While matriculating at American public schools, one never questions to any great degree that which is taught by the authority figures in the classroom, much less analyze the content of textbooks with any significant scrutiny. What if everything you thought you knew about American history, specifically the American civil war, turned out not to be an objective recording of actual events, but a complete fabrication?
One shall begin justifying the aforementioned thesis with an in depth analysis of the well documented photographic history of the American civil war. Midway through the 19th century, photographic technology and the art of photography in general were still in a nascent phase, or so we are led to believe. In other installments found on Newsspellcom.org, one has detailed the trickery and deceit employed by news agencies and the corporate owned mainstream media with regard to officially published photographs. After all, everyone by now has heard about, or even utilized some form of photo-shop computer software. During the era of the American civil war, did there exist perhaps similar, albeit more primitive techniques utilized with regard to the photographic record of this important and epic event in US history? What reason can be given for believing the ancestors of the current class of bankers and industrialists owning the US corporation possessed greater moral scruples?
One could surmise, indeed, they did not.
From initial cursory observation, most of the civil war photos available at Google images and elsewhere, seemed to have several characteristics, even oddities, in common. Without exception, all of the photographed war casualties seemed to lie vertical on their back, with all extremities in similar, if not the same positions, almost as if they were posed, or staged. In several examples online, one notices that all casualties, whether Union or Confederate, died on their back, all with one hand placed uniformly on the chest cavity, one knee sticking up, and no sign of blood from an entry or exit wound caused by a musket ball. Observing more closely, one will witness what appears to be several identical men from various battles lying in different positions and even in different locations.
Upon closer scrutiny, this more than appears to be the case.
One example in particular, claimed to have been photographed at the Battle of Gettysburg, the same soldier can be seen lying out in an open field, and then observed in yet another location propped against the wall of a trench, as if he had been moved like some Hollywood movie prop for a staged photo opportunity. Now, before one begins to scoff at such anomalous, or even seemingly preposterous assertions, one was able to unearth documented and corroborative observations of the time period in question from verified historians. In 1975, historian William Frassanito, was put on record as having examined a plethora of photographs taken by Alexander Gardener, a prominent 19th century figure in the ongoing development of the art of photography. What he came to learn, seemed odd, even stunning. He learned, that Gardener’s photographic assistant, J. Watson Porter, had documented some interesting facts as to how Gardener and other notable war photographers were able to procure prime battlefield position, framing what came to be recognized as some of the most iconic photographs of the civil war period.
In Porter’s war dairies, some of which were later published as part of a Gardner sketch book around the close of the war in 1865, Frassanito discovered many photographers of the era in addition to Gardener, including Timothy O’Sullivan, Mathew Brady, and Egbert Guy Fox, were in fact notorious for staging civil war photographs.
In fact, Frassanito was shocked to learn that though there were large numbers of newspaper reporters assigned to cover the war, there are no actual photographs of the Battle of Gettysburg, or any of other major battles from the entire war in existence.
Further investigative digging unearthed a Washington Post article entitled “The mysteries of the Civil Wars photographic giant”.
In the article, Michael E. Ruane writes:
“Today, such staging of photographs may seem unethical, but 19th century sensibilities may have been different. Gardener and other photographers of the time period were known to think of themselves as artists,” he wrote. “When photography was invented, it was thought it was going to replace art. Thus, a photograph could be composed, just like a painting. And so, it was thought to be not unethical to hire the services of assistants, who in posing as uniformed war casualties, considered themselves to be part of the history making process for the sake of posterity.”
Furthermore, Frassanito was truly stunned to find that not only were there no photographs of the actual battles documented to have occurred during the civil war, but the only documentation of such consisted of paintings and those photographs theatrically staged by professional photographers such as Alexander Gardener and his colleagues.
Goes to show, folks, that those working in the 19th century media were perhaps more circumspect about the staging of history.
