Civil War

Uncle Oakley

Uncle Oakley



Johnny is a joker (he’s a bird)

A very funny joker (he’s a bird)

But when he jokes my honey (he’s a dog)

His jokin’ ain’t so funny (what a dog)

Johnny is a joker that’s a tryin’ to steal my baby (he’s a bird dog)

Hey bird dog, keep away from my quail.

Hey bird dog, you’re on the wrong trail.

Bird dog, you better find a chicken little of your own.

(The Everly Brothers)



My mother’s sister Pauline was also addicted to weekly hair frying rituals at the beauty shop, consequently suffering the same chronic results wreaked on my mother’s follicles. At some ill-defined point in their lives, with the single exception of a considerable weight differential, they began to look like the fried-hair twins.

Pauline, or Polly, who lived in Richmond, Virginia, was married to a man named Oakley Oran. He was born in West Virginia and had become a Pharmacist. Oakley had moved to Virginia, but in his heart and soul was still a good old West Virginia boy, while in his yet bigger heart and soul, was a good old true blue son of the South. I never knew why none of the adults ever called him Oakley or Oak but always referred to him rather as ‘Vaughan’, which in fact was his last name.

He met Polly at the same military base where my parents met and because they double dated the sisters, my father and Vaughan became good friends. This kinship was helped considerably by the fact that the two men shared the same passion for the game of golf that they could enjoy while the women stayed home and gossiped.

When I was a child I could not pronounce his name after which my adulterated moniker, “Uncle Oaps,” then became an identity that stuck to him for the rest of his life. The adults called him Vaughan and the children called him “Oaps.” Oak and Polly eventually had two children, Shirley and Byron.

Oakley was one of the most naturally funny men I have ever met and I always eagerly anticipated our annual visits to see him. He saw humor in everything, joked constantly and hardly ever lost his temper, which was in sharp contrast to his puritanically humorless wife. He had a passion for hunting and fishing, owned and trained his own bird dogs, as well as a thirty-six foot cabin cruiser, which he kept at a dock in Norfolk. Also being a great history buff, he specialized in the history of the Civil War, or at least his version of it, with his favorite General being P.G.T. Beauregard.

Beauregard was the man who had helped defend Richmond in the early days of the contest and when he spoke of him, Oakley would drag out the pronunciation of the name, which resulted in a lengthy drawling:

  • The great General Pee Tee Gee Beau—Ree—Guard.

Whenever we visited in Richmond, Uncle Oak would take Byron, me and my brother down to the boat for a weekend of fishing. These trips were my first ever bachelor adventures which allowed the three of us to delight in leaving our mothers behind along with their numerous house rules and my cousin Shirley with her numerous dolls and her all too numerous Cootie bugs.

Oakley too, was one of those die hard southerners who believed the South would have been a lot better off without the North and still regretted the tragic loss of the Civil War. On the hundred mile trip down to the boat from Richmond to Norfolk we would get a running commentary about the battles or battlefields of Virginia always with just a little pinch of Southern bias thrown in for good measure along with a few good curses about’ them damn Yankees.’ He did say, however, that my brother and I were an exception to that rule because we were only “half Yankees.”

The fishing trips were great, including the added feature of simply loitering around the docks along with other ‘boat people’, then to live and sleep on the boat. The atmosphere was peacefully laid back with the best part being that we did not have to be neat, we did not have to take baths, and we did not have to follow the ordinary and every day rules of maternally expected behavior. In fact Oakley said that if anyone had ever wanted to spend a weekend on the boat, he had better expect everyone else who came with him to be on the best of “fartin’ terms.”

For us, we were just little boys being big men doing big men’s stuff.

However there was a small price to pay for it every now and then. For example if we asked for pancakes, Uncle Oak would just drop the entire batch of batter into the frying pan, literally making one giant cake, which he then hacked into four pieces before he served it. Flipping this giant wad of batter always presented a problem, which usually made the concoction come out like it had been thrown around the room or scraped off the floor. Dismissively ignoring any and all complaints, the chef said we were lucky to have anything to eat at all, and who cared what it looked like because it still tasted like it should.

