Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On this Day in History

On this day in history April 14th 1865, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth. The war had just come to an end. The tumultous, bloody time was finally over. But on that night an absolutly tragic thing happened, John Wilkes Booth a Southern sympathizer took the war into his own hands. The country was in mourning already for the 600,000 men and boys it had lost in the past four years, and then there was a new name added to the already horribly long casualty lists. That of Abraham Lincoln.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Albert Sydney Johnston

Albert Sidney Johnston was a very great general, one of the best that the Southern Armies had. Before the war he was as well known as Winfield Scott militarily. Johnston was also the hightest ranking officer on both sides to be killed during the war. Once men like Robert E Lee and Thomas Jackson emerged he quickly felt out of the spotlight. An interesting fact about him is that he was the highest ranking officer on both sides to ever have been killed during the war (full General). He was killed during the Battle of Shiloh, that will come later in the article though.

Albert Sidney Johnston was born Febuary 2, 1803 in Washington Kentucky. He was the son of John and Abigail (harris) Johnston. He was the youngest son of John’s second wife. John’s first wife bore him 3 son but in 1793. John then married Albert’s mother Abilgail. She bore him 6 children. Albert was the 5th child. Abigail died when Albert was 3. Next, John married a widow with 9 children of her own.Though Albert was born in Kentucky most of his childhood was spent in Texas. This is why he claimed allegiance to Texas when the Civil War broke out.

The town of Washington was the picture of Southern serentity. Its pristine Federal style mansions and rich plantations helped to shape Albert into the man he would be. Not only the Southern atmosphere shaped him his schooling also played a large role in making him the memorable general that he now is today. Albert enrolled in Transylvania University in lexington Kentucky at the age of 15. While there he majored in Medicine but he soon found that he had a flair for the military arts. In 1821 Albert left Transylvania and enterd into the military academy at West Point along with a now close friend of his Jefferson Davis. In 1826 Johnston graduated 8th in a class of 41 from West Point, and in 1829 he married Henrietta Preston. She died of tuberculosis in 1836. They had one son together William Preston Johnston who also served in the Confederate Army.

In 1834 Johnston became a farmer in Texas, at the same time he also enlisted in the Texas Volunteer Army. Which at the time was fighting for their independance . He was promoted to major and appointed to the staff of General Sam Houston as an aide-de-camp. He served throughout the Mexican War in the army and at the end of the war he had risen all the way to the rank of Senior Brigade General in charge of the Army of Texas.In 1836 Johnston was in a duel with Felix Huston. Johnston refused to fire upon Huston and was wounded in the Pelvis.

In 1838,Johnston was appointed Secratary of War of the Second Republic of Texas . He was charged with the protection of the Texas border from Mexico. Johnston led a campaign against the Indians in 1849, and then retired back home to kentucky. While in retirement he married Eliza Griffin. They moved to a large plantation called China Grove.

Albert stayed in the army, but this time he transfered to the Regular Army of the United States. He served as a paymaster and a colonel in two regiments including the 1st Texas Rifle Volunteers, and the 2nd US Cavalry.

At the beginning of the Civil War, in 1861, Johnston was commander of the Department of the Pacific. Many of Johnston’s friends urged him to head back East and join the Union Army. He went against their wishes and joined the Confederate Army. Johnston decided to stay loyal to his childhood home of Texas. He was appointed to the position of full general by his old friend Jefferson Davis. This was the beginning of Albert Sidney Johnston’s service in the Confederate Army.

The biggest battle that Albert Sidney Johnston fought in while in the Confederate Army was the battle of Shiloh. Johnston and the rest of the Confederate Army knew that battle as Pittsburg Landing. Though this battle was not a complete loss for the Confederates, it did not end well for Albert Sidney Johnston.

The battle of Pittsburg Landing began on April 6, 1862. It was the first major Union victory in the West. The battle began for Johnston with a suprise attack on the Union Army of General Ulysses S. Grant. Johnston pushed the Federal Army back from their position in at Pittsburgh Landing, through Owl Swamp and to the banks of the Tennessee River. It was successfull. The Federal forces were pushed back until they were reinforced by the army of Don Carlos Beull.

