Johnny Reb Speaks

Johnny Reb
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From a letter to the Baton Rouge Daily Advocate, dated August 29, 1860.

Virginia is all right. Her citizens are aroused to a full sense of their danger, and every Democrat will be forthcoming in November next. Douglas is dragging his short legs through the State, and in Norfolk a few days ago, said in a public speech that in case Lincoln should be elected, and any State should withdraw that he is in favor of whipping them in. His henchman, Gov. Letcher of Virginia, says, that no Northern troops shall ever march through Virginia. Little Dug. would cut a pretty figure at the head of an Abolition army marching down to conquer the South. I think he would not go far, before he got a bayonet stuck into his a—bdomen. I wonder if the little traitor thinks that Lincoln & Co., could whip in fifteen Southern States!!

Only think of Abolition Lincoln as General and Squatter Sovereignty Douglas as Lieutenant heading the fanatical John Browns of the North, and marching against Louisiana. We would welcome them to deep and bloody graves, and hang up their hides at every cross road through the length and breadth of the land. Even our negroes would meet “old Abe” and drive back his horrid motley crew. As for Douglas, we would simply take him prisoner, and show him round on a painted pole. He talks of whipping in “the Southern States!” If old Jackson was alive what would he do in case of a Northern invasion, headed by Lincoln, Douglas, etc. he would rally his legions of gallant Tennesseans, Mississippians, Louisianians, all, all would flock to his standard and woe to the blood hounds of Abolitionism, who should come in deadly conflict with the immortal old hero.

I am for the Union. All good citizens are for the Union, but is there any in our midst who would join Judge Douglas in whipping in fifteen southern States. Who among us will shoot down his neighbor and brother, fighting in defense of his rights guaranteed by the Constitution. In God’s name, I hope there are non. Adieu.

Once again we hear about the Southerners’ determination to defend their “rights guaranteed by the Constitution.” The “right” in question is the usual one. Tough talk in this letter, along the lines of the famous claims that one Southron could whip two, five, twenty, even five hundred pasty-faced Yankees. That claim was soon to be put to the test.

It’s also interesting that he suggests that the slaves would fight the Yankees as well. The Confederacy did eventually get around to arming slaves, but not until it was too late to do any good. Around 10% of soldiers fighting for the Union were black, on the other hand.

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