Book recommendation, 'The Gray Book'

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by Bandit99, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have just finish a remarkable book and thought I would recommend it because I doubt many have heard of it. It is short and probably read in a couple of hours at most. It was written by a committee within the 'Sons of Confederate Veterans' organization. The book is about their rebuttals and outright objections to numerous lies, slanders, and historical so-called truths. They take on things like 'The Cause of the War', 'The Right of Secession' and even 'Andersonville' and, for me, they won them all - well - maybe not 100% for Andersonville but close. They base every argument on facts, facts, and more facts then add some practical logic or reason. A couple examples...

    This is to refute that Slavery was the cause of the war:
    "Attention is also called to Lincoln's attitude toward freeing the negro, as clearly expressed by him
    in a letter to Horace Greely, just prior to issuing the proclamation. This letter, inserted below,
    is copied faithfully from the files of the New York Tribune now in the Congressional Library."
    "My paramount object," he says, "in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not, either to save or
    destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it; and if I could save
    it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it. What I do about slavery and the colored race I do because
    I believe it helps to save the Union."

    This is to refute those that would demean General Robert E. Lee :
    "Lee, the foremost soldier of the South, long before the war had emancipated the few slaves
    that came to him by inheritance; whereas his Union antagonist, General Grant, held on to
    those that had come to him through marriage with a Southern woman until they were freed
    by the Thirteenth Amendment. Stonewall Jackson never owned more than two negroes, a man
    and a woman, whom he bought at their earnest solicitation. He kept account of the wages
    he would have paid white labor, and when he considered himself reimbursed for the purchase
    money (for he was a poor man) he gave them their freedom. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston never
    owned a slave, nor did Gen. A. P. Hill, nor Gen. Fitzhugh Lee. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, the
    great cavalry leader, owned but two, and he rid himself of both long prior to the war.
    (See article by Col. W. Gordon McCabe in the London Saturday Review of March 5, 1910.)"
    "If George Washington, a slaveholder, was yet a champion of liberty, how can that title be denied to Robert E. Lee?"

    However, my personal favorite was their defending 'The Right of Secession.' It was absolutely brilliant! They use the 10th Amendment as a shield (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people) and "the sovereignty of the United States is delegated; that of each State is Inherent" as their sword. Frankly, I am now fully convinced the South had every right to secede and Lincoln overstepped and misused his powers. In fact, I believe he started the war for his military moves made the South react and we seldom of ever hear about that part of history. And, yes, I believe Secession is perfectly legal today as it was then.

    However, there is a problem with this book. The editing and formatting is horrible at times, many typographical errors and it is obvious these errors were caused while convert/transcription of the paper book to eBook. It is also obvious it was never reviewed or edited. Pity really...because it is a marvelous piece of work.

    EDIT: Good news! Apparently, the book I linked is a much cleaned up version! The one I purchased just 8 days ago has been removed (good!). So, if you are going to purchase then get the one from the link below. I'll probably purchase this one too.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  2. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    As a boy in school, this was one of the first things we learned, regarding the reasons of the American Civil War. In the South, this was also known as (in my very best and quite natural South'rn accent), "The Wa-ar of North'rn Aggression," sir. :D

