The Coming War

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Perhaps no plot of soil and brick is more iconic to the War than that situated in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Ft Sumter, the guardian of the Carolinas, was a pivotal point of defense along the Atlantic coastline and instrumental to protecting the city of Charleston, one of the grandest ports in the Old South. The oft-repeated narrative of the war’s beginning would lead one to believe that the South had, without provocation, fired upon Ft Sumter and the Federal troops therein This would be a mistaken belief.

On the 9th of December, 1860, a delegation from South Carolina met with President Buchanan and secured an agreement from the Federal government not to reinforce the fort. On the 26th of December, the Federal Commander, Major Anderson, relocated his troops from the more disadvantaged Ft Moultrie and secreted them within the mighty Ft Sumter. On the 7th of January, by order of General Winfield Scott, the Federal Star of the West attempted the reinforcement of Ft Sumter with 200 artillerymen. The ship was turned back by a barrage of Carolinian artillery fire. The Federals, however, would not be deterred. Another proposal for reinforcing Ft Sumter was made, but President Buchanan wished to avoid war and smothered it.

With the election of Abraham Lincoln, a man who cooed like a dove but acted like the greatest of war hawks, plans for reinforcing the important fort were once again furthered. He refused to meet with President Jefferson Davis’ peace envoy, but chose the sword over words. On the 9th of March, Lincoln proffered again the reinforcement of FT Sumter. By the 6th of April a new plan was formulated and ordered – Ft Sumter, despite the expectations of the South to the contrary and the certain trouble which entail in committing such an act, would be reinforced. On the 9th of April, learning of something afoot, the Confederate government requested that Major Anderson turn over control of Ft Sumter to the South. Major Anderson agreed that he would do so on the 15th of that month. By the 11th, however, a small war-fleet appeared beyond Charleston’s bay with the intention of reinforcing Ft Sumter. On the 12th, facing both the fleet and the fort, P.G.T. Beauregard, commander of Charleston, alerted Ft Sumter that he would begin bombardment within the hour. The Grand Creole did so, and succeeded in taking the fort.

How are we to interpret Lincoln’s actions? One need look no further than his own words, in communication to the captain of the fleet that attempted the reinforcement of Ft Sumter. Dated the 1st of May, 1861, he says:

“You and I both anticipated that the cause of the country would be advanced by making the attempt to provision Fort-Sumpter, even if it should fail; and it is no small consolation now to feel that our anticipation is justified by the result. Very truly your friend A. LINCOLN”

Much more transpired which indicates the hawkish views of Lincoln. His reinforcement of Ft Pickens in Pensacola, another Ft Sumter of types, his call for troops to invade the Deep South States, and his refusal to entertain any talks of peace all point to his role not as a champion of the Americas, but its despoiler.

 

 

 

 

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The South and the Hapsburgs

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of that Loyal Son of the Church, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The House of Hapsburg (technically Hapsburg-Lorraine), as a ruling entity, would fail under the reign of Bl. Karl I four years later. While not obvious at first, the South does have connections to the Hapsburgs. It came during 1863, when Ferdinand Maximilian, younger brother to Kaiser Franz Joseph, accepted the crown offered him by Mexican nobles and the French Emperor Napoleon III. He ascended to the throne as Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico.

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Abraham Lincoln was well aware of the bulwark-that-could-be that was Mexico. Writing General Grant 3 months before Maximilian’s acceptance of the Mexican crown, Lincoln stated:

I see by a despatch of yours that you incline quite strongly towards an expedition against Mobile. This would appear tempting to me also, were it not that in view of recent events in Mexico, I am greatly impressed with the importance of re-establishing the national (Yankee) authority in Western Texas as soon as possible.

Maximilian, as one observer noted, had his sympathies (much like Bl. Pope Pius IX) with the South:

Maximilian expressed the warmest possible interest in the Confederate cause. He said he considered it identical with that of the new Mexican Empire … that he was particularly desirous that his sentiments upon this subject should be known to the Confederate President.

And Mexico would be a source trouble for the North-  not as great as it might have been, especially if the war had been prolonged, but still one that caused irritation for the Federals and limited refuge for the South. One liberal writer of the time stated that

… the Arch-duke Maximilian… firmly believes it is his divine mission to destroy the dragon of democracy and re-establish the true church, the Right Divine, and all sorts of games. Poor young man!

The nearness of an Imperial power, feuding with the Jacobin revolutionaries of the same cloth as Lincoln, could not be tolerated by the North. But the ongoing war of subjugation against the South and it’s Indian allies caused little action to be taken against Maximilian.

