Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Civil War Continued

After a hiatus, I have posted another installment of my series on the Civil War, aka The War of the Rebellion

This piece covers the critically important, but often underappreciated 1863 campaign in Central Tennessee. As I note in the piece, the Confederate general John B. Gordon described the Rebel setbacks at Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga as "a triune disaster to the Confederate cause."

But I conclude that the case can be made that the most important of these was Chattanooga. For even though 1863 appears in retrospect to be the decisive year of the war, war weariness in the North was becoming widespread, even with Union successes in the field. Dissent in the North was a major concern for Lincoln; indeed, he did not expect to win the election of 1864.

It was Sherman’s capture of Atlanta in September of 1864 that changed the electoral equation. Had Atlanta not fallen when it did, it is very possible that Democrat George McClellan would have been elected president, with the Copperhead Rep. George H. Pendleton of Ohio, as his vice president. A negotiated peace may well have followed.

But before Atlanta could fall, Union forces had to penetrate the Appalachian barrier at Chattanooga, opening the road to Atlanta. Had Bragg prevailed at Chattanooga, or even delayed its loss to the Union, the outcome of the war may have been far different than it was. The title of Peter Cozzens’ book on Chattanooga says it all: the loss of the city to the Confederates was indeed "the shipwreck of their hopes."

I also address the Lost Cause myth that claims that Confederate military leadership was generally superior to that of the Union. In fact, the only consistently successful Confederate army was Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. I don’t have a lot of positive things to say about Braxton Bragg, who commanded the main Confederate army in the West, the Army of Tennessee. I try to show how his failures in leadership destined his unfortunate army to stumble from one defeat to another.

Discussions - 49 Comments

Wow, we agree on something. Bragg's generalship left something to be desired. How did he get such a big base named after him? Must be irksome to you that so many things in the South are named after soldiers from the War for Southern Independence (aka The War of Yankee Aggression). :-)

You should write one about Dick Taylor (Zachary Taylor's son) keeping Nathaniel Banks from coming in and raping your part of Texas. There's some real Confederate leadership for you.

And calling McWhiney "one of the great historians of the South and Southern culture" is just going to get Ed Sebesta and the Southern Poverty Law Center coming after you. They call him a racist and "the father of the Neo-Confederate movement." Hopefully they are too busy trying to get UT Austin to take down the Jeff Davis statue to notice. Maybe Dale Michaud can help them out with that one. Or maybe Sebesta has decided to spend more time these days on the gay rights issue, his other project.

Cheers, Brutus.

Another great lesson on how the South could or should have won, even with Lincoln at the helm on the other side. And I also thought that the praise of McWhiney (what a name!) was rather bold.

Where I live, we have a memorial to Confederate Soldiers.

Ironically ... and appropriately I suppose ... it has two water fountains. One for whites and one for blacks.

Anyway, I like the memorial and believe the fountains should work again with no regard on who should drink from which fountain.

You see, Brutus, Confederates were ultimately American, citizens of the United States of America, even though they were extremely misguided.

You can celebrate the man, not the cause, which the Confederate flag tends to do the opposite.

Confederate monuments honor the men who fought and died for the cause of independence. No cause = no monument. Nice try though.

As for segregation, the North invented that. Go read Woodward's _Strange Career of Jim Crow._ Texas didn't get segregation until the 1890s.

It doesn't matter who invented segregation.

It does matter who decided to implement segregation for about 100 years after the Republicans passed the very first Civil Rights legislation.

It does matter who decided to 'go to the mattresses' for segregation.

Again, the 'cause' was for the independence to retain the right to own slaves.

You can not escape that simple fact of the Civil War and your continual denying of that fact means you are purposefully deluding yourself or arguing in bad faith.

So the War for Southern Independence ended in 1890? Learn some history dude.

Actually, Brutus, it appears you are cherry-picking from the book, that is, if you truly read it.

Seriously? Some of this we have been over before. Slaveholders led the War for American Independence. Slaveholders led the War for Texas Independence. Slaveholders led the War for Southern Independence. Yet according to you, only the latter is "invalid" because of slavery. Take off your blinders!

The United States fights both World War I and World War II with a segregated Army. Yet you act like segration only existed in the South. Why? Because of some fountain you blame on the Confederates. Get real!

Your sense of history is warped by a wierd mix of guiltomania, moral smugness, and unidiomatic English. Seriously, do you translate your posts from the French or something? I've heard of going to the mat for something, but who goes to the mattresses?

