by Al Benson Jr.
The military authorities staffed many state militias with ex-slaves whose primary duty was to make sure that all fellow blacks voted the Republican ticket as well as enforcing martial law. Unfortunately, due to fallen human nature, with that much power, came arrogance. Although some black state militia groups behaved well, many did not. They set out to harass, bully and intimidate both white men and women on the streets, and oftentimes they carried out their threats.
Booker T. Washington, in his autobiography Up From Slavery had some accurate and pointed comments concerning “reconstruction.” He stated: Though I was but little more than a youth during the period of reconstruction, I had the feeling that mistakes were being made and that things could not remain in the condition that they were in then very long. I felt that the reconstruction policy, so far as it related to my race, was in a large measure on a false foundation, was artificial and forced. In many cases it seemed to me that the ignorance of my race was being used as a tool with which to help white men into office, and that there was an element in the North which wanted to punish the Southern white man by forcing the Negroes into positions over the heads of the Southern whites. I felt the Negro would be the one to suffer for this in the end…I saw colored men who were members of the state legislatures, and county officers, who, in some cases, could not read or write, and whose morals were as weak as their education.
Booker T. Washington was a man of proven character who lived during “reconstruction” and observed what was happening. Therefore, he can be considered as a primary source of information.
So the black militias could mostly do whatever struck their fancy, while, if any five Southern white men met together, even after church on the Lord’s Day, they were subject to instant arrest for unlawful assembly, and prosecution by a military tribunal. Almost sounds like the recently passed HR 347, which forbids free speech where secret servicemen are present. Any connections here? Rest assured, if there are, the “news” media will never tell.
Though many ex-Confederate soldiers literally had no clothes but their old Confederate uniforms, it was now unlawful for them to wear them. They had to scrounge for something else to wear, if possible. They had to cut all the buttons stamped CSA off their uniforms and fasten their clothes with whatever they could find. They had to carry parole papers on their persons at all times and display these to any soldier upon demand.
Heaven help any Southerner who, under any circumstances, displayed a Confederate flag of any kind or any symbol of the Confederacy. He would be arrested immediately. .Do you now understand why public schools make such a frenzied fuss over Confederate flags and symbols? Public schools were and are a tool of “reconstruction.” Until we in the South today can begin to grasp that fact we will never make any progress out of our current situation.
In most occupied towns in the South the US flag was flown and guarded by sentries. If any passing Southerner failed to salute that flag he was subject to immediate arrest. US soldiers were often quartered in the homes of Southern civilians. This was one of the things listed in the Declaration of Independence as a complaint against the King of England. This showed Southern folks what the Yankee/Marxists really thought of our founding documents–total disregard. The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag was written in 1892 by a New England socialist who preached about Jesus being a communist. Yet, today, it is considered the height of being unpatriotic if you refuse to say this Pledge written by a man who was asked to leave his church because of his socialism–and that in Massachusetts! What’s the difference between being forced to salute the Union flag in reconstruction South Carolina or Georgia and being forced to repeat the Pledge of Allegiance in a government school? Maybe I’m dense, but it seems to me that it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
In many cases the state legislatures, school boards, and militias were filled with illiterate blacks who had no idea whatever as to the workings of civil government. All blacks who got jobs as postmasters and mail agents were under the protection of the US Army, which meant they were left free to plunder their states’ resources, if any, at will.
If you want to get a really good idea of the damage “reconstruction” did, state by state, try to find a copy of Claude Bowers’ book The Tragic Era. It was originally printed in 1929 but I understand that it has been reprinted within the last few years. Bowers, a Northerner, lays out what happened quite graphically–and it ain’t pretty. When Marxist “historians” in the late 1930s and afterward wrote their historical drivel they sought to debunk Bowers’ work.In spite of Eric Foner and his fellow comrades, Bowers’ book is the one worth reading.
To be continued.