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home : opinion : opinion November 24, 2017

8/18/2017 12:12:00 AM
SCV Historian And Re-Enactor Explains The War
Cherryville man discusses War Between the States
Kirk Carter is seen here in his Confederate uniform at a recent re-enactment event of the War Between the States.
(Photo Courtesy of Kirk Carter)

Kirk Carter is seen here in his Confederate uniform at a recent re-enactment event of the War Between the States.

(Photo Courtesy of Kirk Carter)

Thomas Lark
Staff Writer

EDITOR’S NOTE: See our related coverage with Kirk Carter, only here in the Lincoln Herald.

CHERRYVILLE, N.C.––So what caused the War Between the States?

Virginia native and Cherryville-area resident Kirk Carter is the commander of the Thomas Caldwell Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in York, S.C. Carter, 49, has been involved in re-enactment events of the War Between the States for some 20 years now. A noted historian and public speaker, he recently sat down with The Lincoln Herald to explain the war that so many Americans no longer understand, as shown by recent events, including the Stalinistic whitewashing of history and destruction of Confederate monuments.

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“It’s all very Orwellian,” he said of these illegal and would-be totalitarian acts, “like something straight out of Nineteen-Eighty-Four. Very sad. Joe Stalin did the same thing during his infamous purges, back in the 1930’s: renaming streets and bridges; removing Czarist-era monuments that of course were frowned on by the Bolshevik state; altering photographs to get rid of the images of his enemies. All truly sad. And I’m afraid America is headed in that same direction today.”

Carter continued that the Sons of Confederate Veterans, founded in 1906, is an international honour society, dedicated to heritage, history and education. It endows scholarships. Its members conduct historical re-enactments, including in the public schools. It is an organization open to all three races: the European, Asian and African, respectively the whites who made up the majority of Dixie’s population, the aboriginal Amerindians who were the Americas’ first inhabitants and the blacks who were sadly brought here in the chains of slavery; America’s original sin. But as an interesting historical side note, many freed blacks actually fought for the Confederacy.

Are you descended from an ancestor of any ethnic background who fought for Dixie and was honourably discharged? Then you, too, may join the SCV, as Carter informed. The group is open to anyone meeting said ancestral criteria; has chapters nationwide, in Europe and as far away as Australia; and it does indeed have members who are black, Cherokee, Choctaw and so on. 

Rescuing the truth

Still, Carter mourned the fact that too many racists give a collective bad name to the Confederacy’s flags, the Old South and related matters. He said it was a pity that the noble Southern Cause––a striving for and spirit of independence, a struggle against Northern Big Business and Washington-based hegemonic power and greed––and all its symbolism were hijacked by racist villains two or three generations ago now. These were and are wicked men, opposed to the civil rights movement and the end of Southern apartheid.

But the Sons of Confederate Veterans, as he pointed out, is unaffiliated with any xenophobic organization. Indeed, he added, its rules stipulate very clearly that one may not at once be a member of the SCV and such evil organizations as the Ku Klux Klan.

Carter cited former school principal Nathan Winbush among the SCV’s black members. Another is Carter’s friend, noted speaker H.K. Edgerton, once the head of the Asheville NAACP, prior to his Confederate conversion. Edgerton is famous for walking from Murphy to Manteo, carrying a large Southern Cross, also known as the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia––a much-maligned and oft-misunderstood symbol of the Old South––that, for its symmetry, colour and pattern of a St. Andrew’s Cross festooned with 13 stars, representing the Confederate States, is regarded by vexillologists worldwide as one of the loveliest, most eye-catching flags on earth. Edgerton is also known for his public lectures, wherein, amongst other topics, he has been known to puncture the myth of Lincoln.

“He was actually one of the most racist men that ever lived!” as he recently said, citing Lincoln’s own damning admission in 1861 that all he cared about was preserving the Union out of sheer greed, not freeing any slaves.

“We can’t let the South go,” a befuddled Lincoln famously moaned. “Who will pay for the government?”

Talking of which, Carter recommends the books of Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, which reveal Lincoln for the bought dog and evil tool of Northern Big Business that he was. A corporate lawyer before the wag-the-dog war he needlessly began for his Big Business puppeteers, Lincoln was in reality an ill-educated dupe and hypocrite, despised by all who knew him in life and liked (at least publicly) only after death, as DiLorenzo explains, and his Emancipation Proclamation was a sham. The North cared nothing for humanitarianism; only for the then-almighty dollar, and the proclamation was a way of hitting the South economically.

After the war, the North engaged in what modern kids call “virtue-signalling.” “Hey, lookit us! Ain’t we enlightened?” As President Woodrow Wilson explained a century ago, Northern professors and propagandists had to do this, casting the North in a phoney light of false egalitarianism and humanitarianism in order to adequately camouflage as some sort of noble endeavour a thing that the rest of the world correctly understood to be a war of conquest and greed. Charles Dickens famously called the war “a humbug,” and many of his contemporaries and fellow social critics decried the North for what was obvious tyranny and a naked power grab.

