The Meaning of Gettysburg

Robert E. LeeClick to enlarge

Robert E. Lee
Click to enlarge

One hundred fifty years ago today was the high water mark of the Confederacy when General Robert E Lee took the undefeated Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania. This was the first and only time that a Southron army penetrated Northern territory. Because the War for Southron Independence was a war between states, there had never been any need to invade the North. Unlike all other civil wars, the South had no intention on seizing the Federal City and imposing its values on the rest of the continent.

Lee however saw an opportunity to end the War quickly. By going into Pennsylvania and winning a victory or two he believed that he could get the Congress to sue for peace. Already the Democratic Party had nominated Gen George B McClellan on a Peace Platform as its standard-bearer and it looked like the hugely unpopular Lincoln would be defeated the following November. McClellan, who had earlier led the Union Army against the South had been criticized by Lincoln for engaging only in delaying tactics. Lincoln (who had never experienced combat) did not appreciate that McClellan preferred Fabian tactics and thought that a war of attrition would wear down the South. In due course he was replaced by mediocrities such as Ambrose Burnside who were pummeled by Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and JEB Stuart, among others.

Gettysburg was to be for the South what Saratoga was for the Continentals during the American War of Independence: that turning point which would force the hand of Great Britain and France to formally recognize the Confederate States of America (as France recognized the United States following that battle). The Pope had already recognized the CSA in a private correspondence initiated by President Jefferson Davis.

Because he was a Christian gentleman (as indeed were all of the South’s generals), Lee issued strict orders that no looting or rapine would take place. All services, provender, and supplies were to be purchased by his troops and any dereliction would be punished severely. Keep in mind that by this time inflation had hollowed out the Confederate currency and that many soldiers went into battle barefoot because of lack of basic supplies. Hunger in the ranks was rampant. Many men throughout the South took “plow furloughs,” a type of semi-desertion in order to go back to their farms to plant and harvest crops in order to feed their starving families. And yet they came back once the crops were planted and their children’s hunger was staved to fulfill their duties as soldiers.

The situation was made worse because Lincoln believed in total war, a modernist doctrine which was widely condemned by the rules of war as conventionally understood. By way of example, Andersonville, the Confederate prisoner of war camp was the site of tremendous suffering by Union troops incarcerated there. Confederate soldiers tried to alleviate the plight of the Union prisoners by sharing their meager rations with them. When Jefferson Davis offered a prisoner exchange Lincoln refused. Lincoln knew that the thousands of Union prisoners at Andersonville would be a further drain on the Confederacy and of course, he was right. Hundreds died of starvation and infectious diseases which outraged opinion in the North even more. Many of these poor souls were not Americans but foreigners from Ireland, Germany, and Poland who came to America to enlist in the Union Army for benefits after their muster.

Lee’s hand therefore was forced and for that reason he took his army north into Union territory.

Both sides fought ably. Both displayed valor. Yet the tenacity of Southron soldiers fighting for their independence has never been forgotten. Had it not been for the failure of Picket’s Charge, the sacrifices made there would not have been in vain.

Alas, it was not to be. While not a resounding victory for the Union, it did force Lee to stage a retreat back into Virginia. Still, the outcome was not settled until Vicksburg fell and William Tecumseh Sherman began his rampage through Georgia, ignoring all the rules of war and common decency. Regardless, Gettysburg stands as a marker in American history, one which tugs at the heartstrings of Americans and causes us to hear the “mystic chords of memory” that only those who share a common history can discern. Perhaps that is the lesson of Gettysburg –that a nation made up of people who share the same past, culture, and religion can come together and celebrate what their ancestors fought and died for.

There is a lesson in that. We see it in the thousands of Civil War reenactors who religiously participate in the recreation of Chancellorsville, Antietam, Manassas, and Gettysburg, always Gettysburg. They understand what it means to be a “band of brothers,” they know who built this country and why. And they must know on some instinctive level that in forsaking our common heritage, America may not be able to survive another such war. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

About GShep


  1. Fr. Gregory Hogg says

    I think Antietam/Sharpsburg was also northern territory, strictly speaking (Maryland).

  2. Archpriest John W. Morris says

    I am glad that you at least mentioned the Battle of Vicksburg, which ended the day after the Battle of Gettysburg. Vicksburg was just as important as Gettysburg because it gave the North control of the Mississippi, divided the Confederacy and made possible a drive through the heart of the Confederacy.

    Fr. John W. Morris, Pastor
    St. George’s Antiochian Orthodox Church
    Vicksburg, Mississippi

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Fr. John,
      My wife and I stayed at the B&B which is operated at the house that was Pemberton’s Vicksburg HQ, which doubtless you are familiar with. We loved Mississippi, though we’ve only been there once. We stayed in Naches, Jackson, and Oxford, too.
      “The Father of Waters runs unvexed to the sea”, as the old “total war modernist” said!

  3. Tim R. Mortiss says

    The sacrifices at Gettysburg were not in vain. They resulted ultimately in the defeat of the Slave States, and ensured the survival of the Republic.

    Lincoln was not a “believer in total war, a modernist doctrine”. He was, however, a believer in winning the war that was thrust upon the nation. This was much to the surprise of the Southerners. They had to grudgingly admit that he was not the “witless monkey” that they had mocked him for being. However, their heirs continue to pour calumnies on him generations later.

    The “arguments” continue. However, they are not real arguments, because only one “side” is even truly interested in them, much less gives them weight. The real argument was settled once for all a century-and-a-half ago.

    Contemporary Southron revisionism is only the old mythology in modern guise. The Lost Cause brings forth its tattered banners in every generation, always and ever maligning Abraham Lincoln, first and foremost. Thankfully, though, it remains lost.

    • lexcaritas says

      The outward form of the Republic was saved, Tim. It’s essence in inward form were mortally wounded by the War (of Northern Aggression). Slavery was eliminated elsewhere without war and it might have been on these shores as well with time and effort.

      Whether Lincoln was a believer in total war is unverifiable, but his generals resorted to it and Sherman himself wrote maliciously genocidal things to his wife about the (white) people of the South and in Georgia put them into practice.

      Southerners are not the only revisionists. In fact, during my life-time I have seen history re-written, if you will, as Mr. Lincoln et al. have been glorified and General Lee reduced from hero to a rebel leader. One recent documentary on PBS called him the most murderous general in US history. Of course, the facts presented in a following documentary on General Grant proved that actually he was–because he had an adequate supply of men to throw against the slowly dwindling ranks of the Army of Northern Virginia. At least, however, he proved himself to be a simple man of honor and gracious in victory–unlike some of the others who allowed themselves to be poisoned by the War.


