by Al Benson Jr.
If you read what passes for “history” books in this country, especially in our excuses for educational institutions that we refer to as public schools, you will find very little, if anything, having to do with the demographics involved in the War of Northern Aggression. Until Donnie Kennedy and I started doing research for our book Lincoln’s Marxists I had read only snatches here and there about the different ethnic groups that populated this country during the 1840s and 50s. Once we started researching to find out more about the infamous socialist Forty-Eighters we wrote about we found all manner of information–very little of which came from traditional “history” books. We got a lot of information from biographies, which are sometimes more historically complete than history books.
But almost nowhere, except for a brief comment here and there, did anyone deal with the number of foreigners that ended up in the Union armies. As I have said before, on several occasions, that was almost a forbidden subject.
What started me thinking about this again was a book I picked up back in the early 1990s at a library sale in Rochester, Minnesota when we were visiting there. The book was The Desolate South–1865-1866 written by John T. Trowbridge. I had glanced through it here and there, but never seriously, until recently. It’s not an easy read for someone with my Southern mindset. Trowbridge came across to me as a thoroughgoing Yankee type and it seemed, as I read, that he spent about two thirds of the book trying to make the North look good and the South bad. So what else is new? The edition I have was published in 1956.
Trowbridge took a trip through the Old Confederacy shortly after the shooting part of the War ended and I think what he wrote may have been one of the first psychological shots fired at the South once the Yankee/Marxists decided they could do better with propaganda than they had with bullets. Cartridges couldn’t kill the descendants of the Confederate soldiers–propaganda just might.
However, in his early attempt at cultural Marxism, there were some things it was not easy for him to completely cover up. In one of his jabs at the South, he and a reporter were talking to an ex-Confederate soldier who said “The Confederate army was never whipped! We were overpowered.” Of course Trowbridge and his friend had a snide laugh over that, but then the ex-Confederate said “It was the foreigners! You never would have beaten us if it hadn’t been for the foreigners that made up your armies.” The soldier had noticed something that most don’t talk about–the large number of foreigners in the Union armies. Of course Trowbridge and company had to make light of that and then move on to something less controversial, and less revealing.
However, if you stop and think about it, this Confederate soldier had hit on something worth considering. Recently I came across an article by an Andy Waskie called Foreign Soldiers in the American Civil War. Mr. Waskie noted: “Based on enlistment rolls and other official reports and stated in round figures, out of approximately 2,000,000 Union soldiers enlisted during the war over two-thirds were native-born Americans.Thus, only under one-third (1/3) of all troops were non-natives…” Now stop and think about that for just a moment. The “only under one-third” that he almost seems to dismiss with a cavalier attitude, if his figures are correct, comes to something like 660,000 foreign-born soldiers in the Union armies! Folks, for my money, that’s a lot of foreign input.
Others disagree with his figures. One site I looked at, http://www.civilwar.org observed that: “Maybe as much as a quarter of the Union Army was made up of foreigners–men who had not been born in America. Of these, the largest group was the Germans, followed by the Irish, Canadians, and English…Often regiments would be formed consisting entirely of men from one of these countries. The polyglot nature of the Northern forces could sometimes create confusion when officers barked orders in several languages.” in other words, you had entire regiments of Union soldiers that were German, Austrian, Hungarian or whatever, that did not even speak English, and their orders had to be given to them in their native tongues. I have never seen a history book that I can recall that even mentioned this, let alone dwelt on it.
Another site, http://www.historynet.com noted pretty much the same. It said: “Many of these immigrants joined the Union Army; the XI Corps of the Army of the Potomac was known as ‘The Dutchman’s Corps’ because it included so many German immigrants, but it became something of a catch-all for foreign-born recruits from throughout Europe and even the Mideast…Around 25% white Americans of the Union Army were foreign-born.” Soldiers in the Union Army from the Middle East? Wonder if it was some of those Muslims that Obama has told us helped to build the country?