Then every morning as we set off in search of fish, Oakley would sit in the flying bridge atop his yacht, and every time as we put out to sea while simply being happy to be away from the grinding drudge of the pharmacy, without fail would then turn around, look down on the deck below to bark out:

  • Well boys. I wonder what the poor people are doin’ today.

We would then spend the day on long excursions cruising around the Chesapeake Bay in search of fish. Although I do not remember ever being too successful at it, the day would frequently be punctuated with screams of “Birds, birds” or “Blues, blues” or “Fish, fish,” coming from the top deck as Ahab Vaughan plied the waves chasing both real and imaginary pelagic species while periodically making us set out our trolling lines in areas he thought to be promising. Most of the time; however we never even caught a single fish.

On occasion he would change tactics for a try at catching a Cobia near a partially sunk wreck that the Air Force was using for bombing and strafing practice. As he pulled the boat near the wreck, he would always tell us about what a great fighting fish the Cobia was or about the proverbial big one that got away when no one else was there as an eye witness. While he put the boat near the wreck to idle the engine, he would direct us to be on the lookout for Air Force fighter jets. If we then saw anything potentially menacing, we would shout out so he could properly ‘skedaddle’ while always being cajoled not to ever tell our mothers we were fishing in restricted military live fire zones.

On any particularly bad fishing day, we would reel in the lines and motor over to the Maryland side of the Chesapeake to get some fresh crabs at a local dockside restaurant. Because he craved fresh Maryland crabs, and no matter that it took the entire day to get there and back, the culinary reward usually made up for the lack of a fresh catch making it well worth the time.

While cruising back to the dock late in the day he would never fail to look at the flagpole to predictably announce cocktail hour by asking the pre-prompted query:

  • Hey boys. The sun is just going down over the yardarm. And you know what that means
  • Yes sir, Captain Oak. It must be time to splice the main brace. How many fingers of rum should we pour?
  • Make it bourbon today, boys. Some good old fashioned Tennessee bourbon whiskey. Have a shot yourselves and grow some hair on your balls.

Since we were away from our mothers, we could regress to levels of vulgarity that would ordinarily be punished at home. We took particular delight in trying to make loud farts, because we knew that every time he heard one, Uncle Oak would shout out: ”Twenty-twenty. English Bummy,” which would make all of us laugh hysterically at its absurd predictability.

He explained that he had learned this phrase in the war from the British soldiers and that it was applied as the appropriate response one man makes to another when the latter creates an absolutely perfect noise with his flapping butt cheeks: A twenty-twenty perfect fart.

Addressing another vulgar habit we had of peeing outside or peeing overboard, Oak never tired of telling us the potential hazard of exposing ourselves in public by repeatedly recounting one of his favorite jokes. His method of scolding was infinitely more entertaining than what we would potentially get at home.

  • Boys, did I ever tell you about the man who had to pee while he was driving down the highway so he pulled over to a roadside billboard and tryin’ to hide what he was doing, stuck his tally-whacker through a hole in the sign. A Hobo, sleeping on the other side of the sign was shocked awake by the shower and screamed, “Snake. Snake;” just before he jumped up and whacked the man’s pud with a baseball bat. “Hit him again. Hit him again” the peeing man said. “I think he just bit me.”

Wherever we went or whatever we did, Oakley was enormously generous about buying us things. This was particularly true when we visited his Pharmacy, which was the old-fashioned style drug store that stocked toys, nick-knacks, and model airplanes; while also featuring a soda fountain with a short order hamburger grill. We would load up on Cokes and burgers, and then head out the door carrying a new model to build while he yelled out after us from behind the pharmacy window:

  • I don’t know why I let y’all boys come in here anyway. Y’all eat faster than Grant went though Richmond, then all you do is pluck me like a goose and watch my feathers fly.

He always said it with a big grin on his face as we happily scampered, guilt free, to the car with the loot. I never did go bird hunting with him, because I was too young, but did come to learn a lot from him about dogs and how to love and care for animals. He usually had at least two bird dogs at any one time, which he kept in pens behind his house. He trained them, exercised them, loved them to death such that by osmosis that I came to learn something about the fine art and sport of bird hunting.

