SCV Not Happy With North Carolina Sesquicentennial Website

If the SCV really wants to be taken seriously during the upcoming Civil War Sesquicentennial than they are going to have to do better than what Walter L. Adams Jr. offers as a critique of North Carolina’s sesquicentennial website.  Adams is the heritage defense officer for Pettigrew’s Partisans, Camp 2110 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  That’s right, he is the heritage defense officer.   First, check out the website, which I think is an incredible resource and reflects a strong commitment on the part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources to commemorate the war in an inclusive and educational manner.  What’s he upset about?

  • The views of conservative columnist such as Walter Williams, economist Thomas J. DiLorenzo, and Professor Ludwell H. Johnson have been left out.
  • “The National Park Service deliberately ignores other factors such as high tariffs, adherence to constitutional principles, or fears of political and economic domination by the North that make for a considerably more complex situation.”
  • “No mention is made of the fact that before the war, Abraham Lincoln supported the original 13th Amendment that would have barred the federal government from ever interfering with that institution.”  — Not sure what this has to do with North Carolina.
  • “No mention was made of so-called Black Codes that Northern and Midwestern states adopted to discriminate against blacks before such codes were adopted in the South.”  — Not sure what this has to do with North Carolina.
  • “The role of black North Carolinians and other black Southerners who wore the gray was completely ignored.” And, of course they are upset that no mention is made of the “estimated 19,000 African-Americans…who bore arms in the Confederate armed forces.”

How can I become a heritage defense minister?

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79 comments… add one
  • Bob Pollock Aug 25, 2010 @ 4:50

    “It was lincoln himself that said that he would do anything to preserve the union, free every slave or free NONE at all, whatever preserved the union, and why?”

    I sometimes wonder if Lincoln had known how much this quote would be used, abused, and taken out context, if he would have refrained from writing it. Nevertheless, the answer Mr. Chapman provides us to his own question shows that he has a profound misunderstanding of the meaning of “Union” to the thousands who gave their lives for its preservation.

  • Mark A. Moore Aug 24, 2010 @ 9:46

    I serve on the NC committee.

    My ancestors fought, and in some cases died, for the Confederacy. I do not support what the Confederate government stood for, but I’m completely fascinated with Confederate military history. On a tactical and logistical level, Confederate success on the battlefield — given their disadvantages across the board — is endlessly interesting and fun to study. I’m also captivated by the Union military machine.

    But I take a bottom-line approach to the larger issues. Soldiers don’t start wars. They fight them. Thus, the personal motivations of servicemen — then and now — mean absolutely nothing. Soldiers serve governments with political agendas — and governments start wars.

    So in the case of North Carolina, it doesn’t matter whether her Confederate soldiers owned slaves, or didn’t own slaves. The Confederate government went to war to preserve the institution of slavery and its spread into the territories. Therefore, every single North Carolinian who fought in the Confederate army fought for the preservation of slavery. There’s no ambiguity there — it’s a reality that cannot be escaped. Political correctness has nothing to do with it.

    Add the Unionst angle, and the fact that a portion of eastern North Carolina was essentially Union territory after 1862 (due to occupation), plus the white and black Union regiments that were raised in the state, the internal strife, and it’s quite a mix. So many avenues of study, and angles to explore. I think North Carolina’s war experience is unique among the Confederate states.

    With the Committe’s Death Study (led by Josh Howard), the state’s number of Confederate dead will be revised downward — but it will still be over 30,000, which is still a staggering number. And the Union numbers, for the first time, will be added to the count.

    The NC committee has an inclusive agenda, not a Northern agenda.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 24, 2010 @ 9:58


      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

    • Michael Chapman Aug 24, 2010 @ 11:43

      Now maybe I can get an answer. Mr. Moore, please explain to me how the mural is all inclusive and represents the State of North Carolina? Just where are the Southern soldiers represented in that mural? Could you not find any pictures of NC Southern soldiers? ALSO please tell me how your slogan FREEDOM represented Soldiers of the state who fought against the union, and by the way, Did the northern union congress declare the purpose of the war to be to end slavery? Can you document that to me if you think so? Do you know what the union congress did declare the purpose of the war to be? Lets do talk about the contribution of the thousands of Negro men and women who were part of the support of the Confederate Army? What did the Confederate Government stand for? Have you read the Confederate constitution? How about William Rawle’s “A view of the Constitution” especially the section on secession. Another good read is Charles Adams (a northerner) “When in the Course of Human Events: Arguing the Case for Southern Secession” .
      Thank you for your reply.

      • Mark A. Moore Aug 24, 2010 @ 13:27

        A banner can only convey so much. But Fort Fisher (from a Frank Vizetelli drawing) and Bentonville (from Leslie’s Illustrated) are there to highlight the state’s largest battles and campaigns. The Wild Expedition represents the Union occupation of a portion of eastern NC and slavery, and the USCT image is self-explanatory. The banner’s sunburst uniform button logo represents all NC Confederate soldiers in a way that photos cannot.