That same day, April 6, Albert Johnston was leading a charge on the front lines. He was shot in the foot, but he thought nothing of it. He sent his personal surgeon to tend to some wounded Union prisoners. He was hit in the popliteal artery. Causing numbness in the leg, which in turn made him not notice the wound until a few minutes afterward. When fell off his horse and his officers came to his side.They brought him to a small ravine . When his aides asked him if he was wounded he said “Yes, and fear seriously.”. Johnston bled to death in a few moments. With that one of the highest skilled generals on both sides had been killed.
Memorial to Johnston

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

Today is Easter. On this day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a time of great joy for we who are Christians. Because it shows that Christ has victory over the gave and we as Christians also have victory through Christ. 2 Corinthians 15:54a-57 "Death is swallowed in victory. O death, Where is your sting? O grave where is your victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have won a victory over sin and now we may go to Heaven and spend all of eternity with God.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Death and The Civil War

Death was very real during the Civil War. It was brought to the homes in many ways. Through the pictures of Matthew Brady, the transportation of the wounded from the front lines, and through the letters and the delivery of the bodies back to their respective homes.
For soldiers in both armies death was very real. They saw friends and brothers die every day. They felt in a more real sense the fact that death was immenent. Death would come to either them or someone they were close to inevitably.
Soldiers and people on the homefront had many views on the subject. The most prominant were the Christian view and the antognistic or athiestic view. In this article I will focus mainly on the Christian side of death.
For those who held the Christian worldview death was not considered scary or untimely. They believed tht God has alloted that we all should die because we have sinned. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. They knew that every man has sinned so the consequences would have to be death. If this were the complete case though death would still be very scary. Praise the Lord it is not the case! Another text from the Bible that Christians during the Civil War used to make death not a scary thing is found in the book of John. John 3:16 says For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son, that whosoevr believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Also if you will read up at the beggining of the paragraph I gave you part of Romans 6:23 but it was not the entire verse. The whole thing goes like this. For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life. God had given them the gift of salvation through Christ. So they no longer had to fear death.
Yes, death was a sad time but with Christ the soldiers knew that they would see Christ and be free from the scourge of war. That is one view of death in the Civil War. I will do some more research and get part 2 of this article out soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Please Pray

hey people I just wanted to ask for your prayers. My great uncle died this week and I greatly crave your prayers. Thanks!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Now he Belongs to the Ages

