Changing name of MTSU ROTC building

Basil Childress


My father was a WWII veteran. His father a WWI veteran. His older brothers
Korean War vets and his youngest brother was killed in action in Vietnam in
1969 (serving in the unit portrayed in the movie We Were Soldiers). My dad’s
great grandfather was Cpl George Washington Childress, 10th Kentucky Cavalry
CSA. (There were two black brothers in his regiment and were evidently two of
the more proficient Yankee killers in that unit. At least one of them spent
time in the hell holes that were northern POW camps. He was there with one of
my GG Grandfather’s first cousins, Loving Childress. Like nearly all black
Confederate soldiers, he adamantly refused to take the oath of allegiance to
the US Govt which would have freed him from that pestiferous place) Cpl Childress’
grandfather was Pleasant Childress, Revolutionary War veteran, buried in Pike
County Kentucky. Both were related to Childress boys who fought on the Kings
Mountain battlefield (one of whom was mortally wounded) and of which Capt Webb
writes in his book cited below.

I would suggest to you that one of the preeminent Warriors of whom Webb writes
was Nathan Bedford Forrest. I would assert to you that contemplating changing
the name of MTSU’s ROTC building is an outrage.

As the descendent of those kin who have shed blood from the very founding of
this country, I only desire to honor and be honest about why such men as Forrest
and those that followed him and other Southern warriors sacrificed as they did.
I would suggest the name of my great great grandfather is a hint – indeed,
the Great Seal of the Confederacy is George Washington on horseback and the
birthdate of the CSA was George Washington’s birthday. Webb hits that
link between the exertions of our Southern forbears dead on target in the chapter
I’ve excerpted below.

Basil D. (Bazz) Childress

Lexington, Kentucky

(Also blood kin to the writer of Texas’ Declaration of Independence and
the wife of President James Knox Polk)

The below is what the Virginia’s new US Senator has to say about Confederate

Born Fighting- How the Scots-Irish Shaped America

Captain James Webb, USMC (retired)

Excerpts of Chapter 4

Attack and Die

The War………….was not a contest of equals…..The
Union outnumbered the Confederacy [in all ‘war fighting’ categories]…but
the South was superior to the north in the intensity of its warrior ethic….

That warrior ethic, which would carry the outnumbered and outgunned Confederacy
a very long way, came from long traditions of service that had begun so many
centuries before in Scotland and the north of Britain. The Confederate battle
flag itself was drawn from the St. Andrew’s Cross of Scotland and the
unbending spirit of the Southern soldier found its energies in the deeds of
the past just as strongly as it looked up to the leaders of the present. These
were the direct descendants of William Wallace’s loyal followers of five
centuries before, Winston Churchill’s “hard-unyielding spear men
who feared nought and, once set in position, had to be killed.”

……Those Confederate soldiers…..had one inspiration that twentieth
century America has not credited to them-the rigorous Revolutionary [War] tradition…..Many..Southern
soldier told himself the road was no more stony than the one that had carried
his father and grandfather at last to Yorktown….

But not only the Revolutionary War spirit drove them. As I wrote of the Scots-Irish
tradition in my novel Fields of Fire, the culture even to this day is viscerally
fired by “that one continuous linking that had bound father to son from
the first wild resolute angry beaten Celt who tromped into the hills rather
than bend a knee to Rome two thousand years ago, who would…chew the bark
off a tree, fill his belly with wood rather than surrender from starvation and
admit defeat to an advancing civilization. That same emotion passing with the
blood: a fierce resolution that found itself always in a pitch against death,
that somehow, over the centuries came to accept the fight as a birthright, even
as some kind of proof of life.

…The Confederate Army rose like a sudden wind out of the little towns
and scattered farms of a still unconquered wilderness……….the
Great Captains called, as they had at Bannockburn and King’s Mountain,
and the able-bodied men were quick to answer……It saw 90 percent
of its adult population serve and 70% of those became casualties… [a rate
more than twice as great as the north]…..The men of the Confederate Army
gave every ounce of courage and loyalty to a leadership they trusted and respected,
then laid down their arms in an instant-declining to fight a guerilla war-when
that leadership said enough was enough…And….they returned to a devastated
land and a military occupation, enduring the bitter humiliation of Reconstruction
and an economic alienation from the rest of the country that continued for a
full century, affecting white and black alike.

