Awaiting Fate Of Statue Of Gen. Pike

These days there is a rabid attack on all the statues that commemorate the Generals of the American Civil War…..they are being pulled down, moved or otherwise vandalized.

I wrote about these statues in my op-ed blog, Gulf South Free Press…….https://gulfsouthfreepress.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/monument-for-traitors/

I am waiting to see the fate of the ONLY Confederate general to have a statue in Washington D.C…..the statue of Brigadier General Albert Pike.

For those not sure who Gen. Pike is….allow me me enlighten you.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1809, Pike planned on attending Harvard but ultimately could not afford tuition. Instead, he roamed to New Mexico and eventually Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he taught law and became politically active. In 1850, he organized the Know-Nothing Party, which campaigned on anti-immigration beliefs and emphasized the use of slaves as more “efficient than farm labor.”

Pike was also pro-Indian, representing a handful of Native American tribes in settlement cases against the government. That lead him to be named the commissioner of Indian Affairs for the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War, where he was then named a brigadier general.

His time as a general in the Confederacy lasted a little over two years before he was charged with misappropriating funds and letting his troops mutilate Union soldiers in an 1862 battle

Arguing with other Confederate leaders after being accused of treason, Pike ultimately mailed in his resignation letter and retreated to Tennessee — where civil rights leaders said he was rumored to have wrote the rituals of theKu Klux Klan, although various history blogs have said this was not certain

https://historicsites.dcpreservation.org/items/show/476

That is right a statue of a Confederate stands proudly in DC and has yet to be mentioned in all the babbling about those other statues of Confederate generals……why is that?

He was a traitor to the United States….he was a slave owner…..even allegedly influential in the KKK……why?

Could it be a religious thing?

You see Albert Pike is one of the most famous of the Freemasons……so is it for that reason that he is safe from the indignities the rest of the Confederate statues are suffering?

Personally I do not give a shit about his religious leanings…for all I care he could worship a wagon wheel….his persona should NOT be exempt from the “purge” taking place simply because of his connection with the Freemasons….his statue should come down and be placed in the interior of that massive Temple of Doom in DC.

If other generals were traitors then so was Pike……treat him as you would treat the other traitors.

Or is this person somehow special?

Then yes….a special gutless traitor!

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The Cult Of Robert E. Lee

These days of re-thinking the Civil War there is one that seems to have this whole cult around him….that is Gen. Robert E. Lee, commanding general of the Confederate Forces.

It is fascinating, at least to me, that a traitor like Benedict Arnold is hated and a traitor like Lee is deified…..and believe me….in the South Lee is deified.

How did this whole cult spring up around Lee?

The reason the South fought the American Civil War has been contested ever since the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. An odd turn of events, considering that when 11 Southern states seceded from the Union at the war’s outset, they were very clear about why they were doing it.

In declaration after declaration, Confederate states explicitly said that they had seceded in order to preserve slavery.

South Carolina, the first to secede, cited “an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery” in its declaration of secession. Mississippi’s declaration argued “There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union.” 

It was only after the war that many former Confederates changed course, creating an alternative narrative that historians refer to as the “Lost Cause.”

https://www.history.com/news/how-the-cult-of-robert-e-lee-was-born

Lost Cause….something I have also written about…..read it for yourself…….

Did Lee commit treason?

Led an armed rebellion against the government and person of the United States of America……then YES HE WAS!

In case you are interested…..https://athenaeumreview.org/essay/did-robert-e-lee-commit-treason/

More on the actions of Lee……

Robert E. Lee was a great “American” general, who attended West Point, led American soldiers to victory as a commander in the Mexican War and was beloved by his men

Until 1862, that is, when he turned traitor and gave up his commission in the US Army for a stint as commanding general of the “Confederate States of America” after South Carolina fired on Fort Sumter, South Carolina in April 1861, as an act of war. A devoted son of Virginia, Lee returned home and took up arms against the United States of America whose Constitution he had sworn to protect and defend.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-great-general-robert-e-lee-was-a-traitor-and-a-bad-person

To be fair I offer this short video that tries to refute the idea…..

Lee IMO was a bigger traitor than Arnold…..but that is the post for a rainy day.

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That “Lost Cause Myth”

Any historians out there?

Any American Civil War buffs out there?

