Ken Burns’ Impressively Shallow “Civil War” series–conclusion

by Al Benson Jr.

I have been informed that Mr. Burns’ update for his “Civil War” series has been on public television this week (probably for the first rebroadcast of many) so I wanted to conclude my comments about it during this week. As readers can probably deduce from my comments in the first article, I have significant disagreements with Mr. Burns’ worldview.

One thing that bothered me was the way in which he dealt with some of the personalities, notably Stonewall Jackson.  In my original Christian News article back in October of 1990 I stated: “Other things in this series bothered me. Stonewall Jackson, one of the South’s ablest generals and a devoted Christian gentleman, was labeled  as a ‘cold-eyed killer, unloved by his men and fond of slaughter. I’m no expert on Jackson (though I have read two or three books about him) but I’ve read enough to know that such a description is utter hogwash!  Jackson’s Christianity was couched in terms that made him appear to be a religious fanatic. Robert E. Lee was dealt with somewhat more charitably, but probably because his own devotion as a Christian is so well-known that, like George Washington, he cannot be vilified with impunity.” (At least that was the situation when I wrote the original article. In the fanatical political correctness now afoot in the land I’m not so sure that norm holds anymore.)

“The series was very will done, artistically, with skillful use of old photos of the period, along with background music and sound effects of that time. All this was blended together in such a way as to make it all very watchable, particularly if you happen to be a history buff. All you had to watch out for were the conclusions drawn from the series.”

“The part of the series that dealt with the battles was well done and probably mostly accurate. The horrible bloodiness of the conflict was noted and not glamorized, and that was good.  Having visied several of the battlefields noted in the series, I would have to say that, historically, that was the best part of the series.” (Although now I understand that the National Park Service has gone around and changed all the plaques to state the the reason the war was fought was only over slavery, and that’s not good because it is totally erroneous. Slavery was one reason for the War, among many, and not the main reason no matter what these politically correct “historians” try to shove down your throats.)

“The program hinted at the fact that, after two years of ‘Civil War” Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, not out of a concern for slaves, but mainly as a political move, a ‘noble’ reason for the conflict to continue. Other historians have said it with more authority, though.”

“The final episode  dealt with the collapse of the Confederacy, Lincoln’s assassination, and the remainder of the lives of some well-known ‘Civil War’ figures. The birth of the Ku Klux Klan was mentioned, but NOT ONE WORD was said about the “reconstruction” period specifically, one of the most shameful periods in our history. That part of the picture was totally ignored. Down the memory hole if you will!”

“One thing admitted in this series was that the War Between the States changed the course of our history. One narrator in the series said we were never the same country after the war.  He seemed to feel that the change was for the better.” (Looking at what we have to deal with in our day, I’m not so sure of that. I think, in many ways, it’s worse.) “Another speaker summed it up by saying that, before the war, when the United States were spoken of, it was in the plural form ‘The United States are’ after the war the singular term  ‘The United States is’ came into usage. So much for the rights of and our recognition of individual states. These were swallowed up by a strong national government. Due to apostasy in this country (and most  of our troubles can be traced back to that cause) the War Between the States was truly the American Revolution (and our French Revolution) a revolution that most God-fearing Americans, both North and South lost!  Most have not realized that even unto this day.  Slaves were not freed in the truest sense of the word.  Care and ownership was just transferred from plantation owners to politicians who had big plans to use ex-slaves as a gigantic voting block  to keep them (the politicians) in power.  Many even said as much, though naturally, with less offensive terminology.”

“One of the concluding narrations was given by a lady “historian” who went so far as to say that as long as we have the downtrodden and the homeless on the streets the Civil War is never really over. One might translate that to mean “until the federal government is willing to provide cradle to the grave security for all citizens (socialism) the Civil War goes on!” And don’t we hear echoes of this same mantra today?

I have to agree with Mr. Burns on one point–the War never really has ended, but I don’t agree with his reasons. It has not ended because the Yankee/Marxist regimes that inhabit Washington have determined that the South and its Christian heritage and culture must be destroyed and they will not discontinue their war on us until they have accomplished that. We need to wake up and realize that. This latest planned and orchestrated attack on all things Confederate should be a wake-up call to Southern folks and all honorable folks everywhere as to the fact that the Ruling Elite expects you to surrender your history, faith, and culture to their minions and they will fight you until you do. Lets make sure they have a long, long fight!

The Yankee/Marxist Mindset—alive and well among Lincoln’s military

By Al Benson Jr.
How many have followed the news in recent months, noting the contemptuous comments by those in the Obama Regime regarding the average American? Those people look down their long, Marxist noses at us with utter contempt. They have no use whatever for us except to use us as the cash cow to fund their efforts to destroy our faith and culture. They use us to pay for our own destruction. And we are supposed to be too stupid to know what’s going on. Unfortunately, thanks to what has passed for education in this country in the last 100 years, they are often right. However, after the last six “transparent” years of thinly-disguised fascism/Marxism some people are finally beginning to wake up, much to the chagrin of our current ruling elite. After all, you can only spit in people’s faces for so long while telling them it is dew, before some of them wise up.

