A LESSON IN HISTORY
The TRUE War of 1861

By: Russell R. Lenzini
August 28, 1995



Recently, I received an email from a very angry man in Michigan. Having absolutely no personal knowledge of myself, my family, my beliefs or ideology, he proceeded to lecture me on my sinful ways. He accused me of being a sinner, a racist, and being un-American.

This was because of his venomous hatred of my use of a Confederate battle flag image as an email icon on my web page.

While I do agree with his 1st Amendment Right to free speech & his opinion (whether educated or not) of my web pages, vocation and businesses and enterprises; I must also voice my concern.

IN NO WAY DO I, OR MY BUSINESS, SUPPORT ANY FACTION OR HATE GROUP INVOLVED IN RACISM, SEGREGATION OR ENSLAVEMENT OF ANY RACE, RELIGION, OR GENDER.

Let it be known that the Confederate flag is an honored symbol of a portion of our national history. It in no way reflects slavery, bigotry or hatred.

Many revisionists and spin doctors will spread the misconception of the war of 1861-1865 as being that it was fought over slavery. NOT TRUE...

In actuality, what these revisionists of true history are doing started back in the early 1960's and is referred to amongst the people that know true history, as the "Second Reconstruction". Trying to rewrite and destroy all semblance, vestiges and heritage of a Southern Nation. It is a distorted and perverse legacy of what was once the civil rights movement.

But, it has became rabid and venomous, and has an agenda to persuade you to forget about real history at any price. Including the mockery and altering of history.

Anyway, to get back to the historic factor involved, the South fought for Southern Independence and to repel Northern oppression and aggressions. The North fought for monetary gain and financial superiority. Plain and simple. Be very clear about that!!!!

I have been, and still am, a student of history through many years of education, research and archeology. I have direct family lineage to some of the very first settlers in the "new world", as well as being descended from veterans of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

Now then, the kicker...I also have direct blood ancestors that fought for the Union army as well as having Confederate ancestors that fought for the South during the years of 1861-1865. I have no bias what-so-ever as far as the so called "civil war".

And I will assure you that I have never owned a slave in my life, nor has any of my relatives. I can hear the cries of " he's just an unreconstructed Rebel" or "he's just a Neo-Confederate" flying freely.

Call me what you will, but I am simply an honest & accurate historian as well as an American Patriot. Someone not afraid of the truth nor afraid to stand up for actual history and heritage.

My only attempt in writing this essay is to tell the whole story, and to let the interested parties see what has been kept from them. Something the revisionists and "spin doctors" will never tell you!!!!

* * * THE FIRST CASUALTY IN WAR IS TRUTH * * *




Issue 1 - The Flag

The "flag" that the gentleman from Michigan, and all others across the United States, are up in arms about is historically known as the Confederate Battle Flag. It was never a national flag of the Southern States, so how could it represent the Southern cause? It was simply a battleflag carried in war.

There a were 3 different Confederate National flags that flew during those war years. You may click here to view them. None of the South's National flags are at the center of controversy. And even more importantly never did the Confederate battle flag stand as a national symbol to fly over a slave nation!!!! So, you can see how distorted a person's conception over a simple piece of cloth has been terribly misunderstood.

Before another misconception gets started, the reason that the Confederacy had 3 different national flags was that the 1st was too similar in battle to the "Stars & Stripes". Lot's of confusion due to the similarities. The second was also mistaken at times for a flag of surrender. The 3rd national flag was the final result and the adopted flag of the Confederacy.

A compelling point to consider, is also the fact that the good old "Stars & Stripes" of the United States flew over a slave nation for over 80 years!! Wow, has everyone forgotten about that??

Why aren't the revisionists, lobbyists, minority groups and historically impaired trying to get the "Stars & Stripes" removed from government buildings, t-shirts, football teams, etc??? I will tell you why, because they are not truly aware of what they are trying to resolve. Confused, uneducated and terribly ill-informed.




