04 October 2012

Getting Their Message Out

In recent years, we've seen an increase in the number of articles and blog posts comparing Confederate soldiers to Nazis. It is an intellectually dishonest comparison with ideological and political motivations. Those promoting such an interpretation should be pleased with this bit of news. Evidently they're having some success in getting their message out:

The Confederate Memorial Park near Point Lookout was vandalized last week with a spray-painted swastika on the base of a statue of a Confederate prisoner of war. A noose was placed around the statue’s neck and there was also a racial epithet spray-painted on another section of the memorial. (Story here.)

Beyond the obvious desecration of this memorial, I have a personal connection as my great-great Grandfather, Morris (aka "Maurice") Coffey, was a prisoner at Point Lookout. This is disgusting. Fortunately, many are on to this twisting of history for the sole purpose of dishonoring Confederate soldiers:

Even the venerable Robert E. Lee has taken some vicious hits, as dishonest or misinformed advocates among political interest groups and in academia attempt to twist yesterday’s America into a fantasy that might better serve the political issues of today. The greatest disservice on this count has been the attempt by these revisionist politicians and academics to defame the entire Confederate Army in a move that can only be termed the Nazification of the Confederacy. Often cloaked in the argument over the public display of the Confederate battle flag, the syllogism goes something like this: Slavery is evil. The soldiers of the Confederacy fought for a system that wished to preserve it. Therefore they were evil as well, and any attempt to honor their service is a veiled effort to glorify the cause of slavery. ~ From Born Fighting by Virginia Senator James Webb (Page 208, emphasis mine).

Thus, any attempt to "glorify slavery" should be fought and one would be justified in desecrating monuments honoring Confederate soldiers. So, yes, academia is partly responsible as their Nazi comparisons and constant Confederate bashing encourages this type of thing.


13thBama said...

Two parts of the original story shocked me; in a good way.

Quote -
“We couldn’t figure it out,” Dunbar said. “It’s just ignorance on their part. It wasn’t the prisoners who were Nazi-like. It was their captors,” he said, because the Union supplied very little food, medicine or shelter.

and -

Another placard at the park said, “The vast majority of Confederate Soldiers, more than 90 percent, did not own slaves or large tracts of land, and would not say that the preservation of slavery was their reason for volunteering to serve in the Confederate army.”

I am not a fan of Maryland, so the coverage surprised me.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

13B - this is a private park, neither Federal nor State financed nor maintained, which is why you get much more of the truth than you would from the govt. propagandists. The statue was one sculpted by my friend, Gary Casteel.

Anonymous said...

neither side treated prisoners very well andersonville was as bad as elmira except perhaps for the weather. i don't believe there was evil intention on either side as there was in the nazi concentration camps.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Anon - yes, there was evil intention, though not to the level of Nazi concentration camps. See:

But you missed my point. The desecration of the monument really has nothing to do with treatment of prisoners, it's the growing practice of comparing Confederate soldiers to Nazis.

Anonymous said...

Were both sides not in support of a white supremacist ideology? In that sense I can see the comparison although I could never condone this kind of behavior.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Were both sides not in support of a white supremacist ideology?"

Yes, but you don't see professional historians comparing Union soldiers to Nazis. Of course, for them, it's sociology not history.

Anonymous said...

Although racism was certainly not exclusive to the south, the institution of slavery was , therefore Union soldiers were not fighting to specifically maintain the institution. There would be no logical comparison by historians. Correct? Nazis fought to enslave Jews. confederates fought to enslave blacks. It's not too much of a stretch but once again no one should ever condone the vandalism of monuments. To disregard the perspective that one could correlate between the two is intellectually dishonest IMO.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"Union soldiers were not fighting to specifically maintain the institution."

Nor to end it. Some Confederate soldiers were fighting to maintain slavery, others were not. You're grossly over-simplifying the conflict.

"Nazis fought to enslave Jews."

Again, you're over-simplifying and straining to make a comparison. Generalizing, it would be more accurate to say that Nazis were fighting to exterminate Jews, not enslave them. Slaves aren't much use once they've been gassed and buried in mass graves.

Though Hitler was motivated, in part, by his hatred for the Jewish people, he was more interested in conquest.

"It's not too much of a stretch"

It's a gigantic stretch. I'd call it absurd. Please read the rules of this blog. You've been civil thus far, but this nonsense will get you banned.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...


"Although racism was certainly not exclusive to the south, the institution of slavery was ,"

You really believe that the institution of slavery was exclusive to the South?

That's one of the biggest falsehoods I've ever read. Why do you folks always climb up on your moral pedestal and claim high ground that doesn't exist? You just ruined any credibility you may have had.