J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “General Nathan Bedford Forrest”

The Fight for Heritage Continues

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Last week, the Sons of Confederate Veterans won a major victory in Memphis, Tennessee, after a judge decided that they had the right to sue the city for changing the names of three parks. Forrest Park, named after Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, was the primary subject of the suit, because the SCV had placed a large sign at the edge of the park designating it as “Forrest Park.” The city removed the sign without notice, and changed the name of the park to Health Sciences Park. They also did away with Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park, renaming them as well.

The ruling is a tremendous victory for Constitutional rights. To remove all things “Confederate” is a criminal offense and should not be taken lightly. Confederate veterans were designated as American veterans way back in 1906, when a Congressional Act was passed as a move toward reconciliation. To destroy or mutilate any veteran’s grave or marker is a Federal offense and should be treated accordingly.

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This goes hand in hand with trying to do away with the Confederate battle flag – the flag for which these veterans so gallantly fought. It is disrespectful to omit the flag from public view because it is misconceived by a few. This has happened at Washington and Lee University. In the chapel where General Robert E. Lee is interred, Confederate flags have been removed. The Confederate battle flag that flew above the Confederate soldier’s monument on the State Capitol grounds in Columbia, South Carolina received national attention a couple of months ago after a massacre took place by a lunatic at a church, and was also removed.

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Several schools around the country are debating whether or not to remove the flag. Although a small town in Virginia decided to retain the flag and their mascot name, “the Rebels,” and Gettysburg, South Dakota declined removing the Confederate battle flag from their town’s logo and police cars, other towns have caved under the pressure brought on by hate groups such as the NAACP. In Kentucky, the debate will continue later this month when board members discuss replacing the flag that was previously flying over an elementary school in Floyd County but was taken down.

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Controversy Sparks Rallies and Radical Behavior

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Over the weekend, numerous rallies were held in support of the Confederate battle flag. One such rally took place in Hernando, Mississippi, on the grounds of the town’s historic courthouse. Hundreds were in attendance to show their support, and display their pride in their Southern history and heritage.

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But that wasn’t all that happened last weekend. Vandals took it upon themselves to paint graffiti on the monument of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis, Tennessee, by writing “Black Lives Matter” on the base. This desecration is completely unacceptable, as the monument is located directly above the graves of the general and his wife in what was previously known as Forrest Park.

In 1906, the first of several laws was passed, declaring that Confederate veterans are American veterans. That means that, by desecrating Civil War (specifically Confederate) headstones, monuments, etc., it is the same as vandalizing those from WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm, and other conflicts. To intentionally attack Confederate graves specifically is a rancid display of racism.

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The media is certainly feeding fuel to the fire. In a recently published cartoon, the artist depicts all that is wrong with America today. But the problem is that the Confederate flag is front and center, drawing the most attention, with the word “racism” plastered beneath it. For those who aren’t learned in Civil War history, most would assume the flag represents this deplorable act. However, the flag isn’t behaving in a racist way. On the contrary, those who are painting “Black Lives Matter” on everything Confederate are the true bigots.

The War against the Flag Rages On (But You Can Win!)

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Since I posted on my blog last week, numerous developments have occurred in regard to the desecration of the Confederate battle flag. Not only have several big box stores vowed to discontinue sales, but Apple has taken down some of their games as well. Since then, sales of the Confederate battle flag have doubled. TV Land has stopped showing The Dukes of Hazzard, and rumor has it that Facebook will not allow postings of the Confederate battle flag (we’ll see if this gets posted).

NASCAR C.E.O. Brian France said that the flag is an “offensive and divisive symbol.” However, he somewhat changed his stance. Instead of banning the flag from races, he has offered a flag exchange, and is asking that spectators fly the Stars and Stripes instead of the Confederate battle flag this weekend in honor of Independence Day.

Ft. Sumpter has furled its Confederate battle flags, and all Confederate flags are being removed from the entrance to Stone Mountain. Some nut is even circulating a petition to have Stone Mountain blown up.

Baltimore’s mayor and city council have taken up a proposal to remove three Confederate monuments in the city. And Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton wants something even worse. He has announced a proposal to have the bodies of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife exhumed from Forrest Park (recently renamed Health Sciences Park by Wharton and the city council), and moved to Elmwood Cemetery. He would also like for the statue of General Forrest to be removed from the park. There is no word as to where the city would move it, or if they plan on moving the body of General Forrest’s grandson, who is also buried at the park. Absurdity reigns.

