Lying is a denomination of power. The bigger the lie, the more power it represents. Right now in this country we are treated daily to the Big Lie that Donald Trump was the real winner of the 2020 presidential election, and the only reason he is not in the White House right now. , it’s because the election was stolen from him.
You may have noticed that the people pushing the Big Lie today are very good at it. It is because so many of them have been pushing an even bigger big lie for most of their lives: the lost cause lie, that the Civil War was not really fought over secession. shameful of the Southern states and slavery, it was rather a noble cause fought for the “honor” of the South, and that slavery itself was not bad or immoral, because the slaves were happy workers living much better lives than they would have lived from where they came from in Africa.
The lost cause was or still is, because it lives today in a large part of America, the fundamental ethic of racism and was used to perpetuate the racial crimes of the Jim Crow era, when black people South Americans were denied the right to vote. and separated from whites and subjected to the pernicious political and social discriminatory practices of white supremacy.
The Civil War was, of course, lost by Confederation, but you wouldn’t know if you lived in the South during the shameful Jim Crow years or even today in the states that made up Confederation. One of the truths about wars is that they are often won or lost not in the big battles that become famous and end up being celebrated or lamented in the history books, but in smaller, isolated battles that are largely forgotten.
The Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, was one of those battles in the Civil War. Little celebrated in the history books or elsewhere, with the exception of Franklin himself, the battle took place at the end of the war on November 30, 1864, and was part of the Tennessee Army campaign. following the Confederate defeat by the Union Army of Lieutenant General William T. Sherman at the Battle of Atlanta. Commanded by Confederate General John Bell Hood, the Army of Tennessee, instead of pursuing Sherman after his departure from Atlanta and the start of his famous “March to the Sea,” turned west and launched a campaign to take Nashville from the Union forces that occupied this important manufacturing plant. south center.
The Battle of Franklin and the Battle of Nashville, which quickly followed on its heels, was a disaster for Confederacy. The Tennessee Army began its campaign with 38,000 men in November 1864. In January 1865, Confederate General PGT Beauregard, who commanded all the Confederate armies in the West, would report to Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy , that its army was reduced to 15,000 men, having lost more than 6,000 men in a single day in the Battle of Franklin, and 2,500 more in the Battle of Nashville. Over 2,000 casualties were attributed to desertion from the ranks in the two battles.
John Bell Hood was incompetent as a tactician and awful as a combat commander. His campaign after the Atlanta defeat was “unhappy” in the words of some sympathetic wartime texts. The Confederate losses in the Battle of Franklin were in some ways the largest in a single day of war. Fourteen Confederate generals were killed or wounded, along with 55 regimental commanders, decimating the leadership of the Confederate army in the west.
While living in Franklin a few years ago, I visited part of the Franklin Battlefield at Carnton Plantation with my son on a Cubs excursion. The house was converted into a Confederate hospital during the Battle of Franklin, and on the property is a cemetery containing 1,481 Confederate graves. The 48-acre site was the site of a plantation consisting of approximately 1,000 acres of land owned by Randal McGavock, who had served as clerk of the State Supreme Court and mayor of Nashville. The 1850 census showed 28 slaves working on the Carnton plantation. The plantation house and all outbuildings, including a large sawmill, were built with slaves. Records show that in 1859 McGavock’s son John, who inherited the plantation after his father’s death, “bought a slave” for $ 2,500 to run his sawmill. Currently owned by the Battle of Franklin Trust, you can visit the “historic” site seven days a week. An adult ticket costs $ 18, a child ticket $ 8. All the land you walk on has been tilled by the slaves of the Carnton Plantation. Every structure you pass through on the tour was built by slaves. Throughout the life of the plantation, there were more slaves on the property than there were whites who owned it.
While touring the house, I was struck by how the guide described the Battle of Franklin. Facing a group of us from a few steps up the grand staircase of the house, with a lavishly furnished entrance hall behind us, the docent explained at length how “dumb” General Hood was, how he did. should never have been given command. of a Confederate army, how his madness had led to so many sad deaths on the day of the battle. All of those now lying in the cemetery within a hundred yards of the house were killed under Hood’s command, due to his misdeeds as a commanding general. The docent’s emphasis throughout his speech was on the tragedy of the deaths of so many good Southern boys. He never once mentioned the “cause” they fought for. In fact, the words “slave” or “slavery” did not pass to his lips. It was as if slavery and the slaves belonging to the McGavock family did not exist.
