… of many, of course.
With apologies to The Gipper, famous for:
One problem with neoconfederates is that so much of what they think they know is just hogwash. Unlike President Reagan’s reference, though, neoconfederates are also ignorant, but let’s focus on the hogwash they think they know for now.
Let’s look at this example from The Gift That Keeps On Giving. One individual posted a link to this online poll which asked respondents what they thought was the root cause of the Civil War, with the main two choices being State Rights and Slavery. I bet I can guess which of these choices the vast majority of that group chose.
Let’s take a look at some of the comments:
This is a prime example of how many of these people have no clue about actual history. To give credit where credit is due, Mr. Adams does try to inject a little common sense into the discussion; however, he does get things wrong. Grant did free the only slave he ever owned, William Jones, in 1859 at a time when he needed money and could have gotten upwards of $1,000 if he sold Jones. Julia Dent Grant, though, never owned 18 slaves. There is no evidence she ever owned any slaves. The best we can establish is that she had the use of four of her father’s slaves. In any event all the Dent slaves, including the four of which Julia had use, were free by January of 1863. Grant himself visited White Haven in January of 1863 and noted that all the slaves were gone. In January of 1864, their son Fred, living with his grandfather in Missouri at the time, became sick with typhoid. Grant and Julia made plans to go to him. One of the former slaves, also named Julia, had been hired as a paid nurse. Julia (the nurse) did not want to return to Missouri with the Grants because she feared she might be re-enslaved if she returned to a slave state. [Brooks D. Simpson, Ulysses S. Grant: Triumph Over Adversity, 1822-1865, p. 255]
Julia Grant also visited her husband at Petersburg during the siege, bringing Julia the nurse with her. Julia (the nurse) was a paid servant, not a slave, during that visit as well.
See this also for a discussion of Julia Dent Grant and enslaved people.
Even if these facts didn’t apply, Missouri still abolished slavery in January, 1865. Any enslaved people were free then, and didn’t have to wait for the 13th Amendment to be ratified.
The claim about Grant saying he would resign his commission and fight for the confederacy if he found out slavery had anything to do with the war was another fabrication. This is from a letter from US Grant to his father-in-law, “Col” Frederick Dent:
“The times are indee[d] startling but now is the time, particularly in the border Slave states, for men to prove their love of country. I know it is hard for men to apparently work with the Republican party but now all party distinctions should be lost sight of and evry [sic] true patriot be for maintaining the integrity of the glorious old Stars & Stripes, the Constitution and the Union. The North is responding to the Presidents call in such a manner that the rebels may truly quaik [sic]. I tell you there is no mistaking the feelings of the people. The Government can call into the field not only 75000 troops but ten or twenty times 75000 if it should be necessary and find the means of maintaining them too. It is all a mistake about the Northern pocket being so sensative [sic]. In times like the present no people are more ready to give their own time or of their abundant mea[ns.] No impartial man can conceal from himself the fact that in all these troubles the South have been the aggressors and the Administration has stood purely on the defensive, more on the defensive than she would dared to have done but for her consiousness [sic] of strength and the certainty of right prevailing in the end. The news to-day is that Virginia has gone out of the Union. But for the influance [sic] she will have on the other border slave states this is not much to be regreted [sic]. Her position, or rather that of Eastern Virginia, has been more reprehensible from the begining [sic] than that of South Carolina. She shoul[d] be made to bear a heavy portion of the burden of the War for her guilt.–In all this I can but see the doom of Slavery. The North do not want, nor will they want, to interfere with the institution. But they will refuse for all time to give it protection unless the South shall return soon to their allegiance, and then too this disturbance will give such an impetus to the production of their staple, cotton, in other parts of the world that they can never recover the controll [sic] of the market again for that comodity [sic]. This will reduce the value of negroes so much that they will never be worth fighting over again.” [US Grant to Col F. Dent, 19 Apr 1861]
From a letter Grant wrote to his father:
“I do not write you about plans, or the necessity of what has been done or what it doing because I am opposed to publicity in these matters. Then too you are very much disposed to criticise [sic] unfavorably from information received through the public press, a portion of which I am sorry to see can look at nothing favorably that does not look to a war upon slavery. My inclination is to whip the rebellion into submission, preserving all constitutional rights. If it cannot be whipped in any other way than through a war against slavery, let it come to that legitimately. If it is necessary that slavery should fall that the Republic may continue its existence, let slavery go. But that portion of the press that advocates the beginning of such a war now, are as great enemies to their country as if they were open and avowed secessionists.” [US Grant to Jesse Root Grant, 27 Nov 1861]
There’s Grant saying slavery is doomed by this war in 1861, and saying if slavery has to go, then so be it.
Let’s continue with the comments:
Again, to give credit where credit is due, Mr. Adams at least recognizes the allegation about Grant claiming he would fight for the confederacy has no validity.
But some folks can be stubborn when it comes to their misinformation.
This is rich. She quite obviously hates abolitionists. After all, they didn’t like slavery. And she persists in her stupidity regarding Grant and slavery. Oh, and a friend told her there were slaves in Indiana at least until the summer of 1865. Folks, if I had told you someone believed this stuff without showing it to you, you’d probably say I was making it up.
Let’s continue with the stupidity:
So slaves in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois until 1865, according to this idiot. And she asks what’s wrong with someone else. And another mental midget makes the claim that “Not too many Northerners liked Grant.” That’s sheer lunacy. Then poor Mr. Adams is then accused of being rude to one person for telling her she was wrong when in fact she was wrong.
Well, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, because if they understood anything about history they wouldn’t be neoconfederates to start with.