        North Carolina was a Confederate state, so of course the Committee will be exploring Confederate topics. But the idea is to also highlight long-neglected issues like Union troops from NC, and place them in context with the state’s Confederate war effort.

        Some good quotes from NC Confederates — covering the major theaters of operation — (and civilians, too) are on the Website, and a gallery of NC Confederate generals is on our Facebook page.

        The theme of Freedom is self-explanatory for the enslaved people of North Carolina. If you apply the theme to the state of NC itself, the state joined the Confederacy and used its Confederate soldiers in the Confederate government’s bid for the freedom to preserve slavery, and the freedom to govern themselves toward that end. They were unsuccessful in that venture.

        The goal of the U.S. president and congress was to preserve the Union, following secession and the attack on Fort Sumter. With rebel forces having taken up arms against a federal military installation, Lincoln had the authority to call for troops to put down the insurrection. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war meaure enacted by Lincoln during the war to help hasten the preservation of the Union.

        We should absolutely honor the sacrifice of African Americans — and your key phrase here is “support of the Confederate Army.” Most of the blacks who helped build Fort Fisher, for example, did so as slaves, by no choice of their own. Same for teamsters and body servants. Free Blacks were looking for work.

        As for black Confederate soldiers, there are a handful of documented cases among North Carolina units. The Holy Grail is to study and understand the reasons behind these few legitimate enlistments. But there is no hard evidence for thousands of Black soldiers serving in the Confederate Army. Again, body servants and laborers do not count as soldiers or willing participants.

        For further context, I recommend Mark Bradley’s award-winning article in the NC Historical Review: “’This Monstrous Proposition’: North Carolina and the Confederate Debate on Arming the Slaves” (2003). Says Bradley of the debate that ignited publicly in the fall of 1864: “The debate in the Old North State amounted to nothing less than a final desperate battle to preserve slavery, and most Tar Heels refused to sacrifice ‘the peculiar institution’ to achieve Confederate independence . . . . In short, North Carolina’s debate on arming and emancipating the slaves comprised both the final rear-guard action to preserve slavery and the opening salvo in the long and bitter campaign to maintain racial control under the banner of ‘white supremacy’.”

        • Kevin Levin Aug 24, 2010 @ 13:31


          Once again I thank you for taking the time to respond to Mr. Chapman. Thanks so much for the work that all of you are doing to commemorate the war in North Carolina.

        • George Geder Aug 25, 2010 @ 7:35

          “As for black Confederate soldiers, there are a handful of documented cases among North Carolina units. The Holy Grail is to study and understand the reasons behind these few legitimate enlistments. But there is no hard evidence for thousands of Black soldiers serving in the Confederate Army.”

          For my own edification, can you please direct me to those ‘handful of documented cases’?

          • Mark A. Moore Aug 25, 2010 @ 8:07

            This research is Josh Howard’s baby. Josh is a member of the NC committee, and any inquiries on the topic should be directed to him.

            • Michael Chapman Aug 25, 2010 @ 8:48

              Sir, I am not concerned with the research. You stated “Josh’s death study has also received substantial contributions from the SCV.” So where do you get those facts in your statement from and what are those substantial contributions that you are referring to?

  • Chris Meekins Aug 23, 2010 @ 8:42

    While I do not speak for the committee I can perhaps at least offer some context/ content for the banner: Left to right you are seeing Harper’s Weekly colored woodcuts of NC Civil War scenes: Ft. Fisher, Bentonville, The Wild Expedition (often called Wild’s Raid) with a picture of Sgt Bob – Frank Roberts a Pasquotank County man who was in the United States Colored Troops. All of these are events in NC with the exception of Frank Roberts who is a North Carolinian. The logo is derived from a star burst CSA button. As these events all were within the state during the war them seem both accurate and germaine.
    Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: Civil War Sesquicentennial was chosen to allow all perspectives to be reflected. Certainly sacrifice needs no further explanation – there was plenty of that on the battle field and the homefront. Memory as well should require little review – from monuments to histories and apocryphal tales – it is how the memory of the war colors our understanding of the war- be that the Rebel Boast or Slave Narratives or Hill’s Bethel To Sharpsburg. Freedom certainly also is expansive in covering all aspects – the conservative revolution of Secession (to mainstay the Constitution as understood by Southerners), expansion of woman’s sphere of influence, and of course the ending of human chattel.
    But if the writer has spoken with members of the committee then doubtless they gave similar explanations. By no means I am trying to be confrontational or dismissive. I hoped only to clarify a valid question – why these images and that slogan. Whether I did so or was successful is probably dependent on the reader’s POV.

    • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 8:49

      Thanks Chris.

  • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 6:40

    PLEASE justify to me and many others how the first mural on that site represents North Carolina, WHO by the way WAS a Confederate State. AND while you are at it tell me how those slogans represent the state as a whole during the war years?
    PLEASE, please do so, oh man of great knowledge..;)

    • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 6:52


      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Why don’t you email your question to one of the members of the commission? They can probably give you a much better explanation given that I have nothing to do with it. To be completely honest with you, I am not so concerned with the banner. I am much more interested in the content of the website. Thanks again.

      • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 7:57

        Well sir, I have talked to three of those commissioners including the chairman. The banner IS a part of the web site, and the slogan is the center piece of the themes they will cover over the next 4.5 years. So again, Please justify the head line banner that the web site viewers FIRST see, along with the slogan naming the themes. As to the content of the entire site; the victors write the history, and this site is designed to give us the northern prospective of the war, as do most northern and many southern teachers in our government schools. The banner would fit well into any northern sesquicentennial web site. Just replace the NC with NJ or NY in the slogan, and no one would know the difference.

        • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 8:04

          Mr. Chapman,

          You are going to have to do better than that if you expect me to respond to your questions. Perhaps you can cite something specific rather than simply reducing your complaint to the old canard that winners right the history and that the commission is being influenced by a “northern” view of the war. I tend not to respond to vague generalizations.

          • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:12

            Well sir, I’ll be happy to be more specific.
            The Mural, which heads up the web site has 4 panels starting from the left to the right.
            #1) The scene is of yankee soldiers in a slave housing area as they seem to be liberating them.
            Why would this be representative of North Carolina? These were northern troops late in the war and many blacks were more fearful of them than the Southern Soldiers and their Slave Masters. Most slaves stayed on the land that they had worked for years. BESIDES,,, They were the enemy invading NC, not the HEROES to the citizens of the state.
            #2) The second was of a US Colored solider. The facts were that there were only 2 engagements by units in NC in Nov and Dec 0f 63, Two in April 64, and 7 engagements at the end of the war in 1865. Not much of an impact, and remember they were the ENEMY of NC.
            #3) The battle of Bentonville, late in the war and we see the prominent federal flags attacking the Confederate forces and we barely see the little red specks representing the battle flags.
            #4) The battle of fort fisher, covered up by the offensive slogans.
            Where are the Soldiers of North Carolina represented in this mural? Could they find NO Soldiers in Gray to represent the State of North Carolina, a CONFEDERATE State.
            Now the Slogan.
            FREEDOM; Emancipation, Secession and constitutional theory, and other topics.
            Last I remembered, emancipation proclamation was a northen concept for the rebellion states. It was neither recognized nor approved by anyone in North Carolina. It was not until Dec of 1865 that the 13th amendment was issued for all of the states
            The War in North Carolina WAS about freedom, but it was freedom from the tyrants in the federal government. AGAIN,,,, Is not the site suppose to be telling the HISTORY of the TarHill state?
            Home front issues, Confederate soldiers, United States Colored Troops, Women’s issues, Unionists, and other topics.
            The majority of the state was for staying in the union until lincoln subverted the constitution and amassed troops to invade SC. It was then that North Carolina said NO to the tyrant. I DOUBT that this will be highlighted.
            The “Lost Cause” mythology, Confederate Memorials, Northern concepts of the war, African Americans’ struggle to keep their history alive during the “Lost Cause” era, Negro History Week, and other topics.
            Mythology? Northern Concepts? Negro History Week? AGAIN… This is politically correct rhetoric.
            The entire tone of this site is of northern influence and it is no surprise with many of it’s commission members and advisers on this commission hailing from the north.
            NOW,,, what is YOUR take on the mural and slogans which sets the tone of the entire site?

            • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:20

              Let me add one thing please…. Your prospective is of the victorious union soldiers liberating the State. Myself and those with Southern ancestors see this mural as the enemies of the North Carolina Confederate State Troops This does NOT represent why North Carolina went to war, nor the facts that North Carolina contributed a majority of the troops in the war against the union forces.
              The three images as stated by this other gentleman were of union soldiers; THE ENEMY OF THE STATE and it’s people.

              • Andy Hall Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:49

                Myself and those with Southern ancestors see this mural as the enemies of the North Carolina Confederate State Troops

                As a direct descendant of a North Carolinian who moved to Texas and had two sons in a Texas cavalry regiment that fought Sherman’s army all the way up through South- and North Carolina in the closing months of the war, defending your ancestors’ homes and hearths, let me say this: do not presume you speak for “those with Southern ancestors,” because you do not.

                • Woodrowfan Aug 23, 2010 @ 12:25

                  Maybe they were UNION regiments from North Carolina. There were several..

                  • Andy Hall Aug 23, 2010 @ 13:34

                    Of course there were Union regiments raised in North Carolina. Although I’m pretty sure Mr. Chapman sees those as utterly irrelevant to that state’s commemoration of the war.

