Monday, July 25, 2005

The Demonization of the South

Many folks are surprised to learn that some Southern children are taught to dislike Abe Lincoln and General Sherman.

Last year Janet and I took her mother to New York City, and we were approaching the giant golden stature at Central Park South. As soon as she recognized that it was a statue of Sherman on horseback, she said something like “Oh my, it’s that awful man”, and we reversed our course immediately, lest she get a closer look at the evil monster who destroyed the South, raping and pillaging innocent non-combatents. Sherman is an offensive image to most southerners.

Frankly, I find the statue of Sherman to be another example of the offensive ”big lie” perpetrated by Abe Lincoln. The gaudy statue shows Sherman being guided by an Angel, guiding his mission to crush the inherently evil Southerners. Thousands of people believe that this statue is offensive to all of the Blacks who died fighting for the Confederacy, and many feel that this statue should be torn-down and replaced by a statue of a "real" hero:

Me, I’m a fan of Audie Murphy, the teenaged medal-of-honor hero who was the most highly-decorated soldier of the 20th century:

If you have never seen the movie ”To Hell and Back” or been to the Audie Murphy Museum, I highly recommend it.

"To Hell and Back" is an amazing movie as you get a chance to watch Audie playing himself and you get a glimpse into the mind-set of a real American Hero:

You can buy a copy of ”To Hell and Back” on eBay.

A Reality Check

Many people feel hatred toward “Mr. Lincoln”, especially after the Emancipation Proclamation. To this day, most folks think that the Civil War was about slavery, and it is the sole handiwork of Lincoln's dishonest politics. A review of a few facts:
  • At the start of the Civil War in 1861 slavery was legal in both the North and South.

  • Lincoln said many times that if he could end the war without freeing a single slave, that he would do so.

  • Three years into the bloody conflict, Lincoln was having a hard time finding soldiers who were willing to die for “States Rights”, and sympathy for the South was increasing.

  • In 1863 Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, a document that ONLY freed SOUTHERN SLAVES! That’s right, the Emancipation Proclamation did not affect Yankee slaves, and the North continued to have slavery, all the while condemning us “evil” southerners:

    For political reasons, the proclamation did not free slaves in the states that supported the Union. Nor did it free slaves in the areas around Norfolk, Virginia, and New Orleans, Louisiana.

  • Yankee slaves were not freed until AFTER the Civil War by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on the 18th of December, 1865.
Lincoln believed that by making the Southerners into “Demons”, he would create a bright-line of Good vs. Evil. With a broad stroke of marketing hype worthy of P.T. Barnum, Lincoln sold-out the South with the “big lie”, and it worked. Yankee soldiers were now doing “God’s Work”, singing songs like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”:

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.

A Load of Crap worthy of Hitler

Following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation it was the North that had unfreed slaves, not the other way around. It’s the same “Big Lie” theory that Hitler used 70 years later to oppress the Jewish people in his bestseller “Mein Kamph”:

This technique, he believed, consisted of telling a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe anyone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously". The first documented use of the phrase "big lie" is in the corresponding passage: "in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility".¹.

Hitler’s big lie worked, and Mein Kampf sold like hotcakes, making Hitler a millionaire.

The Big Lie continues

Even today, us Southerners suffer the indignities of being know as “the side that supported slavery”, when the truth was almost the exact opposite. Many freed slaves fought for the Confederacy, and like me, many Southern black people are proud to be members of the great group, “Son’s of Confederate Veterans”:

“Spotsylvania resident Willie Levi Casey Jr. is an African-American member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and proud to be Southern.”

I hope that people who read this will finally understand our hatred of “Dishonest Abe” and how his politics have forever demonized the South, a battle against ignorance that we continue to fight over 140 years after Sherman raped the South.

The Shameful Lie lives on at Gettysburg

Gettysburg is another example of the demonization of the South, and I continue to lobby for equal-treatment and honor for the soldiers who died on both sides. On my first visit to Gettysburg I left in a Huff after learning that the Southerners bodies were dumped into mass graves while Yankees dead were given the place of honor.

Both of my Great-Grandpa’s fought at Gettysburg, and they found slavery to be just as repulsive as any Yankee. By the way, if you ever want to have a life-changing experience, visit the Gettysburg National Park.

As an interesting side note, there were yearly reunions of Gettysburg veterans for many years, every July 4th. Both Yankees and Confederates took to wearing long beards as instantly-recognizable signs of their status of Civil War veterans, as shown here by my Great-Grandpa, John Wesley Burleson, a member of the famous Stanly County Yankee Hunters:

The Yankees and Confederates became friends and shared the details of their shared tribulations for decades afterwards, the last reunion being held in 1938, over 70 years later. However, there was one ugly incident at a Gettysburg reunion, where a bunch of elderly vets re-started the battle in a local restaurant, throwing food and clobbering each-other with their canes and walking sticks!

So, let’s set the record straight.

It was the North, not the South, who was the real evil in the Civil War.

Me, I’ve been collecting Confederate war bonds and currency for years, just in-case:


By the Way, since we were speaking of Hollerin, the famous “Rebel Yell” was a form of Hollerin, often the last sound heard by Yankees before being dispatched. Here is the only surviving recording of the Rebel Yell from an actual confederate soldier:

Rebel Yell - Long Version (36 Seconds, 3MB)