August 17, 2017

"There's a cemetery just a few blocks from where I live up here in the north where there is a section full of graves of Confederate soldiers."

"These are well-tended graves in part of a beautiful cemetery. I think these men suffered and died at the place we still call Camp Randall. It's where we play football now, but it was a miserable prison camp. But statues in the public square honoring the other side in a war? Why are we doing that? It's very strange!"

I wrote that in the comments section to a post I put up 2 days ago. I'd said "Why do we have monuments celebrating the losing side, the Americans who took up arms against America? That's rather crazy other than to express respect for the dead."

I really did not think the monument-topplers would go after the cemetery. 

But today I see that Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has ordered the removal of a stone with a plaque memorializing those dead men at the site of their graves:
Soglin said in a statement Thursday that he has directed staff to remove a plaque and a stone at the Confederate Rest section of the cemetery, adding "there should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country."...
A plaque at the Confederate Rest section of the public cemetery describes how the 140 soldiers ended buried in Wisconsin after surrendering in a battle and being taken to Camp Randall. It described them as "valiant Confederate soldiers" and "unsung heroes."
Here's an article from 2014 about that part of the cemetery:
The servicemen, most from Alabama’s 1st Infantry Regiment and others from Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi, died from their injuries or other ailments not long after arriving in Madison by train in April 1862. They were captured at Island No. 10 — a Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River where Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee meet — and held at Camp Randall, a Union army training facility that became a prisoner-of-war camp and military hospital.

Visitors from around the U.S. seeking their forebears have made pilgrimages to the small plot, and some have taken its plight to heart. Alice Whiting Waterman moved to Madison from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1866 to care for the graves. When she died in 1897, she was buried there with “her boys.”
I truly believed that Madisonians were proud of the respect they had shown for so long for those prisoners who died here.

It is awful to preempt public discussion about these graves, to choose go after them in a time of heightened passion. These are graves!

ADDED: Here is the full text of the statement Paul Soglin put up on the City of Madison website an hour ago:

The removal of City-owned monuments to confederate soldiers in Forest Hill Cemetery has minimal or no disruption to the cemetery itself. There is no disrespect to the dead with the removal of the plaque and stone.

The Civil War was an act of insurrection and treason and a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery. The monuments in question were connected to that action and we do not need them on City property.

Taking down monuments will not erase our shared history. The Confederacy’s legacy will be with us, whether we memorialize it in marble or not. I agree with other Mayors around the country also speaking out and taking action. We are acknowledging there is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. In Madison, we join our brothers and sisters around the country to prove that we, as a people, are able to acknowledge, understand, reconcile, and most importantly, choose a better future for ourselves.

There should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country. That is why I instructed Forest Hills Cemetery staff to remove a Confederate’s Rest commemorative memorial. There is a larger monument, which has not garnered as much attention, which will also be removed.
These were soldiers, not men who made decisions about secession and war. Their graves are here because they surrendered and were brought here as prisoners. They suffered here:
Despite best efforts, U.S. Army officials deemed camp conditions unsuitable. A May 1 letter written by Assistant Quartermaster J.A. Potter described the soldiers of the 19th Wisconsin as undisciplined, inexperienced and poorly-equipped to guard such a volume of prisoners. He expressed disappointment in hospital conditions, noting that of the roughly 1,200 prisoners held at Camp Randall, some 200 were hospitalized with illness.

The condition of these afflicted prisoners worsened. Despite medical care, more prisoners began to succumb to measles, mumps and pneumonia. A Private Paddock of the 19th Wisconsin Regiment wrote to his family regarding these deaths: “They die off like rotten sheep. There was 11 die off yesterday and today, and there ain’t a day but what there is from two to nine dies.”...
ADDED: Here's a photograph that shows the stone with the plaque and its position in relation to the graves. I don't believe Soglin is talking about removing the individual headstones or interfering with the buried bodies, though his statement contains no word of assurance about respect for the graves.

319 comments:

1 – 200 of 319   Newer›   Newest»
exhelodrvr1 said...

This is the left.

Lawrence Person said...

How long until the SJW contingent starts digging up Confederate graves to put the skeletons on trial for war crimes?

Todd said...

Soglin said in a statement Thursday that he has directed staff to remove a plaque and a stone at the Confederate Rest section of the cemetery, adding "there should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country."

I guess it all depends on what your definition of "unite" is.

Stalin strove to unite Russa. Hitler strove to unite Germany. The left/antifa strive to "unite" America. All three of these things seem like the others.

Sorry Soglin, I am against fascists, even those that "seek to unite our communities and our country"...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Island No. 10 was Grant's first big victory. Grant owned a couple of slaves for a while.

Chest Rockwell said...

"We find that whole communities suddenly fix their mind upon one object, and go mad in it's pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first."

wendybar said...

Welcome to the world of WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THE LEFT???

John Tuffnell said...

But Althouse, there are virtues to signal!

And why stop at grave robbing?

The city of Madison was named for James Madison. You know, the one who proposed the 3/5 compromise.

Oh, and he also owned slaves.

Strip all reference to Madison from the city too.

traditionalguy said...

Reminds you of ISIS treatment of ancient Christian infidel graves. Maybe Soglin will get a McCain endorsement and some secret Soros blood money out of this act of hatred.

As southerner Forest Gump said, " Nazi is as Nazi does."

Gahrie said...

"there should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country."...

Unless, of course, it is bigotry, hatred and violence against those deplorable White people.

wendybar said...

Lawrence Person said...
How long until the SJW contingent starts digging up Confederate graves to put the skeletons on trial for war crimes?

Unfortunately...it has begun...http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3173456/Vigilante-protesters-start-DIGGING-body-Confederate-general-Nathan-Forrest-KKK-leader-grave.html

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Another reason for Meadehouse to leave Mad Town: no more plaque saying that confederate soldiers were heroes.

BTW, while you're still in town, why not erect your own statue or plaque that honors the heroes of the confederacy? Seems like Meade could fit a pretty good sized monument in the front yard.

But, you may wanna install a camera to monitor it for vandalism.

Just sayin'

rhhardin said...

Respect for opponents is guys' rules. Society has a feminized brain now.

It's not that it's graves but that it's opponents.

Michael K said...

Madison is a leftist stronghold.

Surely you knew that.

"Therefore for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state. In this sense fascism is totalitarian, and the fascist state which is the synthesis and unity of every value, interprets, develops and strengthens the entire life of the people."

Mussolini.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Madison sounds like a hell hole, according to Althouse and her gardener.

Sydney said...

It is madness. People have forgotten how severely crushed the South was in their defeat in the Civil War. It took them over a century to recover - socially and economically. I have heard that Robert E. Lee was against the erection of monuments for the Confederate officers, but I think it was a little bit of grace in victory that their monuments were allowed to go up to honor those men - husbands, brothers, fathers - who risked and lost all.

John Tuffnell said...

Need to start calling the city by its first name -- James. Less offensive.

Or maybe Loretta. Nobody named Loretta has ever done anything bad to anyone.

hombre said...

But, Professor, we know that ALL those men and boys who fought for the Confederacy were racist slaveowners who, had they survived, would have been KKK, don't we? Also, right there in Madison, and lefty cities throughout the US, it is apparent that we can no longer remember the Civil War as brother against brother, American against American and not to be repeated, because the reminders will be erased from our sight. The left no longer sees valiant adversaries, only deplorable ones.

I am sick of the dishonorable bullshit!

Bay Area Guy said...

The Civil War was horrible, the South's cause (freedom to preserve the institution of slavery) was not noble.

However, the peace and reunification between North and South AFTER the WAR, was honorable. Yes, there were blemishes and hiccups and messiness during reconstruction. Yes, it was unjust for the South to impose Jim Crowe laws in their States.

But, on the whole, the peace was honorable. Celebrating the peace, by allowing the South to keep some of its symbols and traditions and, yes, monuments is a small price to pay for the benefits of a lasting peace.

The Madison mayor is a leftist who wants to upend this peace -- for political gains in 2017. Quite pathetic.

Greek Donkey said...

Disguting,
I am also assuming that the Confederate army was not purely volunteer. Hell, it's even possible they surrendered because they didn't believe sufficiently in the cause. Of course, none of that matters, nor should it. They are dead people - soliers or not. How their presence or words about them couldn't reasonably hurt anyone is absurd.

Matthew Sablan said...