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The Ku Klux Klan has stated that they will march in South Carolina later this month to protest the removal of the Confederate battle flag. In my opinion, this is derogatory to the cause. Because of them and their racist views, the Confederate battle flag has been associated with them. However, most of us know this is not the case.

It’s bad representation like this that gives fuel to the fire of anti-Confederate nonsense. In a recent poll taken by USA TODAY/Suffolk University, the country is split on whether or not to do away with the flag. According to the poll, 42% believe it represents Southern history and heritage, while 42% believe the flag is racist and should be removed. More than half of whites who were polled believe the assault in South Carolina was an isolated incident committed by one lone gunman, and one-third say “it reflects a larger problem of racism in America.” However, among African Americans, three out of four say the battle flag reflects racism.

I would say that hypersensitivity is part of the problem. Why is it that three-fourths of blacks view the flag as racist? I’m sure part of the reason is because of the way the flag, and white Southerners in general, are portrayed by the media. Here in Sioux Falls, a local television station broadcast this story:

“A Sioux Falls couple feuding with their neighbors is flying the Confederate flag, hoping to offend people they don’t like who live close by. What would you think if this was your neighbor?”

Really? I find the wording to be offensive and misleading. We don’t know what their feud is about, or if there even is a feud. Is that really why they are flying the flag, or are they just proud to be from the South? Who knows, but in this case, it’s bad reporting. The cartoon below, which recently appeared in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, is also very offensive. Associating the Confederate battle flag with ISIS is horrendous, to say the least.

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So what happens now? Will the flag continue to vanish, whether we like it or not? Why don’t we get a say in the matter? Why haven’t these issues been put to a vote? And what will this lead to? Will all books with the flag on the cover, historical or otherwise, be banned? Will all movies be banned as well? Gone with the Wind is already under scrutiny, and you can forget about ever seeing The Birth of a Nation on TNT again.

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In honor of the Confederate battle flag and those who fought under it, I am running a contest throughout the month of July. Please send an email to jdrhawkins@gmail.com stating what the flag means to you, and you will be entered to win both of the first two books in the Renegade Series – A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire. It’s my intention to show the Confederate flag in a positive light and educate people about the Southern cause, so please help spread the word.

Confederate Cavalry

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Over one hundred and fifty years ago, two significant Civil War cavalry battles took place. The first was on June 9, 1863, and was the largest cavalry battle to take place in North America. The battle near Brandy Station, Virginia, occurred after Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s troopers were surprised by Union General David McMurtrie Gregg’s cavalry forces. The battle was a turning point for the Confederate cavalry. Up until then, they were far superior to the Federal cavalry, but the Yankees improved their skills, and by 1863, became worthy foes. This event lead up to the Battle of Gettysburg. My novel, A Beckoning Hellfire, describes the Battle of Brandy Station, and explains the events the happened before and after, such as three Grand Reviews that General Stuart staged prior to the attack.

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Another cavalry battle took place at Brice’s Crossroads, Mississippi, on June 10, 1864, where the infamous General Nathan Bedford Forrest outflanked and outmaneuvered his foe. The battle marked another significant achievement in the Western Theatre, as General Forrest outfoxed nearly twice as many opponents. His genius has been a subject of study ever since.

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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.

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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.

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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!

This Saturday, a special monument dedication will take place in Gadsden, Alabama. At a crossing on Black Creek, Emma Sansom assisted Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest in capturing Union Colonel Streight. The ceremony will take place at 2:00. Information about this event follows. (Special thanks to Rodney Pitts for supplying this information.)
 
