70 Comments
Mar 8Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

This is one of your best. The connections you draw are so blatantly ignored by elites. Thank you

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author

Thank you very much. I would say though that I don’t think the elites are wholly unaware of the connections. In fact, I think that in their fear of them they accidentally undo the previous generation’s elite’s efforts to make the population forget. Hardly anyone even knew who those statues were until they started attacking them. Now people wonder…

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Mar 8Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

As a Christian, I've never realized (because, of course, it was never taught to me) that there is a great likelihood I'll see more Confederate soldiers in heaven than Union ones (south was much more religious, and still is). I think the obsession with slavery and race politics has completely clouded this truth from the church (and the public at large, obviously): there were good, God fearing men on both sides of this conflict, and it is sinful to slander the confederates as a bunch of racist evil heretics, regardless of if one believes their cause was justified or not. It is shameful that the civil war happened at all, and it is doubly shameful that there will likely be a second one.

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author

I wouldn’t presume to know what accent predominates in Heaven; I trust that God knows his own, wherever they are and whoever they are, and that his justice is perfect. Deo Vindice. For my part, I genuinely hope that these men who fought each other in earthly life know camaraderie in the next, and have traded a few years of battle for eternal peace.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Why yes there were carpetbaggers after the conflict but I feel that Grant's respect of surrendering Lee reflected feelings then.

Camaraderie, respect, acceptance, allowed then.

Today everything is re-written.

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author

The memoirs written by the principles in the conflict, as well as most earlier secondary literature, general reflect respect and a desire for reconciliation. Post 1960s, that all changes.

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This time it will be one rule... take no prisoners.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

You make an excellent point and one that should keep every Christian humbly guarding his own heart. Some of the finest theologians of the era were Southerners and pro slavery. It remains a puzzle.

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author

Robert Lewis Dabny was Jackson’s chief of staff for a while, and went on to become one of the South’s leading theologians and a true reactionary philosopher. He’s worth reading in his own right.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Did not know that connection but I have his systematic theology on my shelf.

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Mar 10Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

It is not completely accurate to say that the war was fought between Southern Trinitarians and Northern Unitarians. But as a summary it is fair.

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Mar 8Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Also, are there any other books on the Civil war you'd recommend?

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author

Apart from the others noted below by readers, all of which are excellent, I would recommend the book I link to in my essay, Rebel Yell, as well as another book by S. C. Gwynne, Hymns of the Republic. Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War https://a.co/d/4meHKLo

I have also been reading biographies of several Union generals recently, On Great Fields, about Joshua L. Chamberlain, and President Garfield, about James Garfield, a fascinating and overlooked figure. If my piece came across as harsh toward Union commanders, then one could easily rebut it with the examples of those two brave and selfless men, each a brilliant academic in addition to being a warrior.

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Mar 8Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Shelby Foote’s Trilogy. Great narrative, like grandpa telling you a story. Sweeping history across the states and theaters. Written in late 50s before “intersectionality”.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Yes but this short essay brought the characters alive in a way Foote didn’t. I felt he wrote from a distance. This gives you the visceral sense that many of those fighting for the south were just manifestly better men. And many seeking to call ‘bullshit’ on those seeking to tear down western civilisation are the same.

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author

They weren’t all better men. I wanted to tell a particular story about specific men to illustrate a more universal point about power and resistance.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

& you done did good.!

Though I feel you made well a point about pettiness and self interest rather than Pwr & Res. OK, could be the mood I'm in, yes the reader's, at the time of reading, feelings oft re-define the writer's well established narratives. . ;-)

I suspect the civil war has been re-fought over bourbon or beer by Americans (Including GI Korean, Viet -etc. vets.) more than any other conflict and deservedly so.

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author

It’s certainly got both. The possibility of resistance against a superior force lies at least in part in exploiting the personality flaws of the enemy.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

LOC has previously recommended A Disease in the Public Mind by Thomas Fleming which I look forward to reading.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Can you pls send links to reviews of this

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author

A Disease in the Public Mind https://a.co/d/h4yLgAL

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Apr 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

One of my favorites is Company H by Sam Watkins, a veteran of the 1st Tennessee Infantry. It can also be found listed as Company Aytch.

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author

I’ve seen that memoir but have not yet read it. I will put it on the list.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Loved your recap. My ancestor was a corporal with Forrest. I am usually offended when I read midwits describe the South as evil and the North as crusaders. I would point out that shortly after the war ended the North went on a war of genocide against the native American population.

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Mar 10Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Led by the exact same generals who committed genocide in Georgia and Virginia. Vilified for one, lionized for the other.

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Apr 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

I enjoy pointing that out to those that repeat yankee lies.

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Mar 10Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Very nice piece, sadly those who need to read it will not. I mean of course those that deplore what Sherman did to Indians but justify him for doing the same things in Georgia. There is a joking description that I heard 25 years ago about the Battle of Lookout Mountain that has always stayed with me and seems apposite:

When Sherman was marching through the Chattanooga Valley, he heard from up on the mountain that feared and hated sound(lost to history sadly), the Rebel Yell, and saw high up a Confederate mocking his army. He turned to a Lieutenant, 'Lieutenant, take ten men up the mountain and bring me the head of that 'secess scum.' Time passed and the dispatched men found their way up the mountain, gunfire was heard, and then after a moment, again the disheartening Rebel Yell. Furious, the butcher spoke, 'Captain, take one hundred men up the mountain and bring me back those enemies of our democracy.'(I ad libbed that one.) Again, some minutes passed before gunfire and the sounds of combat were heard followed by the hated howl of liberty, that ancient Celtic sound that reached back to Wallace and Bannockburn. Apoplectic with rage, 'Colonel, a thousand men. Bring me that Orange Monster, that tweeter of mean tweets, and mocker of the unattractive old dykes on which our Regime is based, in chains.' This time things were different. The combat went on and on for some time before a fleeing Union soldier ran at them breathlessly screaming his warning, 'Its a trick. Its a trick. There's two of them.'

