Quick hits…

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Saturday that guarantees that teachers cannot shoot back if they come under attack at school.

The Dems, specifically, Kevin McCarty introduced the bill after five California school districts (Kern High School District, Kingsburg Joint Union High School District, Folsom Cordova Unified School District, Anderson Union High School District, and Palo Cedro’s North Cow Creek School District) chose to allow teachers and staff with concealed carry permits to be armed on campus to defend themselves and their students.

Full article, HERE.

One can only wonder what is running through those ‘idjit’s’ minds… They complain about lack of security in schools, turned a massive number of criminals loose to reduce prison overcrowding, and are overrun with illegals, and they do THIS in response???

The mind boggles…

And I got this one today, and have ordered the book…

The Left wants you to think the Southerners were evil slave owners and the Union soldiers were there as righteous saviors “freeing the slaves.” That is what our schools teach today. But, it is nowhere near the truth…

So much for the “freeing of the slaves” during the “civil war”. Makes one wonder how much more crap we were taught in our government run schools.

A Legion of Devils

By Al Benson

Oct 10, 2017

A review of Karen Stokes, A Legion of Devils: Sherman in South Carolina (Shotwell Press, 2017).

Many of us have read about the horrendous things William Tecumseh Sherman did as he and his “bummers” marched through Georgia, things a lot of us would rather not have read about. However, if we are to properly understand our history we are often compelled to read material that is not necessarily “fun” reading, but is rather necessary reading so that we will have a fuller understanding of what really happened and why.

Such a book is Karen Stokes’ A Legion of Devils–Sherman in South Carolina, published by Shotwell Publishing in Columbia, South Carolina. Shotwell has published some very informative books on Southern history that more people need to be aware of and to read, so that we can begin to learn the history most of us were denied in government schools when we attended them.

Karen Stokes has written several books, but this may be one of the most important. It is a narrative, with many contemporary quotes, from people who were on the scene when Sherman invaded South Carolina toward the end of the War of Northern Aggression. If you think what he did in Georgia was bad, as the man says, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Yet we hardly ever read anything about what he did in (and to) South Carolina. Somehow his incendiary activities there and the base behavior of this troops there never seem to make it into the history books. South Carolina suffered every bit as much as Georgia did under Sherman’s benevolent hand.

Many instances of brutal treatment of civilians in South Carolina when Sherman passed through are recorded in Stokes’ book, including one where Yankee soldiers attempted to set fire to a bed with an old lady still in it. Such instances are too numerous for me to mention them all here, but I will list a few so you can get a general feeling for Sherman’s accomplishments in the Palmetto State.

The naive among us actually still believe that generals like Sherman, Sheridan, and Grant fought the war to free slaves from Southern bondage. Those on the ground there knew better. In the introduction to the book, on page viii, it is noted: “…the federal soldiers frequently mistreated them (the slaves)). A newspaper correspondent for the New York Tribune reported in its issue of December 7, 1861, that ‘one enterprising and unscrupulous (Federal) officer was caught in the act of assembling a cargo of Negroes for transportation and sale in Cuba…a Northern female physician who worked for the Freedmen’s Aid Society noted in her diary how disgracefully the black people of the Beaufort area were treated by the federal soldiers. She observed that “no colored woman was safe from the brutal lusts of the soldiers’, and that they were not punished for their offenses.”

When the city of Columbia was occupied by Sherman, the mayor and other municipal officers went to Sherman’s headquarters and officially surrendered the city and they received from Sherman the assurance that the city would be as safe as it would have been under the mayor’s administration. Suffice it to say, that was a bald-faced lie. The city was burned and Stokes goes into quite a bit of detail about how that was accomplished, again, quoting from people who were there and saw what happened. The sources for what she wrote were all primary sources.

She noted the comments of a Mrs. S. A. Crittenden of Greenville, South Carolina, who said: “Oh! The utter desolation of a city in ashes and its people wanderers!  Even the very landmarks were lost, and you stood a stranger on your own threshold. Nothing was left but the smokeless chimneys, keeping ward over the widespread ruin. Hundreds of Yankees with ramrods and bayonets, were prodding the still smoking soil in quest of buried treasure” And let us not kid ourselves–the Yankee soldiers, from officers on down, stole everything that was not nailed down–and what was nailed down they destroyed if they couldn’t pry it up! This was as much a grand looting expedition was it was an invasion!

And then they tried to blame the fires that destroyed the city of Wade Hampton’s retreating Confederate cavalry. On pages 40-44, Stokes provides General Hampton’s own statements about what really happened. On pages 54-56 are the comments of one Yankee soldier who disagreed with what his comrades were doing, and he pretty well laid out what they were doing. He noted: “…drunken soldiers rushing from house to house, emptying them of valuables and then firing them..Officers and men reveling on wines and liquors until the burning houses buried them in their drunken orgies.” So much for “preserving the Union and freeing the slaves!”

Stokes gave us the commentary of an August Conrad, a native of Germany, who had come to South Carolina in 1859 and had taken over his brother’s position as the Hanoverian Counsel.  He had thought it would be safer in Columbia that in Charleston, so he went to Columbia. Big mistake! He published a memoir later, when he was back (safely) in Germany, about his time in South Carolina that dealt with the burning of Columbia. It was translated into English by William H. Pleasants and published as The Destruction of Columbia, S.C. in 1879. In it he observed: “In the houses, on the streets, the infamous rabble plundered, destroyed, and raged as the Wild Hunt, just as if hell had broken loose.” Hell had broken loose–Sherman was in South Carolina with his Legion of Devils, and doing the devil’s work!

