Dixie Heritage News – December 22, 2017
BREAKING NEWS – WAR DECLARED IN TENNESSEE
Survey results are in regarding the city of Savannah’s Confederate monument at Forsyth Park.
Nearly 5,000 residents and nonresidents responded to the survey – and the majority don’t want any changes.
State law prevents the monument from being moved, but the city has considered adding “interpretative displays,” despite the fact that an overwhelming number of survey respondents opposed the idea, to “tell a more complete picture of the civil war.”
Dr. Jamal Toure, a member of the city’s Confederate Monument Task Force, will make recommendations to the City Council on how or if the monument should be modified.
MORE VIRGINIA SCHOOLS TO BE RENAMED
Petersburg City Public Schools is holding a series of meetings to discuss changing the names of three schools in the district. The schools which are considering name changes are A.P. Hill Elementary, Robert E. Lee Elementary and J.E.B. Stuart Elementary. All three schools were named in the early 1900s.
The School Board is bringing the question up at its next meeting, which is being held Jan. 3, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. in the School Board meeting room located at 255 South Boulevard East in Petersburg.
Three additional meetings will be held in the week that follows. The school board invites families, teachers, school employees, partners and members of the public to give their input on the matter.
Those meetings will be held at the following times and places:
J.E.B Stuart Elementary, Jan. 4, 6-7 p.m.
A.P. Hill Elementary, Jan. 8, 6-7 p.m.
Robert E. Lee Elementary, Jan. 9, 6-7 p.m.
A public hearing is also being held at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in the cafeteria of Petersburg High School. Anyone who wishes to speak at the public hearing can sign up at the meeting and speak at maximum for 3 minutes.
The school system is also making a survey available online and in print to get public input.nA link to the survey will be available at www.petersburg.k12.va.us starting at 6 a.m. Jan. 4. The online survey will remain available through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 17
The paper version of the survey will be available at the school-based meetings and in the lobby of the Administrative Offices of Petersburg City Public Schools. Members of the public may pick up copies of the paper survey at the Administrative Offices between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays Jan. 4-17, but not Jan. 15, because schools will be closed.
The survey asks two questions about each of the three schools:
Should the school’s name be changed?
If the name is changed, what should the new name be? Please state your reason for this suggestion.
Ultimately, the Petersburg School Board says that while they value the public input, it is their responsibility to choose the names of schools.
A vote on whether or not to change the names of the schools will be held at the Feb. 7 School Board meeting.
Any changes in school names would not take effect until July 1, 2018.
DALLAS SCHOOL NAME CHANGES FINALIZED
The DISD Board of Trustees voted Thursday night on name changes for three elementary schools bearing the names of Confederate leaders.
Back in September, right around the time the Robert E. Lee Statue was being removed from its 81-year-old location in Oak Lawn, the DISD Trustees voted unanimously to proceed with the name changes for three schools, giving each school organization the task of coming up with a recommended name.
The vote approved three names changes:
Robert E Lee Elementary, named after the Civil War general, will change to Geneva Heights Elementary. Geneva Heights is the name of the original plot of land on which the school sits.
Stonewall Jackson Elementary, named after the Civil War general and Robert E Lee’s right-hand man, will change to Mockingbird Elementary because it sits on E. Mockingbird Lane.
And William L. Cabell Elementary, named after the Confederate military officer and former Dallas mayor, will change to Chapel Hill Preparatory.
But back at Robert E. Lee, parents are less than unanimously accepting the decision.
“I liked it. I’ve been here so many years, my grandkids are coming here, I think it should stay like that. It doesn’t bother me,” said Robert E. Lee Elementary School parent Manuel Rodriguez.
“Well, I don’t like it because it’s a history name for the school. But if they need to change, I can do nothing about it,” said parent Mayra Nagera.
Tiffany Arnold, who attended Stonewall Jackson and now sends her kids to Robert E. Lee, doesn’t like the idea at all. “When I found out they were changing the name I was devastated. I was like ‘Wow, that’s insane. That’s insane to me,'” Arnold said.
The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees moved forward and committed three Confederate names to history.
