eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
I will certainly do so when I arrive home from work, Eagle. Of course, in reciprocal fairness, you and TKI67 will respond to my queries, correct, i.e., you’ll provide the evidence for what the two of you have said, just like I’ll support my contentions?
Well, my friend, if we are going to be responding on a quid pro quo basis, I should tell you up front that my posts were based on a couple of quick Google inquiries, but mostly on personal opinion based on my experience. I wore the uniform for just a smidge over three decades and took a very similar oath of office and to my eye I consider Colonel Lee's resignation to be arguably treasonous. I can't claim to have ever made Flag Rank, but the oath we all took is a lifetime commitment. Years back we had a President who acted in what many believed to be a lotharios way. Several of my contemporaries resigned their commissions because they didn't feel they could serve with that individual as their Commander in Chief. I considered resigning, but couldn't bring myself to do it. As naive as it may sound, my oath of office was a lifetime commitment to this country and not to an individual! :(

However I do look forward to reading your rationale....rumor has it that while I may frequently be found in error, I am in fact educable! ;)
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
Well, my friend, if we are going to be responding on a quid pro quo basis, I should tell you up front that my posts were based on a couple of quick Google inquiries, but mostly on personal opinion based on my experience. I wore the uniform for just a smidge over three decades and took a very similar oath of office and to my eye I consider Colonel Lee's resignation to be arguably treasonous. I can't claim to have ever made Flag Rank, but the oath we all took is a lifetime commitment. Years back we had a President who acted in what many believed to be a lotharios way. Several of my contemporaries resigned their commissions because they didn't feel they could serve with that individual as their Commander in Chief. I considered resigning, but couldn't bring myself to do it. As naive as it may sound, my oath of office was a lifetime commitment to this country and not to an individual! :(

However I do look forward to reading your rationale....rumor has it that while I may frequently be found in error, I am in fact educable! ;)
Hope you won't mind, but my evidence that will be submitted tonight will be based on many years of study, primary source documents, and logic. I hope I can present an accessible (but not too protracted) historical/constitutional case for what I've previously written!
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
Re: Secession

I copied and pasted the arguments below from a much longer list that I compiled years ago (I left out Mr. Lincoln referring to secession as a "sacred right" in 1848 because I didn't want to pile on!); it contains arguments from logic, constitutionality, and of course history. So, here's my (abbreviated) list of reasons why secession from the confederated republic that we call the United States is constitutionally permissible:


1. States are “free and independent” as per the Declaration of Independence
2. The British Ministry in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 refers to the “free, sovereign and independent states…”
3. First three articles of the Articles of Confederation refer to a confederacy of sovereign, free, and independent States which “entered into a firm league of friendship with each other”
4. Nothing in the Constitution ratified in 1788 changed any of the above; states retained their sovereignty
5. Constitution ratification conventions of Virginia, New York, Maryland and Rhode Island all reserved the right to leave the Union (proof of a voluntary compact) in their ratification statements
6. Tenth Amendment to the Constitution is ipso facto proof that the concept of state sovereignty was not abandoned by the Founding Fathers. In addition, since no power to re: secession is delegated to the federal government in the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment reserves the power to secede to the states
7. George Mason of Virginia – a prime author of the Virginia Constitution, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, and the U.S. Constitution - argued that as states could ratify the Constitution when seeking to join the Union, that very same statutory power allows them to undo that ratification and secede from the Union
8. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, in his book entitled Life of Webster, wrote that, "It is safe to say that there was not a man in the country, from Washington and Hamilton to Clinton and Mason, who did not regard the new system as an experiment from which each and every State had a right to peaceably withdraw."
9. In the 19th century, some members of the U.S. Congress proposed amendments to the Constitution that would limit the right of a state to secede; this clearly implies that the right to secede had to exist!
10. Intuitive argument: Is it likely that the framers of the Constitution, having lived through a war against Great Britain fought less than a decade earlier primarily for the right to be self-governing, would so soon after that war’s conclusion bind themselves in an inviolable union of states with no possibility of ever leaving?
11. Political unions must be voluntary; a “union” based on compulsion is in actuality an autocracy


