The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 5, 1938


Site Ed Note: We include the following letter to the editor and two snippets from this day's page:

These Soldiers Charged Defeat To Longstreet

And They Never Forgave Pemberton For Yielding Up Vicksburg

Dear Sir:

News reports from Gettysburg and your editorial of Saturday commenting upon General Longstreet's part in that historic battle invoked memories of 30 years ago when, as a wide-eyed youngster, I heard my grandfather and great-uncle curse Longstreet for a slow-witted lummox and blame him bitterly for failure to strike swiftly and decisively early in the morning of July 3.

They contended that the South had victory within its grasp on the morning of July 3 and lost it because Longstreet couldn't make up his mind: that had he sent Pickett's division thundering up the hill in the early morning the Federal lines would have been smashed before reinforcements arrived and Lee could have marched on to Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia or any other vital Union point.

My grandfather and uncle, both of whom died unreconstructed, divided their blame for ultimate defeat between Longstreet at Gettysburg, Pemberton at Vicksburg and Bragg in Tennessee.

They never became reconciled to the surrender of Vicksburg by the Pennsylvania-born Pemberton and likewise never forgave Bragg, whom they accused of retreating from every field on which his army was victorious.

Perhaps they were right. Had Stonewall Jackson been Lee's "right arm" at Gettysburg and had Albert Sidney Johnston lived to direct the western armies the story might have been different. Quien sabe?

In conclusion may I compliment you upon publication of the series of articles by Dr. Freemen from the battlefield of Gettysburg? They were magnificent.


Actually, we have to respond, no sabe. For Jackson had already crossed the river to the other side. And, likewise, one could say with equal probity that had there never been an institution of slavery, there would have been no war; had there been no sugar cane and cotton and tobacco to harvest in the blinding humidity, there would have been no slavery; had Columbo, then De Soto, then Rawley, not come across the water..., and had Christ not been crucified..., and had the bang never happened out there...,

July 5, 1863


The Retreat of Lee

We publish this afternoon a number of important dispatches from the Army of the Potomac in relation to the Rebel retreat. It seems that General Lee, after the terrible repulse of his army on Friday, found the army of General Couch and the late forces of General Milroy in his rear, disputing not only his passage to the fords at Williamsport but also to the upper fords in the vicinity of Handock. He consequently was compelled to retreat on the roads through Emmettsburg and Creagerstown, probably towards the South Mountain. He will there find disputing his progress General French's forces, a portion of General Heitelman's troops and considerable reinforcements from French's department. General Meade is also in close pursuit, and will reach Frederick this afternoon. The water in the Potomac is too high to ford with cannon or wagons and it is more than probable that such portion of his army as escapes will be little more than a disorganized rabble.

--Baltimore American.

July 5, 1838


The Cherokees

By a letter, from General Floyed to Governor Gilmer of Georgia, which appeared in the Standard, and from other sources we learn that the Indians have all been removed from that state. This work has been accomplished without bloodshed or any resistance on the part of the Indians. The Union says: "Georgia's sun no longer goes down upon an Indian. The efforts of the Federalists to create difficulties in this matter and the attempt of Governor Gilmer to attach odium to the general government, have most significantly failed."

--N. C. Standard.


Festive Suicide

Two or three years ago a burning question was, what were we going to do with our new leisure? Unemployment had made necessary shorter hours, and shorter hours meant time to play. To what sort of use, beneficial or harmful, were we going to put it?

This past week-end, the whole country took off. And when the arms and legs and bloated bodies were counted up, the death toll came to 475. To be sure, the larger the casualty list, the better the story. If you fall out of a second story window in your own home, the newspapers will put you down as a Fourth of July victim.

All the same, the slaughter over the holiday was terrific, and seems rather to bear on that question of what to do with the leisure that comes when there are more workers than there are jobs. Give 'em mass holidays at regular intervals and there'll be a labor shortage and we'll all have to go back to work again.

Opportunities for Babes

Darius King was born in 1797. In his later teens, he signed up with the New York State militia to fight the British in what we call the War of 1812, though it didn't amount to much until a year or so later. Darius survived that engagement, and the chances are that in due course he began to receive a pension. At any rate, pension or not, at the age of 71 he married one Carolyn Poulder, and her with all his worldly goods he did endow. She was 17.

Carolyn Poulder was born in 1849, married in 1866. In 1886, her spouse died at the ripe age of 85, and Carolyn, as a widow of a veteran of the War of 1812, came into a pension on her own account. She too lived long, lived, in fact, until a few days ago, when she died in her 89th year, 123 years after the close of the war in which her late husband had fought.

Which is to say, in terms of the future, that 123 years after the close of the World War, in 2041 A.D., to be specific, widows of veterans of the World War will still be drawing pensions. Which is to say also that girls not to be born until 1952 or thereabouts will some day catch themselves an old soldier, marry him, inherit his pension and go on drawing that pension long after all of us now living are dead, buried and forgotten.

