J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “Cherokee”

The South is Coming Unhinged

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I wanted to share a letter I recently read. It’s crazy how an irrational wave of political correctness has taken over the South. Here is the letter. Please share what you think.

Cultural Marxism

Cultural Marxism has gone too far. Not only in regards to Confederate statues & monuments but, even those to the Founding Fathers, Christopher Columbus & now the Cherokee Chief Stand Watie in Oklahoma City, Ok.

This city is changing the names of three schools named for Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Stand Watie. All three men were Confederate generals during the War Between The States is the reason for these name changes. Never once have those practicing political correctness mentioned that those who served in the Confederacy did many good things before & after the war that merit statues & memorials to those deeds alone.
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Stand Watie was a Chief of the Cherokee tribe & fought for the Confederacy because he thought he could get a better deal & treatment for his people than they had received under the government of the United States, as did other tribes. Because he served in the Confederate army for 4 years the Oklahoma City school board over looks his other accomplishments & no longer wants one of their schools named for him.

As long as this school has been named for Stand Watie did the school board wake up one day & decide that because he had been a Confederate general that he was not worthy of remembering as a Chief of the Cherokee tribe or do they just hate Native Americans too?
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The same holds true for many others who had served in the Confederacy. Are they not worth remembering for all their other worthy contributions to the United States? This cultural cleansing of historical American figures needs to stop & all their contributions remembered be they perceived as good or bad. Removing any statue or monument of America’s historical icons leads this country a step closer to an identity crisis & national suicide.

The ultimate goal of groups like Antifa is to replace all of America’s history & form of government & to erect statues & monuments of their preferred hero` Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, etc.

Billy E. Price
Ashville Alabama
cscitizen@windstream.net

OKCPS votes to change names of three schools named after Confederate generals
http://okcfox.com/news/local/okcps-votes-to-change-names-of-three-schools-named-after-confederate-generals

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“Wherever there has been great suffering, people are always seeing strange things.”

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(Ghostly apparitions on the Chickamauga battlefield. Photo courtesy of Danial Druey.)

The Battle of Chickamauga was a costly one. On September 19 – 20, 1863, approximately 35,000 men were killed, wounded, or missing. It was considered a Confederate victory because the Rebels halted the Federal advance. Chickamauga, meaning “River of Death” in Cherokee, lived up to its name. Not surprisingly, the site of the battle in Georgia is reportedly haunted.

In 1876, thirteen years after the battle, ex-Confederate Jim Carlock participated in a centennial celebration. While walking across the battlefield, he and his friends saw something ten feet high with a “big white head.” He said the entity appeared to be a black woman carrying a bundle of clothes on her head.

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Edward Tinney, former historian and chief ranger at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park from 1969 to 1986, said ghostly sightings are not uncommon. The most famous phantom is known as “Old Green Eyes.” This ghost takes on many different shapes, including a Confederate soldier and a green-eyed panther. Old Green Eyes was spotted soon after the battle ended when surviving soldiers saw the strange specter.

“Green Eyes is rumored to be a man who lost his head to a cannonball, frantically searching the battlefield at night for his dislocated body,” Tinney said.

According to legend, the ghost of Old Green Eyes existed years before the battle took place, possibly during the time that Native Americans lived on the land.

One night in 1976, Tinney was on the battlefield checking on camping reenactors. A man over 6 feet tall, wearing a long black duster, with stringy black, waist-length hair, walked toward him. Intimidated, Tinney crossed to the other side of the road. The man reached him and flashed a devilish grin. His dark eyes glistened. Just then, a car came down the road and the scary apparition vanished.

Another ghost appears in the form of a lady in a white wedding dress. Known as the “Lady in White,” the ghost is supposedly searching for her lover. Many visitors have reported hearing gunshots and hoof beats, or smelling the strong scent of alcohol. Reports of ghostly encounters and paranormal activities number in the hundreds.

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(Ghost horse behind reenactor. Photo courtesy of Rick Kanan.)

Several years ago, David Lester was camping on the battlefield with several other reenactors. Some of his comrades wandered over to a neighboring camp to say hello to the soldiers. They talked for several hours before returning to their camp. In the morning, they returned to the camp, only to discover that there was no sign of a campfire or any trace of human occupation. There was only undisturbed land.

