Buncombe Civil War trail markers dedicated
On Friday May 22, 2009, I would learn from the Honorable Roger McCredie, the Director of the Southern Legal Resource Center, that the Buncombe County Tourism and Heritage Council would hold a Dedication Ceremony to unveil the so called North Carolina Civil War Trails Buncombe County Markers. When I heard that 6 of the 13 markers would include the voices of the African Americans in Western North Carolina prior to 1865, the hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle. I suspected that this was going to be some more Yankee Revisionist History to discredit the Honorable Confederate soldiers and the Christian Southern White folks and the honorable stand made to protect our homeland from the Yankee invasion. I would adorn the uniform of the Southern soldier, and attend the event.
It didn’t take long for my suspicions to be confirmed. At the front door of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, which is directly at the hub of tourist activity of this tourist town , draped in a yellow ribbon was the first so called Historical Marker loaded with a Yankee message designed to inflame negative feelings toward the brave Confederate soldier and White folks in this southern town. Poor old slave whose actions if they had been at a Union jail would have cost him his life immediately; was only beaten. Why was this marker even here ? Those Southern White men and arguably Southern Black men who call themselves Southern and especially those who are natives of Asheville should demand it’s removal immediately , and ask for a more appropriate Marker and withhold any support for maintenance fees for this atrocity until it is removed.
As if the Marker was not bad enough, the keynote speaker, John Inscoe from the University of Georgia would tell those gathered which included a contingent of young Black students how Union General George Stoneman on his raid of Asheville had come to emancipate the African slave populous in the city. I would call him to task for that poppycock. I told him it was no emancipation when those Africans who followed the Union army because they had looted the town, killing livestock and stealing all the food stuffs, only to find out that the so called Union refugee camps were death camps for malaria, dysentery, the raping of women and young boys and the denial of medical care as they were left to die where they fell. To include that the scalawag Stoneman had promised not to sack Asheville after taking money and supplies for that promise, only to have his men double back from the City of Morganton which they burned and looted, then looted Asheville. People thought it was snowing in the city as so many feather beds were ripped up as the Yankees searched for any hidden valuables that might be in the beds.
Never mind that there right at Pack Place in the heart of the city where the largest monument in the city is located, (Zebulon Vance Monument; War Between the States Governor and Confederate Colonel ) the spot where more citizens would sign up to join the Confederate army than any other place in the region, and ironically for me the place where alongside my baby brother, Terry Lee and the Honorable Kirk D. Lyons and his young sons, I would began the Historic March Across Dixie donned in the uniform of the Southern Soldier, carrying his glorious flag, some twenty miles a day, six days a week 1,600 miles to the Capitol City in Austin, Texas, not only to seek another injustice perpetrated against my Southern family ( the removal of the Confederate Seal and Testimonial plaque of the Honorable General Robert E. Lee ) , but also giving testimony all along the way of the place of honor and dignity earned by those who looked like me alongside a man that he not only called Master, but also family and friend in defense of our homeland,” the Southland of America”.
Maybe the day was not a total tragedy, for the Honorable Kaye Myers of the North Carolina Division of Tourism, after hearing my complaints would promise to do a living history interview with me, and just maybe we can undo some of the dishonor levied against my Southern family and the cause that took them to war against their brothers of the North.
Buncombe Civil War trail markers dedicated