J.D.R. Hawkins

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

Archive for the tag “Tennessee”

Dishonoring Memphis’ History

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Memphis just can’t leave well enough alone. In 2013, the city council voted to change the names of three parks in the city, specifically Forrest Park, Confederate Park, and Jefferson Davis Park, to names more politically correct and anti-Confederate. It’s astonishing to me how some Southern cities like New Orleans, Charlottesville, Dallas, and of course, Memphis, want to disregard their history. Not only that, but some members of the city council want to move General Forrest and his wife’s bodies from Forrest Park (they are now buried beneath the statue of the general on King Philip) and move them to Elmwood Cemetery. There is a reason General Forrest and his wife were moved to Forrest Park from Elmwood Cemetery in 1905: out of enormous admiration and respect. Now the city wants to disregard this and display flagrant disrespect.

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MEMPHIS CHAMBER OPPOSES MONUMENTS

The Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce is mobilizing support for Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s request for a State waiver to allow the City to remove the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in violation of State Law.

In advance of the Oct. 13 meeting on the Tennessee Historical Commission, where Strickland will make his case, the chamber’s board of directors has drafted a letter “in behalf of the business community.”

The letter calls the statue of the Confederate general, “one of several divisive symbols that hamper our city’s efforts to attract and retain top talent for the skilled workforce that is critical to our success.”

The Chairman of the Historical Commission has told Mayor Strickland that the Commission will not hear the city’s request for a waiver at the Oct. 13 meeting in Athens, Tennessee.

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(Courtesy Dixie Heritage Newsletter, Oct. 6, 2017 ed.)

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Stranger Things

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I started watching the series, Stranger Things, on Netflix the other night, and then got to thinking. There is nothing stranger than what is going on in our country right now. I am referring to all the blatant disregard toward American history, and more specifically, toward Confederate history. Monuments are being targeted, whereas last year, it was the Confederate battle flag that was under attack. Now, the statues are supposedly “racist,” and are being accused of displaying “white supremacy.” I have yet to figure out how some people associate these terms with Confederate soldiers’ statues.  The monuments were primarily placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the early 1900’s, and I seriously doubt those ladies purchased them to make racist statements. No, funds were raised to erect the monuments in honor of their lost loved ones and their beloved generals. Those soldiers were not racist. They fought to preserve their homes, and many gave their lives in doing so. In retaliation, the UDC is now being called an extension of the KKK. Absurd!

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The latest insanity is the cancellation of an annual reenactment at the Manassas battlefield this weekend. Today, the Charlottesville, Virginia, city council had statues of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson covered with black tarps, as if that will accomplish anything. And earlier this week, a forum was held in Oxford, Mississippi to discuss the Confederate monument. The forum was not advertised. One woman in attendance complained about the statue of Robert E. Lee in front of City Hall. However, the statue is actually that of William Faulkner.

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These idiots don’t even know what they are protesting. Their ignorance is appalling. To claim that every Confederate soldier fought for white supremacy and was a racist is like saying they all fought to preserve slavery. So not true! This foolish misconception and misrepresentation is leading to more destruction and causing deeper rifts, and the amount of taxpayers’ money being used to move the monuments is enormous. In Memphis, it is estimated that it will cost the city around $7-800,000 to move the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. It’s hard to justify that tremendous expense when the city is drowning in debt, teeming with corruption, and has one of the highest crime rates in the country. When taken to a vote, the majority of citizens do not want the statues removed. Somehow, stupidity reigns supreme.

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The Haunting of the Perryville Battlefield

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Most people wouldn’t think of Perryville, Kentucky as being one of the most haunted places in the country. But on October 8, 1862, a terrible tragedy took place there that forever left an imprint on the land. Union and Confederate troops clashed for several hours, leaving approximately 7,600 young soldiers either, wounded, dead, or missing. The nearby Chaplin River ran red with blood from the fallen. The battle decided the fate of the state, and although the battle was a tactical victory for the Confederates, the Union army received enough reinforcements to force Confederate General Braxton Bragg back into Tennessee. His army would never again enter Kentucky. Because of this, the Federals had the opportunity to properly bury their dead. The Confederates, however, were unceremoniously thrown into mass graves and haphazardly left in unmarked plots on the battlefield.

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(Photo courtesy of Steve Stanely)

It isn’t surprising, then, that countless visitors to the battlefield have witnesses ghostly figures wandering the grassy fields, sometimes in broad daylight. Many reported seeing full-bodied apparitions marching across the fields, and have heard the deep percussion of heavy artillery and cannon fire echoing across the rolling hills. Disembodied voices have been captured on audio, responding to questions with intelligent responses that were indicative of 1862.

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Not only is the battlefield haunted, but so is the nearby Dye House, which served as a makeshift hospital after the battle. The structure witnessed hundreds of emergency surgeries, amputations, and painful, gruesome deaths. So much blood was spilled on the floors that, to this day, has been impossible to remove.  People have heard footsteps descend the stairs, and doors open and close by themselves. Recordings have been made where ghostly voices claim to be Civil War doctors.

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Joni House, the park’s preservation and program coordinator, has also witnessed strange occurrences. “I’m in my office and I hear people talking to me and nobody else is in the building. Or I come in here and see things that have happened in the museum. There’s no real explanation for why a mannequin’s head has been pulled off and is now in the middle of the floor.”

(The Perryville Battlefield was one of the Civil War Trust’s 10 most endangered battlefields in 2008.)

Stay tuned: on Halloween – It isn’t a battlefield but it’s still very scary.

More Political Correctness

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Yesterday, it was announced that the chancellor of Vanderbilt University will erase more Southern history. This time, the attack is on an old building on campus that has the word “Confederate” embossed onto it. According to Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos (who is not Southern and does not have any Southern roots), removing the words “Confederate Memorial Hall” from a residence hall would inspire diversity and reduce racial inequality. Actually, what it will do is create more unnecessary political correctness.

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It is interesting that Vanderbilt acquires so much funding from taxpayers, and yet, somehow sees fit to destroy history without their consent or even knowledge. Zeppos seems to think changing the name is not rewriting history. Except that it is.

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“Since I came in 1987,” said Zeppos, “that building has been a symbol of our own history and the country’s history of racism, of slavery, and of segregation.”

Really? All that from one word? What about Southern heritage, pride, defense of one’s own home, and prosperity? And who exactly doesn’t feel welcome because of a name on an old building? A very small minority, if that? I have to wonder.

“…I am happy to announce, continued Zeppos, “that the pediment will be removed.”

Using a word like “pediment” is a sure indication of Zeppos anti-Southern sentiments. Like so many others driven by political correctness these days, Chancellor Zeppos obviously has not taken many history classes. Instead of changing the name, which would cost thousands of dollars, the building should be used as a learning tool. After all, this is an academic institution of higher learning, is it not? Erasing history is the biggest mistake anyone can make. And doing away with the name is offensive.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K00M1EP8h-s

 

 

Guns, Flags and Bibles

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I saw this article a few days ago about a guy who owns a gun shop in Tennessee, and thought I should share. He is going against the current wave of political correctness sweeping the country right now. Here’s the article:

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In the Age of Obama political correctness has been placed on hyperdrive, but a growing mass of citizenry is rejecting it out of hand and going to great lengths in which to do so.

This rejection is epitomized by a gun shop in Oakland, Tenn., which is handing out Bibles and your choice of an American or Confederate flag with every purchase.

As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Big Bang Guns is making the offer to every customer who walks in the door. Located just outside of Memphis, the small gun shop (which offers its products online too, by the way) says its promotion is scheduled to run through July 14.

When the shop was asked why the promotion, manager Tony Tavares said, “Why not?”

“It’s pretty patriotic to offer both and a Bible as well,” he told the WFB. “It’s freedom of speech with some religion to go along with it.”

Cue the PC Left’s outrage machine.

So far, customers have really taken to the offer and have responded very positively.

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John McFarland, the shop owner, said, “The customers like it. We sell everything from $200 guns all the way up to $20,000 Barretts. It’s picked up really well.”

The shop owner said he’s sick of seeing American traditions and values attacked so he created the promotion as a way to support those who believe as he does.

“I’m at a point in my life where I’m tired of everybody making me feel bad for what my moral beliefs are,” he told the Free Beacon. “I believe there’s history behind the rebel flag, I believe there’s history behind the American flag, I believe in the right to bear arms, and I believe in freedom of religion.”

“I just wanted to let everybody know we believe in that and we support everybody who believes in that,” he added.

“We’re just trying to promote American freedoms,” McFarland said. “I’m pretty outspoken politically and I believe everybody has their rights. I believe if you’re an atheist you have that right. I believe if you believe in God you have that right. And I believe if you believe in the Confederate flag, you believe in the history behind it, you have the right to have it. And that’s where we stand and I’ll stand behind that.”

“To me, that’s more important than any amount of business.”

And to tens of millions of other Americans as well.

(Article Courtesy of Southern Heritage News & Views, June 3, 2016 ed.)

 

Memorial at Shiloh

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Last Saturday, several SCV and UDC members traveled to Shiloh National Military Park to honor fallen Mississippians. A beautiful statue was erected last fall after years of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ efforts to save up enough money. Mississippi was the only state without a statue at Shiloh up until last year.

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Many participated in a special remembrance of the soldiers who are buried in a trench somewhere on the battlefield. (The marker was placed near the estimated trench.) Some of my United Daughters of the Confederacy sisters were also there to honor their ancestors.

The Battle of Shiloh took place in Hardin County, Tennessee on April 6-7, 1862. Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was killed during the battle. Casualties numbered nearly 24,000. It was the bloodiest American battle up until that date. The battle was a loss for the Confederates, and opened the door for Grant to continue his rampage through Mississippi.

(Photos Courtesy of Linda McGan)

Confederate Graves Discovered

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Last week, archaeologist Bill Meacham discovered the graves of nearly 40 Confederate soldiers in the Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Mr. Meacham has been searching for these graves for almost 16 years, and has spent thousands of dollars trying to locate them.

During the Civil War, Hopkinsville had an encampment of around 2,000 soldiers primarily from Tennessee and Kentucky. Several hundred died of disease, as was the case with most encampments during the war. However, no one knew where these men were buried.

Historian William Turner said that an old ledger was discovered in a roll top desk drawer at a local bank in 1989. “That was a tremendous find, except you’ve got to know where to start,” said Turner.

After several attempts, no graves were discovered. That is, until recently.

“We found totally about 40, but in the book, even row one has 21 graves in it, and we’ve only got 3 recorded. Row 2 has 27 or 28 and we got 11,” said Meacham.

During the dig, one metal coffin with a nameplate was discovered.

“It says William H Pate, found him in the census. He was 16-years-old when he died. He was from the 3rd regiment, Tippah County Mississippi,” said Meacham.

An old gunpowder storage building was also discovered. The remains will be reburied and given a special marker. And the area within the cemetery will be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

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.

Appeals Court Keeps Alive Confederate Parks Renaming Challenge

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Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue and burial site are in Health Sciences Park, formerly named for the Confederate general. A state appeals court has kept alive the lawsuit over the renaming of that park and two others.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has revived a legal challenge to the city’s renaming of three Confederate-themed parks with a Friday, Aug. 21, ruling that keeps only one of the 15 plaintiffs intact.

The case involves a lawsuit filed in 2013 following the Memphis City Council’s decision to rename Forrest Park, Jefferson Davis Park and Confederate Park. Shelby County Chancellor Kenny W. Armstrong dismissed the suit, ruling that the plaintiffs had not established that they had a standing in the case.

But in its Friday ruling, the appeals court said the Sons of Confederate Veterans Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp #215 does have standing and remanded the case back to Shelby County Chancery Court.

The opinion, written by Appeals Court Judge Brandon O. Gibson, upheld Armstrong’s dismissal of the 14 other plaintiffs, including descendants of Forrest, Sons of Confederate Veterans International and the group Citizens to Save Our Parks Inc.

The distinction, according to the ruling, is that the Forrest camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans “suffered a distinct and palpable injury not common to the citizenry at large” when the council voted to change the name of the park honoring the Confederate general, slave trader and Ku Klux Klan grand wizard. It’s new name is Health Sciences Park.

Gibson’s opinion specifically points to the chapter’s funding and installation of a 10-foot-long, 3,000-pound concrete marker at the edge of the park bearing the name “Forrest Park.”

The city’s removal of the marker was a pivotal moment that triggered a series of events, including a state law that bars renaming or removing monuments from parks that memorialize veterans and the wars they’ve served in.

Gibson also cited the SCV camp’s work in maintaining the park.

In a footnote, Gibson clarifies that the organization has standing to challenge the council’s action in renaming all three parks. But it notes the Chancery Court’s options include declaring the resolution invalid only in the case of the former Forrest Park, declaring the renaming of all three parks invalid, or upholding the renamings.

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/news/2015/aug/22/appeals-court-keeps-alive-confederate-parks-renaming-challenge/

(Article written by Bill Dries. Courtesy of The Southern Comfort, Sons of Confederate Veterans Private Samuel A. Hughey Camp #1452, Herando, MS, September 2015. Vol 39, Issue 9)

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.

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