…..The Civil War, we are taught, was about slavery, ….the Union
on the side of God and the angels……..The Union Army, we are reminded
again and again even in these modern times, marche to a “Battle Hymn,”
‘As He died to make men holy, Let us fight to make men free, His truth
is marching on…..’

By implication, the soldiers of the Confederacy were with the forces of darkness
and evil….But the truth is, as always, more turgid, and to understand
it one must go to the individual soldier. Why did he fight? ….the odds
are overwhelming that he did not own slaves at all………[The
Southern soldier] was…one of the world’s very finest fighting man…..

It is impossible to believe that such men would have continued to fight against
unnatural odds-and take casualties beyond the level of virtually any other modern
army-simply so that 5% of the population who owned slaves could keep them or
because they held to a form of racism so virulent that they would rather die
than allow the slaves to leave the plantations. Something deeper was motivating

….the more learned among these Confederate soldiers, like their political
leaders, believed strongly that the Constitution was on their side when they
chose to dissolve their relations with the Union…….the states that
joined the Union after the Revolution considered themselves independent political
entities…….and in their view the states had thus retained their
right to dissolve the federal relationship…

This argument was best articulated by Alexander Stephens, Vice President of
the Confederacy. Vernon Louis Parrington,….actually supported the constitutional
validity of Stephen’s views………..[he summarized Stephen’s
argument]: “that state governments existed prior to the Union, that it
was jealously guarded at the making of the Constitution, that it had never been
surrendered, and hence wa the constitutional order until destroyed by the Civil

In a fourteen-hundred page document that the Illinois born, Kansas-raised, Harvard
educated Parrington characterized as “wholly convincing,” Stephens
laid out the South’s view that the constitutional compact was terminable.
Parrington went on to comment that, “Stephens rightly insisted that slavery
was only the immediate casus belli. The deeper cause was the antagonistic conceptions
of the theory and functions of the political state [that emerged between the

…..the Confederate soldier fought because, on the one hand, in his view
he was provoked, intimidated, and ultimately invaded, and, on the other, his
leaders had convinced him that his was a war of independence in the same sense
as the Revolutionary War…..This was not so much a learned response to
historical events as it was a cultural approach that had been refined by centuries
of similar experiences. The tendency to resist outside aggression was bred deeply
into every heart—and still is today.

Rome conquered Britain and tried to subjugate its people, but the “brave
and proud” fell back to the mountains of what later becameCornwall, Wales,
and especially Scotland. King Edward marched into Scotland to subjugate its
people, but he was resisted and ultimately expelled…..The British sent
an expedition into Appalachian Mountains to punish and lay waste to whole communities
not supporting the Crown, and their predictable reward was to be stalked, surrounded,
and slaughtered. And now a federal government, whose leadership and economic
systems were dominated by English-American businessment and intellectuals, was
sending armies to compel them to remain inside a political system that their
leaders had told them they had every right to reject.

[In honoring the Confederate soldier we do not honor slavery] we honor courage,
as well as loss…[and devotion to the call of duty]….The lesson regarding
the [deaths of so many Southern fighting men]….is far more complex than
those who simplify his service into racial slogans wish to make it. He and his
fellow soldiers took an oath and then honored the judgment of their leaders,
often at great cost. Intellectual analysis of national policy are subject to
constant reevaluation by historians as the decades roll by, but duty is a constant.
Duty is action, taken after listening to one’s leaders and weighing risk
and fear against the powerful draw of obligation to family, community, nation,
and the unknown future. We, the progeny who live in that future, were among
the intended beneficiaries of those frightful decisions made so long ago. As
such, we are also the caretakers of the memory, and the reputation, of those
who performed their duty-as they understood it-under circumstances too difficult
for us ever to fully comprehend. No one but a fool-or a bigot in their own right-would
call on the descendants of those Confederate veterans to forget the sacrifices
of those who went before them or argue that they should not be remembered with
honor…..[to tar the sacrifices of the Confederate soldier as simple acts
of racism, and to reduce the battle flag under which he fought to nothing more
than the symbol of a racist heritage, is one of the great blasphemies of our
modern age…..]

…..the bulk of the Confederate Army, including most of its leaders, was
Scots-Irish while the bulk of the Union Army and its leadership was not…..Confederate
generals of Scots-Irish descent dominated the battlefield….Robert E. Lee’s
[mother was of Scottish ancestry], and it was widely reported that [Lee] was
a direct descendent of Robert the Bruce, the victor at Bannockburn.

