Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Friday, June 17, 2005

Facts and myths in history

Dear editor,

In Ms. Harwell's last letter to the editor, she did not address any of the issues I brought forth concerning the War Between the States.

Since she seems to be obsessed with the slavery issue alone, let me share just a few bits of true history she may find quite disturbing.

In many public statements issued at the beginning of hostilities, President Lincoln said the war was not over slavery. Later he expressed his desire to send all blacks back to Africa because he felt they were not fit for American society. He allowed certain counties of Virginia to secede from their state and join the Union with the stipulation they would be able to keep their slaves. Here in Missouri, when a commander of the invading Union army forced our state's slave owners to free their blacks, President Lincoln was furious and ordered all slaves returned to their masters.

I should also add, General Lee of the Confederacy, freed his slaves before the War started, while General Grant of the Union, did not free his slaves until the Northern government forced him to after the War had ended.

We could go on and on, for the number of historic documents stating these points is enormous.

Concerning Ms. Harwell's statements about the Bushwhackers being murderers and thieves, I wonder if she has ever studied the crimes committed on this state by invading Jayhawk and regular Federal forces? Space in this forum would not permit even scratching the surface of the vile acts Missourians were forced to endure under the heel of Yankee rule.

I will remind you, the men and women of our state with the backbone to stand up and fight against that invading army from the North were the ones being labeled murderers and thieves. So such statements are strident and most offensive when you call partisans of our state such names.

All this being said, are my statements "mythology of the Lost Cause and Southern sympathy" as Ms. Harwell claims, or are they fact? Anyone who studies first hand documents will realize which one of us is basing our opinions of history on truth and which one on mind numbing political correctness.

Concerning the fear I may purposely offend someone by celebrating my culture, let me repeat, each culture should be free to celebrate their heritage as they see fit -- so what if it offends someone of another culture?

In today's America, there are those offended by my being a Christian and most likely some race, gender or creed takes offense at my Scots-Irish ancestry. So, would you also have me cut all ties I have with Jesus, Sir William Wallace and Robert the Bruce to be pleasing in the eyes of men?

No, that will not happen. Our history is much too important to be sacrificed at the alter of political correctness.

We have God-given rights endorsed by the Constitution guaranteeing our freedom of speech and association. I intend to live by those rights and will not attempt to take them from another. So, perhaps we should just agree to disagree. You celebrate your heritage as you see fit and I will honor mine as I have been taught by my ancestors.

Frank Carlton