October 6, 2020
Ms. Rebecca and Gracie’s Smile
Dear Ms. Lunelle,
I had barely begun to post the Confederate Naval Jack on the Overpass of Interstate 240 East, than would I look up and see the only way that I can describe her is elderly, elegant, in her hand a walking stick, yet strutting in her stride.
“Rebecca,” she said with her arms wide open for me to come and get that love! “HK” and before I got to Edgerton, she said, “Young man, I know who you are. I’ve been following your every step since I was a pup of 83 years old when you passed through my home in Jackson, Mississippi.
“And while at the Capitol, you met a black Capitol policeman. He still brags about meeting HK and Terry Lee on the Historic March Across Dixie. And, he is family to us,” she said, pointing at her granddaughter’s son.
I am sorry that I could not honor her request to put you on the phone. She said that her great, three times removed, grandchild is on my email list, and that lady, Ms. Lunelle, offered no surprise to her when she learned you were presented the highest civilian award bestowed by the National Sons of Confederate Veterans. I told her that they had misspelled your name on that beautiful award. She said to “tell Ms. Lunelle not to fret; the boys will make it right.”
“I saw Gracie’s smile, Mr. Edgerton. Please tell Gracie that I smiled and cried tears of joy! I want you to ask Ms. Lunelle to do a favor for me. We here in the South missed the boat with the courageous child over there in Latta, South Carolina, and we should not do the same with Gracie.
I believe in my heart that if her stand beside you in that now awful place (St. Augustine, Florida) merited her your cherished St. Andrews Cross, then every Sons of Confederate Veteran in their hierarchy – state, division, camp, to include the Commander In Chief, should recognize in medal or writing, Miss Gracie. Every United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter in their hierarchy – chapter, state, to include the President General and all components of the Children of the Confederacy, should recognize in medal or writing, Miss Gracie. And the Ladies Memorial Association, Save Southern Heritage, the Southern Legal Resource Center, should do the same! And, just maybe, she would ask Mr. Barber of Dixie Outfitters to design a shirt with Gracie’s smile. Please ask Ms. Lunelle if she would ask all for me?“
She would hug me one more time, press into my hand five (5) one hundred dollar bills. “God bless you Mr. Edgerton.”
“Ms. Rebecca,“ I would ask, “why did you come this way from Jackson, Mississippi going to Nashville, Tennessee?”
“You think about it, Mr. Edgerton, and your question will be answered.”
She got back into her very shiny Rolls Royce, lowered the back window, and threw me a kiss, a wave. And my God came the sound of a ladies ‘Rebel Yell’! God bless you!
Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus, Southern Legal Resource Center
Member, Save Southern Heritage
Honorary Life Member, Ladies Memorial Association
Honorary Scott of Austin
Honorary Life Member, Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, Kentucky Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, Longstreet Zolli Coffer Camp 87, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Member, Historic March Across Dixie 20 Mile Club
Recipient, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis Medal
Honorary Life Member, Zebulon B. Vance Camp 15, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Honorary Life Member, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Orders of the Confederate Rose
Honorary Life Member, Forrest Orphans Camp 1744, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Confederate Legion Judah P. Benjamin Camp 2210, Sons of Confederate Veterans
President, Southern Heritage 411