The recent run-off election here in Louisiana showed that some folks have wised up. Liberal (socialist) Landrieu was finally sent packing after six years as an Obama clone that should have shamed anyone but an outright Marxist. Now we have to watch the man that unseated her to make sure he does what he claims he will do, and let him know we will be watching him if he doesn’t.

Unfortunately, this political (and military) contempt at the national level for ordinary people is not something that is new. It has not only been around since FDR, which many naïve (and some otherwise) people tell us is when our national problems really started. Anyone who has read any of my recent articles pertaining to the Constitution and the weakness of the checks and balances system realizes that our problems began long before FDR—not that he didn’t mightily contribute to those problems—but he was not the originator.

This elitist attitude toward the ordinary man was especially prevalent during and after the War of Northern Aggression. In an article by Thomas DiLorenzo that appeared on LewRockwell.com for December 4th Professor DiLorenzo noted the attitude of General William Tecumseh Sherman toward the civilian population of the South, and toward South Carolinians in particular.

Dr. DiLorenzo observed: “In a January 31, 1864 letter to Major R. M. Sawyer, Sherman explained the reason why he hated the South in general, and South Carolina in particular, so much. The war, he said, ‘was the result of a false political doctrine that any and every people have a right to self-government’.” Why how dare these insignificant South Carolinians think they had a right to self-government! Didn’t they realize that all they existed for was to serve the mighty federal Leviathan that reigned in Washington under “King Lincoln”? Why else would they even want to exist?

One of Sherman’s subordinate officers, a sterling individual named George W. Nichols, got a book published about his outstanding exploits in the War. He described South Carolinians as “the scum, the lower dregs of civilization” who are “not Americans; they are merely South Carolinians.” And General Carl Schurz noted that the average Yankee soldier looked at South Carolina as “deserving of special punishment.” Interpreted into real English that meant that the Yankee/Marxist military leadership from Sherman on down were willing to let their soldiers burn, rape, plunder and pillage in South Carolina while doing little to restrain them. After all, these South Carolina folks had to be taught a lesson—you don’t defy Yankee/Marxist authority and get away with it. With generals like Schurz on board you can bet that major appropriation of Southern property was near the top of the agenda. Comrade Schurz was one of the socialist generals Donnie Kennedy and I dealt with in our book Lincoln’s Marxists. . If you want to read more about Comrade Schurz that the history books will not inform you about, get our book. Schurz is dealt with in some detail and you will learn things about him the authors of the “history” books have seen fit to drop down the “memory hole.”

Sherman had no more use for the concept of self-government than those socialists and Marxists from Europe that were so much a part of Lincoln’s armies. In his book Citizen Sherman, Michael Fellman said of Sherman that: “His rejection of democracy and his semisecret reactionary faith in a military seizure of power deepened through the secession crisis and into the opening stages of his involvement in the Civil War.” In other words, this was Sherman’s attitude before the War even really started. Where do you suppose he got that from? Sherman’s thinking in this direction deepened as the War went on. After Vicksburg, he wrote to his brother, John that “A government resting immediately on the caprice of a people is too unstable to last… (A)ll must obey. Government, that is, the executive, having no discretion but to execute the law must be to that extent despotic.” The wishes or desires of the ordinary people made no difference. All must obey. Period! One wonders where the vaunted Constitution was during all this—in Lincoln’s bottom desk drawer maybe?

This was Sherman’s attitude toward ordinary folks—sheep to be shorn—as they bow the knee to an all-powerful secular messiah in Washington—be his name Lincoln or Obama. Unfortunately, too many Christians are willing to accept that, forgetting that there is only one King, King Jesus, and we are to bow the knee to Him, not to some tinpot dictator that wants to usurp Him and take His place.

As the new Congress files in to take its place in January, start keeping an eye on it and what it does, and if your Congressperson starts leaning to the left, let him/her know in no uncertain terms that you don’t like it—even if he/she does look down his/her nose at you for reminding them who they are supposed to be there to serve. Reminding them we already know what official Washington thinks of us would not be out of line.

A Trip To Northfield

By Al Benson Jr.

I recently returned from a trip to Minnesota, not the warmest place in the country this time of year. I visited with folks I’ve not seen in several years and it was a good reunion, even if the temperature hardly ever got up to freezing.

