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Incident At Jonesborough Days

From: HK Edgerton –
Date: July 7, 2009
To: Joe Adkins –

Dear Joe,

I was told by that very nice lady as I was leaving that she had indeed sold her quilt. As you know I had joked with her and her partner about there not being a Black Confederate soldier in the pattern of the quilt and she told me that the fabric maker was the blame for that. She even told me that she would paint the face of one of the soldiers to make it so. She and everyone who were in her company were so gracious and very kind.

I cannot even imagine what official of the Town of Jonesborough would issue such a proclamation to these wonderful people, especially in light of the wonderful reception that all of us who donned the uniform of the Southern soldier had just received from it’s citizenry both Red, Yellow, Black and White. And this would include one of it’s very own Aldermen and the officials whose charge it was to conduct the parade.

Should there be truth in this proclamation ; it would certainly taint the Mayor’s History Award presented to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and I might add that this Award was as much as the Sons of Union Veterans who march alongside the Sons of Confederate Veterans in a support role.

In light of the fact that the Sopns were invited back next year and to conduct an even bigger role in the festivities; I feel very disappointed, and shall return to Jonesborough soon.

Your brother,


On Mon, Jul 6, 2009, Joe Adkins, wrote:

To Whom It May Concern,

On July 3, I was honored to lead the column of Confederate and Union reenactors marching through the town of Jonesborough. After the recent controversy surrounding the Veterans Memorial, I had hoped that we had begun to forge an alliance and had reached an understanding with the town about its history and heritage.

Today, I am saddened to say that I was informed that a quilt maker, who had made a Civil War themed quilt that bore both Union and Confederate flags, was told that she would have to take the quilt down or leave the festival because the Confederate flags on it were “controversial”.

Words cannot express my disappointment over this. I saw the quilt in question and saw nothing controversial or offensive about it whatsoever. Indeed, it expressed quite well the point of unity and reconciliation that we have worked so hard in recent weeks to convey.

This incident occurred after Confederate and Union reenactors, bearing the banners of both sides, and H. K. Edgerton, a descendent of a black Confederate soldier, had marched through the town to a warm reception by the public and had received the Mayor’s Award.

Has Jonesborough learned nothing? Has the town not yet realized that local sentiment for Southern history and heritage is strong? Is Jonesborough determined to sweep its unique and wonderful history and culture under the rug?

I greatly fear that incidents such as this will lead to calls for a boycott of tourism in Jonesborough. I do not wish to see that happen. I would much prefer that local history, including the Civil War, be a part of the tourist attraction. If Gatlinburg, the crown jewel of tourist towns in East Tennessee, can host a Civil War parade down its main street and a reenactment just outside of the town, why can’t Jonesborough do it as well? We want to be an asset to your quest for tourism, but let me give you fair warning: if you offend the Confederates, you will also offend the Union reenactors and other historians, as well as a great many other people who are proud to call themselves Southerners and Americans.

Joe Adkins
Camp # 1817
Sons of Confederate Veterans