Blog Post – Can We Talk About the 600,000 Dead?

This year Juneteenth has become an important ‘holiday.’  Since President Trump initially planned his first rally since COVID-19 hit the country, this day has suddenly become the talk of every news outlet.  President Trump has moved his Tulsa rally to the following day, June 20th

Philadelphia has had a Juneteenth Parade for the past four years, but it has been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus.  The Juneteenth Philly website says “Millions of African-Americans have taken to social media to voice their plans to not celebrate the 4th of July (America’s Freedom Day), and instead celebrate THEIR Freedom Day, which is the Juneteenth Holiday, June 19.” 

 Pennsylvania now permanently recognizes Juneteenth, as a state holiday. Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 signed legislation designating June 19 as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Pennsylvania.   The only three states yet to legally recognize Juneteenth as either a state or ceremonial holiday are Hawaii, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The first Juneteenth celebrations date to 1866, at first involving church-centered community gatherings in Texas.

Here’s a little history that may be missing from some recognitions of Juneteenth: 

  • During the Civil War, Republican President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862; formally being issued on January 1, 1863.  It declared all slaves in the Confederate States of America were freed.
  • With the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans — both free and runaway slaves — came forward to volunteer for the Union cause.  Beginning in October 1863, approximately 180,000 African-Americans, comprising 163 units, served in the US Army and 18,000 in the Navy.  African-Americans constituted ten percent of the entire Union Army by the end of the war and nearly 40,000 died over the course of the war. 
  • General Robert E.  Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865.  However, the last battle was fought at Palmito Ranch, Texas on May 13, 1865 and it was not until June 2nd that the western Army of the Trans-Mississippi arena surrendered.
  • Tragically, five days after Lee’s surrender on April 14, 1865 John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, shot President Lincoln in the back of the head as he watched a show at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. He died within hours.
  • On June 18, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with 2,000 troops to occupy Texas on behalf of the federal government.
  • The following day General Granger read aloud the contents of “General Order No. 3”, which announced the total emancipation of those held as slaves:  “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”
  • The Civil War, which began on April 12, 1861 and officially ended on April 9, 1865 cost approximately 620,000 American lives.  Although, a recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000!
  • Vice President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, became President upon Lincoln’s assassination. 
  • Reconstruction was a period when the US government worked to reconstruct the Union and reunite the states.  President Johnson led the first period of Reconstruction until 1867 and it was categorized by discriminatory regulations in the South and attacks against blacks and Northerners visiting the South.  The second period  categorized by the Reconstruction Amendments was led by Republicans and geared towards rights for recently freed former slaves. 
  • After the Civil War, the 13th Amendment was adopted on December 6, 1865, abolishing slavery America.  As a result Southern Democrat Legislatures then passed Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws, requiring freed slaves to be “apprenticed” to “employers” and punished any who left.
  • On February 5, 1866, Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens introduced legislation to give former slaves “40 acres and a mule,” but Democrats opposed it, led by President Andrew Johnson.
  • On April 9, 1866, Republicans in Congress overrode Democrat President Johnson’s veto and passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on African-Americans.  To force Southern States to grant State citizenship rights to freed slaves, the U.S. House passed the 14th Amendment, May 10, 1866, as did the Senate, June 8, 1866. One hundred percent of Democrats voted against it.  It was adopted by the states on July 28, 1868. 
  • On January 8, 1867, Republicans granted voting rights to African-Americans in the District of Columbia, after overriding Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto.
  • On September 12, 1868, Democrats in Georgia’s Senate expelled Civil rights activist Tunis Campbell and 24 other Republican African-Americans, who would later be reinstated by a Republican Congress.
  • On October 22, 1868, while campaigning for re-election, Republican Congressman James Hinds was assassinated by Democrat terrorists who organized vigilante groups known for intimidation tactics and lynchings.
  • The 15th Amendment was passed February 3, 1870, overcoming 97 percent Democrat opposition, granting the right to vote to all Americans regardless of race.
  • On May 31, 1870, Republican President U.S. Grant signed the Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for depriving any American of their civil rights.
  • On June 22, 1870, Republican Congress created the U.S. Department of Justice to safeguard the civil rights of African-Americans against Democrats in the South.
  • On April 20, 1871, Republican Congress enacted the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democratic Party-affiliated terrorist groups which oppressed African-Americans.
  • On October 10, 1871, African-American Republican civil rights leader Octavius Catto was murdered by a Democratic Party operative, after repeated threats by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting.
  • On October 18, 1871, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant deployed U.S. troops to combat violence committed by Democrat terrorists who formed the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Democrat Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman rejected anti-lynching laws and efforts to establish a permanent Civil Rights Commission.
  • As Senator, President John F. Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act and, as President, opposed the 1963 March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King. 
  • Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois helped write the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and led the effort to end the Democrat filibuster against it.  When it came time for a vote in the US House, only 63 percent of the 244 Democrats who voted on the bill approved it, while 80 percent of the 171 Republicans voted in favor of it.  In the Senate, the final tally was 73 in favor and 23 against the Act.  Of the 67 Democrats, 69 percent approved it, while 27 of the 33 Republicans, or 82 percent, voted in favor of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.   President Lyndon Johnson explained his efforts to persuade his party’s leaders to support a watered-down version of the original bill with this very revealing statement,  “I’ll have those [N-word] voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” 
  • Democrat President Lyndon Johnson called Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “that [N-word] preacher” because he opposed the Vietnam War.

