PTC author’s Civil War book for children libels the South, omits facts

Carole Marsh of Peachtree City is author and publisher of a series of booklets called “The Student’s Civil War,” designed for grades 4 to 8, marketed nationwide.

The series consists of six booklets; I have read only the one entitled “What Was The Civil War All About?” This one is, without a doubt, the most important and I wanted to see their answers. In the research process, Mrs. Marsh and her team, she says “... assembled more than 200 books and even more magazines, pamphlets, newspapers, and other information from the past...” as reported in a large article by The Citizen on Jan. 12.

Lord, I wish they had found some books like “When in the Course of Human Events” by Charles Adams (not a Southerner), respected world-wide as a tax historian, writer, and lecturer. Or “War Crimes Against Southern Civilians” by Walter Brian Cisco. Just the first page of Chapter one reveals to the world and posterity Robert E. Lee’s policy on the treatment of civilians during the war. Compare that to the Union General’s actions, approved by General Sherman, in chapter 14 about the burning of the mills at Roswell, Ga., then shipping all the women and children employees to the North.

I don’t know if Mrs. Marsh is a Southerner. She did not divulge her place of birth, upbringing, or schooling in this booklet, on her website, or in her speaking at the Peachtree City library on Jan. 15.

She poses a lot of questions that are still being argued and fought over and asks the children what they think. There is nothing different from what the victors of the war wrote; in other words, it is much of the same old North-slanted material dressed in shallow flippancy designed to appeal to the children.

Some observations:

Page 5 — A Word From the Author

In a general statement about the war, “Slavery was ended.” Response: This implies that slavery was ended by the war. Slavery was ended by the 13th amendment, after the war. The amendment is mentioned elsewhere in the booklet in a throwaway line. That doesn’t excuse the casual usage of the same old lie the South has endured for 150 years.

Page 8 — What Was America’s Civil War Really All About? “Southerners had imported slaves starting in 1619.”

Response: Very little importing was done by Southerners. The vast majority of slave ships were based in England and New England. Most of the latter were based in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Many of the great fortunes there were made in the slave trade.

You forgot to mention tariffs on this page.

Page 9 — Word Definitions — Civil War: “Citizens fighting citizens in the same country.”

Response: Too simplistic even for the 4th-graders. Not correctly applicable to this war where one section severed relations with the other, formed their own country, then fought to preserve it.

Mason Dixon Line: “imaginary line (between Maryland and Pennsylvania) that separated free states and slave states.”

Response: Not imaginary, a well-marked, 223-mile-long line surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to settle a property dispute. Delaware, a slave state, was grouped with the north side. The line was later extended westward by legislative action.

Secession: “to leave the Union of ‘United States’ in order to form a new government; this was illegal.”

Response: A major, unforgivable error. The basis for the South having been called traitors even today, 150 years later. The U.S. Constitution did not forbid secession; several states specifically retained the right to withdraw from the Union at the time of ratification. Massachusetts, for example, threatened several times to secede.

Reconstruction: “the years after the Civil War when the states reunited, rebuilt, and recovered.”

Response: These 12 years, ending in 1877, were more a continuing destruction of the South, which was divided into military districts, each ruled by a Union general. Wholesale confiscation of land was rampant and many illiterate former slaves were “elected” to office. Bullying of whites by the former slaves engendered a hatred for which the blacks paid dearly for many generations.

Page 17 — (Concerning Fort Sumter battle) — “The Union soldiers just watched for 36 hours, then surrendered.”

Response: This is erroneous. Major Anderson’s defenders returned significant cannon fire.

(Referring to states) “We all had to choose — North or South? ... Support our Union or did we join the Confederacy?”

Response: Four states are depicted as among those faced with a decision. One of these is Alaska which was not a state until near a hundred years later.

Page 18 — About the various names for the war — The small-print question alongside the framed list of 21 names for the war asks, “What would you have called the Civil War?”

Response: Objection on the grounds of leading the student. “Civil” should have been omitted. Especially since it was not a civil war, but a War for Southern Independence.

“Civil War in a Nutshell”

“Abe was against slavery and everybody knew it.”

Response: Abe said in his first inaugural address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

The Civil War in a Nutshell

“They (the CSA) made their own flag. The Rebel flag, right?”

Response: You are probably referring to the well-known Confederate battle flag, a blue and white St. Andrew’s cross on a red field. The national flag of the CSA was a different flag. How could that fact be missed in all the research?

Quote: “... Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It said all slaves are free.”

Response: This proclamation did not free all slaves, only those (with exceptions) slaves in states not under Union control. Critics at the time pointed out that Lincoln freed the slaves where he had no authority, and kept enslaved those held in the Union. This was a war measure, considered by the South an attempt to incite slave uprisings.

Many Europeans were horrified.

Page 30 — How Come We’re Still Fightin’ This Dang War?

Response: This accusative question is mostly directed at the South. An honest reading of the aforementioned books by Adams and Brisco along with a few others, all very professionally written, would pretty well answer that question.

Page 31 — The Civil War Experience

Two movies are recommended; one is “The Civil War” by Ken Burns.

Response: This otherwise well-done film has a major error at the beginning. It clearly states that the war was over slavery, with no other reason given. It is repeated every year or so to the millions of television viewers. The bashing of the South never ends.

I have no wish to embarrass Mrs. Marsh. She had a wonderful idea, but it was not, in the case of this booklet, well executed.

I challenge her to recall and destroy all copies of this booklet and to publish a more balanced and fair history of the war that defined this country. The children, and their children, deserve no less.

Glen Allen

Peachtree City, Ga.