One of those Stokes quoted said: “The fall of Columbia stands quite unique in the history of the American war, but it was sufficient to sully the principle, the conduct, and the results of it, and must for many generations entail the hate of the South Carolinians toward their Northern brethren, who brought upon their forefathers such atrocious treatment.”

Starting on page 111, Stokes gives a timeline covering Sherman’s gentle ministrations in South Carolina, from the time he landed in Beaufort until the time he crossed the North Carolina border. Suffice it to say that it was much more of the same treatment that Columbia got, and his men were particularly vicious when it came to churches.

I have often wondered if Sherman had a touch of pyromania in his makeup, as his men burned everything they came across, no matter what or where it was. I can see destroying military objectives, that’s a part of war, but Sherman destroyed it all. He made war on civilians with more gusto than he made war on Confederate troops. Of course the civilians couldn’t fight back and so that made it easier.

When you look at the makeup of Sherman’s army, you have to wonder just how many ‘Forty-Eighter” socialists he had with him that reveled in the destruction of private property.

If you are going to have some idea of what the War of Northern Aggression was really all about, you need to read Stokes’ book, and Shotwell has done yeoman duty in putting it out there for you, because I don’t think you will get this kind of documentation much of anyplace else today given our politically correct environment.

Having spent some time in that area, there are historians who vouch for the accuracy, and there are documents, journals, and diaries that back this up, I believe this is the first time all that data has been collated into a single publication.

h/t JP


Quick hits… — 14 Comments

  1. It is becoming illegal to save one’s own life. Leave it to California to pass a law that does that.

  2. Sherman fought the war in a way to make sure he didn’t have to come back and do it again in 5 years. If he could have plowed the ground with salt he probably would have.

    Looting has been the soldiers way thru most of history. Most armies did it, some more than others. The navies of the world sold captured enemy ships and merchant vessels and gave shares to the crew.

    Civil wars always get ugly very quickly.

    • I will comment on this, but others also excuse the behavior of Sherman. One could also say the same thing about the Nazi criminals, and actually they tried that tired excuse in Nuremburg. Only following orders, etc. Rape, looting of civilians, etc, are never an acceptable form of fighting a war. There is a huge difference between taking foodstuffs to feed your soldiers, and stealing gold, silver, and other valuables from your fellow Americans. This was most certainly a war fought as punishment on a misbehaving south, and the military leadership in allowing such behavior was deserving of being charged with the eras version of war crimes. At the very least, they should have the harsh light of history shined upon them, which this book seems to attempt to do. I will be buying it asap.

  3. The War of Northern Aggression has been mischaracterized from the beginning because the victors wrote the books.

    • “War of Northern Aggression”

      If that were the case, how is it that the south/traitors shot first. I never have been quite clear on that point. I always thought that the side which shot first was the aggressor.

  4. God knows Cali has gone so far down the hell hole, it might not even be possible for him to pull it out…

    Thanks for the heads up on the book, looking forward to reading it.

  5. The point of war is not to defeat the enemy’s military, but to defeat the enemy’s population. In order to do so, you generally have to defeat the military first. The process of defeating the populace is through terror, by means of murder, arson, rape, and looting.

    Civilized war, as fought upon occasion by Europeans, consists of the military forces fighting, then the people of the vanquished side submitting instantly and completely to the victors. This abject surrender is humiliating, but avoids the need for the victors to terrorize the population into submission and obedience.

    If Sherman had marched quietly through the roads of Georgia and the Carolinas, nobody would have much cared, and the population would have continued their rebellion. His avowed goal was to “make the South howl,” and he accomplished just that. He was the threat that was used to end the war when the Army of Northern Virginia capitulated.

  6. I fail to see how the narrative disproves that the war was waged over slavery.
    As for the war itself, “The War of Northern Aggression”: the aggressors were the Citadel boys firing on Fort Sumter.

    • Concur; further, I await the follow-up book, which will attempt to explain that Sherman’s Army went so easy on North Carolina because the war wasn’t really fought to free the slaves.

      At this late date I don’t see what is to be gained by publishing a polemic attempting to “prove” that the North didn’t fight the war to end slavery, unless one is a social justice warrior looking for more fodder for the America is Evil meme. There are enough well-documented examples to make reviewing them unnecessary.

      Sherman set out to “make Georgia howl” because Georgia was the linchpin to the Confederacy; destroy the agricultural, industrial, and transportation centers there, and the South would wither and die.

      Sherman’s boys set out to make South Carolina howl (whether he meant to or not) because they knew that the war started there, and that secessionist sentiment was still high.

      They went (relatively) easy on Tennessee and North Carolina because both those states had strong Union sentiment.

  7. All- Thanks for the comments, the ‘main’ reason I point out the book, is that many refuse to believe Sherman and his troops were as brutal as they actually were. THAT is the important point.

    Posted from my iPhone.

  8. An additional comment: In an industrial era war, there are no ” innocent ” civilians. Civilians feed and create the war-making tools for the military. Thus, they are every bit a legitimate target as are the factories they work in or the farms on which they grow food.

    Paul L. Quandt

  9. Story handed down by my grandmother, from her grandmother, in Oklahoma after moving from Georgia. Their house was burned down, they had a kettle going out in the snow with what was left to eat, cooking. Northern troops watching, turned the kettle over when the food was ready. Her father tied up, marched at bayonet point to persuade him to tell where family wealth (such as it was) was hidden. All the orchard trees cut down. The teller of this story was a young girl at the time. She was reputed to never allowing a Northerner on her property.
    Secession was perfectly legal, until the South did it. Massachusetts threatened it several times.

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