APRIL 2003 REUNION EDITION
THE "UNCIVIL" WAR, from page 1
On December 19, 1864, a Union colonel reported that he had followed orders "to desolate the country from the Arkansas River to Fort Scott, and burn every house on the route." In the same month, a major general with the Army of the Potomac noted the success of a Union expedition south of Petersburg, Virginia: "Many houses were deserted contained only helpless women and children ... almost every house was set on fire."
Many Union officers were sickened at the needless destruction their armies inflicted on the South. On March 8, 1865, Gen. Cyrus Bussey reported: "There are several thousand families within the limits of this command who are related to and dependent on the Arkansas soldiers in our service. These people have nearly all been robbed of everything they had by the troops of this command, and are now left destitute and compelled to leave their homes to avoid starvation.... In most instances everything has been taken and no receipts given, the people turned out to starve, and their effects loaded into trains and sent to Kansas."
Early in the war on May 19, 1862 Major General Ornsby Mitchel, Army of Ohio, operating near Huntsville, AL, wrote to Secretary of War Stanton: "The most terrible outrages-robberies, rapes, arsons, and plundering are being committed by lawless brigands and vagabonds connected with the army. I desire authority to punish all those found guilty of perpetrating these crimes with death by hanging In some instances, in regiments remote from headquarters, I hear the most deplorable accounts of excesses committed by soldiers "
Some Northern leaders claimed to be deeply concerned about the well being of slaves that were, so-called, liberated by the Northern armies. Nonetheless, Union tactics intentionally devastated the economies of much of the South - leaving people to struggle for years to avoid starvation. This destruction made the South's recovery far slower than it otherwise would have been - and greatly increased the deprivation of both white and black survivors.
Even though the Cumberland Plateau was spared of any
major battles, smaller skirmishes and the overall economics of the
war ravaged our area. Quoting Federal Colonel H.K. McConnell who wrote
in 1864, "Finding Old Columbus, 3 miles north of Gainesboro and
between the Cumberland and Roaring Rivers
I removed the women
and children and burned it. I have the honor to respectfully suggest
that the country between Carthage and the Cumberland Mountains through
which we passed
is bordering upon famine. The wealthy are utterly reduced and many of the poorer are actually starving."
The more cold-blooded the Northern armies acted, the more exalted federal power became. For many, the magnitude of the federal government was confirmed by the fact that the government possessed the power and desire to burn Southern cities, destroy Southern crops, and starve Southern families.
The source of the preceding quotes is The War of the
Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate
Only in America...is there Gross Ignorance
about the Confederate Battle Flag
We have all heard people say 'Only in America could such and such happen.' Sometimes the things mentioned are fairly close to the truth. With a great degree of accuracy we can also say 'Only in America is there still gross ignorance [sometimes officially sponsored] as to what the Confederate battle flag really stands for.' Many of us recognize the St. Andrews Cross on the battle flag as a Christian symbol and I have no doubt whatever that many hate it and war against it for precisely that reason - that it is Christian in origin.
Yet in other parts of the world the Confederate battle flag is revered as a symbol of freedom by those who have, at least, some understanding of what that means. I have seen photos of Christian blacks in the Sudan who are combatting Muslim oppression and slavery, carrying the Confederate battle flag. I even talked once with one of the missionaries who brought the flags in to them. I mentioned that "The Confederate battle flag is a good flag" to which he responded to me "It's a great flag!" That missionary, though not born in the United States, realized what that flag smybolized.
To people all over Europe the Confederate battle flag is a symbol of freedom and opposition to tyranny. My wife used to work with a girl from Romania when we lived in Illinois. My wife had a small Confederate battle flag fastened to the front of her desk at work. When the Romanian girl came in she remarked that she knew about that flag - it was the 'freedom flag' to people in Romania. And I have seen photos from various places in Eastern Europe where demonstrations were being held against communism and, invariably, some person or persons in the
See CONFEDERATE BATTLE FLAG page 3