Don't make the erroneous assumption that Abe Lincoln's hired killers and arsonists only destroyed larger towns in the War to Prevent Southern Independence. An example of their hooliganism and destruction of very small towns is the Yankee assault on Quitman, Mississippi in February, 1864.
My family and I recently visited the Confederate Cemetery just south of the Quitman city limits, roughly 25 miles from our home in Wayne County. It lies down a narrow dirt road, just off Highway 145, nestled among the pine trees, and just a few yards from the Meridian Southern Railroad (formerly known as Mobile and Ohio; Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio; and Illinois Central Gulf.) This cemetery contains the remains of approximately 300 Confederate soldiers. Although each tombstone is marked 'Unknown Confederate Soldier,' there are quite a few names of Rebel soldiers engraved in a granite slab at the site.
The cemetery is associated with what was known as the 'Texas Hospital' which was constructed nearby. Citizens of Galveston and Houston helped to construct the hospital in July, 1862, to ensure that Texans and other Confederate soldiers who were wounded, or seriously ill, could be treated and taken care of. They sent Dr. Louis Bryan with wagon loads of medicine which had been purchased in Mexico. Medicine was hard to come by in the CSA during the war, for obvious reasons. Dr. Enos Thomas Bonney, a well-respected surgeon from Enterprise, Mississippi, (a little hamlet about 12 miles north of Quitman) assisted Dr. Bryan, and eventually took charge of the hospital.
In January, 1864, Sherman received approval from U.S. Grant to commence with a raid into the heart of Mississippi in Meridian, meaning, of course, to destroy everything in the Yankee army's path.
Sherman had been planning to make such a raid since October, 1863, when he wrote to General James McPherson about the 'destruction in toto of a large section of the railroad at Meridian, the larger and more perfect, the better.'
On February 3, 1864, Sherman's forces departed Vicksburg in two wings; the right wing commanded by McPherson, and the left wing commanded by Major General Stephen Hurlbut.
This army marched through Jackson, Brandon, Morton, and Decatur, and arrived in Meridian on February 14. On February 16, Major General Crocker ordered Brigadier General Walter Q. Gresham to invade Quitman, destroy the railroad bridge across the Chickasawhay River, and the trestle work across Alligator Swamp. In an interesting side note, Gresham became Secretary of State in the Grover Cleveland administration. Then, as now, military heroes were often rewarded with cushy federal positions in Washington, D.C. for 'jobs well done.'
Gresham did everything he was instructed to do, and more. His forces arrived in Quitman and proceeded to burn the railroad depot, the Methodist Church, (which was doubling as a hospital), the city jail, the courthouse, general stores, a sawmill, and a gristmill, in addition to many other buildings.
Gresham's troops then tore up over four miles of the Mobile and Ohio Railroad track. Part of Gresham's force then proceeded to the Chickasawhay River, where they destroyed the 200-foot covered railroad bridge which spanned the river. Not quite finished with their destruction, the Yankee troops then marched to the Texas Hospital and set fire to all the buildings. The hospital complex consisted of two large buildings, in addition to at least 12 wooden barracks, and a drug store. Providentially, the staff had received word of the impending U.S. Army invasion, and the staff and Rebel soldiers had evacuated into Alabama prior to the arrival of Gresham's forces. Fifteen miles south, at the Langsdale Plantation (the Langsdale antebellum home is still intact today), residents could see the smoke from the fires in Quitman and the Texas Hospital as it burned to the ground. The Quitman 'Texas' hospital serving Confederate soldiers was never rebuilt.
Inexplicably, the cemetery became forgotten for over 50 years, when a farmer in the 1930s, breaking ground to put in a corn crop, turned up buttons from a Confederate soldier's uniform. He had discovered the long-forgotten Confederate cemetery. The cemetery was formally dedicated on May 25, 1987.
For those interested in the history of our CSA, a visit to the Confederate Cemetery in Clarke County, Mississippi is highly recommended.
*Excerpts of this story were taken from www.Civilwarhome.com.
As I sit at my computer, gazing through the window, looking at the tomato plants which were put in the ground yesterday, and the firewood, stacked in crisscrossed patterns for better drying until the first fires of Autumn will be lit, I'm thankful to Almighty God for another day of life on the 13 acres on which my family and I live in southeast Mississippi.