While there I got to go over to the town of Northfield, which should be a familiar name to many who study history, and particularly to those who have studied some of the personalities on both sides during the War of Northern Aggression. Northfield is a nice little town of about 20,000 and much of the architecture in the center of town is still of the type you saw in many parts of the country, particularly the Midwest, South and West during the late 19th century. Much of it looks very little changed since that time. Over the years we’ve been in many towns across the country that have sought to retain their original flavor and we enjoy them very much. Modern I am not. I like the older, traditional things, which, I suppose, makes me somewhat of an anachronism to the modern or post-modern (or whatever they call them nowadays) crowd.

Anyway, one of Northfield’s claims to fame is that Jesse James and his gang tried to rob the First National Bank there on September 7, 1876. That might seem a long way out of traditional Jesse James territory, but there were reasons for this particular expedition.

To understand that Jesse James was more than just your ordinary bandit out to steal whatever he could, you have to understand the conditions that prevailed in Missouri before, during and after the War of Northern Aggression. Missouri was a state in which slavery existed before the War, but, as an aside, it also existed in Minnesota before the War. I recently read an article on the Internet entitled Slavery at Fort Snelling (1820s-1850s). The article noted: “The officers and civilians in and near Fort Snelling (Minnesota) who used slave labor were in violation of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which stated that slavery was forbidden in the territory gained through the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36 degree-30 degree latitude line (except within the boundaries of the state of Missouri). Slavery had existed in this region prior to the Compromise, however, and it continued in spite of it.” History books ever bother to mention that? Slavery in Minnesota—what a surprise!

At any rate, the state of Missouri, because slavery existed there, had had, from about 1854, problems with the state of Kansas, which was fast turning into an Abolitionist’s paradise, which it still is today. You can still feel the “we love John Brown” atmosphere in Eastern Kansas as you pass through it even today. But, as the number of abolitionists increased in Eastern Kansas, most of them being from the Northeast or Upper Midwest, so did their desire to “free” the slaves in Missouri, right across the border. Unfortunately for the folks in Western Missouri, the Kansas abolitionists had a decidedly socialist “redistribution of the wealth” attitude in which they felt it their bounden duty to redistribute everything and anything they could purloin in Missouri over into Kansas. Once the War commenced Kansas brigandage was given the cloak of federal legality and yesterdays thieves became today’s Yankee/Marxist brigadier generals.

Although Missouri was considered a “Union” state, though I believe their governor did sign a secession ordinance, the federal armies invaded Missouri, and treated the state’s citizens as prisoners of an occupied state. Lots of good Missouri folks sent their sons off to fight for the Confederacy, but some stayed on at home to try to protect their families and property from the “benefits” of Yankee occupation, and those “benefits” were substantial, especially if you owned anything the Yankees wanted. Missouri resisted—and its resistance forces were called “guerillas, bushwackers,” etc. Families who had sons in the Confederate service were special targets of Yankee beneficence. Jesse James was once, when he was fifteen years old, beaten by Yankee soldiers because he would not reveal the whereabouts of his brother, Frank, who had been fighting for the South, and his stepfather had also been hanged by Yankee soldiers for the same thing. He did survive the hanging but it was no great benefit to his health, being an elderly man.

When the War finally ended and Yankee/Marxist charity was fully able to reign, those who had fought against it in Missouri were promised amnesty if they would come in and surrender. Jesse James and some others rode in to surrender and the generous Yankee soldiers shot him. It was almost the identical situation portrayed in the “Outlaw Josie Wales” movie where “General” Jim Lane, the infamous Kansas Redleg, said of the Southern boys that surrendered “They were decently fed and decently shot.” I guess a bit of that sort of amnesty went on in Missouri that the “history” books forgot to mention.

And, after the War, the Yankee bankers took over in Missouri. Marley Brant, in her book Jesse James—The Man and the Myth observed that: “The Eastern power elite decided to expand its domination of the area after they had gained control of the majority of the Midwestern banking institutions.” Does that little fact give you any inkling as to why the James Gang and others went after the banks? The Yankee/Marxists had made their lives miserable, even those who were allowed to surrender without being shot. This was the only way they could fight back—in effect, steal from the thieves that had stolen from them.

Which brings us to Northfield in Minnesota. Ms. Brant stated, on page 176 of her book that: “Bill Chadwell (one of the James Gang) was in immediate agreement. He was familiar with Northfield and gave his associates some very interesting information. Chadwell informed them that Adelbert Ames and Benjamin Butler were prominent citizens of the town. These two men were no doubt recognized by Frank and Cole as two of the foremost carpetbaggers who took advantage of the people of the South after the war. Ames had been elected governor of Mississippi (a “reconstruction” governor) several years before but had been impeached by that state’s legislature earlier in the year…He eventually showed up in Northfield to join his father and brother. Ames bought a major interest in the Northfield mill operations with money said by those sympathetic to the South to have been obtained from his carpetbagging activities. Ben Butler also had carpetbagging interests in Mississippi and relocated to Northfield…The Southerners had nicknamed him Spoons as a reflection of their opinion that he would steal even his grandmother’s silverware. Chadwell told Jesse and the others that both of these men kept their money in the First National Bank of Northfield. The thought of robbing two representatives of the carpetbagging community must have delighted the members of the gang.” Not mentioned was the fact that Butler was also the infamous “Beast” Butler of New Orleans infamy and that Adelbert Ames was his son-in-law. The carpetbag fraternity that had stolen the South blind was well represented in Northfield.

