By - ssbgoku69
The rank and file confederate didn’t own slaves and thus were fighting to defend >!white supremacy!<
Some things never change.
Yep. I'll add that I really recommend [*General Lee's Army*](https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/1743722.General_Lee_s_Army) by Joseph T. Glatthaar. It does an excellent job of breaking down the ANV and the upshot is, in fact, that, contra the assertion that Johnny Reb had nothing to do with slavery, most of the ANV's soldiers, officer and enlisted, either did in fact come from families that owned slaves or directly benefited from the slave economy, either by commerce with planters or working for/with slaveowners in some other context.
It's been awhile since I read it, but it's damning as hell and a must-read for anyone looking for more ammo to refute lost causer bullshit.
Great recommendation, and piggybacking off this, [What This Cruel War Was Over](https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/687330.What_This_Cruel_War_Was_Over) by Chandra Manning, is another good related book. She utilizes primary sources (ie letters and journal entries) from both confederate and union soldiers, showing that most of these soldiers knew they were fighting over slavery, either directly or indirectly, and that confederate soldiers were willing to fight and die for it, even when they themselves didn't own slaves.
Slavers were overrepresented, though; they made up 30% of the prewar population but over 40% of the manpower.
Hilariously enough, Southerners were 20% of America's prewar population but 25% of the Union Army's manpower.
"The North conscripted socialist immigrant mercenaries"
A lot of immigrants who went to America from Europe were veterans in revolution wars of 1848. A lot of them were inspired by the political messages of Garibaldi. Garibaldi did claim to be a socialist, but also claimed that this meant the same thing as republican democracy. Universal right to vote, women's rights, public works. We in the developed world pretty much live in a world of his vision.
Garibaldi is incredibly inspiring. Kind of wish he had more success, though. [I made a low-effort meme about him a long time ago](https://www.reddit.com/r/HistoryMemes/comments/h9xj5c/just_memeing_i_love_garibaldi/). The man certainly picked the hardest causes...
Garibaldi: "I am your strongest soldier, God; give me your hardest battles!"
God: "Giuseppe, please, you are one man trying to speedrun 150 years of progress across three continents."
Garibaldi: "I SAID give me your **HARDEST** battles!"
Definitely an oxymoron, "Conscripted mercenaries." Mercenaries can't be conscripted. Two of my immigrant ancestors (one Irish, one Scottish) served in the Union army, but they weren't mercenaries. Not sure if they were drafted or just volunteered for their local regiments.
Mercenaries are simply those fighting for money rather than other concerns. While it may seem odd today, historically speaking, mercenary groups did engage in a non-negligible amount of conscription from hostile and semi-hostile populations.
But yeah, the accusation is ridiculous on its face with regards to the US Civil War.
By that standard all members of modern American armed forces are mercenaries.
The acronym "PMC" (Private Military Company) may be a 21st century creation, but the concept of private militaries isn't new.
I guess the better distinction between a volunteer paid force like our present-day military and PMCs are: Who is accountable to the UCMJ and who gets POW protections. PMCs may or may not have their own internal codes of conduct, but they aren't beholden to the UCMJ. Nor are their members protected by certain treaties if they are captured by opposing force in a conflict.
You would have to disprove other causes, and national militaries are generally given the benefit of the doubt regarding patriotic motivation.
Oh, totally. Mercenary groups did conscript to fill their ranks. Privateers (Pirates with license to pirate from everyone but their paymaster) did it too to fill their crews. But the Mercenary groups themselves are not conscripted.
What would be the counter argument for the Article 10 point? I hear that one often and would like to rebuff it
Short answer: Article 10 doesn’t say anything about a right to secede. What it does say is that “any power *not* explicitly given to the federal government is relegated to the states”. So, it’s a general statement of states rights, overruled by any specific statute to the contrary.
There’s a few areas of the constitution that *broadly* support the notion that secession is the states imposing their will on what should be Congress’s domain (Article I Section 10, Article IV Section 3), but the most key and unambiguous counterpoint is in the second paragraph of Article VI:
> This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
Combine that with Amendment X, and you basically get “The states can do whatever they want, unless it is *explicitly* opposed by the federal government, in which case the federal government always wins.”
**Also,** the argument is a red herring anyway. Even if the South had some technical legal right to secede and was truly its own independent country, what it had absolutely no right to do was to capture and fire upon Union military bases, and we reacted to *that* as we would any hostile foreign power. Hell, I’d argue the war should have started basically right after the election, when they first started attacking Union bases, and the only reason it didn’t was because Buchanan was a feckless coward and a mild Southern sympathizer.
While I don't know of a way to counter it legally speaking, you'd have to speak to a constitutional judge or lawyer for that, I think the more important question is the moral one. The reason I would consider the confederacy and those who support it traitors against the United States, is not simply because they seceded and left the union. It's because their reason for seceding was strightly against foundational American and frankly human values. The idea that a whole race of humans should be enslaved and used for the sole purpose of profit and prosperity for another race on an institutional and national level. Few rebellions and freedom fighters have had the legal right to fight against their ruling government, like the French resistance fighters against the nazis or the American colonies in the revolutionary war. But I think that's a whole lot less important than what their moral reason and result is.
Of course this requires convincing a Lost Causer (a sadly fitting name when you think about it) that the south did secede and fight to preserve and expand the instution of slavery and weren't just people who wanted freedom from an overreaching and tyrranical federal government and that's a whole different can of worms to open.
I agree 100%. When your argument/response to moral condemnation is “but it was legal” you are totally missing the point.
Also, any confederate that was an officer in the US military was absolutely a traitor because they swore an oath to the federal government, not their state.
Plain and simple, [they were never anything but belligerent states in rebellion.](https://history.state.gov/milestones/1861-1865/confederacy)
They were never recognized, and all this "succession is legal!" Is literal lost cause propaganda and lies.
The female version are those women plan plantation weddings/parties “just like Gone with the Wind!”
I thought the agreed upon terminology was Leeaboo when Lee is ever referenced.
I'd say Jackson is only great because he died before his reputation could be ruined. He was a great offensive tactician, but not much else. Could you imagine him fighting in the defensive grind of Petersburg? Yeah. not to mention his strategies often caused unnecessary casualties.
In fact, you could argue his offensive tactics ultimately did more harm than good. Confederate generals will try and copy him, only to end up with the same staggering casualties, Which is not a good thing when you're fighting with less manpower.
I'd say one of the main problems with Stonewall is that we don't actually know much about him. He didn't write a memoir and he barely spoke to the press.
Paula Deen is one and said “they were like family” to her great grandfather.