      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        One of the greatest tragedies of our country is precisely that slavery was not placed on the road to extinction in the Revolutionary generation. They hoped for its end, but it took its own course, grew, and became ineradicable without war. There is no reason to expect that American slavery would have ended without terrible violence, even absent the war. Nobody who reads the writings of Southerners before and during the war can think that slavery would somehow have “faded away”.

        Of all of the myths, the one that the South was a Jeffersonian agrarian society is the most preposterous. It had a slave aristocracy as its ruling class, and it was getting worse all the time, right up to the War. The Founders would have recoiled from it and its leaders.

        Anyway, the Second Inaugural Address pretty much says it all. If it falls on deaf ears, then no modern arguments can avail anything. Read Alexander Stephens “Cornerstone” speech. Read Robert Toombs pro-secession speech to the Georgia legislature. Then read the Second Inaugural. These men could speak for themselves better than any of us can.

        • George Michalopulos says

          The aristocracy of the South were agrarians and had very little (if any) liquidity. Geo Washington for example had to borrow $500 cash to go to his own first Inauguration.

          Of course this meant that the dependence of this particular class of Southroners on slavery became hardened and might have made it more difficult to eradicate save violence. But think of the cost of the War in blood and treasure. Would it not have been easier to raise the deficit, sell bonds, enact a tax, etc., to purchase each slave, emancipate them, and set aside certain territories in the West for them to farm and hold? The more productive freedmen would have been satisfied with “forty acres and a mule,” would have loved to live in a territory or two that was predominantly black so they could enjoy their own culture, and the Plains could have been pacified against the Sioux and Apache without the subsequent wars of near-extermination that the newly-energized Union prosecuted against them in the 1868-1990 period.

          Look what the Mormons accomplished in the desert. It’s not inconceivable to believe that with training and education the Freedmen could have accomplished with the small start-up capital (either in land or money). The Mormons had neither.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Are you sure that it was a “Republic” that was saved or an “Empire” that was created? Leaving that rhetorical question aside, had the South won its bid for independence, there would have been two republics north of the Rio Grande, the North would not have been destroyed. Indeed, given the enthusiasm that Southroners displayed during the Spanish-American War, the CSA would have been a noble and loyal ally to the North.

    • Actually, Lincoln didn’t set any slaves free with his so-called proclamation. He just said that all slaves in the South were free. At that point the South was not under Northern control and many slaves were still slaves in the North, with Maryland being a prime example.

      It freed some of them. Thanks to a loophole, about a million individuals were still legally slaves after the EP (there were about four million slaves in captivity at the time; it declared three million of them free). The loophole was that the proclamation only applied to states and territories “in rebellion against the United States.” In short, if you were a slave in Delaware, Kentucky or even the recently-captured Confederate territories of New Orleans or Tennessee … sorry, but your freedom-princess was in another castle.

      And, the North were not that carring regarding the people of another race, Back in those days, freed blacks were exempt from the draft, probably so they could put more time into putting out their racially motivated house fires. This exemption didn’t sit well with poor whites who couldn’t afford the $300 to buy their way out of the draft — and by “didn’t sit well” we mean “infuriated to the point of a frenzied rage.” By the end of a four-day riot, at least 11 blacks were lynched throughout Manhattan, hundreds more were assaulted and a children’s orphanage was burned to the ground. It took no less than 4,000 federal troops fresh from Gettysburg to subdue the insurrection. New York City’s black residents were so terrorized by the riots that by 1865, the black population plunged to the lowest it had been in 45 years.

      Not everything was a bowl of cherries for the North. And if you’re thinking the Draft Riots were one little blip in an otherwise happy and racially harmonic region, try again. Town Line, New York, successfully seceded from the Union altogether during the war and were not readmitted to the nation until … no joke, 1946.

      In looking at some of the myths, particularly in the Southern side, one wonders why the North won against such fine gentlemen who fought for the Confederacy. There are some reasons, starting with population. It all came down to a numbers game, starting with population. The North had a population of 22 million against the South’s 9.1 million which included the slaves.

      And there were some other reasons such as that the Union possessed a navy the South couldn’t touch, industry and armaments the South couldn’t match, currency backed up in California gold, and women not encumbered by hoop skirts so wide you could hide 30 children under them. Anyway, an interesting subject . . .

  4. geo michalopulos says

    While I agree with you that the defeat of the Confederacy led to the extinction of slavery, as far as Abraham Lincoln was concerned, he was willing to preserve the Union at all costs, whether the slaves were freed or not. Nor should we forget that if Lincoln if, by some stratagem was to emancipate the slaves, he was going to deport them all back to Africa or the Caribbean (his words, not mine: cf Lincoln/Douglass Debates, 1858).

    More to the point, you write that he did not believe in total war as I wrote but in merely “winning the war that was thrust upon the nation.” There are two fallacies here: Sherman’s March to the Sea was the first iteration of total war in modern times. Indeed, it shocked European sensibilities. Second, the South did not “thrust” the war upon the nation any more than a beaten wife “thrusts” violence upon her abusive husband when she escapes from the marital home and files for divorce.

    One of the points I was trying to make about Gettysburg was that this was the first (and only) time that the CSA went on the offensive. And even then it was not to invest Washington DC and remove the Unionist government but merely to force it to recognize the South’s independence.

    • Tim R. Mrortiss says

      George, I certainly respect your knowledge and point of view. But, obviously, I don’t agree with it.

      Maybe we can agree that Abraham Lincoln made great speeches. Among the most remarkable thing about them, is that they are totally free of the bombastic circumlocutions and pompous rhodomontade of the other political men of his time, particularly in the South.

      I believe his Second Inaugural Address is one of the greatest speeches by a public man in history.

      As for Sherman, perhaps also we can agree that he wrote a great memoir. I think that its biggest virtue is that it is clear and readable, straightforward and matter-of-fact; again in distinction to the usual tendentiously rhetorical writings of the era.

      I want to make one other comment: I engage in these debates not out of any animus toward the South, but only when they have been initiated by others, propagating what I think of as simple revisionism. This started almost before the gunsmoke cleared 150 years ago.