                    • Chris Meekins Aug 23, 2010 @ 16:17

                      Lets not place words in each others mouths – Mr. Chapman may or may not have an opinion on Union troops from NC. I know I do. My Southern and NC roots go back to late 17th Century NC – at least two lines I can authenticate (and one of those appears multiple times in my ancestral makeup – mom and dad were 3rd cousins but did not know it; and dad was his own 3rd cousin (not sure if he knew that) [spare me the inbred jokes!]. I like to point out that my direct ancestors were three and one in the Recent Unpleasantness – 3 Confederates and 1 Unionist and that I lost two – a Confederate guerrilla fighter and a Union soldier. Both fought to protect their homes, one died (I think) fighting and the other of the squalor of a Richmond prison. My Unionist, William B. Liverman, was in Co. F, 2nd NCUV (white) – the unit captured at Beech Grove by Gen. Pickett who hanged twenty two or three of the men captured. My Confederates fought locally but also one was in the Edenton Bell Battery (ran off at 15 to join it in 1863). It is what helps me understand that NC is complex and no one overarching large theory can do local history justice. Lets not state what Mr. Chapman does or does not know or believe but let him do so himself and let us do the same. From this conversation we hopefully can build understanding and respect for each others ideas. If we are not careful we may even learn something from each other.

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 17:08

                      Thanks again, Chris.

              • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:51

                You imply that that geography is a necessary and sufficient condition for point-of-view. My perspective has absolutely nothing to do with “victorious union soldiers” and everything to do with the books that I read, which are written by some of the top scholars in the field – north and south.

                • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 22:28

                  Geography has much to do with attitude and the feelings of heritage of ones past. When you have no connection to the past, then it’s harder to develop a passion by JUST reading books. I derive much of my knowledge from also listening to the great Southern Scholars of today. Visit and you will see some of whom I learn from.
                  BY the way Andy, What would a regiment of Al-Qaeda raised in America be called? What would Germans training soldiers in America be called in 1945? Even though NC was resistant to leave the union, once it did, North Carolina was a Southern CONFEDERATE state, and men who left for the north would have been deemed traitors like men of the north who came South were treated likewise.
                  Kevin, North Carolina was not fighting for the end of slavery, neither were most northern soldiers either. That was a concept brought into play by lincoln in 1863. The mural seems to dwell on that one prospective as if NC was the crusader for THAT later northern cause. The Relatively small number of NC union enlistees numbers around 2000 and is a small percentage compared to the 121,000 NC Confederate troops, YET I see little of that represented in the mural.
                  It’s obvious that this site is dedicated to the union prospective of the war and it is futile to try to discuss the Southern prospective. I suggest that you all subscribe to the NC Civil War Gazette, which will document the newspapers from NC 150 years ago. It’s first publication is in Dec of this year and you can see pieces from actual papers from around the state of Dec, 1860. That information from this project can also be found at

                  • Kevin Levin Aug 24, 2010 @ 1:54

                    It seems to me you should be responding to your fellow North Carolinians who are trying to point out the relative narrowness of your preferred point-of-view. I can’t help you with your problem with the mural. Frankly, I don’t understand why you are so upset with it, but that is your choice. I am not going to comment on the Abbieville Institute. Suffice it to say that I am not impressed with the place. And no, it has nothing to do with where I am from, but based on a great deal of scholarship by professional historians who work all over the country.

            • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:25


              Thanks for the follow-up. I assume you already read Chris Meekins’s response. He is in a much better position to answer your questions for the reasons I already mentioned.

              On North Carolina history in the Civil War I suggest your read the following:

              The Civil War in North Carolina by John G. Barrett
              Sherman’s March Through the Carolinas by John G. Barrett
              Paul Escott ed. North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction
              Barton Myers Executing Daniel Bright

              I simply do not have the patience to respond to claims such as: “The majority of the state was for staying in the union until lincoln subverted the constitution and amassed troops to invade SC. It was then that North Carolina said NO to the tyrant.”

              Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

              • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:02

                Try reading the Newspapers in North Carolina from 1860 through May 1861

                • Kevin Levin Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:09

                  Do you want me to read the pro-secession papers only or should I also include those that stood squarely against it?

                  • Michael Chapman Aug 24, 2010 @ 11:28

                    Well if you read all of the papers from around the state prior to April of 1861, you will see that much of the editorial is to stay in the Union including the Future Governor Vance who suggested that the Slave States that remained in the union should present an ultimatum to the northern states asking for peace. (reported in the NC Weekly Standard April 17th 1861) That sentiment changed when ole abe called on those states to send troops to the union army. When you read first hand accounts of what the papers were saying in that day and time you come away with a different perspective of the truth rather than reading a book written by today’s revisionist, and yes I’ve seen some Southern writers stretch the truth also.

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 24, 2010 @ 11:31

                      Mr. Chapman,

                      I find it interesting that you’ve had at least two people who serve on the commission respond to your points and yet you seem to have nothing to say in response. Very telling indeed.