The website http://www.Spartacus-educational.com was a bit more revealing. Of course they are also a bit more ideological. Their site noted, quite forthrightly that: ” Abraham Lincoln, a northern opponent of slavery was elected as president in 1861. It has been pointed out that without the support of an overwhelming number of immigrants, Lincoln would have lost the election.” So you could almost say that Comrade Lincoln was the “foreigners’ president.” He owed them, and they didn’t hesitate to collect in the way of generalships, ambassadorships, etc. The Sparacus article continued: “It is estimated that over 400,000 immigrants served in the Union Army. This included 216,000 Germans and 170,000 Irish soldiers. There were several important German born military leaders such as August Willich, Carl Schurz, Alexander Schimmelfennig, Peter Osterhaus, Franz Sigel and Max Weber…” All of the inestimable gentlemen here listed were Forty-Eighter socialists except August Willich, and he was an outright communist. Donnie Kennedy and I have dealt in some detail with all of these “interesting” personalities and more in Lincoln’s Marxists.
However you parse the figures out, it seems that you had somewhere between 400,000 and 600,000 foreign-born troops in Mr. Lincoln’s armies. While we have to admit that the vast majority of these were not socialists or communists, many of their commanding officers were. All of the above mentioned socialist/communist crew were generals! And we know that August Willich was one general that lectured his men on the glories of socialism/communism. That much is on record. How many more of these socialist turkeys did the exact same thing that we have never heard about?
All this should give you some hint as to why there was so much destruction of private property in the South during the War and why some Union soldiers went out of their way to desecrate Christian churches in the South. That was, and is, all part of the Marxist agenda–and in one form or another–it has never ceased!
The agenda was to destroy white, Christian, Southern culture, and if you have not been slumbering for the past two decades you should have figured that out. The fact that more white Southerners haven’t figured it out is a testimony to the sleeping-pill effect that public education has had in the South since its birth down here as a major part of “reconstruction.”
So lets fast-forward slightly and look at today. We see a continuing and concerted attack here, and nationally, on anything Southern, Christian, and Confederate at all levels, the political, educational and cultural. Most of what we are fed in contemporary “culture” today is a finely-tuned and refined version of cultural Marxism. The cultural Marxists are having a field day, while most Christian Southerners sleep on, waiting for a “secret imminent rapture” that will not, and I stress WILL NOT remove them from the field of battle. As the Lincoln government sought the socialists and communists from Europe to swell the ranks of its armies, so the current Marxist regime in power in Washington is seeking the admission of hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern “refugees” (terrorists) to swell the ranks of those that will water down and dilute Western Christian culture, and they are even hinting at making it a crime to say anything negative against them. These people and the illegal immigrants knocking down the borders are the storm troopers of the New World Order–and they are being and will be used in the same way Lincoln used the European socialists and communists. See any parallels at all here?
We should learn from history–and not from the “history” we’ve been taught in school. We need to begin to dig and to find the truth for ourselves because absolutely No One that is part of the Ruling Elite wants us to grasp any of this. So ask the Lord to guide you and start doing the homework–and as you do the homework, ask Him to show you all the possible means of legitimate resistance to this One World Government agenda.
Even more important, I believe, was the makeup and heritage of the people who ultimately settled the Southeastern agriculture states and the Northeastern states of North America: Early on British businessmen established colonies for profit in North America which primarily became a thriving agriculture region of North America, but note were primarily English and English speaking with English traditions and culture; on the other hand the Northeastern region of North America was settled primarily by continental Europeans who first attempted agriculture but quickly learned it was impossible to duplicate the Southeastern agriculturist’s success with products that were non-perishable, such as tobacco and cotton, and could be shipped to the lucrative and eager markets of Great Britain and continental Europe. Then the Northeastern region businessmen entered into the lucrative slave trade industry. That provided needed revenue and wealth until they ran up against the U.S. Constitution which ended the importation of slaves into the U.S. by 1808. Northeastern businessmen built slave ships and manufactured slave trading goods with which to purchase West Africans from West African tribal chiefs as was all other nations of the world. The Northeast’s venture into agriculture failed because of the climate and soil condition which was vastly different than conditions in the Southeast region. The Constitution didn’t end the Northeastern companies’ slave trade activities but did cut into their revenue. They continued to transport Africans into other nations of the New World, the Americas, but that wasn’t enough revenue to maintain the status quo of the slave trade industry in the Northeastern U.S. Then the Northeastern businessmen decided they needed a profitable region wide industry to attract settlers, provide jobs and goods to a new nation of people. This business faction decided to build an American Industrial Revolution in the Northeastern U.S. to, as they claimed, control world commerce. However, they needed funding and workers for their new emerging industrial infrastructure to build their Northeastern region industrial infrastructure and work in their emerging manufacturing businesses. The new industrial businessmen of the Northeast then approached the Northeastern slave trading owners with an offer to recruit and transport continental European workers to the Northeastern region of the U.S., which they did.
