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The North Won the War by Might, But Could It Win the Argument in Court

Our society seems to enjoy reading books and watching movies with prequels and sequels. Take Star Wars, for example, and the many movies that have hit the big screen.

Star Wars had nine or more movies hit the theaters in the Sage. As the transaction between Lucas and Disney started to happen, more series were created to help fill in the gaps in character development, explaining why certain people turned to the dark side, how the Republic evolved into an Empire, and how it morphed into the New Republic and warlord factions in the galaxy.

I find Star Wars and other movies and books intriguing. I enjoy them as they provide many answers and raise more questions about the sci-fi universe. Even though it is a made-up universe, it shows how the real world works in many ways.

I hope this article will inspire the same curiosity and intriguing critical thinking as we explore the post-Civil War, also known as the War Between the States.


As the Civil War, or the War Between the States, was starting to take shape, the South separated from the North. The South formed its own government to create another country within the geographical boundaries of North America. The Southern government was modeled after the original 1787 constitution.

The War happened, and many battles and lives were lost in this tragedy.

We now fast-forward to sequels, as in the post-war effects, which leads us to wonder what happened to the government of the South.

They weren’t killed in the war, so what happened to them?

They were subjected to prison and held as traitors to the Northern government. The Northern government wanted a trial to be completed and have the Southerners hung as traitors to the country. It was more challenging than the North conceived and desired.

The Northern government, relied on might to make right.

“Might make right” or “Might is right” is an aphorism on the origin of morality, with both descriptive and prescriptive senses. Descriptively, it asserts that a society’s view of right and wrong is determined by those in power, with a meaning similar to “History is written by the victors”. That is, although all people have their personal ideas of the good, only those strong enough to overcome obstacles and enemies can put their ideas into effect, and spread their own standards to society at large. Montague defined kratocracy or kraterocracy (from the Ancient Greek: κράτος, romanized: krátos, lit. ’might; strength’) as a government based on coercive power, by those strong enough to seize control through physical violence or demagogic manipulation. (1)

Sooner or later, karma will return to those who like to rely on force and coercion to accomplish their unsound and tyrannical ways, which unfortunately will cause much misery to innocent lives.

“The doctrine that might makes right has covered the earth with misery. While it crushes the weak, it also destroys the strong. Every deceit, every cruelty, every wrong, reaches back sooner or later and crushes its author. Justice is moral health, bringing happiness, wrong is moral disease, bringing mortal death.” — John Peter Altgeld

As we notice patterns of how the government usurps power, we can relate COVID-19 to some of the same semantics and tricks used by the Northern government and our present Federal government.

As we have already established, the War Between the States, also known as the Civil War, has ended, and we are turning our attention to the Southern President (Jefferson Davis) and his administration. Davis was arrested in May 1865.

“It should be explained en passant that the work purported to be the monograph of P. C. Centz, Barrister.”

P.C. Centz Barrister is the same as B.J. Sage, who wrote the treatise The Republic of Republics or American Federal Liberty. Sage was an American lawyer who resided in England and was hired to defend Confederate President Jefferson Davis in America.

“The author is one who never held or wished for office, who belongs to no party; and who pleads to save the palladium of all his blessings-his commonwealth.”

Even though some of the northerners were crying for their form of justice, after reviewing the treatise, they were starting to discern the writing on the wall regarding President Davis’s trial.

“The following telegram to the Philadelphia Ledger, is selected to show the estimate in which the work was held by some in Washington: “A most important argument has been received by the president from London, in which are set forth the reasons why Davis cannot be convicted in any court, of the crime of treason,” &c. &c. Coneerning it, Mr. Charles O’Conor wrote the author, December 10th, 1865: “If upon the numerous points that any lawyer can readily see in the case, I had so admirably prepared and overwhelmingly conclusive a brief as the protest, my task [of defending Davis], would be slight indeed,” And the Mobile Regester noticed it as follows: “This treatise is an extraordinary work, considering that it is written by an English lawyer. It exhibits profound acquaintance with the history and philosophy of the constitution.”

The treatise is impressive for its depth of knowledge and insight into constitutional matters, especially given that it’s authored by an English lawyer. It’s always impressive when someone can combine historical understanding and philosophical depth in their writing.

“The author sent from London, in the summer of 1865, the first edition of this work, in the shape of a protest against the trial of the confederate chiefs by military commission; and an argument-which was really that of the fathers, the author merely compiling-showing that the law and the testimony were in their favor, and that they could not be convicted even by a court and jury. It was sent to all the conspicuous men in and out of the admınıstration.”