EMMA SANSOM & GENERAL FORREST MARKER DEDICATION My name is Freda Mincey, director of the Alabama Flaggers along with Confederate Rebel Burton. Our group was formed to preserve our Southern Heritage, our monuments, markers, cemeteries, and the right to fly our flags. We strive to keep Southern Heritage alive, to preserve it for the next generations, before it becomes dust in the wind. When I realized the Emma Sansom and General Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument by Black Creek had disappeared, I went to Honorable Mayor Guyton and City Council, and with their approval and help was able to have the monument replaced at the Black Creek crossing. This is the area where Emma Sansom helped General Forrest by leading him to a low-area in the creek where he could cross, enabling him to capture Union Col. Streight, outside of Cedar Bluff, Georgia, saving the supply lines to Middle Tennessee. The historical event will have SCV Camps from Alabama and Tennessee, the UDC, and the Order of Confederate Rose, which will unveil the monument followed by a salute. We will be in period dress. We are asking everyone to try to attend and support our Heritage and witness a historical event. Thank you, and God Bless, Freda Mincey Director of the Alabama Flaggers. The Dedication of the Emma Sansom General Forrest Monument will take place Saturday November 23rd at 2:00 in Gadsden near the Emma Sansom Cemetery on Hwy 431, 911 Black Creek Road Gadsden Alabama. There will be SCV Camps in period clothes from Alabama and Tennessee. The UDC and Order of Confederate Rose. There will be a Historical event and Memorable to those who attend. We would be Honored to have all who can attend and support our Southern Heritage for the Next Generations. If you need to contact me for any questions my home number is256-281-6797 and my cell is 847-321-8879. Thank you and hope to see you there, Freda Mincey Director Alabama Flaggers https://www.facebook.com/events/232415346925719/

(Grand) Wizard of the Saddle?

After hearing about the Memphis City Council’s ridiculous motion to rename several parks in the city, the Ku Klux Klan has decided to take action. According to the Grand Wizard, the KKK will congregate in Forrest Park every week until the name is reverted back to its original.

The controversy was sparked when Memphis City Council members decided to rename Forrest Park, which is named after famed Civil War Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The park is on the National Register of Historic Places, and General Forrest himself, along with his wife and grandson, are buried in the park. The new name for the park will tentatively be Health Sciences Park. The same goes for Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park, which are both located on the banks of the Mississippi River. Their new names will be Memphis Park and Mississippi River Park, respectively.

City Council members wanted to rename the park because they said General Forrest was a slave trader, and was a Grand Wizard of the KKK. So much for doing their research. Although he was a slave trader prior to the war, he set his slaves free during the war, and some of his freed slaves even fought under him. He went out of his way to keep families together. He was never a Grand Wizard of the KKK, and denied being a member in public documents. He didn’t instigate the slaughter at Ft. Pillow, either, but City Council members don’t know that because they don’t do their homework. In fact, Forrest was found innocent by a Grand Jury, and the court records are available to the public. Union General William T. Sherman, who despised Forrest, even admitted that Forrest did no wrong, and therefore, could not be persecuted.

Unfortunately, the KKK has decided to get involved, and vows to stage a rally in Forrest Park every week beginning in April or May. This writer is dead-set against it, because it will only create more racial tension. The last time the Klan was in Memphis, numerous riots broke out. I’ll bet that, if General Forrest was alive to see it, he would be deeply saddened.

More on Forrest Park

Last night, the Memphis City Council held a committee meeting to decide whether to add Ida B. Wells’ name to Forrest Park. The park is named after the famous Civil War general, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Recently, the Sons of Confederate Veterans placed a large granite marker at the park, but city officials took the liberty of removing it over Christmas. Since then, the issue has become a hot topic.

City council member Myron Lowry suggested adding Wells’ name, but he was not in attendance at last night’s meeting. One city council member, however, didn’t hesitate to voice her opinion. Janis Fullilove got so riled up that she burst into tears and left the meeting.

“I can’t justify that he (Forrest) loved black people,” she told a reporter. “If I kill your mama, do I love you? If I kill your daddy, do I love you?”

Really, Ms. Fullilove? Apparently she is misinformed about General Forrest by thinking that he started the Ku Klux Klan. Lee Millar of the SCV stated as much.

“Her behavior was unfortunate,” he said. “She should listen to what people have to say.”

Fullilove has been arrested on numerous occasions for drunk driving, and still, she maintains her position on the city council. She disrupted the hearing by making faces throughout. Regardless of her absurd behavior, no resolution was agreed upon about renaming the park. City Council member Bill Boyd said that he thinks Ida B. Wells, who was a civil rights activist, should get her own park, and that the marker for Forrest Park should be replaced. 

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