I have never been a fan of the American Civil War……I preferred to study on the time between 1760 and 1812……to me there was far more stuff happening that needs more study…..especially the years between 1800 and 1811…..

But the renewed situation with the statues and flag and a deeper issue of racism has got me to thinking about  the whole ball of wax.

Especially the so-called “Lost Cause Myth” pertaining to the South……..

The Lost Cause of the Confederacy, or simply the Lost Cause, is an American pseudo-historical, negationist ideology which advocates the belief that the cause of the Confederate States during the American Civil War was a just and heroic one.

This is the so-called history that has been taught in the South for many decades. For those that cannot read or understand a couple of short videos can assist.

These statues that are just now coming down helps to explain the BS behind the Lost Cause Myth…..

For the most part, the statues, now being stashed in the back rooms of museums in the South, are anachronistic, leftover artifacts of a mythology that spread throughout Southern states in the early 20th Century, and which historians refer to as the “Mythology of the Lost Cause.” 

The myth grew out of attempts by a few Confederate army officers to justify their failures and ultimately humiliating defeats in the Civil War. It holds that instead of a doomed insurgency launched by racists in order to prolong slavery, the Civil War was, in fact, a romantic tragedy similar to the Hollywood fable portrayed by Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind

The Confederacy, according to this fictional account, fought to defend itself against Northern aggression and to preserve the rights of the besieged Southern states. Proponents insist that the people kidnapped and forced into bondage in the 17th and 18th centuries were most likely better off than they would have been had they remained in Africa. Some may even have preferred slavery, they argue.

Setting the Record Straight

Now ask…how could a defeat been seen as something positive?

Well we can thank Woodrow Wilson for he made the Lost Cause Myth more palatable…..he started naming military bases after defeat Confederate generals…..but why?

Born and raised in Virginia, Wilson was the first American president to hail from the South since the Civil War. He was 8 years old when Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House. Though Wilson grew up to become a northeastern Ivy League academic, the president of Princeton, and later governor of New Jersey, his southern political base saw him as a champion of the Lost Cause. And he didn’t let them down.

As president, Wilson imposed Jim Crow–style segregation on the federal civil service and the Navy, which had been integrated for the previous century, and when he hosted the first-ever screening of a feature film in the White House, the honor went to The Birth of a Nation. An adaptation of the Thomas Dixon Jr. novel The Clansman, the film brought the myth of the Lost Cause to the silver screen in a racist paean to the defeat of Reconstruction through the terrorist violence of the KKK.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/the-lost-causes-long-legacy/613288/

Here for your education are some of the tenets of the “Lost Cause Myth”……

  • Confederate generals such as Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson represented the virtues of Southern nobility. This nobility was contrast most significantly in comparisons between U.S. Grant and Lee. The Northern generals, were characterized as men with low moral standards who engaged in vicious campaigns against Southern civilians such as Sherman’s March to the Sea and Philip Sheridan’s burning of the Shenandoah Valley in the Valley Campaigns of 1864.
  • Losses on the battlefield were inevitable and were blamed on Northern superiority in resources and manpower.
  • Losses were also the result of betrayal and incompetence on the part of certain subordinates of General Lee, such as General James Longstreet.  Longstreet was the object of blame because of his association with Grant, conversion to the Republican Party, and other actions during Reconstruction.
  • While states’ rights was not emphasized in the declarations of secession, the Lost Cause focused on the defense of states’ rights, rather than preservation of slavery as the primary cause that led eleven Southern states to secede.
  • Secession was seen as a justifiable constitutional response to Northern cultural and economic aggressions against the Southern way of life.
  • Slavery was fictionally presented as a benign institution, and the slaves were treated well and cared for and loyal and faithful to their benevolent masters.

https://civil-war-journeys.org/the_lost_cause.htm

As an amateur historian this situation forces me to look closer at this part of American history……for me it is any excuse for research.

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That State Flag Thing (Again)

Mississippi recently decided to pass a bill that would bring down the state flag after so long of a struggle.

There has been a debate about the flag for several decades and each time the bigots have won the day and the rebel flag remained….that is until 2020 the legislature passed the bill and the governor signed it and the flag was lowered and hopeful never to rise again.

