My thoughts on the bio of Stonewall Jackson, by Robert Dabney, Chapter V – Secession

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Chapter V – Secession

This chapter is comprehensive, so I’ll summarize just a few of my many observations.

I am reading this book because I appreciate the South’s fight for freedom from the tyranny of the federal government and am currently doing so through the life and leadership of General Stonewall Jackson. And I wanted to read the observations of Jackson’s own Army chaplain, Robert Dabney. As Dabney said, a reason for the secession was “leaving to the States the management of their own affairs.” 

Last year I attended a dinner at a restaurant with a church we visited. I was having a conversation with one member who was an elected Politician. When I mentioned that “I am a States right conservative,” you would have thought he saw a ghost. Within the first few months of living in Tennessee, I realized that I was more Southern than most Tennessean natives.

Having said that, I have more greater things to say about Jackson, than I do Dabney. 

The liberals and today’s woke crowd would want us to believe the Civil War was all about the South fighting for their right to own slaves. Though there were some in the South that held that position, slavery occurred on both sides of this war. The North had even sold slaves to the South. As a matter of fact, the tyrant Abraham Lincoln was desirous to enlist their own Union slaves to fight in his war against the South.   

Similar to the aforementioned liberals. Since Big Government and their establishment hate State’s rights and are threatened by their limited Government, they will lie about the motives of the South and try to discredit men like Jackson,

Therefore, before I begin my summarization of this chapter, I am unequivocally against the slavery of mankind based on the color of their skin. 

For Dabney to be only against the worse levels of slavery, while accepting the lesser of two evils, is tantamount to today’s unbiblical “pro-life” movement. The so-called pro-life movement incrementally legislates against some forms of abortion but is okay with the lesser of two evils. This phenomenon is also known as incrementalism. Regretfully I used to vote that way, but I no longer do. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Lincoln was the aggressor, and he declared war against the South. In the Convention of May 31st, 1787, James Madison stated that “the use of force against a State would be more like a declaration of war, than an infliction of punishment, and would probably be considered by the party attacked, as a dissolution of all previous compacts: a Union of States containing such an ingredient seemed to provide for its own destruction.”

Sadly, some then, and most ignorant today believe the South were the “rebels” hence the nickname “rebels” or the “rebel flag.” But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Since when did defending your own land become “rebellious?” As Dabney stated, “To speak of resistance organized by the sovereign States against the Federal Government as rebellion, is preposterous.”

The North who was on the offense of this war, ironically later attempted to bring the Confederate leadership (who was on the defense) to trial. Salmon P. Chase, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a Lincoln appointee, rendered this opinion. “If you bring these leaders to trial it will condemn the north, for by the Constitution, secession is not rebellion.” (Foote, The Civil War, Vol. 3, p. 765)

As Dabney said of Jackson, “The chief lesson of his life would be neglected, were not the solution of the fact given, – that the purest and holiest of me became the hero of the war for Southern independence.” That my friends, is the part of the Civil War that I stand behind.

I have a relative who is a liberal Republican that lives in the Hollywood area, and she hates the South, she even mocks their native slang. She is a byproduct of a liberal Government-run education system. As Dabney said of the people of the North. “Their presses, pulpits, public meetings, and conversations, disclosed such a hatred to the South and its institutions, as to lead them to justify the crime, involving though it did the most aggravated robbery, treason, and murder; to deny the right of Virginia to punish it; to vilify the State in consequence with torrents of abuse is perfectly demoniacal…” 

I remember after America was attacked on 9/11, our left to the center, loyal to the establishment, President George W. Bush said we need to “be vigilant.” But shortly after courageous men within the Minute Men project secured our border in Southern California, that same open border President (Bush) hypocritically called the Minute Men “vigilantes.”

Here’s what Dabney said of Jackson’s patriotism. “The world has considered Jackson as the hero of the Virginia of 1861. The Commonwealth is proud to accept him as her representative man, and the attitude which he held was the true type of hers; as he stood conscientious, cautious, but fearless, pure and unselfish in motive, elevated in principle, with an eye raised in religious faith to the righteous heavens, awaiting the signal from the Divine approval for his resistance, profoundly sad for the mourningful necessity, yet as sternly resolved to defend the right. In all classic and sacred story, there is no spectacle more affecting and sublime than that presented by this Christian man, and his Christian people, in this emergency.” 

In a time of war, Jackson was no longer able to keep the Sabbath. Nonetheless, he was not a nomad, he continued seeking counsel from brethren, including written correspondence with his own pastor. Albeit many pastors today do not have an unwavering Biblical- Christian worldview. And so I can understand Christians getting Biblical counsel elsewhere.

Dabney said of Jackson. “The great career of Jackson is identified with the cause of Southern independence. To this he committed himself with solemn prayers and searching of heart, ready, if he should die in this quarrel, to present his soul confidently before the judgment-bar, and ask the Divine approval. In it, he wrought all his world-famous exploits. In it he died, professing in the last struggle the same confidence in the righteousness of the war.”

Oh, how we need more Men like Jackson today. I think of pantywaist Evangellyfish like Todd Friel, and many others alike, that believe the Lord’s Church and His people are supposed to bow down before Caesar or “the authorities,” kiss his derriere and lick his boots. Where are all the Sheepdogs today?

Back to Lincoln and his slave-enabling party. Dabney further documents “But the Black Republican party expressively declared, that they proposed no interference with slavery in the States. Their defenders can only rescue them from this logical dilemma, by imputing to them, deliberate falsehood on this point. They only proposed to limit the African population to its present home, so that their policy would have made one slave less in all America, unless by so enhancing the miseries of their condition as to exterminate a part.”

As I write this blog post, I am reading from a paperback book, not a digital book. Therefore, I am having to hand-type these quotes. In the interest of time, and more important things to study, i.e., the Bible and books on Theology, I will fast forward. 

Dabney then documents and refutes many “falsehoods” about what the cause and motives were of the South. The falsehoods were many then, but they are far more many and incredulous today.  

At the end of this long chapter, Dabney reminds us.

“Granted the first shot was fired by the South, the first military aggression was on the side of the North. The Federal Government are responsible for all. It has embodied every barbarity which could be practiced by Hun, Vandal, or Scythian. It has already shed more human blood, and crushed more hearts, than any war of modern ages. Reciting all these aggressions, the people of the Confederate States believe that no blacker national crime has the lightning of heaven’s wrath; therefore it is, that among this people, the best man are most resolved to resist it. If there are any children of the soil who excuse it, they are either the cowards, or the stupidly ignorant, or the mercenary, whose souls bartered filthy lucre. Every pure and noble man, like Jackson, every most devout soldier, the generous Southern women, the virtuous and cultivated citizens, the incorruptible judges of the law, the venerable and holy ministers of religion, these have committed their lives, and fortunes, and sacred honor to the defense of the Confederate States, as one man.”

And that is another reason I fly the Confederate flag, not the flag of the Divided States of America. As a Christian, I must honor the Biblical institution of Government. But I also must reject the sins and lawlessness of those within the Government.

Lord willing, I will finish this book and hope to write more of my thoughts.

For more of my observations of this biography, click on my Stonewall Jackson tag. Semper Reformanda!

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