Here is the post that I promised!
The account of the assassination is very well known. This paper will be about some of the details of the assassination itself but mostly will be about the lesser known myths and theories surrounding the tragic events of April 1865. There are seven theories that will expounded upon.
First will be the skeletal details of the assassination. John Wilkes Booth snuck silently into the presidential box in Ford’s Theater and waited for the opportune moment to strike a blow for his country, the Confederacy. That opportunity came fairly quickly. During a funny part of the play when the crowd was roaring with laughter, Booth raised his gun, knowing he had only one shot. He aimed, just before he shot, Lincoln leaned forward almost causing Booth to miss, but sadly, he did not miss. The bullet struck Lincoln behind the left ear and lodged behind the right eye. Major Rathbone, who had accompanied the Lincoln’s along with his fiancĂ© that night, ran to stop Booth when he heard the gun shot. Booth slashed Rathbone to the bone, with the hunting knife he had in his hand. Next, Booth ran to the edge of the box and jumped, catching his leg on the decorative bunting. He broke his shin bone due to the fall and limped across the stage yelling SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS (Thus Always To Tyrants, the Virginia state motto) and waving his now bloody knife. With that, people began screaming and ladies began fainting. Someone yelled that the president had been shot. A doctor in the crowd, Charles Leale, rushed to the box and attended to the fallen president. Leale and another doctor cared for Lincoln for a time in the theater and then had him moved to the Petersen House, a boarding house across the street from the theater. The bed in which Lincoln was placed was too short for him, they laid him diagonally on the bed. Here he stayed until he took his dying breath then Edwin McMaster Stanton supposedly pronounced over the body of Lincoln, "Now he belongs to the ages". With that America’s greatest president , died.
Later that same evening, there was an assassination attempt on the life of Secretary of State William Seward by Lewis Powell. There was also a plan to take the life of Vice President, Andrew Johnson, by George Atzerodt, who did not carry out his plan. These assassination were all to be carried out in conjunction with one another. At this point is where the conspiracy theories begin to peek their heads out of the dusty history books.
Were all three killings ordered by some higher power? Or were they acts of anger from men who were unwilling to be forgiven for their own acts of rebellion?
Theory Number 1: Vice President Johnson Was Involved in The Assassination
About seven hours before Lincoln was shot, John Wilkes Booth was reported to have visited Vice President Johnson in his hotel, the Kirkwood Hotel. At the time, Johnson, nor his personal secretary were present so Booth left his card and on it he wrote, "Don't wish to disturb you. Are you at home?". When Johnson’s personal secretary, William A. Browning, was tried before a military court he said that he did not find the note until later that same afternoon.
Is it at all possible that Booth and Johnson may have had previous meetings? According to Right or Wrong, God Judge Me The Writings of John Wilkes Booth written by John Rhodehamel and Louise Taper Booth had previously met Johnson in Nashville, Tennessee, in February, 1864. At the time Booth was appearing in the newly opened Wood's Theater as an actor. But there is inadequate evidence to show that Johnson had any involvement in the. Lincoln, after the fiasco at the inauguration really did not have a lot to do with Johnson. Mary Todd believed that Johnson was involved though. She said in a letter to a close friend, Sally Orne, "...that, miserable inebriate Johnson, had cognizance of my husband's death - Why, was that card of Booth's, found in his box, some acquaintance certainly existed - I have been deeply impressed, with the harrowing thought, that he, had an understanding with the conspirators & they knew their man... As sure, as you & I live, Johnson, had some hand, in all this...". Some members of congress also believed that Johnson had some involvement. They established a special assassination committee but found no evidence that would incriminate the vice president.
Theory Number 2: The Simple Conspiracy Theory
. According to this theory, Booth, along with a small group of coconspirators plotted the assassination The theory is that Booth was just a crazed Southern patriot, and a man who was an extreme racist. Booth’s plan was to kidnap President Lincoln originally. When Booth heard the President would be at Ford’s Theater that night he saw the opportunity to strike a decisive blow for his beloved South. Which he did thus causing America to lose the man that She needed the most in those dark times
Theory Number 3: Lincoln’s Assassination Was The Result Of A Confederate Plot
This theory states that Lincoln’s assassination was part of a grand Confederate plot. There have been coded letters found in a trunk belonging to Booth not long after the assassination that tied Booth to the Confederacy. There was also the testimony of George Atzerodt, a fellow, conspirator, before the trial in 1865. In his testimony, Atzerodt implicated a plan to blow up the White house.
Supporters of this theory think that as the war began to digress for the Confederacy more desperate and drastic plans were needed. President Lincoln was viewed as a legitimate war time target. This was justified even more in the minds of the Confederate leaders after Lincoln ordered a raid on Richmond which failed. Colonel Ulrich Dhalgren was hand picked by Lincoln to command this mission and he was killed during the raid. On his body were found documents saying that, "The men must be kept together, and well in hand, and once in the city, it must be destroyed and Jeff Davis and his cabinet killed.". The Confederate government now believed that the Union government had ordered the death of Jefferson Davis, further solidifying in their minds the fact that President Lincoln aught to be a target also. Many proponents of this theory believe that the Confederate Secretary of State, Judah Philip Benjamin, played a large part in the assassination. He is considered to have played a part because burned all of his records at the fall of Richmond. He was also the only member of the Confederate government never to return to the United States after fleeing to England