    • lexcaritas says

      Right, George. I think it was Scott Pelle this week who did a special report from Gettysburg and said it was “lee’s last invasion of the North.” “Last” implies a series of more than two. But you are right, this one was the only penetration into Northern territory and even then its object was not conquest. (Even if we counted the failed intrusion up to Sharpsburg, MD the previous September, it was only the second and Gettysburg could hardly be the “last”).

      What I still cannot fathom is how anyone can seriously argue that a Union compelled by deadly force of arms and destruction resembles what those who penned and the State which ratified the Constitution had in mind and how it represents freedom and government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

      What we have in the War in question is a commentary on human sinfulness and self-deception on both sides: the North claiming to be for freedom and willing to force those in the South to remain in a (to them) abusive union and the South claiming to assert their freedom to secede while denying the same liberty to slaves who might chose not to remain with their “owners” and “masters.”

      On a different, but not entirely unrelated subject (since Lincoln and the Republican industrialist pretty much represented the move to modernity and the Democrats North and South represented the fading old order of small farmers, shopkeepers and craftsmen), I’m reading Atheist Delusions by our own David Bentley Hart. Magnificent writing and quite perceptive. It should be required reading in all Christian schools and among home schoolers. I suspect it would never be recommended in the public/government schools which are wholly-given over the modernist, post-Christian project which is leading to a brave new world–a frightening one at that except for those who remain entirely in Christ.


    • Michael Bauman says

      The Civil War did not lead to the extinction of slavery, it merely transformed it. The share cropping system that replaced it was every bit as bad and poor whites were brought into that as well.

      There are some incidents of slavery that still linger with the inner city segregation, the matriarchal dominance and the concomitant weakness of black men so that they take to violence and rampant sex. (over simplification to be sure).

      The dehumanization of slavery was immense, not just the dehumanization of the slaves but of the owners and those who sympathized with them.

      Few escaped it. That is what my visits to Fr. Moses museum taught be but it also shows what is necessary to maintain and reclaim one’s humanity: love of God and love of others.

      The dominance of the North over the South was inevitable and did not need a war for it to manifest. The South did not want to accept that dominance, in part because their tradition of slavery prevented them from accepting a secondary role even when that would have been beneficial.

      The myth of the southern Christian gentleman is just that, a myth. The myth of the generous equality loving North is just that, a myth. The essential slavery of poor whites in the North in the industrial plants and poor ghettos of the big cities was a form of share cropping.

      The Republic was not maintained. By the time of the Civil War, it was already on its dying legs because the industrialization had begun to create a stratified class system. The Civil War finished off any notion of a landed gentry and imposed the industrial model from there out.

      We have still yet to deal with the disruption of culture and lives that industrialization created as it stratified classes, destroyed families and made children an economic liability for poor (in money) families. The settlement of the west help ally some of that, but at the expense of the indigenous peoples. But the cattle and fence wars of the late 19th century were because the cattle barons did not want to loose control.

      The family farm and the middle class shop keeper was a response to that and, for awhile, that worked. But the rise of globalism and the big corporations has all but wiped that out the shop keepers as has the corporate farm wiped out the family farm. The economic weapons were debt and unchecked “economies of scale” made possible by the devaluing of land, craft and goods in favor of the more liquid (but easily manipulated) money system, mass production and consumerism.

      A person who wants to become our even continue to be a farmer today faces that fact that the inheritance tax laws are such it is quite difficult to pass on the family farm. Even if the land is available the debt load of those who do farm often becomes crushing–for seed (made worse by GM crap), for machinery and for fertilizer.

      There were many a ‘farmer’ who had a farm in the rural Kansas county where I lived for several years that worked in the aircraft plants in Wichita (a 60 to 90 minute commute each way) full time and came home at night to farm. Many of the farms are being saved right now because of the oil and gas rights that they are leasing to oil producers which gives the farmers a large influx of cash. The population and wealth of the county has increased quite a bit, but that is only temporary.

      Nostalgia for the South or the North at the time of the Civil War is worthless. There are no enduring principals that can be gleaned from either one except “Might makes Right” or the more modern articulation of that principal from Chairman Mao: “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun”.

      That is exactly why Jesus told us His Kingdom is not of this world. Yet we face the dilemma of His command to be in the world, but not of it.

      My brother told me the story of an Orthodox woman who lived in Romania during the height of the Communist oppression. She had icons in her home, she worshiped when she could, but she never made a display of her faith. Her apartment was searched frequently and secret police would follow her on the street. At the times when the would come really close to her and whisper in her ear saying: “We can kill you, you know;” she merely replied, “yes, I know;: and went on her way. She kept her faith and her integrity.

      We Americans, like the old South are used to power and we don’t become humble with ease. If we are to retain our faith and our integrity, we must become truly humble, open our hearts to God and His presence, grace and guidance and, when necessary, speak to the world from that place of humble, powerless strength.

      We have to live as Christians, not as world men. That, my friends, is not easy, but it is what allowed the Berry family to triumph over slavery and the dehumanization, remaining truly human.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        There has never been any myth of a “generous, equality-loving North” that I have ever heard about.

        “[A]s was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether’.”

        • Michael Bauman says

          You’ve never heard that the Civil War was fought to end slavery and that the wholesome farm boys of the North flocked to the war to free the slaves? That’s all I ever heard growing up.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Thank you Michael. That’s all that was imposed on us students here in Oklahoma as well. I learned quickly that it’s the victors who write the history books.

            It wasn’t until I got to Jr High and took Oklahoma history where lo and behold! I saw a painting of the Trail of Tears and what to my surprised eyes do I see but Cherokee riding their horses while their black slaves trudge along on foot carrying their belongings.

            For that matter the leading families of the other four Civilized Tribes owned slaves as well.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            I think I did hear that in 6th grade, but that would be well over 50 years ago.

            That’s one of the funny things about these “debates”: you post the words of Alex Stephens or Bob Toombs and the big comeback is the racist remarks of Abe Lincoln in the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

            A problem though is that they are not equivalent, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates are not classified information. So why does anybody think they are some kind of secret?

            This is an argument between people of mature years and judgment, after all, not schoolchildren.

      • lexcaritas says

        Well said, Michael. Thank you.


