A Comprehensive Review of
It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War by Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.
Part Fifteen, Conclusion
The Costs and Results of the War
by Gene Kizer, Jr.
At the end of this article, beneath the notes I have cited, is "Actual Citation from Book," Mitcham's endnotes for Chapter XV.
MITCHAM OPENS his concluding chapter with "the total number of deaths as a result of the Civil War was about 1,000,000" which includes 750,000 soldiers and tens of thousands of Southerners who "died in the aftermath of the war from starvation, malnutrition, disease, or injury."1
Always keep in mind that the population of the entire country in those days was only 31.4 million.
During World War II, the population was 133 million and roughly 400,000 died vis-a-vis 1,000,000 in the War Between the States.
Despite being outnumbered four to one, and outgunned maybe 200 to one, Confederate valor is unsurpassed in the history of the world. James McPherson writes in Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering, Death and the American Civil War:
[T]he overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and that of all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II.2
Southerners fought to the bitter end for independence and lost only after four bloody years because of overwhelming Northern resources, as General Lee said at the end of the war, such as the North's pipeline to the wretched refuse of the world to feed Union armies. That's why 25% of the Union army was not born here.
Blacks suffered enormously at the hands of the Union army. It has now come out that a substantial number of Union blacks were coerced into joining, and when they did, their families back home were not taken care of in the least despite Yankee promises. Many suffered mightily, were cold, ragged and starved to death.
There are accounts of dead blacks being buried by Yankees in mass graves along with dead horses and mules, all thrown together in wagons then thrown into unmarked ditches dug for that purpose. These are documented in Jim Downs' excellent book, Sick from Freedom: African American Death and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction, which Mitcham says "should have won a Pulitzer Prize."3 More below from Downs.
The whole story of blacks in the War Between the States is a half-truth, which makes it a lie. Thousands of Confederate blacks are ignored because that does not suit political liberals in academia and the news media.
Just one irrefutable example proves substantial black participation in combat on battlefields with the Confederate army. A Yankee official, Lewis H. Steiner, M.D., Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission, observed, firsthand, the exodus of Stonewall Jackson's army from Frederick, Maryland in 1862. Steiner writes in his official report:
Wednesday, September 10, 1862: At 4 o'clock this morning the Rebel army began to move from our town, Jackson's force taking the advance. The movement continued until 8 o'clock P.M., occupying 16 hours. The most liberal calculation could not give them more than 64,000 men. Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in the number. They had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc. They were supplied, in many instances, with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, etc., and they were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy army. They were seen riding on horses and mules, driving wagons, riding on caissons, in ambulances, with the staff of generals and promiscuously mixed up with all the Rebel horde (emphasis added).
I named a two-DVD set featuring Professor Edward C. Smith, a well-known authority on black Confederates, Mixed Up with All the Rebel Horde, Why Black Southerners Fought for the South in the War Between the States.
Steiner writes that there were "over 3,000 Negroes." That number could be much higher. Steiner was observing from a distance starting in the dark before dawn, and he would not be able to distinguish light-skinned African Americans from white Confederate soldiers.
So it's not unreasonable to think that 3,000 to 5,000 of every 64,000 Confederate soldiers were black meaning, from this one example, there could have been 50,000 or more armed Confederate blacks, at one time or another, marching with whites against the Union army. Of course, thousands of blacks served in the Confederate army in other capacities.
To get at the truth about the past, you have to read the words of the people of the past and make up your own mind. Academia and the news media are so politicized most of them are worthless as historians seeking truth.
Mitcham called the aforementioned book, Sick From Freedom: African American Death and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction, by Jim Downs, "his masterpiece." Mitcham writes and quotes Downs that the war:
'produced the largest biological crisis of the nineteenth century . . . wreaking havoc on the population of the newly freed.' Tens of thousands of freed slaves died due to the 'exigencies of war and the massive dislocation triggered by emancipation.' Downs estimated that 1,000,000 of the 4,000,000 freed slaves suffered serious illness or death. We do not know how many died, but there were tens of thousands of deaths, especially among black children.4
As a result of the war, Southerners lost 60% of their capital and "one in four of its [the South's] young men of military age killed; one in four others crippled."5
Mitcham's previous assertion that money was the cause of the War Between the States, is backed up.
He writes that the "true value of Southern property fell from $6.3 billion to $4.2 billion. At the same time, the true value of United States' property increased from $16.2 billion to $30.1 billion."6
After first supporting the right of secession, by the spring of 1861 Yankees could see their economy crumbling around them as jubilant Southerners thrilled at being out from under greedy Yankee control.