5stringJeff
5stringJeff's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/15/2009
Excellent Letter

Well-written, with the exception of one part:

---------
“Abe was against slavery and everybody knew it.”

Response: Abe said in his first inaugural address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
---------

This quote and others substantiate that Lincoln was more concerned with "saving the Union" than with slavery, per se. But the reason the original 7 states seceded was specifically because they feared that Lincoln and the GOP, a strictly Northern Party, would take steps to curtail or abolish slavery. So, in a sense, the quote from the pamphlet is correct - Abe was against slavery (on a personal level, at least), and everyone did know it.

And good call on recommending "When in the Course of Human Events." That's an excellent book about the War and the legality of secession. Another good one is The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo, which shatters the mythology of Mr. Lincoln and exposes him for the tyrant he was.

Ex-Peachtree Ci...
Ex-Peachtree City girl's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/09/2011
Great article!

Glen Allen's article was wonderful! Thank you, Mr. Allen! If you're going to write about history, it's very important to have your facts correct. Carol Marsh needs to start over and do a better job! I, too, challenge her to recall and destroy this booklet!

roundabout
roundabout's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/01/2011
Worse than Marsh's book!

There are so many defensive statements in Mr. Allen's letter that it is apparent that he still wishes for the "Old South."

Not calling the Civil War the Civil War is irresponsible!
I imagine that some blacks did some "bullying" after the Civil War! They were paid and instructed to do so. When hundreds of thousands are killed unnecessarily, there will be hard-feelings.

What possible difference could it make as to what "flag" was "official" as used by the southern secessionists? That is preaching stuff to keep it going! The ports of the North were used to bring in some slaves---how did they get to the south?

Only one fact to this day remains important:

There was inhumane slavery of one race against another, who were captured in Africa. It was mostly stopped.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Lincoln & History

Lincoln may have been one of the worst Presidents in US history, but the North won, the war is done, the die is cast. No one remembers or cares about states’ rights, it is, as they say history and history is written by the victor.

Observerofu
Observerofu's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/14/2010
Great letter and reasoned research Mr. Allen

Any book or document that is used for the purpose of instruction at a School or University should be Historically accurate.

Reading your letter it appears Ms. March's attempt at re-directing history is nothing but a tried and true tactic many use today.
Tell a lie often enough left unchallenged and soon it will be the truth.

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/28/2010
"“Abe was against slavery..."
Quote:

“Abe was against slavery and everybody knew it.”

Response: Abe said in his first inaugural address, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Abraham Lincoln was not always against slavery, his primary concern was "preserving the country".

Ronald Reagan used to be a big-government Democrat, too, during the New Deal.

Neither man is remembered for their "youthful indiscretions".

When push came to shove, Lincoln stood tall against slavery and Reagan stood tall to increase the federal deficit and sell arms to the Ayatollah.

Chris P. Bacon
Chris P. Bacon's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/28/2010
"Many Europeans were horrified"
Quote:

Quote: “... Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It said all slaves are free.”

Response: This proclamation did not free all slaves, only those (with exceptions) slaves in states not under Union control. Critics at the time pointed out that Lincoln freed the slaves where he had no authority, and kept enslaved those held in the Union. This was a war measure, considered by the South an attempt to incite slave uprisings.

Many Europeans were horrified.

"Many Europeans were horrified"?

Revisionist Hogwash. The reality of the situation is that by abolishing slavery in slave states, Lincoln was able to reframe the political argument, dumbing it down to a level that even a Tea Party dullard could understand: Freedom vs. Slavery

The Emancipation Proclamation tipped the balance in England towards the Union. Prior to the proclamation, England was more than happy to supply both sides in the war, in fact, they traded more with the south due to the availability of (relatively) cheap cotton.

Abolitionists in England (which had been slave-free for quite some time) successfully pressured England to reduce trade with the traitorous South.

It's also worth noting that, Glen Allen's smugness about "only" freeing slaves in the CSA, Lincoln effectively emancipated 80% of the slaves in America with the stroke of a pen. Simultaneously, Union state legislatures were working to abolish slavery as well. Slavery went from a vexing political problem spanning four decades to a non-issue in a little over two years, from 1863 to 1865.

SPQR
SPQR's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/15/2007
Mr. Allen

Mrs. Marsh's obvious goal is to sell a lot of material. She will be sucessfull
because she will remain unchallenged in a meaningful manner. She perpetuates the revisionist but politically correct version of events. Teaching unrevised history is admirable but highly risky in this day and age. Mrs. Marsh hammers one more nail in the coffin for historical integrity. (imagine a sound bite for taps)

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2010
After Reading Glen Allen's Letter

and AtHomeGym's defense of racial segregation based on 'cultural respect,' I can only say that I will be glad to see that generation pass silently into the night.

Go Falcons! (getting a head start on next year)

AtHomeGym
AtHomeGym's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/18/2007
Ninja & "Defense"

I didn't "defend" anything--that's your interpretation of my statement of my life experiences.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
AHG - ?

Why would you bother to respond to this nonsense?

Ninja is tweeking you because football season is over and he has nothing better to do until next season.

Ignore him he has proven only two things by posting to this board, he is indolent and can't or chooses to not understand basic economic theory. Oh, yes he watches football too.

Ninja Guy
Ninja Guy's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/26/2010
Glen Allen's Letter Libels Clear Thinking, Omits Common Sense

Using Mr. Allen's words in parody under the rules of fair-use,

"I have no wish to embarrass Mr. Allen. He had a wonderful idea, but it was not, in the case of this letter, well executed.

I challenge him to recall and destroy all copies of this letter and to publish a more balanced and fair letter about the war that defined this country. The children, and their children, deserve no less."

Go Falcons!