Dav Wants A Response

David Tatum, who runs the blog A True Confederate, wants my attention. It appears that Gary Adams wrote a lengthy rant/questionnaire on the Southern Heritage Preservation Group’s Facebook Page. Since then, Dav posted Gary’s statement on his blog and asked for comments from Corey Meyer, Kevin Levin, Andy Hall and myself. Well Dav, I’ll take a crack at it.

I am going to break this down paragraph by paragraph. You will see a quote from Gary, that Dav has put on his blog here, and after that you will see my answer. If you’d like to see the original post, click here. Here we go.

Today we are going to discuss shortcomings, we all have the[sic], if you don’t believe I have them just ask my ex-wife. Though over the years I think I have gotten much more understanding, in fact if I may be so bold, I have gotten much better at listening to the other side, understanding it and sometimes even accepting it. Yesterday I mentioned Corey and his propensity to monitor us; I don’t know if we are that interesting or if he is so bored or if it is combination of both.

It appears Gary is discussing shortcomings with Corey Meyer. Keep  in mind that Gary originally posted this rant for Corey. Since then, Tatum posted it on his blog asking for comments. It is to Dav that I am replying.

I do have this to say about Corey and his friends they call us neo-Confederates and revisionist, I take the first adjective as a compliment, as first and foremost I am a Southron. However, I contend that he and his friends are the revisionist. They preach they love the South and are only interested in revealing the truth, not necessarily about the South, but us. Their argument is basically there were no black Confederates; the war was over slavery and / or racism and the South was made up of 90% slave owners. The argument over black Confederates is that we claim that blacks fought for the South therefore the war could not have been over slavery. Like their compatriot Ed Sebesta, they would like to see our monuments down, that we be branded racist and school books be rewritten to reflect what they feel should be taught. Keep in mind they call us revisionist.

Ok here we go. I tend to shy away from calling everyone on the SHPG a “neo-confederate.” Why? Because ‘neo-confederate’ is a legitimate term and not just a casual insult to throw around. I would probably apply it to someone that is legitimately advocating a new Southern secession movement in the spirit of the old rebellion. But even that seems like an over simplification. Calling certain members of the SHPG “revisionists” is accurate. Mainly because they are revisionists. They buck modern history in an attempt to maintain “heritage” which is not always interchangeable. If history conflicts with their heritage, they claim that the heritage is right and history is wrong. Then certain heritage advocates throw out terms like, “Yankee Revisionism” and “victors always write the history.” The former is funny because I am from Georgia and the latter is hilarious to anyone that studies the historiography of the Civil War. As far as “Black Confederates” there are none aside from the few companies recruited at the very end of the war. I do contend that it is plausible that a slave picked up a rifle and shot it in a time of passion, but that is not to say that armed black regiments fought for the Confederacy. I’ve never seen anyone claim that 90% of the South owned slaves. That’s just stupid. Usually the statement is that 25% of southern families owned slaves. The part about agreeing with Ed Sebastia is totally over blown. I have seen several posts that reject Ed Sebastia. To my knowledge, Kevin Levin argues against tearing down monuments. I do as well. I don’t brand all Southerners as racists….because I am a Southerner. The school books are already written in the appropriate manner. However, some southern school boards attempted to change this (Texas and Virgina).

I do accept that after the war many stories were embellished, truths twisted and justifications made to account for us losing the war, bolster our heroes and romanticize the war and the era. Many of the myths are starting to be uncovered and we ourselves have addressed several. But when “they” learn the truth, say about Fort pillow; or the facts about Forrest and the Klan, rather than ensure a correct revision is issued, they themselves continue to propagate the myth. At the same time they publish papers with themes like Shermans’ March was a lie; that the Union Army never fired on civilians; no atrocities were committed against Southron citizens and / or the Roswell mill workers went home and just quit working and were never shipped North. Again, I ask who are the revisionist?

The thing about the ‘myths’ being mentioned, is that they have been addressed since the 1960’s. If Gary wants to claim a victory by stating that the myths are just now being uncovered, then I am glad he is just now recognizing the fact. I mean, there is fifty years of scholarship for him to read. Stating that “we” are addressing those myths themselves is an overstatement. The South Was Right  hardly addresses “myths;” it creates them. It is hard to address what the “truth” is about Fort Pillow or Forrest and the Klan when the “truth” is presented with such vagueness. I am not sure what exactly he is talking about. It’s also hard to address the statement that “Sherman’s march” was a lie.” It happened. Sherman split his army into three flanks and swept across Georgia. Are there overblown statements and “heritage” stories? Absolutely. John Doe states his granddaddy’s barn was burned by Sherman’s troops. Then a trip to the library demonstrates that granddaddy’s barn was hit by lightning in 1901. Are those stories given as fact by every southerner? Not always. The stories are simply passed around and spread like wildfire. There has never been a denial that Union soldiers shot into civilians; what is argued is the context and the reasons why. The Roswell mill workers situation is a beast in its own right and better left for another post. All I will say on it is that Gary is seriously oversimplifying the event. “Who are the Revisionists?” Well until you prove otherwise Gary, you still are. No one is denying anything. You are basically creating a straw man argument.

