MYTH of the LOST CAUSE bu Edward H. Bonekemper III. Book Review
150 years of Fake History.
Wisconsin –-(Ammoland.com)- The first years of my life were spent living out west in New Mexico, California, Idaho and Alaska. I sort of knew about the Civil War from watching limited TV as a small child.
At the age of eight, in the middle of my third grade school year, I was transported to the heart of the confederacy when my father, the US Navy Master Chief, received orders to Norfolk Naval Base in Norfolk, Virginia.
I was already an outsider since I did not enter this third grade classroom until half way through the school year. More importantly I was an outsider because I was not a southerner. Virginia was in the middle of the 100th year anniversary of the Civil War and there was a heightened awareness of this issue everywhere in the south. Boys came up to me on the playground and asked me if I was an Yankee or a Rebel. When I told them I did not understand the question, they wanted to know where I was from. “I am from Iowa” I would say and then I would get punched for being a Yankee.
I saw the town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada on a map and started telling anyone who asked me the Rebel or Yankee question I was from Canada. Poor little Southern boys who could not comprehend anything beyond the border of Virginia, were confused and left me alone. I still smile when I see a Canadian map with Moose Jaw on it.
This was my first introduction to what I call fake confederate history.
I learned to keep my mouth shut and figured out that gray was the color of choice over blue or black and blue.
I share with Robert E. Lee, Meriwether Lewis and George Washington the same 1610-1674 Virginia planter and politician grandfather's DNA. Augustine Warner was our ancestor, but unlike all of them I am not from Virginia and I am not a southerner. I have lived about a quarter of my life in the south due to military assignments, to include Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
On both my paternal and maternal sides of my family I had family members who fought for both sides of the Civil War. The two most decimated (shot-up) units in the Civil War when it came to casualties was the Iron Brigade on the Union side and the 24th North Carolina on the side of the Confederacy. I had family in both units and lost family in both units to combat deaths.
I can also document that some of my family owned slaves. My 1776 era grandfather John Harle owned slaves in Fairfax County, Virginia and I have seen his will. He did business with George Washington's plantation and his first cousin Sarah Harle was George and Martha Washington's housekeeper. Sarah managed the Washington slaves who worked in the Mount Vernon home.
Unless you can absolutely document that your family came to the US after 1865 and that none of the descendants in your family ever married into some “old” American family you might be uncomfortably surprised to discover slave holders in your family tree.
For over 150 years our nation has been living a deception of generated, newly minted history that has been labelled revisionist history by some and fake history by me. The confederacy was formed by southern states of the US that seceded from the Union for the sole purpose to continue the practice of owning black humans as slaves. The paperwork trail of these seceding states and why they left the Union are documented in bold writing. It was to continue slavery and all the money that slavery could continue to generate.
The problem for the south, was after Robert E. Lee lost the civil war, his failed actions forced the confederacy to capitulate and return to the Union. There was the matter of over 750,000 dead soldiers between the two conflicting armies, along with the loss of 4 billion dollars of wealth when the enslaved black human flesh was released from southern bondage. The south's economy was shattered and it took over 100 years to turn it around.
This, was all because the south wanted to keep humans in irons and build future wealth on the backs of an underclass of people. When that entire practice was destroyed and the old confederacy was a smoking ruin there had to arise a new tale, a new story, a revision of the history, a generation of fake history to save southern face. An invented cause to help create a new narrative that would turn the vision of the south from the vicious and violent antagonism in slavery and war and make the old confederate cause a misunderstood symbol of goodness and righteousness.
The south reinvented itself into the victim and fake southern history was born–the North went along with it.
The book The MYTH of the LOST CAUSE is the work and effort of Edward H. Bonekemper III.
I heard Commander Bonekemper speak at the September meeting of the Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee and in six years of being a member of that organization his book was the first one I ever bought. I came home and could not put it down.
What he was espousing I already understood and concurred with the historical facts of his book. What Commander Bonekemper's book did was lay out the specific facts, separated from the fake history and tells the reader where these true facts could be obtained that refuted the “states rights” bravo sierra (BS) of what the south alleged was the reason for secession, followed by civil war.
Commander Bonekemper makes the point that the secession of southern states and the establishment of the new Confederate States of America was accomplished for two reason. Secession was for the continuing of the practice of keeping black people in bondage for profit and the perhaps even the more important issue of maintaining white supremacy.
One of the first challenges you hear against the above two points is, only a small percent of southerners even owned slaves. If slave owner Mr. Jones, his wife and eight children, parents, in-laws and other white family members lived on a plantation that had slaves to do all the work, it did not matter that technically all the slaves were legally owned by one person, Mr. Jones. The entire Jones family benefited from the captive labors of the slaves.
The second point about white supremacy was the worst because it was carried into southern life long after the end of the Civil War. If you were a poor white trash southern man who could barely feed your family, most of the upper class whites looked down on you. Under slavery you were still always one step above the pecking order of society because southern culture perpetually sided with the white man over a black man no matter the white man's station in life.
The internationally known and easily recognizable symbol of the 150 year old fake history of the southern cause is the confederate battle flag. The flag is the cross of St. Andrew (Scottish flag) with stars to represent the southern states that left the Union to keep their slaves. The KKK, the white supremacist groups, the neo-Nazis and other racially motivated organizations have borrowed this Hollywood endorsed flag of hate and the world can easily spot a rebel flag in a crowd of protesters.
I cannot tell you how many times when I expressed my opinion about the rebel flag I am politely advised that it represents someone's heritage and I need to understand that motivation to support the 150 years of fake history that has shaped our nation. After the riots at Charlottesville, Virginia in August about the removal of confederate statues, pro-southern cause people appeared shocked that neo-Nazis and white supremacists would co-op the beloved rebel flag and use it as a banner of hate. Always remember that the revisionists of fake history have placed the blame for the Civil War at the door step of state's rights to deflect the true issue of white supremacy.
If you watch the news about North Korea you find yourself wondering aloud how a nation can blindly buy into the fake news, fake history and almost god like worship the North Korean people have for three generations of the Kim family. The Kim family lead that country to ruin. North Korea has its own version of master and slave. Do some side by side comparisons of the antebellum south with their masters and humans in bondage and North Korea with its modern day version of human bondage. Not a lot of difference.
Yes, Virginia, your rebel flag, your stars & bars, your battle flag or whatever it is called today is the primary symbol of white supremacy and all that that implies. The international community sees it that way, why can't the perpetuators of fake history not understand this?
Commander Bonekemper's The MYTH of the LOST CAUSE is going into re-print yet again. The public wants the facts not the mythical retelling of fake history that has allowed Robert E. Lee to rise to an almost “Christ-like” position in the southern Civil War revisionist manipulation of the truth.
It is time for the statues to come down. Even grandson's of Stonewall Jackson have come out in open letters to the press and public to endorse the removal of these statues. One side says the confederate flag represents their heritage and one side says it represents hate. As a field grade commission officer in the US military who swore to defend the US Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic I see the rebel flag as the symbol of the worst attack on our Constitution this nation has endured and championed over.
If you are tired of the over 150 years of fake history and you want to be able to articulate your point in a conversation that is usually driven by emotions designed to shut your opinion down, read The MYTH of the LOST CAUSE. Edward H. Bonekember III will provide you with the facts that will help you understand the real history of the Civil War and how to prepare to navigate not around fake history of the lost cause, but steer right through it.
Major Van Harl USAF Ret. / [email protected]
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]