The argument demonstrates that the legal and historical evidence supports Jefferson Davis’s position and action in defense of the actions, beliefs, and direction of the Southern States and men in succeeding from the voluntary Federated Union.

The Union administration was very hostile towards the South and wanted the full measure of vengeance met upon the Southerners as their action showed how they were treating the “prisoners” of the South.

“In 1865, Andrew Johnson, filled with the motives and feelings of the war and surrounded by detectives, spies, Stantons, and Holts, believed Davis to be a traitor who sought the destruction of the government”, starved federal prisoners at Andersonville and elsewhere . . . “

The Northern hostility wanted to hang the traitors.

“It was then that he uttered the celebrated threat of “making treason odious by hanging traitors”; and for a time, even it was not contemplated, it was feared that a military commission would be used as the machinery of trial and punishment. But, as Davis and the other leading confederates were prisoners of war and protected by the jus gentium, the policy seemed to be adopted of turning them over to the civil authorities for trial-if conviction could be assured; or for another disposal, as hereafter indicated.”

Davis and all the Southerners who were prisoners of war were protected under jus gentium.

The phrase underscores the importance of international legal principles, even in the aftermath of a civil conflict. By recognizing Davis and other Confederate leaders as prisoners of war protected by jus gentium, the U.S. acknowledged their rights under international law, which influenced their treatment and the broader approach to post-war reconciliation.

(Source – jus gentium)

“The north was full of bitterness and vengeful spirit. Sentiments like the following, heard from many leaders: “Rebels have no rights but to be hung”; “The army has convicted-only execution remains.” But the soberer judgment of predominant men was more humane, and the moral sense of the country and the world favored a trial of some sort, though few comparatively could patiently contemplate the chances of acquittal.”

The Northern Administration was juggling the idea of military courts or civil trials.

“The following from the New York Times shows the prevailing views and feelings and, at the same time, the danger of losing the great principles involved. Advocating civil trial and presuming it would come, that journal said: “We have no fear that Jeff Davis will be acquitted on the merits of the case, as they will be expounded by the chief justice, who will try him. * * If Davis is convicted, the constitution, as understood by the loyal people of the land, will be vindicated, and the supremacy of the national authority forever established in law, as well as fact.””

The Union government charged Davis with treason, which involved acts against the sovereignty of the nation.

The conviction of Davis would symbolize the Union’s interpretation of their definition of upholding the U.S. Constitution, which, by their definition, the Confederacy had attempted to undermine by seceding and waging war against the Union.

The phrase underscores the idea that a conviction would reaffirm the authority of the Union government’s interpretation of the federal constitution over the states, reinforcing the principle that secession and rebellion against the Union are illegal and unconstitutional.

Convicting Jefferson Davis would powerfully affirm the northern interpretation of the Constitution and the authority of the federal government. It highlights the significance of such a conviction in solidifying the legal and factual supremacy of national authority.

But “Acquitted on the merits of the case” means being found not guilty based on the evidence and legal arguments presented during the trial, which would affirm the actions taken by the Confederacy to prove they had legal, ethical, and moral grounds to divorce themselves of the corrupted Federal government as it was overstepping the enumerated powers and limited boundaries and scope of the Orginal Intent of the Founders and Framers of the 1787 united States Constitution.

This would throw everything into a tailspin. The North won the war by might, but losing in court would do untold damage to the war and aftermath and would turn everything upside down. How far would they have to go back to right the wrongs done by corrupt politicians and their unconstitutional ways and direction?

“Some have thought, perhaps erroneously, that the president and his advisors were, by it, ınduced to pause, and convoke leading Jurisconsults, who actually met, and after much study and thought, reported that Davis must be civilly tried if at all; but that probably he could not be convicted.”

To “convoke leading Jurisconsults” means to gather or summon prominent legal experts or scholars for a specific purpose, such as seeking their advice, opinion, or expertise on legal matters. This could involve convening a meeting, conference, or consultation where these experts can discuss and analyze legal issues, provide insights, or offer guidance based on their expertise and experience in jurisprudence. Such gatherings are often valuable for decision-making processes, legal research, or resolving complex legal questions.

This suggests that if Jefferson Davis, the former President of the Confederate States of America, were to face trial, it should be in a civil court rather than a military tribunal. However, it also expresses skepticism about the likelihood of securing a conviction.

The statement reflects doubts about the ability to secure a conviction due to the complex legal issues involved, including questions about the constitutionality of secession and the specific charges of treason.

The difficulties in gathering unequivocal evidence.