Issue 2 - The Term "Civil War"

Lets start fresh and have a true definition of the term "civil war". A civil war is an internal revolt, between two parts of one nation. Yet, the conflict that bears the name of American Civil War was really a war that occurred between two independent nations. The Southern states were only exercising it's constitutional right to secede. Plain and simple. To be called a "civil war" actually implies that the South was really never separate or independent.




Issue 3 - Was Secession Legal & Patriotic??

Absolutely!!!!!!!. Most of those who wrote and ratified the federal Constitution recognized secession as a legitimate, legal, and constitutional measure of protection against the possibility that the general government might in the future consolidate and centralize political power, violate the terms of the Constitution, and usurp the rights and liberties of the people of the sovereign States.

Thomas Jefferson himself believed in secession as a constitutional measure. Secession is a natural right of any people and has recently been exercised peacefully and successfully by many countries—Slovenia, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.

Now then...  This is where the real substance of the War of 1861 comes into play. And I can do no better justice, logic and historic relevance, but as to quote the words of Thomas Guinn:

" If the Southern States hold no right of secession, then the secession of the thirteen colonies from Great Britain is invalid, and the revolutionary war to secure independence unlawful. In such case, we all remain as colonies, and are subject to the British Crown. The Secession of the Colonies, and the Secession of the thirteen States, can not be one good and the other evil, they are both one or the other. Similar conditions existed in both cases and both felt their liberties threatened."

--Thomas Guinn




Issue 4 - Why The War Was Fought

In actuality the Southern States fought to repel aggression & invasion and also for self-government, just as the fathers of the American revolution had done.

President Abraham Lincoln himself confessed at first that he had no constitutional right to make war against a State, so he resorted to the subterfuge of calling for troops to suppress "combinations" of persons in the Southern States "too powerful to be suppressed by the ordinary" processes.

Now then, with that said, here are the perspectives from which the North and South went to war in 1861.

  • 1) The North. The Northern States held approximately 80-90% of the industrial capabilities of the States. But, these industrial capabilities were useless without the raw products coming from the South. Tobacco, cotton, hemp, etc were what the North used to maintain its economic stranglehold and wealth. Without the South's raw materials, it would have been economic and political disaster. And this simply would no be tolerated by the North. The statement "War is money" was as valid then as it is now.

  • 2) The South. The Southern States were simple workers who provided products that were shipped overseas. The North did not care what type of labor supplied these products. Slavery, to the North, was a Division Of Labor. And after many years of abuse and oppression, the South had tired from being subjected to Northern rules of politics, trade and economy. The "fat cats" of the North were strangling the South. And the South knew this. They simply tired of this folly, and proceeded to establish a new government for themselves as did the colonists when they wanted their freedom from King George III of Britain.

So, as you can see, slavery was not the issue for the War Of 1861 - 1865. Many want you to believe that the war was totally fought over the issue of slavery, but they are not the true purveyors of history. The same holds true today as it did years ago.

During the war, Frederick Douglass petitioned and lobbied Washington to get the war recognized as being fought solely over the issue of slavery. Douglass stated "That the war now being waged in this land is a war fought for and against slavery".

The Great Emancipator himself, Abraham Lincoln, publicly said time and time again that quite simply "The war is being fought for Union, not slavery".

One of the most outstanding statements that was ever uttered in the war, occurred in Tennessee in 1862. A Federal squad of soldiers had captured a single, ragged and underfed Confederate soldier. It was obvious that this Confederate soldier owned no slaves and was a worker of the land himself.

The Federal soldiers asked of the Confederate "What are you fighting for anyhow?"

The Confederate soldier simply replied "I'm fighting because you are down here".

I now pose to you a question. If strangers from a different land came into your cities and your homes to take from you what is rightfully yours, would you not fight for yourself and your family as well as your Constitutional rights? Or would you cower down to the aggressors and oppressors and allow yourself to be dictated to? I think the answer is quite obvious.

