Although writing can help decipher history, it’s our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

5 Important Historical Events That Changed Language

Language is most certainly a living thing, and boy, has it lived through a lot. There’s no doubt that key events throughout history have not only jarred the world in extreme ways, but they have also changed the ways in which people speak. So, we searched for (and found) a few words to share that actually came about in an interesting historical way (and they are still around today).
We'll give you the summary ... but our friends at will give you the full course of these historical events, so sit back and enjoy the learning.

basket case

Although it’s used today as a (mostly) lighthearted way of calling someone crazy, the term basket case has origins shades darker.
During the First World War ('s WWI history course will give you all the sordid details), soldiers would call those that were severely injured “basket cases,” referring to the fact that they would have to be carried from the battlefield in a wheelbarrow or basket due to the severity of their injuries, many of which involved loss of limbs. Morbid.


Although in today’s world it may be referring to someone with a near-fanatical attitude toward a particular mindset (or a Bruce Willis franchise), when diehard first popped up it had a more literal meaning.
Although first iterations referred to those who struggled the longest while being hanged, the phrase reached new levels of recognition during the Napoleonic Wars ( can give you more insight into those battlefields).

turn a blind eye

If someone turns a blind eye, it usually means that they’re willfully refusing to acknowledge a certain situation. For the famous British naval hero Horatio Nelson, however, it was literal.
During the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, Nelson failed to see one of his superior officers flagging for him to withdraw from the battle due to his failing eyesight. In the end he proclaimed to his men, “I really do not see the signal," and ended up scoring a victory. Supposedly it’s nothing but a myth, but to turn a blind eye has remained a staple idiom to this day.  


To be “teen-aged” is a concept that has been lingering around since 1818 ...although the phrase didn’t become popularized until post-War America. (What other things popped up post-War? has some answers ...)
With an economy flowing with more disposable income, it gave rise to the teenager, the Billys and Susies that could enjoy an extended childhood without the hardships of war or labor before reaching adulthood.

crossing the Rubicon

In 49 BC, this guy by the name of Julius Caesar took a casual—okay, big—step when he decided to cross the Rubicon River. Why was this such a big deal?

Caesar and his 13th legion deliberately broke the Roman law of imperium, or invading territory to which Caesar had no legal right. This event spurred the rise of Caesar into dictatorship and the end of the Roman republic, and it remains a euphemism for something which has reached the point of no return.  
(Do you remember more about Julius Caesar from HBO than from the history class? Well, hit the books because he was real and you can learn more about him from's course all about his life)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Pride Comes Before the Fall: 10 Fascinating Details About Confederate States of America You Don’t Know

By Larry Holzwarth on History Collection

The Confederate States of America were born in 1861 and suffered many disappointments in its short life. The Confederacy never achieved recognition by any other nation and prosecuted a war which had no formal end. The Civil War began with the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, which preceded the secession of four states which were critical to the Confederacy – Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The Southern leaders who led the formation of the Confederacy were unabashed in their support of the slavery system. Its Vice-President, Alexander Stephens stated clearly that the new government formed by the seceding states rested upon “…the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery – subordination to the superior race – is his natural and normal condition.”
Both Delaware and Maryland were states in which slavery was legal but neither chose to join the Confederacy, although Maryland did send troops to fight in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The Confederate Government entered into treaties with the Choctaw and Chickasaw Tribes, and granted representation for the Five Civilized Tribes in the Confederate Congress. As in the United States Constitution, a site for a new capital city for the Confederacy was specified in its Constitution, although it was never built and Richmond, Virginia served as the Capital for most of the war.
Here are some interesting facts regarding the Confederate States of America which are often overlooked.

Government Intervention in Private Industry

Although the Confederate States seceded in part to support the rights of freedmen and to limit the intrusion of federal government it quickly established national policies which seized property and forced compliance with the war effort. The South had a widely agrarian economy and little industry in comparison to the North, but nonetheless would have been ranked as the fourth richest economy in the world in 1860 had it been recognized as independent of the United States.
In both agriculture and manufacturing a significant portion of the work force was slave labor. Richmond’s Tredegar Iron Works, the third largest in North America, used slaves for almost half of its work force. Nearby the Gallego Flour Mills was the largest producer of high quality milled flour in the world. It too used a significant number of slaves to support operations.
The Confederate Government almost immediately sought to seize control of industry and agriculture in the Confederacy. Nearly all of the products produced by Confederate factories and farms were needed to support the war effort, and Conscription acts passed in 1862 and 1863 gave the government authority to dispense exemptions to those who filled government contracts – thus protecting their workers from being subject to the draft while supplying the government.
Though the North far excelled the Confederacy in manufacturing, 70% of pre-secession exports from the United States had come from the South. The combination of a confused tariff policy, with local interests outweighing those of the government in Richmond and the Union blockade of Southern ports soon stripped the Confederacy of this economic advantage.
Early in the war cotton growers and brokers hoarded their bales in the hope of obtaining higher prices from Europe due to shortages of the commodity. This severely weakened the cash flow to the Southern Railroads, which moved cotton from the inland plantations to the ports. The loss of jobs as a result left the railroads in a poor position to support the war effort and the Confederate Government responded by 1863 when it placed control of all Southern Railroads in the hands of its military commanders.

Suppression of Civil Liberties

The Confederate States Government frequently and virulently condemned Abraham Lincoln as a tyrant throughout the Civil War, trying to impress the rest of the world with the idea that the Confederacy was the true cradle of American liberty and freedom. But suppression of civil liberties in the South was forceful and widespread.
In August 1861 the Confederate Congress passed the Alien Enemies Act and the Sequestration Act. The first made it mandatory for any citizen in the Confederacy to formally acknowledge support of the government or be subject to arrest and deportation. The second gave the government the authority to confiscate the property of any non-citizen. The Confederate government invoked the Sequestration Act to seize Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, which was then owned by a United States Naval Officer.
That same month Jefferson Davis created the office of Habeas Corpus Commissioner. The Commissioner had the power of the courts and could arrest anyone in the Confederate States and imprison them indefinitely, without being formally charged, denying them legal representation. Persons so charged often found the only means of escaping their quandary was to join the army as demonstrated proof of loyalty.
By Autumn of 1862 travel in the South required the obtaining of a pass, issued by the government, and enforced by the military and by the Confederate Secret Police. The sale of intoxicating liquor was banned at the same time.
The required use of travel passes – essentially domestic passports – led to the Army establishing manned checkpoints and searches on trains and in depots to ensure all travelers were carrying the appropriate documentation. Those found to be in non-compliance with the law fell into either military custody as a possible deserter or spy, or into the hands of the Habeas Corpus Commission as an undesirable alien. Abuses of both laws to settle old grudges were widespread.