These dogs fall into the three categories of Pointer, Setter, or Retriever obviously being named after the job they perform in the field. Most people forget that thousands of years of breeding and training are the result of what one sees in the modern day finished product known as the “show-dog,” but not that the original purpose of the dog breeding exercise was to put the animals through a beauty contest to win medals, but was rather intended to actually expedite and to assist human survival.

More importantly is the fact that the dogs are bred to do these jobs and solely exist for the days they can get out into the field and work. At one time Oakley had a beautiful setter named Bonnie, a sweet, gentle animal, and a real favorite who broke his heart when she died. He was so fond of her he had her portrait done which he hung it over his fireplace mantle: a painting that was a far more palatably genteel living room decoration than was the roving, judgmental, and all seeing eyes of the spy-cam portrait of my father’s sister Rose.

There was only one dog he ever really gave up on; a pointer named Lucky. Excessive in-breeding made the dog un-trainable, uncontrollable, and refractory to education to the point that Oakley eventually had to give him away. Every time Oak would go in the back of the house to hose down Lucky’s pen he would predictably carbon copy state:

  • That Lucky dog is just plain crazy. All he’s good for is eatin’ and poopin’. And I ain’t never seen a damn dog like him that ever’ damn day of his life can eat a quart then poop a peck.

He kept his bird rifles around the house, was a great advocate of gun care, gun safety and wild life conservation, never killing a bird he did not clean or dress out in the field, and then bring home to eat. Of course, Aunt Polly would certainly rather fry a chicken than to bake wild Quail which subsequently subjected everyone to the risk of losing a filling or cracking a tooth on a crunchy bite of buck shot left inside the bird.  She also deplored the gamy rangy taste of the birds and the fact that by the time one was actually cooked it was nothing but skin and bones.

Nevertheless Uncle Oakley loved to take his hunting expeditions to the great conclusive finish line of the stove-pot, the oven and then to the dining room table. 

One Sunday afternoon when he’d had perhaps one too many Wild Turkey Bourbons and fell asleep by himself in front of the T.V.; his war instincts got the better of him when they unexpectedly took over in a reflexive knee jerk reaction. My Aunt and cousins were out of the house while Oakley had fallen asleep in the den in his favorite easy chair.

He was startled by a commotion in the fireplace that awakened him to the noise of the window blinds being rattled and shaken by some unseen entity. Thinking he was under assault by a robber, or an enemy Japanese platoon or some other unknown alien force, he jumped up, quick-loaded a shotgun, then peppered his den with two blasts of buckshot.

Polly came home to see the mess in the foxhole along with Oakley running around the house swatting at something with a broom.

It seems that a squirrel had come down the chimney and tried to escape through a shut window while the old soldier was off dreaming of some battle. Then because it had taken a trifle too long time to shake off the reverie and become re-oriented to reality, his instincts simply dictated that he should blast the squeaking little furry enemy into oblivion.

After that the gun racks were removed from the den and the weapons were put a little further out of immediate reach.

Later in life he developed atrial fibrillation that required a cardiac pacemaker implant. But he was a terrible patient and never had the device checked to even assess if it had any current left in it, much less to know if it was even working properly. Nor would he take blood thinners to treat the same heart rhythm problem and to abort the same risk of stroke that had killed my paternal grandfather.  In not liking the idea of the concurrent risk of bleeding associated with the drugs while similar to the ladies under the dryer at the hair salon, he probably suffered from the syndrome of knowing just enough to qualify him as really knowing a bit too little.

The first sign of trouble came when he was in his early eighties. While playing golf with his son in law, Bob he suddenly began to behave in a relatively nonspecific, but at the same time a very peculiar manner. Bob told him he was acting funny and when he asked him if anything was wrong, Oakley turned to Bob and said:

  • Where are my car keys?
  • Bob asked why he needed them in the middle of a round of golf, at which point Oakley apparently having thought he found them, held up an invisible set of keys in front of his face, then started shaking his hand up and down while repeating over and over and over again:
  • Jingle, jingle, jingle. Jingle, jingle, jingle.

