An Open Letter & Open Report – Special Black History Month Series
Smoky Mountain Highway
February 24, 2020
Special Black History Month Series – Smoky Mountain Highway
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
On the morning of February 21, 2020, as schools, banks, government offices and many businesses began closing in anticipation of inclement weather, don in the uniform of the Southern soldier, I would post the Southern Cross and my Black Confederate Soldier poster board in the public easement of the four lane highway of Smoky Mountain Parkway.
After about an hour of waving to those passing by, and listening to the occasional sound of the rebel yell, and a lot of “God bless you, HK,” a car would pull up and park in the parking lot behind me. A black man would introduce himself, his wife, teenage son and daughter.
The young man told me that he was the same age as his daughter (13) when I came marching through Toccoa, Georgia, and that was all people were talking about; a black man dressed in a Confederate soldier’s uniform, carrying the Confederate flag to Texas. And to top it all, the Mayor, a black man, had given him the key to the city. And with all that fanfare, he was in school and missed it all.
“My wife thought that I had lost my mind as we were passing by when I spotted you here. I started pleading for her to turn around,” he said. “No dad,” shouting for her to turn around, came the retort from the daughter.
“My papa said that you were one smart cookie. He said that you were representing the men of a grand and moral army, and that the flag that you carried was our state flag, and had incorporated in it the symbol of not only the courage of the soldier, but also had represented the blood sacrifice of the Southern people and a marking of their Christian Heritage.”
“Papa said that from the very day that General Lee signed that treaty at Appomattox Courthouse, those who hate the South do their very best for economic and political gain to desecrate the memory of these men and the Southern Cause. And, that the saddest part is that far too many of those who profess to be Southern and in leadership positions sit back and say nothing to defend the false narratives employed about these great men and their families.”
“And having you to be on the trek you are on, a black man from the South, goes a long way to restore honor lost, or stolen. And, Papa said that he was so proud of you. And, so am I! And, I shall teach my children to be as my dad, and Papa did for me. God bless you, Mr. Edgerton.”
Hugs all around made it a great day in Dixie for me. God bless you!
Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center
Member, Save Southern Heritage Florida
Honorary Life Member, Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, Kentucky Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Orders of the Confederate Rose
Recipient, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Medal
President, Southern Heritage 411