The end result was that on the battlefield the Confederacy, whose culture had
been shaped by the clannish, leader-worshipping, militaristic Scots-Irish, fought
a Celtic war while the Union, whose culture had been most affected by intellectual,
mercantile English settlers, fought and entirely different manner. At bottom,
the northern army was driven from the top like a machine… contrast,
the Southern army was a living thing emanating from the spirit of its soldiers
– …The Southern Army was run like a family, confronting a human crisis.

One learned commentator professed that, “Southerners lost the war because
they were too Celtic and their opponents were too English.” But in actuality
the reverse was true. The South lasted for four horrific years with far fewer
men, far less equipment, far inferior weapons, and a countryside that was persistently
devastated as the Leviathan army worked its way like a steamroller across its
landscape. It is fair to say that the Confederate Army endured as long as it
did against such enormous odds because it was so wildly and recklessly Celtic
that it did not know when to stop fighting. And its opponents pressed steadily
on to win, and in its aftermath sowed the seeds for a century of hatred and
resistance, because in a sense they were so English that they thought victory
on the battlefield was the equivalent of conquering a region—and, more
important, a culture.

They were wrong, of course. The end result of this war was not to conquer a
culture, although the South as a region would suffer enormously for another
70 years. Instead, the war’s horrendous aftermath drove so many people
of Scots-Irish descent outward, to the north and west, that their core values
became the very spirit of a large portion of working-class America.

"No other war (Civil War) started so many controversies and for no other
do they flourish so vigorously. Every step in the conflict, every major political
decision, every campaign, almost every battle, has its own proud set of controversies,
and of all the military figures only Lee stands above argument and debate. Recent
years, however, have seen a new kind of nastiness emerge in these disputes.
Even the venerable Robert E. Lee has taken some vicious hits, as dishonest or
misinformed advocates among political interest groups and in academia attempt
to twist yesterday’s America into a fantasy that might better serve the
political issues of today. The greatest disservice on this count has been the
attempt by these revisionist politicians and academics to defame the entire
Confederate Army in a move that can only be termed the Nazification of the Confederacy.
Often cloaked in the argument over the public display of the Confederate battle
flag, the syllogism goes something like this: Slavery was evil. The soldiers
of the Confederacy fought for a system that wished to preserve it. Therefore
they were evil as well, and any attempt to honor their service is a veiled effort
to glorify the cause of slavery.

This blatant use of the race card in order to inflame their political and academic
constituencies is a tired, seemingly endless game that is itself perhaps the
greatest legacy of the Civil War’s aftermath. But in this case it dishonors
hundreds of thousands of men who can defend themselves only through the voices
of their descendants."

James Webb – Capt USMC (ret) Vietnam Combat Veteran, Secretary of the Navy for
Reagan during the 1980s.

I assert to you, Jim Webb hits the matter squarely. To cave in to demands to
rename the building, surrenders to those who would perpetuate the lies about
the Southern fighting man that have been told for over a century now. The Confederate
soldiers gave that last measure (if I may be allowed a Lincolnism) in a still
awe inspiring effort to separate themselves from what they believed had become
a lawless north.

Those who do not acknowledge same, are either dishonest in their opinions or
wholly ignorant of the history of the land in which they reside. May I remind
you that Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Virginia, North Carolina and
Maryland all declined to secede until Lincolnundertook acts of war, quite contrary
to the US Constitution to prevent the “Cotton” States secession.
If you doubt that characterization, I suggest you research an Ohio US Congressman
named Clement Vallandingham who spelled out to the US Congress in July of 1861
and during the course of the subsequent war, just how illegal Lincoln’s
actions were. In fact, the reason the list of States above seceded, was precisely
because, by so doing, Lincoln was standing in opposition to the principle established
in the war against England, whereby we obtained our independence. To wit: paraphrasing
Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, that a people have the
right to choose how they will be governed. (And by the way, the heading of that
document is The Unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united [NOT United] States
of America). From that point forward they were duty bound to stand with their
fathers and grandfathers, who had suffered so much to gain that principle from
the English Crown, against those who opposed it, even though those who opposed
it then controlled the government established by its gaining.