Bob took him off the course, but he refused hospital care. After several hours the little brain clot that had caused his echolalia broke up and Oakley was miraculously back to normal again.

Not too long after that, again while playing golf with my father in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, my father watched him go up to the Seventeenth tee only to fall down several times on his left side as he tried to lean over to get the ball teed up. He stood up three times, bent over three times and fell down three times because he had partially lost motor strength in his left side. He was in the midst of having a transient or warning stroke but by ignoring the whole episode, and fighting through it or more likely just ignoring the paralysis, he was still determined to play on. Taking it a few minutes for him to realize something was drastically wrong with his brother in law, my father said Oak just kept flopping down like a wounded bird

Being a man who usually suffers from terminal constipation, my father rushed Oakley back to their motel, stating that he was so frightened by the incident he had crapped his pants while driving them back together in the golf cart. Then when he finally did get Oakley situated in bed, he said that he was going to call the ambulance.

Once again Oakley steadfastly refused hospitalization, asked for a large glass of Wild Turkey Bourbon, drank it, went to sleep, and woke up the next day fully recovered ready to play golf again. He eventually capitulated by agreeing to take blood thinners, after which time the stuttering stroke syndrome was successfully arrested.

One night when he mistakenly telephoned my house looking for my parents, I asked him how it felt to be the world’s best golfer. Wanting to know what I meant by that, I replied that he had played two all time record low-scoring rounds of golf. He said:

  • What exactly is that supposed to mean?

I said:

  • Well, the first round you managed to play with only one stroke, but the next day you bettered that score by playing it with no strokes at all.

It was probably the only time in my life I ever had the opportunity to joke him before he joked me.

At exactly the time of this writing, I received a phone call from my cousin Byron to let me know his father had just passed away. Apparently Oakley had developed a rapidly progressive lung tumor, which literally killed him in a matter of weeks. At the end game, being the man’s man that he always had been, he reluctantly agreed to take just enough morphine to dull the terminal pain; but not enough to put him to sleep.  He was eighty-nine years old.

uncle oak


 “I wonder what the poor people are doing today.” 

(Uncle Oakley: Every kid should know one)



Southern Exposure

Southern Exposure

Eminent Domain aside, things were quite different in the North where I grew up than they were in the contemporary South. Because I lived in the North, I had considerably less exposure to the South, except for annual visits either to Texas to visit my grandparents, or to Virginia to visit my Aunt Polly. But however sparse the exposure, it was just enough to paint a few clear, yet vitally distinct cultural differences.

For example, whereas in Texas a man could carry a firearm in a holster and it would also be considered justifiable homicide if he killed another man for cheating with his wife; this Prairie Justice cultural heritage had somehow never really formed the foundation of the legal code in New York State, where even thinking about owning a firearm is illegal.

In the aforesaid circumstance a Texas judge would probably rule it justifiable to kill the cheating wife as well, whereas in New York, the angry husband would likely wind up doing life without parole or possibly then find his way to the electric chair.

As an anecdotal truth, when my Texan Uncle Pete caught his wife in bed with another man and then shot him in the knee, the judge let him go without as much as a single a harsh word.

  • Yes judge. I do admit to shooting him. But only to teach him a lesson.
  • I know, son. But why didn’t you shoot her too?
  • ‘Cause judge, you know I still love her, and I just can’t live without her.
  • This must be a terrible emotional strain for you, son, but don’t worry. Everything is going to be A-O.K. Here is my sentence: Take her back to church and square it up with Jesus; get your woman righteous again, then pray to the Lord that the next time your aim is better, and you don’t miss that cheatin’ bastard’s sinful heart.

All my cousins owned small arsenals. My Aunt Louise’s third husband owned a small hand tooled, highly illegal, double barreled short shot gun he dubbed “The Snake Charmer,” which he kept under the front seat of his car.

He said:

  • It’s a deterrent, you know. All you have to do is point, click and shoot. Mostly just click. It’s the click that’s the real deterrent. Just hearing that little click will make any felonious Jackass skedaddle for the hills.