I'm also wondering what the next few weeks or months will hold, because these are the strangest times I've experienced in my 61 years on this earth. This will be the third consecutive Sunday of 'live-streaming' church services for the church my family and I are members of. Seriously! 'Live-streaming' church. I expressed my disapproval to the pastor, but he responded, 'Well, you heard about the governor's guidelines, right?' Yes, I did, but they were just that – guidelines, not commands. Regardless, we have to fall in line with the rest of the sheep, or risk being ostracized in the community for being 'insensitive' to the spread of the Deadly Virus Known By Many Names.
The Wayne County board of supervisors met on Monday, and declared a 9PM – 5AM curfew, unless one is going to work, or transporting someone in a medical emergency. So, I suppose if my boys and I want to drive 16 ½ miles to a 40-acre plot of land we own, (land my late father-in-law was raised on in the 1920s and 1930s), to do some wild hawg hunting between 9PM and 5AM, we risk being stopped by the local Barney Fife, who might ask 'where y'all goin? Don'tcha know there's a curfew in place? Y'all better get on back to the house!' O.k., deputy, whatever you say. I could give him a lecture about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but I'll save it for another day. Given the fact there is more than way to get to 'the ole place' as we refer to it, we'll just take an alternate route. I know there is a finite number of deputies on the clock in Wayne County at 9:30 at night. In other words, it's pretty much an unenforceable curfew. But it makes the supervisors sound as if they are 'taking charge' and 'doing something'! Makes them feel that they're earning the tax-payer dollars they live off. This reminds me of an article I must read at Mises.org, entitled 'Politicians Have Used This Crisis to Remind Us They're Mostly Wannabe Dictators.' Truer words have never been written.
Lately I've been reading 'Salvos Against the New Deal', which is a collection of essays written by Garet Garrett, which were published in The Saturday Evening Post, and is edited by Bruce Ramsey.
In an essay from January 29, 1938 titled 'The Sign Ascendant', Garrett, referring to governments all over the world wrote 'All alike, they are limiting the areas of human freedom, for no government can in any way extend its powers over people but to limit freedom' and the last paragraph of this particular essay, 'Such then is the sign that now is ascendant in the political heavens. Such is the movement that is taking place in the world. Neither the sign nor the movement is new in the world; they are new only in this country, where now, for the first time, it may be that Government will overwhelm freedom. Certainly it will if the extension of its power be not heroically resisted.'
In just a couple of hours, my boys and I are going to the Chickasawhay River to set out a catfish trap. The game warden wouldn't be pleased. However, if Daniel Boone was still around, I believe he'd say 'catch a big mess of fish, boys!'
Mississippi is the last remaining state which incorporates the Confederate flag into its state flag design. On April 17, 2001, in a special referendum, Mississippians voted to keep the state flag which had been adopted as the state flag in 1894. The vote was 64.39% in favor of keeping the flag; 35.61% opposed.
Many prominent state politicians voted to change the flag, and urged those of us less enlightened to also do so, citing the need for a flag which 'unifies' all Mississippians. I believe these politicians were quite surprised that so many of us voted against their wishes. Why did we disappoint them?
There are several reasons. First, there are quite a few of us who prefer to do our own thinking about any given subject. Just because a man goes off to school at Yale or Harvard or Princeton, and comes back to Mississippi with a new, progressive way of thinking about the South, and Mississippi in particular, doesn't mean we're going to agree with him. Just because our public and private school history teachers stood at the front of the classroom and bloviated (and still bloviate, unfortunately) about how the great Abraham Lincoln's United States military invaded and destroyed the Confederate States of America to abolish slavery, doesn't mean they were and are currently telling the truth. Many of us have researched this subject, and read extensively, and have arrived at a starkly different conclusion. Just because the state's flagship newspaper, Jackson's Clarion-Ledger, owned by the Confederacy-hating Gannett Corporation, published editorials pushing the flag change (and still does) , didn't mean we had to kowtow to their opinion.
While we have kept the flag for now, I won't be so smug, or naive to believe that it will always survive. None of the three major public universities in Mississippi (Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and the University of Southern Mississippi) currently fly the state flag on university grounds. Several towns in Mississippi have ceased flying the flag on public property. It angers and saddens me greatly to go into a so-called Christian school in Mississippi, and see images of Abe Lincoln on the walls of the classrooms, colored with crayons, and taped there by impressionable young children; images of the man who inflicted an unimaginable degree of death and destruction on the people of the South.