The first military draft law to be enacted in North America was passed by the Confederate Congress in the Spring of 1862. White men between 18 and 35 years of age were determined by the government to belong to the Confederate Army for a period of three years, and all men then enlisted in the Army were extended, regardless of the terms of their enlistment, to a period of three years. The draft law specified that draftees would serve in regiments from their home state, and that draftees could purchase substitutes to serve in their stead. By September the law was extended to include all white men up to the age of 45. Draftees were called up based on the state’s ability to equip and pay them.
By 1863 the system of substitution was abolished and by 1864 men up to the age of 50 – and beginning at age 17 – were subject to the draft. Exemptions for men in specific occupations such as critical war related industries were allowed. Another form of exemption was the Twenty Negro Law. The law allowed those who owned 20 or more black slaves to be exempt as they were needed to oversee them at their work.
Conscription in the Confederacy was problematic from the beginning and grew worse as the war dragged on. Besides being fraught with fraud and deceptive practices, the practice of each state operating its own system was unreliable. Casualty lists from the front and a high rate of desertion – particularly from those under 18 and over 50 – made the demand for more men never ending.
This weakened the war effort as it took away men needed to meet the Confederacy’s demand for the goods necessary to conduct the war. Shortages among the troops of all the necessities of war grew in part because the means of distributing them were simply not there. Still Confederate leaders in the field, particularly Robert E. Lee, demanded more and more men for their armies.
Conscription in the South proved to be a major failing of the Confederacy. By the spring of 1865, as Lee was entrenched at Petersburg, all exemptions had been abolished and veterans who had lost one leg or one arm in battle were being retained in the ranks, albeit in mostly support assignments.

Failed Diplomacy

In the early days of the Confederacy many of its leaders were reliant on the sale of cotton to Great Britain and France to help achieve what the Confederate States never gained – international recognition as an independent nation. In this they ignored the fact that the European powers had other sources of cotton besides the American South – Egypt was one – and the British were dependent on large amounts of imported foodstuffs from the Union.
When the United States bluntly warned the British that recognition of or overt support for the Confederacy would mean war with the United States it was taken to heart by British leaders. Despite this several prominent British political figures advocated for support of the Confederacy for diverse reasons. The Confederates failed to capitalize on this early support and after Lincoln made the war in part a crusade to abolish slavery the potential for British intervention ended.
French ruler Napoleon III supported the idea of the UK and France issuing a joint recognition of the Confederate States, but the threat of war with the US was too much for the British Parliament to swallow, especially as British economic interests were strongly tied to the United States.
Both the French and the British did provide some support to the Confederacy, over the loud protests of the Lincoln administration. British shipyards built several blockade runners for the use of the Confederate Navy and opened their ports to Confederate ships. France provided a loan of $15 million through several financiers and capitalists, most of which was used to acquire ships.
The question of European intervention came to an end in the summer of 1863 when several European military observers reported the devastation of Lee’s army at Gettysburg, and the nearly simultaneous fall of Vicksburg. With those two events it was evident that the South could not prevail and unwilling to antagonize the United States further, talk of European support of the South came to an end.

Food shortages

The South (and the North) had a largely agrarian economy. In 1860 about 85% of the population of the United States lived on small farms or rural communities, and excess crops were usually traded or sold locally. In the South, the large amounts of arable land planted in cotton prevented the growth of sufficient food crops to feed the region.
Several Confederate states attempted to discourage the planting of cotton, which large planters were reluctant to discontinue as a cash crop, confident in a coming boom market in Europe. Many wealthy cotton planters believed that the increase in European cotton prices would help fuel European intervention. In frustration Georgia passed quotas for cotton, exceeding of which would be criminal. Still planters stuck to their “proven” cash crop even as the blockade strangled trade.
With not enough food being grown and imports blocked by Union ships, shortages of all foods and medicines were soon evident, and grew worse with each month the war went on. The demand of the Armies in the field added to the woes of the home front.
Southern families sought alternatives for coffee, by 1863 nearly non-existent in the South. Some replaced coffee beans with toasted okra pods, others used the leaves of the chicory plant as a substitute. Items like flour became scarce despite the presence of multiple mills in the south. There was no way to move the grains to the mills, and little grain to begin with.
By 1853 food riots were commonplace in many of the South’s larger cities, including the capital at Richmond, where the Congress and administration witnessed the fruit of their labors. The combination of food shortages and the rampant inflation eroding the strength of the Confederate dollar continued to grow worse until the end of the war, when the southern railroads were completely destroyed, and the means of moving what little food there was became non-existent.

The Glanders Epizootic

Although the Civil War was revolutionary in its use of trains to move large numbers of troops quickly, it still required what all armies for several millennia had required – horses and mules. Horses and mules pulled wagons, ambulances, artillery, carried cavalry, provided power to erect buildings, and did all of the labors they have done seemingly since time began. On the battlefield they were just as susceptible to injury as their human masters, and the armies of both sides of the conflict required thousands of them to support the war.
In the Confederate Army it was common practice for cavalry mounts to be privately owned until 1863, when the Army began to issue mounts. Depots were established in areas near the fronts for the stabling and care of horses. One such depot, near Lynchburg Virginia, stabled more than 6800 horses over fifteen months, of which only about one thousand made it to the army. The rest died or were rendered unfit for service by glanders.
Glanders is an infectious disease, often fatal, which is transmitted via body fluid and was likely spread throughout the closely stabled horses at water troughs. Lynchburg was not the only site where glanders struck Confederate livestock. From 1861 to 1866 an epizootic of glanders wreaked havoc on Confederate mules and horses. Animals became ill, weakened and died, or were shot when symptoms displayed to prevent the spread of the disease.
When the Civil War began about 2.5 million horses and mules were available in the South, more than half of these were lost during the war. By contrast, Union troops had a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fresh mounts and draft animals available to them throughout the war. The loss of animals had a negative impact on the mobility of the Confederate troops by the end of the war.
Glanders was experimented with as a biological weapon by German troops in the First World War. It is now known to be treatable with antibiotics, unavailable to the medical practitioners of the Civil War. There hasn’t been a case of the disease reported in the United States since the 1940s, but during the period of the Civil War it ravaged the stock of the Confederate Army.