One of my great uncle’s, who in his eighties successfully aborted an attempted mugging by a sixteen-year-old black thug, did so by pulling out a .22 gauge derringer when the kid came up behind him. He was tottering along when the teenager came up shouting:

  • Hey you, stinkin’ old man. You stop there now.
  • When my frail old uncle failed to stop, the kid became outraged, caught up to him, and then grabbed his coat to spin him around, only to face the small double-barreled equalizer.
  • Hey you stinkin’ old man. I told you to stop. You stop now or I’ll beat the shit out of yo’ stinkin’ old white-trash body.
  • Not so fast, son. Because right now I’m gonna give you just one chance to save your own  stinkin’ life by lettin’ you run away just as fast as your stinkin’ little black ass can go.

Well into the 1960s, Texas also still had segregated schools, bathrooms and water fountains; whereas at that point in time three of my best High School friends were Black. In truth, none of us even thought about race. However, this residual post-Civil War bias against Blacks in the south was not even veiled.

For example, when one of my Redneck step-cousins showed me his chrome plated .44 caliber pistol, he nonchalantly editorialized by stating that the reflecting chrome plating was especially good because when waved around at night it scared the hell out of the “niggers**.” What could I say to that? “Don’t shoot me. I’m just a Melungeon?”

When I was about eight years old, I recall my Aunt Thelma Jean screaming at me in a supermarket to get away from the “Colored” fountain, as though somehow, I would be irrevocably contaminated or poisoned by its contents. She may also have been horribly embarrassed by the fact that a child in her custody, in such a public venue, did not yet know the rules of “polite society.” I naively thought nothing of walking up to it for a drink. Taking the sign at literal face value my childish instinctive thought was how nifty it would be to see exactly what color this other water might be, and how different it might taste from the plain, ordinary clear “White” stuff. I was hoping for raspberry Kool-Aid or Coca-Cola.

She tried her best to explain the difference to me, but I could never grasp the concept.

Historically, the South in general was more homogenous was the North and was more insulated from the flood of foreign immigrants that came in during the era of the great European out-migrations. The North was urban, cosmopolitan and industrialized, while the South was rural, insular and agrarian. The South also maintained an antiquated social hierarchy in which every person knew his place and station, whereas the North facilitated more in the way of upward social mobility.

There are two sides to every story. But when it comes to War, the only thing that really counts is who wins.

The Civil War was as much about the South’s struggle to maintain its integrity, its lifestyle, its culture and independent State’s Rights; as it was about the North’s ambition to abort a split in the Union over valuable and onerous Federal tariffs accrued on Southern plantation cotton and sugar productivity. In fact, 90% of the Federal income was generated by these lopsided tariffs, an income the Federal Government could not risk losing. Slavery was merely a side issue; especially because 95% of Southern slaves were owned by only 5% of the Southern population; which also happened to include a few wealthy Blacks.

This was essentially a war of cultural economics, a tax revolt and a bid by the North to gain validated independence for centralized government control; centralized banking; mercantilism; and genocidal “manifest destiny” Western expansion; all of which culminated in a far too powerful Federal Government that in this modern era has simply run amok. The real crux of the matter is that the war was fought over Alexander Hamilton’s and Thomas Jefferson’s opposite philosophies of republican Democracy.

The issue of slavery was a matter of political expedience that came late to the forefront in the thinking of an ambivalent Abraham Lincoln. He did believe that slavery should be abolished. This is not rocket science. But he stopped short of making the case for black citizenship; and he certainly did not believe in racial equality or integration. He also wanted to send freed slaves out of the country after the Civil War, but interestingly enough; post war Black leaders refused to embrace the concept. Another no-brainer. Why go back to the land of the “brothers” who sold you into bondage in the first place?

Additionally, although there was a great push by Abolitionists to end slavery, at the personal level, racial bias was still a problem in the North in the 1800s. Massachusetts, the original hub of U.S. slave trading via the infamous Triangular Trade, Rhode Island, and New York all continued to condone and harbor slavery. Boston, New York and Philadelphia also held slave auctions. Northern white factory workers refused to work next to Blacks and did not want them integrated into their neighborhoods. There were several anti-black social riots. Abolitionists also specifically shied away from addressing the exploitation of impoverished slum-dwelling white children working 70 hours a week in Northern factory sweat-shops for mere pennies, under the yoke of greedy mercantile Capitalists.