                    • Michael Chapman Aug 24, 2010 @ 16:33

                      The ONLY thing that this should tell you is that I have a life outside of the computer and do NOT sit by it waiting for your jewels of wisdom… Also, I believe that there was only one person who was on the commission who commented. As to the comment by Mark., there were PAID men of color who drove wagon trains, were sharpshooters, cooks, etc. Those men at Ft Fisher were sent there unguarded, and were sent back unguarded, and most farms, plantations and cities had an overwhelming population of men of color who at any time could have walked away. Some did, but most stayed loyal. Why was that? We will not agree as I am proud of the men who fought for the South to defend her from he invading army from the north. YOU seem to have no faith that your forefathers fought for what they believed was right. And it was NOT just about slavery. It was lincoln himself that said that he would do anything to preserve the union, free every slave or free NONE at all, whatever preserved the union, and why? The same reason that all wars are fought; the greed of money, The union needed Southern taxes and tariffs. It was the new england states that brought the slaves into America and profited from the beginning. When it was no longer profitable, they got religion.
                      We will not agree on this. IF this commission really did want to be fair and inclusive, they would have asked to have a representative from both the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Instead, this commission is made up of politically correct educators, and carpetbaggers from the north who want us poor dumb Southerns to do everything there way. The ONLY one that I trust on that Commission is latecomer Earl Ijames, and I know how you feel about him Kevin.
                      This string is at a dead end street..

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 24, 2010 @ 16:41

                      Mr. Chapman,

                      Thanks for contributing to this thread. There doesn’t seem much more to say here given that your initial questions have been answered by members of the commission. Both Mark Moore and Chris Meekins are members of the commission. You may not be happy with their answers, but they clearly gave us plenty to consider.

                    • Mark A. Moore Aug 24, 2010 @ 19:43

                      I would point out that the NC committee includes current and former members of the SCV, and Josh’s death study has also received substantial contributions from the SCV. There is balance on the committee. As with politics, leaning too far one way or the other is never a good thing.

                    • Michael Chapman Aug 25, 2010 @ 4:31

                      “I would point out that the NC committee includes current and former members of the SCV” Would you please tell me who is the ACTIVE SCV member on this commission.?
                      Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow
                      Keith Hardison
                      Michael Hill
                      Tom Belton
                      Jeff Bockert
                      Rob Boyette
                      Dr. David Brook
                      Maryanne Friend
                      Josh Howard
                      Earl Ijames
                      Donna Kelly
                      Michelle Lanier
                      R. Jackson Marshall III
                      Chris Meekins
                      John Mintz
                      Mark A. Moore
                      Donny Taylor

                    • Andy Hall Aug 25, 2010 @ 6:15

                      “Would you please tell me who is the ACTIVE SCV member on this commission?”

                      Michael, are you familiar with the phrase, “no true Scotsman. . . .?”

                    • Michael Chapman Aug 25, 2010 @ 6:38

                      Well Mr. Moore,
                      It seems that your comment about “I would point out that the NC committee includes current and former members of the SCV” is incorrect. None of these folks have been a member of the NC-SCV since before 2007. I was a former member of a NC State Commission for 17 years, but that no longer qualifies me as a representative of the commission. If the your commission was serious about being inclusive, they would have asked the SCV and the UDC to appoint someone as their OFFICIAL representative. I bet that Earl upset the apple cart when he first arrived. I’m sure that this is why neither of those groups were considered. Just my personal thoughts.
                      Now please tell me what substantial contributions have come from the SCV for the death toll figures. Any names, or was it from the organization itself?

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 25, 2010 @ 6:42

                      I fail to see how including a representative of the SCV and UDC has anything to do with being inclusive. Neither group has done much to advance education; in fact, much of what they do reflects the dogmas of historical narratives that were debunked long ago. My list of favorites can be found here:

                    • Michael Chapman Aug 25, 2010 @ 7:06

                      Well Andy, I guess my response to you is;
                      “No TRUE Southerner would agree with the positions of this blog.” 😉
                      So,,, Kevin, It was being POINTED out to me about the INCLUSION of the SCV members on the commission by Mr. Moore as being inclusive, so I guess he found it relevant. That was a false statement. So NOW the SCV and the UDC is not WORTHY of inclusion because that have a different point of view about THEIR Southern Ancestors. That’s very liberal of you. I thought liberals accept all points of view so they can ponder and learn from them. And I though only conservatives were narrow minded. (btw, I am NOT a republician)
                      BTW, debunked by whom? The nazis used the same tactics by just re-writing the history the way they wanted it to be. Guess they learned that from the yankees along with the nazi salute from bellamy’s pledge salute….. Time to go to work folks.
                      Have a pleasant day.

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 25, 2010 @ 8:03

                      You seem to think that there is some kind of official Southern position on the Civil War. Let me point out that I know and respect plenty of members of the SCV. Many of them are well educated in the history and I have no problem at all with any individual member being welcomed to advise a sesquicentennial commission. I do have a problem with the the official position of the SCV on a number of topics. Finally, enough with the Nazi references. It’s incredibly shallow.

                    • Michael Chapman Aug 25, 2010 @ 9:16

                      Kevin, you sound like some of those racist folks I meet from time to time telling me how they have this good black friend at work, while spouting off the “n’ word in a joke .You’ve already degraded the SCV in this entire string, in fact you started this string attacking an SCV member and then stated “How can I become a heritage defense minister?” By the way it is OFFICER, but I guess you were trying to be sarcastic in your comment.
                      You are right in one comment about the SCV not doing it’s best job. Many members of the SCV are just about as ignorant as the kids getting taught “civil war” history in the government schools today. They too, like myself are the product of the revised history that I myself believed until recently. The only difference is that they have gotten on the path to learning the true history of the South and her people and are rejecting the northern history that the reconstructed southerners have swallowed and regurgitated over the last 150 years.
                      Kevin, if you are so interested in the truth, then why would you not see what the Abbeville Institute is teaching. They have some of the best Southern Educators of today teaching their summer school. This year I enjoyed Mr. Tom Landess who personally knew many of the great Southern Scholars including M.E.Bradford. Understanding Southern History is not all about the battles which the South won most of them. If only we had more men. When you”re outnumbered as badly as we were it was all a matter of time.
                      I’ve wasted enough time here… Thank you sir for you allowing me to comment.
                      That site again was

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 25, 2010 @ 9:50

                      Thanks, but I am quite familiar with the educational wing of the Abbeville Institute. I always find it humorous when people refer to the “true history of the South.” Thanks for that.

            • Andy Hall Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:29
              • Michael Chapman Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:01

                And where do you come from Andy?

                • Andy Hall Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:24

                  Apart from a few folks who lost their maps and ended up in the border state of Missouri — who were slaveholders and fought for the Confederacy in any case — my family is, in all its branches, from the South for at least five of six generations back. They hail from Virginia to Florida to Georgia to Texas. The Confederate soldiers among them — five direct ancestors and I-don’t-know-how-many uncles and cousins — fought from First Manassas to after Appomattox, from Miller’s Cornfield to Vicksburg to Little Round Top. Not a Yankee nor a Unionist in the bunch, anywhere.

                  Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share that.

                • Andy Hall Aug 23, 2010 @ 10:36

                  Should’ve added: I was born, raised and still live in Texas, as it happens, in the only city mentioned by name in President Johnson’s June 1865 order lifting the Union blockade of the South.

            • Margaret D. Blough Aug 23, 2010 @ 9:46

              Mr. Chapman:

              One point to begin with, if Lincoln behaved unconstitutionally in issuing a call for troops to the states AFTER federal property had been assaulted and seized by the forces of insurrection, then so did George Washington in suppressing the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. Of course, neither did,
              After the Whiskey rebellion, Congress passed the Militia Act of 1795 which contains the following language (Pennsylvania authorities’ marked reluctance to do anything about the anarchy in its western counties was the reason that Washington deemed federal intervention necessary):

              >Sec. 2 And be it further enacted, that whenever the laws of the United States shall be opposed, or the execution thereof obstructed, in any state, by combinations too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, or by the powers vested in the marshals by this act, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, to call forth the militia of such state, or of any other state or states, as may be necessary to suppress such combinations, and to cause the laws to be duly executed; and the use of militia shall so to be called forth may be continued, if necessary, until the expiration of thirty days of the then next session of Congress.<<

              President Lincoln's call for troops strictly followed the Congressional authorization.

              He then called for an emergency session of Congress, as the Constitution authorized him to do, which met on July 4, 1861; (he needed to call an emergency session since the first session of the 37th Congress would normally have met in December 1861) There was symbolic significance but Congressional elections were still going on at least until summer of 1861 (there was no fixed day for congressional elections until decades after the war) and there was not a secure route into DC until early May. Congress ratified Lincoln's actions and, later, so did the US Supreme Court in the Prize cases.

              North Carolina was in an awkward position, literally between a large Confederate state and a fanatical one. If it hadn't joined the rebellion, it would have faced the terrible fate of East Tennessee unionists. (Unionists in the northwestern counties of Virginia had the advantage of having two loyal states as neighbors).

            • EarthTone Aug 25, 2010 @ 9:19

              “FREEDOM; Emancipation, Secession and constitutional theory, and other topics.
              Last I remembered, emancipation proclamation was a northen concept for the rebellion states. It was neither recognized nor approved by anyone in North Carolina. It was not until Dec of 1865 that the 13th amendment was issued for all of the states.”

              In 1860, NC was 36% black. I can say with absolute certainty that black southerners were extremely interested in emancipation.

              If the true history of the state is to be told, it must include the stories of white confederates, white unionists or anti-secessionists, and and black residents. Their experiences will be different, but all are needed to paint a full picture of NC and the war.

              • Andy Hall Aug 25, 2010 @ 10:24

                Yeah, he lost me a few posts back when he compared North Carolina Unionists with al Qaeda and Nazis. No one’s gonna win that argument, except maybe Mike Godwin.

                • Kevin Levin Aug 25, 2010 @ 11:07

                  This guy demands a lot of answers, but fails to demonstrate any real understanding of the history. When you are working with Nazis and al Qaeda in your arsenal you know you are in trouble.