  • Due Process: A civil trial would ensure that Davis received due process, a fundamental constitutional right.
  • Impartiality: Civil courts are designed to be impartial and operate under established legal precedents, which would be crucial for a fair trial.
  • Definition of Treason: Under the U.S. Constitution, treason is defined narrowly, requiring clear evidence of “levying war” against the United States or “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

The statement that Davis “must be civilly tried if at all; but that probably he could not be convicted” highlights the legal and practical challenges of prosecuting Jefferson Davis for treason.

“Among the statements on this subject, the following is selected from a most interesting letter, written in Richmond to the Norfolk Virginian, and published in 1873:

“Another event of great historical interest, in which Judge Clifford participated, was the solemn consultation of a small number of the ablest lawyers of the north, at Washington, a few months after the war, upon the momentous question as to whether the federal government should commence a criminal prosecution against Jefferson Davis for his participation and leadership in the war of secession. In this council, which was surrounded at the time with the utmost secrecy, and which has never yet been described, were U. S, attorney-general Speed, Judge Clifford, William M. Evarts, and perhaps half a dozen others, who had been selected from the whole northern profession for their legal ability and acumen; and the result of their deliberation was the sudden abandonment [of the idea of prosecution], in view of the ınsurmountable difficulties in the way of getting a final conviction, which were revealed by their pationt study of the law bearing upon the case.”

The situation where, due to significant challenges or obstacles, a decision has been made to seek advice or consultation from a select group of highly capable lawyers. This consultation aimed to assess the feasibility or likelihood of achieving a final conviction in Jefferson Davis and the Southern States Confederacy legal case despite the perceived difficulties or obstacles.

In such cases, consulting with a small number of highly skilled and experienced lawyers can provide valuable insights and perspectives on the legal complexities involved. Their expertise may help in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the case, identifying potential legal strategies, and weighing the risks and challenges associated with pursuing a final conviction.

Ultimately, this approach allows for a more informed decision-making process and helps determine the best course of action given the circumstances and constraints involved.

“Notwithstanding the “sudden abandonment’ in secret, change of intention was not allowed to transpire, and the defence were compelled to keep in readiness until 1869.”

The Union government was playing lawfare as they seemed to drop the case “without prejudice,” which means dismissing it in such a way that the plaintiff is not barred from bringing the same case to court again in the future. Essentially, it leaves the option open for the plaintiff to refile the case at a later time, should they choose to do so.

This term is often used when a case is dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiff or when a judge dismisses a case due to procedural issues, insufficient evidence, or other reasons not related to the merits of the case itself. Dismissing the case without prejudice doesn’t affect the plaintiff’s right to pursue the same claims in the future, provided they do so within the applicable statute of limitations and any other legal constraints.

“During all this pendency of the case, President Johnson and his cabinet seemed to evade a trial by Jury.'”

During all this pendency of the case refers to the period of time in which a legal case is ongoing, from its initiation until its conclusion or resolution.

During this pendency, various actions may take place, including hearings, evidence gathering, witness testimonies, legal arguments, negotiations, and court rulings. The parties involved in the case, including plaintiffs, defendants, lawyers, judges, and sometimes juries, participate in these proceedings to advance their respective positions and seek a favorable outcome.

According to B.J. Sage, Andrew Johnson, and his cabinet called for the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention in 1866 with an agenda to change the US Constitution and the Supreme Law of the Land to fit the narrative, to change it so the Union was correct in its interpretation of the US Constitution, and to make the treason charges stick on Jefferson Davis.

“But meanwhile to aim at getting the states’ supreme court to lay down a national law of treason, so as to have a national control, by a national government, of national citizens, under the penalties of national treason; thus establishing that “absolute supremacy,” of “the government” over allegiant states and citizens, which the Philadelphia convention of 1866 anticipatorily declared. Henry J. Raymond, the writer of the expression quoted above from the New York Times, was the writer of the address of the said convention.”

The 1866 Constitutional Convention refers to a significant event in American history, particularly in the context of the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. Several Southern states, including those that had seceded from the Union during the Civil War, were required to hold constitutional conventions as a condition for readmission to the Union.

These conventions were mandated by the Reconstruction Acts passed by the U.S. Congress, aimed at reshaping the political landscape of the Southern states and ensuring that they adhered to principles of racial equality and civil rights.

The 1866 Constitutional Convention in various Southern states sought to address key issues such as the rights of freed slaves, the structure of state governments, and the relationship between state and federal authority. These conventions were often contentious and reflected the broader societal tensions of the Reconstruction period.

The outcomes of these conventions varied from state to state, but they played a crucial role in shaping the political and legal landscape of the post-Civil War South and laying the groundwork for subsequent Reconstruction legislation, including the ratification of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted citizenship and equal protection under the law to all persons born or naturalized in the United States.

