trample it under the heel of our boots. This is the meaning ofrnthe war.” So it was.rnThe sort of destruction laid upon Southerners can be sold tornthe public only if the targets of that destruction are demonizedrnto the point of having their humanity stripped away. They thusrnbecome nonpersons against whom the most vile depredationsrncan be righteously excused. Both public and private organs inrnthe North perpetrated a false image of Southern “savagery”: thernmurder of Union prisoners on the battlefield; the unique horrorsrnof Andersonville prison; and the complicity of JeffersonrnDavis in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. By such liesrnand distortions, the War Department and the CongressionalrnJoint Committee on the Conduct of the War place the mark ofrninfamy upon the South. Northerners who took a less emotionalrnview of the South also had ulterior, mercenary motives: thernrestoration of the former Confederate states to the Union asrnmarkets for Northern goods and capital. They hoped thatrnthrough contact with the North the region could be morallyrnregenerated and brought to see the benefits of RepublicanrnParty rule.rnThe South’s defeat in 1865, as Thornwell predicted, clearedrnthe way for the triumph of a Jacobin worldview in a consolidatedrnAmerican Empire. Wasted by war and military occupationrnand swindled by crooked Carpetbag and Scalawag “entrepreneurs,”rnthe Southern people could do nothing to halt therncentralizers’ juggernaut. One would think the demonizers’rnwork done at this point. But after a truce of sorts prevailed forrnseveral decades, especially during times of war when the Americanrnnation needed the services of Southern manhood, the demonizationrnof all things traditionally Southern resumed apacernin the 1950’s and 1960’s during the civil rights movement.rnThe ongoing assault on the South is reminiscent of the Abolitionistrncampaign of the mid-19th century in that it seeks tornvilify an entire people on the basis of lies and half-truths perpetratedrnby men with little knowledge of the subject about whichrnthey write. I could give countless examples, but I shall limit myselfrnto a rather recent one from popular culture. In the earlyrn1970’s, Canadian singer Neil Young wrote and recorded a neo-rnAbolitionist tune called “Southern Man,” in which he whines:rn”I heard screaming, bullwhips cracking, how long, how long?”rnYoung’s musical diatribe was quickly answered by a group ofrnbattleflag-waving, good ol’ boys known collectively as LynyrdrnSkynyrd, whose “Sweet Home Alabama” remains the favoriternof many an unreconstructed Southron. Lead singer RonniernVan Zandt growled a challenge to Young and his ilk: “I heardrnMr. Young sing about her, well I heard ol’ Neil put her down. 1rnhope Neil Young will remember. Southern man don’t needrnhim around anyhow.” Van Zandt’s lyrics may lack a certain eloquence,rnbut they say simply and directly what demonizedrnSoutherners have been thinking for the last 160 years. •^-rnWith Loss of Edenrnby Harold McCurdyrnWhen honeybees were humming round the flowersrnAnd bluebirds tenderly vocal in the trees.rnThis earth was sweet, this blessed earth of ours,rnWith modest hopes and quiet ecstasies.rnThat was before the last of the old wagonsrnRolled into town from farms on market days;rnThat was before the wings of metal dragonsrnCrowded the open heaven’s broad highways.rnWhat has become of them, humming and smging.rnThe bees and bluebirds old men can recall?rnThey have been driven off by Progress bringingrnEquality and liberty for all.rnDecline and Fallrnbv Harold McCurdyrnRome cluttered up its streets with foreign litters.rnErected temples to Victory and Luck,rnRelaxed its borders to strange hairy critters,rnForgot the wolf that gave its founders suck.rnTurned on itself, and in that inward turningrnDiscovered a secret rot brought on bv germsrnTransmitted to its vestals from the burningrnBisexual loins of virile Grecian herms.rnIt was too late to change. Its Eagle’s talonsrnHad gathered up more prey than it could tamernOr otherwise employ except as felonsrnTo spread abroad and foul the Roman name.rnIt was a time needing regenerationrnBeyond the scope of any power of Rome’s.rnIt had to cease to be an imperial nationrnAnd rise from the dead out of the catacombs.rnJANUARY 1997/21rnrnrn