There was a poll taken and the answers were that 73% of the people think the Rebel flag is a sign of racism and 37% say it is a sign of Southern history (that is BS,,,that is just a way to try and retain the symbol while pretending that is is a symbol of something that it is NOT)

I say that because now that the flag has come down the people that pretend they are historians want to reverse the law signed and place the question on the ballot.

Nearly two weeks after Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill to retire the state flag, the debate about the flag rages on. Protestors took to the streets on Saturday in Harrison County saying they are being denied the chance to make a choice.

Protest organizer Ryan Woodcock believes everyone should have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote as they did in 2001.

“If Mississippi wants to change the flag, that’s fine, but it needs to be the people that vote on it,” Woodcock said.

Robert Hall believes removing the flag is simply erasing history.

“They denied Mississippians that are all registered voters the right to vote. They denied us. They violated the U.S. Constitution Amendment 26,” Hall said.

Many protesters were concerned that if the government can take the flag away, what else will they do.

“At one time that flag through different avenues represented oppression and slavery,” Woodcock said.

https://www.wdam.com/2020/07/11/south-mississippians-protest-let-people-vote-retired-state-flag/

Erasing history?

You mean the barbarous acts of slavery?

Heritage?

Is that the heritage of owning other people?

The legislature and the governor have spoken…..let the flag stay where it is now….in a museum.

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Lee’s Dark Side

These days of news reports about statues and persons of the American Civil War and the admiration that Donald the Orange shows them I thought that a post on Robert E. Lee would be an interesting post for my followers to read….for those that missed the original post……https://lobotero.com/2020/07/10/the-real-robert-e-lee/

After it was posted on Twitter I got a reply from a person that also writes a blog and they sent me a link so that I could read more on Lee’s dark side.

Warning – we do not use euphemism or Orwellian double speak.  
 
In this article — torture is torture.  It’s not “discipline.”
 
Buying kidnapped women is buying kidnapped women. Having your own soldiers shot during battle if they ran — is just that.  Look elsewhere for euphemism.  We won’t do it.

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The Real Robert E. Lee

These days of turmoil around the statues of Confederate generals and their “monuments” have lots to talk but few actual accounts of the perpetrators of treason.

This post is about the general of the Confederate Army, Robt. E. Lee……and for all those that think they know all there is to know about the war and the people…..

Robert E. Lee is one of the most revered, beloved generals in modern history. Many are taught that this son of a Revolutionary War hero helped lead a revolution of his own, and although it was ultimately unsuccessful, his legacy and defiant spirit have inspired millions. For a few short years during the American Civil War, Lee thwarted Union armies twice his size with bold attacks and brilliant strategy. He took the fight to the enemy and very nearly won the war for the South, all by himself. After the war, he pushed peace and humble reconciliation, earning the respect of his former foes.

Or, so goes the story, anyway. The reality is, as usual, a bit more complex than the popular version. And in Lee’s case, it’s uglier, too. What were Lee’s actual thoughts on slavery? What about racial equality after the war? How good a general was he really? This is the real, complex, often ugly, untold truth of Robert E. Lee.

There’s no shortage of misconceptions floating around regarding what, exactly, Robert E. Lee’s personal feelings towards the institution of slavery actually were. Proponents of the myth that the war was fought over “state’s rights” often claim that Lee himself was opposed to the practice of owning human beings. They might even cite a letter to his wife in which he calls slavery a “moral and political evil.” Later in the same letter, though, Lee goes on to support the subjugation of slaves at length and claims that only God can free them.

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/223599/the-untold-truth-of-robert-e-lee/

There is another post coming about the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis……according to family tales was a cousin of my maternal grandmother….her name was Bessie Mae Davis….more on that later.

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The Confederacy

There is lots of debate these days about the short lived Confederate States of America…..to some it is “heritage” (for me that is just a cover term) to others it was a repressive state dedicated to the ideal of white supremacy.

Let the old Professor take you on a trip down that historical lane…..

We can pretend that the cause of the war were several factors but the truth of the matter is…..Confederates fought the war mainly to protect a southern society of which slavery was an integral part.

For any of my history buffs….if you would like to see how the CSA was set up then here is a copy of the Constitution…..https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_csa.asp

Here is the sanitized version of the CSA from the History Net….