    • jacksson says

      To add to the continuing discussion of the American Civil War I have a relative who wrote a very interesting book, “Recollections of a Maryland Confederate Soldier and staff Officer under Johnston, Jackson, and Lee“, which was published in 1914. His name was McHenry Howard from an old Maryland family and, quoting from his introduction, “My grandfather on my father’s side was a Revolutionary soldier (Col. John Pease Howard, the hero of the Battle of Cowpens) to whom Congress voted one of the only eleven medals given by it in the war. He was Governor of Maryland when the Federal Union of 1789 was put into operation, and held other high offices, State and Federal. In 1817 he received the complimentary vote of the 22 Massachusetts Electors for the office of Vice-President of the United States. He died as late as 1827 and had between fifty and seventy-five descendants living when the (Civil) war broke out. They ought to have been attached to the Union — and they were — but when the issue came in 1861 between North and South, every man, woman and child was Southern.”

      Maryland was a slave state that was muscled into the Northern side by means of Federal troops sent there to make sure that Maryland did not succeed from the Union. The primary reason was that Washington DC sits right in the middle of Maryland and the national capital in the hands of a CSA state such as Maryland would have been very embarassing, to say the least. Anyway, about one half of the Maryland men crossed over to Virginia to serve with the CSA and from my research appeared to be mostly along family lines. It was horrible when several times CSA Maryland units met in battle with USA Maryland units. Then after the battle these men had to bury their friends, relatives, and neighbors from their own communities. Under the title “Grace the Maryland Confederate” ( the results of such a battle, Culp’s Hill (Gettysburg), is mentioned: “On July 3rd, 1863 the Maryland Confederate Infantry charged the Union lines at Culp’s Hill with their dog named Grace (there is a great painting of the battle with the dog on the website) . This horrific battle would see the Maryland Confederates suffer close to a 50% casualty rate. Colonel Wallace of the opposing 1st Maryland Eastern Shore Regiment U.S. said ” The 1st Maryland Confederate Regiment met us and were cut to pieces. We Sorrowfully gathered up many old friends and acquaintances and had them carefully and tenderly cared for.” Sadly killed in the action was Grace the loyal mascot of the Maryland Confederates. Union General Thomas Kane said “(S)He licked someone’s hand, they said, after (S)He was perfectly riddled.” Kane had Grace buried properly “as the only Christian minded being on either side.” I like General Kane, he taught his men to shoot from cover rather than charging out in the open as the confederates did.

      McHenry Howard was also from an old line Maryland family on his mother’s side: “On my mother’s side, my great grandfather was a Revolutionary soldier and his son, my grandfather (Francis Scott Key), was the author of “The Star Spangled Banner” and one of the founders of the African Colonization Society. He died as late as 1843 and in 1861 there were upwards of sixty descendants living, and I think of them also every man, woman and child was Southern (in their sympathies, many lived in Maryland – my note). Of all these, on both sides, I cannot recall that any owned slaves in 1861.”

      Interesting, isn’t it, this old American family sent all of their young men to fight on the side of the CSA, yet did not own even one slave. That points to the arguments of some who talk about state’s rights and other reasons for the war. This branch of the Howard family lived in Baltimore, MD and all of his brothers and his father fought as officers for the CSA.

      There is an amusing story regarding a visit by federal enrolling officers in Maryland when they knocked on the door of the Charles Howard household in Baltimore”

      “When McHenry Howard finally arrived home to Baltimore on May 27th 1865 he found a note waiting for him:

      “To Mr. McHenry Howard,

      You are hereby notified that you have been this day enrolled by us in the Militia Forces of the United States, in the State of Maryland, under the Act of Congress of July, 1862, in the Third Enrollment District of Baltimore County corresponding to the 3rd Election District of said County, and will hold yourself in readiness for any such Military duty as under the Laws and Constitution of the United States may be required of you.”

      R.S Williamson

      John S Stitcher

      Enrolling Officers

      September the —1862

      McHenry found out the story behind the letter. Two men arrived at the Howard house and after talking with a servant insisted on seeing Mrs. Howard. Elizabeth Key Howard was the daughter of Francis Scott Key of the Star Spangled Banner fame as well as the niece of the Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. Mrs. Howard met the men at the door and they said ” Madam, we are the enrolling officers and we have come to get the names of the male members of your family – Have you a husband or sons capable of bearing arms? Mrs. Howard said ” Yes a husband and six sons.” “Your husband, what is his name and where is he?” “Charles Howard (Charles Howard was the son of Col. John Eager Howard, the hero of the Battle of Cowpens in the Revolutionary War), he is a prisoner at Fort Warren ” “And your eldest son?” “Frank Key Howard, he is also in prison with his father.” “And your next son?” “ John Eager Howard, he is a Captain in the Confederate Army.” “And the next?” “Charles Howard, he is a Major in the Confederate Army.” “And the next?” James Howard, he is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Confederate Army.” “And the next?” “Edward Lloyd Howard, he is a surgeon in the Confederate Army.” During this time the men were becoming flustered and finally said “And your youngest son?” “McHenry Howard, he is also in the Southern Army and with Stonewall Jackson and I expect he will be here soon” (This was during the Maryland Invasion by Lee and Jackson) Mrs. Howard proceeded to shut the door in their faces; the enrolling officers retired to the sidewalk and wrote the above mentioned note, slid it under the door and left.”

      It is good to be related to the Howard family of Baltimore.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Jacksson, what’s also not known is that most of the sons and grandsons of the Virginian Founding Fathers (esp Jefferson) were ardent Confederates. So was John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States who was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives. Their libertarian, Old Republican sensitivities had long been strained by the actions of an ever-powerful Presidency beginning with Jackson. By the time Lincoln came on board, whose actions since his election in 1860 were more concerned with doling out patronage jobs to his Republican cronies, they had reached the breaking point.

    • Archpriest John W. Morris says

      What about Antietam, Sept. 17, 1862? Maryland was still part of the union. Had the South won Antietam they could have taken Washington.
      When considering slavery, one must remember that it was not a racial institution. There were freed blacks who owned slaves. Slavery came from Africa. The Europeans did not invade and enslave Africans. They bought slaves in slave markets that already existed. That is not to say that slavery was an evil institution the effects of which still poison our society.

      • Michael Bauman says

        The Cherokee in Georgia also owned slaves.

        • Archpriest John W. Morris says

          The Cherokees in what is now Oklahoma also owned slaves. The last Confederate general to surrender was Stand Waite, who was the chief of the Cherokee nation.