Huh. Accidentally mistaken a peace memorial for a Confederate one, now literally desecrating graves.

I thought we'd reach self-satire in weeks, not hours.

Balfegor said...

Re: exhelodrv1 --

It's not just the left. They're part of a trend across the world to try and excise the past. Recently, I was appalled (but not surprised) to learn that the Turks are now defacing Allied war memorials in Turkey.

Ataturk’s famous tribute to fallen Allied soldiers was gouged under so-called “restoration” works in Turkey, with up to 15 other memorials on one-time ­battlefields of the Gallipoli Peninsula slated to be “modernised” under orders by the fundamentalist Islamic government led by anti-West President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ataturk's words:

“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country,” it read. “Therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side-by-side here in this country of ours.”

are not much in the spirit of the modern Turkey. As Althouse says, after all, they're monuments "honoring the other side in a war," which is "very strange."

Re: Lawrence Person:

How long until the SJW contingent starts digging up Confederate graves to put the skeletons on trial for war crimes?

This is actually pretty par for the course -- during the Cultural Revolution in China, the students dug up the corpses of the 76th generation descendant of Confucius and hung him from a tree. They also defaced a lot of family graves. On a moderately less barbarous note, after the Restoration, Oliver Cromwell's body was dug up and the head mounted on a spike. I fully expect our excitable young Red Guards to start exhuming corpses in due time.

Char Char Binks said...

Every once in awhile some black folks have conniptions over this. It must be EXHAUSTING!

Karen said...

Can no one acknowledge that soldiers must obey their leaders? There were probably many of those who died who were scared, unwitting pawns in a larger game. Can't we let them rest In peace and dignity?

Gahrie said...

The Civil War was an act of insurrection and treason

Not everyone agrees with this...either then or now.

Roughcoat said...

This is truly despicable, a textbook example of desecration. Very reminiscent of Nazi desecration of Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe, e.g. removing headstones and using them as paving stones.

rehajm said...

You don't wanna move a cemetery.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Serious question. When does the wrecking ball start swinging at the FDR memorial? Any lefties around want to explain why we can have a large and grand edifice honoring a man who stole from and imprisoned American citizens based on their ethnicity?

Also, is anyone else completely revolted by the me-tooism? Are we all in middle school now?

Bob Loblaw said...

There they go again, erasing history. Well, at least they haven't tried to dig up the remains yet.

What makes leftists such horrible people? Broken homes? Some kind of mental defect?

Humperdink said...

The commie-pinkos on the left would do well to emulate the Hatfields and McCoys. That is, after the feud was over. The Hatfields and McCoys now have and reunion festival (together) every year.

Ironically, the feud started in the midst of the civil war.

jaydub said...

This over the top virtue signaling by the country's politicians and media entities is nauseating. If these morons want to desecrate the graves of real nazis, there are former nazi prisoners of war buried in the US. Go topple their grave stones. You'll feel even better than merely desecrating the graves of "pseudo-nazis."

Luke Lea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wwww said...


Island No. 10 was Grant's first big victory. Grant owned a couple of slaves for a while.


In 1860 Grant lived in Galena, Illinois. He briefly farmed in Missouri, and hired free African Americans to help. He freed the one enslaved person his wife inherited from her family.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't think Soglin is saying remove all the headstones.

I think it's about a couple markers that relate to the whole section of the graveyard, that explain the history.

It seems to me these men were transported here after surrendering. They became prisoners and they died under that circumstance. That makes the the lowliest members of our community. They were never restored to freedom, never able to go home after the war. I think we owe something to them. Their descendants come here to visit their graves... descendants or more distant relatives. How many men who died in that terrible war were deprived of the simple human benefit of having direct descendants?

Anonymous said...

"With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds."

Unfortunately the left has an abundance of malice and little charity


Birkel said...

Is this the thread in which "I told you so" is appropriate?

Gusty Winds said...

Luckily General Grant treated the confederate soldiers better at the surrender at Appomattox better than the me-too left is doing now. It was a smart move that helped unite the country.

rehajm said...

I still don't think this will be sufficient to stir up the black guys at the barbershop enough to vote for a bitter old white lady.

Charlie said...

Once the statues started falling, I knew the graves would be next. I was reminded of La Cambe, the cemetery near Bayeux in France where 21,000 German soldiers are buried. Despite every horror the Third Reich inflicted on France, the French have acted with mercy towards their enemies who died far from home. It seems the left knows only vengeance, not mercy.

Meade said...

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson,

Wont you please come to the city formerly known as Madison. Stand in our front yard. I'll place a plaque in front you -- "SCAPEGOAT (FakeGoodPerson) Let she who is without virtue cast as many stones as it takes to feel better about yourself"

Ken B said...

"I really did not think the monument-topplers would go after the cemetery."
Perhaps because you believe this is about the real world. It isn't. It's competition for a positional good: "most woke white penitent". But of course with a a white savior complex.

Michael said...

Oh they will go after the gravestones next. Your Madison mayor is a bit late to the showboating though I assume he is well practiced in virtue signaling. As mayor why did he not have these removed at the beginning of his administration? He was insufficiently woke? Did he campaign on the removal of these statues? Not woke. Impeach. Too little too late. Not. Woke.

Jupiter said...

Bay Area Guy said...
"The Civil War was horrible, the South's cause (freedom to preserve the institution of slavery) was not noble."

At the time of the American Civil War, slavery was a dying institution, in the South as everywhere outside the Islamic World. The Virginia legislature debated abolishing slavery in 1832, and it is impossible to believe that slavery would have continued into the 20th Century, with or without a war. It is noteworthy that no other nation required a war to end slavery, just as no other English-speaking nation required a war to obtain Independence from the British Crown. The war was not fought over slavery, it was fought over regional power. Massachusetts drove ol' Dixie down. All hail fucking Massachusetts, which gave us Teddy Kennedy. Let's put up some statues of that fat-faced murderer.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"How many men who died in that terrible war were deprived of the simple human benefit of having direct descendants?"

Are you referring to the Confederates fighting so that whites could continue castrating black folks?

Roughcoat said...

"Amongst lnjuns... a tribe's greatness is figured on how mighty its enemies be."

This is a very ancient value. In the Iliad a warrior would not think of engaging in combat with a lesser man than he. His opponent had to be at least his equal in all respects, notably in battlecraft, lineage, and courage. He had to be an honorable man and he had to be a gentleman, after the fashion that such virtues were reckoned in the Bronze Age. He had to skilled in the art of single combat. If he wasn't there was no point in fighting him. Win or lose, you earned no glory.

What's more, there is an important psychological component to honoring the enemy fallen. It helps one cope with the several traumas of war: the horror, the guilt and, yes, the exaltation. It helps the survivors reconcile with their surviving enemies and, most importantly, with themselves. In other words, it has a profoundly healing function. Real men understand this.

Soglin is not a real man.

MountainMan said...

Soglin - what a great mayor! Fixed that right away didn't he! He might ought to check the law, it might have been illegal for him to do that. I know in TN he wouldn't get away with it.

And Camp Randall is just a small cemetery. Much larger ones in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and New York. And UDC placed monuments at some of them, at least four in Ohio alone . Some of these cemeteries are quite large - into the thousands - but many of the Confederate graves are just mass graves with no individual markers so they don't take up a lot of space. One of the largest - and worst - POW camps was Camp Douglas in Chicago. After the war over 4,000 Confederate dead were taken from there and dumped in a mass grave in Oak Wood Cemetery. It is still there. Most people pay no attention to these in the North these days and don't even know they are there. That's what happens when we no longer teach history the way we used to.

My gg-grandmother's brother was captured at Gettysburg on July 2. He was eventually taken to Elmira, NY, another awful camp. When he died in 1864 - on his 8th wedding anniversary - from pneumonia they at least had the decency to put him in his own grave which has a marker and is in the national cemetery there. You can see it on Findagrave.com. Most Confederates were not that lucky. Even with that his widow never knew he was a POW. The information never got communicated and she went to her grave never knowing what happened to him. On her 1890 GA pension application she wrote "Went into battle at Gettysburg on July 2. Never seen or heard from again."

Most Confederate bodies were never returned home, just buried quickly in shallow mass graves on the battlefield that would then be dug up by wild hogs and other animals. In northern VA, where so many battles were fought over the same land, troops might go into battle marching over the remains from the last battle. Of the 5,500 Confederate dead at Gettysburg about 2,000 are still there, buried in the fields and woods, with no identification. Sometimes, when doing maintenance or restoration, the NPS will come across one. They just leave them where they are.