If a referendum on changing or keeping the state flag were to be held six months from now, I'm not sure what the result would be. When one of the U.S. Senators from Mississippi (Roger Wicker, Republican) is quoted as saying 'the Mississippi state flag belongs in a museum,' minds may have been indoctrinated with so many lies that the vote would possibly be to change our flag. However, drive into many rural areas of our state, and one will see many Mississippi and Confederate flags flying next to homes and barns. Many of us still honor the men who bravely fought and died resisting Washington, DC's brutal, vicious invasion and occupation of our beloved South. We still honor the men who fought to resist Abraham Lincoln's tyranny. Even if the 'smart people' in Mississippi eventually decide to make the change, there are many of us who will keep flying the flag on our private property.
In Dixie land I'll take my stand.
While on a recent trip to the local U.S. Post office, I encountered a man standing near the outside mail box. After I had put my outgoing mail into the box, he approached my pick-up truck, and had noticed the 'CSA' tag on the front of the truck.
“Hey buddy, CSA stand for Confederate States?” he asked.
“Yes, of America,” I replied.
“You don't hate black people, do ya?” he asked, grinning.
“Absolutely not,” I replied. “Pretty much the only people I hate in this world are U.S. Government bureaucrats and politicians, and I don't really hate them personally. I just hate what they do for a pay check – which is basically this: annoying and harassing people who actually work for a living. And I'm forced to pay income taxes to help cover their salaries, and eventually, federal pensions. But, I guess I'd rather pay income taxes than spend time in a government cage. I couldn't make any kind of a living for my family if I was locked up. So I guess I'll keep paying the mafia, I mean, government off, so I can stay out of jail.”
Although I hadn't said this to evoke a laugh, he bent over laughing. “Yeah, I know whatcha mean, buddy!” he said. “Never thought about 'em bein' like the mafia!”
“Yeah, they are. If you don't pay up, Uncle Sam will send his men (and women) after you, and if you resist, they'll whack you just like a New York City mob boss's henchman would,” I said. Noticing his Ole Miss Rebels tee shirt, I had to ask the rhetorical question, “Rebel fan, are ya?”
“Oh yeah, loved Archie, and Ben Williams, and Eli! They ain't got much this year, though.”
“Yeah, they used to fly Rebel flags at their games, and the band played Dixie all the time,” I said, “and nobody seemed to be offended. I was at the State-Ole Miss game in 1976, and Ole Miss had a guy in a Confederate uniform, and he and the Bulldog mascot had a friendly wrestlin' match at midfield before the game. It was a sight to see. But those days are gone forever.”
“Well, at least we're still the Rebels,” he said.
“Don't count on it lasting a whole lot longer, my man,” I responded. “You know they stopped flying the Mississippi flag on campus in Oxford, don't you?”
“The heck you say! You kiddin' me, right?”
“Afraid not. They stopped flying the flag at Ole Miss, and State, too. You know, we're the only state left which still has the Confederate flag in our flag. But our so-called 'leaders' are spineless, and gave in to the Confederacy-haters. Senator Wicker says our state flag belongs in a museum, not on a public flagpole. He's a typical Bush/Cheney Republican.”
“Ain't that some crap!”
“That it is, bud, that it is. I better get on outta here. Got to get back to work.”
“Make America great again!” he said, as I was driving away. I believe it's too late, I thought to myself. I believe it's too late.
Duncan Hunter is a hero to many Americans. I am not among that number.
Commenting on the upcoming trial of a fellow participant in the United States government's invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq, Hunter said “I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians, if not scores, if not hundreds of civilians. Probably killed women and children, if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So, do I get judged too?”
Hunter was a willing participant in the illegal, unconstitutional, unnecessary war of aggression against the country of Iraq. He obviously shows no remorse for his callous indifference to the suffering, destruction, death and chaos he helped to inflict on the people of that country; people who had not attacked the United States; people who were of no threat whatsoever to the citizens of the United States.
I suspect that if Duncan Hunter had been born in 1840, rather than in 1976, he would have gladly participated in the Yankee Empire's invasion and destruction of the Confederate States of America.