    Primarily, the Civil War was fought due to the same reason our Revolutionary War (The Wa-ar of English Aggression) was fought, taxation without representation. Like you stated, President Lincoln didn't give two shites about slaves. He certainly didn't free them, like many people today may think.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    As both a southerner and son of the Confederacy, We were represented in our taxation but because the South was agri-based and had a much sparser population density than the industrialized north, and given that most of our needs had to be imported either from them of more so, from European merchants that were heavily tariffed as well, our elected representatives were fewer, thus the lion's share of tax revenue was being paid in and by the South but was distributed to needs predominately in the North. A negociated political solution was sought for several years with no joy; Our interests, in a democratic Republic just could not be negociated to an acceptable solution, there-fore we decided to leave the United States. It was pure and simple economics 101. Why else would a small family farmer or a tailor, or merchant that had never own slaves, face artillery and muskets for five years? If you believed today's version, the entire confederacy was made up by plantation owners and steamboat companies. Like any war, there's a big business agenda too and if you delve deeper, you'll find all sorts of intrigue involving European bankers and merchants. The war was not a noble thing and should have never happened, save the initial attack on Ft. Sumter and any insueing removal of Federal troops from being able to force an embargo on the South.
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  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    [Darkies work on de Mississippi,
    Darkies work while de white folks play,
    Pullin' dose boats from de dawn to sunset,
    Gittin' no rest till de judgement day.
    or musical part]
    Don't look up
    An' don't look down,
    You don' dast make
    De white boss frown.
    Bend your knees
    An'bow your head,
    An' pull date rope
    Until you' dead.)
    Let me go 'way from the Mississippi,
    Let me go 'way from de white man boss;
    Show me dat stream called de river Jordan,
    Dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross.
    O' man river,
    Dat ol' man river,
    He mus'know sumpin'
    But don't say nuthin'
    He jes' keeps rollin'
    He keeps on rollin' along.
    Long ol' river forever keeps rollin' on...
    He don' plant tater,
    He don' plant cotton,
    An' dem dat plants 'em
    Is soon forgotten,
    but ol' man river,
    He jes'…
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  5. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++


    A lot of people think that the emancipation proclamation is:
    A, why the war was fought or
    B, what started the war

    If you actually ever bothered to read it you would know better.
    Mainly the date, the actual wording of the document, who and where exactly it freed them and the state of the union at that moment.

    Or that the war because of slavery. Well. When the south left the union government, why didn't the union pass the 13th amendment then?

    Or that the war was to reunifi the north and south, well then, why do we still have west virginia?
    Don't get me wrong, I think West Virginia is the best thing to ever have ever happen to Virginia.

    Also a civil war means that you have 2 or more groups who want control of a governing body.
    No the south separated, formed their own government, wanted nothing to do with the north, almost as if they didn't want to go to war. Then the north attacked the south and forced them to reunification.
    It should really be called failed southern revolutionary war for independence.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  6. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    <-- Him too.
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  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @Seacowboys 'As both a southerner and son of the Confederacy,..."
    Very nice write-up. I think your simple paragraph sums up things quite nicely, especially "thus the lion's share of tax revenue was being paid in and by the South but was distributed to needs predominately in the North." This was a true thorn in the South's paw. The tariff taxes was actually meant to force them to purchase from the North instead of Europe and, of course, they control the pricing which eliminated market competition. Yes, it truly "was pure and simple economics 101" nothing more and nothing less. And, the South did try for years to change things, that is documented.

    @oil pan 4 "It should really be called failed southern revolutionary war for independence."
    Yes, I was thinking the exact same thing this morning. Or, perhaps the failed Secession War because when you get right down to it that's what it truly was about, the right to seceded. We seceded from the Brits. West Virginia seceded from Virginia but apparently Lincoln decide the South could not secede so by force he made them stay. I think it is a real paradox of Lincoln that while it's fundamentally wrong to hold someone against their will with the use of force, as in slavery, how is it then right to use force to hold a State in the Union against their will? I certainly see nothing in the Constitution that says they have to stay or that says they can't leave. The other thing that really burns me is how they justify Sherman and Sheridan war on civilians and the countryside. I understand depriving the enemy of food sources but they went far beyond what is legal and morally right and not one negative word is every spoken about it.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  8. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    I gotta get you guys coppies of the letters my Great Great Grand Daddy wrote during his service in the Revenue Cutter Service in the south! Quite a read! He was not an educated man, but was smart, and he kept meticulous records of every fasit of daily life aboad the Swift Cutter he served aboard! Warning, it's a difficult read, he was not an educated man, English was not his first language, and he was deeply southern with a serious sea slant! Its a marvelous history but also a flaming head ache to read and try to figure out what he was trying to say! He is burried in Bama and his records and all the letyers are a part of the U.S.C.G archies at the academy! Its easy to find, just look up the Swift Cutters, it' the biggest hit!
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @Ura-Ki Well, you definitely know I would love to read them should you find time to dig them out and scan them.
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  10. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

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