Category Archives: Causes of the war

July 10, 1863: The Southern Church Justified in its support of the South in the present War.

The Richmond Daily Dispatch lauds John Randolph Tucker, a Virginia lawyer and politician who argued that the southern churches and (white) southern people were right to favor slavery and secession. “The Southern Church Justified in its support of the South … Continue reading

Posted in Causes of the war, Slavery, Virginia | 2 Comments

October 1, 1862: Frederick Douglass on the Emancipation Proclamation

Frederick Douglass, in Douglass’ Monthly for October 1862, celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation, and calls for renewed resolve to defeat the rebellion. EMANCIPATION PROCLAIMED Common sense, the necessities of the war, to say nothing of the dictation of justice and humanity … Continue reading

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September 30, 1862: The Richmond Daily Dispatch does not care for the Emancipation Proclamation

The editor of the Richmond Daily Dispatch, predictably, isn’t too happy about the Emancipation Proclamation. There’s also a certain element of “I told you so” in there. Southern radicals had insisted that the Republicans would abolish slavery, and here they … Continue reading

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July 26, 1862: Can the ignorant Yankees know Greek?

“Skedaddlers’ Hall,” Harrison’s Landing The Richmond Daily Dispatch presents an “ingenious” theory of the origin of the term “skedaddle” — but there’s some doubt, since it requires some of the “greasy mechanics” to know Greek, which is of course the … Continue reading

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June 17, 1862: War explodes myths

The New York Times editorialist holds that war has shown the world some truths. First that Cotton isn’t really king, but for most of the editorial, that bravery isn’t exclusive to the aristocratic South and absent from the “greasy mechanics” … Continue reading

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May 23, 1862: Ladies of the South

The Richmond Daily Dispatch seems now to have come around to the view that southern ladies may occasionally forget themselves to the extent of berating the Yankee invaders. Still, they can hardly be blamed, as the Yankee officers are no … Continue reading

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September, 1861: Douglass — “Cast Off the Mill-Stone” of slavery

Frederick Douglass The official Union policy was still that the war was to be fought solely to preserve the Union, and that the government had no intention of abolishing slavery in the states where it existed. Lincoln, though his personal … Continue reading

Posted in Abolitionists, Causes of the war, Frederick Douglass, Slavery | 1 Comment

August 31, 1861: Which way will Kentucky go?

The New York Times ran an editorial dissecting Kentucky secessionists’ outrage over a proposed direct tax; in the Times’ analysis, if they secede to avoid the Union tax, they’ll wind up in the Confederacy paying a higher one. It’s another … Continue reading

Posted in Causes of the war, Confederacy, Kentucky, States' Rights | 1 Comment

August 21, 1861: Jeff Thompson reads them the riot act

Missouri would be the scene of atrocities committed by both sides during the war, and the secessionist troops, untethered to any formal Confederate command, were often the worst. However, Jeff Thompson was having none of this lawless private feuding, and … Continue reading

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July, 1861: “Our position and that of our enemies”

I’ve posted occasionally from DeBow’s Review, the influential journal of agriculture and slavery apologetics. In the July 1861 issue, an article by A. Featherston makes it clear (once again) that to Southern whites, the main issue in the war was … Continue reading

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