Categorized | News, Opinion


I went with my family last week to DC (Yes it was me that you saw looking at the fossils and dinosaurs and the Star Spangled Banner last Friday!) and if you are not awed by the history in our nations capital and the constitutional Republic we established (by the grace of God!) you need to come to DC right away!

But I was talked into going to the monument for the one whose name cannot be said (which is what I called it to my children – yes if it echoes Lord Voldemort, let it be so!) – yes that one who refused to do his constitutional duty to negotiate the terms of legal secession but rather goaded the nation into our most bloody conflict.  Abraham Lincoln does not deserve a monument to himself in DC unless they mention all of the other things he did:  Suppress civil liberties, wage unlimited war and contrary to popular belief did not free a simple slave!

I actually uttered the words “Thomas DiLorenzo” within the marble walls of the monument whose name cannot be said.  I actually said, “Thank God for Thomas DiLorenzo!”  Here is a wonderful place to get his books.  They should be required reading in every high school in America!  I am surprised they did not throw me out – or indefinitely detain me under the NDAA!  I did see the usual propaganda in the small museum – including several photos of anti-Vietnam war protests and even one of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade – a group of Americans who fought for the communist supported Spanish Republic in the Spanish Civil war.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), 2,800 American volunteers took up arms to defend the Spanish Republic against a military rebellion led by General Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. To the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which fought from 1937 through 1938, the defense of the Republic represented the last hope of stopping the spread of international fascism. (For a general overview of the Spanish revolution, click here.) The Lincolns fought alongside approximately 35,000 anti-fascists from fifty-two countries who, like themselves, were organized under the aegis of the Comintern, and who also sought to “make Madrid the tomb of fascism.” In keeping with Popular Front culture, the Americans named their units the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, the George Washington Battalion, and the John Brown Battery.

So thanks to the monument whose name is not to be said, we have a photo of men, marching in the street, some of whom are probably communists, acting under the name of our Sixteenth President, in a national monument!

And in the official material issued by the National Park Service, we have this:

“In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” Beneath these words, the 16th President of the United States-the Great Emancipator and preserver of the nation during the Civil War-sits immortalized in marble. As an enduring symbol of freedom, the Lincoln Memorial attracts anyone who seeks inspiration and hope.

Not in this heart, I said out loud right there in the midst of the temple of doom!  Count two of the indefinite detention!  Even the Gettysburg Address, perhaps the best speech ever written, inscribed on the left side of the monument for the one not to be named, has these words:

 It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. . .that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. . . that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. . . and that government of the people. . .by the people. . .for the people. . . shall not perish from the earth.

But yet Lincoln was forever altering the very constitutional republic he swore to save!  The people of the South, their aspirations for independence, expressed after free debate and by their elected representatives or in a legally convened convention, their views did not count to the one who name is not to be mentioned.  Rather over 750,000 died to “preserve the Union”.  Did those at Gettysburg die in vain?  I do not take away those who sincerely fought for what they felt was right. But if secession was legal, this is a legitimate question.

Let me be clear:  The Confederacy was foolish to try to break the Union to establish a nation on the basis of human bondage and false racial superiority.  But foolish was not the same as illegal.  If the Southerners had the legal right to leave the Union, it was wrong and immoral for Lincoln to stop it by force.  Persuasion?  Compromise?  Yes, certainly.  Even some abolitionists had the slogan in 1860:  NO UNION WITH SLAVEHOLDERS!  But not force.  That would be an abuse of power.

You need go no further to see the ruthlessness of the Lincolnian prosecution of the war than this and this both from the Library of Virginia:

Rockingham: created in 1778, many pre-Civil War records were lost during the Valley Campaign of 1864. In an effort to safeguard the records, they were loaded onto a wagon that was subsequently set afire by Union troops. Records that were saved include: administrators, executors, and guardians bonds.

Created in 1752. The bulk of court records prior to 1865 were stolen, mutilated, and/or destroyed by Union troops who ransacked the courthouse during the last months of the Civil War. Post-1830 volumes such as deed books, will books, chancery order books, and marriage registers exist.

King and Queen
Created in 1691. Records were lost in courthouse fires in 1828 and 1833. Records were again destroyed by a courthouse fire set by Union troops on 10 March 1864 during the Civil War.

Prince George
Created by an act of 1702 to take effect on 23 April 1703. Most court records were destroyed in 1782 by British troops during the Revolutionary War and again in 1864 by Union troops during the Civil War. A few volumes that record deeds, court orders, and wills exist.

Prince William
Created by an act of 1730 to take effect on 1 March 1731. Many pre–Civil War records were lost, destroyed, or stolen by Union troops in 1863 during the Civil War. Sixteen deed books and five will books are missing.

This is not an exhaustive list even in Virginia and it must be conceded that Confederates also burned and destroyed court houses as well in the Commonwealth and beyond.  Here is an account of the burning of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (where I lived in when I went to the University of Alabama Law School – ROLL TIDE ROLL – BEAT NOTRE DAME!):

On March 29, 1865 Gen. John T. Croxton with 1,500 cavalry men left Elyton (Birmingham) with orders to proceed directly to Tuscaloosa “to destroy the bridge, factories, mills, university, and whatever else may be of benefit to the rebel cause.”

But it must be asked (again):  Why such a reign of terror to  bring about reconciliation?  Why didn’t Lincoln stop it?  He stopped General Fremont from freeing slaves in Missouri; the President also stopped Grant’s foolish attempt to expel the Jews in a military district.  So he could have stopped the carnage.  Here’s my  previous blog entry on this issue.

So, we will continue to ask the tough questions at this blog on the President who shall not be named…



About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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