot of history around the country of Libya…..here is a historic timeline…..https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13755445

Gen. Haftar is a CIA asset and has been since 1982 and he now leads the faction in Western Libya against those in the East….

Haftar has issued a unilateral truce statement…..

The Presidential Council said Thursday in a statement that the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) forces will continue to defend themselves and target all threats by outlaw groups that are causing bloodshed in Libya.

The Presidential Council responded to the unilateral truce announcement by Khalifa Haftar, saying it welcomes all national stances that rejected militarization of the country and clinging to civilian and democratic state.

The statement reiterated that the Presidential Council is committed to Security Council resolutions and Berlin conference conclusions, adding that the Presidential Council signed solely in Moscow on the ceasefire as Haftar didn’t and continued to shell civilians in Tripoli in violation of all agreed-upon truces


The East has no confidence in Haftar……

Libya’s UN-recognised government on Thursday rejected a truce unilaterally called the day before by military strongman Khalifa Haftar, saying it “did not trust” its eastern-based rival.

The move follows successes on the ground for forces loyal to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) against Haftar’s troops in recent weeks, just over a year since he launched an offensive on the capital.

The GNA said in a statement that it did not trust Haftar, who controls the east and swathes of southern Libya, accusing him of violating previous truces.

“These violations make it so we do not trust truce announcements (from Haftar),” the GNA said.

Any “ceasefire needs to have international safeguards and mechanisms” to monitor its implementation and to document violations, it added.


Basically the two major sides in this conflict still go after each other in all fields of endeavor.

There are some that think Haftar is the impediment to a real political dialog…….that without him the chances of a peaceful conclusion would be possible.

The forces of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya and allied military factions launched a surprise offensive last week that enabled it to extend its control over a number of Libyan cities west of the capital, Tripoli: Sabratha, Sorman, Al-Ajilat, Al-Jameel, Rikdalin, and Zelten and expel the forces of retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, leader of the so-called Libya National Army. This attack comes in response to the LNA’s continued bombardment of the capital’s suburbs, despite calls made by many international bodies to halt fighting and focus on confronting the COVID-19 pandemic.

Will the Defeat of Haftar in the West of Libya Lead to Reviving the Political Process?

But Haftar has an ally that could change everything in the nation at war…..Turkey has sided with Haftar against the GNA…..

By intervening militarily in the Libyan conflict in January, Turkey helped forces aligned with the UN-backed Tripoli government of Prime Minister Faiez Serraj stand their ground against an offensive by a coalition headed by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. From Ankara’s perspective, supporting the Tripoli government is necessary to confront an arc of inimical forces bent on containing Turkey’s strategic and economic influence in the Mediterranean and broader Middle East. Haftar’s foreign backers likewise see Libya as a key geopolitical battleground and have shown no hesitation to escalate. While Ankara deems its intervention worthwhile as long as it prevents Tripoli’s takeover, the costs may rise if as a result the conflict becomes more prolonged and deadly. It therefore should be in Turkey’s and Haftar’s external supporters’ interest to explore areas of mutual accommodation, work toward a ceasefire, and find ways to bring their respective Libyan allies around the table to pursue a compromise that would also meet some of their own core needs.

After six months of stalemated war in the Tripoli outskirts, Haftar-aligned forces started to slowly advance toward the city centre in November 2019 in a push to remove the Serraj government and disarm forces allied with it. Alarmed by this development, officials in Ankara calculated that, by balancing Haftar’s military power on the ground, they could create conditions for a ceasefire and negotiated political solution to the Libyan crisis. Starting in January, Turkey reportedly sent around 100 officers and at least 2,000 allied Syrian opposition fighters to Libya, as well as aerial defence and other weapon systems.


Haftar is determined to take Qaddafi’s place as the power in Libya…..he even refuses to acknowledge the recognition of the Eastern Libyan political forces as the leader of Libyan people….

In a short televised speech late on 27 April, Khalifa Haftar declared that he accepted the people’s “mandate” to scrap the 2015 UN-mediated Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) and empower the General Command of the Arab Libyan Armed Forces (ALAF), the military force he heads, to take charge of the country’s governing institutions.

The LPA gives international recognition to the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, against which Haftar has waged a deadly war since April 2019. While neither Haftar nor the allied Tobruk-based House of Representatives and its government has recognised the LPA, they have accepted it as the basis for negotiations. In rejecting the LPA now, Haftar is implying that he is no longer committed to international efforts to mediate an end to the war – and will pursue an alternative political project.


Haftar is using Turkey to help him wrestle power for himself……

All this illustrates that the problems that NATO created in 2011 are still tearing a country apart and making life difficult for the people.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Confederate Narrative

Let’s take some time out of all the doom and gloom around the Covid-19 crisis and do some history……

I grew up in the South and I had heard the narrative around the American Civil War…..most of the well worn narratives are myths that have been told to justify one thing or the other….slavery.

Myths like the war was not about slavery…..

Myth #1

The Civil War had nothing to do with slavery

Many Americans grow up learning that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. Let us begin with the simple truth: Slavery had everything to do with the Civil War. Don’t take my word for it, take theirs. As the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Hamilton Stephens famously told a crowd in Savannah in March 1861, Confederates rejected Thomas Jefferson’s declaration that “All men are created equal” and the founder’s belief that slavery “was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically.” Instead, Stephens told the crowd slavery was a good thing, that “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” While uncomfortable to read now, in 1861 this was widely understood to be the cause of the war by anyone paying attention.

Mississippi’s secession declaration began its list of “the prominent reasons which have induced our course” with the statement, “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery.”


There are those that continue to spread lies…..

It always amazed me that Southerns could not move past the fact that they got their asses handed to them by the North….and in the same breath are proud of the loss.

For those that want to know about the myths that were false……let’s call them lies shall we?

The most widespread myth is also the most basic. Across America, 60 percent to 75 percent of high-school history teachers believe and teach that the South seceded for state’s rights, said Jim Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong” (Touchstone, 1996) and co-editor of “The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The ‘Great Truth’ about the ‘Lost Cause'” (University Press of Mississippi, 2010).

“It’s complete B.S.,” Loewen told LiveScience. “And by B.S., I mean ‘bad scholarship.'”


Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–09Jan20

Blood Diamonds!

How many people know what they are and why they are illegal?

AS usual the Old Professor can help.

Diamonds are supposed to be symbols of love, commitment, and joyful new beginnings. But for many people in diamond-rich countries, these sparkling stones are more a curse than a blessing. Too often, the world’s diamond mines produce not only diamonds – but also civil wars, violence, worker exploitation, environmental degradation, and unspeakable human suffering.

Not long ago, the public started to become aware that large numbers of diamonds are mined in violent and inhumane settings. Consumers are now demanding, with ever greater urgency, that their diamonds be untouched by bloodshed and human rights abuses. So far, however, the diamond industry’s response has been woefully inadequate. Diamonds with violent histories are still being mined and allowed to enter the diamond supply, where they become indistinguishable from other gems. Violence and injustice remain an everyday aspect of diamond mining.


I bring this up because Russia is proposing loosening the rules around “blood diamonds”….

Russia is proposing to move toward ending the ban on selling so-called blood diamonds from the Central African Republic, a former French colony that’s struck recent military and commercial ties with Moscow, amid resistance from the U.S. and Europe.

The CAR, which is mired in civil conflict, should be granted a “road map” outlining the steps it needs to take to get the suspension of diamond sales lifted, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said in an interview in Moscow.

“We need to ensure that illicitly traded diamonds move to the legal marketplace, bringing income for people and taxes for the state,” Moiseev said. “The situation in CAR isn’t getting any better, and we can’t delay this any more.”


Wassup with this proposal?

These diamonds prop up governments and pay for wars and killings…….why would Russia want to lessen the law and make the activities more numerous?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”