Tag Archives: Jefferson Davis

Confederate Monument on Texas Capitol Grounds Needs to Go

Prominently displayed and probably the largest monument on the Texas Capitol Grounds is a misleading and historically inaccurate monument to the Confederacy.  The Confederate  Soldiers (or Dead) Monument was erected in 1903 and unveiled by S.W.T. Lanham, the last of the Confederate Governors.  The monument is topped by a statue of Jefferson Davis – honoring a clear traitor to his country.  The inscription on the west side of the monument can only be described as pure revisionist history – white supremacist bullshit.

Died for state rights guaranteed under the Constitution. The people of the South, animated by the spirit of 1776, to preserve their rights, withdrew from the federal compact in 1861. The North resorted to coercion. The South, against overwhelming numbers and resources, fought until exhausted.

Curiously, there is no explanation of how taking up arms and attacking your own country (ahem – Fort Sumter – which seems to always be conveniently forgotten by latter day Rebel sycophants) is somehow part of “states rights” – the code word for slavery and later segregation, voter suppression and Jim Crow laws.  And the whole thing ignores the Texas Ordinance of Succession – one of the vilest, most racist screeds ever written – which leaves no doubt that Texas seceded to preserve slavery and subjugation of African-Americans.

Red doesn’t necessarily fault the average Rebel soldier who likely was looking for an adventure and a payday and was very likely misled into believing in a cause on the wrong side of history and didn’t really have a dog in the fight.  But it is past time to clear the Texas Capitol Grounds of these vestiges of honoring American traitors such as Jeff Davis and his racist and un-American ilk.

Today in Texas History – December 15

From the Annals of the Cavalry –  In 1855, the Second United States Cavalry Regiment first came to Texas. The SUSCR  was organized specifically for service on the Texas frontier. Its officers were hand-picked by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.  The regiment was known as “Jeff Davis’s Own.” The SUSCR stayed until the Civil War.  THE SUSCR engaged in 40 actions on the Texas frontier and along the Rio Grande fighting Apaches, Comanches, Kiowas, and Mexican marauders.  The regiment was home to future Confederate Generals Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Edmund Kirby Smith, and John Bell Hood.

Today in Texas History – April 29

From the Annals of the Dromedaries –   In 1856, 53 camels disembarked at the Port of  Indianola.  The camels were part of a 10-year U.S. Army transportation experiment initiated by then U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis to deal with the harsh conditions in the arid southwest regions acquired in the Mexican-American War.  Secretary Davis and his military advisers believed that if camels could be used in Sahara Desert and arid regions that they might be answer for the arid semitropical regions of Texas and the desert southwest.  Accordingly, Congress passed “The Camel Appropriation Act” authorizing the purchase and transport of the beasts.  The US Navy was tasked with transporting the camels from the Middle East to Texas, while the US Army would take charge of the camels for the experiment.

After a harsh sea voyage in which the camels became violently seasick,  the animals were turned over to Major Henry C. Wayne who was pleased at the reaction the camels had to the lush vegetation afforded them on the Texas coast.  On June 6, 1856, Wayne gave the order to initiate the “Texas Camel Drive” from Indianola to San Antonio.    The camel caravan arrived in San Antonio within two weeks and Wayne reported to Washington that the utility and the cooperation of the camels was excellent.  Wayne was ordered to find a permanent camp for the camels and quarters for the personnel.

In July, Wayne left San Antonio and made his way to Fort Martin Scott near Fredericksburg.   From there Wayne scouted for a new camp site ultimately settling on a spot near Kerrville called Verde Creek close to the Guadalupe River.  On August 30, he named the site Camp Verde and the camels now had a permanent home. The camp was to be a US Cavalry post under the direction of  Lt. Colonel Robert E Lee who had just been to Fort Mason in 1856 with the primary task of protecting frontier settlers from raids by the Comanche, Kiowa and other tribes. However, Lee was also charged with protecting the camels.

Bye Bye Jeff – UT Puts a Traitor in His Place

According to numerous reports, a state district judge has removed any legal impediments to UT-Austin’s plan to remove the statute of CSA President Jefferson Davis from its place of prominence on the South Mall of the main campus.  Kudos to UT for removing this monument to slavery, segregation and racism from daily viewing.  Predictably, the Confederate apologizers and historical revisionists expressed outrage that UT would no longer seek to honor a traitor who was dedicated to preserving slavery.  KSAT has the story.

A judge on Thursday cleared the way for the University of Texas to move a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis away from the main area of campus, despite objections from a Southern heritage group that called uprooting the monument a “cultural atrocity” and compared it to the Islamic State destroying ancient artifacts in the Middle East.

