9

One Reason We Didn’t Have Unending Civil Wars

 

 

 

 

 

One reason we didn’t have unending civil wars after the one that ended in 1865 is because of the generosity of spirit by Abraham Lincoln, Lieutenant General Grant and by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, he of Little Round Top Fame:

The choice of the two officers to oversee the surrender ceremony at Appomattox, Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Confederate General John Brown Gordon, was quite appropriate.  In a War where the vast majority of soldiers were volunteers and not regular soldiers, both these Generals were volunteers, not professional soldiers.  They both during the War saw more combat than most professional soldiers see in an  entire career.  After the War both became active in politics and both often spoke of the need for love of the reunited nation and a forgetting of the angry passions of the Civil War, while ever remembering the courage of the men who had fought it, especially the courage of those who never came back from the War.

 

 

Chamberlain helped begin the healing of the dreadful wounds to the nation caused by the War  at Appomattox.  As the Confederates passed by, Chamberlain ordered a salute to them by the Union troops. He explained why he did this:

“I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;–was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?”

 

“At such a time and under such conditions I thought it eminently fitting to show some token of our feeling, and I therefore instructed my subordinate officers to come to the position of ‘salute’ in the manual of arms as each body of the Confederates passed before us.

******************************************************

 

“It was not a ‘present arms,’ however, not a ‘present,’ which then as now was the highest possible honor to be paid even to a president. It was the ‘carry arms,’ as it was then known, with musket held by the right hand and perpendicular to the shoulder. I may best describe it as a marching salute in review.

“When General Gordon came opposite me I had the bugle blown and the entire line came to ‘attention,’ preparatory to executing this movement of the manual successively and by regiments as Gordon’s columns should pass before our front, each in turn.
       
“The General was riding in advance of his troops, his chin drooped to his breast, downhearted and dejected in appearance almost beyond description. At the sound of that machine like snap of arms, however, General Gordon started, caught in a moment its significance, and instantly assumed the finest attitude of a soldier. He wheeled his horse facing me, touching him gently with the spur, so that the animal slightly reared, and as he wheeled, horse and rider made one motion, the horse’s head swung down with a graceful bow, and General Gordon dropped his swordpoint to his toe in salutation.
       
“By word of mouth General Gordon sent back orders to the rear that his own troops take the same position of the manual in the march past as did our line. That was done, and a truly imposing sight was the mutual salutation and farewell.
       
“At a distance of possibly twelve feet from our line, the Confederates halted and turned face towards us. Their lines were formed with the greatest care, with every officer in his appointed position, and thereupon began the formality of surrender.
       
“Bayonets were affixed to muskets, arms stacked, and cartridge boxes unslung and hung upon the stacks. Then, slowly and with a reluctance that was appealingly pathetic, the torn and tattered battleflags were either leaned against the stacks or laid upon the ground. The emotion of the conquered soldiery was really sad to witness. Some of the men who had carried and followed those ragged standards through the four long years of strife, rushed, regardless of all discipline, from the ranks, bent about their old flags, and pressed them to their lips with burning tears.
       
“And it can well be imagined, too, that there was no lack of emotion on our side, but the Union men were held steady in their lines, without the least show of demonstration by word or by motion. There was, though, a twitching of the muscles of their faces, and, be it said, their battle-bronzed cheeks were not altogether dry. Our men felt the import of the occasion, and realized fully how they would have been affected if defeat and surrender had been their lot after such a fearful struggle.
       
“Nearly an entire day was necessary for that vast parade to pass. About 27,000 stands of arms were laid down, with something like a hundred battleflags; cartridges were destroyed, and the arms loaded on cars and sent off to Wilmington.”

Share With Friends
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

9 Comments

  1. These sentences said it all:

    “My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;–was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?”

    Liberal progressives cannot forgive because they refuse the forgiveness that comes from Him Who is the Great Emancipator of all Mankind. They will not surrender their own slavery to the current litany of sexual sins (LGBTQ), so they cannot accept the surrender of slavery of race by the Confederacy. They doom themselves to the eternal fiery furnace of hell.

  2. Part of it is also that this is a generation of narcissists. For them it is not enough to win, but to humiliate the foe.

  3. INFORMED CONSENT OF THE SOVEREIGN PERSON
    Informed consent for the sovereign person can only be operative in innocence, total moral and legal innocence.
    All human beings, sovereign persons, are created and endowed with original innocence. All human beings, sovereign persons are accorded to opportunity to access their original innocence in the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance. With the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance affording total innocence, a clear mind and a clear conscience is attained enabling the sovereign person to have an informed consent to give to any choice. His discernment is purified by his will to maintain his innocence and avoid sin and the near occasion of sin.
    All other Sacraments requiring informed consent of the sovereign person are Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony and Confirmation. The Sacrament of the Sick usually involves the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist with anointing of the human being, all require informed consent of the sovereign person.
    And again, all informed consent of the sovereign person requires innocence, the rejection of sin and evil. The Prince of Darkness must be rejected.
    This brings us to Holy Communion of Divorced and remarried, the transgendered human body and the individuals addicted to sodomy, the vice of lust and the other capital sins, pride, gluttony, sloth, hatred and the love of money called avarice and envy, the hatred of another’s happiness.
    Innocence is the singular path to informed consent for the sovereign person.
    Pope Francis’ call for Holy Communion for divorced and remarried, addicts to sodomy and transgendered individuals must be HOLY, that is innocent.
    The informed consent of the sovereign person in the newly begotten morally and legally innocent human being is his free will act to survive, to live his life, to grow, to be born, to know to love, and to serve his Creator and his brother: “We, the people, and our Constitutional Posterity.
    There is no reason that Our Lord, Jesus Christ, must suffer our offenses and our arrogance in refusing to acknowledge and repent of our offenses. Grace is not free. Christ bought and paid for our grace. The rest is disgrace.

  4. And of course Lee’s post war attitude carried enormous weight in dissuading the south from guerilla resistance. So much so that Andrew Jackson on this very date in 1866 could issue a proclamation declaring total peace and order in the country.

  5. They have no honor.

    That is why they hate the statues so– there is only victory or grinding to dust.
    Not honor.

    I abhor what that which they fought for meant, but respect that you fought all the way Johnny Reb.

Comments are closed.