End White Folk Guilt
Speech delivered by HK Edgerton April 28, 2013 in Marion, Alabama
Under the mellowing influence of time and occasional demonstrations at the North of a desire for the restoration of peace and good will, the Southern people have forgotten much— have forgiven much of the wrongs they and their ancestors bore. If it be less so ( and it is) among their invader and their siblings , it is but another example of the rule that the wrong doer is less able to forgive than he who has suffered causeless wrong. There was no surrender at Appomattox, and no withdrawal from the theater of war which committed our people and their children to a heritage of shame and dishonor. No cowardice on any battlefield could be as base and shameful as the silent acquiescence in the scheme which continues relentlessly teaching our children in homes and schools that the economic institution of slavery was the cause for the War for Southern Independence, that the prisoners of war held in the South were starved and treated with a barbarous inhumanity, that the Honorable Presi-dent Jefferson Davis and the Honorable General Robert E. Lee were traitors to their country and false to their oaths , that the young men who left everything to resist the illegal invasion of their homeland, and climbed the slopes at Gettysburg and died willingly on a hundred fields were rebels against a righteous government.
Monstrous violations by the Union army were not attempted to be palliated by them, or even covered by pretext. These were open, avowed and notorious; the general sacking of private houses- the pillaging of money, plate, jewels and other light articles of value, with the destruc-tion of books, works of art, paintings, pictures, private manuscripts and family relics, the hos-tile acts directly against property of all kinds, as well as outrages upon non- combatants (Black & White) to the laying waste of whole sections of country; the attempted annihilation of all necessaries of life; to the wanton killing of farm stock and domestic animals; the burning of mills, factories, and barns, with their contents of grain and forage, not sparing orchards or growing crops, or the implements of husbandry; the mutilation of county and municipal records of great value, the extraordinary efforts made to stir up servile insurrec-tions, involving the wide spread slaughter old men, women and children, the impious profana-tion of temples of worship, and even the brutish desecration of the sanctuaries of the dead.
All these enormities of a savage character against the very existence of civilized society, and so revolting to the natural sentiments of mankind, in open violation of modern usages of mankind in putting down the so called rebellion ( Texas v.White ) , The War Between the States. The ancestors of those Northern invaders here in the 21st century just as their kin, come South seeking injury to the peoples of the South and their own profit, with a motivation to convince all man, especially our Southern babies that the South was made up of tactless people given to acting without deliberation or caution, and deluded by bad men, who attempted in an illegal and wicked manner to overthrow the Union. And that the Southern soldier however brave, was aroused by no higher motive than the desire to retain the economic institution of slavery. And truly believed that once the world was convinced of this, they would hold the South degraded rather than worthy of honor, and that our children instead of revering their ancestors, would be openly ashamed.
They now seek to carry out this facade not by the aid of armed soldiers, but through the ac-tive employ poverty pimps, public schools, the judiciary, politicians, Southern scalawags and their organizations. The whole force of journalists, poets, orators, and writers of all sorts are employed in their unholy cause, especially Northern history makers whose books are now in the hands of Southern children. The history of the human race furnishes no like example of men who by their own action have so exposed their children; to men who unconstrained have dishonored the graves and memories of their dead. Our own people have aided and are still aiding with all the insistence of damned and daily school-room iteration in the work of teaching these malignant falsehoods to Southern children, in the work of so representing a brave people to the world of today and the ages to come. The details of horror heaped upon the region of the South and its civilian non-combatants by Sherman and Grant, and sanctioned by Lincoln are so depraved and no less in weight than those of the day that Jesus drug the Cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Golgotha, and generally one is so apprehensive in accounting them for fear of inciting sectional hostilities, the likes of not seen in nearly 150 years.
Northern soldier writing for the Detroit Frees Pres gives the following graphic account de-scribing the burning of Marietta, Georgia: ”Soldiers rode from house to house, entered without ceremony, and kindled fires in garrets and closets and stood by to see that they were not extinguished. Had one been able to climb to such a height at Atlanta as to enable him to see forty miles around the day Sherman marched out, he would have appalled at the destruction. Hundreds of houses had been burned, every rod of fence destroyed , with orders from Sherman giving them to become vandals. No house escaped fire. And on to Atlanta where he gave orders to burn it to the ground, driving out from the city its whole population of all ages, sexes, and conditions in the fields of a desolated country to starve and die. On Page 108 Volume I, Colonel G.F.R. Hendersen of the British Staff College, Camberley, England posted this letter written by the Honorable General Robert E. Lee: ” There are few, I believe, but will acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil. It is useless to talk at length on its disadvantages. I think its a greater evil to the White man than to the Colored race, and while my feelings are strongly interested in the latter, my sympathies are deeply engaged for the former. The Blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa– morally, socially, and physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race, and I hope will prepare them for better things.
How long their subjection may be necessary is known and ordered by a merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild and melting influence of Christianity than from the storms and contest of fiery controversy. This influence, though slow is sure. The doctrines and miracles of our Savior have required nearly two thousand years to convert but a small part of the human race, and even among Christians nations what gross errors still exist. While we see the course of the final abolition of slavery still is onward, and we give it the aid of our prayers and all justifiable means in our power, we must leave the progress as well as the results in his hands who sees the end and who chooses to work by slow things , and with whom a thousand years are but a single day. The Abolitionist must know this, and must see that he has neither the right nor the power of operating except by moral means an suasion; if he means well to the slaves, he must not ap-prove of the mode by which it pleases Providence to accomplish its purposes, the results will nevertheless be the same; and the reasons he gives for interference in what he has no concern holds good for every kind of interference with our neighbors when we disapprove of their conduct. We of the South are today all that may be honorably meant by the expression ” loyal Ameri-can citizens, But, we are also loyal to the memory of our glorious dead, and we should defend them in our way from false and foul aspersions of Northern historians and Southern scalawags as long as brain can think or tongue and pen can do their office. Mutual respect is needful for the common interest , is essential to a friendly Union, and when slander is promulgated from high places, the public welfare demands that truth should strip falsehood of its power for evil.
(The Honorable President Jefferson Davis)
The author of this powerful speech,
HK Edgerton is pictured right.