An Open Report – 4/17/2012 to 5/15/2012
On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, I would travel to Murphy, North Carolina and speak to the Cherokee Guards Camp #893 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
On Thursday, April 19, 2012, Terry Lee and I would travel to Marion, Alabama, and as the guest of Commander Gary Johnson and his wife Mrs. Sandra Johnson, we would attend the annual Historical Commission of Perry Counties banquet.
On Friday morning, April 20, 2012, Commander Johnson, Terry Lee and myself, would place some hundred or more Confederate Battle flags on the graves of the Confederate dead at the local cemetery in Marion. The highlight of the morning was when two Black grave diggers approached me and one would ask why we were placing the flags on the graves, and when I told him about not only Confederate History Month, but also the upcoming Confederate Memorial Day, he would ask if he could have a flag? I obliged and was moments later chided by Commander Johnson for not giving one to the other grave digger. Commander Johnson promptly engaged in a lively conversation with the two men, giving a flag to the other gentleman who accepted it with a great big smile on his face. Commander Johnson would invite them to the Sons Camp meeting of the upcoming Sunday where Terry Lee and I would speak, but they would tell us that they lived in Selma, but would try to attend.
After attending Church on Sunday morning, to a packed house at the Chamber of Commerce building, Terry Lee and I would speak to the Camp and some very distinguished members of the community that included many who had traveled from afar to see and hear us. Terry Lee’s new Historic March Across Dixie Pictorial Documentary book was well received as sales were very brisk.
The downside to our visit to this small Alabama community that I have had the opportunity to visit on at least three occasions always seem to come with the mentioning of Albert Turner, a supposed Black civil rights activist and local County Commissioner whose name most oft is always mentioned with corruption and terror. I had been told by many on a previous trip how Mr. Turner had grabbed and choked a Black female at a Commission meeting for disagreeing with him. He had even gone on his Sunday morning radio broadcast proclaiming that if anybody messed with him that he would shoot them down like he did a dog that was in his trash can. Most of the White citizens who I came in contact with invariably always brought his name up. His new tactic they told me was to have some of his henchmen burn down their homes or at least threaten to, if they challenged him on anything. Even the Black folks who I spoke to seemed terrified of Mr. Turner. They told me of some Blacks losing welfare and other entitlements for challenging Albert.
On Sunday morning of April 22, 2012, I would listen to Mr. Turner’s radio program where he would explain the firing of a Black female worker who had gone to the press about her job loss caused by Mr. Turner. I was amazed at the level of involvement that this Commissioner would place himself in the everyday affairs of a City Department. Mr. Turner was also heard to remark that he would be very happy when there were no White people living in Marion.
I only mention Mr. Turner because so many people in this small town, both Black and White, asked me to use my influences to help them right a wrong that keep an honorable people from living in harmony. I have always enjoyed my visits here, and the historical significance to the Confederacy as I would come to call this place home, and it is always an honor to stay in General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s headquarters home now owned by Commander Johnson and his wife.
On Saturday morning, May 5, 2012, I would miss the Confederate wedding of Commander Mike Parrish of the Jackson Rangers Sons of Confederate Veterans in Sylvia, North Carolina because for the third straight year I would be asked by the The Columbus County Volunteers Camp 794 to deliver the keynote speech for Confederate Memorial Day in Whiteville, North Carolina. The highlight of the morning there was participating in the posting of the Battle flag on the flag pole on the Courthouse grounds in downtown Whiteville, and being with so many who served up so much love.
Tonight, May 15, 2012, at the Burnsville Town Center in Burnsville, North Carolina, I shall deliver a speech to the Colonel John B. Palmer Camp 1946 Sons of Confederate Veterans. On Saturday, May 19, 2012, I shall deliver the keynote speech at the yearly Memorial service for Captain Henry Wirz CSA at his grave site in Mt. Olivet Roman Catholic Cemetery, 1300 Bladensburg Road NE, Washington, DC at 11:00 AM. The Memorial Service is sponsored by the Maryland division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.