Jeffress actually said, “I’m afraid it will cause a civil war-like fracture from which our country will never heal.”
By Monday, #CivilWarSignUp and #CivilWar2 were in the top trending hashtags on Twitter.
Historian Kevin M. Levin joked he was getting ready for a second Civil War with two of his colleagues: Princeton University’s Kevin M. Kruse and Grand View University’s Kevin Gannon.
Others, like White House antagonist George Conway and activist Brittany Packnett, volunteered what they would bring to a “Civil War potluck.”
Another historian, Georgetown University’s Adam Rothman, reminded everyone that even before Trump became president, he had a history of invoking the Civil War inaccurately.
As the New York Times reported in 2015, between the 14th and 15th holes at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Trump installed a flagpole with a plaque reading:
“Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot. The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as ‘The River of Blood.’ It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River! — Donald John Trump”
Three local historians, however, told the Times the story wasn’t accurate.
“No. Uh-uh. No way. Nothing like that ever happened there,” said Richard Gillespie of the Mosby Heritage Area Association.
“How would they know that? Were they there?” then-candidate Trump responded.
This isn’t even the first time Civil War rhetoric has launched a million joke tweets. In July 2018, #SecondCivilWarLetters satirized conspiracy theorists Alex Jones’s baseless claim that Democrats planned to launch a second domestic rebellion on July 4.
This time, though, it was the commander in chief invoking the language of insurrection, so not everyone got the joke.
Approximately 620,000 soldiers died during the American Civil War, according to the American Battlefield Trust. That’s a little fewer than the number killed in all other conflicts in U.S. history combined.
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