Southerners would now be able to manufacture for themselves and have low tariffs and free trade with the rest of the world. With 100% control of the most demanded commodity on earth, King Cotton, the Southern future was as bright as the Northern future was sinking.
So, for money and control, Lincoln started his war that killed a million people and maimed another million. He knew he had overwhelming advantages at that point in history and he thought he could win easily. He knew that if he could beat the South, a powerful competitor would be destroyed and the North would rule our great country via its political control of the federal government by the larger Northern population. "Northern property values almost doubled." That kind of money is what the North was fighting for.
Before the war, "not a single political party advocated emancipation. And none advanced the ideas of compensation and integration beyond words."7
The rot in American history that academia and the news media have given us today, started in the 1960s as Mitcham points out.
Prior to the 1960s, historians "did not believe the war was only about slavery, despite the Myth of the Noble Cause. For most, it was all about restoring the Union and coast-to-coast economic nationalism, controlled by Northern financial and commercial interests."8
He points out that "evidence suggests that an independent Confederacy would have ended slavery like other countries in the Western Hemisphere, and race relations in the South and in America would be better than they are now."9
Some of his evidence is "that there were more free black people in the South than in the North in 1860. Every other country in the world except Haiti freed its slaves without war."10
Mitcham believes that "given the history throughout the Western Hemisphere, it was more likely to happen than not" that slavery would have been ended by the South.11
I agree completely because technology created machines in the latter part of the nineteenth century that would pick cotton faster than black people and nobody in his right mind would pay for a slave who came with a birth to death commitment when he could buy machines to pick cotton faster, better and cheaper.
The agitation of abolitionists and the greed of the Northern financial, mercantile, industrial, railroad, and commercial interests were the real roadblocks to freedom. This explosive agitation culminated in the election of the unscrupulous Lincoln and the passage of the punitive Morrill Tariff, which was not replaced until 1913.12
Another big reason Northerners did not want to end slavery was because most were racist. Many Northern and Western states had laws preventing blacks from living there. Northerners did not want slavery in the West because they did not want blacks near them in the West. They surely did not want to free the slaves who would then move north and be job competition.
Of course, this argument is ignored by politicized academia and the news media because it does not help them elect Democrats.
Based on the experience of other countries nearby "the Civil War probably ended slavery only thirty to thirty-five years earlier than would have been the case had the institution been allowed to die out organically."13
This was Lincoln belief too because he talked about a plan of compensated emancipation that would have freed the slaves by 1900 though he never made a serious proposal. Just talk.
Mitcham points out that had slavery been allowed to die out:
The South (including blacks) would have been spared a brutal war, the scorched-earth policy of certain Union war criminals, plunder, pillage, starvation, military dictatorship, a decade of military occupation, the incredible corruption of Reconstruction, the manipulation of black people by the Republican party to keep itself in power, and the needless deaths of tens of thousands (and probably hundreds of thousands) of freed black people. Millions of people (both white and African-American) would have been spared the crushing poverty of the New South era.14
Yankees used black people for political gain "but made no provisions for the suddenly displaced African Americans, and indeed, there is no evidence they even thought about them."
The Emancipation Proclamation, which freed no slaves, or few, and left slavery in place in the six Union slave states, was issued "to encourage slave revolts and end the possibility of a diplomatic alliance between the Confederacy, Britain, and France."
Of course, the people of the Northern states that forbid blacks from living there or even visiting looked down on black people:
The Yankee generals dubbed them "contrabands," a derogatory term never used by the Rebels and roughly equal to the word Untermenschen (subhumans), a term the Germans used in the 1930s and 1940s to describe Jews, Slavs, and other people they considered inferior. They tossed them into 'contraband camps,' which were the first modern concentration camps. . . . Able-bodied men were separated from their families and forced to work on plantations, which were under Northern management. They faced being defrauded of their minimum wages or not paid at all.15
Mitcham goes on:
In some camps there were also multiple rapes of black women by Union soldiers every night.16
The Union Army leased plantations to "'Carpetbaggers'" who forced blacks to work there but often did not pay them or let them leave. Private Samuel H. Glasgow of the Twenty-Third Iowa wrote that these plantation lessees "'did not have the best interests of the former slave at heart . . . Cotton closes their eyes to justice . . . '".17
U.S. brigadier general John P. Hawkins said the plantation system was "'nothing but a system of slavery.'" He suggested the army "'send for their former masters and tell each one to claim his slaves, [because] his treatment of them was parental compared to what we now permit.'"18
Yankee contraband camps were unsanitary and "tens of thousands" died of disease and malnutrition. The U.S. Army made the situation worse by "force-marching some of the camps to new locations, some hundreds of miles away."19
Suffering in the South continued after the war. In 1866 there were crop failures and 1867 "was a year of famine with mortality rates which Downs described as 'chilling.'"20
Smallpox "raged throughout the South and West from 1862 through 1868. Weakened and malnourished black people were especially susceptible, often dying at rates three or four times higher than Southern whites, who were themselves malnourished. Black children were particularly hard hit. In one six-month period in 1865, 30,000 died in North Carolina and South Carolina alone."21
Yankee carpetbaggers and scalawags raised taxes "300 percent to 400 percent higher than they had been in 1860, even though property values had declined significantly." In Mississippi, in 1871, "3,300,300 acres were for sale due to tax defaults" which was "15 percent of all taxable land."22
None of that tax revenue went to former Confederates or blacks. It all went into the pockets of carpetbaggers and scalawags.