Feel free to attack the logic, constitutionality, and history. Please, no appeals to emotion; let's keep this evidentiary!
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
Contrary to member Tiger's opinion in his post #539, I agree with TKI67...the linked article was an interesting and relevant read. If Tiger is going to conclude the article to be "Historically and constitutionally inaccurate, but unsurprising," it would be interesting to hear his rationale for reaching said conclusions. :icon_scratch:
Why I believe the opinion piece on Robert E. Lee by a writer (using a pseudonym!) is historically and constitutionally inaccurate:
  1. The War for Southern Independence was about far more than slavery. Such a statement ignores political, economic, constitutional, and even cultural differences between the two regions. In addition, slavery existed in the North during the war, and wasn't made unconstitutional (by amendment) until 1865.
  2. The Republican Party of 1860 was not anti-slavery; it was against the spread of slavery. Those are two different positions. Many abolitionists decried this fact (and Mr. Lincoln)!
  3. Since slavery was indeed constitutional, the Lincoln Administration and the Republican Party of the period could not end it, despite what the author claims. Only a constitutional amendment could do that
  4. The use of words such as "country" and "nation" is disingenuous, as the history of the republic screams out that the United States was a confederated republic of sovereign states, not a "country" such as France or Spain. Recognition of this fact explodes the "treason" argument
  5. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, it was no longer a part of the confederated republic. Lee then resigned his commission - there is nothing traitorous about this!
  6. The author refers to Lee as a murderer responsible for Union military deaths, but every commander was responsible for such deaths on both sides. More importantly, why did Lee take up arms? Wasn't it the Lincoln Administration that sent an invading army into Virginia? If we're going to blame leadership for "murder" then no one bears more blame than the one who initiated it (and without just cause, as secession was constitutional!)
  7. The ad hominem "logic" of associating Lee with neo-Nazis is too absurd and undignified to ponder, and unworthy of comment
  8. If Virginia seceded constitutionally (it certainly did!), and the Union then invaded Virginia (it did), how the heck is Lee a "rebel" for defending Virginia when it was attacked?
  9. The "Union Army saved the United States"? How ridiculous - after Southern secession took place, the United States still existed with 23 states (I think) in it. There was no need to "save" the Union by launching a calamitous war under false pretenses! The U.S. wasn't "saved" - the CSA was destroyed. Too very different things, and the latter far less noble
  10. The above not only proves that Lee was not guilty of "crimes" as the unnamed author writes, but that the piece was overall historically and constitutionally inaccurate (whether due to incompetence or deceit, I do not know), as I initially claimed after reading it!
Again, feel free to respond to the contrary, but use evidence, not emotion!
 

challer

Senior Member
Every one embroiled in this should read Jack Webb's Born Fighting. Largely the war was a result of the Scots Irish, who were very dirt poor and owned no slaves, would not allow others to tell them how to live. Scots Irish are intertwined with characters such as William Wallace. The Confederate flag is the adopted icon of this independent spirit. It's not intended to be racist in any way. In fact, these dirt poor southern Scots Irish suffered the same harassment and discrimination as slaves AND were the majority of lynching victims.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
The relationship at question is that of the states to each other via the "union." When a state legally withdraws from this union, it is nonsensical to think in terms of fealty to a union one is no longer a part of.

Did George Washington take an oath to Great Britain? Was it still valid after Virginia (and twelve other sovereign states) seceded from the British Empire on July 2nd, 1776? Will you label Washington a traitor, too?
George Washington (IIRC) was a civilian when he accepted command of the Continental Army, having resigned from the Virginia militia in 1759.

(Note too that his allegiance while serving in the Virginia militia was to George II, not to the Kingdom of Great Britain, so by the time of the revolution, there was a king - George III - whom Washington had never sworn any kind of fealty to, so even if one reaches (and it's a reach), there's no treason.)