State’s Rights

One of the leading arguments for secession was that each state voluntarily entered its contract with the Union and thus each state retained the right to voluntarily leave it, based on the sovereignty of its people. It has been argued that this adherence to the rights of individual states over the authority of a central government is a leading cause of the failure of the Confederacy.
Both President Jefferson Davis and Vice President Alexander Stephens were elected to single six year terms of office under the Confederate Constitution. Davis took many steps to centralize authority, such as the conscription laws, over which he was opposed by several state governors and his Vice President, who called Davis’s usurpation of authority tyrannical. “History proved the dangers of such unchecked authority,” said Stephens in opposition to a strong central government.
By 1863 some governor’s opposition to conscription had led them to deny the use of troops from their state by the central government, claiming that they were needed defend against local threats. When the draft exemption for newspaper editors and reporters was eliminated many states protested that it was a thinly veiled attempt to stifle dissent by sending editors into the Army.
Despite the wide range of political differences in the Confederate Congress and throughout its government, the emergence of organized political parties did not take place in the Confederacy. Without a two party system the debate during the Congressional elections of 1863 were largely without any national, or even regional focus, and instead concentrated on narrow personal levels.
Jefferson Davis was a former US Senator and Secretary of War and was well aware of the need to prosecute a major war through an unbending, united effort. His attempt to consolidate the power he needed to do so made him largely unpopular as President of the Confederacy, and the growing shortages at home and military failures after 1863 further eroded his authority and popularity.

Patent Office

As an independent nation with its own government and laws, the Confederate States of America soon acquired much of the bureaucracy of modern governments, including a Post Office, Mint, (by taking over former US Mints) and Patent Office. Rufus Rhodes, a former official of the United States Patent Office from Mississippi, served as the only Commissioner of the Confederate Patent Office. During its first year in existence – 1861 – the office issued 57 patents, in contrast with the over three thousand issued by the US Patent Office.
Over a third of the patents issued during the first year were for improvements to firearms or other weapons of war, although other patents for farm implements, a steam driven plow, textile machines, and other inventions were issued. The patent office suffered from a lack of working space (it was located on the third floor of the Mechanic’s Institute in Richmond) and reference materials, as well as a budget which precluded the acquisition of books and technical literature essential to its work.
Over the course of its existence the Confederate Patent Office would issue 266 patents. The design and manufacture of the armor plate which covered the former USS Merrimack leading to its becoming the CSS Virginia was patented by its designer, and contested by its builder. Both were awarded patents for their work on the ship.
Review of the surviving records of the Confederate Patent Office reveals how some of the privations of war affected the South as the war went on. By 1863, shortages of leather led to the application of no fewer than four patents for wooden soled shoes.
The Confederate Patent Office issued one of the first patents which was developed around submarine technology, for the CSS H L Hunley. The prevalence of the Union blockade led to numerous patents being applied for based on new methods of destroying Union ships, including mines, electric torpedoes, and delayed fuses. The Confederate Patent Office and its records were officially destroyed after the fall of Richmond, but further research into many of the innovations found there continued under the auspices of the US Navy after the war.

The Confederate States Army

Officially the Confederate States Army was founded as a volunteer force by the Provisional Confederate Congress, with control of its operations in the hands of Provisional President Jefferson Davis in February 1861. The loss of records during and following the war make it difficult to estimate the total number who served in it, some believe that somewhere between 500,000 and 1.5 million while others propose 750,000 to 1,000,000 as more realistic numbers. In addition, an untold number of slaves were forced into service to build encampments, fortifications, roads, and other support needed for military operations.
The Confederate Army’s organization was based on that of the United States Army, unsurprisingly since many senior Confederate officers had served in the US Army at some point. The Army was made up of infantry, cavalry, and artillery and the basic unit of command was a company, theoretically made up of one hundred soldiers. Ten companies made a regiment. As the war went on and casualties were absorbed while replacements were scarce, most regiments sank to less than half their optimal size.
There were several field armies, which in the South were normally named for the region of their operation, as opposed to the Northern custom of naming them for major rivers. Robert E Lee commanded the largest Confederate Army, called the Army of Northern Virginia.
Regiments were raised, trained and supplied by the individual states and bore the name of their state and their regimental number, for example 4th Virginia. Eventually over 1,000 regiments were raised by the Confederate states for the army, in comparison the Union raised over 2,000.
In the early years of the war the Confederate Armies were successful in combat in the East, mostly in Virginia and Maryland, and less so in the west. Casualties were enormously high for both sides. Despite the long-lived legend of the Confederate’s esprit d’corps, by 1864 Jefferson Davis estimated that there were over 100,000 men then labeled as deserters in the South, having seen enough of war and the growing strength of the Union armies.

Confederate States Navy

Although it lasted but a short time (1861-1865) and won no major victories against the Union Navy which disrupted the Union blockade, the Confederate States Navy achieved a reputation for daring, innovation, and professionalism. At its high point it counted over 100 ships, most of which operated in American coastal waters and rivers.
It produced one of the first ironclad warships, which sank one US wooden ship, ran another aground, and would have done more damage if not for the timely arrival of a suitable opponent for its new technology. It produced the first submarine which sank an enemy vessel in combat, although it sank itself in the process, killing its crew. The Navy was supplemented by the use of privateers – contracted commerce raiders to capture or destroy enemy ships – which operated mainly out of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, despite Lincoln’s pronouncement that captured privateers would be treated as pirates (they weren’t).
In conjunction with the Navy the Confederate government operated the Confederate States Lighthouse Board, which worked with the Navy but was officially part of the Treasury Department. It was tasked with maintaining operational safe navigation beacons along the coast. It also formed the Confederate States Marine Corps, which adopted many of the traditions of the United States Marine Corps.
The Navy’s greatest success and certainly its greatest fame – other than the ironclad Virginia– came from its commerce raiders, CSS Alabama and CSS Shenandoah. Alabama was built in Birkenhead, England and completed a raiding cruise under Captain Raphael Semmes in which it captured or destroyed 65 Union ships. Although a commissioned ship of the Confederate Navy it never in its career entered a Confederate port. It was caught and destroyed by USS Kearsgarge.
CSS Shenandoah was built in the Clyde in Scotland and transferred to the Confederate Navy while at sea before undertaking a voyage to the Indian and Pacific Oceans to destroy Union commercial ships and whalers. In late June 1865 its Captain, James Waddell, learned of Lee’s surrender from a captured crew, later in August he learned that the war was over from the crew of a British ship. Waddell took his ship to Liverpool, surrendering there on November 6 1865, the last surrender of a Confederate unit of the Civil War. Like AlabamaShenandoahnever entered a Confederate port during its service in the Confederate States Navy.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Culture of Violence in the American West: Myth versus Reality

by Thomas J. DiLorenzo 
This article appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of The Independent Review

Contrary to popular perception, the Old West was much more peaceful than American cities are today. The real culture of violence on the frontier during the latter half of the nineteenth century sprang from the U.S. government’s policies toward the Plains Indians.

