CONFEDERATE AMERICAN PRIDE: The Civil war was NOT over slavery Confederate American Pride

Back to Articles Index

The Civil War was NOT over slavery
by Amy M. Wrobel
amy_wrobel@att.net

I am a devout Southerner who is proud of my heritage. I am, however, tired of hearing such things as: "Southerners are ignorant," "Southerners are trash," "Southerners are racists," "The Civil war was over slavery," "whites treated the blacks horribly," "Southerners are uneducated." But so far the worst is that the "South was wrong." and "the Union was correct."

As I said before, I am a PROUD Southern woman and anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am a loud, proud, outspoken person when it comes to my heritage. They can also, however, attest to the fact that I am not, in any way, shape or form, a prejudiced person.

This is not written to offend anyone who doesn't share my same beliefs, but I can assure you that if you were taught and believe the "Northern ways of life" that this will, for lack of better terms, piss you off. I will warn you now I am a very intellectual individual and if you try to contradict me I can throw a book of solid facts at you. I am going to speak about the black Confederates. Yes, they existed and there were over 65,000 of them, both slave and free. What the war was really about, and both the point of view of Confederate Generals and Union Generals on the act of slavery. I will also touch on how blacks were treated both before and after the war and how the white population is being treated now as a minority.

First things first, the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln; Lincoln was NOT an abolitionist. William Lloyd Garrison, the most prominent of all abolitionists, concluded that Lincoln "had not a drop of anti-slavery blood in his veins." Lincoln was against social and political equality of the races, he opposed inter-racial marriages, supported the Illinois Constitution's prohibition of immigration of blacks into the state, defended a slave owner who was seeking to retrieve his runaway slaves but never defended slaves or runaways themselves, and he was a lifelong advocate of colonization - of sending every last black person in the U.S. to Africa, Haiti, or central America - anywhere but in the United States. In August of 1852 Lincoln said "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do itů what I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union." Lincoln also said on September 18th, 1858, "I will say, then, that I am not, nor have I ever been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races." In 1861 Lincoln was asked "why not let the South go in peace?" He replied by saying "I can't let them go. Who would pay for the government?" I have found no proof that Lincoln was a slave owner, but I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that he was not seeking to abolish slavery.

Two acts of Congress were passed during the Civil War, One in 1864 (13 Stat. 11) and one in 1866 (14 Stat. 321) which allowed slave owners whose slaves enlisted or were drafted into the Union military to file a claim against the Federal Government for loss of the slave's services. The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 freed slaves in the Southern or 'rebellious' states but in border-states that were loyal to the Union, slavery continued to be legal. If a slave ran away to join the military and the owner knew where and when he joined, the owner could file a compensation claim as long as he or she was loyal to the Union. There were also free blacks who owned slaves. And something else you might not know, it was the Africans who sold their own people into slavery. Union Generals Grant and Sherman were slave owners as well. Confederate Generals Jackson and Lee were not.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis not only envisioned black confederate veterans but also envisioned them receiving bounty lands for their service. There would have been no future for slavery once the armed black CSA veterans came home after the war.

John Parker, a former slave, recorded that many colored Confederate soldiers were killed in action. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen who saw action at the 1st Battle of Bull Run. There were also two black regiments, one free and one slave, who participated in the same battle on behalf of the South. One black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer by the name of James Washington. One was in Company D, 35th Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army and became 3rd Sergeant. There were also higher ranking commissioned black Confederates. James Russell was a free 'man of color' and the cook for Company C, 24th South Carolina Volunteer Infantry. Unfortunately, he was killed in action at Missionary Ridge on November 25th, 1863. Private Louis Napoleon Nelson was also a free man of color and served time in the 7th Tennessee Cavalry under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. He fought at Shiloh, Lookout Mountain, Brice's Crossing, and Vicksburg and survived the war.

General Grant made the comment that, "The sole object of this war is to restore the Union. Should I be convinced it has any other object, or that the government designs using its soldiers to execute the wishes of the abolitionists, I pledge to you my honor as a man and a soldier I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side" in a letter to the Chicago Tribune 1862. Union General William T. Sherman said in 1864 "I am honest in my belief that it is not fair to my men to count negros as equals. Let us capture negros, of course, and use them to the best advantage." As I said before, these two men both owned slaves, and did not want to free them. I honestly do not see how so many "politically correct" people can stand there and say the "North was right."

Confederate General Robert E. Lee, however, saw the world of slavery from a different view. He said "There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery is an institution of a moral and political evil" In 1858. In 1866 he also made a statement that "All the south ever desired was that the union, as established by our forefathers, be preserved; and that the Government, as originally organized, should be administered in purity and truth." It wasn't a far fetched idea yet the people in this country then and still today are yet to grasp hold of something like morals, purity, or truth. But I guess that's where Confederate States President Jefferson Davis comes in with "Truth crushed to the earth is truth still and like a seed will rise again."

I will not deny that most slaves were treated poorly. I feel pity for those who had to endure lashes for not doing their "masters bidding". But as I said before, Africans sold their OWN people into slavery and there is still slavery going on in other parts of the world. And do not think that blacks were the only ones in this country who were slaves. During the 17th century Native Americans (My Ancestors) were enslaved by colonists on a common basis. But just because Southern whites owned slaves it is now taken out on the white population today. My family never once owned a slave and a select few of my ancestors fought beside them in the Civil War. My Aunt Evelynn is a Southern black woman whom I love dearly. As well as friends of both my husband and myself who are colored. I do not agree with slavery on any point. There were free blacks whom owned slaves and a large majority of northerners owned slaves.

Now because of slavery over 150 years ago, whites are being treated like dirt. It is almost like the mentality of a kid I knew in school who told me once that since I'm white that my family owned slaves and I should owe him everything I own. That's not the mentality of a country that should be living together in harmony. You never see the ones who are pissed at the white population for crimes committed 150 plus years ago ever leaving to go live in Africa. If you are going to hold every white person accountable for the acts of whites AND blacks more than a lifetime ago, then go to Africa and hold them accountable as well. Until then, learn the facts before you speak. If you speak intellectually I will gladly listen to and respect you, otherwise I will blow you off as another ignorant individual who couldn't pay attention to true history to save your life.

If you would like the sources from which I found all this information, message me and I will gladly send it to you. I applaud those who actually will look up the correct history on their own.

"Surrender means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written off by the enemy, that our youths will be taught by Northern school teachers; learn from Northern school books THEIR version of the war." Confederate General Patrick R. Cleburne 1864