Dear Mr. Marcotte,
I was truly honored as I am always when I learned that Mr. Gary Price has suggested that you contact me to speak to your Camp and schools during so called Black History Month. As I and the many Southern compatriots who are now celebrating the Seven Year Anniversary of the Historic March Across Dixie that began in my home town of Asheville, North Carolina on October 14, 2002 and ended officially at the Supreme Court Building in Austin, Texas on January 25, 2003. And on that following Monday, January 27, 2003 we would extend that march on to San Marcos, Texas in honor of the many students of Hayes High School who made a stand for their Southern Heritage and its beloved Flag.
I began that journey in large part because then Governor George Bush, who was seeking the highest office in the land, had been pressured to remove from the Supreme Court Building in Austin, the Confederate Seal and the Honorable General Robert E. Lee’s Testimonial Plaque to the men of the Republic of Texas who had fought so gallantly for the Confederate States of America. And most importantly I donned the uniform of the Southern soldier in memory of a man who looked like me who had earned a place of honor and dignity beside a man he called not only Master, but family and friend not only on the battlefield, but as trained cadre on plantations all across the Southland of America making the implements of war, providing the food stuffs for General Lee’s beleaguered army, protecting the plantations while most of the men were away, and even fighting beside him in the many theaters of battle.
While I am not a native Texan, I have had bestowed upon me many honors from my Texas family for my stand in honor of those who fought under the banner of the Southern Cross, to include as I gave the keynote speech at the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Honorary Life membership in the Texas Division of the Sons, awarded the Honorary Jefferson Davis Medal from the Texas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as I gave the keynote speech at their State Re-union in Tyler, Texas.
I have stood a many day in the hot sun of Texas at its Supreme Court Building alongside my Texas family, and even alone, I’ve received a criminal trespass warning from the campus police at the University of Texas, as I stood with the Southern Cross at the monument of the Honorable President Jefferson Davis. I have stood on the Courthouse steps in San Marcos after a Federal Judge issued a warning not to have the Southern Cross there. I have stood at the front doors of Hayes High School donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, and been forced from entering their football game with the Southern Cross, and yet remained at the front gate of their stadium in defiance. I am the holder of the keys of Texas cities and have had the late Mayor of Logansport declare HK Edgerton Day as I made my way down the Sabine Pass with the then Commander in Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Ron Wilson, whose ancestors made a stand there. I am as much Texas as President George W. Bush, who watched as I crawled out onto a rail of the second floor balcony and called out to him to read a letter that I wrote telling of the injustices levied upon my Southern family who hunger for righteousness as they are being taught to forget their forebears or to remember them with shame.
I sat in the Federal Courthouse in Austin and listened as the Judge told the Honorable Attorney Kirk D. Lyons that he did not care about justice, that Mr. Lyons had come into his courtroom to sue the very same teachers and administrators that as a lawyer were not only his clients, but his friends, and that Mr. Lyons better take the Confederate Flag and his clients away before he levied a hefty fine upon them. And I have sat in many a courtroom from that day and watched as many other attorneys have come to defend the very same kinds of teachers and administrators who have stripped the limited 1st amendment rights from those students who only want to remember their ancestors in honor while stripping the ownership of Black Southerners to the Confederate flag and using them as the weapon of choice against those who brought actions against their clients.
In conclusion, I am Levi Carnine of Louisiana who carried the letters of the Southern soldier through enemy lines back to the homes of his Southern families; I am Napoleon Nelson, the grandfather of my dear friend Nelson Winbush, who rode with General Forrest; I am Grier Jones of Tennessee, whose graveside I stood over as Dr. Bradley, the Commander of the Tennessee Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans presented him the Iron Cross at a grave side dedication; I am the 42 soldiers who remained at the side of the first civil rights leader of Black folks in the great State of Tennessee, “General Nathan Bedford Forrest”; I am Holt Collier, a freed slave, who fought in Texas donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, and was the first black man to be acquitted of killing a white man in Mississippi for killing his Master, and who now has a Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in Jackson, Mississippi named in his honor after him; and I am Jim Limber, the adopted slave son of the Honorable President Jefferson Davis.
And most of all, I am HK Edgerton, former President of the Asheville Chapter of the NAACP who stood at their doors donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, who marched with the Southern Cross in hand and confabulated with the natives and passerbys from Littleton, North Carolina to Richmond, Virginia to celebrate so called Black History Month, from Old Fort, North Carolina to Charleston, South Carolina serving as a Color Bearer in the historic Hunley burial procession, from Cashtown, Pennsylvania to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to protest the hanging of the Southern Cross, marched in the funeral procession of the Honorable Senator Strom Thurmond donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, and most recently marched from Madison Heights, Virginia to the gates of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, carrying the Southern Cross. And I hold the distinction of being declared a Modern Day Confederate Hero on a shirt fashioned by the foremost appareller of Southern Heritage clothing, Dixie Outfitters of Odum, Georgia. I have been honored as the son of former slaves to give the keynote speech for Confederate Memorial Day at the Capitol Grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, the home State of my dear mother, the only Black woman to be given a Confederate State funeral, where the defense of my homeland began against an invading force who formed by a tyrant illegally against the laws of the Constitution that Southern folks helped draft. And I hold numerous honors, citations and medals from Southern organizations for my stand in the defense of my homeland and the honorable folks who defended her, be they Red, Yellow, Black, White, Jew or Gentile. And I feel immensely qualified to speak in any venue about the subject matter regardless the feelings of any detractors.
Southern Heritage 411