[COMMENT: I have come to believe that the southern interpretation of the Civil War is essentially correct. Some southern defenders do not really own up to the slavery issue, which was certainly a major part of the conflict in the public mind. But the slavery issue was, I think, more of a PR issue to galvanize the moral fervor of the Northern troops than a real political goal. Many in the North hated the South -- largely because it has dominated the political scene since colonial days, and because northern (New England) industrialists wanted to impose on the South the same mercantilism which the colonies fought to prevent England from imposing on them.
The issue, I think, was the growing spirit of "empire". "Manifest Destiny" as it came to be called. Lincoln was in some respects a good man, but he got caught in the spirit of empire, and could not see the tragedy of his position that no state has a right to secede. It was a terribly wrong position to take, as any reading of the founding era will tell.
If what Baldwin is saying below is correct, Martin Luther King
might have been more on the side of Lee and Jackson than of Lincoln and Grant.
By Chuck Baldwin
January 19, 2005
January is often referred to as "Generals Month" as no less than
four famous Confederate Generals claimed January as their birth
month: James Longstreet (Jan. 8, 1821), Robert E. Lee (Jan. 19,
1807), Thomas Jonathan Jackson (Jan. 21, 1824), and George
Pickett (Jan. 28, 1825). Two of these men, Lee and Jackson, are
Without question, Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson were
two of the greatest military leaders of all time. Even more, the Lee
and Jackson tandem is regarded by many military historians as
perhaps having formed the greatest battlefield duo in the history of
warfare. If Jackson had survived the battle of Chancellorsville, it is
very possible that the South would have prevailed at Gettysburg
and perhaps would even have won the War Between the States.
While the strategies and circumstances of the War of Northern
Aggression can (and will) be debated by professionals and laymen
alike, one fact is undeniable: Robert E. Lee and T.J. Jackson were
two of the finest Christian gentlemen this country has ever
produced! Both their character and their conduct are beyond
Unlike his northern counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant, General Lee
never sanctioned or condoned slavery. Upon inheriting slaves from
his deceased father-in-law, Lee immediately freed them. As for
General Jackson, it has never been demonstrated that he ever had
any slaves to free. In addition, unlike Abraham Lincoln and U.S.
Grant, neither Lee nor Jackson ever spoke disparagingly of the
As those who are familiar with history know, General Grant and
his wife held personal slaves before and during the War Between
the States, and even Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not
free them. They were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment
was passed after the conclusion of the war. Grant's excuse for not
freeing his slaves was that, "good help is so hard to come by these
Of course, Lincoln's views on slavery and the black race are
widely known (at least by those familiar with history). In fact, if
Lincoln were alive today, he would no doubt be identified as a
For example, in an 1858 debate Lincoln said, "I will say, then, that
I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in anyway
the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I
am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of
Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry
with white people, and I will say in addition to this that there is a
physical difference between the white and black races which I
believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of
social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live,
while they do remain together, there must be the position of
superior and inferior. I, as much as any other man, am in favor of
having the superior position assigned to the white race." Lincoln
routinely made such comments.
Contrast the sentiments of Lincoln and Grant to those of Robert E.
Lee and Thomas Jackson. For example, it is well established that
Jackson regularly conducted a Sunday School class for black
children. This was a ministry he took very seriously. As a result, he
was dearly loved and appreciated by the children he taught.
Furthermore, both Jackson and Lee emphatically supported the
abolition of slavery. In fact, Lee called slavery "a moral and
political evil." He also said "the best men in the South" opposed it
and welcomed its demise. Jackson said he wished to see "the
shackles struck from every slave."
To think that Lee and Jackson (and the vast majority of
Confederate soldiers) would fight and die to preserve an institution
they considered evil and abhorrent is the height of absurdity! It is
equally repugnant to impugn and denigrate the memory of these
remarkable Christian gentlemen!
Instead of allowing a secular humanist, politically correct culture
sully the memory of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson (and
their compatriots), all Americans should hold them in a place of
highest honor and respect. Anything less is a disservice to history
and a disgrace to the principles of truth and integrity!
© Chuck Baldwin
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