That's why in the South we have all these monuments on the courthouse square. They are for the men who never came home and were never heard from again. And that's why they should stay. There the only funeral markers that exist.

At least at Andersonville, the awful Confederate POW camp, the 13,000 who died now have a beautiful national cemetery with every grave marked, plus a museum. Henry Wirz, the Swiss-born commander, was the only Confederate office executed after the war. But I can't think of anyone in the South who ever want to deny those Union men the honor and memory that they deserve.

The left are just getting started. It is going to get real ugly.

Gusty Winds said...

Let the band play Dixie.

Kevin said...

there should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country.

Clearly stated: for those who find themselves outside of the designated "uniter" groups, bigotry, hatred and violence are still in play.

wwww said...



I am unclear on why the Commander-In-Chief and Head-Of-State is talking so frequently about history. Why is he re-litigating the Civil War? His unpopularity in big and small urban areas are going to propel attention to all these historical markers of the Confederacy. Democrats now overwhelming Like NAFTA and Hate Russia because Trump is so unpopular. That's new. Progressives dominate urban areas like Madison and Durham and Charlottesville and all over the urban south. Trump's unpopularity and attention to the subject will propel city councils to take down markers to avoid riots or troubles. Presumably he thinks this will help him politically. Maybe these racial/historical issues will help in some way, but it won't help him get a legislative program through Congress. It won't help the US gain influence with our allies when front page articles on International Newspapers are all about American Nazis and pictures of people flying in the air from that car crash. But, sure, maybe there's an off-chance it helps Trump win re-election? I dunno, I think people will care more about peace and prosperity -- tax reform, infrastructure, health care, North Korea being handled well.

I think he's rather be Presidential Historian, rather then Commander-In-Chief.

Luke Lea said...

These monuments are useful reminders of the Civil War itself, the noblest conflict in our or any nation's history; without them the war itself might easily be forgotten. Don't say it can't happen: surveys show that today's students and young adults are shockingly ignorant of our nation's past history, illustrious as it has been in comparison to others.

Rebel battle flags incorporated into state flags, on the other hand, serve no useful purpose as far as I can see. On the back of pickup trucks they stand for a kind of mindless regional pride for rebellious young males I suppose, which less than one in a thousand sees fit to display. To conclude they infer mass racism on the part of the general population is not only wrong but, as Steve Bannon just said, a political mistake when it comes to what happens in 2018.

Bob Loblaw said...

This is a very ancient value. In the Iliad a warrior would not think of engaging in combat with a lesser man than he.

The Mongols, on the other hand, considered weak opponents worthy of seeking out because it was easier to murder them and take their stuff.

Hagar said...

... At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Balfegor said...

Re: Luke Lea:

Don't say it can't happen: today's students and young adults are shockingly ignorant of our past.

Up to a point, I suppose. It depends what you mean by "our" past. On the one hand, as a citizen of the US, it's "my" past, but in personal terms, none of my ancestors was in the US before 1900: my family history took place in the British Empire, the German Empire, the Kingdom of Chosun, and the Empire of Japan before shifting scene to the United States of America. I don't know what the numbers are, but I wouldn't be surprised if we colonists outnumber the natives at this point. It may be "our" history in theoretical terms, but is our attachment emotional or merely a matter of antiquarian curiosity, like Lord Curzon and the Taj Mahal?

Oh look! More enemy statues!

The turnaround is so complete that more of the former viceroy's statues are about to be brought out for prominent public display in Calcutta, where the impressive residence was built by Curzon as a copy of Kedleston Hall, his family home in Derbyshire.

Just a note, though, the article is inaccurate: the viceregal palace in Calcutta was not built by Curzon -- it was built in 1803, almost an hundred years before Curzon became viceroy (1899). It's just coincidental that Kedleston Hall was the model.

Jim at said...

The left has shown - without a shadow of a doubt - that violence is the way to get things done.

Duly noted.

Jupiter said...

As many rational people proposed at the time, slavery could readily have been ended by paying compensation to the slave-owners. The cost would have been immeasurably less than the cost of the Civil War, but the good, just, righteous and honorable men of Massachusetts were not about to compensate slaveowners for property they had no right to in the first place. They preferred to plunge the country into a fraternal bloodbath, in order to proclaim their own virtue. They emerged victorious from the hideous catastrophe they imposed on their neighbors, and their descendants are very much with us today -- grim-faced, implacable, certain of their virtue, eager to punish any who oppose them.

wwww said...

"How many men who died in that terrible war were deprived of the simple human benefit of having direct descendants?"

More then 620,000 K majority from disease.


rehajm said...

Soglin is jealous because there's no confederate statues in Madison to tear down?

Maybe he can use tax dollars to purchase one from Baltimore, erect it, then tear it down?

YoungHegelian said...

And, yet again, the Left overreaches. Now, the very dead themselves must be despoiled from their graves.

Just like the Jacobins did to the graves of the French kings & the tombs of the saints. It's all there in the playbook. They're gonnas take us to a new world at Year Zero with the New Soviet (Wo)Man.

So, how was your Thermidor?

Barring old age, it'll be Trump in 2020. May God have mercy on us all.

Kevin said...

I think it's about a couple markers that relate to the whole section of the graveyard, that explain the history.

Makes it much easier to spit on and desecrate the graves once the context is removed. How long afterward will demands come to have the remains removed because "they don't belong there"?

First they came for the plaque that explained what happened...

chickelit said...

And there go Soglin's chances for higher office.

@Altouse: As for honoring "losers", why do we have numerous monuments to Native Americans?

David said...

As I have noted before, probably ad nauseam, my great grandfather William Atwell, 12 NY Cavalry, was a prisoner at Andersonville. He narrowly escaped death, but was marked for life by the experience. He was eventually consumed by anxiety and alcohol abuse, and spent the last quarter century of his life in Veterans Homes, including nearly a decade in the Veteran Home in Milwaukee.

Though Andersonville was probably the worst, conditions in Union prison camps were also deplorable, and the management of those camps was also negligent. William Atwell was a Sargent of cavalry, caught up in the war like millions of other young men, north and south.

The soldiers who fought the war on both sides had the good sense to participate in a broad reconciliation after the war. With narrow exceptions, soldiers simply fight because they have to, not because they are pro or anti slavery in this case. These young men, killed in part by the negligence of the Union army towards their prisoners, were in a real sense also collateral victims of the slave system that the entire nation accepted, and then discarded in a torrent of blood.

Compassion and reconciliation are gone now, replace divisive political expedience. It is an ugly sight.

Though I disagree with it, there is at least a case to be made for mothballing the memorials to Confederate leaders. But this is just an act of petty vengeance, a politician joining a mob and pretending to lead it.

Truthavenger said...

What a disgusting, sniveling act of cowardice by the mayor.

Kevin said...

I think he's rather be Presidential Historian, rather then Commander-In-Chief.

No, he's just fighting for inconvenient truths. These are the truths those who oppose him want buried or misstated. To let them get away with that give them arguments they don't deserve and which make his cause more difficult.

Every war is a war to control information. Obama was also the Presidential Historian. The press loved him and did much of his work to make it easier on him.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Seems like if you want to help an actual real-life person of color have a nice life and fulfill his or her human potential, you could volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Or volunteer as a court-appointed special advocate for a child under CPS care. Those things would help teach a young person who might not otherwise believe this that he or she is a worthwhile, important, special human being who can do great things in this world. Or you could worry about statues and a few dozen meth-addled so-called Nazis who have no power to harm anyone who ignores them.

wwww said...

No, he's just fighting for inconvenient truths. These are the truths those who oppose him want buried or misstated. To let them get away with that give them arguments they don't deserve and which make his cause more difficult.


Infrastructure week continues to go swimingly. Do you want to "win" historical arguments, or do you want a legislative agenda to pass Congress? If you want to have historical arguments about race and history, then great! You're in luck, because that's what on tap for the next 3 years.

Dave Begley said...

Althouse (per usual) makes a great point. These were rank-and-file soldiers that surrendered. They were held as POWs in not good conditions.

My points. They lost the war. It is a minor monument. Not really a monument. It has been over 100 years. Move on.

Bob Loblaw said...