At the behest of Abraham Lincoln, he would have willingly donned the blue uniform of the Yankee invaders. Hunter surely would have kicked down doors of Southern farmhouses, and set barns ablaze.
He would have participated in the slaughter of hogs and cows which belonged to the women and children left behind by the men who were defending Dixie against the invading U.S. Army; hogs and cows which would have provided meat, milk and butter to sustain Southern families through the winter months. If any Southern women or 12 year-old boys had resisted his violence, he likely would have run his bayonet through their hearts without flinching. Surely Duncan Hunter would have smiled as he looked back over his shoulder to see the smoldering ruins of Atlanta, or Vicksburg, or Chattanooga in the distance. In 1890, Duncan Hunter would likely have reminisced fondly of his time in the Union Army, recollecting his killing of 'hundreds of Rebel civilians.'
Is Duncan Hunter a hero? Sure, he is, to Americans who glory in the invasion and destruction of defenseless countries thousands of miles from America's shores. To an unreconstructed Southerner, Duncan Hunter is just another pawn in the Yankee Empire's killing machine.
A couple of years ago, my family and I attended that most Southern of cultural events – a 'fiddlers' convention' in the community of Frankville, Alabama. Frankville is only a 45-minute drive from our home in rural Wayne County, Mississippi. This was the third time we had gone to the 'convention' and we have always enjoyed ourselves at this event. It has been held annually since 1926, and takes place in the old school building. Prizes are awarded for best mandolin picker, best banjo picker, best guitar picker, best band, and of course, the most prestigious, best fiddler.
We arrived at the venue around 5:30 to listen to a local bluegrass gospel band play a set, which lasted until 6:30. The barbecued chicken we purchased was reasonably priced and, though not the best I have eaten, was pretty tasty.
Following the bluegrass set, the master of ceremonies took the stage. After the usual welcoming remarks, he launched into praise for President Trump. He was particularly grateful that Mr. Trump had authorized lobbing a few bombs into the sovereign nation of Syria just a few days before. Full disclosure: I admit to having voted for Donald Trump in November of 2016. The two primary reasons were (1) To defeat his Democratic opponent, and (2) I was hopeful he would, at the very least, scale back America's useless, unconstitutional foreign military adventures of the last 100 years or so. The MC didn't give the reason for the Syria attack, he was just proud of Mr. Trump for having done so.
After the typical platitudes about being 'proud to be an American,' the MC moved a large American flag to the center of the stage. I knew what was coming next. He spoke of what a great country we are all blessed to live in, and he implored everyone to join him in pledging allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. My wife and I, and five of my seven children were standing about five rows from the front of the auditorium, so the MC could clearly see we were not joining him and the 100 or so others in the building in the pledge. The look of astonishment and contempt on his face, upon seeing we hadn't joined him and the others in the 'patriotic' recitation was plain to see. I fully expected to be accosted and rebuked by him before I left the building for not participating in the pledge, but he spoke not a word to me. Had he chosen to do so, I was prepared to respond in this way:
America is a wonderful country, in spite of the wickedness of those who rule over us. However, I will not pledge allegiance to a flag if it represents a government which takes money from me by force to help fund Planned Parenthood; which takes money from me by force to wage endless wars in lands 7,000 miles from America's shores; which takes money from me by force to pay those who refuse to work; which takes money from me by force to fund the FDR gem, Social Security, whether I want to participate or not. Furthermore, am I going to resist the men (and God forbid, women) who might show up on my property some day to confiscate the firearms my sons and I use to kill deer and turkeys, and which we use to defend our home and property against intruders? Perhaps I wouldn't if I have pledged allegiance to the flag stitched on the shirt sleeves of the government agents. Last, but certainly not least, because I am an unreconstructed Southerner, I won't pledge allegiance to the flag adored by those Lincoln-worshipping conservatives and liberals of both the Fox News and CNN variety. Thus far, in the first 60 years of my life, I have avoided the Stockholm Syndrome.
Anthony Powell is an unreconstructed Southerner, a married, home-schooling father of seven, four of whom are still at home. He and his wife own a screen-printing business. He is a life-long resident of rural Wayne County, Mississippi, who has lived on the same 20 acres his entire life. In his spare time, he hunts, fishes, enjoys Scrabble with his children, and plays bluegrass music.