Today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the War of Northern Aggression, a war in which a second-rate backwoods white-trash Illinois lawyer, elected as our 16th President, unleashed a drunkard and his crazy friend to wage total war on the South.
The Evil of Slavery
First, let me make one thing perfectly clear. Slavery is wrong. Our founding fathers knew it was wrong, yet refused to completely end the practice. Many like to hold up the U.S. Constitution as one of the finest documents mankind has ever written, yet buried within its paragraphs is an allowance for slavery (Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3):
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.The so-called Three-fifths Compromise was reached during the Philadelphia Convention between the northern and southern states, allowing for a "Federal ratio" of slaves determining representation and taxation of the southern states. The Federal ratio tilted the political power towards the South before the War of Norther Aggression; there was a preponderance of southerners elected to the Presidency, the Speakership of the House, and nominated to the Supreme Court. All that changed after the War of Northern Aggression.
It wasn't until the Fourteenth Amendment, ratified in 1868, that the injustice of the three-fifths compromise was fully corrected. But the evil stain of slavery will forever remain on the Constitution.
Many will point to other causes, but slavery was the evil seed, planted at the birth of the republic, that eventually grew and helped to nurture the greater evils to come.
William Tecumseh Sherman
My father was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in Savannah from the time he was 4. I was born and raised in Atlanta. Many of my relatives, living and deceased, are and were Southern men and women. It should therefore come as no surprise that to my mind there is no greater historical villain than the man who burned Atlanta and cut a swath of fire and blood to Savannah and beyond. Except, perhaps, for the recklessly foolish Confederate General John Bell Hood, charged with defending Atlanta, whose incompetent strategies fighting Sherman led to the exhaustion of his army and Hood's abandonment of Atlanta to her fiery fate.
Many write alternate histories of the South, in which this or that battle might have changed history. If Hood had been a better general, or if a better general had been chosen to defend Atlanta, Sherman might have been defeated, or at least fought to a stalemate. Lincoln's second term was guaranteed by Sherman's bloody victory in Atlanta. If Sherman had lost, Lincoln stood a good chance of loosing to former General George B. McClellan and the Democratic party, who opposed the War of Northern Aggression and wanted peace with the South.
The Campaign for Atlanta was truly pivotal. Sherman's conquest of Atlanta helped deliver the election of 1864 to Lincoln and set in motion events that led to the further humiliation, pain and suffering inflicted on the South by the North during Reconstruction.
The Southern struggle against the unlawful conquest by the North continues to echo down through the centuries, and will for centuries more to come. One day history will truly show how the South was lied to and betrayed. One day a full accounting will be made of all the sins the North committed against the South. The South will truly triumph, and the North's descendants swept into historical oblivion.