The Emancipation Proclamation itself specifically excluded and exempted freeing slaves from all federally controlled states or territories. It was designed with the intent to incite an internal Southern slave rebellion that either never materialized or ironically put the newly freed blacks into positions of menial servitude for the Northern Army. Slopping shit and peeling potatoes, it was back to the square-one that then persisted for them until the 1960s: and beyond.

Why is the tale not told of the Northern city anti-black murder and lynching riots or the fact that northern soldiers wanted to dessert in droves when they were told their mission included freeing the blacks, whom they derided as being nothing better than cannon fodder?

A parallel concept about satellite issues was elucidated when a Polish Resistance fighter was interviewed after World War II; only to be severely chastised for not doing more to help the Jews in the Concentration Camps. In a startled reply he explained that for Poland, the Jews were nothing more than a relatively minor or inconsequential side issue, adding that nobody had really given them a second thought because the real point of the exercise was solely to regain his country’s freedom. He also pointed out that approximately 2.5 million of his own non-combatant Polish countrymen had been killed by Hitler’s war machine; so why the big fuss over the Jews? Everything is relative.

My uncle Oakley, who was born and raised in West Virginia, in thinking it might be an unusual ocular condition, used to ask my father: “So what exactly is an “Eye-talian?”

For most of his life, my Texan uncle Bobby honestly and truly did not know what Jewish was, much less any other minority than the Blacks. In his mind he discounted this unknown religious minority as a non-entity, or at least of one of no real importance that had no impact whatsoever on his life. He thought that anti-Semitism was an arthritis treatment.

When I was in college in Durham North Carolina, a local movie theater showed a nostalgic version of ‘Gone with the Wind.’ A couple in the row in front of me was having a conversation and agreeably debating the fact that people in the North simply did not know what it was like to be “burned off their land.” It is beyond me how they happened to know what it was like to be subjected to Sherman’s Northern Army sweeping through, then literally incinerating the South and tearing up the lifeblood of its railways. But they talked about it as though it had happened only yesterday to themselves; rather than being conveyed in the family stories that accompanied hand me down clothing and a few surviving heirlooms.

In truth, most history books ignore the unnecessary brutality the Northern Army visited on the South as it murdered, hung, tortured, and raped local White civilian populations, then looted and burned their homes; topping it off by killing all their livestock and burning their crops. Entire towns were destroyed; only to be memorialized by a stone slab or a house chimney, known as “Sherman’s sentinels.” It is also not widely publicized that Union troops often stole from the slaves they had just liberated; or put them to work in menial subservient jobs.

This is then not to mention the arbitrary martial law that a despotic Abraham Lincoln* imposed not only on the South; but also on many aspects of life in the North; such as suppression of the free press and incarceration of the Maryland and Delaware legislators who were not sympathetic to fomenting a Civil War.

People in the South literally saw things more in terms of black and white. Slavery was a cultural norm that dated back to the earliest settlement in Jamestown. In fact, slavery was an evil, but ordinary unquestioned social norm and an accepted partner of ancient civilization dating back before the ancient Greek and Roman world conquests. Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations were built on the backs of its slaves.

In Western European’s global expansion, between 1450 and 1850 it is estimated that 12 million African slaves were exported like chattel. These people, who were the captured spoils of internecine conflicts and sold into bondage by other Africans, were brought to both North and South America to work everything from Colonial American farms to Spanish silver mines. As such, southerners had to accept the concept of and racial diversity or equality at such a very late historical stage, that some of them, brainwashed and still licking their Grandparent’s wounds, had a difficult time getting over it. After all, they did lose the war, and like what happened to Germany in 1918 that wound runs deep, then smolders, and unfortunately in some areas still festers.

The resentment that gave rise to the likes of the Ku Klux Klan; among other undesirable attitudes and racial hostilities had nothing to do with slavery. It was a reaction to scorched earth policies and sanctioned civilian murder, followed by devastating southern exploitation by Carpet baggers and Scallywags.