Some other forgotten American history:

  • Almost 5,000 of the patriots in the Continental Army were African Americans.
  • A hero of the Battle of Bunker Hill was African American Peter Salem.  His actions saved the lives of scores of Americans and he was honored before General Washington for his courage.
  • Pastor Lemuel Haynes was involved in several major Revolutionary battles and was an ardent admirer of George Washington.  He was the first African American to be ordained by a mainstream Christian denomination — the Congregationalists — in 1785, to pastor a white congregation and to be awarded an honorary Master’s Degree by Middlebury College in 1804. 
  • James Armistead was an African-American spy at Yorktown who funneled information to the Continental Army as the Battle of Yorktown approached.
  • Jordan Freeman was a gallant African-American soldier who had a monument erected for his heroic service at the Revolutionary Battle of Groton Heights.
  • Even prior to the adoption of the US Constitution, the Founding Fathers enacted the 1787 Northwest Ordinance which prohibited slavery north of the Ohio River.
  • Rev. John Marrant was the first African American to successfully evangelize among American Indians.
  • Rev. Harry Hoosier delivered the first recorded Methodist sermon by an African American and drew crowds larger than the great Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury.
  • Rev. Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American to become a US Senator — a Republican.
  • Nearly every southern Republican Party was started by African Americans.
  • Did you know the first 190 African Americans elected to office in South Carolina and the first 112 in Mississippi, the first 42 in Texas, the first 127 in Louisiana, etc. were all Republicans, and many were ministers?

The last person to receive a Civil War pension died on May 31, 2020.  Ninety year- old Irene Triplett died in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.   Her father Moses was a confederate soldier who deserted in 1863 and joined Union forces the following year. When he died at age 92 in 1938, he had been receiving a Civil War pension since 1890.  Widows and the children of Civil War veterans received the pension.   Triplett had been receiving a monthly pension of $73.13 from the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

As we lay Irene Triplett to rest should we lay our past history to rest?  Yes, slavery was a tragic part of US history, but 10,000 battles and engagements were fought from Vermont to the New Mexico Territory during the Civil War.  These included 50 major battles of the Civil War and about 100 other significant battles.  The bloodiest battle was Gettysburg with 51,000 casualties, followed by Chickamauga with 34,624 casualties and Spotsylvania with 30,000.  Father fought against son, uncle against nephew and brother against brother.  Ending slavery was a primary reason for the Civil War.  President Lincoln’s actions show his intention.  What other nation fought a civil war to end slavery?  However, it is apparent that the history revisionists want to erase that sacrifice from the history books and also they do not want the role of the Democrat Party in suppressing African-Americans to be exposed. 

As the Civil War was winding down, President Abraham Lincoln spoke these words about the conflict that killed more than half a million: “Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said: ‘The judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.’ ”

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