Now anyone who knows the truth about world history knows that the British and western continental nations of Europe had been fighting one war after another war for generations and truly hated each other. This European animosity of the British hating the continental European people split the Northeastern region of the U.S. from the Southeastern region. Old animosities and hatred also immigrated from Great Britain and continental Europe to the North American continent… For a while they appeared to put their ancestral hate toward each other aside while all struggled to survive and prosper in the new American colonies. Then the new Northeastern region businessmen realized that they needed funds, much more funds, in order to pay for the industrial infrastructure required of their new American Industrial Revolution. They ended up scheming ways to get their hands on the funds they needed. Understanding that the Constitution, in addition to ending the importation of slaves into the U.S. by 1808 also required that a national census of residents be taken every ten years beginning in 1790 and the Constitution also specified that each existing State and all new States would have two U.S. Senators in Congress and each State would have one delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives for each 30,000 residents they had.
The Northeastern businessmen then devised a scheme to control the U.S. Central Government by packing the U.S. House of Representatives with pro-industry delegates who would support increasing tariff and duty (tax) legislation beneficial to Northeastern region industry but punitive to Southeastern region agriculture. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. With the ending of the importation of slaves into the U.S. Southeastern populations had stabilized but the Northeastern businessmen saw an opportunity and approached territorial leaders in the new Louisiana Territory to petition to come into the Union as pro-industry States to increase the pro-industry delegation count in the U.S. House of Representatives. Western territorial leaders were promised that the new Northeastern industrialists would expand their new industrial infrastructure into the new western states if they would agree to enter the Union as pro-industry states. Industrial industries opposed agriculture industries in the Louisiana Territory and used the slave institution to gain control of the U.S. Government. The Northeastern business tycoon’s excuse was slavery, but the Western states would never have been large slave holding states in the first place. They, like the Northeast before them, were unable to produce the non-perishable cash crops of tobacco and cotton. The West as the Northeast was only suitable for the production of grain, primarily wheat, which was highly perishable and could not successfully be shipped overseas. To that add the known fact that labor saving and replacement equipment was rapidly being invented that would allow even the Southern agriculture industries to reduce their need for large non-skilled labor forces…slaves. Also, with the invention of the mechanical reaper and cotton gin less labor was needed to produce tobacco and cotton. The manufactured issue over slavery in the West was nothing more than part of the Northeastern business tycoons’ scheme to control the U.S. House and therefore the U.S. Government so higher and higher tariff and duties (taxes) could be passed to provide funds to build the Northeastern region’s industrial revolution. What the debate and struggle over the Western territory was about was pro-industry against pro-agriculture, not anti-slavery against pro-slavery. Few cared anything about ending slavery in the U.S. since the institution of slavery was included in the U.S. Constitution and as proof one need only research and learn that no one or no political party ever proposed nor attempted to add an amendment to the Constitution freeing slaves and outlawing slavery in the entire U.S.A. and its new Western territories. The struggle was over how to raise sufficient funds to build a region wide industrial infrastructure to support newly emerging manufacturing businesses in the Northeastern region of the U.S. Note also, that no attempt was ever made by Northeastern business tycoons to expand their industrial infrastructure into the Southern agriculture region, but it was the prosperous Southern agriculture the Northern business tycoons and their politicians would turn to extort the funds needed to build their industrial infrastructure…and that is where The War over taxes and state sovereignty began, not as falsely claimed in 1861. The real war was a regional war to build an American industrial revolution in the Northeastern region of the U.S. to “control worldwide commerce” from the Northeastern region of the U.S.A.