And by the way, you can't "cherry pick" the thesis of a book. The thesis is what it is. And yes I've read it.

"Going to the mattresses" goes hand in hand with "sleeping with the fishes".

The thesis of the book isn't what you are suggesting and he is sure as heck was not supporting the Southern mantra that segregation is something that always was.

That book is not very helpful for you, Brutus.

That's right. Woodward suggests that segregation by law in the South did not start until the 1890s. I only said that like three times. Do I need to say it again?

And now, since you are acting like you actually know how to read, and acting like you actually have a copy of _Strange Career_ why don't you open to page 17?

There you will see this so-called "cherry picked" quote: "Segregation in complete and fully developed form did grow up contemporaneously with slavery, but not in its midst. One of the strangest things about the career of Jim Crow was that the system was born in the North and reached an advanced age before moving South in force."

Brutus, no one has ever stated or suggested that the people of the North were perfect or not racist.

Pointing out such things does nothing to make the actions of the South justified or even morally equivalent.

Regarding the book ... it puts forces other than just segregation beginning in the northern states explaining why the South so fervently latched onto segregation.

This reason, among others, is why I don't see how it helps you or helps make the 'cause' better.

Think of it this way, Britain brough slavery to the Americas, but should that justify the continuation of slavery in America when it was being forced out of Britain?

Same kind of thinking applies regarding North and the South.

Lastly, Brutus,I don't ming debating, but you take it to a personal level that is uncalled for and unjustified. Even your last reply reeks and has a backhanded compliment, which by definition is no compliment at all. Should I infer anything about your emotional makeup and mental stability because of you can't just argue the facts? No? Then stop it.

If you argument is sound, then you do not need to use such poor tactics.

I'm not employing any tactics. I said over and over the thesis of the book: that formalized segregation did not emerge in the South immediately after Reconstruction; that segregation began in the North and spread to the South. (I could add to that this part of the thesis: that the North decided they liked segregation because they could use it to govern their new imperial conquests in the Philippines.)

Then you said that I said that the South had always been segregated. It's like talking to a brick wall.

I don't know what "cause" you are talking about. The South fought for independence. They lost that cause. That's why it's a "lost cause." Some people, Texans especially, just can't stand to lose. When they do lose, they try to act like the fight was not worth it in the first place. Hence this weird Texas Scalawag tendency manifested by people like you. You never had to deal with slavery. You never had to deal with segregation (I'm assuming). Thus you can act all morally self-righteous about people for who these were life-and-death concerns.

If you want to use history to feel good about your morals go right ahead. But I will call you on it every time, whether you accuse me of mental instability or not. At least you aren't like those SPLC, NAACP, Ed Sebesta types who want to go around renaming schools and tearing down monuments.

Or perhaps I should say that at least you claim not to be one of those SPLC/Sebesta types. But the way you distort history plays into their hands and makes it seem imperative to rename Fort Hood and to destroy half the statues on the U.T. Austin campus.

No, I stated that the book goes against the common theme of the Civil Rights Era ... that is ... segregation is something that just always was.

Brutus, intent/motive is everything.

The South wasn't leaving the Union just because.

No, Brutus, you are not arguing honestly.

And, again, you are using personal attacks, which tells you me you have no argument.

Listen, Brutus, I have given you several outs in this debate.

I am going to give you one more, but I am now not being subtle about it.

Stop your line of argument on this thread. Your use of this book does not help you in any meaningful way. If you continue then I will trounce you with that very same book that you insist on referencing. It is a Civil Rights Era book celebrated by Martin Luther King, Jr for crying out loud.!

Again, this is an out for you, albiet without a saving face, which I attempted to provide in earlier replies on this thread.

I await your response, but, due to past threads, I expect your ego to interfere with your judgement and then the 'beat down' will commence.

Your fate is ... truly ... in your own hands.

I have had a two day debate with you about a book that I have read and you have not. Now you are threatening to do what, actually go read the book?

Say, isn't anyone on this thread interested in Tullahoma, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga? Sheesh!

Oh, I'm sorry Dale. Your WWE education does not allow you to actually respond to questions. Let me put it in language you can understand: "Bring in on!"

I also know that you think that getting the last word equals "winning." So why don't you go cut and paste something you find on-line about Woodward and we can call it a day?

