Ludwell Johnson (1927-2017) was a professor of history at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. His major expertise was the political and economic motives that caused and shaped the American Civil War and the Reconstruction era that followed.
His most famous work published in 1978 was North Against South: The American Iliad, 1848-1877. I strongly recommend it to politicians, journalists, corporate leaders, military leaders, teachers, and voters who are interested in the truth about the American Civil War era. Johnson compared the American Civil War to the Greek Epic Poem, The Iliad, by Homer, about the Trojan War, probably written about 762 BC.
The Trojan War is thought to have occurred from 1194 to 1184 BC. By referring to the American Civil War era as the American Iliad, Johnson is saying that its cultural impact on the American nation was very great and comparable to the great cultural impact of the Iliad on the foundations of Western culture.
Marxist revolutionaries, however, have never been interested in truth. Marxist truth is whatever gains, sustains, and expands power by whatever means. They are essentially liars and bullies without moral or social conscience. Yet they are now making great cultural and political gains in American academia, media, politics, government, and even in our great corporations, churches and military. One of their primary ideological weapons has been to inculcate an all-embracing false narrative on the nature and causes of the American Civil War into American culture, media, and government.
The Marxist propaganda term “systemic racism” is showing up like the frogs of Egypt—everywhere. The message is that American culture and history must be completely overturned and destroyed because of imbedded and incurable racism. Appeasing Marxists only results in more and larger demands and collapse of law, order, freedom, and any means of further resistance. The tools of political correctness doctrine have embedded “white guilt,” making people feel they are constantly obligated to prove they are not racists.
The Christian concept of a forgiving spirit has no place in Marxism. One can see in the burning, looting, and cultural destruction of municipal areas under siege by Marxist front groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter that there is no true spirit of liberty or forgiveness in those mobs, only burning hatred stirred up by Marxist lies. There is no respect for truth and the concept of gallantry is unknown.
On April 9, 1865, a gallant Union officer went out of his way to honor the surrendering Confederate troops at Appomattox. To his great and everlasting credit, Union Major General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the heroic defender of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, a brave, honest, and compassionate Christian soldier, had his Union troops give a salute of arms to the surrendering Confederate regiments as they passed in final review before the Union victors.
They had been their adversaries in war, but now these Union soldiers who had made blood sacrifices of their own, saluted the courage and honor of the defeated Confederate soldiers. The Confederate soldiers believed in the justice and righteousness of their cause, and when the surrender at Appomattox came, they gave up their regimental banners with tears and weeping.
How different it has become today. On July 9, Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the House Armed Service Committee that the American Civil War was an act of “rebellion” and “treason.” This shows a tremendous ignorance of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War.
He apparently agrees with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA) that the ten U.S. Army bases named for Confederate generals should be renamed, because they might offend the 20 percent of U.S. soldiers who are black. Milley, who is also from Massachusetts, is not a West Pointer, and is probably not aware that West Point text books before the Civil War (Rawles, etc) taught that secession was legal and New England states considered secession five times over the Louisiana Purchase (1802), the Embargo Act (1807), the Admission of Louisiana (1812) War of 1812 (1814), and the Annexation of Texas (1845). Nor does he realize that the American Colonies seceded from Great Britain in 1776 over issues very similar to Southern economic, tax, and States Rights issues in 1860. He is probably not aware that the leadership style of Robert E. Lee was revered and taught at West Point at least as late as the Vietnam War.
West Point, however, began to take up the liberal revisionist history and causes of the War at least by 2004 with the arrival of Col. Ty Seidule (ret Brig. Gen. 2020), an arrogant apostle of ignorant Civil War revisionism. Just watching Seidule’s videos reminds me of animated propaganda cartoons. Lecturing in a U.S. Army dress uniform, his blustering confidence is unaccompanied by logic and negated by mountains of contradictory evidence.
Read my book, The Un-Civil War: Shattering the Historical Myths, 2011, and see if Seidule is not completely refuted at every point. No informed Southerner can watch his videos without angry revulsion.(read a chapter from the book.)
Milley has probably never seriously considered the Tariff issues and especially the Morrill Tariff, introduced in 1858 and finally passed in March 1861 that was so unjust and devastating to Southern agriculture that it practically drove the Gulf States out of the Union. The Border States seceded in protest of armed invasion. Nor did Milley learn any of this while or after earning his degree and Army ROTC Commission from Princeton or getting MA degrees from Columbia and the Naval War College. They were probably all revisionists by that time, and he is apparently not into independent reading and study. His rapid rise in Army general ranks came under Obama.