                  • Michael Chapman Aug 25, 2010 @ 11:49

                    Kevin and Andy, since you minds seems to be so simple, I was trying to make an ANALOGY which you could understand, like the nazi’s destroying the past history of Germany and re-writing it their way, as did the northern educators who took over all Southern Schools after the war, and an Al Qaeda cell in the states being the enemy like the NC Unionist and NC Union soldiers being the enemy of North Carolina, the Confederate state. I see that you have turned to just insulting my understanding of history. So here is my final insult of you Kevin. You SURE look goofy in your toy hat there. Kind of suits you being that you are a pretend historian. 😉 God help your students.
                    ANDY, are you sure you are a Texan? I know a few Texans who would not cotton to your attitude towards their Southern Ancestors.
                    Have a sunny day gents…

                    • Kevin Levin Aug 25, 2010 @ 11:59

                      I definitely like my little Confederate hat. I’m not sure what you mean by “pretend historian”. I will let my resume speak to my qualifications as a historian and teacher. My guess is that I’ve done a bit more than you. Your analogies function on a fairly low level; in fact, I would be pretty embarrassed to use them in public. It doesn’t reflect well at all on your ability to think critically about the past.

  • Jarret Ruminski Aug 20, 2010 @ 7:23

    Actually, after reading your recent posts on the SCV and the Black Confederate canard, it seems that what your really seeing here is a variation of a particularly jingoistic form of American exceptionalism that has been and continues to be downright hostile to nuance. These guys claim Confederate heritage, but they are really tapping the old exceptionalist argument that says America has nothing to apologize for because of its inherent greatness, and anyone who suggests that one can be patriotic AND see the various times when America has failed to live up to its lofty ideals, of which the Confederacy is the most egregious example, is nothing more than an Anti-American “Liberal Academic.” Thus, America is great, Confederates were TRUE Americans, therefore my ancestors couldn’t have fought for something as obviously un-American as slavery. I suspect people who hold this particular view towards American culture apply it to more than just the Civil War.

    • Marianne Davis Aug 20, 2010 @ 7:57

      My in-laws are Japanese, and my kids went to British and French schools. I can tell you only one thing. We Americans may indulge in exceptionalism, but when we do we are distinctly junior varsity. What may be happening here is a sort of regional tribalism expressed by people who think the world has changed too much and too quickly, and who may be yearning for a past that never really existed. What they do know about that past has some uncomfortable aspects that have to be finessed, and if possible blamed on others. I wish I could pity them more than I fear that their influence is being extended to our schools, which are already struggling to find inoffensive ways to present the truth.

    • George Geder Aug 20, 2010 @ 20:24


      “… therefore my ancestors couldn’t have fought for something as obviously un-American as slavery.”


      No rhetoric in my game!

      “Guided by the Ancestors”

      • stephen matlock Mar 27, 2011 @ 12:21

        Sadly but utterly true.

        I have well-meaning friends who say that African-Americans should just “get over it,” as if nothing bad happened that essentially stripped them as a class of their ability to generate, keep, and endow wealth.

        So yeah, nothing happened, nothing to see here, move along.

        Just get over it. That’ll work.

        The most hilarious thing is that they can’t get over the fact that the South lost the war they started.

        • Andy Hall Mar 27, 2011 @ 12:47

          “The most hilarious thing is that they can’t get over the fact that the South lost the war they started.”

          To be fair, they twist themselves into all sorts of rhetorical contortions to show that they weren’t actually responsible for any of it.

  • Jarret Ruminski Aug 20, 2010 @ 6:50

    They also don’t t mention that Bigfoot served in North Carolina’s Confederate ranks. His patriotic devotion has been suppressed by Liberal academics and the Federal government.

  • Margaret D. Blough Aug 19, 2010 @ 21:11

    So many things wrong, so little time with the SCV points, but one that jumped to the forefront was that high tariffs weren’t a genuine issue. Even some fire-eaters balked at listing that one in 1861861, including Lawrence Keitt (S.C.) The tariff of 1857 pushed tariffs so low and limited coverage that many northerners blamed it for the Panic of 1857 and the resulting depression. The Morrill Tariff of 1861 has been blamed by some modern writers, including Walter Williams, for secession but there’s one major problem with that: the timeline. The Morrill Tariff was passed on March 2, 1861, and signed by President James Buchanan as one of his last acts as president. By that point, not only had quite a few states already passed secession ordinances but the provisional Confederate Constitution had been in effect for nearly a month, Jefferson Davis had been inaugurated as President of the CSA about two weeks earlier, and the rebels were organizing an army.

    It’s still questionable whether the Morrill Tariff would have passed if the most of the Senators and congressmen of the rebel states had not already resigned and left DC (BTW, the Congress that passed it was the one elected in 1858). Furthermore, I missed the part of the Constitution that only the secessionists and now, apparently, SCV appears to see that that the South had to always get its way no matter what the rest of the country felt or how it hurt the rest of the country.

    • stephen matlock Mar 27, 2011 @ 12:18

      As crass as it sounds, I’m glad they took their ball and went home so that a slew of good legislation could be passed. Had they stuck around, they could have delayed the Civil Rights amendments for a few more generations.

