Thursday, October 6, 2016

Hatred ever enthroned 8

Reconciliation had a long way to go in the days following Lee’s surrender. Edmund Ruffin, credited with firing the first shot at Sumter four years earlier, reacted to the news of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox by leaving a farewell note decrying ‘the perfidious, malignant and vile Yankee race’ - then putting a bullet through his head. Not to be outdone, as it were, the famous Northern preacher Henry Ward Beecher, vitriolic as ever, foresaw eternal agony for the secessionist aristocrats – ‘guiltiest and most remorseless traitors, polished, cultured, exceedingly capable and wholly unprincipled…Caught up in black clouds full of voices of vengeance and lurid with punishment, [they] shall be whirled aloft and plunged downward forever and forever in endless retribution.’

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