[Corrected version] Oh, I'm sorry Dale. Your WWE education does not allow you to actually respond to questions. I should have known better. Let me put it in language you can understand: "Bring it on!"

I also know that you think that getting the last word equals "winning." So why don't you go cut and paste something you find on-line about Woodward and we can call it a day?

Brutus, you read the book, as have I, but you took away very little from it.

The reason for the pause is twofold: one, to see if your intellect overrides your ego, which we see it did not, and two, I have a life other than the internet.

Don't worry, the examples from the book will be forthcoming.

Yeah, I wonder how long it will take you to "read" a two-hundred page book.

I just wish I could see the look on your face when you are done reading _Strange Career_ and you realize the thesis is exactly what I said it was three days ago. Maybe then you can "beat down" yourself.

I take back everything I've said about you. You are just an idiot, plain and simple. There is something wrong with me I guess, for picking on you is like picking on a child.

Brutus, I will have more time to slap you down tomorrow, but the book's thesis is NOT that segregation began in the north. Moreover, in the preface to the revised 2nd edition, Woodward specifically states that he did not investigate segregation outside of the south.

But, so what?

I mean, how does this help a Confederate apologist and more specifically, how does this help you, Brutus? It doesn't. This book doesn't.

Wow, you've already read the whole preface! Keep going, just 200 pages left to go! And I don't apologize for any political movement. I just correct distortions made by people who use the past to feel good about themselves.

So, you admit that you were wrong, huh?

And, it appears you have no argument ... still.

I'm wrong? Here's what Woodward says: "I have added a brief treatment of Jim Crowism in the ante-bellum North because I was able to take advantage of an excellent book on the subject recently published." (ix) You can see part of that section listed in post 13 above. Since there is not very much original research on any topic in _Strange Career_ (it's a work of synthesis and interpretation) that says alot.

Afterwards Woodward goes into great detail describing Yankee liberals who came South after Reconstruction and were disgusted seeing black and white children playing together, eating candy out of the same wrapper --even white children sucking on black breasts. Seriously, do you have the book or not, or are you just using the tidbits you can get off of Amazon?

You are a waste of my time. I'm done with this thread.

One last thing till tomorrow ...

Brutus, re-read this thread.

You put words into my replies that were not there. Consequently, you attribute assertions to me that I never made. You also state that 'over and over' you made the same assertion regarding the thesis of the book, but a review of the thread to that point demonstrates that you never did such a thing and it wasn't till that reply that you actually deal with what the book was about. However, you also insist on emphasizing that narrow point you first made. Then you declare victory in a debate that never occured except only in your own mind.

This is not the first time you have done something like this and it will not be the last I expect. Moreover, you take an issue that was only tangentially involved with the thread and then base you argument on a very narrow assertion, something that is true, but misses the wider point and, ultimately, loses the entire meaning altogether. And, when pointed out the error, you resort to personal attacks

And, yet, I am the idiot?

Brutus, your first mention of Woodward's book was to damn the North for inventing segregation, which, according to the book is true. However, the book was about more than just that. Moreover, Woodward stated that segregation had existed in the South prior to the 1890's, not just in the strict way that was considered the modern form.

Woodward is no friend of the Confederacy nor the Southern Cause nor the attempts to distort Southern history in a Southern friendly way.

The true thesis of the book is about change. The fact that the South changed to implement the strict from of modern segregation also meant that in the 1950's the South could again change to abolish such things. Instead, Brutus, you, with your bias, focused on one narrow point of the book, which was a major mistake and ultimately distorted the entire point of the book.

Lastly, Brutus, I will leave you with this, from page 43-44 of the book, that blows your assertion out of the water and makes you look like a fool, a dolt, and the one who should be labeled an idiot ...

"It would certainly be preposterous to leave the impression than any evidence I have submitted indicates a golden age of race relations in the period between Redemption and complete segregation. On the contrary, the evidence of race conflict and violence, brutality and exploitation in this very period is overwhelming. It was, after all, in the 'eighties and early 'nineties that lynching attained the most staggering proportions ever reached in the history of that crime. Moreover, the fanatical advocates of racism, whose doctrines of total segregation, disfranchisement, and ostracism eventually triumphed over all opposition and became universal practice in the South, were already at work and already beginning to establish dominance over some phases of Southern life."

Woodward was not talking about the North, but was explicitly condemning the South.

However, Brutus, you cherry-picked this book to suit your biases.

Why? I don't know, but you did.

