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Living History Events – An Open Report

I have had the honor over the last two weeks to be invited to both the Battle at Zachary
Hills and the Battle of Morristown, War Between the States Living History Re-enactments
by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. There were so many moments that left me with a sense
of pride and hope that the vindication of my dear Southland is on the horizon; no matter
the relentless attacks upon her people and their historic symbols.

I shall ever be proud of all those young Black mothers who brought their sons and
daughters to Snow Camp for the Battle of Zachary Hills; their honorable questions, their
projected love, and their invitation to come to their Church and speak of a truth seldom
heard. I shall forever be proud of the young Black father who came into the Confederate
encampment, and asked for a Confederate uniform and gear if the men gathered would accept
him and accommodate his request. That afternoon with his pretty wife and three beautiful
daughters watching, he would enter the ranks of the Confederate soldier, and fight with
his Southern brethren as his grandpa had done. I shall ever be proud of the flattering
picture of myself on the front page of the region section of the Sun Times Newspaper,
in my Confederate Uniform, with the Southern Cross blowing in the wind; under the caption:
Reliving History. I know that this would not have set well with Professor Andrew Slap of
East Tennessee State University, in light of his humiliating remarks to a young Black
student; “there were no Black Confederate soldiers.” God bless the Sun Times. As if this
were not enough, on Saturday evening, I was invited by another dear friend and compatriot,
Ellis Selph of Durham, to attend a Heritage and Cultural event sponsored by the Church of
Latter Day Saints. Ellis informed me that I could wear my Confederate uniform, brandish
my glorious flag, and speak of the events of my travels in defense of my glorious
homeland, and her honorable people.

I would enter the church, whereupon Ellis would place a rather large Battle flag on the
wall behind the table assigned to me. Being very close to the door, I could hear the
conversations of those entering the hall where we were stationed. One White lady said to
the deacon in charge, do you think that flag carried by that Black man into the hall is
appropriate here? He expressed that he thought that it was, and that she should take up
the matter with me. She promptly did. I told her to look around the room at all the
Black folks gathered, and further that unless they were all from the North, if she removed
me and my flag, then she just as well to ask all of them to go; adding further, that the
heritage of most of the people gathered there, if they were Southern, was one of honor and
shared valor. In her beautiful Southern dialogue, she welcomed me, and said that I had
responded satisfactorily to her question and that I might have to do the same many more
times before this evening was done. It did not take long for her words to become
prophetic. A young White man engaged me in considerable dialogue about the articles of
the Asheville Tribune that were displayed on my table on the subject matter of the events
leading up to, during and after the War. He expressed to me that he had a Black friend
who belonged to the church, but who had refused to come because the Confederate Battle
Flag and Confederate Soldiers would be allowed. I immediately signed one of the articles
written by my dear friend Mike Scruggs on the loyalty of Southern Blacks, “God Bless you
Finnis, Your Brother, HK Edgerton, and asked that the young man give it to Finnis to read.
I told him that my Catholic friends told me if you want something bad enough not to waste
any time, pray. So I prayed that Finnis would come. In less than five minutes after
making this revelation to the young man, he looked as if he had seen a ghost. He exclaimed
to me that Finnis was coming through the door. In walked a middle age Black man, adorned
in his beautiful African garb. Right to my table he would come, greeting his friend in an
amiable tone, and myself as well. Finnis and I would talk some forty minutes.
Afterwards, Finnis would ask a passer by to take a picture of he and myself. The man
would ask Finnis if he wanted the flag in the background? With his arms around me, he
would reply, that’s the point. Finnis would stop the man and Minister as he was about
to leave me to the large number of people who had now began to surround my table. I was
determined not to come down here this evening, he would say to them. I figured that if
my church would allow this flag in here, then possibly I was in the right church. Now
after talking to this man, he said still embracing me, I know that I’m in the right
church. I left Finnis with my only copy of a book given to me of Holt Collier, a Black
Confederate Hero. I knew that in Finnis I had made a good friend; after all, he was my
Southern Brother.

The Battle at Morris Town was equally as full filling. To have the opportunity to speak
to over three thousand young school children and their teachers about a history so
distorted with untruths and relentless attacks against the honorable people of the South
was quiet rewarding, and more than made up for the down pour of rain that kept so many
away for the next two days. I am extremely grateful to the Asheville Tribune for the
publication of Mike Scruggs works on the subject matter of the events leading up to
before and after the War which will never be taught our populous, and further I thank
them for making part of the proceeds available to me to help fund my upcoming Marches
both Northward and Southward. I again thank the North Carolina and Tennessee Divisions
of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for making me apart of this wonderful venue. God
bless the School Superintendent who was American, and courageous enough to allow his
parents, students and staff to come.

HK Edgerton