by Winsip Custer, CPW News Service
An outspoken American historian has claimed that the U.S. citizenry has been bamboozled over its perception of the 1860's Civil War. He has charged that the real history of our Civil War has been hidden from us and that the power elites fought it over entirely different reasons than abolition of slavery or states' rights.
That historian, Lowell P. Wigglesworth, has used the words of Shelby Foote whose 2005 C-Span interview by Brian Lamb found Foote saying that he consulted no original manuscripts in his Civil War books because "it's all been gone over before."
According to Wigglesworth, that admission is astounding for a respected and oft interviewed analyst of American history. Wigglesworth used the letter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis to Franklin Pierce in the Jefferson Davis Project at Rice University to show the close connection to New England opium trader, Caleb Cushing, the negotiator of the first U.S./Chinese trade agreement, the Wanghia Treaty (signed in 1844 and ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1845), to show that the impetus for the Civil War was the battle over the fastest rail route to the Pacific and to the Middle Eastern opium crops that were used as trading chips in China. He has shown that the Union's leading pacifier of the South, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, was a business partner before and after the Civil War with the Confederacy's bumbling General Braxton Bragg. Now, tapping into additional letters from Jeff Davis to his aide-de-camp, William Tecumseh Walthall, Wigglesworth shows that Davis' concern for his own legacy, primarily among Southerners, led him to tell Walthall, his ghost writer and companion with Caleb Cushing on his trip to China in 1844, to challenge the history of General Richard Taylor, the son of General Zachary Taylor and aide-de-camp to General Braxton Bragg whose brother was the Confederacy's Attorney General, Thomas Bragg.
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"Davis was, according to his May 26, 1879 letter to Walthall, concerned that people would blame him for the routing of General Pierre T.G. Bureagard from Atlanta to Tennessee. As Bureagard was in Tennessee and away from the defense of Atlanta, so Braxton Bragg had left the region to sit out Sherman's burning of the railroad from Atlanta to Savannah. Bragg was in Augusta in Walker County, Georgia to the north of Sherman's memorable route during which Sherman abandoned the protection of freed slaves at Ebenezer Creek underscoring the secondary nature of the Union's stated motive for war. Like Shelby Foote who admittedly failed to read the original documents, most historians accepted the line that Bragg was protecting Augusta's industry when Atlanta was a far more significant prize. Either Davis knew full well that Sherman's vicious attack on the railroad was the destruction of the Savannah to San Diego, California rail route to the Pacific at the time of Sherman's advance, or he did not, but Davis had personally surveyed this logical route across the Great Southwest as the U.S. Secretary of War in the 1850's. He claims in his letter to Walthall that he first heard of Bureagard's plan to leave the defense of Atlanta via a cypher and he tells Walthall that Gen. John Bell Hood will remember and validate Davis' memory.
Davis knew that the South had the advantage of the flatland route which would have crossed the Mississippi at Vicksburg, Mississippi which Sherman destroyed before Atlanta. Davis was like a brother to both Franklin Pierce and Caleb Cushing according to his letter at Rice University. Even brothers betray each other, however, and in Davis' letter to Walthall we see Davis attempting to repair his reputation which appears to have been tarnished by the absence of Bureagard during Sherman's advance on Atlanta and Savannah. Davis does not mention Braxton Bragg's absence during Sherman's march to the sea, but given that Bragg's brother was the Attorney General and Bragg's history with Col. Nathan Bedford Forrest who was continually perplexed by Bragg's leadership, Davis' defense of Bragg would have been in 1879 quite laughable. Bragg was despised by many of his own men and his failure to surrender with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox decried a public relations ploy to enhance Bragg's already damaged character and leadership. As the fortunes of the New England China trading power elites circumvented the South with the help of Alfred Nobel's invention of Dynamite in 1867, both Davis and Bragg languished in the backwater communities of Mobile and Galveston Bays. From Galveston, Texas before the Civil War Jefferson Davis was attempting to create a camel caravan to San Diego, an undertaking not abandoned until a year after the Civil War when Union officers Morgan Lewis Smith and Alexander Giles Smith continued the adventure.
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The May 26, 1879 letter from Davis to Walthall was in the personal papers of West Point chaplain and close personal friend of Jefferson Davis, Rev. John W. French whose daughter married John Ferguson Weir, Dean of the Yale School of Fine Arts, a portrait artist who also painted the likeness of longtime Yale President, Timothy Dwight, V. Dwight, whose father had also been Yale's President, entered Yale in 1845, joined Skull & Bones at the same time that Bonesman Richard Scott Taylor, son of Zachary Taylor, was graduating from Yale. Skull & Bones was founded in 1833 at Yale by William Huntington Russell and Alphonso Taft whose place in the U.S. power elite galaxy and China trading mercantilism is central to Wigglesworth's thesis. Wiggleworth has elsewhere in previous issues of this publication fleshed out the nuances of the Middle Eastern, Chinese, British and U.S. connections to the opium trade, but this additional letter of Davis to Walthall has significantly strengthened Wigglesworth's case. By capturing this important letter, Wigglesworth has shown that John Reznikoff of University Archives has discovered another bolt holding together the framework of Wigglesworth's impressive....in fact undeniable, argument. Reznikoff's letter, currently for sale for $4000 should be secured by a premier U.S. historical institution before it is snatched up by Yale or West Point and perhaps disappears for another hundred and fifty years.
Wigglesworth is also responsible for uncovering the unusual concentration of burials of 40 Union Army Generals at Cincinnati, Ohio's Spring Grove Cemetery alongside the final resting place of Yale Skull & Bones founder, Alphonso Taft, whose son, William Howard Taft joined his father's Cincinnati Scottish Rite temple in 1809. That Masonic movement usurped the York Rite Masonry of Washington, Franklin and the other founders and is credited for its U.S. expansion to Davis' chief Indian agent during the Civil War and future chief legal counsel for the KKK, Albert Pike. The first Scottish Rite President of the U.S. was Abraham Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson, initiated into the Pike's order by Benjamin Brown French. Pike's Jacobite movement evolved in the Germanic Prussian royal court, not England, and had ties to Italy's Giuseppe Mazzini whose influence in New Orleans touched Pierre G.T. Bureagard and Braxton Bragg. William Tecumseh Sherman had been Louisiana State University's first Superintendent in 1859 and after the Civil War he presented the two canons used by General Bureagard to kick-start the Civil War at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Sherman had gone to Louisiana from California where he was working for the railroad.
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"This motive matrix fits over the U.S. Civil War flawlessly. It is a serious indictment of America's top historians for so broadly missing it. People have gone to jail for murder with less circumstantial evidence. The Civil War was fought over the fastest route to poppy profits and, in as much as masses of people don't fight drug wars, freedom was interjected in order to give the nation a high-minded motive for slaughter....kind of like 911 provided for the assault on the Middle East's Golden Crescent and poppy production region of the old Ottoman Empire at a time when opioid addiction in the U.S.A. is epidemic," said Wigglesworth. "The advent of Scottish Jacobitism in the former British Colonies was a veiled return to European monarchialism, pyramidism, top-down, primogeniture, elder worship upon which the Dark Ages thrived. Thomas Jefferson was saddled with rewriting for the United States anti-primogeniture law, the backbone of our Constitution which codified in law what the Magna Carta had attempted to do without jettisoning the retrograde divine right of kings. With the death of Lincoln there was running alongside the American political experiment of Washington, Franklin and Jefferson, the veiled tribalism of the darkest regions of Europe or Africa. This simple adjustment to government is what gave the U.S. its unique and irresistible attraction as an oasis for freedom and liberty," Wigglesworth asserted, "but opium promised to return the people to slavery without the metal shackles."
After the Civil War William Tecumseh Sherman returned to the San Francisco Bay area where he had been before the Civil War working for the consolidation of the railroad lines with George Bragg. In 1850 the Heard & Company opium cutter, Frolic, had wrecked at Cabrillo Point between Fort Bragg and San Francisco as Davis was laying out the overland route from Savannah to San Diego near Baja, the target of filibusterer William Walker's annexation attempt. William Walker's biggest supporter was President Franklin Pierce an ancestor of Barbara Pierce Bush. Wigglesworth noted that Denise De La Tio's had written an article on Bill Clinton 2015 and 2016 speeches for Hillary in which he wondered into an unusual reference to the legacy of President Franklin Pierce that made him appear as an apologist for the Pierce legacy.
