Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 1.djvu/32

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


4 CONFEDERATE MILITARY HISTORY.

States as they existed in i86o.*/ The amendments made, since that year, in Federal and State constitutions, put an entirely new and different phase on the subjects dis cussed, for these changes have expurgated slavery and secession from our institutions. Our sole object is to present the Southern side of the controversy as it ex isted in 1860 and to vindicate it from accusations and aspersions which are based on ignorance and injustice. As the South is habitually condemned and held criminal for seeking to perpetuate a great wrong, it is well to inquire and investigate who was responsible for the state of things which precipitated and prolonged the crisis of 1860-1865. If the act of secession cannot be justified the Southern people will be stigmatized as a brave and rash people deluded by bad men who attempted in an illegal and wicked manner to overthrow the Union. Painfully are we conscious of the disadvantages in any effort to vindicate the motives and principles and conduct of the Southern States and secure a rehearing and readjudica- tion of a suit which seems to have been settled adversely by the tribunal of public opinion. We have a right to ask of our fellow citizens and of the world a patient and fair hearing while we present anew the grounds of our action. We challenge the closest scrutiny of facts and arguments, and if they cannot be disproved and refuted, justice and honesty demand a modification or reversal of the adverse judgment. Few writers seem to compre hend the underlying idea of secession, or the reasons for the establishment of the Southern Confederacy. Swayed by passion or political and sectional animosity, they ignore the primary facts in our origin as a government, the true principles of the Constitution, the flagrant nulli fications of the Northern States; and, when they phi losophize, conclusions are drawn from false premises and hence injustice is done. Too often, in the endeavor to narrate the deeds of and since the war, prejudiced and

  • See resolutions of Pennsylvania legislature in 1811.

�� �