It was the winter of 1864 when the devil went down to Georgia. William Tecumseh Sherman issued special field order no. 120 which commanded his soldiers to forage liberally. The 60,000 man army would forcefully live off the people of the South; foragers rode off in all directions looking for loot. According to Sherman’s own estimates, his armies seized over 5,000 horses, 4,000 mules and 13,000 head of cattle, while confiscating 9.5 million pounds of corn and 10.5 million pounds of livestock fodder.
Unfortunately, there was much more involved than an entire army stealing food from homesteads. A scorched earth policy existed to ensure military, as well as, industrial targets, infrastructure and civilian property were destroyed to disrupt the Confederacy’s economy, transportation networks and ability to wage war. Sherman decided that the time had come to widen the pain with what he called the hard hand of war to include Southern civilians. In the same way he later targeted Indian villages- Southern towns, cities and homesteads were laid waste. The horses, cows, pigs and chickens were stolen while Southerners found their homesteads, barns and fields completely devastated and burned to the ground.
Originally planted for livestock, northerners considered black-eyed peas, often called field or cow peas, as not fit for human consumption. Since the Union Army already stole all the livestock, there was no need to take the time nor trouble to destroy the animal food. As Sherman’s troops stole or laid waste to all other crops, luck had it that complete fields of black-eyed peas were left standing. The little black-eyed pea soon became a crucial staple for Southerners to survive.
So this is how the Southern Tradition began. Every New Year’s Eve our people still eat a healthy dose of black-eyed peas for good luck…and to always remember.
A basic part of being human is to have a culture and people, an identity. Without identity, one would just be a sad hedonistic worker unit with no past, no future and no reason to live beyond personal pleasure. White folks, particularly Southerners are forbidden an identity in the modern West. As a consequence, our societies are being taken worldwide by the forces of globalism. The basics of decency is to love who you are, love the way God created you….and to love your people!