Civil War traitors

As a former 8th grade U.S. History teacher, it is distressing to read the misunderstanding of the Civil War events. It was the Confederate states who declared war on the United States by bombarding Ft. Sumter, S.C. in 1861. This act of treason was responded to with the forces of the U.S. army.

During the Civil War, there were over 600,000 casualties, which exceeds the nation’s loss in all its other wars. Prisoner of war camps claimed over 55,000 emaciated prisoners who perished. To deter future generations, it would have been better to preserve the prison camps that could have been compared to the Nazi prison camps without the ovens.

In 1846, Iowa joined the United States as a free state. No other state had a higher percentage of its male population serve in the U.S. military during the Civil War. Iowans fought valiantly in many major battles. Republicans and Democrats alike shed their blood in defense of the United States.

President Lincoln himself in 1863 identified a list of top Confederate generals who deserved to be imprisoned for treason. General Grant convinced President Johnson that by convicting Confederate leaders of treason that it would make them martyrs. Several decades later, it happened anyway with the erection of monuments making the traitors look like heroes.