This theory assumes that Booth was the puppet of the Confederate government. After the failed attempt by Thomas F. Harney, an explosives expert, to blow up the White House, Booth took the circumstances into his own hands and killed the president. John Wilkes Booth was not a man who willingly gave up the spotlight. He was a master of manipulation and coercion. So it is unlikely that he was the puppet of the Confederate government.
Theory Number 4: The Assassination Was The Result of Disgruntled International Bankers
The idea behind this theory is theat some powerful international bankers were unhappy with the monetary policies of President Lincoln. The bankers were angered, according to this theory, when Lincoln refused their high interest loans and found other ways to fund his war effort. The British, especially were angered by Lincoln’s reconstruction policy it destroyed Britain’s chance of controlling the American economy. Booth, according to this theory was a payed gunman.
Theory Number 5: The Roman Catholic Church Was Behind the Assassination
A book written in 1886 titled Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, written by ex- priest Charles Chiniquy, told of the Lincoln assassination being part of a plot by the Roman Catholic Church. Chiniquy stated in the book that Jefferson Davis offered up to $1,000,000.00 for someone to, "kill the author of the bloodshed." He also said that, "the Jesuits alone could select the assassins, train them, and show them a crown of glory in heaven...". This theory assumes that Booth was the puppet of the Vatican.
The reason some people think that the Vatican could have been involved was because in 1856 Lincoln had defended Chiniquy in a case against Chiniquy’s Bishop. The case went to court May 20-22, 1856. Lincoln arranged a settlement between the church and Chiniquy. The Jesuits thought they had been slandered in this settlement. Chiniquy thought some of the Jesuits held Lincoln responsible for this, therefore their motive for the assassination. Another reason is that the majority of Roman Catholics in America were either slave holders or were in favor of slaveholding.
Theory Number 6: Secretary Of War Edwin McMaster Stanton Was Behind The Assassination
This theory is also known as the Eisenschiml Theory. A book written by Otto Eisenschiml Why Was Lincoln Killed, accused Stanton of being the mastermind behind the assassination. Though Eisenschimal’s was not the only book to state this theory it was the first book to introduce the theory to the public. The theory states that Edwin M. Stanton was directly involved in the assassination. He is accused of this because of the amount of evidence presented against him. For example, the fact that all of the bridges going in and out of Washington DC were closed the night of the assassinaton, except for the Navy Yard bridge which Booth just happened to use in his escape. This bridge was open by order of Stanton. Another piece of evidence, put forth by Eisenschimal, concerns General Grant. Eisenschimal believes that had Grant been at the play that evening, the security would have been much tighter. Grant did not attend the play, due to a possible order given from Stanton. Therefore, making Lincoln more vulnerable to attack. The other evidence against Stanton is that he knew of the conspirators meetings at Mary Surratt’s boarding house but did nothing about them.Another piece of evidence is when Lincoln requested Thomas T. Eckert to be his bodyguard Stanton said Eckert had,"Vital work to do at the War Department’s telegraph office", which according to Eisenschimal was a false statement.
There is other less plausible evidence also against Stanton. For example, ciphered messages were found in a trunk allegedly written by Lafayette Baker, head of the National Detective Police that implicated Stanton directly in the assassination.
This theory is not widely believed because though there is evidence to back it up much of this same evidence has been fabricated. Which would lead the reader to the conclusion that Stanton had no part in the assassination.
Theory Number 7: Disaffected Northerners Were Behind The Assassination
There were certain radical groups in the North who were not friends with Lincoln at the end of the war. The Radical Republicans did not agree with Lincoln’s plans for reconstruction. They wanted more control over the South. Many Northern businessmen were unhappy with President Lincoln’s trading policies. During the war Lincoln had granted cotton trading permits but after the war the businessmen, bankers, and planters feared what would happen to their trade. Out of this dilemma stemmed the assassination plot. In a cipher written by Lafayette Baker stating, "There were at least eleven members of Congress involved in the plot, no less than twelve Army officers, three Naval officers and at least twenty-four civilians, of which one was a governor of a loyal state. Five were bankers of great repute, there were nationally known newspapermen and eleven were industrialists of great repute and wealth". In the conspiracy tria,l Samuel Chester, a close friend of Booth’s said that Booth told him that, "there were fifty to one hundred persons engaged in the conspiracy". In the trial of George Atzerodt, George said, that "if Booth did not get him (Lincoln) quick the New York crowd would, Booth knew the New York party apparently by a sign. He saw Booth give some kind of sign to two parties on the Avenue who he said were from New York.". The Radical Republicans did not want the South to be allowed back into the Union easily and the cotton traders did not want their fountain of money to run dry. As cotton prices fell, disaffection in the North rose. Lincoln was in their way and had to be removed. John Wilkes Booth was the man who could remove him for them.
A few other groups of radicals who were opposed to Lincoln were the Freemasons, the B’nai B’rith, and the Knights of the Golden circle.
These are the seven theories behind the Lincoln Assassination. It has been one hundred and fifty years since that tragic night in 1865, and there is not a smoking gun to be found. From these theories one may draw a conclusion from the evidence that has been humbly written as to what really happened and who plotted the assassination of one our nation’s most beloved presidents.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