Such Sudden Popularity

It's Democracy, the party kind, is as vociferous as it is untried--Indiana's. Its two Democratic Senators are first-termers both, Senator Van Nuys coming in on the Roosevelt landslide in 1932 and Senator Minton on the mid-term Democratic landslide of 1934. Senator Minton has pitched in to out-New Deal what General Johnson calls the White House janissaries, but Senator Van Nuys, while he has approved New Deal aims in general, turned thumbs down on the administration's pet Supreme Court Bill and the Reorganization Bill. He also voted against the White House in such minor, but definitive, matters as the amendment to order relief officials to stay clear of politics.

For these and other non-conformities, Senator Van Nuys was marked for oblivion. Indiana Democrats nominate their candidates in convention, and the boss of the works, Governor Townsend, had issued a cordial invitation to Senator Van Nuys to stay away. Senator Van Nuys had reconciled himself to running as an independent, but today, strangely enough, Senator Van Nuys is in receipt of a cordial invitation from Governor Townsend to come to the convention and to enter the lists as a candidate for re-nomination.

Strangely enough, we said; and yet a little thought shows that there is nothing strange about it. In Iowa there was a Democratic Senator whose record was of a piece with that of Van Nuys in Indiana. He too had gone a long way with the New Deal, parting company only on the Supreme Court Bill. For that, the administration was out to get him, and bodaciously it sent forth a champion of its own. That one's name, sweet in the mouth of Messer Harry Hopkins and Son Jimmy, was Wearin. The marked man was Gillette.

And what happened everybody knows. Gillette doubled the field. He won in a walk. He was invited to the White House for lunch. Messer Harry and Son Jimmy publicly expressed their regard for him. Good old Guy! They knew he could do it.

As for Governor Townsend, he has probably not got around yet to thinking of Van Nuys in terms of good old Fred. But, obviously, he suspects that he too can do it.

Immunity Guaranteed

In his last fireside chat, the President of the United States made a generalized reference which everyone understood to be a rebuke to Boss Hague, the Law in Jersey City. But, he has continued to do nothing at all about the fact that this Hague is Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, though nobody has any doubt that a nod from him would cause Hague to be removed from that position, and so point his objection to Hague's destruction of civil liberties.

The fruit of that policy may be seen at New Orleans. Last week the cops of that town took a leaf out of Hague's book, and arrested a number of striking cab and truck drivers on the ground that they were idle and so "vagrants." And yesterday, following up that policy, the cops arrested Joseph W. Lovett, CIO organizer, in a meeting of striking Yellow Cab drivers, on a charge of "inciting to riot." There is no evidence whatever that a riot was in prospect. On the contrary, the Associated Press story specifically reports that the cops "broke the quiet of the labor front."

What we have here, in short, is a plain conspiracy to suspend the Bill of Rights and the terms of the Wagner Act. And what undoubtedly plays a large part in nerving the authorities in New Orleans to go ahead with that conspiracy is the fact that they have concrete evidence that they need fear no worse penalty than the wagging of an admonishing Presidential finger, without any embarrassing calling of names, to the tune of "Naughty, Naughty."

Scylla or Charybdis

The Hon. Bruce Barton, of New York, who went to Congress on a platform which called for the repeal of a law a day, observed on June 14 that only one of the bills he had proposed for destruction had actually been killed, and went on:

"The worst of all the laws which I sought to repeal was the Guffey Coal Act... The Guffey Board is nothing more or less than a monopoly... an unholy piece of price fixing, directed specifically at consumers. Wall Street would be ashamed of it. The international bankers and the "sixty families" would have the Attorney General on their neck if they had even thought of it... It is responsible for one of the most shameless exhibitions of patronage jobbing the New Deal has produced. In six months of contact with men of all shades of thought in Washington I have never heard one word of praise for the law... Yet, while everybody admits the thing is wrong, nobody will help to wipe it out... Those employed have acquired a vested interest; they compose a pressure group existing to see that nothing happens to their jobs...

All which is probably true. But perhaps it is not the whole truth. The measure does promise to grouse the consumer. It does set up a monopoly on the pattern of NRA. The board certainly has been packed with Boss Guffey's wardheelers. And the pressure of these jobholders probably goes far to explain the reluctance of Congress to repeal the law. And yet--and yet--. The coal industry was very sick when this bill was enacted. It had been getting sicker and sicker for years. The operators said that they kept their mines open at a loss and that wages must come down. The United Mine Workers and Boss John Lewis said no. And what seemed to be about to come out of it was a protracted war between operators and miners, with the consumer paying the bills--and with a very good prospect that the thing would end in some such dreadful collapse as presently afflicts the coal industry in England.

In short, Congress may be reluctant to repeal the law not only because of the pressure of jobholders but also because of the obvious fact that it is faced with the choice, not between an evil and a good, but between two evils, which the Guffey bill, bad as it is, may possibly be the lesser.


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