North Carolina Re-Union – An Open Letter
Dear Ms. Laura,
Terry Lee and I regret that we could not attend the State Re-union
in Cherokee, North Carolina this past weekend. I know that my Dear
mother would not be pleased if Terry Lee and I did not apologize
for not being there. I know that mom she sends her love from Heaven
to the Ladies of the North Carolina Order of The Confederate Rose.
However, on this day, Terry Lee and I would find ourselves once
again in Murfreesboro, Tennessee attending the Victorian Fair, and
historical re-enactment of the emancipation of the citizens of Murfreesboro
, and their loved ones held captive in jails awaiting a bleak outcome
from the Union soldiers that held them.
Upon arriving, as I made my way across the field, I would stop to
greet a group of perhaps ten young Black girls as they play cheerfully
amongst the women in period dress, within the confounds of the Confederate
soldiers encampment ; I thought, this is as it should be. Those
little black babies play amongst their Southern white family with
no fear, the flag of their ancestors all about them , and a man
who looked like them, adorned in the uniform of the Southern soldier,
carrying his glorious banner , they would tell, you looking good,
and we like your flag.
When the time came for the battle of Oakland’s Plantation , I could
not sustain myself from staying off the field of battle ; I had
no horse, or permission to join the Calvary, or gun to fire a shot,
but I had the colors of General Forrest, and knew of the love that
the man (Stan )who portrayed him had for me, and his understanding
of history ; he would know that this is as it should be. As the
battle raged, I would take up a position near the fence close to
where several young Black boys stood. One would ask of me, if all
I did was to hold the flag ? Before I could reply, another would
reply; man, he’s carrying our colors, he is like a bull eyes. You
got to be awful brave to be carrying the colors. You tell him Sir.
Before I could answer , I received the order from General Forrest
to come forward and hold his horse, as he moved forward to accept
the surrender of the Yankee General and the total emancipation of
the Southern town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
As I existed the field where the battle had taken place, I would
once again find myself surrounded by a group of young black baby
girls, I would hug them all. I could sense the pride that they held
for me, for on this day , someone who liked them wore the uniform
of their Southern homeland , carried her flag, and participated
in a battle called history of honor for the citizens of Murfreesboro.
I could not help wonder where Reverend Brooks and the men who came
with him to derail the honor earned by General Forest and the forty
two who rode him who like me were on this day. I would join Terry
Lee in the singing of Dixie and his now famous ASK THE SCV song
alongside the many spectators and re-enactors gathered at our table
and thank God for a wonderful day in Dixie. My only regrets of the
day is not being in Cherokee with the Rose , and not having the
resources to attend Dixie Days on Sunday with my fellow Fire Eaters.
Your Brother & Thorn,