My dear readers I am sorry that is has taken me so long to post something new. Currently I am working an a paper for school on the myths surrounding the Lincoln Assassination and I will be sure to post so bear with me.Thanks!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A B C's Of the Civil War

J is for
John Hunt Morgan, was a famed Confederate cavalry raider who made many raids into Northern territory. He escaped from the Ohio Penitentiary by digging a tunnel and escaping Hollywood style.

K is for
Kansas, the sight of many raids and deaths before and during the Civil War. Before the war it was known as "Bleeding Kansas" because of the many partisan raids on the settlers there. The raids were because of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the issue of whether or not Kansas should be a free or slave state.
L is for
General William Loring served in the United States Army before the war and served in the Confederate Army during the war. He lost an arm at the battle of Ezra Church. After the war he served in the Egytpian Army and he ran unsucsesfully for a seat in the senate.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rising or Setting

"I have often looked at that behind the president without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now I... know that it is a rising...sun." This is what Benjamin Franklin said about George Washington's arm-chair at the Pennsylvania state house.
What does that say for our country today and what did it say during the Civil War? I think it was saying that good times are ahead for the country. Our Country has gone through some very hard, and trying times but she made it through them all by turing back to God. That is the only way to make our country a rising sun again. The Civil War was a very trying time but it brought the country to its knees. America turned to God during the Civil War and many, many lives were saved through Christ. Christ is what made our country a rising sun and is what will keeping always rising.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

the Constitution

Recently I have been having a conversation with a friend on the issue of the constitutional legality of the North declaring war on the South and here is I have given you section 8 and 9 of the in which states the powers and limitations of the Congress. I think you will find it interesting.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties,emolm Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
Section 9 - Limits on Congress
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
(No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses clarified by the 16th Amendment.)
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, e, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Blue And the Grey: a poem about the Civil War

The Blue And The Gray
Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907)

By the flow of the inland river,Whence the fleets of iron have fled,Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,Asleep are the ranks of the dead:Under the sod and the dew,Waiting the judgment-day;Under the one, the Blue,Under the other, the GrayThese in the robings of glory,Those in the gloom of defeat,All with the battle-blood gory,In the dusk of eternity meet:Under the sod and the dew,Waiting the judgement-dayUnder the laurel, the Blue,Under the willow, the Gray.
From the silence of sorrowful hoursThe desolate mourners go,Lovingly laden with flowersAlike for the friend and the foe;Under the sod and the dew,Waiting the judgement-day;Under the roses, the Blue,Under the lilies, the Gray.
So with an equal splendor,The morning sun-rays fall,With a touch impartially tender,On the blossoms blooming for all:Under the sod and the dew,Waiting the judgment-day;Broidered with gold, the Blue,Mellowed with gold, the Gray.
So, when the summer calleth,On forest and field of grain,With an equal murmur fallethThe cooling drip of the rain:Under the sod and the dew,Waiting the judgment -day,Wet with the rain, the BlueWet with the rain, the Gray.
Sadly, but not with upbraiding,The generous deed was done,In the storm of the years that are fadingNo braver battle was won:Under the sod adn the dew,Waiting the judgment-day;Under the blossoms, the Blue,Under the garlands, the Gray
No more shall the war cry sever,Or the winding rivers be red;They banish our anger foreverWhen they laurel the graves of our dead!Under the sod and the dew,Waiting the judgment-day,Love and tears for the Blue,Tears and love for the Gray.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What If...?

There are always those historians who will try to theoretisize what the world, the war, and the country would have been like had the South won. I tend not to join in on such conversations because I find it foolhardy to engage in such things because God has had a plan for history since the beginning of time and everything will work out according to his plans, but on this occasion I think I will give my views on the subject.
There would have been many changes to this once great country had the war gone in a different direction. I think it would have started like this. The election of 1864 between Lincoln and McClellan would have been won not by Lincoln but by McClellan. This in and of itself would have had a great impact upon the war torn United States. If McClellan had been elected he would have lobbied for a stoppage of the war. McClellan was an antiwar Northern Democrat, he was already lobbing for a peace treaty with the Southern politicians. I think this would have gone through because at this point in the war the South was just looking to finish it I think rather then win it. So this would have been a big what if.
Another what if and a very popular one at that is the subject of what if Chamberlin had not held his line on Little Round Top during the battle of Gettysburg. My opinion and the opinion of many others is that the army would have been almost completely lost. Chamberlin was on the extreme left of the entire army. Had he been removed the flank would have been rolled up like a cigar and the army could have been routed on their own territory. This would have caused major demoralization in the army and also in the hearts and minds of the people. If the Union Army had suffered such a defeat on their own home soil they would have been more then likely willing to lay down their arms. The North also would have lost a great deal more men then they already had in the fierce fighting of the previous two days.
These are just two of the many what ifs discussed in most historical circles and I have given my honest opinion on them. Feel free to comment!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lincoln and the coming of the civil war