Here is my issue with the revisionist works up until lately, where I would read and comment on it, treating the author no differently than any of the rest of you. However you can only be ridiculed and insulted so many times before you treat them the way they treat us. Like any of us, I would point out the errors in a professional, polite and dignified manner only to find myself attacked, ridiculed and or insulted.

I’ve yet to see an example of this “treatment.” For some reason, the admin blocked me from seeing the SHPG Facebook page. Is that the “treatment?” I think the real issue here is that the “errors” turned out to be those aforementioned “myths.” Usually when those are presented as counter arguments, Historians treat the arguments like a Scientist would a Creationist. I’ll let readers figure out that last bit on their own.

A good example would be the paper and a soon to be published book, about the Battle of the Crater, in which we are told that Confederate soldiers killed the negro soldier out of racism but mainly as a warning for the blacks still held in slavery to stay in line or else? I questioned it in a polite and logical manner the thesis of the story back in its infancy and was brushed aside with the comments I did not understand what he had written (meant?).

If the book is “soon to be published,” how does Gary know what the thesis or argument is. I haven’t read the book personally, but from the cover it appears that Kevin Levin is presenting an argument based on the involvement of the USCT at the Battle of the Crater as well as how that particular engagement is remembered through history. I also don’t have a clue what exactly Gary “questioned” so I can’t really assess whether or not he does understand what was written.

In the copy I had access to I don’t remember seeing the USCT described as attacking shouting “remembering Fort Pillow and No quarter”. If I missed it there is the explanation of why the USCT were shot down, without quarter; if missing it should end the discussion and also the argument over who is the revisionist. As I don’t know many other authors who would try to put a spin on casualities that occurred 148 years ago. I know I did not see recounts of USCT killing Confederate prisoners, but they did! I am unsure if this would have been a proper situation to explain the Fort Pillow incident or that the officers for the USCT embellished Fort Pillow to ensure their troops would have an incentive to fight. I know it would have been awkward to explain the incentive worked too well as USCT massacred Confederate prisoners on several occasions, their officers complaining they were becoming unruly and hard to control.

What copy and how did you get it before me? Did you get a review copy? What spin on casualties? Also, how does Gary know the USCT attacked shouting “remembering[sic] Fort Pillow and no quarter?” It seems to me that Gary is creating a straw man argument in order to provide justification for the massacre at the crater. However, I think it’s premature to assert that argument since I haven’t read Kevin’s book nor Gary’s published review of it.

The argument was made Confederate troops shot down the negro because of his race and to teach the slaves at home they had better stay in line. I would have thought the researcher would have explored other avenues especially if they were interested in a “fair and balanced” viewpoint. For example “Confederate Veteran August 1903, P. 355 — “BATTLE OF THE CRATER.” BY W. A. DAY, SHERRILL’S FORD, N. C. “… By that time it was light enough to see a considerable distance, and our men could be seen running rapidly to the rear, and the whole field in front full of Yankees and negroes charging up to the crater. The great burly negroes in their ill fitting uniforms, half drunk it was said, were shouting at the top of their voices, “No quarter to the Rebels! No quarter to the Rebels!” and butchering every man they found alive in the works. The soldiers who fought in that battle will never forget it. That dreadful shout, “No quarter!” from the negro troops rang in our ears for days afterwards. We plainly saw the position we were in. To be captured by the negro troops meant death not only to ourselves but, it appeared, to the helpless women and children in Petersburg…”

Again, since I have not read Kevin’s book, I cannot argue against Gary’s accusation here. I can argue against Gary’s concept of a “fair and balanced” view point. “The great burly negroes in their ill fitting uniforms, half drunk it was said, were shouting at the top of their voices, ‘No quarter to the Rebels! No quarter to the Rebels!’ and butchering every man they found alive in the works. Half drunk it was said….Does anyone see the issue here. “It was said.” So did the author of this actually witness the event, or did he hear the “negroes” were drunk from another source? This could be an example of the racist viewpoint of the late 19th and early 20th century. It also needs to be taken into account that this article was published in the “Confederate Veteran.” Is it unlikely to portray Union soldiers in a positive light? Fair and balanced indeed. A good historian would not dismiss this account though. Unless, it were proven absolutely wrong by numerous other accounts.

At the same time one would have thought the author would have researched any areas that could prove contentious, questionable or most importantly address his hypothesis that Confederates did not take blacks as prisoners and usually shot them. “Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. XXXIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1905-”Graphic Account Of Battle Of Crater, STORY OF A PARTICIPANT. Charge of Wilcox’s Old Brigade Under General Saunders, of Mahone’s Division.” From the Times-Dispatch, October 22, 1905 “… In the fort the enemy were crowded, but; undaunted by numbers, our boys commenced scaling the sides of the fort. The enemy kept up such a fire that it seemed like a second Vesuvius belching forth its fire. Then came the “tug of war” The enemy have shouted: “No quarters!” We then gave them what they justly deserved. There we were on one side of the walls of the fort and the Yankees on the other. The fight was the bloodiest of the war considering the numbers engaged. We fought with muskets, with bayonets, with rocks, and even with clods of dirt. The fight lasted in this manner for near half an hour, when they called for quarters, and we being sickened by the slaughter as well as awfully tired of the fight, granted them quarters. All that we had not killed surrendered, and I must say we took some of the Negroes prisoners.”