OKLAHOMA SCHOOL BOARD TO VOTERS – SCREW YOU
Although hundreds of people voted to keep the names of Confederate leaders on three elementary schools, Oklahoma City School Board members said Friday it won’t matter.
“It doesn’t mean anything. The decision’s made, and the names are going to be changed,” member Mark Mann said.
In an online survey 1,100 people weighed in on possible school names in south Oklahoma City.
The names of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Issac Stand Watie received the most votes with more than 300 each, additionally, military heroes, civic leaders, presidents, entertainers and astronauts were among those represented in the survey.
Wayne Dempsey (182 votes) was a minister, youth mentor and former Oklahoma City school board member. Clara Luper (107) was a civil rights activist and educator in Oklahoma City. Wilma Mankiller (29) was the first woman to be principal chief of the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation. Ralph Ellison (23) was a poet and novelist who played football at Douglass High School.
Board member Charles Henry said one of the schools should be named after Luper, who was black, and the other two also should be named after minorities. “Oklahoma City Public Schools is predominantly Hispanic,” he said. “I think we should have a school named after someone who is Hispanic or Asian. I think it sends a good message when we show diversity in our school system.”
Former U.S. President Barack Obama received 120 votes. Mayor Mick Cornett, Thunder star Russell Westbrook and President Donald Trump also received votes, survey data provided by Oklahoma City Public Schools shows.
The school board voted unanimously in October to rename schools after Superintendent Aurora Lora said that former Confederates did not “reflect our values in 2017.”
Committees charged with making recommendations to Lora will sort through the names when they convene in January, district spokeswoman Beth Harrison said.
“The committees will be charged with narrowing the suggestions to a few finalists which will then go to the students to research and select their favorites,” she said.
The board is expected to vote on replacement names in late May.
WISCONSIN SCHOOL DECIDES NOT TO BAN FLAG
The Elcho School District will not make any changes to its school dress code, based off of legal advice following a controversy this past September over a student wearing a Confederate Flag sweater.
Superintendent Bill Fisher read the attorney’s opinion to the board and public at the School Board meeting Monday night.
The attorney, Dean Dietrich with Ruder Ware out of Wausau, made the decision based on case law that applied to circumstances of the school district. There were four questions regarding the controversy, which he said focused around what the state of law is regarding the balance of free speech rights and the rights of a school district.
The public was allowed to speak prior to the school board meeting, but only those fighting for a change to the policy were in attendance. Their leader said she plans to continue fighting the decision, hoping that all “hate symbols” will be banned in schools.
WILL FLORIDA MONUMENT BE RESTORED?
The Confederate monument that broke during its removal from downtown Bradenton in August will cost roughly $41,500 to repair, according to an analysis submitted to Manatee County last week. Just who will foot the bill has yet to be decided. But before those repairs can even begin, the 8.5-ton granite obelisk will need to find a home.
“We’ll put in an RFP (request for proposal) to repair the monument in place,” said county spokesman Nick Azzara. “You lower your risks and your costs if repairs take place on location, and we’re searching for a site that’s appropriate and respectful. We just don’t have a whole lot of public space available.”
The longstanding monument was descended upon by local protesters last summer following clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia. After emotional calls for the removal of the 15-foot obelisk in Bradenton began, commissioners voted 4-3 on Aug. 22 to take it down.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 24, the monument fell and broke apart during its $12,500 disassembly. The 93-year-old marker has been sitting in county storage ever since, with a promise to restore the historic legacy to a public venue. However, officials with Veterans Monument Park on Bradenton’s riverfront quickly rejected the idea of hosting the potentially incendiary touchstone.
Gamble Plantation Historic State Park in nearby Ellenton has been mentioned as the most logical venue. “We already have Confederate memorials here, but that’s a decision that will be made in Tallahassee, not here,” said park manager Kevin Kiser. The only surviving plantation in southern Florida, the Gamble estate is believed to have given brief shelter to Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin before he fled the country.
Donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1924, the monument awaits a location verdict in the next legislative session. Sources of repair funding have yet to be decided. The cost analysis was conducted by the Karins Engineering Group Inc.