      • jacksson says

        There were also ‘white slaves’, so-called indentured servants. The white slaves had it better though, at least they had a fixed date when they would be free, but their treatment was as bad as the black slaves.

        My great grandfather, Philip Isaiah LeCompte had a few slaves and according to family verbal history, he set ‘his man’ free and gave him a farm.

        And, I was just reading the will of an uncle, Jacob Howard of Dorchester County, and he set a freedom date for each of his slaves in his will; interestingly, the younger ones were to be set free after the older ones, I believe so that they could receive some type of training.

        Many of the former slaves on the LeCompte farms remained there even after being freed – no place to go. My grandmother was the last child in the Philip LeCompte family and her mother couldn’t produce enough milk to nurse her, so one of the black ladies in the cabins nursed her.

        The relationships between blacks and whites in those days was much more inclusive, for instance the inscription for some black ladies on their tombstones in the ZOAR Cemetery in Cornersville, Maryland read:

        For Adeline Wheatley:
        Note: for 65 years, devoted employee and never failing friend of Mrs. John A. (Sophia Travers) Radcliffe, whose sons, Thomas Broome, James Sewell, and Senator George Lovic Pierce Radcliffe erected this memorial.

        For Jane Ellis (the lady who nursed my grandmother):
        Note: A Christian woman, a faithful servant of the LeCompte family, aged 75y.
        Memorial erected by the LeCompte family.

  5. nit picker says

    That Fr. Gregory Hogg, Archpriest Morris and Mr. Mortiss are so knowledgeable on this particular part of American history only solidifies Mr. Michalopulos’ point which I understand to be:

    –that a nation made up of people who share the same past, culture, and religion can come together and celebrate what their ancestors fought and died for…They understand what it means to be a “band of brothers,” they know who built this country and why. And they must know on some instinctive level that in forsaking our common heritage, America may not be able to survive another such war. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

  6. Yankee Doodle Dandy:

    Author was a Roman Catholic who did a great lot for American patriotism

  7. cyntha curran says

    George, it kind of reminds me of the social war of the Roman Republic Times where the Italian ally tribes of Italy wanted full citzenship with Rome. The war broke out about around 92 bc and so, and after the Romans gave Italian tribes like the Sabines and so forth full Roman citizenship. Later citizenship was given to foreigners like St Paul and provinces, Trajan in Spain or St Theosdosius also emperor from Spain. The South wanted to go a different direction than the North but the result was the same as the social war everyone the citizen of the same Republic or empire.

  8. Seraphim98 says

    I don’t want to jump into the deep end of another Civil War exchange…but I just want to say a couple of things:

    1. Our history is not the one that has been revised. It is the one passed down to us generation to generation from those who lived in and survived that trying time in our history. Granted we have a different perspective on matters than the North…but our understanding of our history and struggle has not changed.

    2. Though we lost, part of the healing of that time included gestures of respect for our leaders and valor on the field of battle. I still remember when it was traditional for a President upon his inauguration to send a wreath to the Confederate memorial. And I remember when it stopped…and the revision of the national narrative to utterly demonize the South was begun in earnest.

    3. Rather that argue once again the merits and demerits of that time and it’s blood and fury, I would rather share a poem written after the war written by the Poet Laureate of the South, the Roman Catholic Priest, Fr. Abram J. Ryan.


    by Abram Joseph Ryan

    Furl that Banner, for ’tis weary;
    Round its staff ’tis drooping dreary;
    Furl it, fold it, it is best;
    For there’s not a man to wave it,
    And there’s not a sword to save it,
    And there’s no one left to lave it
    In the blood that heroes gave it;
    And its foes now scorn and brave it;
    Furl it, hide it–let it rest!

    Take that banner down! ’tis tattered;
    Broken is its shaft and shattered;
    And the valiant hosts are scattered
    Over whom it floated high.
    Oh! ’tis hard for us to fold it;
    Hard to think there’s none to hold it;
    Hard that those who once unrolled it
    Now must furl it with a sigh.

    Furl that banner! furl it sadly!
    Once ten thousands hailed it gladly.
    And ten thousands wildly, madly,
    Swore it should forever wave;
    Swore that foeman’s sword should never
    Hearts like theirs entwined dissever,
    Till that flag should float forever
    O’er their freedom or their grave!

    Furl it! for the hands that grasped it,
    And the hearts that fondly clasped it,
    Cold and dead are lying low;
    And that Banner–it is trailing!
    While around it sounds the wailing
    Of its people in their woe.

    For, though conquered, they adore it!
    Love the cold, dead hands that bore it!
    Weep for those who fell before it!
    Pardon those who trailed and tore it!
    But, oh! wildly they deplored it!
    Now who furl and fold it so.

    Furl that Banner! True, ’tis gory,
    Yet ’tis wreathed around with glory,
    And ’twill live in song and story,
    Though its folds are in the dust;
    For its fame on brightest pages,
    Penned by poets and by sages,
    Shall go sounding down the ages–
    Furl its folds though now we must.

    Furl that banner, softly, slowly!
    Treat it gently–it is holy–
    For it droops above the dead.
    Touch it not–unfold it never,
    Let it droop there, furled forever,
    For its people’s hopes are dead!

  9. Libertad says


    Thank you for a thoughtful and accurate meditation on the war that divided South and North a century and a half ago. Passions still run high on the subject, as is evidenced by some of the comments posted. And the passion seems to be greater on the US side, rather than on that of those who see the Confederacy as in the right for defending Constitutional government. Apparently those who side with the victors are as passionate to defend an undefendable war, and paint Lincoln as a freedom-fighter, as those who still defend Bush’s aggression against Iraq as a fight against tyranny. Some people never learn.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Your very welcome.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      I don’t agree that passions are “higher on the US side”. Indeed, I have never been part of one of these types of Civil War discussions that was not initiated by a “Southroner”. The one we had a few weeks ago started when Seraphim98 expressed a heart-swelling pride that a great-great multi-great cousin or the like was a relation of somebody who fired on US Fort Sumter. One of the persons in question had been Orthodox, which was the source of pride. George chimed in an assent, and so it went.

      The comment was really apropos of nothing particular. So it has been in other cases elsewhere. Some discussion is going along, not remotely about the Civil War, when someone drops in a comment about the “War of Northern Aggression” or “Mr. Lincoln’s War”, and it’s off to the races!