At our war’s end, Emperor Maximilian invited defeated Southerners to settle in Mexico. This group in the Confederate Diaspora included such individuals as the world-renown Commodore Matthew Maury and Generals Sterling Price and John B. Magruder.  These and others set up Southern enclaves in Mexico and readily served the Emperor, with General Magruder notably becoming a Major General in Maximilian’s army. Commodore Maury became a commissioner in the Imperial Service and was instrumental in creating the Carlotta Colony (near Veracruz) for Dixians.

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But with the fall of one enemy, the Yankees, “a traditionless and a homeless race,” began to look towards new conquests. Their icy stare met the Empire of Mexico, which flew in the face of the egalitarian and Jacobin principles.  As the official U.S. Department of State almost proudly notes,

As the Confederacy collapsed, U.S. leaders were able to shift resources to resisting French intervention in Mexico and to deploy troops along the Texas-Mexico border. …

U.S. Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Philip Henry Sheridan…. began covert support of Juárez along the Texas-Mexico border. By then, the intervention in Mexico had grown unpopular with the French public, and was an increasing drain on the French treasury. On January 31, 1866, Napoleon III ordered the withdrawal of French troops, to be conducted in three stages from November 1866 to November 1867. Seward, who had earlier been more cautious, warned the Austrian Government against replacing French troops with its own forces, and the threat of war convinced the Austrian government to refrain from sending Maximilian reinforcements. Without European support, Maximilian was unable to retain power. His capture by Mexican forces, court-martial, and sentence to be executed, marked the end of direct European intervention in Mexico. Seward hoped that U.S. support for Juárez would improve relations with Mexico, but as part of Seward’s broader strategy of U.S. expansion, he hoped that the improved relations would eventually convince Mexico to join the United States.

Laurens-Maximilian-Mexico

That Juarez and Lincoln were similar there is no doubt. Some have even hailed Juarez as the “Mexican Lincoln,” the defender of democracy, liberty, and consolidation. Throughout the struggle the Yankee government continued to recognise the liberal Republicans as being legitimate and covertly supplied them with arms. As Texas was conquered, Federal troops were brought to the border as a show of might to frighten the French into retreat. With a looming American-Franco War, Napoleon III did just that and withdrew his forces from Mexico.

 

Those Southerners which did not flee following the French withdrawal met sad fates, as was the case of the Tuxpan Colony. A settlement of a few hundred, it was summarily destroyed by the U.S.-backed Republican forces following the murder of the Emperor Maximilian:

       The colony was destroyed almost overnight. The air thick with dust and smoke, the flames from their huts leaping skyward, the gunfire deafening them, Tuxpan’s terrified immigrants attempted escape by sea. With few weapons, supplies, and practically no earthworks, the Tuxpan colonist grimly dug hasty defenses along the beaches. Their only hope was to put up a delaying action while they prepared an escape in their pest-ridden, leaky old scows. The situation became progressively more desperate. Some of the boats on which the Confederates hoped to escape were captured by hostile natives who put the colonists to the torch and threw their corpses into the ocean.

 

John Foster, in his “Maximilian and his Mexican Empire,” illustrates Yankee-thought on the Hapsburg Mexican Empire. It can be quickly summed up as, “democracy is good, kings are bad, and the United States is the ‘City on a Hill.'” Interestingly, he does provide insight into what possibly could have been, and what indeed did occur:

There was only one possible contingency which could have made the Maximilian Empire a success, and that was the triumph of the Southern Confederacy and an alliance offensive and defensive between these two new governments, supported by their active sympathy of the European monarchies. But fortunately the Southern rebellion and the European intervention were disastrous failures, and the two sister republics, emerging from the terrible conflict of fire and blood, have each placed in the foundation principles of their governmental edifice a corner-stone omitted by the patriots who gained their independence and which brought untold evils upon their descendents, freedom to the slave and religious enfranchisement to the citizen.

Should the South ever embrace monarchy as a form of government, it need look no further than that loyal and noble line that is the House of Hapsburg.

 

Federal Army Reminds: South “Enemy of U.S.”

UncleSamWantsYOU

The U.S. Army college Carlisle Barracks is considering removing paintings of Southern Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from its grounds. The reason given is very clear, according to the college spokeswoman:

(O)ne person has questioned why we would honor individuals who were enemies of the United States Army…

And a point is being made. Hanging portraits of great men like Lee and Jackson in a Federal war college is something of an irony. Those great Southern heroes’ lives were given in service to the South, specifically Virginia, which the Federal Government overran and effectively raped. It would be equivalent to the Bolsheviks hanging portraits of the Romanovs.

But the proposed removal of the paintings would not be out of guilt over their invasions. Opposition to the Federal government (firmly in the control of the Northern States) is secular blasphemy. And, in that regard, Lee and Jackson are two arch-fiends.

While megaliths to Lincoln are permitted and promoted, our heroes must forever remain unseen.

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