NON-HERITAGE NEWS AFFECTING THE SOUTHLAND
Judicial Watch announced that it filed a federal lawsuit against Los Angeles County and the State of California over their failure to clean their voter rolls and to produce election-related records as required by the federal National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) (Judicial Watch, Inc.et al. v. Dean C. Logan, et al. (No. 2:17-cv-08948)).
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California’s Western Division on behalf of Judicial Watch, Election Integrity Project California, Inc., and Wolfgang Kupka, Rhue Guyant, Jerry Griffin, and Delores M. Mars, who are lawfully registered voters in Los Angeles County.
Judicial Watch argues that the State of California and a number of its counties, including the county of Los Angeles, have registration rates exceeding 100%. This is due in part to the high numbers of inactive registrations that are still carried on California’s voter rolls.
Although these inactive registrations should be removed after a statutory waiting period consisting of two general federal elections, California officials are simply refusing to do so. Judicial Watch explains that, even though a registration is officially designated as “inactive,” it may still be voted on election day and is still on the official voter registration list.
TRUTH FINALLY COMING OUT
Neo-Nazi White Supremacists and Confederate Heritage supporters may be vindicated with regards to the Charlottesville rally.
And on Monday the city’s black police chief was forced to resign for mismanaging the situation and creating a crisis that resulted in a serious car accident and a helicopter crash.
He is the first casualty in the wake of the independent report, by law firm Hunton & Williams, on the rally, which blamed the entire thing on the city (read the .pdf here). With as hard as the report was on him, it’s shocking it took this long.
However, we don’t really believe that the Chief made the decision to create the chaos. We thinks it was the mayor, Michael Signer. But as these things go, resignations often start at the bottom and work their way up the chain of command. Firing the Chief in no way indicates that the Mayor is off the hook.
Charlottesville Police Chief Alfred Thomas resigned abruptly Monday, just 17 days after the release of a report that was highly critical of the police department’s handling of a white-supremacist rally in August that turned deadly in the Virginia city.
The 207-page report prepared by Timothy Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, concluded that the department was ill-prepared, lacked proper training and had a flawed plan for managing the Unite the Right rally that drew hundreds of neo-Nazis and white nationalists to Charlottesville on Aug. 12 and resulted in violent clashes with counterprotesters. The lack of adequate preparation led to “disastrous results,” Heaphy wrote.
They didn’t need “proper training.” They had an army that day. We all saw it. The National Guard was there with armored trucks.
All they needed to do was keep a line of distance between demonstrators and protesters. And the only conceivable reason they didn’t do that was because they wanted chaos and death.
Thomas, an Air Force veteran who previously was chief of police in Lexington, Va., had led the Charlottesville agency since May 2016. He was the city’s first black police chief.
The review of the August rally confirmed widespread observations that police did not intervene to break up brawls on downtown streets. The passive stance, the report said, “represents a tremendous tactical failure that has real and lasting consequences.”
Heaphy said he heard from a couple of officers in the police command center that day who said Thomas told officers, “Let them fight for a little. It will make it easier to declare an unlawful assembly.”
And why was he planning to declare unlawful assembly?
Surely it wasn’t his own plan.
Somebody wanted dead bodies at this thing. They wanted to be able to declare that there was a “premeditated right-wing terrorist attack,” just as Mayor Signer had claimed before the narrative fell apart.
By the way, the Charlottesville independent report does not mention “terrorism” at all. Which is frustrating, because the fact that it was called “terrorism” by the Mayor reveals the fact that he was involved in a conspiracy to hoax Nazi criminality.
Several hours after the rally had been declared an unlawful assembly, prosecutors say, Nazi sympathizer James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters on Fourth Street NE, killing Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, and injuring 35 others. Fields was charged with first-degree murder last week.
In the report, Heaphy called Heyer’s death “the most tragic manifestation of the failure to protect public safety after the event” and pointed to police decisions that left the section of the city where Heyer was struck abandoned by law enforcement.
The damage done to that beautiful vehicle is on the city’s hands.
The police purposefully pulled out of the crucial center of the city, after forcing nationalists into a direct confrontation with anarchists, and left an extremely violent scene that resulted in, among other things, James Fields getting his car attacked with bats and then crashing it.
The report, commissioned by the city, was also critical of Thomas’s cooperation with the independent investigation, saying he attempted to limit access to information.