      And in this topic, George verily tossed down the gauntlet! So, someone’s got to try to pick it up…..

      • Seraphim98 says

        Just a point of clarification. The young lady in question was no relation, just baptized Orthodox. I put no particular significance on this event other than its pleasing circumstance and historical connection as an Orthodox believer myself…it’s a sort of juvenile counting coupe…but it pleases me to know it and to share it…so there it is.

        I did though have relatives who served in the war, four great great grandfathers that I know of, not to mention their brothers, my uncles. One great grandfather was captured first at the fall of Vicksburg, and later at the front in Blakeney Alabama, from whence he was imprisoned on Ship Island at forced labor for several months, and nearly starved to death in a place where the guards thought nothing to shoot an 11 year old merely for standing up to shake the sand out of his blanket.

        And finally, I do admit to having great affection for my conquered nation, her culture, and her fallen banner,. And I will get misty eyed at a respectful rendition of Dixie far quicker than any for the Star Spangled Banner. I am a Southern Partisan, a Southern nationalist, and consider myself thoroughly unreconstructed. I do not begrudge northerners their own similar regional/historical affections and sentiments and only ask that they do not begrudge me mine.

        • Libertad says

          Well said. I too had relatives who fought for the Confederacy. Both were from North Carolina. One survived the war, and one died in the yankee version of Andersonville, Pea Patch Island prison camp in the Delaware River (we never hear about the inhumane conditions in the yankee prison camps, as the victors write the histories, and are determined to paint their cause as that of the angels).

        • Michael Bauman says

          Unfortunately, you position will always be begrudged because it doesn’t fit the comfortable myth of the norm makers.

          It was not good vs evil but like humanity was a combustible mixture of good and evil about which none of us should feel pride. We can be united only in the common recognition of our human failing. A process which was occurring for awhile but was brought to a screeching halt by the ideological race baiters and statists, the new carpetbaggers. Now, the south, its people and its better ideals must be utterly defeated in an ideological march to the sea that will leave, is leaving, the union and our liberty in tatters.

          The subjugation must be completed as the slavers must be made slaves. Faith, honor and freedom (the best of the South) must be destroyed along with the inhuman institution, carefully defined so as not to include any thing other than the form it took in the South and ignoring the North’s collusion: molasses to rum to slaves on ships out of New England ports.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Every segment of this nation played its role in effectuating and condoning slavery. Ultimately, with the European discoveries of the Western hemisphere, a situation of no peace and no law “beyond the line” resurrected this ancient institution, in a new, race-based form.

            This is all true. But it still had to be ended. And clearly, by the mid-1800s, only war could end it, or endless uprisings and reprisals. This was true even if those who were first involved in the war rejected this as its purpose.

            The Southern slavery apologists back then were no more evil than any other men. They were locked into the institution that they did not create. The very extremity of their screeds and willingness to have war, in themselves indicate the conflict within their own consciences.

            Likewise, the country, and the Democratic party in particular, for generations made a devil’s bargain with the South over Jim Crow.

            My only argument is with the latter-day impassioned defenses of the Southern system of the time, whatever the pretexts and purported guises of Constitution, liberty, and the Republic. I don’t ultimately even understand the reasons for these defenses; or at least when they take those forms. The great institutions of the South of this republic had a terrible flaw at their heart, which makes it difficult to understand how it cannot just be defended, but actually extolled. And believe me, I would be happy to hear these arguments, rather than just a reflexive response that the North, too, was mostly lacking in virtue.

            This is completely apart from the whole subject of the quality of the men and officers who fought for the Confederacy, whom I regard as a great part of the glory of our common nation.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Tim, you may not recognize them as passions, just as the way things are. The fact is that the are so many interpretations constantly revisited by professional and amateur alike because the passions of the Civil War are still very much alive in all of us. That is the nature of history– it is never in the past.

        Just because the opinion of the victors tends to be seen as normative does not make it any less passionate.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          I recognize the passions. I have a great deal of historical interest in the Civil War, but I wouldn’t call it a passion. My paternal grandmother was born in 1898 in Kentucky and was raised there, and had relations on both sides. She herself, however, seemed quite untouched by partisanship regarding the War.

          I do believe it to be largely true, however, that it is virtually always the “unreconstructed” who first toss the ‘firecrackers’ that set these sorts of discussions off. I’m just a counterpuncher of sorts; never quite content to let be the lofty sentiments of the Cause when they are put forth.

          The real issue arises out of slavery, but it is not slavery itself. It is Jim Crow.
          For a hundred years after the war the leaders of the Southern states, and their sworn magistrates and law officers, withdrew the protection of the laws from the freed slaves.

          To protest the rationalizations surrounding these subjects doesn’t put Lincoln or the Union on any pedestals.

          Last go-round, Seraphim98 told us that the screeds of Stephens and Toombs and their ilk leave him unfazed. As for me, though, they still raise the hairs on the back of my neck.

          • Serpahim98 says

            Dear Mr. Morris,

            To address your reference to my being unfazed by the “screeds of Stephens and Toombs”.

            I am unfazed because their views on the institution of slavey are irrelevant. They championed the institution which we from our place in history reject as deeply morally objectionable. There is no argument on that point. Nor is there argument on the point that one of the key reasons they pressed for secession was because they believed the recent developments in the admission of two extra free states in time, perhaps in a very short time put the constitutional protections of slavery, and the further admission of states friendly to slavery in jeopardy, and slavery was the engine that drove the lion’s share of the South’s economy. In short they saw their whole economy and way of life put in peril by the growing abolitionist sentiments of the North and their growing political power. We agree that the tinderbox issue for the South was slavery.

            But as I said…all that, while not unimportant is irrelevant with respect to the right of secession being one of the unenumerated powers reserved for the states and their citizens.

            It doesn’t matter if the reason that the South wanted to secede was because it fiercely disagreed with how Northerners decided to adjust the hem of their coat tails from season to season in decadent comparison to the more stable masculine haberdashery of the gallant South. The essential question of the war was not about slavery…the continued existence or abolition of slavery was not a natural objective of the Northern prosecution of the war. Rather it was theater, propaganda and tactics, a means to weaken the enemy by undercutting his economy. And abolition didn’t even become a matter of serious propaganda (searching for a moral foundation that was heretofore lacking when public support was waning). The North’s aim was to preserve the Union by force of arms, and if that could be accomplished without the freeing of any slaves that would be as workable a solution as any. We know this because this is what Lincoln himself said concerning the issue of abolition as it related to the war.