Southerners have always been disproportionately represented in the U.S. military. Milley’s branding of Confederates as traitors falls onto their descendents. I myself am an Air Force Vietnam combat veteran, but my father was in the Navy, and my great grandfather and three brothers were in Kentucky and Alabama Confederate cavalry and infantry regiments. One of my great grandfathers died serving in an Arkansas Confederate infantry regiment. I would not disown or dishonor my grandfathers because they owned slaves, but in fact, none did own slaves.
I also have ancestors who fought in Virginia regiments during the Revolutionary War. Neither I nor most Southerners with Confederate ancestors will be likely to take General Milley’s ignorant comments kindly. I suspect Southern states recruiting and retention will begin to suffer if Milley and his ilk do not come to their senses. Most Southerners take a dim view of those who dishonor their parents, grandparents, or ancestors to bend a knee to political correctness. Southerners have strong military traditions, but they are unlikely to endure continued insults to their parentage and honorable heritage.
They are not likely to be attracted to service, if they feel they are considered second-class cannon fodder fit only for derision and unworthy of full appreciation and full opportunities for promotion. We should make every effort to see that military recruitment, service, and promotions should as much as possible be based on objective merit. Otherwise a politically correct military may be so weakened that they will not be able to fight their way out of a paper bag.
Milley is not the only Army general who has recently insulted Southern military traditions. On June 11, General Jack Keane, U.S. Army (ret.) appeared on Shannon Bream’s Fox News Show. Although he agreed with President Trump’s position not to rename Army bases named for Confederate generals, for some reason, he went out of his way to condemn Confederates, including Robert E. Lee as traitors. This was in the midst of wave after wave of wanton mob destruction of not only Confederate monuments but American monuments generally. Many conservatives who had held a high opinion of Keane as a military analyst were shocked and insulted. There were also articles on Google and in the now thoroughly leftist Atlantic Magazine attacking the Confederacy and Lee almost simultaneously.
The media campaign to discredit the Confederacy and Southern heroes (and thus Southern Heritage and culture generally) appears highly orchestrated with both monument destruction and the Elizabeth Warren maneuver to rename Southern Army bases. Two four-star Army generals calling Southerners traitors is disturbing in both content and timing. This came at a time when President Trump was being undermined by several other retired generals and the Secretary of Defense.
It is not unreasonable to conclude that there may be an Obama associated Military Deepstate just as there is known to be in the Justice Department, FBI, intelligence services, and CIA. Furthermore, the Republican Senate is filled with those who are so afraid of being called racists that they will let Elizabeth Warren run over them, hoping that not many of their constituents are looking. However, the outcome could seriously injure the morale and military readiness and preparedness of the Armed Forces.
Even conservative Fox News commentators and guests sometimes ignorantly offer outrageous distortions of Southern history and viewpoints. Ambitious political demagogues on the Left continually use these false narratives to advance their campaign of lies, disorder, and hatred against not only the South but American symbols and culture as well.
Meanwhile, the Left is raising overwhelming financial resources through George Soros, Tom Steyer, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and Muslim Brotherhood front organizations to defeat Trump and take both the House and the Senate. You can bet there will be tons of vote fraud and other mischief to achieve their goal. Revolution is close but not inevitable. However, Trump and the Republicans must win the 2020 election, which is only 100 days away.
A Democrat win will mean Open Borders. It will not take much more immigration to close any possibility of future Republican, conservative, or genuine Constitutional government. It will be over. Freedom will be dead, and a totalitarian nightmare will commence. People cannot believe it could happen here, but a Marxist revolution is looming over us. If we lose in November, only the grace of divine intervention will prevent us from being destroyed by financial, economic, and military weakness.
Author Leonard (Mike) Scruggs was awarded the prestigious D.T. Smithwich Award for excellence by the North Carolina Society of Historians for the abridged edition of the Un-Civil War book . In this extended work, Scruggs contrasts the perspective of the Southern mindset with the Northern federalist mentality that greatly favored many social programs and a larger centralized government. We still face these issues today.
See more on author Mike Scruggs’ books here, and read a chapter from his books: