“Traitors, War Criminals, Be Gone!”
One hundred and sixty years ago, secessionist cannoneers under General P.G.T. Beuregard bombarded the U.S. Army’s Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor in the state of South Carolina.
The bloodiest American war ever took over 600,000 lives during the conflict’s four years.
Southerners celebrated the fort’s surrender and looked forward to a brief conflict fully convinced that their war would end in their favor.
Reason for war and secession– to defend slavery of Africans.
Slavery, they said, was their economic and social foundations. To be clear, despite the millions of lies southerners still tell — slavery, not “states rights” was the primary reason the South initiated the Civil War.
Southern men flocked to join the Army of treason. While rank and file soldiers did not own slaves, most officers were slave owners. General Robert E. Lee, for example, was a slave owner. Some, like war criminal General Nathan Bedford Forrest, dealt in slaves in his pre-war business activities.
West Point graduates dominated the Army of the Confederacy. Some, like Robert E. Lee were considered to be among the best U.S. Army officers. They were experienced veterans of the Mexican War of 1846-48. Key southern generals like Lee, Bragg, Hood, Beauregard, Benning, Gordon, A.P. Hill, Pickett, Polk and Rucker led troops and all had two things in common: (1) They were traitors to the U.S. guilty of “making war” on the United States” and (2) they were all losers. Yes, losers.
They all bungled and lost key battles that doomed the South to lose.
Nonetheless, “brilliant” Army generals in the first half of the 20th Century named gigantic army bases in Texas, Georgia and North Carolina for traitors like Bragg and Hood. Those decisions fed the “Lost Cause” lies that prevailed since 1865.
These traitorous losing generals were incorporated into the daily 20th Century U.S. Army. How? Massive Army bases were named for the traitors.
These southern traitors are honored while little is noted about the Mexicans and Mexican Americans who joined the U.S. Army or Union militia units in California, New Mexico and Texas and defeated Confederate forces in New Mexico.
Cubans and Puerto Ricans served in eastern Union forces.
U.S. Army records note that between 9,000-20,000 Mexican nationals and Mexican American citizens served in New Mexico, California and Texas in U.S. Army units. They fought battles in Texas and New Mexico. Mexicans served at every rank from private to general.
The segregated Native California Cavalry (NCC) was populated with such accomplished horse soldiers that word of their advance from Los Angeles frightened the Confederates who had occupied Arizona’s Tucson. They loaded their wagons with everything they could steal and left for good.
Besides defending Southern California from Texas Confederates who were garrisoned in Tucson, Arizona Territory, the Cavalry’s primary duty was to confiscate weapons from Los Angeles’ Confederate sympathizers who dominated the 15,000 person city.
The Native California Cavalry was commanded by the future first Hispanic governor in the U.S. (and first elected Hispanic to Congress), Brigadier General Romauldo Pacheco. He was the highest ranking officer of Union land forces in the war; the U.S. Navy’s Admiral David Farragut was the highest ranking Hispanic American naval officer in history, to this day. He was the son of a Spanish immigrant Revolutionary War naval officer,
As many as 10 cavalry units of Mexicans (with White officers) were organized by the Union Army in Texas; Confederates organized a similar number of cavalry units. As it turns out the very last battle of the Civil War was fought outside Brownsville, Texas, (Battle of Palmito Ranch) between these Mexican Union cavalry units with the Confederates commanded by the highest ranking Mexican American in the Confederate Army, Colonel Santos Benavides.
Few Americans know of these Civil War soldiers of Mexican and Hispanic backgrounds. They are more familiar with the traitors who committed treason by “making war” on the United States. Or, U.S. Army bases were named after them. Or, Confederate war criminals who committed war crimes of slaughtering defenseless prisoners of war because they were Negro Union soldiers.
The loser generals — Bragg et al. — will be quickly forgotten when the bases are renamed in a few months by law, a law the U.S. Congress passed over President Donald Trump’s opposition and veto.
As for war criminal and KU Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest, as more books on the Civil War are published he will be properly identified as a war criminal who should have been hanged in 1865.