All in all the South only wanted was it's God given right to govern and defend themselves as provided under the Constitution.

Article 4 - Section 4 : The United States shall guaranteee to every state in the Union a Republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion...against domestic violence.

The South also demonstrated what the founding fathers had stated in the Declaration Of Independence when parting from an oppressive government:

"But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

So to be clear, the South did not want to be bullied around by the Northern bureaucrats, politicians and wealth mongers. In reality the Northern politicians and industrialists had no problems at all getting rich over the cotton, tobacco and textiles that were coming from the south. They shipped the goods overseas and amassed vast fortunes. These fortunes ended up financing the northern war effort. Hypocrisy, to be certain!!

To lose the Southern States and allow them their independence would mean economic disaster for the North. This would never be tolerated and would be stopped by whatever means necessary!




Issue 5 - Hidden Facts & Information

A very interesting fact on slavery is that at the time the civil war officially commenced in 1861, the southern states were actually in the process of freeing all slaves in the South. Russia had freed it's servants in 1862, and the south took great note of this. Had military intervention not been forced upon the South, a very different America would have been realized then as well as now. Interesting, isn't it?? Read on....

Another lesser known fact is that martyred President Abraham Lincoln was fervently making plans to send all freed slaves to the jungles of Central America once the war was over. Knowing that African society would never allow the slaves to return back to Africa, Lincoln also did not want the slaves in the US. He thought the jungles of Central America would be the best solution and conducive to the freed slaves best interest. The only thing that kept this from happening, was his assassination. I bet you were never taught that in school.

Another great deception is that Southron /Confederate ships and business brought slaves to the colonies and Americas flying the Confederate flag proudly.

Well, my friends, NONE of the flags of the Confederacy or Southern Nation ever flew over a slave ship!!

Even more important to absorb, is that never did the South own or operate any slaves ships.

Along with the English, the Dutch and the Portugese, the YANKEE FEDERAL ships brought slaves to this country. NOT the Southern Nation.

It is also very important to know and understand that Federal, Yankee, Union ships brought slaves to America! These ships were from the New England states, and their hypocrisy is atrocious. Money was the Yankee game, and black labor was their machine!!!!!!!

These Federals were ones that ended up crying the loudest about slavery. But without their ships, many of the slaves would have never arrived here. They made countless fortunes on the delivery of slaves as well as the products made from raw materials such as cotton and tobacco in the South.

This is the problem with Yankee history as it is overwhelmingly portrayed incorrectly by most of the Federal & Yankee books and media. And might be more acurately called plain bull manure!

I now want to share with you another prime example of how history gets distorted, or even worse, having real truth hidden from you. It is the story of Union civil war general William Tecumseh Sherman.

This man was responsible for burning and destroying a large portion of the South during the war. He made war upon thousands upon thousands of innocent people...men, women and children! His actions were atrocious and can be argued that they were criminal. He fervently and unashamedly declared "Total War" against the South. Not just the soldiers, but the "South" in it's entirety.

To give you a bit of insight into Sherman's thought process and total disregard for human life, take into consideration a letter he wrote to his wife in July 1864 while in northern Georgia. He writes to his dear wife:

"I begin to regard the death and mangling of a couple of thousand men as a small affair, a kind of morning dash."

A "small affair" or a "kind of morning dash" ??? My Lord, what kind of man utters this kind of sentiment??? The likes of Hitler, Stalin or maybe Ghengis Khan are the men that have this mentality towards slaughter. And definitely the likes of William Tecumseh Sherman.

Anyhow, this man named Sherman, bent on total annihilation of the South had another dark side that the vast majority of Americans are not aware of. During the entire term of his service as a general in the US army, he owned 13 slaves that actually traveled with him for his personal use, convenience and service. It wasn't until after the war in late 1865, that he released these slaves. His slaves were kept even though Lincoln freed the slaves in 1862 with the Emancipation Proclamation following the battle of Antietam.

