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They ignore them, hoping that if they say nothing those crimes will fade away; and so far they have been successful. Remember, the winner of a war writes the history of the war. They will respond only if their crimes become sufficiently known.It is important to correct the record.
The crimes and the criminals need to be named. More, they must be explained, because the motives that inspired them continue to motivate the men who run our country, regardless of political party. As we shall see, little has changed. Only if we drag this continuing horror into the light do we have a chance of exorcising it.
Let’s begin with a revealing contrast. In 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee invaded the North. The South by then had suffered two years of Yankee crimes and some Southerners thought the invasion was their chance to retaliate.
Not so, said Lee. In a proclamation he reminded his men that “the duties exacted of us by civilization and Christianity are not less obligatory in the country of the enemy than in our own.”
“The commanding general considers that no greater disgrace could befall the army, and through it our whole people, than the perpetration of the barbarous outrages upon the unarmed and defenseless and the wanton destruction of private property, that have marked the course of the enemy in our own country. . . .”
Remember that at the beginning of the war Lincoln offered Lee command of the Union army.
Imagine the humane result had he been able to accept. We make war “only upon armed men,” said Lee.
Taking vengeance for the “atrocities of our enemies” would lower ourselves and offend “against Him to whom vengeance belongeth.” What atrocities is he talking about? Our source is divided into the states of the Confederacy.
Let’s begin with Missouri.Union Brigadier General James H. Lane: “We believe in a war of extermination. I want to see every foot of ground . . . burned over – everything laid waste. . . .” Whoa! A war of extermination? Why? Wasn’t the restoration of the Union the goal of all this?
Wouldn’t that have been accomplished simply by occupying the offending states? As we shall see, some other motive was at work.But so it was. Civilians, male and female – yes, female – died by the hundreds in diseased Yankee jails. The Yankees stole everything they could lift. Lane himself stole a carriage, a piano and women’s dresses.
My favorite was his chaplain, Rev. Hugh D. Fisher, who stole the altar furnishings from an Osceola church. He needed them for his own church in Kansas. “Brethren, let us worship.”A long caravan of stolen property wound its way to Kansas. Arson, theft and murder became commonplace. No citizen was allowed to own guns or ammunition. At war’s end, vast sections of Missouri were uninhabited.
Lane’s policy of extermination had beenimposed.AdvertisementGeneral William T. Sherman wrote that “rebel” farms should be given to immigrants from the North. “Enemies must be killed or transported to some other country.” Deported Missourians left the state in miles-long wagon trains laden with household effects. Foraging Yankees robbed and killed them on the way.
One report speaks of a road “crowded with women and children, women walking with their babies in their arms, packs on their backs and four or five children following after them . . . .”T
here is a word for all this. At the time, the word had not yet been coined. It is……..
EXCERPT !!!!! !!!!!