My first comment here is that Gary should learn the definition of the word ‘hypothesis.’ As for the account mentioned, I am not certain if it is in Kevin’s book or not as I have not read it. To reply to the quote Gary submitted, or cherry picked, I simply ask him to read this. It comes from the same volume Gary submitted.

What was missed was that the Southroner being upset for the ungentlemanly method of conducting warfare (having 1500 of his friends and messmates vaporized) did shoot and kill negro POWs however they also shot white POW’s. Facts which were mysteriously missing.

What Gary misses is that this same account states the cruelty bestowed upon the negro soldiers simply because they were fighting, and fighting with whites.

“Many historians remember April 9, 1865 as the day that Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia it was also the last major battle of the war, Fort Blakeley, Alabama.

Confederate General Maury was hoping his 3500 veterans of Vicksburg and Nashville could hold off the 45,000 Union offensive designed to capture the last remaining Confederate stronghold at Mobile.

The sheer number of yankee troops overwhelmed the Confederates defending Fort Blakeley. The 35th Mississippi Infantry was overrun by the United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.). The Confederates surrendered and laid down their weapons only to be bayoneted, shot and butchered by the USCT..

“Private Ben H. Bounds of the 4th Mississippi raised his hands as did 50 of his comrades, only to be fired upon by the U.S.C.T. “It looked as though we were to be butchered in cold blood”, said Lt. Ed Tarrant. Lt. Walter Chapman of the 51st U.S.C.T. said, “the [colored troops] did not take a prisoner, they killed all they took to a man.” Trying to stop the slaughter, two Union officers of the 68th U.S.C.T. were fired on by their own men. Captain Fred W. Norwood was wounded in the knee and Lt. Clark Gleason died several days later from his wounds. It was stated that more Confederates were killed after the surrender than died during the entire battle. The slaughter stopped only as additional Union officers were able to halt the carnage. [Source: Mobile, 1865 Last Stand of the Confederacy; (2001) Sean Michael O’Brien] Civil War Talk

As far as Fort Blakely, I simply ask that Gary read this post. The racial implications of that battle are an interesting study in their own right.

One of the biggest issues that should have been addressed was the fact that white union troop who had not wanted to serve with USCT, now blamed them for the situation they found themselves in, and these are the men they took action against; shooting dozens of their own men.

Question….Kevin’s book is about the Crater. Specifically the Crater. Why would he focus on Ft. Blakely unless it were directly connected. If Kevin were writing a book on Ft. Blakely, then Gary might have a legitimate argument. Since the book is obviously about the Crater, the point is moot. This sort of reinforces my earlier accusation that this is a rant.

The authors’ argument was and remains an error, that being he feels the acts performed by Confederate troops at the Crater were to teach slaves still under Confederate control they better not run away; that they had better obey their masters. This is ludicrous in many ways one of which can be seen in the original Juneteenth.1 By this I argue how could anyone expect the events of Petersburg to be transmitted to slaves back in the back woods and fields, while maintaining its message when with the full weight of the military we could not notify the citizens or slaves in Texas that the war was over?

I haven’t read the book so I don’t know Kevin’s argument. I will take a guess and say that Gary has not read the book either. Therefore, how does he know the argument is in error? Of course I will wait on Gary to clarify this. As far as the Juneteenth argument, again I cannot actually comment on this from Kevin’s book since I have not read the book yet. I will of course comment on the concept. For starters Kevin argues in an earlier post that the battle of the crater can be viewed as servile insurrection. Emphasis on the word “can.” I suggest you read Kevin’s post for better understanding and example of the argument. Gary is also using an interesting argument. He is saying that it took a long time for folks in Galveston to know the war was over, therefore how could the slaughter of negro soldiers at the Crater serve as a message to slaves in the South. My counter argument is that Confederates didn’t know the war was going to end shortly thereafter. The event does however demonstrate what Southerners feared, blacks taking up arms against the South.

Corey since we never fail to hear from you whenever we have made a mistake we hope you will spend the same effort, energy in correcting a problem with one of yourown. Gary.

Last I heard, Corey is painting a house during the month of July. Since Dav posed the same questions to me, I answered. I did the best I could given the vagueness of certain statements. I look forward to the responses.

Update: Gary responded with some IM messages on Facebook. 

  • Gary Adams

    6 hours ago

    Gary Adams

    • October 2010 issue of “Civil War Times” and the article by a Kevin Levine titled “Until Every Negro has been Slaughtered”

  • Gary Adams

    6 hours ago

    Gary Adams

  • Gary Adams

    6 hours ago

    Gary Adams

    • I have a very knowledgeable friend who said that during the assault on Confederate lines at the battle of the Crater, colored troops where yelling that they intended to murder any whites that they captured and that when they reached the city with its civilian population, their intentions were even less honorable. According to Bill, this was the reason that those troops were killed when they were captured, not because they were black but because their intentions were made known to the men they were fighting when they thought that they had the upper hand.