“Chief Thomas’s attempts to influence our review illustrate a deeper issue within CPD – a fear of retribution for criticism,” the report stated. “Many officers with whom we spoke expressed concern that their truthful provision of critical information about the protest events would result in retaliation from Chief Thomas.”
And that implies criminality. More than that, it implies conspiracy.
Surely, the Chief did not act on his own, because of a personal plan to create chaos in the city. That is not believable.
So who was responsible?
This independent report is more than enough reason for the Department of Justice to open an investigation into the city itself. That is the obvious next step. By resigning, the Police Chief is admitting guilt – but guilt for what? You don’t tell your officers “let them fight” and then try to cover that up by attempting to silence the officers out of incompetence. That is “malice.”
So investigate, JEFF!
Given the fact that President Trump was blamed for this, he himself has a vested interest in seeing the City government go down. So following this first high-profile resignation, it is hopeful that the President or the Attorney General will get a DoJ investigation into the conspiracy that caused the chaos of August 12th.
Alabama: It’s not technically over
The Alabama Secretary of State is still counting the votes:
December 18, 2017 – MONTGOMERY – Pursuant to Act 2016-450, regarding the identification and recordation of write-in votes, the Secretary of State has determined that the individual write-in votes cast in the U.S. Senate Election will be identified and documented for the results of Special General Election on December 12, 2017.
This decision on whether to count these ballots was made based on Act 2016-450 which provides, upon a determination that the number of write-in votes for Office of United States Senator is greater than or equal to the difference in votes between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes for the Office of United State Senator.
The difference, as of today, in the two candidates total votes received is 20,634 and the total number of write-in votes cast was 22,814. Upon the introduction of UOCAVA ballots and approved provisional ballots, these numbers are subject to change.
Upon completion of the count of write-in votes, the write-in votes are to be included in each county’s final canvass of results that will be certified to the Secretary of State on December 22, 2017.
Now, if these were normal times, it would not matter. However, the probability that there was significant voter fraud involved in creating that 20,634-vote lead for Jones may – MAY – turn out to be relevant here. Or it may not. But the point is, Moore has not conceded and the Secretary of State has not certified the election, and this may be for a good reason.
There does seem to be something strange going on with the Alabama election count, and it won’t surprise me if we see more weirdness out of there before it’s finally over and someone is seated in the U.S. Senate.
VIDEO SHOWS HOW ELECTIONS ARE STOLEN
We received the following eMail from Missouri:
Blacks will continue to steal elections until white people volunteer to become Republican Election Judges or Republican Supervisors in so-called “all-black” wards and precincts. That’s what it will take to stop massive black voter fraud.
When whites refuse to serve in all-black areas, the County Election Board appoints blacks to fulfill the positions of Republican election officials, based exclusively on their word that they are “Republicans.” In most cases, there are nothing but black Democrats representing both parties, and that’s where the mischief begins.
This is why these Wards and Precincts are ALWAYS the last to report their vote: They count the votes first, to see how many votes they need to forge, and report their results only after this task is finished. Since there are no true Republicans present, no one is the least bit concerned about being exposed and prosecuted.
I know whereof I speak: After our critical and hotly-contested 1991 St. Louis School Board Election was stolen by blacks in north St. Louis, a handwriting expert identified five black election officials who confessed under oath to the FBI that they forged the signatures of thousands of black voters who never appeared at the polls.
They were never prosecuted by the cowards and traitors in George H.W. Bush’s Justice Department, nor by the State of Missouri or the St. Louis Circuit Attorney. The only “punishment” they received was they were banished from working for the St. Louis Board of Elections.
Had whites done this to blacks, each violation by a white election judge would have been prosecuted under The Voting Rights Act, and offenders would have faced prison sentences longer than those faced by most murderers. In addition, they would have been subject to fines that would have financially destroyed them.
Yes, I DID volunteer to serve as a Republican Election Official in all-blacks wards and precincts at least a half-dozen times. In fact, I used to tell the Republican Commissioner to “send me so far north (our all-black area) that I’ll need a dog-sled to get there…”
Here’s another consideration that Judge Roy Moore should pursue: The “Democrat” Party spends a great deal of time registering voters, because it cannot forge the signatures of individuals who are not registered to vote. What we found in St. Louis was that a great many people were fraudulently registered to vote from vacant lots, burned-out buildings and abandoned buildings. These are going to be people who were fraudulently “voted.”