The Not-So-Wild, Wild West

In a thorough review of the “West was violent” literature, Bruce Benson (1998) discovered that many historians simply assume that violence was pervasive—even more so than in modern-day America—and then theorize about its likely causes. In addition, some authors assume that the West was very violent and then assert, as Joe Franz does, that “American violence today reflects our frontier heritage” (Franz 1969, qtd. in Benson 1998, 98). Thus, an allegedly violent and stateless society of the nineteenth century is blamed for at least some of the violence in the United States today.

In a book-length survey of the “West was violent” literature, historian Roger McGrath echoes Benson’s skepticism about this theory when he writes that “the frontier-was-violent authors are not, for the most part, attempting to prove that the frontier was violent. Rather, they assume that it was violent and then proffer explanations for that alleged violence” (1984, 270).

In contrast, an alternative literature based on actual history concludes that the civil society of the American West in the nineteenth century was not very violent. Eugene Hollon writes that the western frontier “was a far more civilized, more peaceful and safer place than American society today” (1974, x). Terry Anderson and P. J. Hill affirm that although “[t]he West . . . is perceived as a place of great chaos, with little respect for property or life,” their research “indicates that this was not the case; property rights were protected and civil order prevailed. Private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts were resolved” (1979, 10).

What were these private protective agencies? They were not governments because they did not have a legal monopoly on keeping order. Instead, they included such organizations as land clubs, cattlemen’s associations, mining camps, and wagon trains.

So-called land clubs were organizations established by settlers before the U.S. government even surveyed the land, let alone started to sell it or give it away. Because disputes over land titles are inevitable, the land clubs adopted their own constitutions, laying out the “laws” that would define and protect property rights in land (Anderson and Hill 1979, 15). They administered land claims, protected them from outsiders, and arbitrated disputes. Social ostracism was used effectively against those who violated the rules. Establishing property rights in this way minimized disputes—and violence.

The wagon trains that transported thousands of people to the California gold fields and other parts of the West usually established their own constitutions before setting out. These constitutions often included detailed judicial systems. As a consequence, writes Benson, “[t]here were few instances of violence on the wagon trains even when food became extremely scarce and starvation threatened. When crimes against persons or their property were committed, the judicial system . . . would take effect” (1998, 102). Ostracism and threats of banishment from the group, instead of threats of violence, were usually sufficient to correct rule breakers’ behavior.

Dozens of movies have portrayed the nineteenth-century mining camps in the West as hot beds of anarchy and violence, but John Umbeck discovered that, beginning in 1848, the miners began forming contracts with one another to restrain their own behavior (1981, 51). There was no government authority in California at the time, apart from a few military posts. The miners’ contracts established property rights in land (and in any gold found on the land) that the miners themselves enforced. Miners who did not accept the rules the majority adopted were free to mine elsewhere or to set up their own contractual arrangements with other miners. The rules that were adopted were often consequently established with unanimous consent (Anderson and Hill 1979, 19). As long as a miner abided by the rules, the other miners defended his rights under the community contract. If he did not abide by the agreed-on rules, his claim would be regarded as “open to any [claim] jumpers” (Umbeck 1981, 53).

The mining camps hired “enforcement specialists”—justices of the peace and arbitrators—and developed an extensive body of property and criminal law. As a result, there was very little violence and theft. The fact that the miners were usually armed also helps to explain why crime was relatively infrequent. Benson concludes, “The contractual system of law effectively generated cooperation rather than conflict, and on those occasions when conflict arose it was, by and large, effectively quelled through nonviolent means” (1998, 105).
When government bureaucrats failed to police cattle rustling effectively, ranchers established cattlemen’s associations that drew up their own constitutions and hired private “protection agencies” that were often staffed by expert gunmen. This action deterred cattle rustling. Some of these “gunmen” did “drift in and out of a life of crime,” write Anderson and Hill (1979, 18), but they were usually dealt with by the cattlemen’s associations and never created any kind of large-scale criminal organization, as some have predicted would occur under a regime of private law enforcement.

In sum, this work by Benson, Anderson and Hill, Umbeck, and others challenges with solid historical research the claims made by the “West was violent” authors. The civil society of the American West in the nineteenth century was much more peaceful than American cities are today, and the evidence suggests that in fact the Old West was not a very violent place at all. History also reveals that the expanded presence of the U.S. government was the real cause of a culture of violence in the American West. If there is anything to the idea that a nineteenth-century culture of violence on the American frontier is the genesis of much of the violence in the United States today, the main source of that culture is therefore government, not civil society.

The Real Cause of Violence in the American West

The real culture of violence in the American West of the latter half of the nineteenth century sprang from the U.S. government’s policies toward the Plains Indians. It is untrue that white European settlers were always at war with Indians, as popular folklore contends. After all, Indians assisted the Pilgrims and celebrated the first Thanksgiving with them; John Smith married Pocahontas; a white man (mostly Scots, with some Cherokee), John Ross, was the chief of the Cherokees of Tennessee and North Carolina; and there was always a great deal of trade with Indians, as opposed to violence. As Jennifer Roback has written, “Europeans generally acknowledged that the Indians retained possessory rights to their lands. More important, the English recognized the advantage of being on friendly terms with the Indians. Trade with the Indians, especially the fur trade, was profitable. War was costly” (1992, 9). Trade and cooperation with the Indians were much more common than conflict and violence during the first half of the nineteenth century.