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Mar 24Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Jon. I will take your ad libs and punchline to the grave, terrorising all who visit graves at dusk.

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founding

Great military history. We tend to forget that armies are commanded by men who have their own mixed motives and their own various flaws and virtues of character. A reminder that all past events were once in the future and that the course of the Civil War could have taken a different course.

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There’s nothing so interesting about it to me as the personalities of the men involved and the impression they made on events. There was never anything inevitable about the way the war progressed and ended, and had different men been in control on either side at any point it could have gone completely differently.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Wonderful essay. As an earlier commentary noted, so much of what we are taught sound like an inevitable march through history, but it was not. One decision could have changed so much, but these were men, not characters in a book, and so they did as they were apt to do. It is amazing how Jackson just knew Pope so well he could outplay him so easily, and that Pope was so unaware of himself that he allowed Jackson to do it.

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Mar 8Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

In the intervening 160 years the south has culturally conquered rural yankee culture. The descendants of the men who filled out the ranks of the Army of the Potomac fly the stars and bars on their pickups and blast Dixie on the radio not the Battle Hymn of the Republic. They know more of Lee and Jackson than Grant or Sherman let alone McClellan and Pope. I say this as a descendent of multiple AotP veterans from the center of the state that offered up more of her sons to Mr Lincoln than any other.

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author

Parts of the South were more culturally northern than others (large chunks of Appalachia like West Virginian and eastern Kentucky and Tennessee), while southern Ohio was Copperhead country. Many Southerners also migrated north for factory work and then from urban areas following the white flight of the seventies. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see rebel flags flying in rural Michigan or Illinois.

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Mar 11Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

I see lots of Stars and Bars when we vacation in the UP of Michigan. Tons.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

The conquest was made over radio by country music and the fact that northern elites despised and abandoned their rural populations. While I’m saddened to have lost much of my cultural heritage it’s better than having ended up a hicklib! Amazing essay btw made even better for me by the fact I just finished a regimental history of the 23rd NYSM who where with Pope at this time.

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Mmm. No 19th century man should be compared to the swine today.

Be cautious. For whatever the past , in the present only one side exists, no side is organized to oppose it.

Underestimating a foe that exists , when only that foe exists, save contrasted with those long past….

…. In the present one side exists, the other is simply everyone else.

If one foe can field a Battalion unopposed, they win .

DC is vile, the Left is vile, but they exist in a cohesive body without any challenge.

PS - you might want to have a look at a certain Hinton Helper, also a Southerner, who had some less than romantic observations about the Democratic Party of that time.

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Mar 8Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

One of your best for sure. Excellent read.

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Mar 10Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Great title for this essay. I look forward to more in the series under this title.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

As the proud descendant of Confederate soldiers who hated the U.S. and its evil government before it was cool, I heartily applaud this essay.

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I view the American Civil War as one of the first overt clashes between the propositional and the proximate. Virtually all conflict in our post-Enlightenment world has fallen along these lines: between those wedded to ideas cooked up behind desks and those with a fistful of soil in their hand. As ever, a great read.

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author

That seems like the kind of thing you could write a whole essay around.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Absolutely loved this. This is the area I grew up in. Frederick, MD, specifically, but my mom and dad grew up in Charlottesville and Gordonsville, respectively, and we had cousins living throughout the area from Antiedam down to Richmond. I remember so many car trips through the area visiting grandparents, etc., where as we drove my father made sure I learned this history. I'm glad you're passing it on in these digests, and so skillfully pointing out the parallels to our time.

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author

You could spend a lifetime absorbing the lore of that area. Where I am there are a number of battle sites nearby as well, and I take students on field trips to Chickamauga every year.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

McClellan is fascinating to me. Everything about him should have made a great man but inside him it wasn’t there. That the autist Jackson bested him is doubly perfect. I will read more McC.

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author

McClellan was excellent at everything a soldier should do well except actually fighting. To give him credit, much of his dysfunction as a commander sprang from his unwillingness to see his men suffer needlessly. He loved the army, which made him a good soldier. But as Lee noted, to be a good commander, you must be willing to kill the thing you love. McClellan should have given up field command for the Commanding General of the US Army post he’d once held and could have kept. A staff job would have suited him perfectly. But he wanted glory, without being willing to pay the price in blood, and so he failed.

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Mar 9Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

If some good ole boy would have successfully leveled his Whitworth rifle on Lil Mac early in the the Peninsula campaign he would be among the pantheon of great American commanders as a martyr and genius who organized the union war machine it seems.

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Mar 31Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

Great article. Thankfully, Stonewall is still a local hero here in West Virginia. I patronize a coffeeshop named after him, across from the Clarksburg city hall, where his statue still stands undisturbed.

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Mar 24Liked by Librarian of Celaeno

I don't care about the rights and wrongs of the Civil War. Not that I am amoral, but I live in Australia and I see the parallels of the civil wars to come; in both countries. I now see with greater clarity, our advantage as new-age guerillas, traveling light and invisible, and fighting for freedom or, at the very least, an honourable death.

Our enemy will be marshelled from Canberra, as much a swamp as Washington, and their intelligentsia are weighed down with miseducation, fraudulent history, a presumption of victory embued by the WEF, ingrained superiority, and a dearth of sound values, courage, knowledge of country or terrain; and absence of honour.

I now see how we can apply the tactics of Jackson and Lee. Thank you for this most educational narrative. If you ever figure out how to deal with battle-hardened mercenaries fresh from Ukraine, I will be all ears. LOL.

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