No, The War began in the mid-1850s, not 1861, and it was the beginning battles for control of the U.S. economy and extortion of funds, making and using the U.S. Tax laws after the agriculture regions participation in the U.S. legislating process had been nullified by packing the U.S. House of Representatives who were pro-industry, to support Northeastern plans to build a new profit making enterprise in and only in the Northeastern U.S. States…)
POSTSCRIPT: One point overlooked by liberal revisionists is the fact that the U.S. Government had no constitutional power to prevent the institution of slavery, nor industrial development in the new states coming into the Union in the Western territories as was and is still claimed by liberal/progressive/socialist advocates. Constitutionally the U.S. Government may have had the power to prevent slavery in the Western territories, however the Constitution’s 9th and 10th Amendments stipulate that any issue not enumerated in the Constitution must be decided by the States or Citizens, not the Central Government. When a territorial region in the West applied and became a State of the United States of America they instantly came under the dictates of the U.S. Constitution…and that Constitution protected the institution of slavery in every “State” of the Union… Yes, as written before no one ever entertained the prospect of passing an Amendment ending slavery in the U.S. until the 13th Amendment was passed in 1868. And don’t overlook the fact that every colony and state of the U.S. had the institution of slavery regardless of what liberal revisionists claim today! True they have attempted to destroy all evidence of slavery in the North, even to the extent of destroying slave cemeteries which occasional are discovered by construction crews. However since profitable agriculture crops could not successfully be produced in the North there was no need for large non-skilled workforces of slaves. However the interesting point is that instead of freeing their slaves as they demanded the South do they loaded their slave onto Northeastern Slave Trader ships and sold them for huge profits in South and Central America and the Caribbean island nations…yet they demanded southern agriculturists “emancipate” their slaves without compensation of any kind. NO, The War was not fought over slavery but over one North American region’s desire to enslave another region of the same nation to further their financial and economic endeavors…–Al Barrs
You speak here of the yankee attempt to destroy Southern Christian culture, I agree with you, I believe you to be quite right. My comment is this: Somewhere along the line from 1865 to the present, I don’t know where, we have lost our women. We southern men have always been dependent on our women. Women have always been keepers of the culture. After the War the men were defeated, I don,t believe the women were. Women seem to care about different things now. I hipo this makes some sense?
It makes sense to me. I’m not Southern(I was born & live in upstate NY not by choice. A “wannabe Southern” if you will).
I think the 1960’s is when most of the “feminism” started.
I’m single(not by choice), but it seems women were taught to despise Bible based roles starting then. Most especially working outside the home! Of course thinking like this is very not PC today! I was born in 1962, so maybe it started before then.
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I think very highly of women! Especially Godly ones! I know some Godly women whom I have lots of respect for! I Hope all this makes sense.
The current phase of the women’s lib movement did start in the 1960s with people like Betty Friedan, whose mother, I heard, was a communist. The movement in this country had its beginnings back in, guess what year,–1848 with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and a batch of spiritualist types in Seneca Falls, New York. In our book “Lincoln’s Marxists” Donnie Kennedy and I had an addendum, which I wrote, taken from my newsletter The Copperhead Chronicle, which I entitled “Feminists and Forty-Eighters”. It gave some of the 19th century history of the feminist movement back then.
Yes of course. I’m in Rochester where Susan B. Anthony lived. She is almost worshiped by some & her house is a museum.
And it is probably considered a shrine for the feminist movement.
Explains how confederate letters, commentary and songs sometimes describe the Union Army as “the mercinary horde”. Good article Mr. Benson
Am going to try to forward you the info on the flag rally in Baton Rouge this saturday.
Now that you mention it I do recall that line from one of the old Southern songs. It is probably what they were referring to. Many of the Southern boys, upon contact, realized that they were not fighting against other Americans but against foreigners.