The Victors Write the War History, but Should Their Lies be Immortal?[Veterans Today Editors Note: I was 46 before I learned that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave anywhere ….Jim W. Dean]
… by Steve Scroggins
The most persistent and pernicious Big Lie regarding the so-called “Civil War”— more properly called the “War to Prevent Southern Independence”— is this:
Noble and saintly yankees fought the war to abolish slavery; evil Confederates fought to preserve it.
The historical record incontrovertibly refutes this Big Lie and yet it lives on, repeated incessantly by many who know better, and by many, many more who accept without challenge what they were taught in government schools.
The proverbial phrase “the victors write the history” was well-known well before the war.
In fact, General Patrick R. Cleburne, arguing for freeing slaves in exchange for military service, warned what would happen should the South’s bid for independence fail:
”… Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late. … It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War, will be impressed by all influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, our maimed veterans as fit objects for their derision. …to establish sectional superiority and a more centralised form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.” –Major General Patrick Cleburne, C.S.A. (Jan. 2, 1864)
Cleburne’s warning was indeed prophetic. The Big Lie is the official myth taught in virtually every public school in the country. Jim Dean noted this above, and he even went to a fancy prep school for two years in Massachusetts.
It is the myth believed and repeated incessantly by most Americans who never looked any deeper than the textbook they were issued in junior high history class. And when FDR’s New Dealers migrated from government service to academia in Southern universities, they made sure the Big Lie was taught down here in the South.
The facts and the historical record, which we will review below, are widely and easily available, but unfortunately most Americans don’t see it as their duty to understand American history in more depth than was offered in the superficial, comic-book summary they heard in government schools.
Phi Beta Iota: A civil war is for control of the whole; a war of secession is for liberty from the whole. The fact is that the North fought to loot the south, and banks financed both sides with loans. For so long as multiple information pathologies persist, it is not possible to achieve truth & reconciliation, nor to converge on a coherent sustainable approach to creating a prosperous world at peace.