The cost would have been immeasurably less than the cost of the Civil War, but the good, just, righteous and honorable men of Massachusetts were not about to compensate slaveowners for property they had no right to in the first place. They preferred to plunge the country into a fraternal bloodbath, in order to proclaim their own virtue.

They thought it would be a quick and dirty war. The US had conquered most of Mexico in very little time and at very little cost, so that was the mental template they were working from. While they were correct in thinking the South, with very little industry, never really had a chance to achieve a military victory, it wasn't until the first battle of Bull Run they realized the Confederates weren't going to roll over and play dead.

The whole war was stupid - a monumental failure of the political class (which, I might note, was more competent than the one we have today). Slavery would not have survived a generation even without the war. The vast majority of the world managed to get rid of the institution without going to war, because it didn't make economic sense any more.

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, & a prediction: By blaming all the violence at Charlottesville on the Nazi/KKK guys & ignoring the Left Wing Nutjobs in his long series of tweets, Marco Rubio just ended his political career. As there is more & more Lefty overreach, those words will come back to haunt him. His electorate, especially the Cubans, will never forgive the fact that he excused & ignored out & proud commies who demonstrated under the hammer & sickle.

Just you watch.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

FDR appointed a Klansman to the Supreme Court time to rename all the things named after him.

Woody Wilson segregated the federal civilian workforce. Same treatment.

As for Soglin, what a piker. He should have those remains dug up and fed to rabid dogs.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Hizzoner could raise a statue to some real Wisconsin Union heroes, the men of the Iron Brigade, instead of dancing on the graves of Confederates.
Unfortunately, the Iron Brigade was a bunch of old white men so I'm not hopeful.

Fr. Gregory Jensen said...

If I may:

(1) Mayor Soglin's assertion that "There is no disrespect to the dead with the removal of the plaque and stone" rings hollow. I would imagine, he would object if the same thing were done to the grave of a family member.

(2) "There should be no place in our country for bigotry, hatred or violence against those who seek to unite our communities and our country." This kind of cuts both ways doesn't it?There can be no unity without forgiveness.

(3) I would commend to the Mayor the words of GK Chesterton: "To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless."



Rae said...

It's all tribal politics. This is a raid to desecrate the graves of a rival tribe, and thereby demoralize them, before the actual warfare begins.

Mr Wibble said...

So, memorials to the dead on the losing side, who supported an immoral cause, are bad?

If that's the Left's standard... when do they demand that the Vietnam Memorial Wall be torn down? After all, it's an article of faith on the left that a) Vietnam was an immoral war where we propped up an abusive government, and b) that we lost the war.

Balfegor said...

Re: Jupiter:

As many rational people proposed at the time, slavery could readily have been ended by paying compensation to the slave-owners.

I have my doubts about the Federal government's ability to pay the amount that would have been necessary to buy out the rebels. Also, some of the states -- I am thinking of South Carolina in particular here -- were clearly itching to fight. And consider, if you will, Rebel VP Alexander Stephens' famous Cornerstone Speech:

The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the "storm came and the wind blew."

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

These are . . not the words of a man who is going to be content with a Federal buyout. Let's just leave it at that.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Jupiter,

The Virginia legislature debated abolishing slavery in 1832, and it is impossible to believe that slavery would have continued into the 20th Century, with or without a war.

I agree in part, and disagree in part. I agree that the Civil War wasn't absolutely necessary to end slavery. I don't think I claimed that. But that's a separate hypothetical question. Lincoln was elected (fair and square), and in response Southern Senators walked out of the Senate, moved towards secession. Whether the Union could have been preserved, without the Civil War, in my mind, is a tougher question.


It is noteworthy that no other nation required a war to end slavery, just as no other English-speaking nation required a war to obtain Independence from the British Crown. The war was not fought over slavery, it was fought over regional power.

Disagree. In my mind, it's both, not either/or. Slavery was a rotten, perhaps dying institution. The question is how much authority did the Federal government have to force the South to change it.

Gusty Winds said...

When are they going to outlaw reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

ihasch said...

What a complete lack of basic grace and decency. Let the dead rest and old wars be consigned to a dignified memory. We memorialize to move on and heal. But I guess classless, unprincipled politicians are too opportunistic and short-sighted to care. All they want is to sow division and then benefit from it. Completely contemptible.

Dave Begley said...

The Civil War ended 152 years ago.

n.n said...

And most Germans were not socialists, but were captured in a national movement. Not the least of which was to safeguard their family and community.

And most American Indians coexisted with each other and colonists, and vice versa.

History is a scientific study of a signal sampled below the Nyquist Rate. The men and women that preceded us should be considered for what they did wrong and right, and not erased from existence through a Talibanesque abortion of their lives and memorials.

It's worthy noting those individuals who sinned, repented, and strived to reconcile moral, natural, and personal imperatives.

Mr Wibble said...

This is what happens when weaklings get ahold of power. They abuse it. This isn't about a few statues, it's about hurting the people that they don't like, and humiliating them. Same with gay marriage, tranny rights, and every other left-wing cause.

JSF said...

I await the Zombie apocalypse.

Gahrie said...

I am unclear on why the Commander-In-Chief and Head-Of-State is talking so frequently about history. Why is he re-litigating the Civil War?

Because a bunch of ignorant racists on the Left have made it an issue.

Gusty Winds said...

I just caught my self singing Zip-a-dee-do-da from Song of the South and realized I needed further sensitivity training.

Balfegor said...

Re: Dave Begley:

The Civil War ended 152 years ago.

The Imjin War ended 419 years ago. Doesn't mean Korea won't still hold it against Japan. Americans are only just beginning to learn the satisfaction of a real, long-running historical grudge. Love and peace and reconciliation are great, but nothing gets the juices flowing like that old-fashioned hate.

Earnest Prole said...

You signed on to Scott Adams' glib corporate bullshit forgetting how revolutionary purges always end up consuming things we all hold dear.

Kevin said...

Infrastructure week continues to go swimingly. Do you want to "win" historical arguments, or do you want a legislative agenda to pass Congress?

You think the press would have given much attention to Trump's speech had he stuck to infrastructure? HA!

I'm for Trump. I'm for infrastructure. And even I don't care much what he has to say about it. Congress will pass infrastructure no matter what Trump says because Congress loves to spend money. If there was one week during his Presidency he could go off script, talk about race, and still get his agenda passed, it was infrastructure week.

Other legislation which needs to be passed will require a proper framing of historical arguments for it to even be considered. You have to sow the seeds for those long before you need to harvest them.

JSF said...

How is the modern Left different than Orwell's INGSOC?

Bueller? Bueller?

hiswiserangel said...

Here is what I wish would happen:
A voodoo priestess, britalized by Union soldiers and seeing the eminent fall of the Confederacy, places a curse on any soul who desecrates the resting places of Confederate soldiers. Flash forward: some hate-raged idiots in a self-congratulatory snit, dig up the remains of Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest, setting the curse. All the Sons of the Confederacy rise from their graves, wherever they may be, and take vengeance on those who irreverently spat on their sacrifices.
And there you have the meaning of "The South Shall Rise Again."

pacwest said...

I thought the book burning would come before the grave desecration. Wrong again.

Humperdink said...

"The Civil War ended 152 years ago."

Interesting comment. Conventional wisdom has always been that in the south "the (civil) war is not over". Now it's the left that wants to re-engage the war.

Char Char Binks said...

"How is the modern Left different than Orwell's INGSOC?"

In the number of fingers they're holding up, Winston.

Kevin said...

The Civil War ended 152 years ago.

Contrary to media reports, the events of this week have nothing to do with that Civil War.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Lawrence Person said...

How long until the SJW contingent starts digging up Confederate graves to put the skeletons on trial for war crimes?


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3173456/Vigilante-protesters-start-DIGGING-body-Confederate-general-Nathan-Forrest-KKK-leader-grave.html

"Vigilante protesters start DIGGING UP body of Confederate general and KKK leader Nathan Forrest from his grave"

FWBuff said...

So if we're no longer allowing statues or monuments for those who are being vilified as traitors for fighting against the government, then I guess we need to take down all statues, monuments, and plaques honoring Sitting Bull, Quanah Parker, Geronimo, etc. Where does it end?

CWJ said...

"Why do we have monuments celebrating the losing side, the Americans who took up arms against America? That's rather crazy other than to express respect for the dead."