DH
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Why I believe the opinion piece on Robert E. Lee by a writer (using a pseudonym!) is historically and constitutionally inaccurate:
  1. The War for Southern Independence was about far more than slavery. Such a statement ignores political, economic, constitutional, and even cultural differences between the two regions. In addition, slavery existed in the North during the war, and wasn't made unconstitutional (by amendment) until 1865.
  2. The Republican Party of 1860 was not anti-slavery; it was against the spread of slavery. Those are two different positions. Many abolitionists decried this fact (and Mr. Lincoln)!
  3. Since slavery was indeed constitutional, the Lincoln Administration and the Republican Party of the period could not end it, despite what the author claims. Only a constitutional amendment could do that
  4. The use of words such as "country" and "nation" is disingenuous, as the history of the republic screams out that the United States was a confederated republic of sovereign states, not a "country" such as France or Spain. Recognition of this fact explodes the "treason" argument
  5. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, it was no longer a part of the confederated republic. Lee then resigned his commission - there is nothing traitorous about this!
  6. The author refers to Lee as a murderer responsible for Union military deaths, but every commander was responsible for such deaths on both sides. More importantly, why did Lee take up arms? Wasn't it the Lincoln Administration that sent an invading army into Virginia? If we're going to blame leadership for "murder" then no one bears more blame than the one who initiated it (and without just cause, as secession was constitutional!)
  7. The ad hominem "logic" of associating Lee with neo-Nazis is too absurd and undignified to ponder, and unworthy of comment
  8. If Virginia seceded constitutionally (it certainly did!), and the Union then invaded Virginia (it did), how the heck is Lee a "rebel" for defending Virginia when it was attacked?
  9. The "Union Army saved the United States"? How ridiculous - after Southern secession took place, the United States still existed with 23 states (I think) in it. There was no need to "save" the Union by launching a calamitous war under false pretenses! The U.S. wasn't "saved" - the CSA was destroyed. Too very different things, and the latter far less noble
  10. The above not only proves that Lee was not guilty of "crimes" as the unnamed author writes, but that the piece was overall historically and constitutionally inaccurate (whether due to incompetence or deceit, I do not know), as I initially claimed after reading it!
Again, feel free to respond to the contrary, but use evidence, not emotion!
Very interesting read. Tiger, your words certainly illustrate that there was apparently a basis for a vigorous discussion of succession to take place, but the fact that many of the States stated in their succession statements the primary cause for succession was to preserve the institution of slavery, as did the Confederacy's formative documents seems to make clear the real cause for seperation. Your assumptions and conclusions reflected in your comments 6 through 10 are disputed by the fact we fought a war to restore the union and at the conclusion of that war, while the vast majority of Lee's army were immediately pardoned at the time of his surrender, Lee and three (or four) of his immediate subordinates were refused the blanket pardon and were required to individually apply for clemency/pardons through General Grant and President Johnson (#17) for treason and other war crimes. Lee applied for a pardon for his "crimes against the USA" and was subsequently pardoned and he (Lee) signed an Amnesty Oath, dated 2 October 1865. It was interesting to note that full citizenship was never restored to Robert E. Lee during his lifetime. (Note much of this was reported in a Prologue Magazine article in the Spring of 2005) It would certainly appear that the 'powers that were, back in the day would strongly disagree with your conclusions as to the causes for succession and of Lees character. I think I will stick with my original statement...Robert E. Lee was an extraordinary military leader, but he was also a traitor! On that point I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree. ;)
 
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Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
The “causes” are oft debated and disagreed on, but the reasons individuals fought and participated as first hand witnesses to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands is what really holds my interest.

My people are all pre revolution immigrant Protestant Scots (no Irish! :) ), English, and Germans, and they all fought for the Confederacy. As southerners they owned no slaves (I have read many of their wills) and consistently migrated deeper into the mountain wilderness interior to practice subsistence farming.

The areas they settled in Appalachia had virtually no enslaved people, as slaves were far too expensive for dirt farmers and the topography did not suit the plantation model. Almost all of their counties voted against secession. These are not the masters of plantation economy who wrote the Georgia Constitution. So why did these people, redneck hillbillies of the original type, fight and die in overwhelming numbers for the Confederacy.

Invasion: Southerners saw their country being invaded by a foreign power consisting of people holding vastly different socio-economic beliefs. They saw themselves as fighting the Second American Revolution and as the true inheritors of the founding fathers.

Rebellion: These are people who had been in a state of perpetual rebellion against Britain and Imperial persecution on the continent for several hundred years. They wanted to be free and left alone. Plus they were hot blooded, knew how to fight, enjoyed fighting, and were damn good at it. They were spoiling for it.