But those who wish to twist history precisely avoid such honesty. Indeed, the
fear of that honesty is precisely why Jefferson Davis was never tried for treason.
The Attorney General of the United States advised President Andrew Johnson that
trying him would afford him a forum in the US court system to establish that
the north had acted unconstitutionally, so they let him go for “humanitarian”
reasons. Instead, the alchemy became that the hundreds of thousands of dead
had died (not for northern greed and power-lust or to oppose it) but so that
the land might have a “new birth of freedom” and to free and make
equal former slaves. That of course, was not true (but would require another
email to demonstrate to you). What that has meant for Southern opinion and symbols
is that they have been quite purposely cast, and dishonestly so, as symbols
of slavery and racism. That result of course, requires an acceptance of the
north’s explanation of its behavior (which seen in its true light is repugnant)
and calls into question the very foundation of the “Lincolnian”
version of the federal government. Unfortunately, it plays into the hands of
those who are true racists, in that it accepts modern multicultural propaganda
that the war was racial and every effort is expended to recast the South’s
symbols as racist.

The claim that folks are offended by the South’s memory of its history,
that history being one of racial oppression, see that history and the living
symbols representing it, through that dishonest northern filter. But this view
is grossly disingenuous. I attended the funeral inCharleston, South Carolina
back in 2004 for the crew of the Confederate States submarine CSS Hunley. The
occasion was the simple honoring paid to warriors fighting for their country.
I marched in a funeral train of 10,000. The streets were lined for 6 miles with
10 times that number, waving Confederate flags of all sorts, but certainly the
Battle Flag predominating. Many were weeping. The black folk waved to us and
expressed their welcome. The young black boys saluted us as we passed on the
way to the cemetery to lay those Confederate sailors to rest. Their salutes
were returned, smartly. There is no need for offense to exist, but we all believe
what we’ve been taught and what we have been taught are lies. As Napoleon
Bonaparte put it, “History is a fable penned by the victors".

The problem of course, is that we Southerners did what our leaders told us.
We laid down our arms and tried to become good (albeit re-defined) Americans.
Indeed, Richard Weaver in is Southern Essays, complained that we did that all
too well. He remarked, “Of all the lingering evils the South suffered
as a result of military defeat, none was graver that the almost total extinction
of initiative. Those who marvel that the section has lived so much in memory,
….should recall that for a long period it was denied the right of exercising
leadership……” We have therefore, been largely powerless to
prevent these lies from gaining credence – but today maintaining those
lies is not all that is demanded. Today, the demand is to entirely expunge from
memory the truth (by disallowing flag displays, tearing down monuments, etc
etc) of that cause for which our ancestors fought. To better understand same,
I cite a couple of questions I answered for my daughter in preparation for a
paper she’s writing on Southern heritage for one of her classes at Belmont
University in Nashville.

5) How often in your household growing up was the “Civil War” or
the conflict between the North and the South mentioned? Occasionally. It might
be helpful to know the context of those occasions. Northern Ohio (specifically
the Cleveland area) was called “The Case Western Reserve”. There
is a university in Cleveland by that name now. That reserve was land set aside
for Massachusett’s Revolutionary War veterans. The road out of Boston,
runs along modern US route 20 nearly directly west from Boston through Cleveland
to points west. Northern Ohio was therefore largely settled by New England Puritans.
My parents were from tribes (as in Q1 above) that had fought the English for
centuries and whose way of looking at the world was directly contrary to “Puritanism”.
There was a distinct tension between us exiled Southerners and those among whom
we lived. My parents and relatives remarked about the differences frequently
and occasionally during such, The War was mentioned for context.