Yes, Brutus, why did you attempt to use this book to buttress your pro-Confederate views? Seriously, why?

Woodward goes a bit further to explain why the South latched on to this Northern idea ...

From page 69 ...

"The South's adoption of extreme racism was due not so much to a conversion as it was to a relaxation of the opposition. All the elements of fear, jealousy, proscription, hatred and fanaticism had long been present, as they are present in various degrees of intensity in any society. What enabled them to rise to dominance was not so much cleverness or ingenuity as it was a general weakening and discrediting of the numerous forces that had hitherto kept them in check. The restraining forces included not only Northern liberal opinion in th epress, the courts, and the government, but also internal checks imposed by the presitge and influence of the Southern conservatives, as well as by the idealism and zeal of the Southern radicals. What happened toward the end of the century was an almost simultaneous - and sometimes unrelated- decline in the effectiveness of restraint that had been exercised by all three forces: Northern liberalism, Southern conservatism, and Southern radicals."

So, Brutus, your suggestion that the South was victimized by the North due to the Northern inception of segregation means NOTHING! The North started segregation, but the North via "liberal opinion in the press, the courts, and the government" was a check upon the hardline segregation that was eventually implemented by the South. Moreover, the North was just one-third of the equation as to why the South embraced segregation. The South gave two-thirds of the equation, thusly deserving the lion's share of the damning!

But, alas, I don't expect such a learned person as you to actually understand a book, much less make a truly reasoned and sound argument!

Brutus, if have an advanced degree, please, give it back for you have demonstrated that you do not deserve such an honor!

And, if you think I am done ... well ... Brutus ... think again ...

Woodward explains that one of the checks on modern segregation was Southern conservatives. What he furher explains is that the Southern Conservatives, aside from having more financial scandals in some states than the carpetbaggers (wasn't that a term you attempted to apply to me, a person born in Florida and raised in Texas? Well, I digress), they overthrew the carpetbaggers by "enlist[ing] the support of the aggressively anti-Negro whites in the struggle for redemption" (page 76).

So, to get rid of the Northern overlords, so to speak, they used the worst of South. Yet, I am to believe that it was the North that was the reason for the segregation.

Man, all this within 100 pages of the book.

You sure aren't looking good, Brutus, that's for sure.

Brutus, Page 81 and 82 also destroys your argument.

Are you still so confident that this book helps you an any meaningfull way?

I realize your ego will not recognize the fact that your asserstion is pure horseshit, but your head, your intellect must understand this, right?

If not, then I assert that any debate with you is worthless for you can not debate honestly, which is my opinion in the first place, but I am giving the benefit of the doubt against my own intellect (yeah, I am sucker sometimes).

You know what? This entire book, save for very small amount and taken out of context, blows Brutus's assertion completely out of the water.

Brutus, I expect you to respond with more personal attacks, that is, if you even respond in the first place.

Yeah, the beat down was completed.

Ya want some more bones on da face, punk?

Doesn't this sound like Brutus and pretty much every other Confederate apologist?

Pages 85-86 ...

"In some of them it had been thirty years or more since the reign of the carpetbaggers, but the legend of Reconstruction was revived, refurbished, and relived by the propagandists as if it were an immediate background of the current crisis. A new generation of Southerners was as forcibly impressed with the sectional trauma as if they had lived through it themselves. Symbols and paraphernalia of the Redemption were patched up and and donned by twentieth-wearers."

that should be ... "twentieth-century wearers"

Brutus ... where are you?

Apparently you are not smart enough to understand “You are a waste of my time. I’m done with this thread.” Little wonder then that you cannot understand something as subtle and beautifully argued as Woodward’s book. What else can you expect from someone who refers to a discussion of a book as a “beat down” with “bones in the face”? What else can you expect from someone who does not know the difference between a Scalawag and a Carpetbagger?

I’ll further expand my summary of the book’ thesis: The South did not get segregation until thirty-years after the war. The North had segregation before the war began. Before, during, and after the war Northerners came South and were disgusted to see the amount of interaction between whites and blacks. Then defeated Populists formed a compromise with victorious Conservatives to disfranchise and segregate the African-Americans. The North had no problem with this because their Republican-led government was doing to the Philippines what their ancestors did to the South a generation before. Sixty years later these developments came to an end when the Supreme Court ordered segregation unconstitutional after considering a case that took place not in the South, but in Kansas!