Again, a matter of hypocrisy to be sure. But you are not supposed to know this dark side to General Sherman, for it would taint American history and make the "good guys" look bad.

Astoundingly, Robert E. Lee, the general of the Confederacy, freed his slaves in early 1863. Almost 3 full years before Sherman, and above all, during the height of the civil war!!!! And the media portrays the Confederate as being the bad guy? I think that there should be a bit of change in that old worn out story.

Also, did you know that Lincoln's Emanciaption Proclamation only freed slaves in the South?? NOT the North! And even Delaware rejected the 13th Amendment and did not ratify it (free the slaves) until 1901! Again, simple hypocrisy.

To further exhibit the fact that the Confederacy was not a racist nation, let's talk a bit about Native American Confederates. I am sure that the great majority of you have never heard of this. You must be saying "Confederate Indians???". But it is true. There were many Native Americans that fought in allegiance with the South. The South was comprised of a veritable rainbow of color fighting for Southern Independence. White, red and black, all fighting for the Confederacy. Read on....

And now, I present to you, a truth that is intentionally hidden from you by the media and the historical revisionists. How many American people know about African-American Confederates? That's right, you heard correctly. Men of color who fought for the Confederacy. Balderdash, you say. Not at all, it's the plain and simple truth.

We've all seen the movie "Glory" about the 54th Massachusetts regiment of black soldiers that fought for the federal army. But, there were also a number of proud black men that fought for the Southern Cause in the ranks of the Confederate armies. There were almost as many men of African decent fighting for the Confederacy as were fighting for the Union. They wore Confederate gray and butternut and fought side-by-side with fellow white soldiers.

Anyhow, these proud men of color were allowed to make up their own minds and wanted desperately to fight for their beloved South. Even as slaves, most knew that their lives were much better in America than the land from which many of their own race had sold them and shipped them from. They loved their homes and life and especially the Southern Cause. If indeed the war of 1861-1865 had been fought as an issue over slavery, do you think many of these fine black men would have fought to keep that institution? I seriously doubt it.

Even today, there are proud black people that wear the Confederate battle flag and other symbols of Southern pride and history. I'll bet some of you think I'm crazy, or just a pathological liar. I hate to disappoint you, but I'm neither.





On top of being a student of history, I am also a member of the SCV, the Sons Of Confederate Veterans. And I will tell you that there are black members in our ranks. Men of color who attend Confederate gatherings and honor the Southern Cause by celebrating Confederate holidays and enjoying Confederate historical events. Is your head spinning yet?? Probably so. The truth can be overwhelming when you have been force-fed propaganda by the media and revisionists...

"What passes as standard American history is really Yankee history written by New Englanders or their puppets to glorify Yankee heroes and ideals". . . Dr. Grady McWhiney




Issue 6 - The Tactics Of The Revisionists

Today, as well as in years past, the news media and Hollywood constantly try to connect the Confederate flag to the Klan & hate groups in their propaganda. It is time to put an end to this anti-Confederate slander. It is past time that real story and the truth was told. Hitler's tactic of "tell a big enough lie often enough and people will believe it" has been utilized to the fullest extent, to smear the Confederate States of America and her symbols such as the battle flag.

Magazines, books, television shows as well as the Hollywood movie producers should hang their heads in shame for what they have done to the public. Their intentional, choreographed and premeditated distortion of history is appalling.

To show how the media uses it's influence over the masses, let's study the widely acclaimed movie "Amistad". We have seen the captured Africans being shipped in the hulls of the boats. We see the leader of the ship's uprising, Cinque, kill the crew and overtake the ship. Eventually Cinque regains his freedom through a trial and is sent back to Africa, a freed man. But what Mr. Speilberg doesn't finish, is the rest of the story of our "hero" Cinque.