Earl Holt III
Council of Conservative Citizens
Can You Hear the Bells?
by James S. Robinson
James S. Robbins is senior fellow in national-security affairs at the American Foreign Policy Council and a trustee for the Leaders for Liberty Foundation.
Can You Hear the Bells? Christmas 1864.
In the winter of 1864, an unexpected sense of optimism and good cheer settled on the northern states. The Civil War continued, but the news from the fronts was promising, and hope flourished that with spring the end would come and peace would return. New Yorkers in particular were in a festive frame of mind, of a like unseen since the before the war began. People skated in Central Park, and rode sleighs through the snowy fields. They stopped at shops for warm cider, confections, nuts and dried fruits. Florists, three dozen shops on Broadway alone, sold fragrant blooms that struck a cheerful note of defiance to the winter chill.
The city was prospering. Stores were decked out in seasonal decorations, and newspapers were packed with advertisements. Shoppers crowded Hinrichs at Broadway and Liberty in search of toys from all over the country and the world. The shelves were filled with dolls, tea-sets, menageries; toy guns, swords and drums; baseball gear, and sets for the latest craze sweeping England, croquet. Down the street, shops with music boxes and watches, fashionable clothing, or goods made from the wondrous invention India rubber. At Tiffany’s, one diamond necklace sold for $15,000 – around $175,000 in today’s currency. More affordable pieces could be found across the street at Ball and Black’s. The most sought-after gift for young women that season was a sewing machine, of which many models were available. For men, cigars and hats were perennial favorites. Yet, the war was not far from people’s minds. At Williams’s Fine Arts near Franklin Street, prints and paintings of scenes of battle and camp life, “an appropriate present for the wife of some brave soldier in the field,” the Times noted.
The holiday fell on a Sunday that year; the churches were splendidly decked out, and attendance much higher than usual. The bells at Old Trinity Church rang with familiar seasonal tunes. The following day was declared a civic holiday so that those who thought it improper to celebrate on the Sabbath could hold parties and banquets. At the New York State Soldier’s Home on Howard Street a feast was laid on for 800 servicemen, and a volunteer chorus regaled them with song. Vice Admiral Farragut stopped by for a visit and was met with wild cheers. “This noble effort,” one writer observed, “to add to the comfort and entertainment of those who have sacrificed so much for our sakes is beyond praise.”
Eight hundred miles south, General William Techumseh Sherman was hosting a Christmas banquet for his staff. Days earlier his Army had completed its legendary – or infamous – march from Atlanta to the sea, arriving at Savannah, Georgia, and taking the town intact. Sherman dashed off a brief note to President Lincoln, which arrived in Washington on Christmas Eve: “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.” The terse message was reprinted in newspapers across the country. After a Christmas reception at the White House on the 26th, the president wrote back, “My Dear General Sherman: Many, many thanks for your Christmas gift, the capture of Savannah. … But what next?”
By then the next steps had already been taken. At 10 A.M. on Christmas morning, Union ironclad gunboats approached Fort Fisher, an earthen-walled Confederate stronghold guarding the approaches to Wilmington, North Carolina, the last substantial seaport still in rebel hands. A bombardment commenced, continuing a process begun the day before, but doing only minor damage to Ft. Fisher, which was called the Gibraltar of the south. The Union ships made several attempts to force the inlet but were beaten back by Confederate battery fire. After four hours’ exchanging shells, steamships began landing Union infantry along the beach three miles to the north of the fort. Men in blue swarmed onto the shore and began moving steadily southward along the sandy spit towards the earthworks and parapets. They soon came under warm fire from Confederate sharpshooters. The landings continued for hours and soon the Union forces had occupied the unfinished outer works of the fort. Defenders poured from the sally ports to occupy rifle pits, and rebel cannon opened with grape shot. In the heat of battle, the fort’s flagpole was sundered, and the flag fell into enemy hands. The telegraph went silent at 4 P.M. – the last dispatch received by Confederate General Braxton Bragg read, “A large body of the enemy have landed near the fort, deploying as skirmishers. May be able to carry me by storm. Do the best I can.”
