Friday, October 21, 2005

Flying the Stars and Bars in AZ

My uncle is decorating the place with some new flags. There is a big flag pole in front of the house flying the US flag. In the living room is the 48 star version of the US flag on account of Arizona being the 48th state admitted to the Union. Today via UPS he got the Stars and Bars. During the Civil War, Arizona was a Confederate territory and the Anglo population was heavily Southern in its political sympathies. On 23 March 1861, a meeting in Tucson by prominent citizens followed the example of Mesilla and declared their support of the Confederacy. On 1 August 1861, Lt. Col. John Baylor from Texas took Mesilla and set about to make Arizona a Confederate territory. Confederate President Jefferson Davis declared Arizona a territory on 14 February 1862. Baylor became the Confederate governor of the the "Territory of Arizona." Davis removed Baylor from office later that year for his mistreatment of the Native peoples of the territory. On 28 February 1862, Captain Sherod Hunter raised the Confederate flag over Tucson. On 24 May 1862, General Carleton captured Tucson for the Union and placed Arizona under martial law. The new government promptly embarked on a war of extermination against the Apache and Navajo peoples. Lincoln finally got around to recognizing Arizona as a separate territory from New Mexico on 24 February 1863. So if anybody wants to know why people in Arizona would fly the Stars and Bars, they should know that we were in fact a Confederate Territory before we were a Union Territory. I know that the politically correct intellectual elite of this country demands denunciation of all things Confederate. But, I would just like to note that it was the Union not the Confederacy that ethnically cleansed the Navajos and Apaches. You got to love those Yankee do gooders, real humanitarians them boys.

4 comments:

Camicao said...

Otto, goodbye and good luck (sincerely). It has been interesting.

Chris O'Byrne said...

And in contrast to camicao's always sane, literate, and well-reasoned posts...

dirty yankees!


But I do promise to take a shower this morning!

Chris O'Byrne said...

And in contrast to my previous, typically sophomoric post...

How often can a group of people be blamed for these and other atrocities? Especially considering how isolated Arizona was at the time and how slow communications were, would it not be more fair to blame particular individuals that embarked on a mission of genocide and other particular individuals for endorsing that genocide and then keeping that knowledge relatively secret? I really do pose this as a question as I am not much aware of the realities of these situations. In short, I am rather dumb and uneducated.

As another example, Stalin and the people he controlled certainly caused considerable bloodshed. Yet we blame Stalin and not "those dirty Russians".

And as yet another unfortunate example of how little we have learned collectively, after 911 I consistently heard reports concerning "those dirty Arabs". What! Many people believed (and still do) that anyone of any descent from any country even close to the Middle East MUST have been in collusion with the actual terrorists. Unbelievable.

J. Otto Pohl said...

Chris, part of the post was sacarstic. That is it meant to turn around the wholesale denigration of the Confederacy and apply it to the Union. In this particular case citing Union acts of ethnic cleansing against Native Americans in Arizona in the same way anti-Southern bigots beat Confederate heritage with the stick of slavery.

Southern Arizona was strongly pro-Confederate in the 1860s. Their complaint had nothing to do with slavery and everything to do with a lack of protection from Mexican and Apache raids. But, evidently the were all evil people whose memory must be denigrated forever because they chose to throw their lot in with the Confederacy. The anti-Southern bigotry of the left is really appaling. A more balanced perspective would note that the situation is not that black and white. The Union had its far share of crimes including slavery in the states of KY, MO, MD and DE in the first years of the Civil War. I think its worst crime was the "Long Walk."

As for various decisions of genocide regarding the Native Americans, the Navajos are a much more clear cut case here than the Apaches. The intent of the Confederacy is mixed here. Baylor issued an extermination order and Davis removed him from power when he found out about it. But, the Confederacy had less than 1,000 armed men in Arizona and could do little to subdue the Apaches. So Baylor's intent could not be actualized until the 1880s when it was carried out by Union troops. The Confederacy having been defeated long ago.

In the Navajo case their territory was north of the confederate claimed lands. General Carleton from CA and head of the Union forces in AZ did almost immediately embark on an exterminatory war against the Dineh. He appointed Kit Carson to this task. The Long Walk and the confinement to Bosque Redondo were carried out under Carelton. It was carried out after the defeat of the Confederacy in AZ, but at a time the CSA still fought elsewhere.

I am not blaming any large group of people still alive for this particular crime. Rather I am trying to present a more balanced view. The Confederate legacy in AZ was not the worst thing to happen in the state. In my opinon the Union ethnic cleanisng of the Navajos during the Civil War was far worse than anything the Confederates did in AZ. This is of course a regional and historical judgement, not an endorsement of any policies today. The Civil War is history, not a religion in which the Confederates play Satan.