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Full Version: Excellent article by Gary Potter on Catholicism and the South
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From the article, regarding Blessed Pius IX and Jeff Davis:

Quote:The correspondence between the Confederate President and Ven. Pope Pius IX was not voluminous, but illuminating. It began when Union agents set about trying to recruit mercenaries from such European Catholic lands as Poland and Ireland. President Davis wrote to Pius, appealing to him to exercise the powers of his office to frustrate the recruiting effort. At his end, Pius communicated to the relevant bishops his concern that the recruitment risked internationalizing the American conflict. Moreover, when he responded directly to Davis he took care to address him as: “His Excellency, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.”

Some historians have tried to contend otherwise, as if Vatican diplomacy, famous for its punctiliousness, suddenly went slipshod, but for Pius so to address Davis constituted recognition of the existence of the C.S.A. So would the pontiff’s later agreement to receive a personal envoy, an ambassador, of President Davis.
.What an excellent article. I got a chance to see the crown of thorns Pope Pius IX made for Davis, in New Orleans many years ago. Mrs. Davis's devotion to her husband is nothing short of heroic, especially exemplified during Mr. Davis's imprisonment after the war. Her and their children suffered greatly after the war. People would steal buttons off the children's clothes as mementos. They would tell the children horrendous lies about their father to scare them. Mrs. Davis explained to her children that being the First family was and honor and a responsibility- that it was a "crown of thorns". (her actual words)
A song to listen to while reading the article! Listen carefully to the chorus line, 'Down with the Eagle and up with the Cross!'


"The total U.S. Catholic population in 1790 was probably less than 5%.  The population was about 3,918,000 in 1790.

In the late 17th century, French expeditions established a foothold on the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. The French colony of Louisiana. After 1763 Louisiana came under the control of Spain, which sent some Canary Islanders, called Isleños around 1780. Several thousand French-speaking refugees from the region of Acadia (now Nova Scotia, Canada) made their way to Louisiana following British expulsion; settling largely in the southwestern Louisiana region now called Acadiana. Their descendants came to be called Cajuns and still dominate the coastal areas.

The first significant Catholic immigration started in the mid 1840s, shifting the population from about 95% Protestant down to about 90% by 1850.  The population was about 23,054,000 in 1850.

Irish and German Catholic immigration was opposed in the 1850s by the Nativist/Know Nothing movement, originating in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party.

European immigrants joined the Union Army in large numbers, including 177,000 born in Germany and 144,000 born in Ireland. Many Germans could see the parallel between slavery and serfdom in the old fatherland.

After 1870 steam powered larger and faster ships, with lower fares. Meanwhile farming improvements in southern and eastern Europe created surplus populations that needed to move on. As usual, young people age 15 to 30 predominated among the newcomers. This wave of migration, which constituted the third episode in the history of U.S. immigration, could better be referred to as a flood of immigrants, as nearly 25 million Europeans made the voyage"


So the Catholic population in the South at the time of the Civil War was no doubt less than 5% and probably much less than that in the Confederate Army.

The bulk of the Catholic population in the South at the time of the Civil War were probably Cajuns living in the swamps of Louisiana (with some in Florida after the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 as well as the Mexican Cession of 1847).

The following is from this page on 'Louisiana in the American Civil War'.

"Antebellum Louisiana was a leading slave state, where enslaved Africans and African Americans comprised the majority of the population through the eighteenth century. By 1860 47% of the population was enslaved. The state also had one of the largest free black populations in the United States. Much of the white population, particularly in the cities, supported states rights and slavery, while pockets of support for the Federal government existed in the more rural areas. (possibly Cajun Catholics)

Louisiana seceded from the Union on January 26, 1861. New Orleans, Louisiana, the largest city in the entire South, was strategically important as a port city due to its location along the Mississippi River and its access to the Gulf of Mexico, and the United States War Department very early on planned on its capture. It was taken by Federal troops on April 25, 1862. Because a large part of the population had Union sympathies (or compatible commercial interests), the Federal government took the unusual step of designating the areas of Louisiana then under Federal control as a state within the Union, with its own elected representatives to the U.S. Congress. For the latter part of the war, both the Union and the Confederacy recognized their own distinct Louisiana governors."

I don't understand this glorifying the Civil War, especially for a Catholic.   
I don't understand this glorifying the Civil War, especially for a Catholic.

The US was the only country to go to war over slavery every other country settled the issue without bloodshed. 2.5% of slaves from Africa came to the US, again 97.5% of slaves were feed worldwide without civil wars.  Given the depression in the industrialized North precipitate by the Panic of 1857, 75% of the Federal revenues were coming from the South Lincoln could not let the South go off on it's own.

Every Southern bishop stood by the Confederacy. Not a one defected or left because the fight for Southern Independence had so little to do with slavery.  The history has been twisted just like the history of the Crusades has been twoted  by history revisionist.
Thanks for the article, Jovan. It is what I have believed to be: the Northern Puritans saw the natural law of the South and its inclinations to Catholicism and exercised their considerable wealth and influence to destroy Her.

Here is a blog that some here will like(and some will definitely loathe).