Civil rights activists say the nearly century-old bronze likeness of Davis highlights the university’s racist past and the statue had been targeted by vandals. New school President Greg Fenves recently ordered it moved to a campus museum, but allowed other Confederate symbols to remain.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, which earlier this year lost a U.S. Supreme Court decision over rejected Confederate license plates, had sued to prevent moving Davis’ statue.

But state District Judge Karin Crump said state law allows the school to determine where to place statuary on its campus. And she noted the original will of benefactor George Littlefield, who commissioned the statue of Davis and others, stated that it be placed in a position of prominence.

Texas will move Davis to the campus Briscoe Center history museum, which also houses one of the nation’s largest archives on slavery.

“Putting it in the Briscoe Center, far from whitewashing or erasing history, but puts it in the proper historical context,” said Gregory Vincent, Texas vice president for diversity and community engagement.

Vincent said the school would move the Davis statue within the next few days.

Photo from http://www.insidehighered.com 

Today in Texas History – July 17

From the Annals of the Civil War –   In 1864,  CSA President Jefferson Davis appointed Gen. John Bell Hood as commander of the Army of Tennessee.  Hood, a West Point graduate, had been stationed in Texas before the war and offered his services to his adopted state.

Davis was frustrated by Gen. Joseph Johnston who employed a defensive strategy in the Atlanta campaign waged by Union Gen. William T. Sherman.  Johnston and Sherman had maneuvered and skirmished throughout the rugged landscape between Chattanooga and Atlanta but had not met in a full-fledged battle.  Sherman’s efforts to outflank Johnston were blocked, but even though Johnson minimized his losses his army was pushed inexorably back towards Atlanta. By July 17, 1864, Johnston’s army was in the outskirts of Atlanta. As a result, Davis removed Johnston and replaced him with the 33 year-old Hood. Hood had a reputation as a fighting general and he quickly took the offensive by attacking at Peachtree Creek on July 20.  His army was routed.  Undeterred, Hood attacked Sherman two more times with equally disastrous results.  The Army of Tennessee was effectively through as an offensive unit and Hood was forced to evacuate Atlanta.

UT Students Take Aim at Jefferson Davis Statue

A long-simmering controversy over the prominent place of honor that a Jefferson Davis statue occupies on the South Mall at UT-Austin seems to finally be boiling over.  Unknown persons have recently defaced the statue after repeated calls to remove it from the campus have gone unheeded. The phrases “Davis must fall” and “Emancipate UT” have been written on the statue.  The statue of Davis is curious at best, since he had no obvious ties to Texas other than the fact that Texas was part of the Confederacy.  The statue does note his other service as a Colonel in the U.S. Army, U.S. Secretary of War and as a U.S. Senator but none of those facts would support placement of the statue on a university campus in Texas.  And certainly would not support placement of the sculpture at the top of the campus’ most scenic mall seemingly coupled with a statute of George Washington.  At least it has been on the UT Campus since the 1930’s and was installed at a time when the school was completely segregated.  It seems likely that Davis was placed there as a memorial to the cause of keeping the “coloreds” in their place – a cause that was winning at the time.  In contrast, the current effort to build more and more memorials to the Confederacy defies understanding as anything but the dying throes of that same lost cause.  Although claiming to honor their “heroes” – the proponents of such Confederate worship are in denial of the fact that they honor traitors to their country whose leadership led millions to die in a futile effort to preserve chattel slavery and a dying way of life.  Red acknowledges that there were uncountable acts of heroism on the battlefield by Confederate soldiers – but that heroism is tainted by the cause in which those sacrifices were made.  Not all causes are worth celebrating or remembering by public memorialization.

Nonetheless, the controversy has resulted in massive media coverage in the U.S. and elsewhere. Even The Guardian (U.K.) has reported on the growing brouhaha over glorifying the inept former Confederate President.

Pity Jefferson Davis, if you will. Vandals have defaced the Confederate president’s statue on the University of Texas campus, most recently with the words “Davis must fall” and “Emancipate UT”. Student leaders are also seeking to remove the statue from the Austin campus.

“We thought, there are those old ties to slavery and some would find it offensive,” said senior Jamie Nalley, who joined an overwhelming majority of the student government in adopting a resolution in March supporting his ouster.

But as students take aim at Davis, the number of sites in Texas on public and private land that honor the Confederacy is growing – despite the opposition of the NAACP and others. Supporters cite their right to memorialize Confederate veterans and their role in Texas history, while opponents argue the memorials are too often insensitive or antagonistic, while having the backing of public institutions like UT.