This year is the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s election. This election had a huge impact on the nation. Seven Southern states had already seceded before Lincoln was elected in April 1860 but once he was in office three more states would secede and Fort Sumter was fired upon. What steps could Lincoln have taken in order to avoid the war? Were Lincoln’s attempts to stop the secession of the South enough or could he have done more. These are all questions that surround the new president and the whole era. I will answer these questions in the following essay.
What steps could Lincoln have taken in order to avoid the war? Where Lincoln’s attempts to stop the secession of the South enough or could he have done more? First you must know the steps that Lincoln took in the first place. The first thing Lincoln did was to ensure the Southern states that he would not invade them. Lincoln said in his inaugural address " You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors." Lincoln knew that the Constitution was the absolute law for the country. Lincoln said that the South had two choices "They can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or, their revolutionary right to dismember, or overthrow it." Lincoln to avoid secession would even accept an amendment legalizing slavery in states were it was already established.
Another step he took to avoid secession was to use "words of affection" to draw the erring children (the seceded Southern states) back into the Union. In his inaugural address Lincoln told the South "We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth- stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union...". These were Lincoln’s words of comfort but according to Eyewitness to The Civil War by Kagan Hyslop what Lincoln was really getting at when he said this was not what most people think. Lincoln said this to influence the Northern public to blame secessionists and to start a war on them. I do not think Hyslop’s interpretation of Lincoln’s speech is correct. I don’t think that Lincoln was looking to provoke anyone to war. He wanted to save lives and keep people in the Union rather then to send them away and pit brother on brother in a Civil War. I don’t think Lincoln wanted to start a war I think that he wanted to do whatever he could to keep the Union together. If that including freeing all the slaves he would, but if it also meant leaving all the slaves in their current status he would do that too if it meant saving the Union.
The next step Lincoln that took to avoid Civil war was not so effective as the others were. This next thing Lincoln did was resupply but not reinforce the garrison at Fort Sumter. Lincoln told Pickens the Federal fleet would bring "Provisions only" to the fort there would be "No effort to throw in men, arms, or ammunition.". When Governor Charles Pickens of South Carolina heard about the supply mission he went to President Davis right away. Davis met with his cabinet in the first Confederate capitol Montgomery Alabama on April 9th to decide whether or not to seize the fort. Davis knew that if the Confederates fired first Lincoln and the whole North would blame them for it. Davis also knew that the South Carolinians would fire on the fort with or without his orders. Louis T. Wigfall of Texas wrote to Jefferson Davis " No one doubts that Lincoln intends war" "Let us take Fort Sumter before we have to fight the fleet and the fort." Lincoln despite all of these things went ahead with the resupply mission. The U.S.S Star of the West was ordered to carry the supplies along with some naval frigates to the fort. The ships never made it to the fort because of the bombardment but the fact that they were sent sparked the proverbial fire known as the Civil War.
Up to April 12h 1860 only seven states had seceded. In the next three months four more states seceded. After all the states seceded the Civil War officially began. Were there things Lincoln could have done to stop this? Yes and no. The no part of the answer is this; everything that has happened in history was and is part of God’s plan and was predetermined before the beginning of time. Everything that happened had a purpose in God’s plan and cannot be changed. Then there is the yes part of the answer. In my opinion I think more legislation could have gone a long way. Yes, there had already been twenty years of compromises and collisions in the Senate but the only way to work something out in a civilized manner is to talk and debate. That is exactly what they do in the senate and that is exactly what Lincoln should have tried harder to do with the Southern Senators. He should have pushed harder for new legislation. Like I mentioned before Lincoln was open to new legislation that would have kept the Union together longer, but in all the uproar no one was willing to sit down and do so as civilized men do discuss it. The Southerners believed their honor had been injured and would not talk anymore.