Yet somehow in your version of history the Confederacy gets blamed for everything wrong with American race relations. Somehow the Confederacy gets the blame for segregation. Somehow anyone who points out the truth is a “Confederate apologist.”

But that is not what Woodward stated, as I have clearly shown.

On pages 93 and 94, Woodward notes that Southern writers reflected the downturn in attitude towards blacks in the South.

But I suppose you will also blame that on Northerners since that is all you can do.

Woodward, obviously, notes that racism existed all over America, yet he is clear that the wave of segregation, while being a Northern created, was a "Southern Way".

It sucks to have your support thrown out from under you, huh, Brutus?

"The standard devices for accomplishing disfranchisement on a racial basis and evading the restrictions of the Constitution were invented by Mississippi, a pioneer of the movement and the only state that resorted to it before the Populist revolt took the form of political rebellion. Other states elaborated the original scheme and added devices of their own contriving, though weas a great deal of borrowing and interchange of ideas throughout the South." - Page 83

But, hey, this was just Northern thing imposed on the South ... whatever, Brutus.

Brutus, you have again put words into my writings that were not there.

Also, I was refering to a different thread when I stated carpetbagger.

Either way, both terms are really old and do not inflict any damage to those they are applied to.

Confederate apologist tactics ...

1. Blame the North.

2. Declare that because the North did it, the South was justified.

3. Blame the North.

4. Assert that the South was victim of vile Northern agendas, aka Blame the North.

5. Blame the North.

6. No matter what, make sure you go personal.

7. Lastly, blame the North.

Or you can just blame the Confederates for something that happened thirty-five years after their defeat.

And who are you to talk about going personal?

Again though, I know you will come back to a thread three weeks after it goes off-line. I know you think that getting the last post means "winning." So go ahead. You really are a waste of my time.

Brutus, what are you talking about?

I thought you were 'done' with me and this thread.

It appears I have truly gotten under your skin and you can't just let go.

Rather interesting, this is and telling.

Also, I see you have abandoned using Woodward's book "The Strange Career of Jim Crow" as support for you views.

I haven't won due to posting last. I have won due to clearly showing how wrong you were in your initial assertion and your use of the Woodward book as support for that assertion.

But, hey, let's blame the North ... heh!

You have disproven that the North had segregation before the Civil War?

You have disproven that the South did not adopt segregation and disfranchisement until the mid-1890s or later?

You have shown that I have misinterpreted those two essential parts of Woodward's thesis?

If you really think that you have done those things than you are even dumber than I thought.

Brutus, you have clearly missed the point of Woodward's book.

Here, I'll help you ... using Woodward as the guide ...

"The Jim crow laws ... were constantly pushing he Negro down. In seeking to distinguish between the Southern white attitudes toward the Negro during Reconstruction and the era following and the attitudes later developed, Edgar Gardner Murphey in 1911 called the one 'defensive' and 'conservative' and the other 'increasingly aggressive' and 'destructive'." - page 108

Yes, Brutus, I have proved your narrow defintion of what the book is about wrong and I did that using the very same book.

Woodward was working towards something more than just the fact the North had influence on the South after the Civil War regarding race relations.

However, you can not recognize this and that is truly sad ... well ... not really sad ... just pathetic and, I assert, symptomatic of the Confederate apoligist blinded by a loyalty to an abominable creation that was the Southern Confederation.

Oh yeah, I thought I was a waste of your time and that you were done with this thread? (Yes, I am smiling in a very satisfied way).

Ultimately, the book is about change, about how the South has changed in one way and could now, in the 1950's, change to go into another direction.

"The restraint tone of the Southern press [regarding the decision of May 17, 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education] and Southern leaders was the subject of wide comment and congratulations. The comment of the Nashville Tennessean on the day following the decision was not unique: 'It is not going to bring overnight revolution,' said the editorial, 'but the South is and has been for years a land of change. Its people - of both races - have learned to live with change. They can learn to live with this one.'" - (page 150)

This hearkens back to the very first paragraph and very first sentence of the book, in the Introduction. It also correctly stated the afterward's conclusion of what the book was about.

Thing is, Brutus, you refuse to acknowledge this.

This is telling on you, Brutus. It shows that you are cherry-picking this book to suit your views and clearly demonstrates that you have a deficiency in content recognition regarding textual material, something that any high school student must prove that they are somewhat good at.

So, Brutus, who is the idiot?

Not me, that is for sure!

Beat down completed ... again.

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