by Al Benson Jr.
Member, Board of Directors, Confederate Society of America
If any of you saw the movie Gods and Generals you may have noticed in it, just before the Battle of Fredericksburg, a Yankee colonel named Adelbert Ames from the state of Maine. In the movie he is a rather sharp-featured individual. Pictures of him later in life show that the sharpness of his features have been rather dulled and he looks much like a person that has led a softer existence. Living the good Yankee life in the South during Marxist “reconstruction” seems to have had that effect on many that came south after the War of Northern Aggression to seize new opportunities–and anything else they could get their hands on. They planned, in classic totalitarian style, to either “rule or ruin” or both.
Ames was born in Knox County, Maine in 1835. His father was a sea captain and he served as a merchant seaman on his father’s ship. It would have been better for the state of Mississippi had he stayed there. He entered West Point in 1856 and was still there when Mr. Lincoln decided “for the good of the country” (and for his tariffs) to invade Virginia. He was wounded at First Manassas, where he served as an artillery officer, but, though wounded, he refused to leave his guns, so no one can question his personal bravery. What I question are his actions after the war. In 1864 the division Ames was in was part of the X Corps of the Army of the James, where Ames served under that always-noble and sterling character Major General Benjamin Franklin (Beast) Butler. Ames would later marry the Beast’s daughter (Beauty and the Beast?) thus becoming the Beast’s son-in-law–an unenviable position for anyone. However Ames probably deserved it.
Quite possibly he had some connections in Washington (the Beast may have been one of them), because in 1868 Congress appointed him to be the provisional governor of Mississippi. Not long afterward, his command extended to the Fourth Military District, which took in Mississippi and Arkansas.
According to Wikipedia: “During his administration he took several steps to advance the rights of freed slaves, appointing the first black office holders in state history.” After slathering that goop all over its readers, the Wikipedia article then went on to decry “White supremacist violence” in Mississippi, “one of the last states to comply with reconstruction.”
If you only took Wikipedia’s word for it, Adelbert Ames’ carpetbag administration in Mississippi would have come off smelling like a bed of roses. However, as with most things in real life, such was hardly the case.
At one point, the Great Arsonist of the Shenandoah, General Philip Sheridan, sent a detachment of troops to Vicksburg, Mississippi in answer to a plea from the carpetbag city government there saying it needed protection in the coming election. According to Kent Steffgen’s book Bondage of the Free: “In Vicksburg, black militia marched back and forth through the streets drilling night after night with guns loaded and bayonets fixed in an arrogant show of intimidation. Who was in the saddle now? The Negroes! Anyone with eyes to see could see they were the men of the future since they controlled both state and local governments. Soon, white women would realize this and be there for the taking.” Who actually controlled the state and local governments might be a highly debated point in some circles, but it surely wasn’t the blacks that held political offices. They were there to uphold the reign of terror promoted by the Union Leagues and the carpetbag governments.
However, to combat all this foolishness, a white militia (horror of horrors) made up of disgruntled taxpayer groups was formed. Steffgen said of this: “Faced with this challenge, three regiments of black militia rallied outside the city limits and proceeded to march on Vicksburg from three different directions, only to be repulsed and driven back by the armed taxpayers. The Negroes dispersed, withdrew to their homes, and the election proceeded without interruption.” That really ticked off Governor Ames, who ran to his legislature to get the authority to equip and even bigger group of militia, probably black also, but the legislature replied by asking Grant for help. Maybe Grant was tiring of all the “reconstruction” games being played in the South, who knows? All he did was to tell the whites to vacate the premises, and about that time Sheridan’s troops arrived. This was the setting for the 1876 elections in Mississippi. The “White supremacist violence” in Mississippi was, in reality, nothing more than whites defending themselves against “Black supremacist violence.”