Terry Anderson and Fred McChesney relate how Thomas Jefferson found that during his time negotiation was the Europeans’ predominant means of acquiring land from Indians (1994, 56). By the twentieth century, some $800 million had been paid for Indian lands. These authors also argue that various factors can alter the incentives for trade, as opposed to waging a war of conquest as a means of acquiring land. One of the most important factors is the existence of a standing army, as opposed to militias, which were used in the American West prior to the War Between the States. On this point, Anderson and McChesney quote Adam Smith, who wrote that “‘[i]n a militia, the character of the labourer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character.’” (1994, 52). A standing army, according to Anderson and McChesney, “creates a class of professional soldiers whose personal welfare increases with warfare, even if fighting is a negative-sum act for the population as a whole” (52).

The change from militia to a standing army took place in the American West immediately upon the conclusion of the War Between the States. The result, say Anderson and McChesney, was that white settlers and railroad corporations were able to socialize the costs of stealing Indian lands by using violence supplied by the U.S. Army. On their own, they were much more likely to negotiate peacefully. Thus, “raid” replaced “trade” in white–Indian relations. Congress even voted in 1871 not to ratify any more Indian treaties, effectively announcing that it no longer sought peaceful relations with the Plains Indians. Anderson and McChesney do not consider why a standing army replaced militias in 1865, but the reason is not difficult to discern. One has only to read the official pronouncements of the soldiers and political figures who launched a campaign of extermination against the Plains Indians.

On June 27, 1865, General William Tecumseh Sherman was given command of the Military District of the Missouri, which was one of the five military divisions into which the U.S. government had divided the country. Sherman received this command for the purpose of commencing the twenty-five-year war against the Plains Indians, primarily as a form of veiled subsidy to the government-subsidized railroad corporations and other politically connected corporations involved in building the transcontinental railroads. These corporations were the financial backbone of the Republican Party. Indeed, in June 1861, Abraham Lincoln, former legal counsel of the Illinois Central Railroad, called a special emergency session of Congress not to deal with the two-month-old Civil War, but to commence work on the Pacific Railway Act. Subsidizing the transcontinental railroads was a primary (if not the primary) objective of the new Republican Party. As Dee Brown writes in Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow, a history of the building of the transcontinental railroads, Lincoln’s 1862 Pacific Railway Act “assured the fortunes of a dynasty of American families . . . the Brewsters, Bushnells, Olcotts, Harkers, Harrisons, Trowbridges, Lanworthys, Reids, Ogdens, Bradfords, Noyeses, Brooks, Cornells, and dozens of others” (2001, 49), all of whom were tied to the Republican Party.

The federal railroad subsidies enriched many Republican members of Congress. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania “received a block of [Union Pacific] stock in exchange for his vote” on the Pacific Railroad bill, writes Brown (2001, 58). The Pennsylvania iron manufacturer and congressman also demanded a legal requirement that all iron used in constructing the railroad be made in the United States. Republican congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts was a shovel manufacturer who became “a loyal ally” of the legislation after he was promised shovel contracts (Brown 2001, 58). A great many shovels must have been required to dig railroad beds from Iowa to California.

Sherman wrote in his memoirs that as soon as the war ended, “My thoughts and feelings at once reverted to the construction of the great Pacific Railway. . . . I put myself in communication with the parties engaged in the work, visiting them in person, and assured them that I would afford them all possible assistance and encouragement” (2005, 775). “We are not going to let a few thieving, ragged Indians check and stop the progress [of the railroads],” Sherman wrote to Ulysses S. Grant in 1867 (qtd. in Fellman 1995, 264).

The chief engineer of the government-subsidized transcontinental railroads was Grenville Dodge, another of Lincoln’s generals during the war with whom Sherman worked closely afterward. As Murray Rothbard points out, Dodge “helped swing the Iowa delegation to Lincoln” at the 1860 Republican National Convention, and “[i]n return, early in the Civil War, Lincoln appointed Dodge to army general. Dodge’s task was to clear the Indians from the designated path of the country’s first heavily subsidized federally chartered trans-continental railroad, the Union Pacific.” In this way, Rothbard concludes, “conscripted Union troops and hapless taxpayers were coerced into socializing the costs of constructing and operating the Union Pacific” (1997, 130).

Immediately after the war, Dodge proposed enslaving the Plains Indians and forcing them “to do the grading” on the railroad beds, “with the Army furnishing a guard to make the Indians work, and keep them from running away” (Brown 2001, 64). Union army veterans were to be the “overseers” of this new class of slaves. Dodge’s proposal was rejected; the U.S. government decided instead to try to kill as many Indians as possible.

In his memoirs, Sherman has high praise for Thomas Clark Durant, the vice president of the Union Pacific Railroad, as “a person of ardent nature, of great ability and energy, enthusiastic in his undertaking” (2005, 775). Durant was also the chief instigator of the infamous Credit Mobilier scandal, one of the most shocking examples of political corruption in U.S. history. Sherman himself had invested in railroads before the war, and he was a consummate political insider, along with Durant, Dodge, and his brother, Senator John Sherman.

President Grant made his old friend Sherman the army’s commanding general, and another Civil War luminary, General Phillip Sheridan, assumed command on the ground in the West. “Thus the great triumvirate of the Union Civil War effort,” writes Sherman biographer Michael Fellman, “formulated and enacted military Indian policy until reaching, by the 1880s, what Sherman sometimes referred to as ‘the final solution of the Indian problem’” (1995, 260).

What Sherman called the “final solution of the Indian problem” involved “killing hostile Indians and segregating their pauperized survivors in remote places.” “These men,” writes Fellman, “applied their shared ruthlessness, born of their Civil War experiences, against a people all three [men] despised. . . . Sherman’s overall policy was never accommodation and compromise, but vigorous war against the Indians,” whom he regarded as “a less-than-human and savage race” (1995, 260).

All of the other generals who took part in the Indian Wars were “like Sherman [and Sheridan], Civil War luminaries,” writes Sherman biographer John Marszalek. “Their names were familiar from Civil War battles: John Pope, O. O. Howard, Nelson A. Miles, Alfred H. Terry, E. O. C. Ord, C. C. Augur . . . Edward Canby . . . George Armstrong Custer and Benjamin Garrison” (1993, 380). General Winfield Scott Hancock also belongs on this list.
Sherman and Sheridan’s biographers frequently point out that these men apparently viewed the Indian Wars as a continuation of the job they had performed during the Civil War. “Sherman viewed Indians as he viewed recalcitrant Southerners during the war and newly freed people after: resisters to the legitimate forces of an ordered society” (Marszalek 1993, 380). Marszalek might well have written also that Southerners, former slaves, and Indians were not so much opposed to an “ordered society,” but to being ordered around by politicians in Washington, D.C., primarily for the benefit of the politicians’ corporate benefactors.