Bragg began to make contingency plans for the collapse of the entire coastal defensive system. But the next day the fort was still in Confederate hands. Fighting had continued until nightfall, and the defenders stood at their posts through the darkness, in a torrential rain. Dawn found the Union troops departed, leaving behind discarded equipment and freshly dug graves along the stretch of sand. More than 30 Medals of Honor were awarded to Union soldiers, sailors, and Marines in that two-day engagement. For the weary southern defenders, the most valued reward they received was a reprieve from the fighting.
For Catherine Anne Edmondston of Halifax County, North Carolina, Christmas brought a general muster of the remaining men who could bear arms, and her husband left to join the militia. “A sad Christmas!” she wrote to her diary, “In place of Santa Claus bringing me anything he takes my husband from me for an indefinite time. When will we see a ‘Merry’ one? ‘Merry Christmas’ it seems a mockery thus to salute one in this war torn country. How can we be ‘merry’ with one’s best & dearest gone, exposed to Yankee bullets, to danger & to sudden death!”
Further north outside the Confederate capital of Richmond, the Union siege was in its sixth month. Cold weather earlier in the week had given way to sunshine and some thaw. Among the besiegers, the mood was light; “jollity and mirth were the order of the day,” a correspondent with the Union V Corps wrote. Camps were decorated with green boughs and planted shrubs. The men feasted on abundant quantities of roast turkeys and chickens, exceeding even the feasts of the vaunted Soldier’s Thanksgiving a month prior. Morale was elevated and the men were hopeful. There were rumors that the Confederates would sue for peace, and they could return home with the spring. “This is Christmas,” trooper J. C. Williams wrote, “and my mind wanders back to that home made lonesome by my absence, while far away from the peace and quietude of civil life to undergo the hardships of camp, and maybe the battlefield. I think of the many lives that are endangered, and hope that the time will soon come when peace, with its innumerable blessings, shall once more restore our country to happiness and prosperity.”
Inside rebels lines the mood was less hopeful. General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was anchored around the capital, holding firm but immobilized. Richmond’s defenders hung on tenaciously, knowing their position was perilous, but having no other alternative. “Christmas came while we were fighting famine within and Grant without our lines,” Rebel General John Brown Gordon noted. “To meet either was a serious problem.” The single railroad line sustaining the city could not bring in sufficient supplies; civilian and soldier alike suffered the hardships. There was no talk of feasts, or of gifts. The Confederacy was everywhere in need. “The brave fellows at the front, however, knew that their friends at home would gladly send them the last pound of sugar in the pantry, and the last turkey or chicken from the barnyard,” Gordon noted. “So they facetiously wished each other ‘Merry Christmas!’ as they dined on their wretched fare.” At Gordon’s headquarters, his wife prepared a pot of coffee from the small remaining supply from a bag she had been nursing through the four years of war. “She could scarcely have made an announcement more grateful to a hungry Confederate,” he wrote “Coffee – genuine coffee!” Gordon and his staff savored the aroma while they waited to fill their cups, their concerns momentarily and fully dispelled by the unexpected holiday cheer.
In Richmond, Confederate War Department Clerk John Beauchamp Jones noted in his diary, “We have quite a merry Christmas in the family; and a compact that no unpleasant word shall be uttered.” His wife and children spent the afternoon making pies from the stores they had saved for the occasion. Elsewhere in the city the mood was mixed, defiant exuberance and unconcealed pessimism. “There is much jollity and some drunkenness in the streets, notwithstanding the enemy’s pickets are within an hour’s march of the city. A large number of the croaking inhabitants censure the President for our many misfortunes, and openly declare in favor of Lee as Dictator. … it is still said they invested the President with extraordinary powers, in secret session. I am not quite sure this is so.”