PRIMARY WEAPONRY: THE RIFLE MUSKET
Secondly, there is the subject of the particular and primary weaponry utilized during the alleged civil war conflict. Per historical record, the primary weapon used by the average Union or Confederate infantryman was the single loading rifle musket. Contrary to Hollywood having tinkered with actual history, the repeating, or lever action rifle was not developed until much later, and did not exist as a deciding factor in the outcome of the war documented between the years of 1861-1865. Like the alleged weaponry said to have been used by JFK ‘assassin’ Lee Harvey Oswald, the Italian made Carcano, the rifle musket was not an accurate weapon, lacking the requisite range, loading capacity,, and ammunition trajectory to have been a truly effective and decisive long range weapon on the front lines of the American civil conflict. These chief factors made the weapon useful for only marginal purposes in close quarters combat, but rather useless as a strategic tool with which to drive back or divert enemy battle lines.
A rare historical tomb, composed by Earl J. Hess, provides corroboration of this thesis. Hess contends that the impact of the single loading rifle musket was much more limited than previously supposed, and was primarily confined to marginal operations such as skirmishing or sniping. Hess argues further, that the rifles potential to alter battle line operations was nullified by inadequate training , the soldiers preference for short range firing, and the difficulty of observing the enemy at a distance. Additionally, he notes that bullets fired from the musket followed a parabolic trajectory; that at mid-range, flew well wide or above the enemy. The idea then, that almost one quarter of one million casualties resulted from the violent exchanges of poorly trained opposing factions, armed only with primitive single firing musket rifles and equally unreliable artillery, over less than a four year period, more than strains rational credulity.
INDUSTRIAL EXPANSION VS. SOCIAL ALTRUISM
It is not altogether unreasonable to conclude, freeing Southern plantation workers from the chains of bondage had little to do with shaping the social and political American climate during the mid-nineteenth century. Those regular visitors to Newsspellcom.org, are by now well familiar with the concept of the US government as a corporate entity, owned and operated by multi-national bankers in cooperation with legacy family lineages possessing vast industrial and commercial financial holdings.
To these elites, the flow of commerce is always the primary consideration, the rest is merely for appearances. That’s right folks, the Emancipation Proclamation merely represented the results of a negotiated business contract between Northern industrialists and Southern plantation owners.
Thus, it does not strike one as historically profound to observe that mid-19th century America was in the midst of great industrial expansion, particularly in the geographical section of the Northeast. Post war census data from the years 1865 until 1890 indicate the populations of all Northeastern American cities had almost tripled. This population growth was due chiefly to the migratory influx of former Southern plantation workers moving into the North, but also due to the nascent increase in European immigration. Cities such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were becoming booming industrial centers, and so those legacy banking families, Rockefeller’s, Mellon’s, Carnegie”s, DuPont’s, Vanderbilt’s, and Guggenheim’s, were in dire need of drawing from vast, cost effective labor pools in order to more than meet the growing demands of industrialized economic capital. Since these same legacy industrialists and bankers are also responsible for composing what appears in the American history books, it stands to reason they couldn’t expect it to reflect very well to simply admit the actual reason for allowing Southern plantation workers to migrate to the North was to bolster the needs of economic prosperity.
Surely, using the created myth of an epic conflict like the American civil war would serve a much better purpose. In the elites keen understanding of the proletarian mentality, nothing rings more heroically noble, mythic, or echoes more loudly into the ears of historical posterity, than the grand stories of a great war handed down to future generations.
As for the elites political puppet in Abraham Lincoln, building him up into the mythical figure of a towering martyr, would better serve in psychologically bonding together the geographical, political and social disparities of North and South into a cohesively patriotic whole as the nineteenth century drew closer to the twentieth.
Joseph Campbell once wrote myths represent the very fabric of a nation, and the myth of the American civil war, has, for more than one-hundred-fifty years, served as a very robust thread in the weaving of the American historical mosaic.