      Yes, black soldiers at the Crater charged shouting, “No Quarter” but I have never seen a source that suggests that they planned on murdering civilians in Petersburg. Perhaps Bill can cite a source. KL

  • Rob Baker

    6 hours ago

    Rob Baker

    • That book you just cited states that both sides were crying no quarter and that the battle ended in I quote….”In a final horror, the battle ended with the massacre of wounded or surrendering Black troops by the Rebels–and by some of their White comrades in arms. ”

      In fact, here is Levin’s review.
      http://cwmemory.com/2009/11/04/richard-slotkins-crater/

    • cwmemory.com

      The following review of Richard Slotkin’s new book, No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864 is now available in the latest edition of Civil War Book Review. With the publication of three books on the battle of the Crater
  • Rob Baker

    6 hours ago

    Rob Baker

    • “Slotkin’s commitment to explaining northern racism in all of its forms is invaluable given our tendency to see the Civil War as a moral contest between freedom and slavery. As Slotkin demonstrates, the free blacks and fugitive slaves who fought with the Fourth Division were not only threatened by a Confederate government that promised to execute them in the event of their capture; they also faced innumerable challenges stemming from very strong feelings of racism among their fellow soldiers and high command.” – Kevin Levin.

  • Rob Baker

    6 hours ago

    Rob Baker

    • I am assuming what you wrote secondly is the comment that you provided to Kevin. In that case, the reply was adequate.

  • Gary Adams

    6 hours ago

    Gary Adams

    • In a final horror, the battle ended with the massacre of wounded or surrendering Black troops by the Rebels–and by some of THEIR White comrades in arms

  • Rob Baker

    6 hours ago

    Rob Baker

    • And oh my goodness….Levin looks at that aspect. Where exactly are you going with this?

To be clear, I’m not playing public defender for Kevin Levin. His research stands on its own. David Tatum made a post directed at me and I responded in kind but I digress. Gary either didn’t read my response, or chose to ignore the part about him cherry picking sources. Instead he cited more sources, which as I pointed out, is counter to his own argument. 

23 thoughts on “Dav Wants A Response

  1. Dave Tatum

    A fair reply, very non commital but fair.
    As for you being banned from SHPG, if you remember at the time I was an admin and I was the one who blocked you. If you need me to remind you why I did so I will be glad to do so.
    By the way I am no longer an admin or officer at SHPG, and as of this post I am not even able to post there. My decision. We don’t always get along at SHPG, so I took a furlough.

    As for corey Painting a house– it’s right up the alley of all Neo Yankees, “White Washing something historical so it will look better !

    Has Sherman been through Snug Harbor NC latley ? My summer retreat down there caught fire and is gone! So I will be missing some internet time while I deal with the situation. Bad things happen to good people !

    Rob keep on being who you are !

    Dave Tatum

    1. David,

      Funny you should mention my job painting. The owners of the house are actually having me paint the house Blue…a very Yankee Blue…with white, red and silver accents. Go figure. I will post pictures to prove it later.

      Rob,

      Nice job on the post. It seems that David’s only comment is that it was “non-commital”. He does not even attempt a rebuttel…I don’t think he is capable.

      1. I’m not sure a rebuttal is warranted from him. The questions are from Gary, not Dav. If Gary wants to offer a rebuttal, I’m all ears. If Dav wants to comment on anything I’ve said, he is more than welcome to.

    2. Not real sure why you banned me Dav. I simply told a woman that her “opinion” that she brushed off as “fact” was an ignorant statement. This came after she called me an ass. But I digress.

      Sorry to hear about your summer retreat Dav. I hope you get things squared away.

  2. southron_98

    I was not discussing the shortcomings of anyone in particular; I was addressing the group regarding recent commentaries and events. There are those who seem to think it is their duty to comment on just about every post that is found in SHPG. Such actions do nothing but defeat any meaningful exchange that could possibly occur between differing factions in this debate.

    What is strange in the comments that were made in your article is that it is implied that those who “buck” modern history are deemed to be revisionists. I would ask how you define modern history. It is with certainty that you are referring to modern as in a style and not time period. This would indicate to many others that view your comments as a rejection of old or standard history and relying instead on a revisionist version of history.

    In his “Society Must Be Defended”, Michel Foucault wrote that the victors of a social struggle use their political dominance to suppress a defeated adversary’s version of historical events in favor of their own propaganda, which may go so far as historical revisionism. There have been statements made that members who support the Southern viewpoint continually complain about history being written or rewritten by the victors. To further illustrate the point, consider this statement: “Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision. I would ask what is your basis for stating that such things do not occur. Pertaining to recent and past actions/comments by some, it would appear that this argument does have merit.