6) If not mentioned in your young life what was it that drew you to this organization
and these ideals? I have already given part of the answer in Q5 above. “…..Growing
up with that sense of “otherness” and exile set up against the air
of what historians call “American Triumphalism” so ubiquitous in
the north and through them the whole country caused me to have to dig into finding
out from whence such came. I’ll never forget the first time I read about
The War my parents occasionally mentioned. Having been imbued with that sense
of Triumphalism in the northern classroom (which had as its practical foundation
that war, where America conquered those evil Southerners who couldn’t
get with the program, freed the slaves, saved the Union etc), I couldn’t
square that with what my cultural background taught me. As I read more and more
during my childhood, it became clear to me at a young age that the north’s
victory in the war had reversed what had been won in the war to secede from
the British Empire (The Revolutionary War). It is impossible to put the South’s
struggle for independence some 80 plus years later in context without understanding
the issues of the war against England for our original independence and that
other revolution (the French). There is not time or space to fully tell that
tale, but one must remember that the Confederacy’s leaders were standing
in the traditions of their fathers – for the principles of English Common
Law that themselves owed to many centuries of development in what is now called
The Western Tradition, constraining the arbitrary power of kings and concentrations
of power (Scotland’s resistance to the English crown [think Braveheart]
being very much a part of that constraining). The French Revolution had as its
conceptual base the philosophy of Jean Jacque Rousseau – which in its
political manifestation came to be called Jacobinism. (Indeed, all the “isms”
of modernity are either its direct offspring or reactions to it). It’s
tenets were that human societies up to that point had caged humanity through
the cooperation of kings and priests and had to be overthrown- in other words
the Western Tradition and any other religiously founded ones had to go. In their
place a new type of society was to be created, at the point of the sword as
necessary. To state it differently- Rousseau believed humans could be perfected
through proper political arrangements not founded on religious superstitions
but on what humans thought best for themselves. Any who oppose such are the
enemies of human progress and must be eliminated. As such it was the enemy of
religious traditions and all then existing traditional governments. Lincoln
ignorantly brought the ideals of the French Revolution (read the Gettysburg
Address which turned the American founding upside down) into the driver’s
seat- Europe would finally wholly follow after WWI. That transition was aided
when Karl Marx put a pseudo scientific veneer over Rousseau and when the peasants
overthrew the Russian monarchy one of the more extreme versions resulted. New
England’s own religious brand of this kind of spirit morphed into the
Jacobin secular version (called American Progressivism, founded on that triumphalism
as above and what Kentuckian Robert Penn Warren called ‘the treasury of
virtue’ stored up by fighting one of those traditional governments, The
Southern Confederacy)- Indeed, I would argue that the South’s defeat,
opened the door to the entire world’s adopting or being forced to react
to some version of a Jacobin inspired ism. After the northern victory in 1865
and the century between then and 1965, the world experienced the bloodiest 100
years known in all human history as all those isms began to fight one another.
The world was fractured asunder between 1776 and 1918. Where we end up living
among the fragments is still in process. Because modern political entities are
founded on a revolutionary ethic-they themselves are subject to revolutionary
re-arrangement. Many are familiar with Lord Acton’s quote, “Power
corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Acton was Sir John Dahlberg,
one of the nineteenth century’s pre-eminent political philosophers. What
is almost wholly unknown about Acton is that he exchanged letters with Robert
E. Lee after the northern victory. Excerpting: Robert E. Lee , "All that
the South has ever desired was the Union as established by our forefathers should
be preserved and that the government as originally organized should be administered
in purity and truth." Acton,"…..The institutions of your Republic
have not exercised on the old world the salutary and liberating influence which
ought to have belonged to them, by reason of those defects and abuses of principle
which the Confederate Constitution was expressly and wisely calculated to remedy.
…Therefore I deemed that you were fighting the battles of our liberty,
our progress, and our civilization; and I mourn for the stake which was lost
at Richmond more deeply than I rejoice over that which was saved at Waterloo."
Lee replied:"…. I yet believe that the maintenance of the rights
and authority reserved to the states and to the people, … essential to
…. safeguard ..the continuance of a free government…. whereas the
consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad
and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed
all those that have preceded it…….The South has contended only for the supremacy
of the Constitution, and the just administration of the laws made in pursuance
to it." Later Dahlberg wrote an analysis of the war in which he said: "The
North has used the doctrines of Democracy to destroy self-government. The South
applied the principle of conditional federation to cure the evils and to correct
the errors of a false interpretation of Democracy…………….[and the inevitable
result of an unfettered federal government will be] the initiative in administration;
the function of universal guardian and paymaster; the resources of coercion,
intimidation, and corruption; the habit of preferring the public interest of
the moment to the established law; ………….. a public creditor; a prodigious
budget – these things will remain to the future government of the Federal
Union, and will make it approximate more closely to the imperial than to the
republican type of democracy…..By exhibiting the spectacle of a people
claiming to be free, but whose love of freedom means hatreds of inequality,
jealousy of limitations to power, and reliance on the States as an instrument
to mould as well as to control society, it calls on its admirers to hate aristocracy
and teaches its adversaries to fear the people." And just how many Peoples
Republics of this and that exist today? And in the name of a given political
entity’s power, consolidated in the claim to act in its peoples will and
for their benefit, just how many slaughters have occurred? The USpiece of this
equation is daunting to see, because we’re blinded by New England’s
explanation of the country’s founding and purpose in the world. We do
not understand that our first experience with terrorism inspired by revolutionary
fervor was John Brown’s raid into Virginia to effect the violent overthrow
of Southern governments- funded and inspired by that cooperation between New
England’s Puritans and Jacobins. It is significant that after many years
of talking about separation, the South did so only after John Brown’s
raid revealed the true nature of where matters were headed. Rather than Lincoln’s
vision of national power consolidated to reflect the iron will of the northern
majority, the South believed the only way to prevent the evils attended thereto
was to maintain as a counter balance, state power. As the Virginian Robert L
Dabney wrote, “The people of the South went to war, because they sincerely
believed what their political fathers had taught them, with one voice, for two
generations that the doctrine of State-sovereignty for which they fought, was
absolutely essential as the bulwark of the liberties of the people." We
know the end of that story- we’re living in it. And where have matters
been brought? We have witnessed all over the globe as Lee put it governments
“sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home” who claim to
act in the name of their people to accomplish its particular vision of political
perfection- the mantra goes something like “1) We (your moral and intellectual
superiors) know how people should live 2) Your group is not living by that vision
3) It is imperative, for the sake of, peace, human rights and progress that
humankind should be made to conform with that vision 3) Given that imperative,
we have the right to force that result 4) Even if it means destroying the opponents
of that vision. Europe having succeeded in cutting itself off from the Christian
roots of its societies, leaving only the secularized, politically radical components
of same after the bloodbath of WWI and WWII, no longer has a taste for such
a fight. Such stands behind why it has allowed Islam (which understands the
cultural assault it faces from the now Jacobin West) a toe hold inside Europe.
The US has not yet lost its fervor – it freed the slaves, fights racism,
sexism, homophobism, communism, radical Islamacism etc etc. But Islam has the
same (religious not secular) thing to say in return- the world should be Muslim
and we have the right to slaughter to accomplish that vision – that clash
is about to bring the world to its next round of catastrophe. The soldiers of
the Confederacy fought with every ounce of their being to prevent converting
our founding from one where people worked out their future cooperatively and
not at the barrel of a gun for the purpose of overthrowing all that had come
before, at the hands of governments given radical power to effect that overthrowing.
They owed it to their family (especially those long dead) to fight such a revolutionary
and dangerous development.

