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Member since: Wed Apr 21, 2010, 03:56 PM
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Mr. Benning's Speech to the VA State Convention (Vote of Secession)

I have been appointed by the Convention of the State of Georgia, to present to you the ordinance of secession of Georgia, and further, to invite Virginia, through you, to join Georgia and the other seceded States in the formation of a Southern Confederacy.


What was the reason that induced Georgia to take the step of secession? That reason may be summed up in one single proposition. It was a conviction; a deep conviction on the part of Georgia, that a separation from the North was the only thing that could prevent the abolition of her slavery. This conviction was the main cause. It is true that the effect of this conviction was strengthened by a further conviction that such a separation would be the best remedy for the fugitive slave evil, and also the best, if not the only remedy, for the territorial evil. But, doubtless, if it had not been for the first conviction the step would not have been taken. It, therefore, becomes important to inquire whether this conviction was well-founded.


I beg to refer to a few of the proofs; and the first that I shall adduce consists in two or three sentences from a speech of Mr. Lincoln's, made in October, 1858. They are as follows: "I have always hated slavery as much as any abolitionist; I have always been an old line Whig; I have always hated it, and I always believed it in the course of ultimate extinction, and if I were in Congress and a vote should come up on the question, whether slavery should be excluded from the territory, in spite of the Dred Scott decision, I would vote that it should."


These are pregnant sentences. They contain both a sentiment and a principle of political conduct. The former is that his hatred of slavery equals that of an abolitionist, and, therefore, that it equals that of Sumner or John Brown. The latter is that his action against slavery is not to be restrained by the Constitution of the United States. If you can find any degree of hatred greater than that, I should like to see it. This is the sentiment of the chosen leader of the Black Republican party, and can you doubt that it is not entertained by every member of that party? You cannot, I think. He is a representative man; his sentiments are the sentiments of his party; his principles of political action are the principles of political action of his party. I insist, then, that it is true that at least the Republican party of the North hates slavery.

Posted by TheOther95Percent | Tue Jun 23, 2015, 09:55 PM (0 replies)

What About the Army Bases Named For Confederate Generals?

I am a Civil War buff. I don't do re-enactments but I do attend educational seminars held in various places throughout the year. For the last seven years - to encourage serious and factual scholarship on this important time in our history - I've sat through lectures at the Museum of the Confederacy (MOC) in Richmond; something I swore I would never do since it was - until fairly recently - a major force behind the "Lost Cause" myth. I've been going now for about 8 years. The first 2 years I thought that I made a serious fucking mistake showing up because the audience was and usually two out of the five speakers were - to put it mildly - rabidly biased toward the Confederate side. Two years ago I was in the audience, when the MOC announced it was merging with the American Civil War Museum. There was an audible gasp from some in audience while people like me applauded. This symposium has gotten much better with speakers who provide a balanced and fact-based assessment of both sides.

Anyway, getting back to the army bases. I drive down from my home in the North to Richmond. I pass by Fort A.P. Hill. As a Liet. Gen., Hill commanded Third Corps for the Army of Northern Virginia and is believed to have instigated the first skirmishes which led to the Battle of Gettysburg. Hill would be killed in the waning days of the war in April 1865. At some point, the U.S. army named a military base for him. I would say there are more worthy candidates. A.P. Hill is not the only Confederate general to have his name bestowed on a military facility. This article names 10.


Fort Benning in Georgia is named for Henry Benning, a State Supreme Court associate justice who became one of Lee’s more effective subordinates. Before the war, this ardent secessionist inflamed fears of abolition, which he predicted would inevitably lead to black governors, juries, legislatures and more. “Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand for that?” Benning wrote. “We will be overpowered and our men will be compelled to wander like vagabonds all over the earth, and as for our women, the horrors of their state we cannot contemplate in imagination.”

Another installation in Georgia, Fort Gordon, is named for John B. Gordon, one of Lee’s most dependable commanders in the latter part of the war. Before Fort Sumter, Gordon, a lawyer, defended slavery as “the hand-maid of civil liberty.” After the war, he became a United States senator, fought Reconstruction, and is generally thought to have headed the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia. He “may not have condoned the violence employed by Klan members,” says his biographer, Ralph Lowell Eckert, “but he did not question or oppose it when he felt it was justified.”

Other Confederate namesakes include Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, Fort Rucker in Alabama and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana. All these installations date from the buildups during the world wars, and naming them in honor of a local military figure was a simple choice. But that was a time when the Army was segregated and our views about race more ignorant. Now African-Americans make up about a fifth of the military. The idea that today we ask any of these soldiers to serve at a place named for a defender of a racist slavocracy is deplorable; the thought that today we ask any American soldier to serve at a base named for someone who killed United States Army troops is beyond absurd. Would we have a Fort Rommel? A Camp Cornwallis?

Posted by TheOther95Percent | Tue Jun 23, 2015, 09:38 PM (90 replies)
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