    I would like to address the comment you made with regards to being a Southerner: “I don’t brand all Southerners racist…because I am a Southerner”? Is it your contention that those who support and defend the South and her history during the War of Rebellion are racists? In the past, epithets have been hurled by you and others that would suggest otherwise. Do you assert those of us who do hold in high regard the rich heritage and history of the South are racists and “Lost Causers?” Please allow me to quote you further: “Because neo-Confederate is a legitimate term and is not just a casual insult to throw around. I would probably apply it to someone that is legitimately advocating a new Southern secession movement…”. I would ask this question after reading this from you: Are you a calling yourself a Southerner to add credibility to statements that you make in defense of your argument?

    Another topic I would like to address that seems to be a point of contention is the one of Black Confederates. While I am no proponent of the numbers bantered about when discussing the totals of black soldiers who fought for the Confederacy, I would argue that the numbers in question or lack thereof, cannot in good conscience be so easily argued by those who seek to disprove the final tally. There is no more evidence to support one argument over the other. It appears the supporting claim here is that it was illegal for the Confederacy to allow blacks to serve. The argument here could and would continue with neither side making any real headway. An example of this type of argument is the fact that until last year it was illegal for gays to serve in the military and there were no records of any serving. One would then have to assume it would be amazing that anyone might bend the longstanding regulation that prohibited gays from openly. There is evidence that would support part of the case and assertion of whether African-Americans served in a military role. For defenders of the South and the Confederacy, there is the speech made by Frederick Douglas as well as various official reports from non-commissioned soldiers and officers of both sides that reinforce the premise that African-Americans served as combat soldiers and not merely in non-combat positions. Again, is it your contention this never occurred in such fashion or that it was simply a ploy to get the USCT involved? Are the officers who reported such happenings as Negro soldiers lying? Why would this occur on both sides?

    Another source of enmity is the myths that continue to be debated back and forth. How do you classify a slave-owner (slaveholder)? What is your basis? Some argue that 90% of all Southerners were slave owners. How is that figure arrived at? As to myths I would start with the ones that state Southerners are racist. Arguments on tall tales started long before the 1960, even during the war. I will admit that many in the media and the South love to keep them flourishing. However there are countless times when it is convenient that such myths be allowed to continue. One myth of concern stated in part, “…what is the truth about Fort Pillow…” it is simply the Congressional investigation for both General Forrest and Fort Pillow. The point is made continuously that those who support your argument is that the only acceptable view is “yours”. Yes, Billy Bob’s barn might have been struck by lightning but the “Official records of the United States Army” clearly discloses the truth about Sherman and the other war criminals. Are you saying that we are the only ones who “cherry pick?”

    I saw that Dave Tatum banned you for spreading half-truths, and insulting other members of the group. The half-truths we could have discussed and debated, while insulting members does nothing to support your point of view and lowers your credibility.

    You keep going on about a prior review of the book in question. Again you might rather research or read more. The October 2010 issue of “Civil War Times is the prelude to the book; same line same story. I stated I might have missed the fact the USCT were shouting “No Quarter” which would explain the manner in which they were treated. White union troops were treated exactly the same as blacks. I had assumed anyone who was a student in “historiography” of the war, would have read about the Crater. A great reference to read for example would be, “No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864 by Richard Slotkin, in which he described the charge and the call to “No Quarter, remember Fort Pillow”. There is also a National Park Service display stating the same. There also appears to be a failure to understand the significance in the actions of the USCT, i.e., their early capture of Confederate prisoners in which they promptly murdered said prisoners, and their own officers stating “they had become uncontrollable” But now that I have witnessed first-hand your example of fairness, insisting on non-revisionism I can see their act must not have been racism; that when Confederate troops came into contact later on where they had to reason to fear being killed, nor being revengeful.

    Note: Your claim to harsh treatment of USCT, while we know Fort Pillow was not what was claimed we need to look further. I have yet to research it but it is my next project.
    http://home.comcast.net/~5thuscc/massacr.htm

    The Federal authorities contended that where slaves were captured by them, or when they deserted and came to them and enlisted in their armies, they thereby became free, and should be placed on the same footing with their white soldiers, in respect to exchanges, as well as in all other respects. The Confederates, on the contrary, contended that whatever might be the effect on the status of the slave by going to the Federals and enlisting in their armies, yet should they be recaptured by the Confederates, that restored them to their former status as slaves, and they should then be returned to their masters or put to work by the Confederates, and their masters compensated for their labor. In those cases where the masters did not reside in the Confederacy, or could not be ascertained, such Negroes were to be exchanged as other prisoners.”
    “Destruction and Reconstruction,” by Richard Taylor, Page 215
    “The Confederate Congress had enacted that negro troops, captured, should be restored to their owners. We had several hundreds of such, taken by Forrest in Tennessee, whose owners could not be reached; and they were put to work on the fortifications at Mobile, rather for the purpose of giving them healthy employment than for the value of the work. I made it a point to visit their camps and inspect the quantity and quality of their food, always found to be satisfactory…..”
    HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
    October 21, 1864.
    Maj. Gen. J. C. BRECKINRIDGE,
    Commanding,
    &c., Wytheville:
    GENERAL:
    General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 5th instant, and to repeat the gratification the handsome success at Saltville afforded him, and his satisfaction with the arrange meats and dispositions made by you. He hopes your efforts to promote the efficiency of the troops in your department will be soon attended with the success they deserve. He is much pained to hear of the treatment the negro prisoners are reported to have received, and agrees with you in entirely condemning it. That a general officer should have been guilty of the crime you mention meets with his unqualified reprobation. He directs that if the officer is still in your department you prefer charges against him and bring him to trial. Should he have left your department you will forward the charges to be transmitted to the Department, in order that such action may be taken as the case calls for.
    Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
    CHARLES MARSHALL,
    Lieutenant-Colonel and Aide.de.camp
    Your assessment of the events and comments gives clear indication that any attempt to include a fair and balanced view of “historiography” would be tantamount to revisionist thinking. Revisionism is clearly shown in the act of refusing to accept a statement from a veteran which is acceptable but at the same time including an inference as to what the truth had to have been. Your argument that someone in “Confederate Veteran” could /would not have given a fair statement concerning a Yankee would appear to be unfounded. I refer you to the statement, “I don’t brand all Southerners as racist…because I am a Southerner.”