“During the Civil War, Sherman and Sheridan had practiced a total war of destruction of property. . . . Now the army, in its Indian warfare, often wiped out entire villages” (Marszalek 1993, 382). Fellman writes that Sherman charged Sheridan “to act with all the vigor he had shown in the Shenandoah Valley during the final months of the Civil War” (1995, 270). Sheridan’s troops had burned and plundered the Shenandoah Valley after the Confederate army had evacuated the area and only women, children, and elderly men remained there (Morris 1992, 183). Even Prussian army officers are said to have been shocked when after the war Sheridan boasted to them of his exploits in the Shenandoah Valley. “[Sherman] insisted that the only answer to the Indian problem was all-out war—of the kind he had utilized against the Confederacy,” writes Marszalek. “Since the inferior Indians refused to step aside so superior American culture could create success and progress, they had to be driven out of the way as the Confederates had been driven back into the Union” (1993, 380).

Sherman’s compulsion for the “extermination” of anyone opposed to turning the U.S. state into an empire expressed the same reasoning he had expressed earlier with regard to his role in the War Between the States. In a letter to his wife early in the war, he declared that his ultimate purpose was “extermination, not of soldiers alone, that is the least part of the trouble, but the people.” Mrs. Sherman responded by expressing her similar wish that the conflict would be a “war of extermination, and that all [Southerners] would be driven like the swine into the sea. May we carry fire and sword into their states till not one habitation is left standing” (qtd. in Walters 1973, 61). Sherman did his best to take his wife’s advice, especially during his famous “march to the sea.” It is little wonder that Indian Wars historian S. L. A. Marshall observes, “[M]ost of the Plains Indian bands were in sympathy with the Southern cause” during the war (1972, 24).

General Sherman
One theme among all of these Union Civil War veterans is that they considered Indians to be subhuman and racially inferior to whites and therefore deserving of extermination if they could not be “controlled” by the white population. Sherman himself thought of the former slaves in exactly the same way. “The Indians give a fair illustration of the fate of the negroes if they are released from the control of the whites,” he once said (qtd. in Kennett 2001, 296). He believed that intermarriage of whites and Indians would be disastrous, as he claimed it was in New Mexico, where “the blending of races had produced general equality, which led inevitably to Mexican anarchy” (qtd. in Kennett 2001, 297).

Sherman described the inhabitants of New Mexico, many of whom were part Mexican (Spanish), part Indian, and part Negro, as “mongrels.” His goal was to eliminate the possibility that such racial amalgamation might occur elsewhere in the United States, by undertaking to effect what Michael Fellman called a “racial cleansing of the land” (1995, 264), beginning with extermination of the Indians.

General Sheridan
Sherman, Sheridan, and the other top military commanders were not shy about announcing that their objective was extermination, a term that Sherman used literally on a number of occasions, as he had in reference to Southerners only a few years earlier. He and Sheridan are forever associated with the slogan “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.” “All the Indians will have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers,” he said. Sherman announced his objective as being “to prosecute the war with vindictive earnestness . . . till [the Indians] are obliterated or beg for mercy” (qtd. in Fellman 1995, 270). According to Fellman, Sherman gave “Sheridan prior authorization to slaughter as many women and children as well as men Sheridan or his subordinates felt was necessary when they attacked Indian villages” (1995, 271).

In case the media back east got wind of such atrocities, Sherman promised Sheridan that he would run interference against any complaints: “I will back you with my whole authority, and stand between you and any efforts that may be attempted in your rear to restrain your purpose or check your troops” (qtd. in Fellman 1995, 271). In later correspondence, Sherman wrote to Sheridan, “I am charmed at the handsome conduct of our troops in the field. They go in with the relish that used to make our hearts glad in 1864–5” (qtd. in Fellman 1995, 272).

Sherman and Sheridan’s troops conducted more than one thousand attacks on Indian villages, mostly in the winter months, when families were together. The U.S. army’s actions matched its leaders’ rhetoric of extermination. As mentioned earlier, Sherman gave orders to kill everyone and everything, including dogs, and to burn everything that would burn so as to increase the likelihood that any survivors would starve or freeze to death. The soldiers also waged a war of extermination on the buffalo, which was the Indians’ chief source of food, winter clothing, and other goods (the Indians even made fish hooks out of dried buffalo bones and bow strings out of sinews).

By 1882, the buffalo were all but extinct, and the cause was not just the tragedy of the commons. Because buffalo hides could be sold for as much as $3.50 each, an individual hunter would kill more than a hundred a day for as many days as he cared to hunt on the open plain. This exploitation of a “common property resource” decimated the buffalo herds, but the decimation was also an integral part of U.S. military policy aimed at starving the Plains Indians. When a group of Texans asked Sheridan if he could not do something to stop the extermination of the buffalo, he said: “Let them kill, skin, and sell until the buffalo is exterminated, as it is the only way to bring lasting peace and allow civilization to advance” (qtd. in Brown 1970, 265).

The escalation of violence against the Plains Indians actually began in earnest during the War Between the States. Sherman and Sheridan’s Indian policy was a continuation and escalation of a policy that General Grenville Dodge, among others, had already commenced. In 1851, the Santee Sioux Indians in Minnesota sold 24 million acres of land to the U.S. government for $1,410,000 in a typical “trade” (as opposed to raid) scenario. The federal government once again did not keep its side of the bargain, though, reneging on its payment to the Indians (Nichols 1978). By 1862, thousands of white settlers were moving onto the Indians’ land, and a crop failure in that year caused the Santee Sioux to become desperate for food. They attempted to take back their land by force with a short “war” in which President Lincoln placed General John Pope in charge. Pope announced, “It is my purpose to utterly exterminate the Sioux. . . . They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made” (qtd. in Nichols 1978, 87).

