Another February is here. Another Black history month is here. And
the politically correct have all the say as to who is featured during
Black History Month. Regardless of the politeness of the politically
correct censorship the censorship is still wrong. There are many
African Americans of note who do not fit in the politically correct
agenda but whose history is very rich, inspiring and untold. Such is
the case of Amos Rucker the great Atlantan.
Amos was born a slave in Elbert County, Georgia. He was a servant in
the Joseph Rucker household around the Athens, Georgia area. Joseph
Rucker was the first millionaire in Georgia. He assigned Amos to his
son Alexander Rucker. Alexander was also known as Sandy. A few years
later the South was invaded and the War Between the States begun.
Alexander was commissioned as an officer in the Confederate Army in a
Georgia infantry unit. Amos never questioned going to war with "Marse
Sandy" as he affectionately called Alexander. Amos expected to care
for Sandy, to cook his food and to prepare his uniform. The
circumstances of war dictated a new career for Amos. Amos was
standing next to Alexander while Alexander was speaking to other
Confederate soldiers near the enemy line. A shot was fired from the
Yankee line striking one of the Confederate soldiers speaking to
Alexander. The soldier fell to his death. Amos picked up the dead
soldiers gun and started firing back at the Yankees. From that moment
on he fought shoulder to shoulder with Alexander.
Amos's new career of Confederate infantry soldier would last for many
more months. The friendships he made and the respect he earned
while doing a soldier's duty would last more than his life time.
The War and Reconstruction now over Amos made his home in Atlanta. He
married and was blessed with children and grandchildren over the
years. He was also blessed by being accepted in both the Black and
White communities at that time.
Being a man of character and a good Confederate soldier he joined the
Confederate Veterans in Atlanta. He understood the Cause they fought
should never be forgotten. Amos had a special place at each veterans
meeting. He called roll. He called roll from memory. He called every
member by name and qualified each person with the word "here" or
"dead". He kept track of every member in his camp. He was known for
his great feats of memory.
Amos in his later years was interview by a Yankee journalist who
questioned him about being a slave in his younger days and about the
Rucker family who owned him. He responded in his usual pleasant
manner, "The Rucker family is my family. My grandchildren play with
their grandchildren. The Ruckers will give me anything I ask for."
Clearly it was not the answer and story the journalist was looking to
Amos Rucker never missed a Confederate Veterans meeting. He felt duty
bound to attend, call roll and fellowship. Amos felt ill one meeting
night and sent his son to the meeting with these words, "Send my love
to the boys". Amos died that night.....but not before he sent those
affectionate word to his fellow compatriots with whom he had fought
shoulder to shoulder during the War.
Amos Rucker now dead but not forgotten by his Confederate compatriots
was buried in Atlanta's Southview Cemetery. This is the same cemetery
where members of the Martin Luther King family are buried. The
Confederate Veterans bought two plots there. One now for Amos and one
later for his wife Martha. His funeral and his pallbearers read like
the Who's Who list in Atlanta....Funeral services were conducted by
Clement A. Evans of Atlanta, Confederate General . Mr Ruckers
pallbearers were Gov. Allen D. Chandler, Gen A.J.West, Judge William
Lowndes Calhoun Jr, ex Postmaster Amos Fox, Frank A. Hilburn,
Commander of Camp Walker, J. Holland and R.S.Ozburne.
Amos Rucker's estate was administered by Confederate veteran John M.
Slaton the future governor of Georgia who was known for commuting the
death sentence of Leo Frank. John Slaton and his Confederate Veterans
camp had always helped Amos. They helped him buy a house in west
Atlanta. Now they helped to bury him and take care of his family.
Amos was buried in his gray uniform wrapped in a Confederate flag.
Prayer and songs were led by Rev. T P Cleveland. Just before the
casket was lowered Capt. William Harrison read a poem entitled " When
Rucker Called the Roll." There was not a dry eye in that place.
For those wishing to pay honor to this Confederate soldier, to this
Confederate veteran who survived severe wounds at Appomattox, to this
Gray in valor you will not find his headstone, his monument or his
Confederate marker because the politically correct removed them from
Southview Cemetery. If the politically correct and other
anti-Southern bigots have their way this Confederate African American
will not have the 1956 Georgia flag to honor his memory. I wish to
honor Amos Rucker the African American who volunteered for the South,
who fought for the Confederacy, who
sustained wounds in the line of duty, who earned the respect of his
compatriots whose story is now told during Black History Month.
Harold Harrison Jr