Another book Carter recommends, which reveals the true history of the South and the War Between the States, is Walter Brian Cisco’s excellent and exhaustively footnoted War Crimes Against Southern Civilians. Chock-full of firsthand accounts, incriminating letters and damning documents by the Northern generals who waged this needless war upon a hapless South, War Crimes offers shocking details, including the satanic, sadistic glee and impunity with which Northern soldiers raped countless Southern women, especially black girls as young as 12, sometimes in front of their bound and gagged parents; killed countless farmers and planters for their supposedly hidden treasure (“Where’s yer gold, ole man?” as one Bluecoat in occupied rural Louisiana demanded of a poor, old Cajun, who repeatedly replied “Je ne comprends pas!” before being hanged); destroyed countless roads, railroads, bridges, private homes, stores and even churches (“There! That’ll fix your old gospel shop! Haw-haw-haw!”); burned countless acres of wheat fields, orchards and other crops; and destroyed countless farm animals, including stomping chicks to death, so that they’d never become fully grown chickens, all in order to starve Southern civilians. In the southern North Carolina town of Morven alone, Bloody Bill Sherman’s troops slaughtered more than 700 horses, mules and donkeys.

Incapable of defeating the saintly Robert E. Lee or devout Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson on the field of battle, Sherman found he was mighty good at murdering and terrorizing innocent civilians, and his tactics would be closely studied and copied by Hitler’s SS troops, not 80 years later, as Carter noted. After the War to Prevent Southern Independence, Sherman, now regarded by most historians as clinically insane, would go on to further infamy, committing genocide against the Amerindians of the Horse Culture of the Plains.

Elsewhere in Cisco’s book, the notoriously racist Grant reports to Lincoln the news of his anti-Semitic pogrom, saying with obvious, drunken glee that “the whole of Tennessee is now devoid of Jewry.” Yet the South had a Jewish secretary of state, Judah Benjamin. Prior to the war, the largest concentration of American Jews lay not in New York City but in Charleston.

And the saintly Emperor Maximilian of Mexico sent many Mexican troops to help the South. But his murderer and successor, the evil, atheistic, anti-Catholic and Masonic leader, Benito Juárez, tellingly supported the wicked Lincoln and his illegal, usurping Yanqui nation.

Yes, the North had black troops. Yet they were segregated, regarded with contempt by their fellow Bluecoats and severely short-changed. But the South’s army featured many freed black men that fought cheek-by-jowl with their white counterparts and received the same pay––a thing of which the U.S. Army could not boast until the Korean War.

Carter noted with sadness the cruel irony of the removal of statues of Lee, Jackson, President Jefferson Davis and Pierre Beauregard. Along with famed general James Longstreet, all of these leaders––to a man––were opposed to slavery. Lee freed his slaves a whole generation before it became fashionable to do so, and Jackson sponsored a black Sunday School class. Davis adopted a little black boy. Clearly the Southern desire for independence and the wish to simply be left alone were what motivated and propelled the war. 

Causa finita est

The causes of the War of Northern Aggression are among the most nettlesome in all the annals of war. There were really a myriad causes. Sectionalism was one, and the United States, a de facto empire, was simply too large and bound to fracture at some point, due to regional differences. Southerners were also long tired of paying for Northern infrastructure: roads, railroads and bridges that they would never use. The gross domestic product of Louisiana funded the American war department. Unsustainably high tariffs also played a part. And while slavery and its preservation and extension may have been among the war’s causes, indeed the sine qua non, helping to start the war, it was not what the South was fighting to preserve, as Carter noted, pointing out an important distinction.

“People forget about the Corwin Amendment,” he said, citing the proposed amendment to the Constitution, intended to appease the South, that would have forever enshrined slavery in American law in the early spring of 1861, well before the North sucker-punched the South into war by deliberate goading at Fort Sumter.

But of course, the South said “no” to the Corwin Amendment, because she wanted her independence. Indeed, as Gen. Joseph Johnston said in 1866, mere months after the war:

“Had we been fighting simply for the preservation of slavery, we could have won that by merely laying down our arms in 1861.”

No, says Carter, what the South wanted was much larger: total independence from an overreaching, tyrannical, meddlesome, unfair federal government––a thing that, nunc pro tunc, still threatens American freedom. And that freedom can often be rather illusory indeed.

History, Carter added, is usually written by the conqueror. And what too many textbooks fail to mention is that the South would have freed its slaves by the end of the 1860’s anyway. Britain and France, then busy running the world with their glorious and globe-spanning empires, were the South’s biggest customers, and they would no longer have traded with a slave state, had the South emerged victorious.

After the war, as so many defeated nations do, a prostrate Southern society went tragically mad. Jackson died in the war and Lee soon after, in 1870, and so there were too few anti-slavery leaders to prevent the rise of apartheid. Longstreet did what he could. But many Southerners regarded him as a traitor for becoming a Republican. And the North, which pulled out of Reconstruction far too soon, didn’t care. Institutionalised racism became rampant and ubiquitous, and it took the civil rights legislation of the Johnson Administration (thunder stolen from Kennedy and Eisenhower), fully a century after the war, to finally put things right.

But due to said hijacking at the hands of racists on the one hand and, on the other, thanks to three generations of Soviet-style indoctrination of unsuspecting kids by cultural Marxists at state-run public schools and liberal universities, too many people no longer know even the basic facts of the War Between the States, the war that defined America. As historian David McCullough recently noted, the modern generation of young people “is historically illiterate.”

Still, Carter says he finds reason for optimism.

“And I pray that everyone who believes in our wonderful nation––well, two nations, really, de jure: America and Dixieland––will educate themselves and take pride in all of our veterans of the past 240-plus years,” he said. “American history is precious, and it should never be taken for granted.”

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