The Ravage of Athens, Alabama

Union Brig. General John B. Turchin (Ivan V. Turchinoff). Former Russian Imperial Army Colonel influenced Lincoln War policy.
Union Brig. General John B. Turchin (Ivan V. Turchinoff). Former Russian Imperial Army Colonel influenced Lincoln War policy.

Before Major General John Pope was summoned by President Lincoln to command a combination of reorganized forces called “the Army of Virginia,” in June of 1862, he had distinguished himself as a ruthless opponent of Confederate partisans in Missouri and as an aggressive commander in Mississippi.  He encouraged his troops to plunder civilian food sources, burn homes in any area of Confederate resistance, hang civilians suspected of aiding Confederate forces, and shoot civilians in reprisal for Confederate guerilla attacks.  He continued his severe philosophy of war in Virginia, drawing the resolute enmity of Confederate Generals Lee and Jackson.  During Pope’s rise to fame and favor with Lincoln, he received much praise in the Northern press, until his ignominious defeat in September 1862 at the hands of Jackson and Longstreet at Second Manassas.

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The Palmyra Massacre 1862

Union Brig. General John McNeil. Promoted November 29, 1862.
Union Brig. General John McNeil. Promoted November 29, 1862.

Following the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854—which allowed Kansas to allow or reject the institution of slavery by popular sovereignty—a destructive and sometimes bloody border war between Kansas and Missouri partisans raged for six years. The grizzly Manson-style murder of five settlers from Missouri in Pottawatomie, Kansas, in 1856, by the radical abolitionist, John Brown, helped fuel a growing flame of regional distrust. Brown was later hanged in 1859 after an unsuccessful attempt to capture the U.S. arsenal in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. He had planned to start a bloody slave insurrection. The fact that Brown was praised in many of the pulpits, newspapers, and political debates in New England greatly alarmed the South.  This added more fuel to the already smoldering issues of States Rights and enormous, unfair tariffs. 

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Statist Ideology and Total War Doctrine

General Philip Sheridan (1831-1888). Lo! The Conquering Hero Comes.
General Philip Sheridan (1831-1888). Lo! The Conquering Hero Comes.

In 1870, Union General Philip Sheridan was assigned as a guest of the King of Prussia to observe the Franco-Prussian War. At a dinner honoring Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, he shared some of his military experience and philosophy with Prussian Army officers:

“First, deal as hard blows to the enemy’s soldiers as possible, and then cause so much suffering to the inhabitants of the country that they will long for peace and press their government to make it…Nothing should be left to the people but eyes to lament the war.”

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Uncovering the Truth about the Un-Civil War

Winchester VA Confederate Monument
Winchester VA Confederate Monument

On June 27, 1863, near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania--just days before the momentous Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee issued a general order to the Army of Northern Virginia, praising them for their honorable conduct thus far in their march into Union territory, but cautioning them on their continuing responsibility to respect all private property and the lives of all noncombatants.

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Standards of Duty and Honor

St. Augustine of Hippo
St. Augustine of Hippo

According to Romans 13, governments are ordained by God for the public good. Among the benefits of a just government we surmise from the Commandments are the protection of life, property, and responsible freedom. Governments are given the power of the sword to assure its ordained purposes are sustained. That sword may be used to enforce its ordained purposes within the limits of its geographical sovereignty or to defend itself and its people from foreign intrusion or harassment. War is thus sometimes necessary to maintain peace, safety, justice, and liberty. Categorical pacifism is unbiblical, unrealistic, and unloving. Categorical isolationism is also unrealistic, shortsighted, and lacking in moral depth.  

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Mike Scruggs