ORIGINAL text, Lincoln/War Crimes -- An Explanation by the Author

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RStacy2229

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Aug 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/11/96
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AN EXPLANATION IS IN ORDER

Brooks Simpson has brought attention to the text -- the GARBLED text, I
must note right off the bat -- of a document I wrote entitled, "Wanted for
War Crimes: Abraham Lincoln." That text has a distinctive history which
must be explained before the document itself can be truly comprehended. I
am posting my original copy of that document to this newsgroup, and making
this explanation:

First, the document as posted on the Southern League "DixieNet" page
contains not only a HUGE glitch (search for the phrase within it -- ".lies
a tale.") involving the transposition of several paragraphs. That glitch
was not of my own making, and the document also contains two short
passages which I did not write. How did this happen?

1. John Carruth, director of the 8th Regiment Band, in organizing the
"Festa Roma" activities relating to the wartime heritage of our community,
thought to include the Northern side of the story by acquiring the
services of Homer Sewell, a Georgian who does a one-man living history
performance as Abraham Lincoln.

2. To promote local attendance at Festa Roma, Mr. Carruth arranged to have
Mr. Sewell appear at Rome's annual 4th of July celebration, where he made
a speech and the band played "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

3. A local resident who is a student of the war, an adherent of Christian
conservativism and who had recently joined the Southern League, was in
attendance at the 4th of July celebration. Knowing what he knows about the
war, this man -- a friend of mine -- was greatly outraged by the
appearance of Lincoln and the playing of "The Battle Hymn" in a Southern
community, especially on the 4th of July. (As any loyal Southerner with an
adequate knowledge of history must understand, certain key political
principles of 1776 were utterly disregarded by the Union side during the
conflict of 1861-65.)

4. This friend of mine wrote a very angry letter to our newspaper. Being
both his friend and a newspaper employee, I felt compelled to bite my
tongue in the matter. But another friend of his, upon reading an e-mail
version of that letter, pointed out that it was somewhat radical in tone
and might have the opposite of the intended effect, and so my friend
called our editor and withdrew the letter before it was published. His
anger at Lincoln's appearance in Rome was unabated, however.

5. When this had transpired, I saw that my friend was still angry and
agreed with him that, indeed, the idolatrous reverence to Lincoln in the
public mind is somewhat myopic. Without saying a word to my friend, I
undertook to write the "Wanted for War Crimes" flyer, which I thought
might be handed out at Lincoln's next appearance in Rome: A true "living
history," since it reflects -- in the mildest terms possible -- what
Confederates thought of Lincoln the man (not Lincoln the myth). And the
pamphlet also points the reader to the Southern League, the only American
organization
which today advocates Southern independence. A visit to DixieNet is a
valid educational experience, whether one agrees or disagrees with them
... er, us.

6. I then privately e-mailed the text to my friend, suggesting in the
attached note that he make of it a pamphlet or flyer to be distributed at
Lincoln's appearances in Rome. I said he could edit it or alter it any way
he wanted, but asked that my name not be connected to it because:

A. Although the condemnation of Lincoln and defense of the Confederacy
contained in the text is nothing new, and is actually much milder than
what members of this newsgroup routinely hear from many Southrons,
including myself, I was involved in our newspaper's coverage of local
Olympic events and had taken a vow to refrain from writing any incendiary
columns during the Olympics. Writing the "radical" War Crimes text was
merely an educational activity -- :) -- which I did not wish to
associate, through the use of my name, with my employer. (Don't worry, we
might be the most
pro-Southern daily newspaper in Georgia: On the 135th anniversary of the
surrender of Fort Sumter, we published the Southern League manifesto at
the top of our Sunday op/ed section, along with two columns from SL member
Charley Reese and an 1861 engraving of the bombardment of the fort.)

B. I had granted my friend permission to amend the document in any way he
saw fit, since its publication and distribution was to be his doing.


7. My friend and his wife then began to edit the document, making three
changes:

A. Accidentally transposing several paragraphs and splitting parts of two
paragraphs, introducing both grammatical errors and rhetorical non
sequiturs (the BIG GLITCH, as I call it) to my otherwise seamless
argument.

B. Adding a two- or three-sentence reference to a colonial Virginia
protest of British importation of slaves, a reference which was irrelevant
to any condemnation of Lincoln or to the war itself.

C. Adding one sentence referring to a "genuine contentment with one's
station in life," which may or may not have been a true reflection of the
views of the Old South aristocracy, but which -- inserted into a brief
tract like this -- I felt might be shocking to modern egalitarian minds
unfamiliar with such views.

8. Then, for reasons best known only to himself and without my knowledge
or permission, my friend posted his altered version of my text (including
the BIG GLITCH) to the Southern League listserver and, CONTRARY TO MY
EXPRESSED WISHES, named me as the author.

9. Before I had read my friend's version of the text, another listserver
subscriber suggested that George Kalas post it on "DixieNet." He did so,
prominently naming me as author of this INCORRECT version of a document
which I had intended to author anonymously.

10. Not knowing about the changes or the BIG GLITCH, I accepted this
friend "blowing my cover," until I found out about the BIG GLITCH and
asked George to pull the thing off the net until I could get my friend to
send him a copy of the original. This George did.

11. My friend RE-SENT the same BIG GLITCH version of the text to George
and it was recently reposted. Apparently, my friend had edited the
original file rather than (as I or most other computer users would have
done) making a copy and doing all editing in that copy.

12. To clear my name from the charges of committing a non-sequitur and
grammatical errors, I am now:
A. Posting a copy to both Civil War newsgroups of MY ORIGINAL copy of that
text, which I have dug up from my database, making only one correction of
a minor typo ("a" for "the").
B. Sending a copy of MY ORIGINAL copy of that text to George Kalas.
C. Writing this explanation and posting it to both newsgroups.
D. Swearing henceforth never to write anything anonymously or to expect a
fire-eater to keep anything secret.