            We may agree that the South undertook the cause of secession for morally suspect reasons…at least from our end of history. What matter though, and to a degree what matters still was the underlying legal question, did a state having voluntarily joined the Union have the right thereafter to withdraw from that Union. The South believed it did, and some of her states even had specific secession clauses in their Congress approved state constitutions. Even some Northern states felt the same way, and had themselves considered secession in years prior. It was an open legal question that unfortunately came to be settled (practically, if not as a matter of law) with blood, bayonets, and grapeshot.

            So I don’t have to be mortified by the pro slavery sentiments of Stephens and Toombs so much that I must also dismiss their assertion that Southern States had the right and power to dissolve their former ties with the United States and form their own new confederation if they so chose. I can reject slavery, which only became an issue late in the war, and defend the right of self determination for the South.

            Legally speaking, the reason for their wanting to separate is incidental to the right and power to separate. And it is that right that sovereign power which was violated is what modern unreconstructed Southern Partisans, like myself, celebrate, extol and champion…not the trigger issue of slavery.

            Jim Crow laws are a separate matter as well with respect to the war. The sentiments embodied in Jim Crow laws were hardly restricted to the South. Indeed the Supreme Court defended these sorts of laws in Plessey vs Ferguson. But since the bulk of the black population lived in the South it was in the south where Jim Crow sentiments and supporting laws were most noticeable. The worst aspects of those laws though are rooted in the bitterness of the Reconstruction so called, where most of the men of the South who had served in the Confederate military or government were disenfranchised and Northern and Southern profiteers (Carbetbaggers and Scalawags) promoted ill prepared puppets from the black community to positions of legislative and judicial authority. Government fell into the hands of exploiters backed by the guns of federal troops and the abuses and injustice suffered by the whites of those states, especially the poor whites, bred a depth of bitterness and resentment against federal agents and local blacks (who were seen as political pets put in power just to humiliate their former masters and those who supported them in secession) . Thus were born a number of vigilante groups of which the KKK became in later years one of the most famous/infamous. When federal troops left, the black communities had “served” their purpose and were abandoned to face the indignations of white southerners who having regained the better part of their freedoms used them to return life as much as possible to the status quo ante bellum.

            But like I said earlier, these sentiments while more visible in the South were hardly isolated to the South. Whites north and south considered blacks intellectually, morally, and culturally inferior on the whole to whites. They considered their continued presence in the nation more an accident of history that must be tolerated since other arrangements were simply too impractical. Better to have separate societies where intermingling politically and socially was minimized. This was the view of President Woodrow Wilson at whose direction the White House and other federal offices were resegregated. Plessy vs. Furgusson supported segregation laws, on the premise, if not the actual practice, of separate but equal. We also got from his administration such “jewels” as the rise of eugenics and forced sterilization of undesirable populations (from which both poor whites and blacks suffered), and planned parenthood and all the social enormities that has brought us. People love to hang groups like the KKK around the South’s neck, but forget that it was a very broadly supported organization throughout much of the country in the teens and twenties. High government leaders were members. They had over 100K march in Washington to cheering crowds. They sponsored civic events and little league, and things like that North and South. So it wasn’t just a nasty old southern thing.

            Jim Crow may have survived longest in the South, but its sentiments hardly died out in many Northern enclaves. I recall in 1968 when school integration was forced in schools where I lived. There were a handful of angry protests in the streets to be sure…but that’s about the extent of it, angry protests. When our sauce was used to baste the ganders in Boston and other northern cities, they lit the city school busses on fire rather than integrate.

            It’s not a simple history, and not a pretty one in many respects, and it is easy to demonize the South for it’s foot dragging backwardness with respect to race and race relations (as assessed by the naturally morally superior North). We weren’t all right, but we were a long way from all wrong either…and for a century very nearly we weren’t all that different than most other places in the U.S.

            So I am content to champion the South’s right to secede without feeling the least need to defend the reasons it wanted to secede. I’ll still get misty eyed when the band plays Dixie, and I will not in a fever of political correctness spit upon the graves and memory of my great great grandfathers.

            The War is over. We lost (even though we were right). I just wish outsiders (yes…outsiders) would let it be, and let us be. The veterans of that war shook hands and came to have mutual respect for one another though they differed in their cause. Somehow later generations of outsiders have taken up the torch again and refuse to let us have our memory and our history to ourselves, and will not rest until with them we vilify our whole history and heritage, and fling excrement upon the memory of our Southern ancestors.

            One day it may well happen, God forbid, but it won’t be while I draw breath. So pardon me, I’ve a strain or two of Dixie left to whistle.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              Well, it’s just a fundamental disagreement; nothing personal. I only have two points specifically.

              One, if you want “outsiders” to “let it be, and let us be”, then why start the ball rolling? I haven’t the slightest interest in directing rebukes of any kind to the South, then or now. I have enjoyed a lot of time in the South. Folks are very polite to “outsiders” there! I have a high regard for many aspects of Southern history.
              I have never initiated a discussion of these topics here or anyplace else. I only reply to what the “unreconstructed” aver. Our earlier discussion was started by you yourself, and the current one was started with a “drumroll and a brass band” by George.

              Second, the “legalism” of the unreconstructed is what is really “irrelevant”. What is the point of the “right of secession” argument 150 years after it was bloodily repudiated by war? If that argument was going to work, there never would have been a war. And, in the final analysis, it was a pretext, notwithstanding your efforts to disconnect it from slavery and the South’s need to extend it.

              So, I’m happy to “let it be” for the time being!

              • lexcaritas says

                A right is not created by force and cannot be “repudiated” by war–merely supresssed and unjustly destroyed.


                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  It is essential to the “unreconstructed” position, and has been for generations, to uncouple the “right” to secede from the issue of slavery. In that way, the Lost Cause remains ever pure and untainted by slavery.

                  This is precisely why slavery to these partisans is always relegated to a footnote, a regrettable, time-bound institution, really beside the point, destined to “fade away”, etc. Instead, it was all a war about the exalted cause of the free Republic and the Founders, misrepresented by the ignorant North, then and now.

                  Well, it’s a free country! (I forgot– it hasn’t been a free country since Abe Lincoln was elected!)

                  [And so much for my resolution to exit the fray…..]