Outside, we had passed reenactors in Confederate army costumes. Inside the house, listening to the guide describe the incompetent General Hood and the incredible losses suffered in the battle, we could hear reenactors blank firing, showing tourists how Confederate soldiers fired their rifles. The fact that their rifles were fired in vain in a battle that claimed the lives of several thousand Confederate soldiers dressed like them omitted from the reenactor demonstration.
It was impossible to miss the implications of the whole plantation scene. The life of the distinguished McGavock family within the house was orderly, elegant, refined. The furnishings in the house were magnificent. The battle, as replayed in a minor way on the outside and described by the guide on the inside, was only tragic to the extent that the vile Hood had lost it. The Confederate soldiers had fought courageously, nobly for their cause, the lost cause which was exposed all around us in structures, grounds and furniture. It was not said that the house itself had been built by the slaves and furnished and cleaned by them, the land was worked by the slaves, indeed the life of the McGavock family had been made possible by slavery.
Carnton in its day was one of the largest plantations in the entire Nashville area and was voted “best farm” at the Williamson County Fair in 1860. For your $ 18 admission fee, you support the Franklin Battlefield Trust and visit this tribute to the nobility of an era and way of life that is still celebrated in Tennessee and similar plantation sites and other battlefields across the South. Cherished for its “historic” value, the Carnton Plantation is all the proof you need that the lost cause has only been lost in name.
The lost cause of Donald Trump’s defeat at the polls is celebrated in the same way every day across the country by his supporters who send money to his political action committee, who buy and wear MAGA clothes, who wave huge TRUMP flags alongside Confederate flags. during the MAGA protests, and of course who was carrying and waving all their Trump gear when thousands of them assaulted the Capitol on January 6 on his behalf.
Some of them even pay memberships to his personal plantation in Mar-a-Lago and golf clubs in Sterling, Virginia; Bedminster, New Jersey; and Briarcliff Manor, New York. It was recently reported that Trump himself was seen wandering around Mar-a-Lago and its golf clubs, stopping to visit gatherings of members on their weddings and birthdays actually acting as his own guide, delivering lengthy descriptions of the battle of the 2020 election, which was lost, was nonetheless fought valiantly, nobly by its supporters. The battle is still fought today in places like Arizona by its own army working tirelessly in reenactments of their so-called “audit” as they push the ballots under black lights in search of. scraps of bamboo fibers that would show their origin in China and give evidence. for being “stuffed” at the ballot box on polling day in the name of the vile Joe Biden.
They will continue like this. They have been cultivating the lost cause fiction of the South’s defeat in the Civil War for over 150 years, so why shouldn’t they continue to champion the lost cause of Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 election? The South has been enslaved by the lies they told about the civil war. Look at John Bell Hood! They even managed to secure a US Army base named after the man who lost more Confederate soldiers in one day than anyone in the entire war! Why give up now? Next thing you know, they’ll be pushing to erect monuments to General Michael “Let’s take a hit!” Flynn! If they can celebrate Hood criminally incompetent, why not criminally pardon Flynn? Why not rename the FBI building after Rudy “Hunter Biden! Burisma!” Giuliani? Or rename the building housing the Department of Justice after William “What Mueller Report?” “Barr? Or erect a large statue of Mitch “I forgot where I was on January 6” McConnell? Or name a federal courthouse in honor of Sidney “I lost all the election lawsuits I brought” Powell?
Just watch what they’re going to do with the assault on Capitol Hill, which is perfect for Donald Trump’s lost cause. It’s like their own battle of Franklin. They failed to stop the certification of Electoral College ballots. Joe Biden has been named president. They lost the Capitol battle, 400 were indicted, and they accomplished absolutely nothing. All they need now is a new Battle Flag for the Lost Cause. Or maybe they’ll just embrace the old, Confederate Battle Flag, because that’s what the followers of the new lost cause became: Donald Trump’s Confederacy of Dunces.
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