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An Open Report / The Stench of Manassas / The Sacrilege at Lexington / The Obscenity of Jason Sanford of the Asheville Citizen Times
Had I been properly informed that I would be speaking to a mixed group of Southern and Union forces at Manassas at a supposed gala Affair deemed the Blue-Gray Ball, I could have and would have saved myself from the indignity and humiliation of the insults I would endure as I unsuccessfully tried to deliver the Keynote speech. It would be a week after the Yankee band had begun blasting its music in an attempt to drown out my voice as I spoke and later turning the microphone off as I tried to continue speaking, and even yet again the band would drown out my voice as I recited Dr. Bradley’s poem, I Am Their Flag, before I realized the kind of venue I had been placed in. Personally, I don’t blame the Yankees. I had them stand as I asked the crowd to sing Dixie, I bragged about how wrong the scalawag Virginia school teacher was about the service of Black Confederates especially with the likes of James Jefferson, nick named Jim Jeff who along with his Master, Dr. Samuel Watkins Vaughn would join the 4th Alabama at Manassas as the fighting began. The Vaughns would make sure that James Jefferson received a Confederate pension, which they said was an expression of gratitude from the Confederacy. I should have guessed that something was amiss as I was verbally accosted in the food line by a Black Yankee whose beautiful wife had asked of me to take a picture alongside her. Trying to be polite, I asked if her husband would like to be in the picture? Her reply was a quick no, he won’t take a picture beside your flag. He then retorted from behind me; no I wont take a picture with that rag; you are flying the wrong flag, and we won the war anyway. I told him that I would get him when I began to speak, and I did. Little did I realize that the stench had just begun.
The City Council of Lexington, Virginia and all the King’s men can’t use Black folks as their weapon of choice to justify the ban of the Southern Cross in the home place of the Honorable General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, a man who along with his wife, church family and the white citizenry of Lexington would turn a blind eye and face the harsh reality that it was illegal to teach Blacks to read and write. It would be tantamount to sacrilege for any Southern Black to stand against Jackson or his flag, and even more so for any White man Northern or Southern to ask them to do so. However, with the destruction of Jim Lewis’s grave and the old Black cemetery by a previous Council, it would appear that little thought will be given to what the Black folks in Lexington or anywhere in the South feel about the loving memory Southern Black folks have of Jackson or Lee.
At 6:30 AM, on the morning of September 1, 2011, I shall make my way on a 10 mile march from the site of CSA General Paxton’s home at 430 W. 10th St., Buena Vista, Va. to 100 W. Nelson St., in Lexington, where I along with others will address a group of concerned citizens from all across the South and later on that evening make our way to a 8:00 PM meeting with the City Council in hopes to convince them not to commit this act of sacrilege that is no less than a declaration of war.
On Thursday, August 4, 2011, Jason Sanford, newspaper reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times, would write an article titled “We’re not ‘Southern’ here, we’re mountain.” Among the many things he would say to define his diatribe in the city that was very close to becoming the Capitol of the Confederacy, was the obscene remarks he quoted from a staff person: “I think my colleague Jim Buchanan, editorial writer and editorial page editor for the Asheville Citizen-Times, said it best. Bristling a little when I brought up the topic, Buchanan said, “I’m not Southern. I’m mountain.”
For the record, I was born in the City of Asheville, North Carolina on February 18, 1948, 87 years from the day that the Honorable President Jefferson Davis would give his Inaugural Address on the steps of the Capitol in the great State of Alabama in the City of Montgomery, a pretty Southern baby boy as my mama and daddy would proclaim. In the City where the tallest monument stands in downtown Asheville, the Vance Monument, a testimony to our War Between the States Governor and Confederate officer Zebulon Baird Vance. And not to forget the monument to the Honorable General Robert E. Lee and other Confederate officers at this site. And that one of the oldest Sons of Confederate Veteran Camps, the Honorable Zeb Vance Camp 19 is located in this city. And never to forget that yours truly, H.K. Edgerton, son of the Honorable Annabelle Edgerton, has a Heritage award given yearly in her name by the North Carolina Order of the Confederate Rose, and is the only Black woman to be so honored with a Confederate State Funeral that shall never be forgotten by the citizens of this city. And donned in the uniform of the Southern soldier, carrying the Southern Cross, Ms. Annabelle and the Honorable Rev. Roland Rogers Edgerton’s sons, a decade ago would leave the site of the Honorable Governor’s monument and march some 1,600 miles, 20 miles a day or more to the Capitol building in Austin on the “Historic March Across Dixie.”
Yes there are Yankees here that are and never will have the honor of calling themselves Southern, but you could at least try to be good Copperheads, or catch I-26 West to I-81 North out of Johnson City and head back to where ever North you come from, because those of us who were born and raised here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Red, Yellow, Black or White consider ourselves Southern.