A book review by Al Benson Jr.
Shotwell Publishing in Columbia, South Carolina continues to publish books that all of us need to read and be aware of. One of the latest, just published this year is the book by Garry Bowers that is the title of this review.
Mr. Bowers states in his introduction: “Those who have rewritten our history, often by omission, and those who perpetuate such revision are legion. And they are powerful. They thrive in academia, Hollywood, the national electronic and print media and the halls of legislatures. They demonize entire groups of people to substantiate their elitism. They use the politics of victimization for their own selfish ends. They are the racists who use that very term to slander those with whom they disagree. They are the ‘progressives’ who preserve myths in order to protect their pretensions and self-righteous indignation..365,000 Union soldiers did not die to abolish slavery. 285,000 Confederate soldiers did not die to support slavery.” These opening statements pretty much substantiate the entire slavery argument.
Bowers, on pages 6-7, provides us with some of the information that the progressives (socialists) have omitted. He observes: “Most think of white servitude as ‘indentured servants’ who worked in vassalage for 3 to 7 years, usually to pay their passage to America. However, up to half of those in the New England colonies were slaves for life, as were their children. They were placed on the auction block just like their black counterparts, who also were found in New England…Before the War, many whites, especially the Irish, were kidnapped by slavers or shanghaied by merchant mariners and sold to Northern white factory owners. Those who labored in such industries were almost exclusively white. Many were children. This practice continued well into the Industrial Revolution.” I doubt your history books dealt with any of this, and if they did, it was in a perfunctory manner, geared not to arouse much curiosity.
And believe it or not, the white slaves were cheaper than the black ones, because they could kidnap them from Ireland and didn’t have to purchase them from black slave masters in Africa. Slave trading ships from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York were financed by New England profiteers that got rich off the slave trade.
Interestingly, only 5% of African slaves ever got shipped to the United States. The rest ended up in South America or the West Indies, in various British, French, Dutch and Danish possessions. Believe it or not, the 5% that ended up in this country got the better of the deal. Overall, they were treated a lot better than the ones that ended up further south.
Contrary to many falsely created impressions, Abraham Lincoln was not the friend of the blacks. We have all seen the devious propaganda that portrays him as such, but in all honesty, it is propaganda. Bowers tells us that Lincoln’s “first impulse” was to free all the slaves–and ship them off to Liberia. Bowers informs us that: “On December 3, 1861 (nine months into the War), Lincoln urged Congress to appropriate money for the deportation of Blacks. At that time he preferred either Liberia or Central America as their ultimate destination.” Lincoln wanted them gone. He didn’t want to have to mess with them. And Bowers points out, on page 15, “Further, if the War had been initiated to end slavery, Lincoln would not have waited almost two years to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.” He noted that the radical leftist, John Fremont had tried to emancipate slaves in Missouri when he served there and Lincoln modified that order so that it only covered slaves used to aid in the “rebellion.”
Regarding the Emancipation Proclamation, Bowers stated that “…the document almost caused mutiny and did cause large scale desertion among many units of Federal soldiers. Some generals were themselves horrified at the very idea.”
Some commentary put forth by our court historians and the media elites give a wholly erroneous view of the number of slaves owned and who owned them. Bowers corrects some of this historical effluvia. He states: “Only 15 people in the United States owned more than 500 slaves. Less then 1% of slave owners owned anywhere near 100 slaves. A huge majority of the 7% of the population who owned slaves had between 4 and 5…Incidentally, there were over 250,000 free Blacks living in the South during the 1860 census and they owned over 60,000 Black slaves.” I wonder how the current “reparations” scam being promoted will be affected by that–if it’s even mentioned!
Northern factories, in many cases, gave sweat shops a bad name. Bowers noted that: “With no labor laws to protect them and no administrators who cared, many whites in the North, including innumerable children, worked in horrible and dangerous conditions, often 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. They labored in sweatshops and factories and slept in polluted conditions for literally pennies a day.” My own grandfather, my Dad’s father, who came from England when he was three years old, went to work in a factory when he was only nine years old, for pennies a day, and that was after the War. The slaves in the South, before the War, we actually better off nutritionally.
As to the real reasons for the War, Bowers goes into them on pages 35-36. He states: “The financial extortion of the South and the perceived annihilation of the Northern economy without the South was the primary cause of the War. If the North were not able effectively to tax the immense Southern exports of cotton, tobacco, and rice, they would lose three quarters of their economy. The South had little choice but to secede to survive and the North had little choice but to keep them in the Union or go broke…The Morrill Tariff, the highest in history, more than doubled the import tax, which was enough to bankrupt many Southerners. It became law in March of 1861. Fort Sumter was fired upon in April of 1861. More than any other cause, the threat of this tax had been the final catalyst for secession.”
Bowers has noted that: “Economically, slavery was on the verge of becoming an unprofitable enterprise in 1860 and would likely have become untenable in the next few years. Had it even partially survived, in some form, the evolution of Christianity and the inventions of John Deere would have quickly put an end to it.”
The method of Northern warfare is something else that Bowers commented on. He observed, on page 64, that: “You probably didn’t hear in the classroom that both Lincoln and Grant supported the concept of ‘total war,’ most widely practiced by Union Generals Sherman, Sheridan and Merritt. It was a military exercise by which all civilian infrastructure was utterly destroyed, including food, homes, businesses, churches, transportation systems, and schools. Livestock was stolen or killed, crops were stolen or burned and non-military industries were demolished.” Something seldom mentioned in the “history” books was the Yankee war on Christian churches. Bowers stated: “Hundreds of Southern churches were burned and their cemeteries desecrated. In one South Carolina town, Union troops dug up caskets and propped them up to ‘watch’ the church in flames. Pillage and plunder was, in some Federal units, the order of the day.” Does the destruction and plunder of churches begin to give you some idea of where the Yankee mindset really was? I’m not saying all Northern soldiers were like this, but this was the overall Yankee mindset at the leadership level. These actions should give you some idea of why Southern preachers were so against Yankee theology even before the War.
The Northern mindset, what I call the Yankee/Marxist mindset, viewed the South as a “missionary field” for their future endeavors. They were going to make us just like them, a mirror image of Yankeedom, but without the privileges that Yankees enjoyed.
Bowers tells us that: “Brown University President Wayland said the South was ‘the new missionary ground for the national school teacher.’ Howard University President Hill said it was the North’s aim sto ‘spread knowledge and culture over a region that sat in darkness.’ Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts said it was the mission of his state to govern Georgia ‘better than Georgia could’.” All this from the people whose soldiers burned our churches and desecrated our cemeteries. It does make you wonder exactly what sort of “knowledge and culture” they planned to impart to us, doesn’t it?
Bowers goes on briefly to note the present call for reparations and comments on those who are tearing down our monuments and flags. He notes they are acting just like the Taliban. He’s right. They are, in effect, the American Taliban.
Mr. Bowers’ book is not a long read. It is only 98 pages, but it is worth your time to get it and read it. You will learn that slavery was not the cause of our “Civil War” actually the War of Northern Aggression and you will learn that you do, indeed, need to search way beyond the history books you had in school to learn the real truth about the war that forever changed this country–and not for the better!
Bowers provides a good bibliography and you might check that out to see if you can come up with some of the books he mentioned. Shotwell Publishing is to be commended for offering books like this to the public so they can begin to unlearn some of the historical fallacies they were taught in school.