      But they didn’t know how to play the long game. Their pride got in the way of their common sense.

  • Beauregard Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:55

    I hope the commission’s work goes forward with dignity, objectivity, and as A. Lincoln urged, “malice toward none.”

    • Kevin Levin Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:59

      I think both commissions have done a pretty good job so far. Obviously, because of my affiliation I am much more familiar with what is going on here in Virginia. The biggest challenge is working within the limited budgets that we have to work with.

      • Beauregard Aug 19, 2010 @ 17:03

        Good luck. There are extreme elements rooting around – from the most “unreconstructed” SCV types to the disgraced former Richmond councilman who hopes to ride his hatred of the Confederate memorials on Monument Avenue back to relevance.

        • Kevin Levin Aug 19, 2010 @ 17:26

          I agree. There are extremists on both sides of the fence, but fortunately both state commissions have chosen people who are interested in a commemoration that reflects the latest scholarship and one that is inclusive and not overly celebratory as was the case in the 1960s.

          • Chris Meekins Aug 19, 2010 @ 18:47

            A minor point but we try to stress this always – unlike VA the Old North State does not have a state commission (authorized by the state government) but instead has a Department of Cultural Resources committee. Hence we stress that the committee cannot endorse events not within the DCR b/c we have no authority beyond DCR.

            If anyone has not figured this out I should state that I am on the DCR committee and am chairing the symposium committee. Our first one is planned for May 2011 and we hope to see y’all in Raleigh at the Museum of History (shameless plug, many thanks).

  • Beauregard Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:45

    The home page of the Virginia website is inclusive and reflects the reality of Virginia’s importance as a Confederate state:

    • Kevin Levin Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:47

      I am on the advisory board for the Virginia Sesquicentennial commission.

  • Beauregard Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:31

    And the designers of the website could have had a little fun with the Virginians by including the slogan: The Old North State – Farthest at Gettysburg!

    • Chris Meekins Aug 19, 2010 @ 18:52

      We did that on April 10, 1905 – stuck that sucker right in their homeland at Appomattox Courthouse. We threw in First at Bethel, Farthest at Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox too – as well as noting our total CSA men served, CSA men died, etc. etc. After that, it seems kinda sad to beat a dead-horse. :o)

      • Beauregard Aug 20, 2010 @ 4:12


  • Beauregard Aug 19, 2010 @ 16:19

    I think an obvious criticism of the website was overlooked by the heritage defense minister. North Carolina was a Confederate state, and if I recall correctly, marshalled more troops for the Confederacy than any other Southern state. Yet the graphics on home page of the official state website for the commemoration lack a single image reflecting this reality. Now that would seem to be a real issue rather than the lack of SCV bullet points.

    • Chris Meekins Aug 19, 2010 @ 18:43

      Look closely at the dead center of the banner and you see a Confederate flag, small but there. Alas, the larger flag image is directly under the logo button – not intentional on the Committee’s part but that is where the button ended up. Note that it is itself a sunburst button based on a CSA NC uniform button but also reflecting, we thought, a rising sun i.e. a new dawn.

      • Kevin Levin Aug 20, 2010 @ 1:50

        Nice try Meekins, but we all know you represent a bunch of liberal-academic-South haters. 😀

  • Marianne Davis Aug 19, 2010 @ 15:53


    It’s seems pretty darned easy to master the duties of a Heritage Defense Minister. 1. Have an idee fixe. 2. Be willing to defend that idea on the flimsiest evidence or even without regard to facts to the contrary. 3. Present your own case cloaked in buzzwords. In the case of the SCV, “heritage” and “states’ rights” are so much more cozy than “slavery”, and “loyalty” is more heart-warming than “bondage”. 4. When questioned, attack the challenger’s motives, politics and geographical origins. By all means, do not engage the question itself. Finally, 5. try to couch all your remarks in terms that signal some corollary with current events, no matter how specious. This will let your own thesis appear fresh and relevant. On second thought, Kevin, don’t take that job, leave it for me.

  • Richard Aug 19, 2010 @ 15:34

    I am very proud of my home states approach to the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. NC has a mature and balanced approach to a very difficult topic. The past couple of years has been a journey for me to understand how large portions of my people were destroyed by this war in places like Malvern Hill. Poor white folks who toiled on land they did not own, fighting for men who looked down on them, and when the opportunity came they joined the Union Army. The only good thing that came out of that war was emancipation.

    My mother who is from Caribou, Maine told me once that the Civil War was just something they read about in books but my fathers people would talk about it around the kitchen table. My father was from New Bern, NC.

    The Civil War really was not that long ago. My GG Grandfather died in 1928 when my grandfather was 28. My grandfather died when I was 18, after telling stories around that kitchen table. One thing has always stayed in my memory. GG Grandaddy Ned said the Confederate Officers “treated their men like shit.”

    When I look at this war I dont see honor and glory, I only see sorrow and suffering.
    Strayed way off topic, understand if you dont post this.

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