The Adventure: Here was a chance to be a hero and see the country like their revolutionary grandfathers.

Social Advancement: In the south, the old revolutionary vets were revered and had social advantages. Men in uniform command respect and gain distinct mating and economic advantages.

Racism/Fear for Social Order: If slaves were freed en masse, the entire white social dynamic and hierarchy of the region would be thrown into chaos. Millions of unskilled, uneducated, and impoverished slaves would suddenly be freed to do what? This was an impossible concept for them to swallow since it blew their entire operating reality to bits.

Social Pressure: only cowards and invalids stayed home when ones friends and family all signed up. Plus better to fight with friends and brothers than strangers.


The Great Awakening: These were hard shell Protestants who believed that they were ordained by God to exert dominion over this land and they had a personal relationship with their Lord and savior. “This world is not my home” is a very explosive concept when held tightly in a person with a millennialist mindset.

I could go on and on, but this is a good stopping place for now and commerce calls.

Cheers,

BSR
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
George Washington (IIRC) was a civilian when he accepted command of the Continental Army, having resigned from the Virginia militia in 1759.

(Note too that his allegiance while serving in the Virginia militia was to George II, not to the Kingdom of Great Britain, so by the time of the revolution, there was a king - George III - whom Washington had never sworn any kind of fealty to, so even if one reaches (and it's a reach), there's no treason.)

DH
Agreed...and I was being rhetorical.
 

TKI67

Advanced Member
I certainly cannot disagree with these well organized and articulated facts or that they support the assertions made. I have a completely different question. Below is a link to the Army website that chronicles the various oaths of officers used by the U S Army. It appears that Robert E. Lee was commissioned by the US Army in June 1829. Assuming that to have been the case, I looked at what appears to have been the oath he took. I believe, subject always to illuminating correction, that at that time the "second paragraph" oath was in effect, but I leave that to each to read and decide for themselves. If Robert E. Lee swore an oath including that second paragraph, does that have an impact on the way one views his personal actions in the War of Northern Aggression?

 

Tiger

Advanced Member
Very interesting read. Tiger, your words certainly illustrate that there was apparently a basis for a vigorous discussion of succession to take place, but the fact that many of the States stated in their succession statements the primary cause for succession was to preserve the institution of slavery, as did the Confederacy's formative documents seems to make clear the real cause for seperation. Your assumptions and conclusions reflected in your comments 6 through 10 are disputed by the fact we fought a war to restore the union and at the conclusion of that war, while the vast majority of Lee's army were immediately pardoned at the time of his surrender, Lee and three (or four) of his immediate subordinates were refused the blanket pardon and were required to individually apply for clemency/pardons through General Grant and President Johnson (#17) for treason and other war crimes. Lee applied for a pardon for his "crimes against the USA" and was subsequently pardoned and he (Lee) signed an Amnesty Oath, dated 2 October 1865. It was interesting to note that full citizenship was never restored to Robert E. Lee during his lifetime. (Note much of this was reported in a Prologue Magazine article in the Spring of 2005) It would certainly appear that the 'powers that were, back in the day would strongly disagree with your conclusions as to the causes for succession and of Lees character. I think I will stick with my original statement...Robert E. Lee was an extraordinary military leader, but he was also a traitor! On that point I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree. ;)
I did not write that slavery was not a cause; it was one of many. South Carolina nearly seceded in 1832, and it wasn’t about slavery. Some of the New England states kicked around secession in 1815, neither was that about slavery.

With all due respect, Eagle, you did not refute any of the historical points I posted. Why did the Union need to be restored? Why was it unacceptable for some states to constitutionally secede and form a new confederation? Why should that condemn them to attack...and destruction? When did political self-determination become a crime worthy of obliteration?

Lee and the CSA had little bargaining power post-war. However, it is interesting to note that no CSA leader - not even Jefferson Davis! - was tried for treason. To do so would’ve put the legality of secession on trial, and much like Eagle, the Union would not have any evidence against it!

I’ll state it again: If secession was illegal or unconstitutional, where’s your evidence of this? If secession is constitutional, then those states that left did so legally, and Lee cannot be a “traitor” to a political union that neither he nor his state was no longer a part of. It’s also myopic to only look at 1850s and 1860s Union arguments on these topics, but not those of the Confederacy or the Founding generation.

