'em Again, Josie: ‘Gods and Generals’
went to see "Gods and
Generals" with some friends. I confess that even I was
concerned at the length of it, what with a busy schedule and all.
It shouldn’t have been a surprise but it was: The movie was not
nearly long enough. The thought was unanimous among us – even
to the New York lady who had made some sarcastic comments about
it here and there.
I overhead her telling a colleague, "Yes, it was a very good
film – very slanted toward the South but well done."
raised a very real issue that ultimately would reduce the movie
to a farce if true. Was this movie slanted towards the Southern
answer is a resounding "No!" It was slanted toward an
accurate retelling of American history. If that makes the Southern
cause look good then maybe we ought to think about that!
the truth is not welcome in America these days. It hasn’t been for
a while and this is obvious – we do not even teach our children
the fundamentals of American history and our system of government
– lest they discover that things have gone dreadfully wrong or worse,
question the authority of the state.
heard all too many mouth-breathing "conservatives" condemn
the Southern secessionists as traitors and certainly, many of the
Yankee radicals viewed us as that in 1861. Their supposed adversaries
the liberals condemn the South by rote, like one of those dolls
where you pull a string and they make predictable statements.
vote for the same things too, but squabble at the polls over which
flavor of socialist gets to be the figurehead.
These modern Yankees still worry about us a lot even though we are
now hardly a threat to them on any but the cultural front. How can
people call themselves conservatives, and pretend to reverence the
constitution, yet still view those of us who were willing to fight
to preserve it as traitors? That is cognitive dissonance on a massive
scale; the spoiled fruit of a rotten school system.
were these men fighting for; these wonderful men characterized so
accurately in "Gods and Generals"? I’ll let Colonel Henderson,
an English officer and noted biographer of Stonewall Jackson answer
private in the ranks believed that he was fighting in the sacred
cause of liberty, and the spirit which nerved the resolution of
the Confederate soldier was the same which inspired the resistance
of their revolutionary forefathers. His hatred of the Yankee,
as he contemptuously styled the Northerner, was even more bitter
than the wrath which Washington’s soldiers felt towards England;
and it was intensified by the fact that his detested foeman had
not only dared to invade the South, but had proclaimed in no uncertain
tones, of dealing with the Sovereign States exactly as he pleased…"
should be noted that Colonel Henderson got his information first
hand by talking to and corresponding with Confederate veterans.
These sentiments are a hardly those of the wicked outlaws characterized
by post-Christian America as fighting desperately to hold others
have lost much since the days when Generals honored the name of
God. Our decline went into high gear on 9 April 1865.
what did we lose at Appomattox?
the answer, let’s go back to my favorite aspect of "Gods and
Generals": the Christian element. Much criticized in the lackey
press, this film showed exactly how it was in those days. Southern
men included their Christian faith in their daily affairs at all
levels. They sought God’s will and favor, and looked to him for
their personal salvation.
is not the case today; we have lost that. Try opening a business
meeting with prayer in Atlanta!
and unlike most Yankees, those pesky rebels had no illusions of
creating heaven on earth by their own efforts. They knew, and all
true Christian believers do, that man is a sinful critter. At some
levels, this was a war between traditional Christian belief and
the new-fangled Universalism that had taken its place in universities
like Yale and Harvard.
those same Ivy League schools modern America draws its leadership
cadre. Originally Christian colleges, they are apostate now, promulgating
the religion of the state.
may assume that had decency and honor triumphed in that War and
the South established her independence, Heaven would not have descended
upon the earth and all would not have been perfect. Men would have
remained sinners and would still have tried to find ways to impose
their will upon others.
is no disputing that premise. What I believe we can say is
that in the Confederacy, we would not have allowed the state to
grow into the monster it has become here in the not so United States.
We were not seeking diversity, empire, the "social gospel"
or any other particular agenda. We simply wanted to be left alone.
folks, is a noble goal. It implies that we were of a mindset that
tends to let others alone as well. We’d be a lot more popular in
the world today, and it would be a considerably more peaceful planet
if modern America were to adhere to that simple concept.
say "Gods and Generals" is slanted toward the South, is
to say that "Gods and Generals" was slanted towards the
truth. Our cause was just and this film offers a close look at the
people who embraced that lost cause.
of "Gods and Generals" bemoaned the glorification of secessionists
during time of war – when I saw it Señor Bush was oiling his guns
and snarling at Iraq. Well? It’s always time of war since
the days of Father Abraham. In my lifetime America has simply been
at war. Sometimes we admitted it; sometimes we just moved troops
around and shot people and called it peace. But I know war when
I see it. War, always, constantly.
what about this national unity thing? Did "Gods and Generals"
threaten our national unity while we braced ourselves for the threat
of some imagined attack by Iraq? I wish it had; I truly do. Unity
with infamy is not something to which I aspire.
all, should there be unity without unanimity? Lincoln was right
about one thing – a house divided against itself cannot stand. My
answer to that is so what?