We are all products of our times, as are these statues. Indeed, I believe many of them do indeed express respect for the dead. They served their original purpose and may or may not serve a purpose today. Regardless, they stand mute harming no one.

If someone advocated raising a new monument to the confederacy or one of its leaders, I'd agree with the sentiment above. Today it would "rather crazy." But to fetishize these things - first the battle flag, then statues, now graves, next what? - and invest them with such power that they must be destroyed, is to my mind "rather crazy." By all means, discuss, debate, and remove if a persuasive case can be made (or a new road going through the statue). But to simultaneously mob the mass of them in an ignorant self righteous paroxysm of iconoclastic anachronism makes no sense other than to project the mob's brute power to destroy.

MountainMan said...

After reading Soglin's statement I think it would be appropriate for someone with a legal background to follow up and see if he has the legal authority to do this. I know in Tennessee he would not. I am not a lawyer and have no expertise in this but it's possible someone could file a lawsuit to prevent the plaques removal under state law. That would be embarrassing and very appropriate for him.

Matthew Sablan said...

Gahrie: Don't give in to the re-framing. Trump is *not* re-litigating the Civil War. If anything, the people who want to revisit the statues are. And, maybe we should. Some of these could be gotten rid of.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"At the time of the American Civil War, slavery was a dying institution, in the South as everywhere outside the Islamic World."

It was even starting to die in the late 18th century. Some of the Founding Fathers assumed it would be gone within a few generations.

The invention of the cotton gin, which transformed the economy of the South and made cotton king, breathed new life into the Peculiar Institution.

Ironically, the cotton gin was invented by a Yankee, Eli Whitney.

Fernandinande said...

JSF said...
How is the modern Left different than Orwell's INGSOC?


LEFTSOC has a ring to it, doncha think?

Kevin said...

When are they going to outlaw reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

Already done. No need to outlaw, just shame the copyright holder into withdrawing the work:

"In 2015, in the wake of renewed debate about the symbolism of the Confederate battle flag (which was prominently featured on the General Lees roof and panel behind the rear window in the first five episodes), reruns of the original series were pulled from circulation. Warner Bros., which owns the property, announced it would also no longer create merchandise bearing the flag, including miniatures of the General Lee."

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

In denouncing Nazis (these soldiers were not Nazis) the left have become actual Nazis.

Birkel said...

Matthew Sablan:
It is either none or all. You are a fool if you believe the Leftist Collectivists are going to agree that enough is enough.

I do not think you a fool.

Kevin said...

Actual outlawing of "The Dukes..." would have been difficult to do - First Amendment rights and all that - but shaming people into submission can be done with an appropriate series of retweets these days.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Gusty Winds said...
When are they going to outlaw reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard"?

8/17/17, 12:51 PM

You know "Gone With the Wind" will never be shown again on TCM.

Ralph L said...

Concerning the decoration of Confederate graves in the North: Ambrose Bierce covered this long ago: The dead are dead, let that be their atonement.

Rabel said...

Alexander Stephens:

"Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition."

Abraham Lincoln:

"Hold my beer and watch this. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

There is some debate as to the full accuracy of the Lincoln quote.

exiledonmainstreet said...

YoungHegelian said...
Oh, & a prediction: By blaming all the violence at Charlottesville on the Nazi/KKK guys & ignoring the Left Wing Nutjobs in his long series of tweets, Marco Rubio just ended his political career. As there is more & more Lefty overreach, those words will come back to haunt him. His electorate, especially the Cubans, will never forgive the fact that he excused & ignored out & proud commies who demonstrated under the hammer & sickle."

The campaign commercials write themselves.

Fr. Gregory Jensen said...

I forgot to add since the Mayor protested the Vietnam War, I would presume he would find those who died in that war morally lacking as well. Somehow, however, I doubt he'll remove their memorials. That after all would offend people the mayor cares about. Or at least whose votes he needs.

Fernandinande said...

Kevin said...
'When are they going to outlaw reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard"?'
Already done. No need to outlaw, just shame the copyright holder into withdrawing the work:


The Confederate slave-holding Nazis at
Amazon are still profiting from Hate.

Richard said...

The American Cultural Revolution has begun.

Michael K said...

It's OK> The Lincoln bust in Chicago has been vandalized.

That'll teach him.

Kevin said...

Maybe it's time to update the Gordon Gekko character from Wall Street:

Bud Fox: I thought that you were gonna turn America around, not upside-down! You fucking used me.

Gordon Gekko: Well, you're walkin' around blind without a cane, pal. A fool and his ideology are lucky enough to get together in the first place.

Bud Fox: But why do you need to wreck this country?

Gordon Gekko: Because it's *wreckable*, all right? I took another look at it, and I changed my mind.

Bud Fox: If these people lose their ideals, they got nowhere to go! My father has worked for the cause for 24 years! I gave him my word.

Gordon Gekko: It's all about power, kid. The rest is conversation... Hey, Buddy, you're still gonna be president, all right? And when the time comes, you're gonna parachute out, a rich man. With the money you're gonna make, your dad's never gonna have to work another day in his life.

Bud Fox: So tell me, Gordon: when does it all end, huh? How many statues can you pull down in the dead of night? How much is enough?

Gordon Gekko: It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a zero-sum game: somebody wins, somebody loses. Power itself isn't lost or made, it's simply, uh, transferred from one perception to another. Like magic.

ihasch said...

Madison is named after James Madison, a slaveholder. I demand the name be changed! Also I encourage the defacing and destruction of all municipal property in the name of tolerance. We cannot have such a representative of oppression defiling our community.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...I really did not think the monument-topplers would go after the cemetery.

Do you feel silly now, for your naivety? Don't be too hard on yourself--you underestimated the Left's hatred of bad people. You're a good person so you don't experience that hatred much.

I, naturally, predicted this. In a similar way I predicted that this won't stop w/the removal of these particular symbols (from everywhere), either. The nice, good people here said that was nuts and implied that I was too stupid to understand the nuanced distinction between good historical figures the Left will tolerate/venerate and bad historical figures the Left will seek to blot out. I guess we'll see how that one turns out, too.

mikesixes said...

There are a lot of problematic statues and monuments to be dealt with.
Michelangelo's statue of David glorifies a Zionist soldier who used his murder of a young Palestinian to jump-start his political career.
The Parthenon memorializes ancient Athens. Do you know what atrocities they committed in the Peloponnesian war? I can't even!
The Roman Colosseum-those colonialist Romans had slaves and entertained themselves with the murder of those slaves in that very structure.
The cathedral at Chartres-built by the islamophobes who launched the crusades.
Hadrian's wall was built to keep Picts from immigrating to Roman Britain in search of a better life.
I've barely scratched the surface here. Let the demolition begin-this is the year zero!

David said...

As many rational people proposed at the time, slavery could readily have been ended by paying compensation to the slave-owners.

I have my doubts about the Federal government's ability to pay the amount that would have been necessary to buy out the rebels.


Would have cost a lot less money than the war itself, not to mention the 600,000+ deaths, though it would not have created the economic boom (in the north) the war did.

Probably no 14th or 15th Amendments either. Who knows how that would have played out but the constitutional Civil Rights of f could of freed slaves could have been quite restricted.

Henry said...

Does anyone know when the plaques were actually placed in the cemetery?

Craig said...

"It is awful to preempt public discussion about these graves, to choose go after them in a time of heightened passion. These are graves!"

It would have been so much better had people been complaining for years, right Professor?

wwww said...

Does anyone know when the plaques were actually placed in the cemetery?


1981

Pinandpuller said...

The Dragon is WOKE!

mtrobertslaw said...

Let's hope that Soglin's public virtue signaling doesn't result in a call to arms of Madison's local anti-fas platoons to descend on this small and quiet cemetery with their shovels, picks and sledgehammers.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Remember when I said "giving in to the mob; condoning the mob pulling down war memorials; giving your consent, even implicitly, to the Left's contention that because the object of their hate (for the moment) is worthy of hate their approach is valid?" I mean, I said those things and the smart nice people here essentially said "you're just a racist bigot Nazi, Hoodlum, you're too hung up on a regional identity issue and the fact that you apparently venerate traitors and their hateful traitorous cause blinds you to the truth that the Left, in this case, is correct."