Did you read my arguments for the legality of secession? Wouldn’t that be the place to begin?
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
I certainly cannot disagree with these well organized and articulated facts or that they support the assertions made. I have a completely different question. Below is a link to the Army website that chronicles the various oaths of officers used by the U S Army. It appears that Robert E. Lee was commissioned by the US Army in June 1829. Assuming that to have been the case, I looked at what appears to have been the oath he took. I believe, subject always to illuminating correction, that at that time the "second paragraph" oath was in effect, but I leave that to each to read and decide for themselves. If Robert E. Lee swore an oath including that second paragraph, does that have an impact on the way one views his personal actions in the War of Northern Aggression?

I’ll have to read/respond later...I need to get back to work!
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
I did not write that slavery was not a cause; it was one of many. South Carolina nearly seceded in 1832, and it wasn’t about slavery. Some of the New England states kicked around secession in 1815, neither was that about slavery.

With all due respect, Eagle, you did not refute any of the historical points I posted. Why did the Union need to be restored? Why was it unacceptable for some states to constitutionally secede and form a new confederation? Why should that condemn them to attack...and destruction? When did political self-determination become a crime worthy of obliteration?

Lee and the CSA had little bargaining power post-war. However, it is interesting to note that no CSA leader - not even Jefferson Davis! - was tried for treason. To do so would’ve put the legality of secession on trial, and much like Eagle, the Union would not have any evidence against it!

I’ll state it again: If secession was illegal or unconstitutional, where’s your evidence of this? If secession is constitutional, then those states that left did so legally, and Lee cannot be a “traitor” to a political union that neither he nor his state was no longer a part of. It’s also myopic to only look at 1850s and 1860s Union arguments on these topics, but not those of the Confederacy or the Founding generation.

Did you read my arguments for the legality of secession? Wouldn’t that be the place to begin?
Once again Tiger, I disagree with your conclusions. For instance I did contest/rebut your first comment (in your post #551) when I pointed out the Southern States that put preserving the institution of slavery as their primary reason for succession and that the Confederate States put the same type of language in the Confederacy's formative documents. With all due respect, Tiger, I think that constitutes a body of thought that refutes your claim that slavery was but a minor point of many reasons for succession. It was certainly a primary reason, sir.

As for your conclusions regarding Robert E. Lee being a traitor to the country to which he pledged his allegiance, the point I was making is if he wasn't truly guilty, why apply for a pardon, why sign an amnesty oath, and why was his citizenship never restored during his lifetime.

Tiger, I am insulted by your condescending response to my post #554 and this is all the effort I am going to put into trying to placate you. I have no intention of getting into a contest with you to see who can write the best historical research paper on this subject I do however, as do all our members have the right to express my opinion without incurring insult from you or anyone else.
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
Once again Tiger, I disagree with your conclusions. For instance I did contest/rebut your first comment (in your post #551) when I pointed out the Southern States that put preserving the institution of slavery as their primary reason for succession and that the Confederate States put the same type of language in the Confederacy's formative documents. With all due respect, Tiger, I think that constitutes a body of thought that refutes your claim that slavery was but a minor point of many reasons for succession. It was certainly a primary reason, sir.

As for your conclusions regarding Robert E. Lee being a traitor to the country to which he pledged his allegiance, the point I was making is if he wasn't truly guilty, why apply for a pardon, why sign an amnesty oath, and why was his citizenship never restored during his lifetime.

Tiger, I am insulted by your condescending response to my post #554 and this is all the effort I am going to put into trying to placate you. I have no intention of getting into a contest with you to see who can write the best historical research paper on this subject I do however, as do all our members have the right to express my opinion without incurring insult from you or anyone else.
I made approximately twenty comments in two elongated posts, most of which were ignored. That speaks volumes about the desire for truth and accuracy.

Again, I never said that slavery was "a minor point" - you have added that, and it is both unrepresentative of what I wrote and unfair to me to use a "straw man" argument. Slavery was a crucial issue, but so were many other reasons. In fact, some historians have made the case that the Southern states should have remained in the Union, as that would have provided the best protection for the institution of slavery!