successors strive to eliminate the last vestiges of Southern individuality
and culture in the dreadful quest for "unity." Nowadays
forced unity is referred to as "diversity." The watered
down pap that passes for wisdom these days is the result of this
country becoming too big to control.
of truth, we have political correctness which is now the official
party line of the two branches of the single ruling party. It requires
a taste of the whip to keep us all in line. Since the Yankees are
still in charge, getting rid of any memory of the South or indeed
of the United States before the War is critical. They are re-making
this country into an upscale North Korea.
people worship the State. We should worship God. A union
of disparate cultures means that one must be subsumed. Societies
sink to their lowest common cultural denominator in the name of
equality. Consider how most of Germany’s great achievements came
before the forced unity imposed upon the German states by
the Prussians. We know what happened subsequently. It’s happening
sad to say, but even in much of the South, the gallant fight of
the Southern forces against the invader, and the obvious honor and
integrity of our Confederate leaders, is simply ignored. It should
be noted that this is a recent development.
to the Second Secession War, Yankee and Confederate veterans got
along quite well and honored each other when they met. There is
a touching story of the kindness displayed by the Virginia renegade
(and first-class Yankee general) George Henry Thomas. He ran into
his old adversary, John Bell Hood. Desperately wounded in the war,
and fallen on hard times since, Hood was hurting. He found a friend
where once he had found an enemy.
Bedford Forest, hated today by folks whose grasp of history is ideological
or nonexistent, was asked by the Freedmen’s Bureau in Nashville
to work with them. Could today’s NAACP or either of the major political
parties deal with that fact? Hardly. Yet it remains a fact.
the primary reason for this surprising reservoir of good will was
the acknowledged fact that the South had done nothing wrong. Only
the very worst of the Yankee radicals truly hated us. Lincoln and
his troops had acted for reasons they felt justified the use of
horrific force, but made scant pretence to legality. Jefferson Davis
never went on trial because they could find no charge to bring against
Northern states had threatened to secede on occasion before the
War ended all that. It was obvious to men in those days, even Yankees,
that a voluntary union of states was just that, voluntary.
North chose to ignore that and use violence to impose their vision
upon the South. Nothing has been the same since. In the convulsion
of the War Between the States the issue of government was decided.
The restraints on government were removed. Now we live under a despotic
form of "democracy" that consists of brute force and a
constant angling for spoils.
point is this: we humans really are sinful; and to keep that
in check it is important to deny ourselves the means to over-indulge
in that arena where our wicked nature most comes into play: government.
successful establishment of a Southern Confederacy would have had
many excellent results in that government would have been denied
the power and resources of what is now the United States of America.
There would have been two and possibly as many as four Americas
ultimately, and I submit that would have been to our advantage as
little redundancy can be a good thing…Yankeedom could play the empire
game without harming other Americans. Those who wanted open borders
could have them – those of who didn’t could retain their cultural
identity. Those who wish to murder their unborn children could do
so without bringing down judgment upon the rest of us!
Most importantly, if one of several Americas were to fall, as the
one we now have may, there would still be Americans and the
dream of the founders would not be totally lost.
obvious that we have entrusted our leaders with too much power.
That is a Yankee thing and it is a bad thing. Yet it is not for
us to tell the Yankees what to do or how to live. We may show them
by example but not by force. This is Biblical and in line with Western
thinking for several thousand years.
concomitant of this is that we should be under no compulsion to
live as they wish us too, either. It is sad to say that Yankeedom
has not changed except for the worse. They now have aircraft carriers
and nuclear bombs, and intend to take their concept of "freedom"
wherever impulse leads them.
happened? Where did we go wrong? Stonewall Jackson’s young aides
shielded him with their bodies when the Yankee artillery fell among
the party evacuating the wounded leader. "Gods and Generals"
showed this scene with great accuracy. Those men loved their general
and they loved their cause; death was a small thing to them. They
had a strong sense of personal honor. They were in God’s hands and
acted like it.
all too many Southerners are in the government’s hands. We fly their
Yankee flag and cheer on the mostly Southern soldiers that Washington
uses to subdue their enemies. We ignore the causes of their
wars and confuse subservience with patriotism. We send our children
to their schools and watch placidly as our history and our
culture are eradicated.
"Gods and Generals" will be seen by millions here in the
South and it will be inspiring and yes, embarrassing. They were
better men than us and that is shameful. They deserve better of
must ask myself though, if there is not some hope for us, for Americans
as a group and for Southerners in particular. After all, "Gods
and Generals" did get made. The DVD will sell by the bushel
basket. It’s already being used in classrooms all over the country.
The truth is a marvelous thing indeed – it can be denied but ultimately
it will come out.
seeing that wonderful movie I thought again of my favorite outlaw
and rebel, and said to myself, "Whupped
'em again, Josie!"
May 10, 2003
Mr. Peirce [send
him mail] fought with the Rhodesian freedom fighters (the Ian
Smith side, of course).
© 2003 LewRockwell.com