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Hk Edgerton’s Speech To the Asheville, N.C. Torch
Society/February 2, 2006

Southern Cultural Genocide

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. In any venue where the defense
of the Confederate Battle Flag (The Christian Cross of St. Andrew
),and the honorable men and women who fought , lived and died under
her glorious banner ; the economic institution of slavery inevitably
surfaces as the topic of discussion , and more times than not ,
those who choose to bare a negative view of the South and her body
politic; choose as their enlighten a parallel to Harriet Beecher
Stowe’s Fiction," Uncle Tom’s Cabin", where every Southern
charitable sympathy is betrayed, every moral purpose twisted to
wrong, every patriotic feeling insulted by the pernicious intrigues
of sectional animosity and willful slander.

The routine act of human interests, of human duties, of human necessities,
and even human ambitions in America and around the world during
this epoch produced scenes , more terrible and agonies more poignant
and heart rendering than any contributed to Southern Slavery. The
Northern and European Cotton Mills transmitted more misery on the
poor and suffering than all the incidents of servile misery recorded
by either reputable or not, authors of that time. The average condition
of the Southern Slave was infinitely superior, morally and materially,
in all respects, to that of the laboring class in other circumstances
in other parts of the world at that time. The community of the South
was the policeman who protected the slave against injury against
force, fraud , or outrage. Such habitual regard by the community
for this subordinated class caused a generation of kindliness of
feeling and deference of power among the slaveholder in general,
which no severity could produce and no judgment maintain. It is
this intercommunion of good offices and good will, of interests
and obligations which renders the realities of slavery in the South
so much more different from what was written by those who imagined
and analogize it to Northern chattel slavery and had and have no
intimate familiarity with its operation in the Southern body politic.

I speak this evening on behalf of the 2 and one half million Southern
Bondsmen, Bondswomen, Freedmen and Freedwomen who from 1861 to 1865
loyally served and supported the Confederate cause, in however humble
and noble a capacity.

When cotton was needed to finance a long war, it was Black hands
that picked it and prepared it for export to Europe. When foodstuffs
were needed to feed the embattled Southern Armies and a beleaguered
Southern civilian population, it was Black hands working with White
hands that tilled the soil to grow needed crops to fend off starvation.
Slave and Freeman alike gave his last penny to support the Confederate
cause. It was trusted Black hands left on the plantation to guard
the Mistress and her children from the hand of the invader. It was
skilled Black labor that worked in the new Southern factories making
the implements of war that kept the southern armies in the field
for four years. Across the South in every town, city, and plantation,
a trained cadre of Black laborers and craftsman worked to keep the
Southern armies supplied with all the implements of war. Without
the untiring sweat of Black men , the Confederate Army would have
quickly ground to a halt. Black men served as Teamsters, Cooks,
Blacksmiths, Furriers, Laborers, Servants and in many cases as the
Close Friend of the White Man he accompanied. Many of these Black
Auxiliaries were to prove there worth in combat, even though by
law, they could not be compelled to fight, and would not be allowed
to enlist as soldiers until the last days of the War.

More importantly was the Bond of Love and Affection between Black
and White that transcended the economic institution of Slavery,
and is so incomprehensible to people up North. In cases too numerous
to mention, boyhood friends, Black and White went off to war together,
sharing together the hardships of camp life, the stress of campaigning,
the excitement of battle, the agony of the hospital, and the painful
separation of death. Stories abound of faithful Black friends and
servants seeing to the comfort of their White friends last moments
on earth, and with tearful countenance and broken hearts begin the
sometimes difficult and arduous task of obtaining proper burial
for his friend , and then bringing the painful news home.. Only
love can explain such a bond., fear of the lash cannot explain it,
and our Northern friends dismiss it as so many fairy tales. These
Northerners miss a very important point. We are Southerners too.
By 1861 we had worked with White southerners for two centuries.
North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, or Tennessee was our home.
The average Black Confederate understood his duty as god gave him
the light to perform it. He performed his duty without expectation
of reward, or promise of freedom, but he knew that if he worked
and struggled, and fought hard for the Confederate cause as a loyal
subject, the white people of the South would do right by him.

When Sherman marched to the sea, he destroyed Black homes as well
as White, stole foodstuffs that would keep Black children from starving
as well as White, his soldiers raped and killed Black women, and
forced loyal Black men to volunteer for their army at bayonet point,
or more commonly to act as laborers so that White Yankees could
sit on their backsides. Then came 1865 , the complete collapse of
the Confederacy, so called freedom for the Slave, and the beginning
of 135 years of deferred promises to African Americans under the
Stars and Stripes.

The White South was ready to do right by their former Slaves. They
accepted the fact of freedom, and were prepared to make provision
for the new Freedman within the limits of an impoverished and devastated
South, but even though the Southern armies had surrendered, the
North had not finished their conquest. They began a deliberate policy
of poisoning the minds of the former Slaves against their former
Masters. The bonds of love and affection were severely tried and
in many cases sundered. The North spread anarchy and hatred through
their secret Black Societies called the Loyal or Union Leagues.

By the misrule of the Carpetbag Governments, they spread corruption
across the defeated South. They continued their deliberate economic
boycott of the South until the mid 20th Century. There was no Marshall
Plan for Dixie. This Northern policy of divide and conquer coupled
with the economic strangulation of the South go a long towards explaining
much of the rancor and hatred of Black/White relations in the south.
As this Month begins what is supposed to be Black History Month,
the people of this Nation will not hear the name of the Honorable
Rev. Mack Lee( body servant and Cook of the Honorable Gen.Robert
E. Lee, started perhaps the Nations first Credit Union in America
in hopes of aiding his now free African Brother, and who started
Churches in both the North and South, Holt Collier(famous trapper
and first Black man to be acquitted for killing a White man in Mississippi
who had killed his former Master; he would be responsible for Teddy
Roosevelt’s coined nick name Teddy Bear), Levi Carnine(carried letters
and money home hundreds of miles through hostile enemy territory
where he could been captured as a traitor or run away) Napoleon
Nelson(body Servant and body guard to the Honorable Gen. Nathan
Bedford Forest) or even our own George Mills form Hendersonville,
N.C. who like so many other Black Confederates brought the remains
of their friend and master home through treacherous and hostile
territory home to their family. No we will not hear their names
or any of the other many names that I personally heard as I crossed
the South in the Historic March Across Dixie. Time permitting ,
I shall read to you my letter which I not only submitted to the
President of the United States , but also personally placed in his
possession in a town Hall meeting in our capitol witness by our
own Don Yelton and a host of other prominent citizens of this city.
Dear Mr.. President……