We’ve been informed, via the usual politically sources, that Adelbert Ames appointed the first black office-holders in Mississippi state history. Claude Bowers, writing in The Tragic Era, has amplified that statement and observed: “To grasp the significance of the Vicksburg drama we must have the background of the wreckage wrought by the alien rule of Governor Adelbert Ames.Whatever may have been the intent of this deadly dull army officer, he lacked the courage or capacity to cope with the criminals around him. His own election had drawn the color line; the blacks were more powerful than ever, and more exacting with the carpetbaggers. They controlled the legislature,…A mulatto was Speaker of the House, a darker man was Lieutenant Governor, the Negro Bruce had been sent to the Senate, a corrupt quadroon was in charge of the public schools, a black, more fool than knave, was Commissioner of Immigration. The Lieutenant Governor was a merry soul who played high jinks with Ames when he sought his native North for the hot season, dismissing Ames’ officials and appointing others, amusing himself with the personnel of the judiciary, pardoning his friends out of the penitentiary–six being pardoned before their trials. He could be persuaded to accept a monetary consideration for these favors.” Sounds like “reconstruction” government at peak efficiency!
Needless to say, you won’t get any of this information from our current crop of court “historians.” This is the stuff they take great pains to bury! You don’t need to know all this. Did you, in your study of “reconstruction” history learn of such actions you might be tempted to doubt the efficacy of “reconstruction” in the South and such doubts would not fit the agenda, then or today.
Bowers has duly noted that: “The people were breaking under the confiscatory taxes necessary to maintain their rulers in the style to which they had become accustomed, and Ames’s appeals for retrenchment fell on ears of stone. He was arrogant, insolent, tyrannical toward the courts, naming incompetents to the bench, and presuming to dictate their decisions.” Typical Yankee/Marxist behavior!
Such was the situation in both Vicksburg and the whole state of Mississippi. Among the black militia there was open talk of slaughtering the whites in Vicksburg on election day. Something else the “historians” have forgotten to mention to us.
Normal people would probably refer to this as voter intimidation, just as the Black Panthers visited polling places in Philadelphia not so long ago, and with nightsticks gently “persuaded” lots of folks (whites) not to vote. And you all thought that “reconstruction” ended long ago–little do you realize that “reconstruction” is still alive and well in our own lifetime. Of course, in today’s politically correct (Marxist) cultural climate, whites trying to protect themselves and their families will always be interpreted as “white supremacist violence against blacks.” It’s all a matter of semantics and this is how the game is played. Not much different than 1876 is it?
And what was worse, the whites even had the unmitigated gall to run a slate of candidates in the 1876 election themselves. Horror of horrors! When that happened the black Lieutenant Governor got in a panic and requested troops from Grant. Can’t have those white crackers governing themselves now can we. If they did, then we might lose that goose that laid them golden eggs! While all this was happening in Ames’s Southern satrapy, Ames was busy “vacationing” in the North. When he found out about it he rushed headlong back south and repeated the request for troops to Grant. Whatever his reasons, Grant refused the request, and guess what, the slate of candidates the white taxpayers had supported won the election!
Ames then issued a proclamation labeling the taxpayers as “riotous and disorderly persons.” Ames’s proclamation, issued against people defending their property and families is what has been picked up by all the leftist-oriented “historians” of our day.
Notice how this corresponds to what goes on today. Honest patriotic people who have legally protested escalating taxes and the general leftist direction of government have been labeled as “right-wing extremists” and “low-level terrorists”–especially during the recent reign of Comrade Obama, and it even goes on today via those leftists that have embedded themselves in the Trump administration. If you think they are not still there look no further than the Justice Department.
Actually, all things considered, the white response to the black radical militia’s invasion of Vicksburg and ensuing events was quite mild. There were none of the lynchings, whippings, and such that you are so very often told about (many of which never happened). But you can see how such events have been exaggerated over the years so that Marxist-oriented “civil rights agitators” could latch onto them and even further embellish them almost a century later to further promote the concept of Marxist class struggle–race hatred in the South.
This was the rotten fruit of Marxist “reconstruction” here in the South, and the technique has since been even further polished and perfected so it is now in full use all across the country. As I said earlier “reconstruction” is still alive and well!
In reference to the Confederate States, Marx talked about the “reconstruction of a social world” and his minions and their spiritual descendants have been working for well over a century now to make sure that takes place here. Observing our current cultural climate, do you have any doubt that it’s working?