To its credit though, some elements of the old South to this very day retain its former gentility and charm, is still a place where people have manners, where children are raised to have respect, to address their elders as “Sir” and “Ma’am” and where adults still tend to say “please,” “thank you,” and “how do you do.”

However, many impoverished southern communities, both Black and White alike, will never recover from the scorched earth policies of the Federal Armies and the post-Civil War economic repression imposed on the South by the Federal Government

Take a ride though any Southern White trailer park or a miserably pathetic east Virginia Black shanty-town where unemployment is rampant; ironically often adjacent to large mechanized soybean or tobacco plantations, and it will be easy to see that if nothing else, rural poverty in the South does not discriminate against the color of one’s skin.

*The Real Lincoln: Perhaps not so Lily White? (Quotations of Abraham Lincoln)

“I will say, then, that I am not, nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races. That I am not in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races that prevents them from living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.” (1858)

“It was a war for a great national idea…the Union, and General Freemont should never have dragged the Negro into it.”

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.”

“The Emancipation Proclamation has no Constitutional or legal justification except as a war measure. Slaves not freed by the Emancipation Proclamation should be freed gradually over a 37 year period of time to be completed by January 1, 1900.Slave owners should be compensated for the loss of their slave property. The government should transport freed Blacks, at government expense, out of the country and relocate them in Latin America and Africa.” (1862)

**The N-word:

I was taught in high school in the 1960s that using the term “nigger” was demeaning to blacks and was anathema. But for people like my mother, who grew up in Texas in the 1930s, it was considered part of normal vocabulary. Thus, due to an almost involuntary habit, and especially after she became demented; she would occasionally blurt it out.

It seems ironic to me then that while polite society castigates the use of the word, or punishes those who use it as a Federal hate crime; modern Black hip-hop culture bandies the word repetitively in songs as well as in ordinary street jargon. The word now seems now to be a proprietary black cultural badge of honor.

Adolf  Lincoln:

It is also interesting that modern day American Blacks lionize the same Lincoln who only thought of them as being a disposable inferior race; and to a country that lionizes a man who purposefully manipulated the start of a war that killed over 600,000 of his fellow countrymen; or 2% of the existing U.S. population.

Lincoln repeatedly refused to meet with Southern delegations that sued for a separate peace before the war began; then provoked the attack at Fort Sumpter.

This is not to mention the 400,000 wounded, 60,000 amputees; the several  hundred thousand dead Southern civilians and the 1.2 million military dead horses and mules.

As a perspective, the U.S. lost a “mere” 400,000 soldiers in World War II.

Think of it more simply. America declared war on itself 84 years after it successfully seceded from England; then proceeded to cannibalize its defeated polarized half. The generals who fought against each other were roommates at West Point who fought side by side against Mexico in1846.  It was so inbred, Abraham Lincoln even asked Robert E. Lee to head up the Union army. The fact that it was not so much a War Between the States as it was a War of National Disgrace is something that none of us can take any pride in. Brother against, brother, cousins, uncles and even small towns tearing each other to pieces. Nothing more that an indelible black smudge in American history.

Unfortunately, Lincoln was not visionary enough to realize that the discovery of oil, the farm combine as well as modern agricultural techniques or natural evolutionary social forces would have intuitively and automatically put slavery out of business. This is the same moot economic force that has taken modern American workers off assembly lines; only to be replaced by robots or overseas Chinese, who work in sweat shops for slave wages. It is nothing more than a lateral arabesque maneuver for residual worldwide slavery.

It is also likely that left unto itself; the country would have been forced to reunite anyway: if nothing else possibly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Lincoln was visionary enough however to recognize that the U.S. required “lebensraum”

After the South had been decimated; he instructed Generals Sherman, Sheridan and Makenzie to go out West and implement Sheridan’s concept of a valid “final solution” to the Native American “problem.”

Yes indeed, after 1865 slavery would be officially ended by the 13th Amendment; and from then on, the only good Indian would now be a dead Indian.

Shermans Chimneys

Sherman’s Sentinels

It wasn’t called Reconstruction for nothing

What is a man

Deep down inside

But a raging beast

With nothing to hide

(Passenger: The Grateful Dead)