The Reconstruction period essentially stripped away the rights of the seceded/returned states - even to the point of living under martial law. To act as if Southerners - including Lee - had much of a choice in anything is simply inaccurate. That no CSA officer or politician was tried for treason is telling; so much for "traitors" and "rebellion."

I had no intention to insult you or anyone else, Eagle, and believe I did not. I reread my message, and I do not see any insults or condescension. And of course everyone has the right to express their opinion. However, what I find insulting is your attempt at scolding me, when I laid out two evidence-filled posts on a) why secession is legal/constitutional and b) why the article posted the other day was filled with historical and constitutional inaccuracies - as promised - and you have chosen to ignore almost all of it, or twist my words, despite asking me to support my position! Don't ask the question if you can't or won't be able to handle the response.

This is not a contest of "historical research papers" Eagle; it's a matter of historical and factual accuracy. You are not entitled to your own facts - we're not discussing suit colors or shoe styles, where opinion is part and parcel of the discussion. I made what I believe to be an extensive and factually/historically sound case for my beliefs, and you chose to ignore them or perhaps felt unfamiliar with the territory covered. That's fine with me, but please understand that when you're going to make inaccurate and false claims - even malicious ones - in this type of historical discussion, you ought to a) supply evidence that's not easily proven false, or b) make an honest attempt at grappling with the myriad facts presented. You did neither.

This discussion required something beyond what you've admitted - a couple of quick Google searches and your own beliefs (really based on emotion, not historical fact). You may not like the historical truth, but your predilections don't change that truth. I could have cited a thousand people praising Lee or in support of the right to secede, but instead chose to use evidence, because I assumed it would be more effective. I was fully prepared to defend anything I wrote from every member involved or soon to be involved in this discussion, assuming it was logically/constitutionally challenged. I realize now that you weren't interested in a fact-based exchange of ideas, but rather your goal was to stick to your script, historical truth be damned. Again, fine with me, but not something I'd want to invest quality time in, which I've already done far too much of...
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
The “causes” are oft debated and disagreed on, but the reasons individuals fought and participated as first hand witnesses to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands is what really holds my interest.

My people are all pre revolution immigrant Protestant Scots (no Irish! :) ), English, and Germans, and they all fought for the Confederacy. As southerners they owned no slaves (I have read many of their wills) and consistently migrated deeper into the mountain wilderness interior to practice subsistence farming.

The areas they settled in Appalachia had virtually no enslaved people, as slaves were far too expensive for dirt farmers and the topography did not suit the plantation model. Almost all of their counties voted against secession. These are not the masters of plantation economy who wrote the Georgia Constitution. So why did these people, redneck hillbillies of the original type, fight and die in overwhelming numbers for the Confederacy.

Invasion: Southerners saw their country being invaded by a foreign power consisting of people holding vastly different socio-economic beliefs. They saw themselves as fighting the Second American Revolution and as the true inheritors of the founding fathers.

Rebellion: These are people who had been in a state of perpetual rebellion against Britain and Imperial persecution on the continent for several hundred years. They wanted to be free and left alone. Plus they were hot blooded, knew how to fight, enjoyed fighting, and were damn good at it. They were spoiling for it.

The Adventure: Here was a chance to be a hero and see the country like their revolutionary grandfathers.

Social Advancement: In the south, the old revolutionary vets were revered and had social advantages. Men in uniform command respect and gain distinct mating and economic advantages.

Racism/Fear for Social Order: If slaves were freed en masse, the entire white social dynamic and hierarchy of the region would be thrown into chaos. Millions of unskilled, uneducated, and impoverished slaves would suddenly be freed to do what? This was an impossible concept for them to swallow since it blew their entire operating reality to bits.

Social Pressure: only cowards and invalids stayed home when ones friends and family all signed up. Plus better to fight with friends and brothers than strangers.


The Great Awakening: These were hard shell Protestants who believed that they were ordained by God to exert dominion over this land and they had a personal relationship with their Lord and savior. “This world is not my home” is a very explosive concept when held tightly in a person with a millennialist mindset.

I could go on and on, but this is a good stopping place for now and commerce calls.

