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October 25, 1901.

A Contrast Between the Way the War was Conducted by the Federals and the Way it was Conducted by the Confederates, drawn Almost Entirely from Federal Sources.


To the Grand Camp of Confederate Veterans of Virginia:

Before entering upon the discussion of the subject selected for consideration in this report, your Committee begs leave to tender its thanks to the Camp, and to the public for the many expressions it has received of their appreciation of its last two reports. These expressions have come from every section of the country, and they are not only most gratifying, showing as they do, the importance of the work of this Camp in establishing the justice of the Confederate cause; but that this work is also causing the truth concerning that cause to be taught to our children, which was not the case until these Confederate Camps effected that great result. Our report of 1899, prepared by your late distinguished and lamented Chairman, Dr. Hunter McGuire, was directed mainly to a criticism of certain histories then used in our schools, and to demonstrate the fact that the South did not go to war either to maintain or to perpetuate the institution of slavery, as our enemies have tried so hard to make the world believe was the case. That of 1900 was


(1) To establish the right of secession (the real question at issue in the war) by Northern testimony alone, and

(2) To establish the fact that the North was the aggressor in bringing on the war, and by the same kind of testimony.

These two reports have been published, the first for two, and the second for one year, and as far as we know, no fact contended for in either has been attempted to be controverted. We feel justified, therefore, in claiming that these facts have been established.


Having then, we think, established the justice of the Confederate Cause, and that the Northern people were responsible for, and the aggressors in bringing on the war, and both of these facts by testi

mony drawn almost exclusively from Northern sources, it is only left for us to consider how the war, thus forced upon the South by the North, was conducted by the respective combatants through their representatives, both in the Cabinet and in the field? We fully recognize that within the limits of this report it is impossible to do more than to "touch the fringe," as it were, of this important inquiry. The details of the horrors of the four years of that war would fill many, many volumes, and it is not our purpose or desire to go fully into any such sad and harrowing recital. We propose, therefore, only to give the principles of civilized warfare as adopted by the Federal authorities for the government of their armies in the field during the war, and then cite some of the most flagrant violations of those principles by some of the most distinguished representatives of that government in the war waged by it against the South. Of course, in doing this we shall have to refer to some things very familiar to all of us; but the repetition of them in this report would nevertheless seem necessary and proper to its completeness.

In performing this distasteful task we wish, in the beginning, to disclaim any and all purpose or wish on our part to reopen the wounds or to rekindle the feelings of bitterness engendered by that unholy and unhappy strife. As we said in our last report, we recognize that this whole country is one country and our country, and we of the South are as true to it, and will do as much to uphold its honor and defend its rights, as those of any other section. we are also true to a sacred past, a past which had principles for which thousands of our comrades suffered and died, and which are living principles to-day-principles which we fought to maintain, and for which our whole people, almost without exception, willingly and heroically offered their lives, their blood and their fortunes; and whilst we do not propose to live in that past, we do propose that the principles of that past shall live in us, and that we will transmit these principles to our children and their descendants to the latest generations yet unborn. We believe that only by doing this can we and they make good citizens of the republic, as founded by our fathers, and that not to do this would be false to the memory of our dead and to ourselves.

Then let us enquire, first, what were the rules adopted by the Federals for the government of their armies in war? The most important of these are as follows:

(1) "Private property, unless forfeited by crimes, or by offences of the owner against the safety of the army, or the dignity of the United States, and after conviction of the owner by court martial, can be seized only by way of military necessity for the support or other benefit of the army of the United States.”

(2) "All wanton violence committed against persons in the invaded country; all destruction of property not commanded by the authorized officer; all robbery; all pillage or sacking, even after taking a place by main force; all rape, wounding, maiming, or killing of such inhabitants, are prohibited under penalty of death, or such other severe punishment as may seem adequate for the gravity of the offense."

(3) "Crimes punishable by all penal codes, such as arson, murder, maiming, assaults, highway robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, forgery and rape, if committed by an American soldier in a hostile country against its inhabitants, are not only punishable, as at home, but in all cases in which death is not inflicted, the severer punishment shall be preferred, because the criminal has, as far as in him lay, prostituted the power conferred on a man of arms, and prostituted the dignity of the United States."

Now, as we have said, these were the important provisions adopted by the Federals for the government of their armies in war.

General McClellan, a gentleman, a trained and educated soldier, recognized these principles from the beginning, and acted on them. On July 7, 1862, he wrote to Mr. Lincoln from Harrison's Landing, saying, among other things:

"This rebellion has assumed the character of a war; as such it should be conducted upon the highest principles of Christian civilization. It should not be a war looking to the subjugation of the people of any State in any event. It should not be at all a war upon populations, but against armed forces and political organizations. Neither confiscation of property, political executions of persons, territorial organization of States, nor forcible abolition of slavery, should be contemplated for a moment."

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