Ultimately the robbery attempt failed and Bill Chadwell, who was to guide the gang safely back out of Minnesota, was killed, which fact left the gang to try to find its way to safety on its own. In the end, only Jesse and Frank James escaped. The Younger brothers and the others were either killed or captured.

Many over the years have wondered why the James Gang picked a bank so far north to attempt to rob. Most of their robberies had taken place in Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, and even one in West Virginia, so one in Minnesota seems out of character for them until you understand just a bit about the miserable carpetbaggers and their “reconstruction” governments in the South after the War. The James Gang was, in effect, trying to steal from the thieves. The War did a lot of damage to the South and to the country as a whole. The “reconstruction” instituted by the Yankee/Marxist government in Washington never really ended—it just expanded quietly and without fanfare until we now have it nationwide—via the Patriot Act, Obamacare and a host of other federal programs, all for our “benefit” so we are told, yet they never seem to benefit us as much as they seem to benefit those who institute them, and that ain’t by accident, boys, it’s by design. Connect the dots, folks, and learn to “follow the money.” In 1876, Northfield was one of the dots.

Is the Result of the “Civil War” Really Settled?

By Al Benson Jr.

There was recently a letter in the Albany Herald of Albany, Georgia stating that, basically, the “Civil War” has “long been fought and settled…The war is over. Slavery has been abolished in the whole of these great United States. The Union has been salvaged.” Really?

If the “civil war” is really over then why is the South, and also the North now, still under “reconstruction?” If you think it isn’t, then you haven’t really taken a good look at The Patriot Act or Obama’s new gun/people control initiatives. If it isn’t then why are we still saddled with a Yankee/Marxist public school system down here that was, and still is, a major part of “reconstruction.” If we are not still under “reconstruction” then why hasn’t the Yankee/Marxist government in Washington removed all of this?

Well you might say, these are all signs of “progress.” Really? The Patriot Act literally eviscerates the original Bill of Rights and Obama’s gun/people control agenda will totally gut the real intent of the Second Amendment, which is to enable us to resist a tyrannical government. And the public school system—if that is a sign of “progress” then all I can say is “God help us!” For more years than I have been alive the public school system has been a tool for denigrating and belittling the history and heritage of the South and seeking to re-educate Southern kids in all the benefits of becoming little wanna-be Yankees with no sense of history or heritage or place—just like they’ve done to the kids in the North.

Part of the agenda of these “educational facilities” is to destroy the culture of the Old South and replace it with some strange animal called the “new South” which, if looked at closely, is no South at all. In other words, their agenda is Southern cultural genocide, which is supposed to be a crime in other places while in the South it seems to be a requirement.

So slavery has been abolished? What about the welfare program? You know, the one that pays people more to sit at home and become couch potatoes than they could get if they hustled and got honest work? You think that’s not a form of slavery? These people know they need to support everything Obama tries to do or the monthly check might not be there. That’s freedom???

Has the Union really been salvaged? How much does what we now live with resemble the original Union? I submit the gap is tremendous. And those wonderful, progressive, public schools have not taught us enough history so that we can make the comparison between what we had and what we now labor under.

I remember, years ago now, someone said to a pastor I know “The war is over and you lost, so get over it.” To which the pastor replied “If it was just the war we would have gotten over it but you tried to destroy our culture and that’s what we don’t get over.” They’re still trying.
They’re still trying with what they are trying to force down your kids’ throats in public school about how horrendous the Old South was, carefully omitting all its redeeming qualities and its Christian-based faith and worldview. Such anachronisms have to go. They are impeding the “progress” agenda.

I submit the War really isn’t over. It has just entered a new phase. In the first phase they tried to destroy us with more men and guns and a scorched earth policy. In the second phase they are trying to obliterate our cultural distinctive and create in us the mindset they possess. It’s more subtle and most Southern folks don’t realize it’s happening, but it is. So as long as they keep doing this kind of thing is the War really over, or has it just entered the propaganda phase?

At this point the Southern states can’t secede—although there is one school of thought in the Southern/Confederate Movement which contends that they are still seceded, that the Southern states are a country under occupation. That would be consistent with the War not really being over and “reconstruction” still being enforced.  But how about cultural secession? That’s something we all need to work at.