Cheers,

BSR
What a fantastic post! Thank you, BSR...
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Tiger, this subject is clearly a passion of yours and that's fine. However, while many of us may have some level of interest and opinions regarding the Civil War, causes, execution and resolution, we may not have your level of passion. Way back several pages in this thread I offered two general opinions, one reguarding the succession issue and the other an opinion of the nature of Lee's choices. I also agreed with the comments of another member with whom you were, it seems, in disagreement. You responded condescendingly to my opinion and my agreement with the other member. Because I was genuinely interested in the historical basis for your conclusions I did comment that I would be interested in reading them. Your response was that you would offer such, but that you expected myself and the other member to do likewise inresponding to debate challenges you might offer. I responded to you saying if you were looking for a quid pro quo exchange, that that was just not going to happen and that I was simply interested in what you had to say. I would think that would be flattering to someone as passionate about a subject as you seem to be. You then went on to express great umbradge when the exchange debate you demanded didn't occur. Clearly some of us do not enjoy debate as much as you seem to do, but as I've said before we have earned the right to our opinions on a surprising array of issues. BTW, I know you will conclude me to be an overly sensitive sort of guy, but your post above (#561) sure sounds like a public scolding. Please, don't do that again. I rarely get angry in reading literally thousands of posts herein, but honestly, the blood pressure rose just a bit on that one! :(
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
I certainly cannot disagree with these well organized and articulated facts or that they support the assertions made. I have a completely different question. Below is a link to the Army website that chronicles the various oaths of officers used by the U S Army. It appears that Robert E. Lee was commissioned by the US Army in June 1829. Assuming that to have been the case, I looked at what appears to have been the oath he took. I believe, subject always to illuminating correction, that at that time the "second paragraph" oath was in effect, but I leave that to each to read and decide for themselves. If Robert E. Lee swore an oath including that second paragraph, does that have an impact on the way one views his personal actions in the War of Northern Aggression?

Thank you for your kind words, TKI67!

"War of Northern Aggression" - an understandable phrase, but I believe "War for Southern Independence" works best, as it seems to me to be the least volatile while still maintaining accuracy.

Three thoughts, re:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." (I think that's the phrase you're asking about.) First, this presupposes that the U.S. Constitution was under attack, or that the United States were under attack. However, if secession is legal/constitutional, then no such attack took place. States freely exercised their sovereign right to withdraw from a union that they had previously sovereignly chosen to join. (See post #550)

Second, if it can be demonstrated that the federal government had been in violation of that Constitution (pick any decades you wish!), wouldn't action against the federal government be warranted, in order to preserve and protect the Constitution? Shades of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions!

Finally, it was the Lincoln Administration - in violation of the U.S. Constitution in multiple ways - that launched an invasion of the sovereign state of Virginia, not the other way around. Points to ponder: If secession was legal, then the Lincoln Administration attacked another confederated republic without a declaration of war - a violation of the U.S. Constitution. If secession wasn't permissible, then the Lincoln Administration launched an attack against other states in the Union - a power that does not exist in the U.S. Constitution, and a direct violation of Article IV, Section 4's pledge that the federal government would protect states against invasion...not do the invading!

