Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 12.djvu/433

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Eclectic History of the United States. 423

seem that the conflict itself should have ceased ; and so it would, at an earlier date, if the people had been as well informed as its govern- ment.

" 583. No one can hear without the warmest admiration of the sacri- fices and sufferings of the Southern people. Cut off from their usual means of communication with the outer world, they were deluded by- false rumors of success and false reports of the character of their opponents. Naturally, bitter prejudices prevailed, and it was long before the people found that their Northern fellow-countrymen were human like themselves, and that the real interests of all were the same. Before the end of the war, every man between the ages of seventeen and fifty-five had been called to the ranks; property every- where was seized by the Confederate Government at its own prices. Many thousand soldiers deserted within a few weeks, not from cow- ardice, for no men were ever braver, but because their families were starving."

Now, surely comment on these paragraphs is unnecessary. To teach that the "selfish Northern adventurers," who came South to fatten on and rob our helpless people; that the "carpet-baggers" of "Reconstruction" days were only as guilty as "disappointed pol- iticians who, having failed to destroy the Government, used every opportunity to obstruct its action" — that the government showed great "clemency" in its dealings with the South — that "the South, before the war was over, gave up the two principles for which it was ostensibly made " — that "the Confederacy was, from the very be- ginning, more strongly centralized than the Union had ever been " — and that our Confederate people were a set of miserable ignoramuses, "deluded by false rumors of success and false reports of the char- acter of their opponents," and thus kept by designing leaders from abandoning the contest long before they did — I say to teach our children such stuff as this is one of the baldest outrages upon the truth of history which even this author has ever attempted.

13. The account of the work of the "Sanitary Commissions," and the "Christian Commission," of the North (page 319^ and the utter ignoring of the self-sacrificing labors, of similar organizations in the Confederacy, the paragraph on education (page 351) in which a number of Northern colleges and universities are mentioned, and not one located in a Southern State, and the catalogue of American authors (page 352), which does not mention a single Southern name, may all have been the result, not of designed misrepresenta- tion, but of ignorance on the part of the author, but I insist that one