(Headline quote courtesy of Edward Tinney.)

(Next up: Battle of Perryville)

Why I Write About the Civil War

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Frequently, when I’m at book signings and speaking engagements, I am asked why I chose to write about the Civil War. To me, this is one of the most captivating times in U.S. history. I was never into history when I was in school, but over the years, I have developed an interest in certain aspects of world and American history, as well as genealogy. Perhaps this is part of becoming more mature, but curiosity has compelled me to search out my ancestors and find out just where, exactly, I came from.

Doc Holliday

The same goes for writing about the War Between the States. I have always been interested in the Victorian era, especially after living in Colorado for 25 years and seeing the old mountain and mining towns that still exist. Some even have residents who live like people did in the late 1800’s. Of course, there’s Cripple Creek, Black Hawk, Central City, and Glenwood Springs, where Doc Holliday is buried. These places have always fascinated me, and they still do.

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While living in Colorado, I had the opportunity to visit Gettysburg. I had never seen a Civil War battlefield before, so when I did, you can imagine how awestruck I was. It impressed me so much that I was inspired to write my first novel, A Beckoning Hellfire. From there, the book expanded to a series. After I wrote three books in the Renegade Series, I went back and wrote the prequel, A Beautiful Glittering Lie.

A Beautiful Glittering Lie Cover Art

Now I am in the process of editing the third book in the series. I have also written a nonfiction book about Confederate warhorses. Unfortunately, the publisher for that book had to close up shop and file for bankruptcy during the same month that the book was supposed to be published. So needless to say, I am looking for a new publisher. (If you know of any, please send them my way!)

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While researching my first novel, I came upon some information about my husband’s family. After a genealogy search, we learned that his great-great grandfather was a Cherokee interpreter who fought under General Nathan Bedford Forrest. It just goes to show what you can discover when you start digging!

The Mystery Remains

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I have recently developed a profound interest in genealogy. Not just in general, but MY genealogy, to be specific. I guess this started while I was researching my Young Adult historical fiction about my hometown, Sioux City, and my great aunt. She and her husband ran a hotel downtown during Prohibition, and there are many colorful stories surrounding the place. Unfortunately, the hotel was razed in the 1960’s, but that doesn’t deter me from searching out interesting tidbits about my ancestors. It’s amazing what deep, dark secrets I’ve uncovered about my family!

My latest quandary is my great-great grandfather. He divorced Great-Great Grandma, a rare occurrence at the time, and after that, basically fell off the planet. The entire family lost contact and track of him. Some say he went to Texas, but most don’t have a clue. He is the key to my Irish ancestry, since his parents came over, but his story remains elusive for now.

After I wrote my first book about the Civil War titled A Beckoning Hellfire, my husband grew curious about his ancestors. He discovered that his great-great grandfather was a Confederate soldier who served as a Cherokee interpreter for Nathan Bedford Forrest. (Thanks to fellow Sons of Confederate Veterans member Lynn Herron for researching this!) A United Daughters of the Confederacy sister of mine recently posted that she discovered a Civil War ancestor who fought for the Union. She seemed appalled, but I think it is admirable, since men on both sides basically fought with the same valor and enthusiasm. In my opinion, there were no wrong sides in the War Between the States – just wrong governing that lead the country to such a disastrous result.

As I sit here watching a TV show about historic Scotland (my husband is a descendant), I long to find out more about my Irish clan. Maybe, someday, I’ll discover the truth.

Christmas in Alabama – 1862

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I have posted an excerpt from my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire. This is the sequel to A Beautiful Glittering Lie, and is the second part of the Renegade Series. Enjoy!

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“Here it is! Come quick!”

David sauntered across the dead grass toward his little sister. Amused by the way she was jumping up and down like a nervous flea, he couldn’t help but grin. Obviously, she was too excited to care that her petticoats were showing from under the brown coat and green calico dress she wore, or that her long auburn hair had broken free from its bondage as her bonnet slid from her head and dangled down her back.

“Which one, Josie?” he asked, stifling a snicker.