    There have been several recent meetings discussing the assumed failure of the Sesquicentennial and the one topic that keeps coming up are the arguments, comments of people that make the average person ashamed of the war. A vice president of Ancestry questioned why people in the South searching their lineage seldom went back further to the war and again the overwhelming response as to why this occurred was individuals who claim they are informing the public the truth about the war. What is amazing is the claim that yours is the only true message regarding the War.

    I have already established your claim of being a student of the historiography of the Civil War. While you might not been aware of all aspects, I am sure you are aware of the intense relationship between the two veteran groups (North and South) and of how many times the union men being in better straits helped out their Southron brethren? So I am reasonably sure any comments made were in line with the respect, honor and integrity of two former foes.

    I appreciate your attempt at responding to our post.

    Regards.

    1. Gary, I am assuming this is you since you take ownership of the statements. I am extremely busy leading discussion groups today and I don’t have time to respond to such a lengthy post adequately. I will in due time. Thanks for the comment.

    2. Gary my first response would be that if your goal was to have “meaningful exchange,” you might want to start by not blocking people from the SHPG.

      The reference to modern history implies modern scholarship, aka. recent scholarship. Scholarship achieved through new evidence found, more sources found, new information coming to light etc. It is nothing more than saying “modern science.”

      I liked the inclusion of a Patrick Cleburne quote; one of my favorites. However, a study of historiography on the Civil War shows that you and Cleburne are wrong. Up until about 1960, the Southern version of events dominated the narrative of Civil War history. This was achieved post-reconstruction era during the reconciliation period and continued for close to 100 years.

      Is it your contention that those who support and defend the South and her history during the War of Rebellion are racists?

      No. It is my contention that not all Southerners are racists. I am a Southerner, advocating that argument would mean that I would also be a racist. I am confused by your next statement as it would imply that epithets hurled by me have stated that Southerners that support the War of Rebellion are not racists. I am assuming you meant to say that I have implied such a thing. Which is simply not true. I also share the fact that I am a Southerner for two purposes: 1) It automatically implies that I am not a Yankee rendering the ignorant “Scalawag” comments moot, and; 2) To demonstrate that I share the heritage that you claim to protect.

      I would agree with your comment on gays in the military in so far as to say people were serving that by law couldn’t; but the problem is that there are plenty of documents indicated as such for gays in the military. The policy was don’t ask don’t tell. Many messed up/fessed up and/or courageously told, Because of that, they were excused. Many soldiers have come forward after the fact and announced they were gay. There is a documentary entitled Semper Fi: One Marine’s Journey that documents one marine’s identity crisis as a gay man serving in Iraq that outs himself. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1024868/
      The point is, there is loads of information for future generations to look back on and say, yes, there are government documents, personal testimonies, video, audio etc. demonstrating there are gays in the military against the rules. Also, the Frederick Douglas accounts needs to be scrutinized because….Douglass never actually witnessed a battle.

      I’m not sure what idiot trots out the number 90% that you claim they do. I’ve never seen that. Nor is it even a justified answer. The usual percentage is 25% of families owned slaves. I used the example about Sherman to demonstrate the grossly exaggerated claims of the march, i.e. Sherman burning Atlanta to the ground. Even the Atlanta Historical Society points out that the retreating Confederate did the majority of the plurality of the damage. That means less than half was burned, and the confederates did most of the damage.

      Dav blocked me because I retorted to Connie’s insult of me. For some reason, Dav appeals to a double standard.

      If you would have read the citation I provided in the article, you would see that the very source you cited, states that the USCT were slaughtered the way there were was because they were black and in uniform. The observer stated that was the first time the men had come into contact with the USCT. He also states that the white officers were slaughtered for leading them. To close that paragraph, A few pages in a Civil War magazine hardly qualifies as a review of the book. Plus, I linked you several times over the interpretations of slotkins work and statements as well as Levin’s own review.

      There are several works that analyze Ft. Pillow, I suggest you start there.

      I have visited and participated in several sesquicentennial events in the past year. At all events, several thousand people were in attendance. The economy is bad, there are less renactors. Those are contributing factors.