                  • Seraphim98 says

                    Mr. Morris, You wrote: “It is essential to the “unreconstructed” position, and has been for generations, to uncouple the “right” to secede from the issue of slavery. In that way, the Lost Cause remains ever pure and untainted by slavery.”

                    And here lies the issue we have with revisionist (in our view) arguments. The whole notion of the “taint” of slavery is all after the fact justifications for the North’s invasion of the South. But the issues need to be separated because the legality of slavery was never a question when the war began in either north or south.

                    Granted a number of northern states where abolitionist states…free states with respect to slavery in their sentiments, but these feelings did not extend to regarding the northern efforts as anything other than an attempt to prevent what was regarded as a rebellious effort to secede from the Union by the most of the Southern slave states. Indeed to prevent more secessions, borderline states where secessionist sentiments were high, such as Maryland and Delaware were preemptively occupied by federal troops. While a great many in the north viewed the institution of slavery as highly objectionable and incongruous with our better angels, they did not dispute the legality of slavery where it existed, nor did they join the union army so as to suppress and eradicate it. The Union forces fought for one thing at the opening of the war…the preservation of the Union by any means possible.

                    Slavery, except as an inciting issue, had no bearing whatsoever. Slavery was legal in both Union and the new Confederate States. And all during the war, Slaves remained slaves in the union territories. The union only freed slaves in the south as a tactic and policy of war whose end was either to inspire a slave rebellion (have the wives, children, and elderly murdered at home so as to distract the boys on the front line), which thankfully didn’t happen. And/or to cripple the southern economy and so make it more difficult to support their own war efforts. The Emancipation Proclamation when it was issued only purported to free the slaves held in the South, not a single one of those held in the Union.

                    So, no slavery is not the important issue, and is rightly divided from the essential question of the right and power of a state to secede. The whole notion of the “taint” of slavery is a post hoc confection. At the close of the war, when the North had decisively won, slavery was still legal in states that had remained loyal to the Union.

                    In the end it was the North who pushed through the thirteenth, and under much more questionable circumstances (essentially gunpoint) the fourteenth amendments which ended slavery. But both of these occurred after the war, during the Reconstruction when the South existed in a state of martial occupation and general disenfranchisement.

                    So, there is no taint of slavery with respect to the question of secession. It does not exist except as the fabrication of latter day explainers of history.

                    As for the purity of the South’s cause, that is not a question either. How pure were motives of the Unionists (not very by any measure) or our revolutionary forefathers? Were they utterly unalloyed with baser ambitions in some. Were the British automatically evil for fighting for King and Country? I don’t think so. Hence we may regard purity of cause as more the province of tambourine beaters of every persuasion, than that of relevance. It is a distraction. As the law stood; as the constitution stood at that time, whether the Southern leader’s motives and desires were utterly pure or not is besides the point. Did those states have the right to secede if they wanted too. That is the question (and certainly the implication of the SCOTUS decision on S. Carolina’s nullification act)? I and those like me maintain that they did.

  10. cynthia curran says

    And, the North were not that carring regarding the people of another race, Back in those days, freed blacks were exempt from the draft, probably so they could put more time into putting out their racially motivated house fires. This exemption didn’t sit well with poor whites who couldn’t afford the $300 to buy their way out of the draft — and by “didn’t sit well” we mean “infuriated to the point of a frenzied rage.” By the end of a four-day riot, at least 11 blacks were lynched throughout Manhattan, hundreds more were assaulted and a children’s orphanage was burned to the ground. It took no less than 4,000 federal troops fresh from Gettysburg to subdue the insurrection. New York City’s black residents were so terrorized by the riots that by 1865, the black population plunged to the lowest it had been in 45
    They were attacked a lot by the Irish immirgants. New York City in 1865 was over 50 percent foreign born with street gangs, so immirgants in the US have had street gangs for years. the Irish developed into the middle class more law abiding people when the immirgation slowed down. There were however a lot of Irish cops that dealt with the thugs. A movie about 10 years ago, the gangs of New York.

  11. cynthia curran says

    In looking at some of the myths, particularly in the Southern side, one wonders why the North won against such fine gentlemen who fought for the Confederacy. There are some reasons, starting with population. It all came down to a numbers game, starting with population. The North had a population of 22 million against the South’s 9.1 million which included the slaves.

    And there were some other reasons such as that the Union possessed a navy the South couldn’t touch, industry and armaments the South couldn’t match, currency backed up in California gold, and women not encumbered by hoop skirts so wide you could hide 30 children under them. Anyway, an interesting subject . . .
    Today, its the reverse, Texas and Florida give the south the largest population in US. The Latin factor probably has pushed up the south since they are younger and have more kids.

  12. cynthia curran says

    Look what the Mormons accomplished in the desert. It’s not inconceivable to believe that with training and education the Freedmen could have accomplished with the small start-up capital (either in land or money). The Mormons had neither.
    The mormons are a productive group. Blacks have done better in places where they are not many blacks. I believe Virginia Beach ,Virginia, Black poverty is lower than the national average around 12 percent or so. The national average is usually over 20 percent. Blacks do better when they are not an underclass or they are more intergrated with other people. For example, San Diego low in blacks had a lot less ghettos than Oakland Ca where blacks have a bad repute on crime.

  13. cyntha curran says

    Well, it wasn’t the southern stategy that helped Reagan but the San Diego stategy. Think if the South and Texas had the stats of San Diego did in 1970 liberals would have nothing to complain.A poverty rate of only 6 percent and a high middle class and fair educational level. Also, many of San Diego was employment in aerospace- the military industrical complex that Reagan use as a bargining chip against the Soviets. Conservatives do best when they can use the military to their advantaged which Bush was unable to do even the Byzantines best welfare program was to get young men to military service and then provide them with farmland when they got out.

  14. Celebrate Gettysburg says

    I see one of the relatives is headlining, probably celebrating the memory of the ancestors who fought there:

    Then, of course, there’s the other activities:

  15. The disparity grew as the Union controlled an increasing amount of southern territory with garrisons, and cut off the trans-Mississippi part of the Confederacy. The Union at the start controlled over 80% of the shipyards, steamships, riverboats, and the Navy. It augmented these by a massive shipbuilding program. This enabled the Union to control the river systems and to blockade the entire southern coastline.

  16. Of the states carved out of these territories by 1845, all had entered the union as slave states: Louisiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Florida and Texas, as well as the southern portions of Alabama and Mississippi.