From R.L. Dabney’s Defence of Virginia

For various reasons, the South has suddenly been the target of some venomous statements from ‘conservatives’ lately; it seems that overnight the cause of the South in the Late Unpleasantness is now considered as immoral and evil. It appears that people born in the last half-century or so either were not taught the history of that conflict or they did not comprehend it. No one in the North seems to want to defend the Confederacy, though there was a time when the South was formally “forgiven” and cleared of the North’s accusations of ‘treason’, and even formally pardoned for their actions in fighting against the Holy Union Army, I mean, the Grand National Army. But now that period of reconciliation seems to have disappeared, shall I say ‘gone with the wind?’

Just to see what I mean, do a web search and look at the kinds of condemnatory statements being made about the South. Maybe I’ve been asleep but I haven’t seem this kind of harsh judgment before. It looks as though a new Reconstruction/Punishment phase is being rolled out.

Obviously we are only allowed to look at that chapter of history through one viewpoint, and it is not a matter of freedom of conscience; our viewpoint is given to us, and we accept it and parrot it, or we are subject to being silenced and called names. We are not given the option to take the side of our own forefathers, especially as they have been made villains.

History classes seem to be in order, especially for the young ones, but I forget that schools are not there to teach history or facts. Few people seek out the truth for themselves. But for those who have ears to hear, I will quote some Dabney passages.

The Rev. R.L. Dabney was a brilliant man and a staunch defender of his state and of the South. I’m afraid he is too truthful for this present time, in which even the mildest lapse of ‘political correctness’ (which is in no way correct) brings down serious consequences, tension rather than understanding.

Dabney also predicted that equality would bring about escalating racial tension rather than racial harmony.

Davis Carlton, Faith and Heritage

As our society seems to be plunging toward more stringent subjection to political correctness Dabney seems to have been right about the escalation of tensions.

From the introduction to Dabney’s Defence of Virginia, his thoughts about ‘subjugated nations’ and ‘victims of arbitrary rulership’:

“The weapon of arbitrary rulers is physical force; the shield of its victims is usually evasion and duplicity. Again: few minds and consciences have that stable independence which remains erect and undebauched amidst the disappointments, anguish, and losses of defeat, and the desertion of numbers, and the obloquy of a lost cause. Hence it has usually been found, in the history of subjugated nations, that they receive at the hands of their conquerors this crowning woe — a depraved, cringing, and cowardly spirit. The wisest, kindest, most patriotic thing which any man can do for his country, amidst such calamities, is to aid in preserving and reinstating the tottering principles of his countrymen; to teach them, while they give place to inexorable force, to abate nothing of righteous convictions and self-respect. And in this work he is as really a benefactor of the conquerors as of the conquered. For thus he aids in preserving that precious seed of men, who are men of principle, and not of expediency; who alone (if any can) are able to reconstruct society, after the tumult of faction shall have spent its rage, upon the foundations of truth and justice. The men at the North who have stood firmly aloof from the errors and crimes of this revolution, and the men at the South who have not been unmanned and debauched by defeat — these are the men whom Providence will call forth from their seclusion, when the fury of fanaticism shall have done its worst, to repair its mischiefs, and save America from chronic anarchy and barbarism; if, indeed, any rescue is designed for us. It is this audience, “few but fit,” with which I would chiefly commune. They will appreciate this humble effort to justify the history of our native States, and to sustain the hearts of their sons in the hour of cruel reproach.”

Hampden Sidney, Virginia, June 1867

2 thoughts on “From R.L. Dabney’s Defence of Virginia

  1. A few years back I was in NoVA for training. It felt like an exclave of the world. All the immigration and many federal contractors have given them Ralph Northam.

    I remember your post a while back about the reason it was called Old Dominion. Though I have no relatives that fought on the Southern side, and am unsure that my relatives fought in the Civil War, it breaks my heart to see VA, and especially Texas, be colonized by immigrants and Yankees who have no ties, concern, or history to the area.

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  2. I had somehow missed this post. Others have noted elsewhere that we are currently in our fourth ‘Reconstruction’ phase. Most notably, one of the contributors (can’t recall which -perhaps “Padraig Martin” or “Joe Wasp,” but in any case. I suppose I’ve read virtually everything Dr. Dabney ever wrote and/or published, and then some. Ha, ha. I’ve read Defense of Virginia and the South at least twice, perhaps three times. I have also read his Stonewall Jackson biography two or three times, as well as his “Discussions” in four volumes. All of which books are available on Kindle at very modest pricing. Because he was such a brilliant far-seeing man, as you iterate, I often quote from his works extensively.

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