  3. Michael C. Lucas

    Baker as always you can’t seem to understand when you have been pinned! I agree with Gallagher in regards to bloggers,who have too much time on their hands in their Narcissism cyber worlds to actually comprehend let alone provide valuable contributions to education or understanding history. “You should heed the lesson, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!”

    Here’s one example you have blatantly misinterpreted:

    “Again, since I have not read Kevin’s book, I cannot argue against Gary’s accusation here. [Well then why are you? If you haven’t read Kevin’s book it’s not your lane, you are not a Petersburg Campaign expert]- “I can argue against Gary’s concept of a “fair and balanced” view point.” [Baker how fair and balanced are you when you don’t present anything but rhetoric about something you admittedly haven’t read. Of apparently either related sources Gary presented.] “The great burly negroes in their ill fitting uniforms, half drunk it was said, were shouting at the top of their voices, ‘No quarter to the Rebels! No quarter to the Rebels!’ and butchering every man they found alive in the works. Half drunk it was said….Does anyone see the issue here. “It was said.” So did the author of this actually witness the event, or did he hear the “negroes” were drunk from another source? [Ok! Baker you must be absolutely blind, “Day” states clearly he was a participant! He says he heard it was said, it is not an issue its a fact that he was there and that others validate the USCT battle cry.] “This could be an example of the racist viewpoint of the late 19th and early 20th century.” [There you go applying a subjective modern preconceived opinion to interpret it with a racial connotation to distort an evidently clear statement of a participants account to the actions history. Nothing “Day” stated equates to being racially implicit in that passage. He does not say because they were black we gave them no quarter he states emphatically that the Negroe troops shouted “no quarter” and that he and his fellow soldiers reasoned to give as good as they got. It can be stated you have an anti-Confederate agenda and that is a fact.] “It also needs to be taken into account that this article was published in the “Confederate Veteran. Is it unlikely to portray Union soldiers in a positive light? Fair and balanced indeed. [Baker I stand on my last comment, and VICE VERSA UNION ACCOUNTS SHOULD BE EQUALLY SCRUTINIZED.] “A good historian would not dismiss this account though. Unless, it were proven absolutely wrong by numerous other accounts.” [The latter which is only restating Gary’s point! is the only valid statement you make.]

    1. You speak of narcissism but your opening statement is that I’ve lost…..

      No I am not an expert on the Petersburg campaign. Neither is Gary. However, I am adequately trained in historiography. I know how to analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources. Therefore, that does provide me with the skills to make a judgement on sources. That pretty much legitimizes my arguments against the sources he uses.

      There you go applying a subjective modern preconceived opinion to interpret it with a racial connotation to distort an evidently clear statement of a participants account to the actions history. Nothing “Day” stated equates to being racially implicit in that passage. He does not say because they were black we gave them no quarter he states emphatically that the Negroe troops shouted “no quarter” and that he and his fellow soldiers reasoned to give as good as they got. It can be stated you have an anti-Confederate agenda and that is a fact

      Notice I used the word “could” as to the various explanations for the vernacular used in the source. “Burly, “half drunk it was said,” are examples of a preconceived idea of white over black superiority. Of course this type of rhetoric is not limited to just the USCT as various southern accounts place “Yankees” in a harsh light and vice versa. But I ask you, why isn’t it just men from the Northern army. Why are they burly? Why are they drunk? It’s terms like these that draw to question to motives and opinions of the source. Something you obviously overlook and take at face value. The language of the source demonstrates a biased opinion intent on demonizing the other side to justify a slaughter. Speaking of slaughter, I’ve already sent a private message to Gary about this very thing, but I will post it again as it demonstrates that the fact that the USCT were slaughtered because they were black with white officers.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=tAgTAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA358&ots=aLB3jbT6KF&dq=Graphic%20Account%20Of%20Battle%20Of%20Crater%2C%20STORY%20OF%20A%20PARTICIPANT.&pg=PA364#v=onepage&q=Graphic%20Account%20Of%20Battle%20Of%20Crater%2C%20STORY%20OF%20A%20PARTICIPANT.&f=false

      Please read the second paragraph. This is from the exact same source that Gary sites. It states plainly that the USCT troops were slaughtered because they were negro troops with white officers and that the men (confederate) were enraged. Obviously you didn’t bother to read all of my post or click on the links provided.

      I never stated Union accounts should not be scrutinized did I? But just for the sake of proving you wrong, in the Black Confederate debate, how many times have you seen actual historians reject the Steiner report or the quotes of Frederick Douglas as mere propaganda?

      As far as being pinned; I’ve wrestled since I was 5, I know when I’m winning.

      1. Michael C. Lucas

        Baker your winning a hole in the ground! Gary is far more knowledgeable on this subject than your giving him credit! As “for Days” comments that they were burly they were apparently goodsized fellows, and surely the images of USCT’s support the problems with issued clothing, its documented by even the Union white troops that there was evident drunkenness on the USCT’s part particularly of the officers. It was a suicide mission, I have no doubt the flask and bottles were passed around in quantity.