At the end of the month-long conflict, hundreds of Indians who had been taken prisoner were subjected to military “trials” lasting about ten minutes each, according to Nichols (1978). Most of the adult male prisoners were found guilty and sentenced to death—not based on evidence of the commission of a crime, but on their mere presence at the end of the fighting. Minnesota authorities wanted to execute all 303 who were convicted, but the Lincoln administration feared that the European powers would not view such an act favorably and did not want to give them an excuse to assist the Confederacy in any way. Therefore, “only” 38 of the Indians were hanged, making this travesty of justice still the largest mass execution in U.S. history (Nichols 1978). To appease the Minnesotans who wanted to execute all 303, Lincoln promised them $2 million and pledged that the U.S. Army would remove all Indians from the state at some future date.

One of the most famous incidents of Indian extermination, known as the Sand Creek Massacre, took place on November 29, 1864. There was a Cheyenne and Arapaho village located on Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado. These Indians had been assured by the U.S. government that they would be safe in Colorado. The government instructed them to fly a U.S. flag over their village, which they did, to assure their safety. However, another Civil War “luminary,” Colonel John Chivington, had other plans for them as he raided the village with 750 heavily armed soldiers. One account of what happened appears in the book Crimsoned Prairie: The Indian Wars (1972) by the renowned military historian S. L. A. Marshall, who held the title of chief historian of the European Theater in World War II and authored thirty books on American military history.

Chivington’s orders were: “I want you to kill and scalp all, big and little; nits make lice” (qtd. in Marshall 1972, 37). Then, despite the display of the U.S. flag and white surrender flags by these peaceful Indians, Chivington’s troops “began a full day given over to blood-lust, orgiastic mutilation, rapine, and destruction—with Chivington . . . looking on and approving” (Marshall 1972, 38). Marshall notes that the most reliable estimate of the number of Indians killed is “163, of which 110 were women and children” (39).

Upon returning to his fort, Chivington “and his raiders demonstrated around Denver, waving their trophies, more than one hundred drying scalps. They were acclaimed as conquering heroes, which was what they had sought mainly.” One Republican Party newspaper announced, “Colorado soldiers have once again covered themselves with glory” (qtd. in Marshall 1972, 39).

An even more detailed account of the Sand Creek Massacre, based on U.S. Army records, biographies, and firsthand accounts, appears in Dee Brown’s classic Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West: “When the troops came up to [the squaws,] they ran out and showed their persons to let the soldiers know they were squaws and begged for mercy, but the soldiers shot them all. . . . There seemed to be indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children. . . .The squaws offered no resistance. Every one . . . was scalped” (1970, 89). Brown’s narrative gets much more graphic. The effect of such behavior was to eliminate forever the possibility of peaceful relations with these Indian tribes. They understood that they had become the objects of a campaign of extermination. As Brown writes, “In a few hours of madness at Sand Creek, Chivington and his soldiers destroyed the lives or the power of every Cheyenne and Arapaho chief who had held out for peace with the white men” (92). For the next two decades, the Plains Indians would do their best to return the barbarism in kind.

Wounded Knee
The books by Brown and Marshall show that the kind of barbarism that occurred at Sand Creek, Colorado, was repeated many times during the next two decades. For example, in 1868 General Winfield Scott Hancock ordered Custer to attack a Cheyenne camp with infantry, which Custer did. The attack led Superintendent of Indian Affairs Thomas Murphy to report to Washington that “General Hancock’s expedition . . . has resulted in no good, but, on the contrary, has been productive of much evil” (qtd. in Brown 1970, 157). A report of the attack prepared for the U.S. secretary of the interior concluded: “For a mighty nation like us to be carrying on a war with a few straggling nomads, under such circumstances, is a spectacle most humiliating, and injustice unparalleled, a national crime most revolting, that must, sooner or later, bring down upon us or our posterity the judgment of Heaven” (qtd. in Brown 1970, 157).

As the war on the Cheyenne continued, Custer and his troops apparently decided that to “kill or hang all the warriors,” as General Sheridan had ordered, “meant separating them from the old men, women, and children. This work was too slow and dangerous for the cavalrymen; they found it much more efficient and safe to kill indiscriminately. They killed 103 Cheyenne, but only eleven of them were warriors” (Brown 1970, 169).

Marshall calls Sheridan’s orders to Custer “the most brutal orders ever published to American troops” (1972, 106). This is a powerful statement coming from a man who wrote thirty books on American military history. In addition to ordering Custer to shoot or hang all warriors, even those that surrendered, Sheridan commanded him to slaughter all ponies and to burn all tepees and their contents. “Sheridan held with but one solution to the Indian problem—extermination—and Custer was his quite pliable instrument,” writes Marshall (1972, 106).

One of the oddest facts about the Indian Wars is that Custer famously instructed a band to play an Irish jig called “Garry Owens” during the attacks on Indian villages. “This was Custer’s way of gentling war. It made killing more rhythmic,” writes Marshall (1972, 107). During an attack on a Kiowa village on September 26, 1874, soldiers killed more than one thousand horses and forced 252 Kiowas to surrender. They were thrown into prison cells, where “each day their captors threw chunks of raw meat to them as if they were animals in a cage” (Brown 1970, 270). On numerous occasions, fleeing Indians sought refuge in Canada, where they knew they would be unmolested. Canadians built their own transcontinental railroad in the late nineteenth century, but they did not commence a campaign of extermination against the Indians living in that country as the government did in the United States.

No one denies that the U.S. government killed tens of thousands of Indians, including women and children, during the years from 1862 to 1890. There are various estimates of the number of Indians killed, the highest being that of historian Russell Thornton (1990), who used mostly military records to estimate that about forty-five thousand Indians, including women and children, were killed during the wars on the Plains Indians. It is reasonable to assume that thousands more were maimed and disabled for life and received little or no medical assistance. The thousands of soldiers who participated in the Indian Wars lived in a culture of violence and death that was cultivated by the U.S. government for a quarter of a century.


The culture of violence in the American West of the late nineteenth century was created almost entirely by the U.S. government’s military interventions, which were primarily a veiled subsidy to the government-subsidized transcontinental railroad corporations. As scandals go, the war on the Plains Indians makes the Credit Mobilier affair seem inconsequential. There is such a thing as a culture of war, especially in connection with a war as gruesome and bloody as the war on the Plains Indians. On this topic, World War II combat veteran Paul Fussell has written: “The culture of war . . . is not like the culture of ordinary peace-time life. It is a culture dominated by fear, blood, and sadism, by irrational actions and preposterous . . . results. It has more relation to science fiction or to absurdist theater than to actual life” (1997, 354). Such was the “culture” the U.S. Army created throughout much of the American West for the quarter century after the War Between the States. It is the “culture” that all military interventions at all times have created, and it contrasts sharply with the predominantly peaceful culture of the stateless civil society on the American frontier during much of the nineteenth century.