Because men of the South lived and died for the sake of their honor. Men of the South would live, die, risk property and money all for the sake of their sacred honor. Honor to Southern men was just as important as oxygen is to humans and light is to plants for their growth and nutrition. In the mind of men in this era the only way to retrieve your honor is to either duel or have a war. There were many duels and fights over injured honor in the history of the Senate but the worst thing was the Sumner-Brooks incident. Charles Sumner was giving his ‘Crime Against Kansas’ speech in which he said that Butler, Douglass, and other supporters of the Kansas-Nebraska Act were trying to push Kansas into the "Hateful embrace of slavery." Sumner also said in his speech that those men were responsible for the "Rape of a virgin territory [Kansas]" Sumner also said that they were raising themselves "To eminence on the floor in championship of human wrongs". This made Senator Brooks absolutely livid. Brooks thought that Sumner had personally attacked his state (South Carolina) and his kinsman Butler also of South Carolina when Sumner said it would be no great loss to civilization if "South Carolina were blotted out of existence". So the now very angry Senator Brooks beat Senator Sumner over the head and body. This is just one instance where in someone violently defended their Southern pride and honor.
The gentry of the South felt that their honor had been greatly damaged by Lincoln’s stance on Slavery. They in the South believed that since Lincoln had taken such a derogatory stand though not openly on their peculiar institution he had personally attacked every single slave owner. Which Lincoln did not nor did he ever seek to do that because he believed that they were all country men and he did not want to give them another reason to fight The only time he did take away personal property was when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. That is one instance where Lincoln did seek to take away the personal property of the slave holders, but only in the areas where the army was in control.
All these steps that Lincoln took helped in their own way, but they also caused trouble. Like what he did to help Fort Sumter actually brought the war on quicker. Nothing that Lincoln did in my mind actually stopped the war from coming. Obviously since the war lasted for four bloody, tragic, horrible war between brothers, fathers, sons, and cousins. An uncivil, familial war that costed the lives of more than six hundred thousand men and boys. It was a war that strengthened America though. We would have been conquered so easily by nations like Germany and Japan had the war not been fought . As Lincoln quoted in his speech in Springfield Illinois in June 1858 "A house divided cannot stand" which is a direct quote from Matthew 12:25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand". I think Lincoln knew that if the Union was not a complete one then everything that the founding fathers had striven so hard to establish would be destroyed. If this democracy failed then the rest of the world would see that everything we believe in is wrong and won’t work. Lincoln did everything he could to keep the Union together when he realized that it wouldn’t stay together by meer reasoning and talking he knew that a war was inevitable. So I think that Lincoln did all in his power to prevent the Civil War. Humans are humans and do not always make the right choices, but Lincoln used all of his abilities to do what he did, and he pulled our nation through possibly the hardest time in history. Thank the Lord Almighty for giving us here in America a president who saw and knew that our nation under God is indivisible with life, liberty and justice for all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Robert Edward Lee was born January 19, 1807 at Stratford Hall Plantation, Virginia. He was the son of the famed "Light Horse" Harry Lee and Anne Hill (Ne'e Carter) Lee. Robert was the fifth child in the family.
The Lees were a part of the Gentry class of Virginian society. Robert's maternal great-great Grandfather was the wealthiest man in the Virginia colony when he died in 1732. Robert's Father would not have such success in their family's finances, because Henry Lee squandered the fortunes of two wives, and abandoned the family. Harry lee moved to the Bahamas after being injured in a mob in Baltimore where he was truing to defend the home of a friend. The home he stayed in while he was in the Bahamas was the home of the famed Nathaniel Greene a hero in the Revolutionary war. It was at this home that Harry Lee died. Robert Edward was only eleven.
Nathaniel Greene
In 1825 Robert began his studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He became the first cadet to receive the rank of Sergeant at the end of the first year. When he graduated in 1829 he was at the head of his class. A position he shared with five other classmates. Having not gained any demerits during his years at West Point he was second overall in his class.
After his graduation he was given the brevet rank of Second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. Lee began his military career at Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island Georgia. In 1831 he was stationed at Fortress Monroe. While he was there Robert married Marry Anna Randolph Custis the great- grand-daughter of Marth Washington. This was the beginning of an illustrious military career for Robert E. Lee.
Sorry I didn't type out the story for myself but I thought that this article would sufice. This is about a man from pre-civil war America who got in quite an accident. It is an interesting story.