2) When referring to people from the North what do you call them? Variously
depending on the context. Not all folks from the north are “Yankees”.
Especially with so many Southerners from the end of WWII and thereafter moving
north. But even in the mid nineteenth century, most of the area in the north
south of Columbus Ohio were settled by Virginians. Many of them were called
“Copperheads” and supported the South. Lincoln and his New England
backers ruthlessly suppressed any opposition to their war, being the Jacobins
they were. Generally speaking I call anyone who believes that spreading their
gospel, their way of life and view of the world at the point of the bayonet,

The above is why Weaver continued by remarking, “……We can
longer avoid seeing that this little upheaval is not a regional affair, or an
American affair, but a particular instance of a movement which is taking place
all over the world. It is, to repeat, a phase of the general retreat of humanism
before universal materialism and technification…”

As Lee said, all the South has ever desired was “the supremacy of the
Constitution, and the just administration of the laws made in pursuance to it."
Or as Lincoln put it, the maintenance of a government of the people, for the
people and by the people- although through his large talent for sophistry he
managed to do the opposite.

To continue to spout post war northern propaganda that was put forward to justify
its naked conquest of the South, which damages race relations in particular
(envision the Jim Crow laws of the northern states copied nearly verbatim and
passed by the Southern States during "reconstruction") and to gratuitously
recast all the ensuing misery from that conquest by considering such uninformed
nonsense as removing the statues or names of our heroes from public buildings,
would simply demonstrate how far Tennessee has sold its soul and birthright.

We have for far too long been silent in the face of these lies, but when our
history and our symbols are now characterized as “anathema” and
slated for the memory hole, honor and duty demand action, hence this communication
to you.

— Basil D. (Bazz) Childress Lexington, Kentucky "I’ve studied your great
cities. Believe me, the South is worth saving. Against a possible day when a
flood of foreign anarchy threatens the foundations of the Republic and men shall
laugh at the faith of your fathers, and undigested wealth beyond the dreams
of avarice rots your society until it mocks at honor, love and God – against
that day we will preserve the South." — John Durham