“In the course of time, Mr. Davis was turned over by the military to the civil authority; and, finally, under a habeas corpus, admitted to bail, with Horace Greeley, Gerrit Smith, and others as bondsmen, early in 1867; and thenceforward a show of desire and readiness to try was kept up insomuch that Mr. O’Conor did not abate his preparedness till the fall of 1868, when, on a motion to quash the indictment, the judges differed, and the case was certified up to the states’ supreme tribunal, where it was finally extinguished by President Jobnson’s amnesty proclamation, without any layıng down (or prostrating?) of the law by the said tribunal.”

Johnson and his cabinet, the heart of the Union government, were still conspiring and maneuvering to make the charges stick on Jefferson and the Southern Confederacy government and their supposed treason.

“To some, the prosecution seemed aiming to get around trial by jury and before the supreme court in order to merge the case in the aforesaid “pre-arranged” decision; but the author opines with diffidence, that Seward and Chase secretly managed to prevent that predetermined decree, which necessarily and fatally impugned statehood: they, if we judge from their history and declarations, being nothing if not devotees of the sovereignty of the American states.”

Efforts were made to prevent a predetermined decision that would have had significant implications for statehood or state rights. This might have involved clandestine or behind-the-scenes actions aimed at influencing the outcome of a decision or decree that was seen as detrimental to the status or rights of states within the Union.

The strategic maneuvering to sway decision-makers or alter the course of events. The secrecy of these actions suggests that they were conducted discreetly, perhaps due to the sensitive nature of the issue or the political dynamics at play.

It’s not uncommon for political or legal decisions to be influenced by various actors seeking to advance their interests or protect their rights, particularly in moments of significant change or controversy such as during the Reconstruction period in the United States.

“These great men knew that commonwealths (New York and Ohio for example), were the citizens thereof, and that the fealty of the citizens was the life of the state, and that a national law of treason on national citizens, was absolute destruction of what they themselves called “indestructible states.” Hence it is presumable that they were opposed to the above-mentioned design of the president.”

There were people who saw through Johnson’s agenda and were still fighting for State Rights behind the scenes and in the courts.

The Union was reaching far and wide when it was saying by cheating it could pack the court and make the treasonous charges stick.

“Underwood . . . had said to a committee of congress, in reply to an inquiry if a jury could be packed-“It would be difficult, but it could be done. I could pack a jury to convict. I know very earnest, ardent union men in Vırginia.” Such sentiments did not, however, long or widely prevail; and in December 1868, the New York Tribune doubted if it was ever possible to convict Davis, “unless the jury had been packed,’ and “every democrat excluded.”

They were willing to cheat in order to convict men of charges that weren’t really there. They were doing everything they could to find ways to show the War Between the States was Unconstitutional, but everywhere they turned it seemed the South was Right and what they did was legal, ethical, and moral.

“Providence, time, the better feelings of men, their sober second thoughts, and a myriad of moral forces, ever co-work to preserve these glorious commonwealths; and they now stand in serene and silent, majesty, observed of every eye, and invoking the loyalty of every heart Seward and Chase both, after the war, with emphasis proclaimed the states to be ” free,” “stubborn,” ” indestructible.””

It was proclaimed that the states had survived intact.

“Their life is independent; above “government”; and they will not “down” at the bidding of murderous usurpation, for their being is that of the people.; and the self-defence of both-the first law of nature – is identical. Perverters should cease to “wreck themselves against necessity,” for, as long as freedom is a part of God’s smile on this continent, the state will be the political form of the people. Bryant’s apostrophe to liberty applies to the commonwealth.”

At that moment in time, State’s’s Rights, even though they lost the Civil War, were winning battles in the courts post-war conflict.

Ultimately, the Union government dropped the case against Davis, and he was released on bail in 1867. He was never convicted of any crimes related to his leadership of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis demanded a trial because he knew he was innocent of treason, and if he went to court, he would be able to prove the legal basis for their succession from the Union based on the Declaration of Independence and the united States Constitution.

The North won the war by might, but couldn’t legally win the battle in court.

But it was short-lived as the Civil War changed the United States Constitution and government from a voluntary Republic of Republics to an involuntary, indivisible “New Nation” that continues to evolve into what it is today: an Olgiarch statist corporate government.

In the next article, The Sovereignty of the People Set Up the US Constitution to Govern the Government; Today, It’s Been Flipped. We will show evidence that B.J. Sage had for Jefferson Davis’s trial and show how the current government is violating the sovereignty of the People by way of overreaching the compact of the Independent States and the Feds overstepping their enumerated limited powers and changing the structure of government and the Constitution to enslave Americans.

(1) Might Makes Right


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