Susan Hathaway issued her statement on the recent issue surrounding the Southern Flaggers and filmmaker/student Rob Walker, Jr. For those late to the game, Hathaway circulated a story asserting that Rob Walker defended a Confederate monument by subduing two “punks” using a cattle prod, until the police took them away. Of course the story seemed too good to be true. Inquiries made to the Richmond Police Department revealed that the police had no record of any arrests taking place under those circumstances. This brought the story into question, as well as the reputation of the Flaggers and their leader Susan Hathaway. Until now, Hathaway has been silent. Susan issued this today:
On Thursday, May 9th, I was on my way back from the Stonewall Jackson Shrine at Guinea Station when I received a message from Va Flagger and friend, TriPp Lewis. Continue reading
It is often that one hears the numerous arguments for why Southern soldiers fought in the Civil War. Once in a while, one might even hear explanations for the Union soldiers’ reasons to fight. In truth, Union soldiers share the same ambiguity in reasons for going to war as their Confederate counterparts. Reasons the Northern man fought include, but are certainly not limited to, preserving the Union, to “see the elephant,” display courage, a communal effort, and perhaps because of prior U.S. military service. Union Soldiers fighting for a connection to slavery, rather it be preservation or abolitionism, made up an extreme minority of the Northern force. To say that Union Soldiers fought the Civil War to “end” slavery, is misleading. Keep in mind however that it really does not matter what ideology Northern soldiers adhered to in the broad context of the war. In the end, these soldiers represented merely the cutting edge of the instrument of government policy. This is something that David Tatum agrees to in his post about why Union soldiers fought. The problem with his interpretation is not in his realization that soldiers are merely a part of the proverbial machine, but on what he believes is the government’s policy they wish to extend.
In the comments section of a recent post, an argument (if you can call it that) rages on as to why the North and South fought the Civil War. The main thrux of the argument begins with this comment from David Tatum:
“I don’t wish to demonize white southerners…I just want them to own up to the real heritage of the Confederacy”
I’ve read my ancestors letters and the writings from the men who served with him, They were fighting to save their homes from an invading army !So what did your ancestors have to say about the war ?
It’s that ageless pseudo-paradox, “my ancestors didn’t own slaves/didn’t fight to defend slaves, so how was the war fought over slavery?” Well for starters, it is very seldom that a soldier expresses the same reasons for war that a governing body does. According to Azar Gat’s analysis (which I’ll rely in since my German is not yet perfect), of Carl von Clausewitz’s On War (Von Krieg), Clausewitz gave three stand out essentials about war. One of these deals with war and its purpose.
War must never be seen as having any purpose in itself, but should be seen as an instrument of Politik – (A German word that conflates the meanings of the English words policy and politics: “War is not merely a political act, but also a real political instrument, a continuation of political commerce, a carrying out of the same by other means.”
In short, war is merely a continuation of policy. If we apply Clausewitz’s teachings to the Civil War, it is painfully obvious that the Confederacy fought a war to preserve slavery and the social order (i.e. slave society) slavery created. Continue reading