The Confederacy, when used within or in reference to North America, generally means the Confederate States of America. It is also called the Southern Confederacy and refers to 11 states that renounced their existing agreement with others of the United States in 1860–1861 and attempted to establish a new nation in which the authority of the central government would be strictly limited and the institution of slavery would be protected. Secession from the existing Union led to the American Civil War, a bloody, four-year struggle that left much of the South in ashes and ended its hope of creating a new confederacy of states on the North American continent.

Confederacy

If you want a truly sanitized look at the American Civil War then let AARP show you the way…..https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/history/info-04-2011/8-ways-civil-war-changed-lives.html

Now let’s look beyond the sanitation of the events of 1861-1865……the Confederacy…..

For the four years of its existence, until it was forced to surrender, the Confederate States of America was a pro-slavery nation at war against the United States. The C.S.A. was a big, centralized state, devoted to securing a society in which enslavement to white people was the permanent and inherited condition of all people of African descent.

The Confederates built an explicitly white-supremacist, pro-slavery, and antidemocratic nation-state, dedicated to the principle that all men are not created equal. Emboldened by what they saw as the failure of emancipation in other parts of the world, buoyed by the new science of race, and convinced that the American vision of the people had been terribly betrayed, they sought the kind of future for human slavery and conservative republican government that was no longer possible within the United States. This is the cause that the statues honor.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/confederacy-wasnt-what-you-think/613309/

There you have the facts about the Confederacy.

Now a little extra for this post…..could the Civil War ended earlier than 1865?

In fact, some of the war’s finest scholars, and more than a few ‘armchair historians’ as well, have explored all manner of ‘what if’ scenarios. And playing these sorts of guessing games carries risks – anyone bold enough to hypothesize is often greeted with scorn, derision and ridicule. After all, Civil War buffs are a passionate breed!

Nevertheless – and grasping full well the firestorm such speculation often ignites among aficionados of the period – I will offer up a few speculations of my own, stipulating as I do, that they are my own humble opinions, and nothing more.

Missed Opportunities – Four Battles That Might Have Ended the U.S. Civil War Long Before 1865

Could the war had been avoided with a bit of a compromise?

The only compromise that could have headed off war by then was for the Southern states to forgo secession and agree to abolition. Conceivably Lincoln would have agreed to gradual abolition to avoid war; he certainly believed before the war began that he lacked the constitutional authority to emancipate the slaves unilaterally.

Once the Confederate states seceded and troops fired on Fort Sumter, the only solution possible was complete Southern surrender. And as the war continued, and slavery became an explicit justification for the conflict, emancipation became central to a resolution.

https://www.history.com/news/could-compromise-have-prevented-the-civil-war

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Removing History?

#1 in series

Disclaimer:  My maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Mae Davis…..born in Alabama and according to family legend the cousin of Jefferson Davis….understandably not something that we spread around….

With the protests going on these days a new attempt to rid the very thought of the Confederacy from the society…..statues are being pulled down….flag being replaced and now Pelosi has done her part…..

“There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote. With that letter to Cheryl Johnson, House clerk, workers Thursday began removing from the Capitol the portraits of four of her predecessors, NBC News reports. The paintings that have been displayed in the Speaker’s Lobby are of Robert Hunter of Virginia; Howell Cobb of Georgia; James Orr of South Carolina; and Charles Crisp of Georgia. All served as speaker before or after their service to the Confederacy, at various times from the 1830s through the 1890s.

Orr “swore on the House Floor to ‘preserve and perpetuate’ slavery in order to ‘enjoy our property in peace, quiet and security,'” Pelosi wrote, while Hunter “served at nearly every level of the Confederacy,” including time as secretary of state and in the army. The Democrat, who has called for statues of Confederate leaders to be removed from the Capitol and their names to be taken off military installations, said she didn’t know about the portraits until recently. “We were taking inventory of the statues, and the curator told us,” Pelosi said. In the Senate on Thursday, per CNN, Democrats tried to pass a measure to remove the Capitol statues, but Republicans blocked the move.

Pelosi is just giving a knee jerk reaction to the events unfolding…..in my opinion this is a lame ass move.

I do not think this will do anything to advance the dialog we all feel we need……these men were part of the US Congress in their day and to try and write them out of history is just wrong.

Why not put a disclaimer on their portraits explaining who they were and what they did.