Fussell made this statement based on his personal experiences in combat, but it echoes the scholarly writing of Ludwig von Mises (who, let us remember, was also an Austrian army officer who had substantial combat experience during World War I): “What distinguishes man from animals is the insight into the advantages that can be derived from cooperation under the division of labor. Man curbs his innate Instinct of aggression in order to cooperate with other human beings. The more he wants to improve his material well being, the more he must expand the system of the division of labor. Concomitantly he must more and more restrict the sphere in which he resorts to military action.” Human cooperation under the division of labor in the civil society “bursts asunder,” Mises wrote, whenever “citizens turn into warriors” and resort to war (1998, 827).

It is not true that all whites waged a war of extermination against the Plains Indians. As noted earlier and as noted throughout the literature of the Indian Wars, many whites preferred the continuation of the peaceful trade and relations with Indians that had been the norm during the first half of the nineteenth century. (Conflicts sometimes occurred, of course, but “trade” dominated “raid” during that era.) Canadians built a transcontinental railroad without a Shermanesque campaign of “extermination” against the Indians in Canada. It is telling that the Plains Indians often sought refuge in Canada when the U.S. Army had them on the run.

The U.S. government dehumanized the Plains Indians, describing them as “wild beasts,” in order to justify slaughtering them, just as Sherman and his wife, among many others, dehumanized Southerners during and after the War Between the States. The same dehumanization by the government’s propaganda machine would eventually target Filipinos, who were killed by the hundreds of thousands at the hands of the U.S. Army during their 1899–1902 revolt against the U.S. conquest of their country barely a decade after the Indian Wars had finally ended. President Theodore Roosevelt “justified” the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos by calling them “savages, half-breeds, a wild and ignorant people” (qtd. in Powell 2006, 64). Dehumanization of certain groups of “resisters” at the hands of the state’s propaganda apparatus is a prerequisite for the culture of war and violence that has long been the main preoccupation of the U.S. state.

It was not necessary to kill tens of thousands of Indians and imprison thousands more in concentration camps (“reservations”) for generations in order to build a transcontinental railroad. Nor were the wars on the Plains Indians a matter of “the white population’s” waging a war of extermination. This war stemmed from the policy of the relatively small group of white men who ran the Republican Party (with assistance from some Democrats), which effectively monopolized national politics for most of that time.

These men utilized the state’s latest technologies of mass killing developed during the Civil War and its mercenary soldiers (including the former slaves known as “buffalo soldiers”) to wage their war because they were in a hurry to shovel subsidies to the railroad corporations and other related business enterprises. Many of them profited handsomely, as the Credit Mobilier scandal revealed. The railroad corporations were the Microsofts and IBMs of their day, and the doctrines of neomercantilism defined the Republican Party’s reason for existing (DiLorenzo 2006). The Republican Party was, after all, the “Party of Lincoln,” the great railroad lawyer and a lobbyist for the Illinois Central and other midwestern railroads during his day.

Anderson, Terry, and P. J. Hill. 1979. An American Experiment in Anarcho-capitalism: The Not So Wild, Wild West. Journal of Libertarian Studies 3: 9–29.
Anderson, Terry, and Fred L. McChesney. 1994. Raid or Trade? An Economic Model of Indian-White Relations. Journal of Law and Economics 37: 39–74.
Benson, Bruce. 1998. To Serve and Protect: Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice. New York: New York University Press for The Independent Institute.
Brown, Dee. 1970. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. New York: Holt.———. 2001. Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow. New York: Owl Books.
DiLorenzo, Thomas J. 2006. Lincoln Unmasked: What You’re Not Supposed to Know about Dishonest Abe. New York: Crown Forum.
Fellman, Michael. 1995. Citizen Sherman: A Life of William Tecumseh Sherman. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.
Franz, Joe B. 1969. The Frontier Tradition: An Invitation to Violence. In The History of Violence in America, edited by Hugh D. Graham and Ted R. Gurr, 127–54. New York: New York Times Books.
Fussell, Paul. 1997. The Culture of War. In The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, edited by John Denson, 351–57. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction.
Hollon, W. Eugene. 1974. Frontier Violence: Another Look. New York: Oxford University Press.
Kennett, Lee B. 2001. Sherman: A Soldier’s Life. New York: HarperCollins.
Marshall, S. L. A. 1972. Crimsoned Prairie: The Indian Wars. New York: Da Capo Press.
Marszalek, John F. 1993. Sherman: A Soldier’s Passion for Order. New York: Vintage Books.
McGrath, Roger. 1984. Gunfighters, Highwaymen, and Vigilantes: Violence on the Frontier. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Mises, Ludwig von. 1998. Human Action. Scholar’s Edition. Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute.
Morris, Roy. 1992. Sheridan: The Life & Wars of General Phil Sheridan. New York: Vintage Books.
Nichols, David A. 1978. Lincoln and the Indians: Civil War Policy and Politics. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.
Powell, Jim. 2006. Bully Boy: The Truth about Theodore Roosevelt’s Legacy. New York: Crown Forum.
Roback, Jennifer. 1992. Exchange, Sovereignty, and Indian-Anglo Relations. In Property Rights and Indian Economies, edited by Terry Anderson, 5–26. Savage, Md.: Roman & Littlefield.
Rothbard, Murray N. 1997. America’s Two Just Wars: 1775 and 1861. In The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, edited by John Denson, 119–33. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction.
Sherman, William T. 2005. Memoirs. New York: Barnes & Noble.
Thornton, Russel. 1990. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492. Oklahoma City: University of Oklahoma Press.
Umbeck, John. 1981. Might Makes Rights: A Theory of the Formation and Initial Distribution of Property Rights. Economic Inquiry 19: 38–59.
Walters, John Bennett. 1973. Merchant of Terror: General Sherman and Total War. New York: Bobbs-Merrill.

Thomas J. DiLorenzo is a Research Fellow at The Independent Institute, and Professor of Economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

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Even though I am from Kansas, I enjoy venturing into other worlds from around the globe which is why my writing focuses on diversity. With fluid accessibility to modern media and traveling opportunities, my Midwestern world can expand and explore beyond my own backyard. In addition to studying cultures, I take pleasure in studying history. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, over our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

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