The Davis to Walthall letter.....Walthall having come from the same Walthall clan that was employed by the opium trading Mercer Company in Great Britain who created Port Walthall on the James River in Virginia, was summarized by Reznikoff's University Archieves thus:
Jefferson Davis handwritten three page memo to Major W.T. Walthall who was assisting him in preparing “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,” critiquing his late ex brother-in-law Gen. Richard Taylor’s new book re Gen. John Bell Hood – “quite wrong as to the orders under which Beauregard went to the South and the purpose I expected him to promote … beyond the stage at which the pursuit of Sherman was feasible, I was one of those who wished more than was expected from the invasion of Tenn … . How did Bgd. abandon the Army after joining it…”
Headed “Memo” by Jefferson Davis, completely in his hand, but not signed. At the time, Major William T. Walthall (1820-1899) was assisting Davis in the preparation of “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1881) and this was information Davis wanted Walthall to have. Journalist William T. Walthall joined the Confederate States Army in 1861 and, by the end of the War, had risen to the rank of Major. After the War, Walthall was editorial writer for the “Mobile Register.” In 1876, he moved from Alabama to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, to assist Jefferson Davis in the preparation of “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” of which Walthall was the reputed “ghost writer.”
In full, “If you see our friend Genl.[John Bell] Hood, please say to him that I called when in the city last week, but failed to find him, to my special regret. Since I saw Genl Hood I have read the book of my deceased and much lamented friend Genl. R. Taylor, [Confederate Gen. Richard Taylor, Zachary Taylor’s only son, had died April 12th; Jefferson Davis’ first wife was Richard’s sister Sarah who had died in 1835 at the age of 21, just three months after they had married.] and was struck with his account of the expedition of the army under the command of Hood; called the Tenn. Campaign p.204 at bottom is a misapprehension as to what I certainly meant by moving north on to the Chan. & Atlanta R.R. pp. 206-7 – Is quite wrong as to the orders under which Beauregard went to the South and the purpose I expected him to promote. P 208 – The plan of crossing the Tenn. River was first made known to me through a cypher dispatch from Bgd. [Beauregard] and was never sanctioned by me, instead of having him as stated first adopted by me so as to filter Bgd.
“Hood will remember my conversations with him at his Hd.Qrs. next to Atlanta, and probably saw the orders of the C.S. Adj. Genl. to Bgd. and may have heard from him of the conference I held with him at Augusta, in the presence of Genl. Hardee. Hood may also have, or remember the cypher dispatch sent by Bgd. to me announcing the plan to move across the Tenn. as well as my answer to it. As I have told you when the matter had passed beyond the stage at which the pursuit of Sherman was feasible, I was one of those who wished more than was expected from the invasion of Tenn. and objected to the tour of unmeasured censure heaped upon it after the failure. How did Bgd. abandon the Army after joining it, why & for what object as these declared as intimated. You know my recollections & may explain fully to Genl. Hood.”
“Destruction And Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of The Late War” by Richard Taylor (New York: D. Appleton And Company, 1879) was just reaching bookshops at the time of Gen. Taylor’s death on April 12, 1879, six weeks before Davis wrote the letter here offered.
University Archives and John Reznikoff have not been without their critics for the authenticity of the documents auctioned through R&R Auctioneers. A 2015 article by Peter J. Nash documents University Archives' business woes with respect to authenticating historical documents and charges that some of their documents, fraudulent products included, were hyped by shill bidders one of which the Nash article reports worked for the Dallas Texas auction house of Heritage Auctioneers.
"That is why it is now imperative that the truth of Reznikoff's claims of this letter's authenticity be held under the blazing light of truth and reality. We know that history is written by the victors, but when victory hides a dark underbelly as big as this one, it's time to fan the flies from the piles of lies," said Wigglesworth. "The story behind the Davis/Walthall letter is far too intricate, I believe, for anyone other than the early players to know what it was they had. Rev. John W. French probably didn't know. I don't believe that Resnikoff knows any of this or if he did he would have provided it in his analysis or, perhaps, never handled the letter in the first place. Will other historians acquire access to this letter now that its significance has been shown? Probably not. It will likely be bought by some Bonesman and placed in some secret domicile for a very long time," said Wigglesworth.