She planted her feet, and pointed to a small yellow pine near a cluster of sweet gum and ash trees. “Right here!” she exclaimed.

Glancing down at the sapling, he gave her a crooked smile. “Well, that’s a mighty fine tree, but ain’t it kinda scrawny?” He estimated the pine to be three feet tall at most.

Josie frowned at her older brother, who had one eyebrow cocked from under his slouch hat. His hands were tucked into his brown trousers, and his linen shirt hung loosely on his tall, lanky frame. Unsure as to why he appeared so skeptical, she said, “No, it’s jist right. We’ll string some corn on it, hang some nuts and berries on it, and it’ll look right smart in the corner of the front room.”

With a shrug, he said, “All right. If you reckon this is the one.”

She nodded, her bright blue eyes reflecting her elation.

David relished the moment, for he knew Christmas was her favorite holiday. He had only heightened her anticipation on the way out to the woodlot by reminding her what would happen that evening, how Santa would be stopping by later when she was sound asleep. Of course, he had no explanation as to how eight tiny reindeer could pull a sleigh all the way to Alabama. Josie promptly informed him that she wasn’t a child any longer. She was all of thirteen, and didn’t believe in those farfetched stories anymore, but he knew better. She would be lying in her bed tonight, listening and waiting.

“Well, go on now, cut it down!” Josie insisted.

He put his thumb and forefinger to his lips and gave a high, shrill whistle. Noticing how the gray sky was growing darker, he looked over at the edge of the clearing where they stood, and saw the underbrush rustle. Suddenly, two hound dogs bounded out of the trees, followed by a gangly young stallion.

“Come on, Renegade. Over here,” he called out to the colt, who responded by cantering to him.

Josie giggled at the sight. “Your dumb horse thinks he’s a dog!”

“He ain’t dumb. I’ll wager he’s a lick smarter than you are, li’l sister,” David teased.

The horse blew and stomped his front hoof.

“Why, that’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of. And not only is he dumb, he looks right silly, too. He can’t decide if he should be spotted or palomino!”

David observed his horse for a moment. Renegade’s face was piebald. His dark chestnut coat was highlighted with white spots and patches concentrating on his underbelly, and his mane and tail were light flaxen. He had white socks up to his knees. His unusual eyes were brownish green. David remembered how he had heard that a horse with strange-colored eyes like Renegade’s was considered sacred and chosen by the Cherokee Indians. Several people had noticed the strange coincidence, and his other sister, Rena, also frequently commented that he and his horse had the same colored eyes.

“I reckon he knows what he is,” David remarked. “Besides, he’s unusual, and that makes him unique.”

“Oh, he’s unique all right,” Josie said, giggling again. She pulled her hair back from her face and replaced her bonnet.

David untied a saw from a leather strap attached to Renegade’s saddle. He knelt down, quickly sawed through the little tree’s trunk, picked it up, and tied it across the saddle’s seat. His two black and tan dogs sniffed around the tree’s sawed off stump. Suddenly, they both lifted their noses into the air with their ears pricked. They bolted across the open clearing, baying at an unseen curiosity as theydisappeared into the woods.

“Caleb! Si!” David hollered after the two hounds. “Well, there they go,” he observed wryly. “All right, Renegade, take it on home.” He patted his horse on the shoulder.

Renegade nickered softly, shook his head, and trotted off in the same direction as the two hounds.

Josie gasped. “Look, David! It’s startin’ to snow!” She tilted her head back and stuck out her tongue, trying to catch snowflakes on it.

He chuckled.

“Come on, you do it, too,” she coaxed him.

He obliged his little sister by imitating her.

Josie laughed, spinning around with her arms extended while snow fell silently down around them.

“Oh!” David clasped his hand to his face. “One fell in my eye!”

Josie giggled.

He couldn’t help but smile, although he was careful not to let her see, and snorted to cover up his delight. “Well, I’m right glad you think it’s so funny.” He looked at her, trying to keep a straight face. “Come on, Josie girl. We’d best be gittin’ on back.”

He allowed her to go ahead of him as they started on the bridle path that cut through the woods.

“Let’s sing Christmas carols!” she said. “That new one we heard last year. Jingle Bells!”

“You start,” he prompted.