At what point to we stop pretending that these worthless exhibitions of caring will do anything to change the direction of racism in this country?

Should we not then by their logic remove evidence of Andrew Johnson from the official portraits of presidents…..simply because he was a “Reb” by birth?

I mean….. while in Congress, he supported the Fugitive Slave Act and the right to own slaves.

These statues that are being vandalized….I do not agree with the act….taking them down and moving them to a “historical” location seems more logical….I may hate these guys for what they did but it is American history that is being destroyed.

What purpose did these stolid artifacts that are now being dismantled serve? The French theorist of propaganda Jacques Ellul might say they were crucial machinery in the “propaganda of integration,” his designation for modes of enculturation which are so all-encompassing as to be imperceptible. When most people speak of propaganda, they refer to what he calls the “propaganda of agitation”—which would include, for example, the Pope’s exhortation to die in a Crusade in the service of Christ, the Nazi spectacle captured in the film Triumph of the Will, or George W. Bush’s “You’re either with us or with the terrorists”—all designed to arouse passions that lead to immediate action.

The propaganda of integration, conversely, is so quiet and pervasive it goes unnoticed. It instills an enthusiasm for conformity in individuals through the repetition of customs, rituals, and habits; it stabilizes society by planting ideologies so subtly and permanently in our souls that it effects a “persuasion from within.” In the United States, for example, television commercials, “historical” information installed in national park welcome centers, the presence of God on our coins, and the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events all scramble symbols of faith, consumerism, liberty, nature, community, wholesome fun, and patriotism into one deliciously indivisible mix. What some would call “propaganda” or even “indoctrination,” others would simply call the everyday facts of our lives.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/06/15/banality-racism-and-tearing-down-statues

I still think that the statues of our Founding Fathers should be safe from vandals…I may not like some of their lives but they did give the world a great republic.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/06/22/pers-j22.html

What does the public think?

As recently as June 6-7, a 44% plurality of respondents in a national Morning Consult/Politico poll said the Confederate statues should “remain standing,” while only 32% said they should be “taken down.”

By June 17, barely a week and a half later, a majority of voters, 52%, supported “removing Confederate statues from public spaces around the country” in a Quinnipiac poll, compared to 44% opposed to removal. Those numbers represented a historic swing from August 2017, when Quinnipiac found just a 39% minority favoring removal, with 50% opposing.

https://justthenews.com/nation/culture/anti-racism-and-erasing-history-public-support-leaving-confederate-statues-place

I think it is time for all concerned to take a step back and re-think their idiocies…is not destroying history the same as celebrating wrongs?

Please let level heads prevail in this situation.

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That Flag Thing Again

Closing Thought–22Jun20

I recently wrote about my city voting to take down the offensive Mississippi flag….and flag another state flag…..the Magnolia Flag……read my thoughts on this…..State Flag Is Gone! – In Saner Thought

Now the beleaguered state flag is under assault again….this time from the NCAA……

Mississippi is the only state in the nation to still feature the Confederate symbol, which consists of 13 stars and a blue cross, on its flag—and that hasn’t escaped the NCAA’s eye. Now, the college athletic organization’s Southeastern Conference is warning the state that if it doesn’t nix the symbol from the flag, it risks a big consequence. “It is past time for change to be made to the flag of the State of Mississippi,” reads a Thursday statement from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, noting if that significant tweak isn’t made, the conference will mull keeping SEC championship events out of the Magnolia State. “Our students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete in environments that are inclusive and welcoming to all.”

ESPN notes there hasn’t been an SEC championship game held in Mississippi since 2016. In a 2001 referendum, voters in the state opted to keep the flag as is, but after the death of George Floyd and a resurgence of Black Lives Matters rallies, the outcry to change the flag was re-upped. Among those who’ve joined that call: the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, both SEC members that say they’ve been lobbying for years for this change. “Mississippi needs a flag that represents the qualities about our state that unite us, not those that still divide us,” reads a statement from University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce and his vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics, Keith Carter. A bipartisan proposal to change the flag has been submitted to the state’s Legislature.

We will see just how far a bi-partisan proposal will go n the “good old boys” club of Mississippi.

Before some unknowing dolt tries to give me heritage BS…the present flag was adopted in 1894….had more to do with post Civil War sentiments than anything historic…..read a book!

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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…..

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