Hope that makes sense, and please let me know if I was using the correct paragraph...
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
Tiger, this subject is clearly a passion of yours and that's fine. However, while many of us may have some level of interest and opinions regarding the Civil War, causes, execution and resolution, we may not have your level of passion. Way back several pages in this thread I offered two general opinions, one reguarding the succession issue and the other an opinion of the nature of Lee's choices. I also agreed with the comments of another member with whom you were, it seems, in disagreement. You responded condescendingly to my opinion and my agreement with the other member. Because I was genuinely interested in the historical basis for your conclusions I did comment that I would be interested in reading them. Your response was that you would offer such, but that you expected myself and the other member to do likewise inresponding to debate challenges you might offer. I responded to you saying if you were looking for a quid pro quo exchange, that that was just not going to happen and that I was simply interested in what you had to say. I would think that would be flattering to someone as passionate about a subject as you seem to be. You then went on to express great umbradge when the exchange debate you demanded didn't occur. Clearly some of us do not enjoy debate as much as you seem to do, but as I've said before we have earned the right to our opinions on a surprising array of issues. BTW, I know you will conclude me to be an overly sensitive sort of guy, but your post above (#561) sure sounds like a public scolding. Please, don't do that again. I rarely get angry in reading literally thousands of posts herein, but honestly, the blood pressure rose just a bit on that one! :(
  • I think I've been dispassionate in these messages, albeit scrupulously trying to adhere to historical accuracy
  • It was never my intent to be condescending, nor do I think I was. It is my intent for us to be accurate
  • In actuality, you asked me to support my positions, after not bothering to respond to my queries. I only thought it fair that if I am being asked to give support/evidence, others should, too, when they are asked to do so. We should all defend our positions, especially on American history (a subject eviscerated by the "progressives" but I'm sure I'll be attacked by someone for that, too!)
  • I never asked for a "debate." I made some assertions, and thought it proper and respectful to all involved in the thread (and future readers) to support with evidence those assertions. That you chose to make unsupported assertions, and then ignore the refutations I offered to those unsupported assertions, damaged the dialogue, and serves to end the discussion
  • It is not about opinion, it is about historical truth. "Hancock was a better corp commander than Longstreet" is an opinion, as it is a bit too elusive for factual analysis (perhaps). What I've written is not opinion. You are indeed free to opine, but I'm not sure that opinions have the same place as fact in a factual discussion (especially one where an officer's character and reputation are being ripped apart with accusations of being a "traitor.")
  • Sounds like you are angry at me for being angry at you for being angry at me! For the record, I am not angry with anyone - frustrated, yes, but not angry
 

TKI67

Advanced Member
Thank you for your kind words, TKI67!

"War of Northern Aggression" - an understandable phrase, but I believe "War for Southern Independence" works best, as it seems to me to be the least volatile while still maintaining accuracy.

Three thoughts, re:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." (I think that's the phrase you're asking about.) First, this presupposes that the U.S. Constitution was under attack, or that the United States were under attack. However, if secession is legal/constitutional, then no such attack took place. States freely exercised their sovereign right to withdraw from a union that they had previously sovereignly chosen to join. (See post #550)

Second, if it can be demonstrated that the federal government had been in violation of that Constitution (pick any decades you wish!), wouldn't action against the federal government be warranted, in order to preserve and protect the Constitution? Shades of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions!

Finally, it was the Lincoln Administration - in violation of the U.S. Constitution in multiple ways - that launched an invasion of the sovereign state of Virginia, not the other way around. Points to ponder: If secession was legal, then the Lincoln Administration attacked another confederated republic without a declaration of war - a violation of the U.S. Constitution. If secession wasn't permissible, then the Lincoln Administration launched an attack against other states in the Union - a power that does not exist in the U.S. Constitution, and a direct violation of Article IV, Section 4's pledge that the federal government would protect states against invasion...not do the invading!

Hope that makes sense, and please let me know if I was using the correct paragraph...
I was actually focusing on the 1789 and 1830 versions. In those versions the first paragraph speaks to the defense of the constitution but in the next paragraph there is a reference to bearing true allegiance to the United States of America. It appears to me that Lee swore that allegiance.
 

Tiger

Advanced Member
I was actually focusing on the 1789 and 1830 versions. In those versions the first paragraph speaks to the defense of the constitution but in the next paragraph there is a reference to bearing true allegiance to the United States of America. It appears to me that Lee swore that allegiance.
I see what you're referring to, TKI67. I think the chronology was that Virginia seceded from the Union, then Lee resigned from the U.S. Army (I assume that was performed according to military regulations, but I don't know), Lee was then hired by the Davis Administration, and then goes to battle after General Joseph Johnston's injury in the Peninsular Campaign as part of the Union invasion of Virginia/the CSA. So, I think resigning first keeps the oath from being violated.

Interestingly, as Lincoln ordered the invasion of Virginia without a congressional declaration of war, was it incumbent upon every Union officer to "obey the orders of the President of the United States" as per the oath? That is, must a president (or any other military or civilian leader) be obeyed, even when acting unconstitutionally? I think that's still an issue in today's world - when does fealty end?

My belief is that any unconstitutional action can correctly be ignored (dare I say, "nullified"?). I'll avoid the obvious dilemma lurking on the horizon...
 
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