The smart good people are happy to support the Left when they dig up Forrest (since he was only moved to his current too-honorable/celebratory location in 1904) for re-interment to a less-conspicuous graveyard. When I say "what's next; slippery slope!" I'm assured that I'm too stupid to see that it really isn't and when it actually matters the smart people will all agree that it's time to fight the Left and win. What'd it take, 2 days for that to become "no longer operative?"

But who cares; it's just the feelings of some backwards hateful bigot Confederate-loving snowflakes at issue here. Fuck 'em. The important thing is to let everybody know WE are BETTER than them--more moral, more correct, more American.

Thanks, nice people!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MountainMan said...

Regarding purchasing the slaves freedom by having the government pay their owners: In his lectures in his Civil War course at Yale (available on iTunes U), history professor David Blight points out the near impracticality of this. Research has shown the asset value of the entire slave population exceeded the total asset value of all the railroads and factories in the US that existed at that time combined. Blight's expertise is in slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction.

Unknown said...

need to remove confederate graves at arlington to make room for real patriots like willis cato and ted kennedy

MountainMan said...

HoodlumDoodlum: "When I say "what's next; slippery slope!" Ilya Somin, at Volokh Conspiracy blog on WAPO site, had a commentary yesterday that all the Confederate monuments - all of them - should be removed because there is no slippery slope, it doesn't exist, it is just a figment of everyone's imagination. I had barely finished his article when actual slippery slope incidents, similar to this one, start showing up in the news! Interested to see if he will eat crow. I doubt it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Moronic. There is a difference between monuments and memorials. The mayor should look it up. A better idea would have been a new memorial plaque without the "unsung heroes" verbiage if that's a problem in context.

Earnest Prole said...

As many rational people proposed at the time, slavery could readily have been ended by paying compensation to the slave-owners.

Impossible: The average slave price in 1850 was roughly equal to the average price of a house.

Roy Jacobsen said...

"Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it." --Fahrenheit 451

Professional lady said...

Interesting how this is playing out. In a previous post, Ann asked whether DJT actually had a plan and would come out on top of all the controversy. He's looking more and more reasonable to me all the time.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

This has nothing to do with the confederacy or slavery. This is all about asserting whose country this is and who has the power.

Saw a video earlier today. Some young people had toppled a statue and some guy went up to it and spit on it. What does that accomplish? It's not virtue signalling. Its about asserting that your tribe is ascendant.

Matthew Sablan said...

VA's governor has already suggested the complete purge of all Confederate statues.

chuck said...

I feel sorry for Madison, no confederate statues to pull down. At least Oakland has Jack London, the famous socialist racist who urged race war.

Bob Loblaw said...

History is a scientific study of a signal sampled below the Nyquist Rate.

That is a perfect analogy. For the 2% of the population who know what it means.

Kansas City said...

This seems so unnecessary. None of the Mayor's reasons are persuasive. Giving dead prisoners of war (who died in North custody!) a respectful burial spot is a kind, humane and generous act. The mayor is a small left wing politician.

Shelby Foote was very interesting on these type of issues. He basically said there was an "informal agreement" after the Civil War that the South would agree it was best they lost the war and the North would accept that the South fought with bravery and honor. He thought that agreement well served the country, which may be true, although the flaw in Foote's argument is that the flaw allowed the democrats to impose a 100 years of Jim Crow. He is now gone. I wonder about his take on monuments.

To the extent Foote's informal agreement existed, it certainly is being broken by politicians like the mayor. The monuments in public places is a trickier question. I agree that if a significant number of local citizens are offended by a monument, it should be moved to a historical location. I think the best idea was to hold writing competitions for young people, awarding scholarships to the best entries and then posting the best entries at the base of the monument. That will not happen in these unkind and ignorant times.

LYNNDH said...

"I really did not think the monument-topplers would go after the cemetery." Are you really that stupid?  

HoodlumDoodlum said...

So we're all on the same page, it's a fact that legally speaking men who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War are considered U.S. veterans--their widows and children are entitled to collect veteran's pensions and they are entitled to burial in veteran's cemeteries.

I think the full pension payments from the Federal gov. didn't come about until the 1920s (before that the states themselves paid pensions) but the US government paid civil war widows, including Confederate widows, up until the 2000's (I think the last widow died in 2001 or so). If I recall correctly it was the fact that a lot of Confederate veterans volunteered to fight in the Spanish-American War that started the push for full recognition of all fighters in the Civil War as US veterans.

Just, you know, when you nice people have fun denigrating dead Confederate soldiers as traitors, etc, understand that you're saying all of that about legal US veterans. When you talk about removing grave monuments, markers, and memorials, you're talking about doing that to physical remembrances of US veterans, legally.
I mean, forgiveness-wise, some of us thought a lot of this had been settled already, but I get that it's more important to chest-thump your own moral superiority at any opportunity.

Bob Loblaw said...

Saw a video earlier today. Some young people had toppled a statue and some guy went up to it and spit on it. What does that accomplish? It's not virtue signalling. Its about asserting that your tribe is ascendant.

For them it's virtue signaling. This week statues depicting hapless confederate draftees are Emmanuel Goldstein.

Paddy O said...

"The war was not fought over slavery, it was fought over regional power."

There are three stages to Civil War historiography beginning from most naive to most educated: 1) It was about slavery. 2) It was about regional power 3) It was about slavery, but that had regional divisions

Of course the Civil War was about slavery. That was the immediate arguments that led to the crises, it was fueled by abolitionists in the North and slaveowners in the South. The arguments also brought out festering resentment that the Northman was treating the Southern Gentlemen in ways that the Southern Gentleman treated slaves. If the slaves in the South had a vote on the matter, they would have sided with the North.


If the South had abolished slavery when Britain did, there would not have been a Civil War. Period. And if the South had abolished slavery during the Civil War, they would have been recognized as a country by Britain and France, thus ending the Civil War.

I'm curious why Soglin just noticed those plaques? Did he even know about them before? Or did he have an intern hunt down some connection to Civil War history in the city? Virtue signaling indeed. And probably worth looking into the legality. If it was legal? Well, that's the statement Madison wants to make about itself. Vote for someone different.

Probably worth noting that my direct paternal forebears fought for Alabama regiments. They lived. My direct maternal forebear and his oldest son fought for an Indiana regiment and both died from disease (I think) while their regiment was in the South. It's probably also worth noting that POW camps were one of the few topics that the South was vilified about. The fact the Confederate POWs were treated with respect in the North is worth remembering and honoring.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Martin said...

I get the sense that Soglin was embarrassed that unlike mayors in the South, HE did not have any prominent confederate statues or monuments to make a show of removing---until someone thought of this utterly out-of-the-way little thing that speaks more to the humanity of the people of Madison and Wisconsin at the time, than to anything about the Confederacy.

But, jerks have to be jerks, it's what they are and what they do. Even when it comes to insulting the Madisonians (is that the right word?) of a bygone age who tried to do right for the dead, even for their enemies. Maybe especially when it comes to those predecessors--let this be a lesson to anyone who might show humanity towards a fallen foe.

It's hard to believe that any real people in 2017 were deeply offended by this stone, anodyne as it is and located as it is/was. I can understand taking down prominently located statues of Confederates, in public places and maybe with inscriptions that give too much glory to what was after all a bad cause, where people have to see them every day as they go about their business, or that dominate a public venue like a park. I get that, and I think that should be a local issue that everyone else should butt out of.

This is not that. This by Soglin is just sick and nasty. But I don't live in Madison so it's none of my bsuiness, except to make note of it and move on.

Dude1394 said...

YOUR democrat media party at work. Pretty sad.

I certainly would never encourage my children to defend THIS country again. Who knows what the left will decide is acceptable in the future.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...It is awful to preempt public discussion about these graves, to choose go after them in a time of heightened passion. These are graves!

Do you know why no one ever says "Have you no decency?!" to the Left?
'cause we know, Professor, we know.

At least the mayor and the vast numbers of your friends and neighbors who support him aren't UGLY, though, right? They'll always have that.

Martin said...

I will also offer that teh people of Madison who set up that plot and stone no doubt had lost sons, brothers, nephews and neighbors in the war, and seen others come home crippled. If they could rise above THAT and show some decency, who the hell is this twerp, Soglin, to crap on them?

But that's just me...

AJ Lynch said...

This is all symbolic bullshit that the left just loves. It reminds me of the "conversations" they [i.e. Bill Clinton, Obama, etc} are regularly telling us we need to have.

