Report from Atlanta 3
I went to Milledgeville yesterday for Georgia’s secession reenactment–exactly 150 years ago plus three days. Drove the old 3/4-ton, ’79 Chev. pick-up because my wife, Janet, was using our VW. The steering on the truck is a little squirrelly and I’ve got a coolant leak at a freeze plug located right behind a motor mount, but I made it there and back with a $50 fill-up for gas.
Among the Confederate groups there for the march, I was part of the League of the South. Many thanks to Ed Wolfe for getting the LOS contingent together with flags for the march. From the Old Governor’s Mansion to the Old State House we marched, a bunch of guys and some gals in groups that looked like 1860. Lots of flags were there, but the battle flag was preeminent. I was marching along with a most interesting man, whose name escapes me, who is writing a book on some aspect of southern history. My conversation with him was so focused that I remember nothing of the short march to the Old State House. He did say something that I would like to relate. In the course of talking about the current relationship of the sexes and the fact that modern woman increasingly gives her allegiance to government/business rather than father or husband, he said, "You have to remember that for long ages it was woman’s duty to cook breakfast for the man who had killed her husband the day before." A powerful concept, succinctly phrased!
But all is not lost. Let me digress to relate my experience in talking to a 14-year-old girl at the Georgia-Right-to-Life March in Atlanta last Friday. I was holding the battle flag and she a graphic picture of an abortion. Her dad was there and he had all his kids holding signs. Her innocence is what astounded me. In the presence of such I can only be reverent. We talked of children and babies and family and the respect that she held for her father was on her sleeve. Her face was all innocence, no guile nor guilt, on the verge of womanhood. In her presence, a man must be ennobled. To defend such innocence, as our Confederate forefathers did, I would give utterly everything. I congratulated her father on raising such a fine daughter and wondered at the beautiful lily arisen from the swamp of our society.
Anyway, back to Milledgeville. Arriving at the State House, we filled it to capacity along with those who were already there. I stood against the back wall in the balcony, but had a great view. Actors took the roles of Governor Brown, Toombs, Cobb, Stephens, and another Georgia legislator I can’t remember. They read the exact speeches that they gave 150 years ago. Here’s the critic in me: It was good, but it wasn’t great considering the tumult of the debate was heard in nearby churches at the time. The audience was admonished to keep quiet, and we did. I think our free expression should have been part of the performance though, letting "Governor Brown" gavel us back to order. Also, this is my personal admonition to mothers (another attendee disagreed on this point): "Please remove your crying children from the audience. It breaks the spell." Oh, and only one cell phone went off which was pretty good considering all the folks in attendance. The words of the speeches themselves were stirring and the delivery added to the impact. I was ready to hurrah a number of times, but restrained myself.
A tense moment for many arrived before the performance when we were asked to rise and say the "Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag." The balcony folks distinctly heard someone say, "About face." My sentiments exactly. I was already standing, but I stood silently as did those near me. After the performance, when we had sung Dixie and let out a few rebel yells, I hollered, "Let’s do it again!" to a firm "Amen!" on the other side of the balcony.
Maybe most folks attend these events for benign historical interest; I attend because I think they set the pattern for what we need to do today. I carried a protest sign yesterday at the march in Milledgeville; it was the same one I had carried the day before at the Right-to-Life march in Atlanta. My protest sign made the case that abortion in America is all we need to know on the question of secession. If abortion were the only reason to leave the Union, it would be enough. As free men, our forefathers started this battle. Now as free men, let us finish it.
From an Atlanta Rebel Alan Keck
Report From Atlanta 3
Report from Atlanta 3