13. If you wish to agree or disagree with MY ORIGINAL text, you now have
the opportunity to do so. In checking the facts, I have since found that I
was wrong about Lincoln's disbanding the Maryland legislature (although he
was prepared to, if necessary), but if there is another single
misstatement of fact within this text (presented here in two parts), then
I am unaware of it. If the interpretation of those facts aggrieves you,
well -- that's nothing new, is it?

Robert Stacy McCain
Rome GA

Maury

unread,
Aug 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/12/96
to

In article <4ujm6a$3...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, rstac...@aol.com says...


{deletia for brevity}

>First, the document as posted on the Southern League "DixieNet" page
>contains not only a HUGE glitch (search for the phrase within it -- ".lies
>a tale.") involving the transposition of several paragraphs. That glitch
>was not of my own making, and the document also contains two short
>passages which I did not write. How did this happen?

How, as a member of the Southern League, is it that as long as that
document had been in a webpage form, you never knew about it ?

-- Maury

========================================


>3. A local resident who is a student of the war, an adherent of Christian
>conservativism and who had recently joined the Southern League, was in
>attendance at the 4th of July celebration. Knowing what he knows about the
>war, this man -- a friend of mine -- was greatly outraged by the
>appearance of Lincoln and the playing of "The Battle Hymn" in a Southern
>community,

"Christian"??? "Love thy neighbor" &c., &c.

"Christian", to my understanding, means "Christ-like".

But Christ did get "angry" and over-turned the tables of the money
exchangers at God's Temple.

==============================================


>4. This friend of mine wrote a very angry letter to our newspaper. Being
>both his friend and a newspaper employee, I felt compelled to bite my
>tongue in the matter. But another friend of his, upon reading an e-mail
>version of that letter, pointed out that it was somewhat radical in tone
>and might have the opposite of the intended effect, and so my friend
>called our editor and withdrew the letter before it was published. His
>anger at Lincoln's appearance in Rome was unabated, however.
>
>5. When this had transpired, I saw that my friend was still angry and
>agreed with him that, indeed, the idolatrous reverence to Lincoln in the
>public mind is somewhat myopic. Without saying a word to my friend, I
>undertook to write the "Wanted for War Crimes" flyer, which I thought
>might be handed out at Lincoln's next appearance in Rome: A true "living
>history," since it reflects -- in the mildest terms possible -- what


Perhaps the biggest "living-history" anyone might be able to
put together, that would draw many and attract much attention, would
be the play "American Cousin" in conjunction with the same date and
hour (excluding the year naturally) of Lincoln's assassination
at the real Ford's theater, if that still exists. -- Maury

========================================


>Confederates thought of Lincoln the man (not Lincoln the myth). And the
>pamphlet also points the reader to the Southern League, the only American
>organization
>which today advocates Southern independence. A visit to DixieNet is a
>valid educational experience, whether one agrees or disagrees with them
>... er, us.
>
>6. I then privately e-mailed the text to my friend, suggesting in the
>attached note that he make of it a pamphlet or flyer to be distributed at
>Lincoln's appearances in Rome. I said he could edit it or alter it any way
>he wanted, but asked that my name not be connected to it because:
>

>B. I had granted my friend permission to amend the document in any way he


>saw fit, since its publication and distribution was to be his doing.
>
>
>7. My friend and his wife then began to edit the document, making three
>changes:
>
>A. Accidentally transposing several paragraphs and splitting parts of two

========================

>C. Writing this explanation and posting it to both newsgroups.

===========

Ah, don't worry so over it. Accidents and things beyond everyone's
control. The gist of it all is every individual's ability or inability
to forgive each other. I forgive everyone for everything, but still,
"Let's party". Life isn't over yet, unless you're too old. B-)
Tell us who your anonymous "friend" is and let's hang him in effigy ;-)

Uh,,,wait! He wrote an excellent ant-Abe article! He should be
promoted over you. (Chuckle)...

-- Maury

================================================================

>D.Swearing henceforth never to write anything anonymously or to expect a
=======================================================

I'm interested in that one, and in "The Real Lincoln".

-- Maury

==================================


>fire eater to keep anything secret.

Brooks Simpson

unread,
Aug 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM8/13/96
to

rstac...@aol.com (RStacy2229) wrote:
>AN EXPLANATION IS IN ORDER
>
>Brooks Simpson has brought attention to the text -- the GARBLED text, I
>must note right off the bat -- of a document I wrote entitled, "Wanted for
>War Crimes: Abraham Lincoln."

Sorry, Stacy, someone else brought attention to it. I offered an
observation on it. I have since elaborated on that observation
elsewhere. I hope that you have a newsreader that can pick up that
reply--some people apparently have a real tough time picking up my posts.
;)

[snip]

A visit to DixieNet is a
>valid educational experience, whether one agrees or disagrees with them
>... er, us.

Agreed.

[snip]

>A. Accidentally transposing several paragraphs and splitting parts of two
>paragraphs, introducing both grammatical errors and rhetorical non
>sequiturs (the BIG GLITCH, as I call it) to my otherwise seamless
>argument.

Your modesty is showing . . .

>13. If you wish to agree or disagree with MY ORIGINAL text, you now have

>the opportunity to do so. In checking the facts, I have since found that >I was wrong about Lincoln's disbanding the Maryland legis=
lature >(although he was prepared to, if necessary), but if there is another >single misstatement of fact within this text (presente=


d here in two >parts), then I am unaware of it.

I've suggested a few places where you might want to check your facts or
consider information you have excluded. The section on Vallandigham is
simply wrong factually, for example.

Brooks Simpson


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