The following commentary is special to the Mirror by Charles Landis
Terrorism: “The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians in the pursuit of political gain”. In this time when the febrile telos of the woke and cancel culture is the destruction of everything Confederate, it is altogether fitting, Indeed imperative, to address certain of the false narrative about Abraham Lincoln and his high command (Grant, Sherman, et al) in their conduct of the War of Aggression against the Confederacy. With particularity, their war crimes and crimes against humanity in name of “total war” and “necessity”.
The case is made by:
Both Lee and Grant were graduates of West Point where they learned a code of honor which included an instruction that waging war on civilian non-combatants (women, children, elderly, and sick } was prohibited and actionable crimes. So also was wanton plundering of property, including crops and livestock beyond necessary to sustain immediately.
Lee issued General Order No. 73 for the Confederacy which forbids waging war on non-combatants with severe and summary penalties for violation, including imprisonment and execution.
Grant issued General Order No. 100 purporting to address the non-combatant issue but cynically and diabolically added: “except if necessity.” This was all that Sherman and other commanders needed to conduct terrorism as “a necessity” in the conduct of “total war”. Lincoln endorsed this as his purpose was complete subjugation of seceding Southern states. Union forces began their invasion and terrorism at the Battle of Manassas (First Bull Run) in July, 1861 and continued to do so until the end of the war.
Here are a few of the terrorist activities…atrocities, war crimes, and crimes against humanity Instituted by Lincoln as a policy of ‘necessity” and commander in chief, enabled by Grant, Sherman, and others in high command:
All of Shenandoah Valley. Virginia was burned to the ground, every home farm building., mill, storehouse. and business All crops and livestock except as Union soldiers consumed or carried with. All personal property of any value. Neither food nor shelter was left to sustain the non-combatants. The Valley was populated by many Mennonites who were conscientious objectors. Confederate soldiers who resisted the burning were considered war criminals and hanged.
In Meridian, Mississippi, thousands of Union soldiers completely destroyed the entire town to the point where the town no longer existed.
Atlanta., Georgia… gone with the wind. As with all of Sherman’s march to the sea his object was to reduce Georgia to an uninhabitable wasteland. Sherman wrote to Grant … “There is a class of people, Southerners. Including women and children, who must be killed before there can be peace.” In another letter, Sherman said there was a need to “depopulate.” Lincoln was fully informed of these letters and thought they should be “published.”
At Columbia, South Carolina, the mayor went out to meet Sherman as he approached the city, the most beautiful in the South and explained there were only non-combatants in Columbia. Sherman said he had no intention of harming the city and as he marched into the city residents greeted with friendly overtures. That evening as the sunset, flares were set off to signal 60,000 soldiers to begin the complete destruction of Columbia. Graves were dug up looking for treasure and remains scattered about the broken headstones. 248 wagon loads of looted personal property were carted away.
The terrorism was indiscriminate as to Black, White, slave, or free. At the University of South Carolina, there are thousands of diaries bearing witness to the many rapes and abuses of women.
Note. While Jefferson, Davis. President of CSA appointed a Jew. Judah Benjamin Secretary of War, Grant ordered all Jews to be expelled from southern states, Lincoln suggested this be changed to “Jew peddlers”. Gant also kept a slave for a year after the war ended and the Emancipation Proclamation. Congress ordered Grant to be free.
The list of crimes by Sherman and others under command is long and unending. But it is necessary to include one of most barbaric….the use of Confederate prisoners and non-combatants. Including women and children, to clear fields of landmines.
One of Sherman”s biographers records how Lincoln laughed when told of the terrorism.
Some apologists for terrorism of the North argue there were no laws for war crimes or wars against humanity. To this I answer this is the same defense offered at Nuremberg in the Nazi war crime trials.
In the closing days of the War,, Lincoln met secretly with Confederate leaders aboard a ship anchored near Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, Virginia. CSA Vice President Alexander Stevens asked Lincoln what he planned to do with the more than 3,000,000 slaves? Lincoln replied they will have to ”root, hog, or die”, meaning simply survival of the fittest. An estimated 200,000 slaves did perish from starvation and disease They would not be permitted to migrate to the North. Lincoln’s home state of Illinois had a constitutional provision that Blacks were prohibited to live or become a citizen. Such that already did live there would be arrested if more than 3 gathered in a place.
The next time a woke desecrates or “cancels” a Confederate memorial or statute, they should remember Lincoln. Grant, Sherman… et al. and the soldiers who resisted their invasion and terrorism and FOR WHOM THE MEMORIALs ARE BUILT.