After the war many Southerners admitted slavery was wrong but "they steadfastly denied that it was cruel. The survivors of the antebellum South went to their graves firm in this opinion."23
It took decades, until World War II, for the South to recover economically. Reconstruction "left behind a system of segregation and peonage (sharecropping) that did not exist before the war."24
Before the war, five Southern states were in the top ten American states for per capita income. After the war, none were.
Of course, as stated, this was the purpose of Lincoln's war. He did not want economic competition from such a powerful region as the South on his Southern border.
Lincoln was president of the North, the first sectional president in American history. He and Northern leaders knew the South would ascend to economic and political dominance with 100 percent control of King Cotton and its low, free trade tariff of 10% vis-a-vis the North's astronomical Morrill Tariff that was 47 to 60% higher.
The South had other powerful advantages too, like excellent ports and good weather. The South was already producing the wealth of the nation with cotton and other commodities. Cotton alone was 60% of U.S. exports in 1860.
Imagine the revenue that would be turned back on the South. Of course, that same revenue would be denied to the North and Lincoln could not tolerate that.
With European recognition of the Confederacy and subsequent trade and military alliances, the South would be unbeatable by the North very quickly.
Again, Lincoln and Northern leaders knew this and were in a panic over it. With four times the white population of the South and overwhelming manufacturing and shipping at that point in history, they thought it would be easy to win a war.
They found out differently as the old song goes:
Three hundred thousand Yankees
Is stiff in Southern dust;
We got three hundred thousand
Before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever
And Southern steel and shot;
I wish it was three millions
Instead of what we got.25
It is hard to believe Yankees who invaded a peaceful region that just wanted to govern itself and had seceded by a democratic debate and vote, are considered the heroes of American history in this day and age while monuments to Confederates defending their homes and families are toppled by ignorant thugs.
The one thing you can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt is that the North did not go to war to free the slaves. Three Northern slave states of the six that Lincoln exempted with his Emancipation Proclamation, had slavery months after the war. It took the second Thirteenth Amendment in December, 1865 to finally free the slaves in all the Yankee slave states.
Perhaps the most despicable today are the politicized frauds in academia and the news media who are destroying our country with their racist Critical Race Theory and their fraudulent history like the 1619 Project.
Southerners, fighting for independence like the Founding Fathers in 1776, are the true heroes of American history. The most widely quoted phrase in the secession debate in the South in the year prior to states seceding comes from the Declaration of Independence:
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Mitcham's final paragraph states that:
It should be clear by now to any open-minded reader that the war was not just about slavery and certainly not primarily about slavery. It was chiefly about money . . . 26
(Click Here to go to previous week: Part Fourteen: Chapter XIV, Tyranny and Emancipation, Part Two)
(Scroll down for:
It Wasn't About Slavery, Actual Citation from Book)
1 Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr., It Wasn't About Slavery, Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War (Washington, DC: Regnery History, 2020), 173.
2 Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering, Death and the American Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2008), xii.
3 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 174.
7 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 175.
14 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 175-176.
15 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 176.
18 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 176-177.
19 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 177.
23 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 178.
24 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 178-179.
25 Oh I'm a Good Old Rebel, by Hoyt Axton. Many others have done this song. It was created in the 1860s by former Confederate major James Innes Randolph. Here are Axton's lyrics, https://genius.com/Hoyt-axton-oh-im-a-good-old-rebel-lyrics, accessed 2-2-22.
26 Mitcham, It Wasn't About Slavery, 179.
It Wasn't About Slavery,
Actual Citation from Book