        1. Wish I could make guesses. Or Make assumptions without actually giving the documentation. The only real account easily found is U.S. Brig. Gen. Jame Ledlie being drunk way behind lines without briefing his men. Please stop making loose claims without proof on my page. It’s rather silly. Kind of like the post you made yesterday asking me to prove the rhetoric that the South advocated foreign slave trade at the Constitutional Convention. I noticed you deleted that comment pretty quickly, but I digress.

  4. Dave Tatum

    You called Connie a “LIAR” remember ?
    Women are to be treated with respect even if you disagree with them. Even if one slaps you in the face that does not allow you to slap her back.
    Rob I have respect for your educational side, but when you gain the wisdom to go with it you will find a better understanding of what we “Lost Causers” are all about.
    And wisdom only comes with age. No shortcuts to wisdom.
    Let me explain it in my way, would you rather be lost in the swamp with a college boy who has read all about it and has book sense, or be lost in the swamp with an old guy who has lived there all his life ? Which one would you have more faith in to get you out?
    Education is just a key, Wisdom is the door!

    1. I don’t remember calling Connie I “liar.” Though it is plausible. Also, I understand full well the concept of chivalry but you are equating verbal discourse to physical abuse which is sort of absurd. It is shameful to let someone that says such vile and ignorant things simply because they are female.

      As far as the comments of wisdom/education I retort by asking this, do you allow the educated surgeon to operate on you, or someone that is constantly operated on? You are engaging in, whether you know it or not, a philosophical argument or wisdom v. education v. life experience. Just because one lives in a swamp, does not necessarily mean that he knows the swamp. I don’t really want to get into this type of argument but I know someone that would probably be interested in age and wisdom.

      1. Dave Tatum

        ” I don’t really want to get into this type of argument ”
        Run ? Rob Baker running fom an arguement ? “THE SKY IS FALLING”
        Well back in the 60s what you just said would be a cop out !
        As for the surgeon I would want ome with years of practice not a med school grad.!
        What vile and ignorant comments did Connie make ?
        You called her a liar cause she writes “novels” ! Selective memory loss?
        Or you just can’t keep up with all the stuff you say?
        All the college folks who design buildings by the numbers have no idea how to build one. If not for folks like me you would not have a school house to study in, or a hiway to get there.

        1. Not really running, just don’t have time to engage into this type of argument.

          I am pretty sure I retorted that because she called me a liar. She writes fiction…..it is lying, professionally.

          Interesting comment. I am sure that every architect in the world has never had their hands on a building…Of course Dav. if it weren’t for folks like the “college folks,” you’d have nothing worthy of building.

          1. Dave Tatum

            See wisdom has scared off education before the argument has started, you are starting to aquire wisdom, you know when to quit. Good Boy !

  5. Dr.Cox

    Alright my turn. I am no historian. I am a studying theologian. That being said I will use occasional raw language. Please keep your tongue in your cheek.

    My only quarrel with anything said here is when it comes to “wisdom”. Goodness this was a piss poor approach to education… This is what you people claim to be is it not? Some level of educators? Listen to me rant and rave… I am beginning to sound like a child again…or Tatum.

    When I was young, I detested when the older claimed age as the goblet from which wisdom flows. Now that I am older, I believe these “elders” might have been brain damaged. Now that I have quickly insinuated my stance on wisdom, how about I dive in, ripping this conversation open.

    Tatum, you speak at the end of your conversation in such a way as if you are older. I assume that since you claim wisdom. Never claim wisdom. It is the first sign to stop talking or respecting someone as an intellectual. The more one learns, the more one realizes one knows nothing. And even those who do age and learn and grow through time, these great elder scribes may look simple compared to the advancing younger generations. I know I have learned that those younger than me seem to have the cutting edge since people before them paved an excellent path for them to excel. I will restate that. The elders pave the way for the younger generation to excel AND surpass the previous one. But there is this pesky pride that comes with age. We see how far we have come, we pat ourselves on the back saying, “good job for being less stupid this year”, and eventually reach a point when we deem ourselves a word like cancer – wise. With this word like a purple heart pinned to our hubris, we trot about in front of our younger peers spewing forth noises from our rancid features often to hear them understanding immediately what took us years to comprehend, but that’s alright because they have yet…to be…wise… I’m sorry, but how can anyone younger respect the words of a man who rants, insults, picks fights, and then claims wisdom. My friend, you are setting a poor example for your younger peers. Feel free to knitpick in your craft, making the youth better. But for everyone’s sake, do not claim wisdom. You have yet to arrive. Or to be less harsh, maybe you simply forgot it while starting this conversation, responding, revising, and siting your sources. Who knows.

    I have made my point clear. But since beating a dead horse is popular around here, I will keep going. But after I am done with my apparent narcissistic lifestyle that includes my studies… Goodnight all. Keep at it.

  6. Pingback: Nathan Bedford Forrest on Trial: Part 1 | The Historic Struggle

  7. Khepera

    “. . .The great burly negroes in their ill fitting uniforms, half drunk it was said, were shouting at the top of their voices,. . .”

    Couldn’t help but notice this; the perennial specter, haunting the racist, of the loud, threatening, crazed, huge black man, ready to murder the white man and rape his wives and daughters.I guess it went over as easily then as it does now.

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