Once back in Africa, Cinque starts into the slave trade himself!!! He sure knows the "inside" slant to the business. Cinque is responsible for the capture, exportation and sales of his own brethren. Perish the thought of Mr. Speilberg including that into his wonderful movie. We can't have the whole truth now, can we??? That just wouldn't do in the eyes of the revisionists.

To me, that is an ongoing attrocity of the war of 1861-1865. The entire misconception of the Southern people as being "bad guys" just isn't correct. The real truth is held hostage and not divulged to the public. Most people are victims to this deception. And people such as myself are called rebels, racists, supremacists, etc. And that is simply not true!! We simply want the whole story told and hope that people accept there were mistakes made by all people during this time.




Issue 7 - Food For Thought

Although I am a TRUE patriot and TRUE American believing in our nation and it's hallowed national flag, am I (and millions of Americans of all colors) racist to believe in it and pledge allegiance to it??? There's more than one point of view on that subject.

Does our American national flag represent the horrendous slaughter & aggression that was endured by Native Americans? Does it represent the pain, suffering and displacement that this whole culture has endured long before American slavery??? These Native Americans have been surgically removed from American society to the point of extinction. I wonder if the surviving Native American people look at the "Stars and Stripes" and think of the past and devise ways on how to have the flag removed?

Can it not be argued that since I believe in America and her hallowed flag and symbols of liberty and freedom, that I am a racist or sinner due to the tragedy suffered by this Great People???

Countless numbers of Native Americans were murdered, tortured, raped, sold and humiliated. A veritable genocide has been suffered by these people. And I am certain that the following statement will definitely not be received well by many people. But the issue of slavery never came close to the atrocities suffered by the aforementioned Native American.

The issue of slavery as well as the genocide of the Native American are both very tragic chapters of our American history. I think we are all in agreement on that.

But take a good look around. How many Native American doctors, lawyers, mayors and politicians are you aware of? How many mega rich Native American athletes, writers and actors do you find?? Take a good hard look and then tell me who has suffered more.

Consider the newest phenomenon in the sports arena. He is a 21 year old African American golfer that has come to be the new leader of the so-called oppressed minority. He speaks loudly against racism, discrimination and the suffering of the African American.

But, does the public realize that his sponsors who gave him 40 million dollars to be their spokesman, are using "sweat shop" labor?? While working 16 and 18 hour days these people are only paid pennies a year to produce those wonderful tennis shoes we all love. My goodness, that is slavery, in and of itself!!

Just because these people are not African-American does not mean that they are not human and don't deserve humane conditions and salaries too!! Maybe that's why this company's tennis shoes are well over $100.00. They sure aren't spending it on labor. It's so they can afford to spend $40 million on a spokesman such as this athelete!!

If we're going to do a job, let's do it 100% completely. Not just use our colors, ethnicity or nationality to paint a half completed canvas. Next time you are on the golf course and the topic of this wonderful athlete comes up, why not appreciate where your fancy shoes and clothing has came from. And the terrible suffering and conditions that created them...




Issue 8 - Have We Learned Anything From History??

I am totally sick of this age of "political correctness". We have all made mistakes and no one is perfect. We live in a great country, the absolute best in the world!!!! Let's leave the fighting, hatred and revisionist drivel behind us. Let's make for a better tomorrow instead of crying about yesterday. Let's learn from history, not be destined to relive it!!!!

THE PAST IS GONE...LEAVE THE FLAG ALONE.

At American Thunder Antiquities (a subsidiary of RULEN Enterprises), we respect the bitter war fought between brothers, family and Americans for national unity, states rights and individual freedom.

We only have a cherished spot in our hearts for the hardships endured and the honor and beliefs that BOTH SIDES must have felt during the war of 1861-1865.

We only seek to guide, educate and supply the masses with the absolute best in American antiquities, historic relics, education and research.

But be advised!. We will NOT be held hostage to some uneducated, history impaired, trouble maker's words of hatred and desperation. Of that, we have no regrets.


Alumni et Patriae Asto
(In Eternal Memory Of Those Who Stood For Their Country)



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