These symbolic actions do not move the country forward one damn inch and the Dems know it but they gin up MSM support and maybe a few votes too.

Bob Loblaw said...

Of course the Civil War was about slavery. That was the immediate arguments that led to the crises, it was fueled by abolitionists in the North and slaveowners in the South.

It's not nearly that simple. How many Southerners owned slaves? 1%? 2%? You can't raise an army that fights the way they fought for the benefit of a tiny aristocracy.

The slavery issue was a proxy for a much larger issue, which was whether the federal government had the power to impose its will on the states in purely internal matters. It clearly did not have that power in the constitution. If you join a union under one set of rules, and other people in the union change the rules, do you have an obligation to remain in the union?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

"One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war."

Left Bank of the Charles said...

In Boston, the monument to dead confederate prisoners at Fort Warren on Georges Island has been encased in wood. Does that go to far? Or does it simply protect the monument from vandalism until a cooling off period can consider these borderline cases more rationally?

I'm sympathetic but it is a fair question: Why should a now-defunct chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which the esteemed historian and civil war battlefield preservationist James M. McPherson has said promotes a white supremacist and neo-Confederate agenda, be given a public voice in a public park?

Paddy O said...

"when you nice people have fun denigrating dead Confederate soldiers as traitors..."

This is why it's okay to distinguish Lee from the common soldiers. There was an Amnesty act, and that is worth honoring (and teaching about). Confederate politicians and certain high ranking officers were excluded from that. Why? It meant the people at the time considered different levels of responsibility and thus different levels of reconciliation.

Too bad the graciousness of the North toward the confederate veterans was not likewise expressed to the former slaves and their descendants. Reminds me a bit of Matthew 18:21-35.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Paddy O said...I'm curious why Soglin just noticed those plaques? Did he even know about them before? Or did he have an intern hunt down some connection to Civil War history in the city? Virtue signaling indeed. And probably worth looking into the legality. If it was legal? Well, that's the statement Madison wants to make about itself. Vote for someone different.

Hey Paddy O, good to see you. Why'd he find the plaques? Because you told him he should! Who gives a fuck about the legality, honestly? No one, Paddy O, because he's doing the right thing. He's doing the thing you think is right, too. The plaque called racist bigot Nazi Confederates "valiant" and that isn't something "we" can tolerate. That's not who we are, Paddy O, as you well know.

"Vote for someone different" is a wonderful idea. I'm sure you'll object when the Media loudly condemns anyone who says "maybe we should leave Confederate grave memorials alone" as a vicious racist bigot Nazi white supremacist, won't you? You'll never let them get away with something like that--you'd insist that they play fair. I bet that'll work, too.

stlcdr said...

Wait a minute, so the Civil war was America vs. the South/Confederacy? Maybe I am missing a bit of history, but I thought it was Union and Confederacy, with very similar flags. The Union won, and resulted in the United States of America. Both sides were American, were they not? Hence the civil war: two peoples of a single country.

Mike Sylwester said...

This is what happens when a Scientific Progressive becomes the Mayor of Madison.

MadisonMan said...

Soglin and much of 'the Left' suffers from Social Justice Warriorism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be offended.

RNB said...

I suppose that soon we who were born in and raised in the South will be given the opportunity to spit on the graves of and curse the memories of those of our forebears who fought in a bad cause and on the Wrong Side of History or be ourselves denounced and punished by the Woke.

Freeman Hunt said...

"I get the sense that Soglin was embarrassed that unlike mayors in the South, HE did not have any prominent confederate statues or monuments to make a show of removing---until someone thought of this utterly out-of-the-way little thing that speaks more to the humanity of the people of Madison and Wisconsin at the time, than to anything about the Confederacy."

That sounds likely. Soglin wanted to make a show, principles be damned.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@RNB

Yep. Won't be long until people are expected to trample on a cross also. Actually, they already are. Symbolically.

Paddy O said...

Hoodlum, when approaching a yield sign, look to make sure you can merge into traffic safely. Also, when you approach a large red octagon with Stop on it, you should stop at it and then proceed either right away or after giving the right a way to someone who preceded you at the intersection.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Paddy O said...Too bad the graciousness of the North toward the confederate veterans was not likewise expressed to the former slaves and their descendants.

Yeah, you keep mentioning Jim Crow et al. to remind me that the South isn't worthy of forgiveness, and I keep wondering about how great the non-South was in terms of race relations during the same time. Must have been a paradise for former slaves and their descendants up North, huh?
See, I'm of the opinion that it's bad to treat those "regional identities" you talk about as valid things. I'm of the opinion that southern history is US history and that the stain of slavery and poor treatment of slaves and the descendants of slaves taints the nation as a whole. I like to think that I'm sad my country tolerated slavery and that I'm proud of my country for ending slavery, too. I like to think that my pride in my distant ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korean War, and Vietnam War is all equally valid and that none of that makes me a racist bigot Nazi.
Weirdly, though, I've learned that some people are more morally upstanding based on their own regional identities. The Draft Riot killings of large number of blacks doesn't stain the people who live in NY today, but the history of slavery and Confederate sympathy (plus Jim Crow laws, etc) stain the (white) people who live in my state, still. Stain me! The same is true for any number of other race riots, segregation laws, and so forth.
If only the South had been as racially enlightened as the people to whom you're comparing them, Paddy O!

sdharms said...

One of my ancestors was buried in a Confederate Cemetary in Ohio. The men of the Civil War were doing what they understood they had to do at the time. Most were not slave owners (mine ancestor was not a slave owner)and were not fighting to protect slavery. They really were fighting for the same thing the Revolutionary soldiers fought for. the right to be FREE and make their own decisions.

rhhardin said...

There should be a marker where the statue of Lee was to memorialize its removal.

Quaestor said...

In Boston, the monument to dead confederate (sic) prisoners at Fort Warren on Georges Island has been encased in wood.

From the linked article: As for the argument put forth by some — including President Trump on Tuesday — that removing Confederate statues is just the first step toward eliminating monuments to other historical figures, from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington — Richardson doesn't buy it.

So she says, but her signature is on the invoice.

Temujin said...

There is little historical knowledge and hence, little historical perspective in this country. Soglin is an idiot. The 'leaders' across our country are pushing to get to the front of the line to show their solidarity with...with...what? Ignorance? The mob? The Red Guard? If you think you're an untouchable, you really don't know your history. I can pretty much guarantee you, they'll be coming for you, too. Just a matter of time. This staged virtue signal will last about 5 minutes in memory. Then you're fair game just like everyone else.
The 20th century was not that long ago. Too bad nothing was learned from it.

stlcdr said...

Also:

When waging war against a foreign nation, is it now the practice to execute and desecrate the remaining people in that country after they lost the war?

Regardless of the cause and the side that fighting men were on, they should be treated with respect and honor for the remaining families and descendants. Barbarians and uncivilized people would do otherwise.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

wwww said...

Island No. 10 was Grant's first big victory. Grant owned a couple of slaves for a while.


In 1860 Grant lived in Galena, Illinois. He briefly farmed in Missouri, and hired free African Americans to help. He freed the one enslaved person his wife inherited from her family.


Yes. What I said. You have to own a slave before you can free him. Why are you splitting hairs? Are you some kind of racist?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Paddy O said...This is why it's okay to distinguish Lee from the common soldiers.

That was a statue depicting, and dedicated to, "common soliders" the shouting mob of nice moral people pulled down in Durham, Paddy O. The valiant act of civil disobedience, remember? You right-thinking nice people probably clucked your tongues about that--not the proper method, not quite the correct WAY to achieve the correct RESULT--but morally speaking the nice people are gonna have to break a few eggs, you know.

Thanks for the driving advice, as well. As should be clear to everyone I'm too stupid and morally backwards to understand nuance when it comes to these kinds of topics so you're absolutely right that I'd have trouble distinguishing between related-but-different traffic signals.

Have I said yet today that people who disagree with me are smarter, more moral, and more truly American than I am? To save time let's just take that as understood--any time I post anything feel free to read that into my statement.

Quaestor said...

PaddyO woud rather not remember this.

Well, what can one expect? Ireland was neutral in WWII.

Maddad said...

This is horrible. Slavery may have been the cause of the Civil War, but it wasn't the reason most people fought it.