Even if President Jefferson Davis had been granted extraordinary powers, there was little more he could have been doing. His country was under assault on every front, and each passing day its prospects for survival became more doubtful. On Christmas morning Davis walked with his family to St. Paul’s Church for services, then distributed toys and apples to the children at the Episcopalian Orphanage. It was a pleasant day, free from politics, free from war, free from the fears of the inevitable. That evening the Davis’ hosted a “starvation party” at a friend’s house, with music and dancing but no food or drink. Young people crowded the rooms, and officers rode in from the siege lines to partake in the festivities. They “rode into town with their long cavalry boots pulled well up over their knees, but splashed up their waists, put up their horses and rushed to the places where their dress uniform suits had been left for safekeeping,” Mrs. Davis wrote. “They very soon emerged, however, in full toggery and entered into the pleasures of their dance with the bright-eyed girls, who many of them were fragile as fairies, but worked like peasants for their home and country. … So, in the interchange of the courtesies and charities of life, to which we could not add its comforts and pleasures, passed the last Christmas in the Confederate mansion.”
Far to the north in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reflected on the day, and Christmas days past. The season had held no joy for him for the past three years – not because of the war, but the tragic death of his wife Fanny in the summer of 1861. She was the love of his life, and they were splendidly happy, but on July 9, 1861, while sealing a letter with paraffin, Fanny dropped the match on her summer dress, which burst into flames. Henry heard her screams and ran to her, trying to help smother the fire and burning himself severely in the process. Fanny died the next day. In December 1862, Henry noted in his journal, “A Merry Christmas’ say the children, but that is no more from me.” He spent December 1863 helping nurse his son’s wounds; Lt. Charles Appleton Longfellow, who had run away to fight for the Union, was severely wounded at the battle of New Hope Church, Virginia, and Henry had rushed south to bring him home. The following spring, Longfellow’s lifelong friend Nathaniel Hawthorne passed away unexpectedly n his sleep. These had been difficult times for the poet; but sometimes it is only through great adversity that the promise of hope makes itself felt most strongly. Longfellow began to write:
I heard the bells on Christmas Day, Their old familiar carols play. And wild and sweet the words repeat Of ‘peace on earth, good will to men.’ I thought how as that day had come The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along th’ unbroken song Of ‘peace on earth, good will to men.’ And in despair I bowed my head: “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song Of ‘peace on earth, good will to men.’ ” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men. Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, good will to men. The poem was put to music by Jean Baptiste Calkin in 1872, and became the familiar carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” This year the group TrueHeart has rerecorded the song as a tribute to the men and women fighting the Global War on Terrorism. You can hear it here.
It was in 1864 as it is now, service members abroad long to join their families, and those on the home front look forward to the safe and swift return of their loved ones. The Civil War ended, as all wars must. Could this be the last holiday season of this war? It is too much to believe, though maybe not too much to hope.
BREAKING NEWS !!!
This is the reason why we are delaying the release of this issue by 8 hours as we’ve been following this BREAKING story.
The Mayor of Memphis has declared WAR on the State of Tennessee and Southern Heritage!
When Memphians woke up Wednesday, they lived in a city that owned Health Science Park and Fourth Bluff Park, and that featured prominent public statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
When they woke up Thursday morning, neither was true.
In a surprise move Wednesday evening, Memphis’s city council voted to sell the two parks to a new private nonprofit corporation that will run them. In an action that the State Legislature has already declared to be ILLEGAL, Mayor Jim Strickland signed a contract with the nonprofit, Memphis Greenspace, on Friday, and the City Council ratified it. Within minutes, Greenspace, which was incorporated in October, began removing the statues, with celebratory crowds gathering to watch, singing, “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.” The statues have been removed to a place nobody can find, according to the City’s chief legal officer.
The removal of the Forrest and Davis statues in Memphis is likely to draw legal challenges, both from the State government and from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Presumably, if the City’s sale were to be overturned in court, they could be forced to put the statues back up?Which is why we are speculating that the City of Memphis is either planning to, or already has destroyed them.
Memphis’s strategy also raises other uncomfortable questions. While the State law effectively protects monuments the City’s sale of the parks, if unchallenged, provides a means for other jurisdictions to brazenly circumvent the law.
Ideally, Memphis’s action is a declaration of war to the State governments that continue to defend Confederate monuments.
Until Next Week,
P.O. Box 618
Lowell, FL 32663