“Dashin’ through the snow …”

He joined in. Their voices grew stronger in unison.

“In a one-horse open sleigh …”

They came to an empty field, and trudged through, stepping over mud puddles while they continued singing.

“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way …”

Their house stood quaintly at the far end of the field. Smoke circled from its two chimneys, dissolving into the gray sky. The sweet smell of burning hickory reached out, inviting them closer. From a distance, the structure appeared to be two separate cabins sitting side by side, but upon closer observation, one could see that they were connected by a covered breezeway. Each section contained two rooms and a fireplace. A wide flat porch on the front of the split log building served as an entryway. The tin roof, which seemed to expel heat in the summertime, also managed to repel snow during winter months.

The cold, damp air encroached upon brother and sister. As they sang, their breath escaped, floated out across the fields, and vanished in phantom gusts.

“Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!”

On the last note, Josie’s voice jumped an octave. They laughed at their grand finale and walked around to the front of the house, where Renegade was waiting patiently for the tree to be removed from his saddle. A buckskin horse stood beside him.

“Whose horse is that?” Josie asked.

“It looks like Bud Samuels’ horse.”

David and Josie looked at each other, wide-eyed. “Pa!” they both exclaimed.

Josie sprang onto the porch, burst through the front door, and went inside while David untied the small yellow pine. He set it aside, pulled the saddle from Renegade’s back, and removed his bridle.

“Go on into the barn, Renie,” he said. “Or you’ll be one big ole snowball in a minute.”

The colt blew, and trotted around the side of the house.

Confederate Flag Banned (Here We Go Again)

Last week,  attorneys representing seven Lawrence County high school students filed a lawsuit against the district after they were suspended in October for displaying the Confederate flag at the homecoming parade. Most of them were wearing T-shirts adorned with the flag. Several black students complained.

“Don’t hate me because I’m black. I won’t hate you because you’re white. We ought to be able to get along and that is digging in old wounds, making people upset,” said African-American Barry Brackins.

The school superintendent was quoted as saying, “I hope that in the future we can help them understand what this means and use this as a learning experience, that this is not just a flag. That it is hurtful to some of those around them.”

This story seems typical of the ignorance displayed by today’s politically correct, except that this time, the students are fighting back by suing the school district. Because some of them are of Cherokee heritage, they are receiving attention by filing a lawsuit to remove the Confederate flag ban from Lawrence County schools. The plaintiffs claim that the school district is violating their civil and constitutional rights, and that the “X” on the Confederate flag is a religious symbol, used on the St. Andrews Cross. Therefore, the school district is denying them of their religious beliefs.

To learn more about this interesting event, visit:

http://www.unitednativeamerica.com/issues/flag.html

Battle of Pea Ridge

Over the weekend, my husband and I traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This happened after we had to change our plans. Our original destination was Destin, Florida, but because of the tropical storm, we wisely decided that going north would be more fun. In the process, we discovered a Civil War battlefield that we hadn’t seen before.

The Battle of Pea Ridge took place early on in the war, March 7-8, 1862, and was instigated by Union General Samuel Curtis, who thought that waging a winter battle would disable the Confederates. The battle was one of the few where Confederate forces outnumbered Union troops, and where Cherokee Indians fought (on the Rebel side). Fortunately for Curtis, his opponent was General Earl Van Dorn, who was more concerned with glorifying himself than looking after his soldiers. Van Dorn had his troops leave behind essential food, water, and ammunition, and march 60 miles, in three days, in the cold, which most were unaccustomed to. In an attempt to flank the Yankees, Van Dorn was surprised when another division of artillery attacked. He was forced to retreat. This resulted in a Union victory, and allowed the Yankees to secure Missouri. Van Dorn lost 3000 on the march, and 1400 in the battle.

Next year will be the 150th anniversary of the battle, and the National Park Service is preparing for the event. Normally, Pea Ridge reenactments attract about 200 participants, but next year promises to be much larger. The battlefield is beautifully maintained, and the highlight is the Elkhorn Tavern. Even though the present building is a reproduction of the original, it is attached to the original chimneys, and stands on the original foundation. The battlefield is located near Garfield, Arkansas.

(Photos to Follow)

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