I hear there's a school in Madison, maybe the mayor should go and read a book.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Freeman Hunt said..That sounds likely. Soglin wanted to make a show, principles be damned.

On the contrary: it sounds like Soglin wanted to make a show of enacting his (and the Left's) actual principles.

chickelit said...

It's possible that Althouse triggered Soglin's reaction. It's likely that he or someone close to him reads Althouse.

Hi Paul!

Eric said...

If Trump really want the stuff to hit the fan, he could order the removal of the memorial to the fiend who interned the Japanese.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Paddy O said...This is why it's okay to distinguish Lee from the common soldiers."

Your mistake is in believing the left will observe such distinctions.

Jane the Actuary said...

The Trib today (in that sort of "news" article which makes its point by quoting people) says that the monument at the mass grave in Oak Wood Cemetery should be taken down. But apparently the difference is that the Madison cemetery is on city property so they can do what they please.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/janetheactuary/2017/08/camp-douglas-taking-no-confederate-monuments-far.html

William Chadwick said...

If there were statues in the US (and I can think of places in the US where you might find them) of Mao, Fidel, Che and Ho, the Left would not only be okay with them, but would be rioting to keep them from being toppled.

chickelit said...

There could be a distant relative of one of the Confederate soldiers buried in Madison who knows their GGG Grandfather died in Madison. Pity that Mayor Paul will have eliminated any trace. Oh well, the kid would probably be white so no harm done.

Michael K said...

I think l I agree with the theory that all this agitation is to punish the South for voting Republican.

Of course, the people voting Republican are not descended from Confederates.

Why would anyone think Democrats know history ?

Birkel said...

Memorial Hall at Harvard University has names of Confederate soldiers and Admiral Yamamoto.

When will the scorpion sting?

tcrosse said...

Madison is named after James Madison, a slaveholder. I demand the name be changed!

I suggest Muthafucka, Wisconsin.

ALP said...

Speaking of statues and taking offense, I'm surprised no one has petitioned to take down the "Adam" piece in downtown Seattle:


http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/04/20/23980434/petition-to-place-the-penis-at-polishable-level

I mean, how triggering to a victim of sexual assault to see that naked penis! How utterly cis-gendering! Stunned that some feminist or other group haven't campaigned to have this removed. You walk by and look up - and there is that penis.

Maybe Seattle's new female mayor will up to the task.

Lucien said...

You want Senator Kid Rock? Cause this is how you get Senator Kid Rock.

DKWalser said...

One of the (many) problems with progressive-ism is its willingness to tear up social compacts when the mood suits. The division that led to the Civil War was healed in two parts: 1st was the war itself, where one side insisted that slavery end. 2nd was Reconciliation, where we as a society agreed to come together. Part of that agreement, an important part, was that the soldiers from both sides of the conflict would be honored.

Thus, Robert E. Lee, was treated with dignity and respect. The winning side acknowledged that Lee had had conflicting loyalties and he made what for him, was a difficult decision to by loyal to Virginia rather than to the Union. We honored him for honorably fighting for what he thought was right. Without according Lee this honor and respect, it would have been nearly impossible for the North and South to be reconciled.

Why, some 150 years later, do we feel it necessary to revisit this agreement? Will it bring us closer together as a nation? I doubt it will.

Lucien said...

And I agree with Hoodlum. If Althouse, Paddy O, Freeman Hunt and Ilya Somin -- all of whom I respect and appreciate -- thought that this would end at a few highly public statues... Come on guys, you can't be this stupid.

Quaestor said...

... be ourselves denounced and punished by the Woke

I've been bothered by that semi-literate shibboleth ever since Maxine Waters (that paragon of learning) started to promote it. At first, it was just the appalling grammar. But there was something else in the back of my mind... this!

Sebastian said...

"It is awful to preempt public discussion about these graves, to choose go after them in a time of heightened passion. These are graves!" It is awful! Why are they cranking up everyone's feelings? Who are they? These are graves! Etcetera, etcetera.

In a better world, your sentiments would matter. In this one, the left wants to win, by rewriting history, by imposing its rule, by controlling the means of propaganda, and by creating a New Man/Person/Whatever. In this one, "ordinary people seeking peace" will bow down and acquiesce in the iconoclastic fury, until the actual terror hits. As it always does, when the left really gets going.

Thus far, America has been lucky with a sufficiently divided and decentralized system, with enough of a Christian heritage, to be spared the worst. But the old buffers are gone.

steve uhr said...

Maybe soglin can convert them to a monument for his heros the Castro brothers.

Bob Loblaw said...

Thus far, America has been lucky with a sufficiently divided and decentralized system, with enough of a Christian heritage, to be spared the worst. But the old buffers are gone.

I agree with this. I think we're in for a reckoning. A very violent one.

I was hoping it wouldn't happen in my lifetime, but things are moving quickly now.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Since the left is so interested in polls, according to a new Marist one 62% of the American public thinks the statues should not be removed because of their historical significance. 44% of Democrats agree they should stay put.

Boy, this is a real winning issue for the Democrats!

Rabel said...

Not content with their efforts to restart the Cold War, the Left is now trying to restart the Civil War.

England, you're next.

Birkel said...

AGAIN:

Memorial Hall at Harvard University has names of Confederate soldiers and Admiral Yamamoto.

Static Ping said...

Ah, cemetery desecration in the name of "good."

I would describe this as an evil act.

William said...

It's a platitude of the left that you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. Precisely. They make peace with our enemies, not their enemies.......After all these years they've taken it into their heads to re-fight the Civil War. I don't think their enemy is dead white Confederates, but rather live white Republicans. I have blood relatives who fought on the northern side in the Civil War, and I don't take offense at such memorials. So now I'm the enemy......This is malicious and manipulative.

Freeman Hunt said...

"If Althouse, Paddy O, Freeman Hunt and Ilya Somin -- all of whom I respect and appreciate -- thought that this would end at a few highly public statues... Come on guys, you can't be this stupid."

I didn't think extremists would stop at the Confederacy honoring monuments, but I disagree with them beyond those, and I think people should oppose them there.

If you've been saying that there's no difference between monuments and memorials and no difference between the leaders of the Confederacy and the Founding Fathers, you are the same as the Leftists. You're part of the problem. They can point at you and say, "See! We all agree that these are the same!"

Khesanh 0802 said...

Next we should take down the markers for German POWs who died in this country. They, naturally, were all REAL Nazis! Here and, in fact, here's a list of all 521 of the burial places.

As far as the Confederates are concerned I was happy to Hoodlum Doodlum's 1:43. Confederate soldiers were just as much Americans as you or I.

Next thing you know someone will want to remove Robert Gould Shaw's figure from the statue honoring him and the 54th Massachusetts because, as their commanding officer, he was exercising his white privilege over them.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"England, you're next."

Yep. All those Victorian statues of imperialist administrators and governors will certainly have to come down. Not to mention statues of Vicky herself, the biggest imperialist of them all.

Big Mike said...

Well, this is what passes for bravery on the left -- Soglin picking a fight with dead soldiers. A mighty man courage he is!

Maddad said...

You know, a lot of people up North didn't want to fight in that damn war. Some were so upset about it they lynched free blacks. Should we burn every copy of "Gangs of New York"? Cancel St Patrick's Day? Tear down the Boss Tweed memorial at NY City Hall?

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Next thing you know someone will want to remove Robert Gould Shaw's figure from the statue honoring him and the 54th Massachusetts because, as their commanding officer, he was exercising his white privilege over them."

Yep. He rode a horse while they had to walk. #racist.

Rabel said...

"And I agree with Hoodlum. If Althouse, Paddy O, Freeman Hunt and Ilya Somin -- all of whom I respect and appreciate -- thought that this would end at a few highly public statues... Come on guys, you can't be this stupid."

It didn't start with the statues. It started with the flag. The statues are downslope.

Lucien said...

If you've been saying that there's no difference between monuments and memorials and no difference between the leaders of the Confederacy and the Founding Fathers, you are the same as the Leftists. You're part of the problem. They can point at you and say, "See! We all agree that these are the same!"

No, I haven't been saying that.

Ambrose said...

Making cheap political points over POWs who died while in your state's care and custody is a new low.

mockturtle said...

Not just a slippery slope, this is a precipitous cliff and once having taken that jump there is no turning back.

mockturtle said...

No honor for losers? Then I guess the Vietnam War Memorial must go.

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