Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Canister!

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on September 14, 2013

3edTexas

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Small stories that may not warrant posts of their own:

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  • The contentious Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Memphis was vandalized this week. Whatever one feels about that monument, vandalism is a crime, dumbasses.
  • The original Medal of Honor issued to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was found and returned to the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick.
  • The City Council in Selma, Alabama recently voted to offer the one-acre plot known as Confederate Circle to the local UDC for $60,000. The UDC claims to own it, but neither side can clearly document title to the property. The local UDC head, Pat Godwin, sounded a little dismissive when she said, “I see no reason why the UDC should purchase the property when we already own it.” Uh, maybe. I think the UDC needs to find a more affirmative response than that, because the city is moving on it.
  • The Los Angeles Review of Books had a profile of Dixie Outfitters the other day. For a guy who’s made a fortune selling history-themed apparel, Dewey Barber sure does deflect a lot of questions about history.
  • The Bullock Texas State History Museum recently put on exhibit the battle flag of the Third Texas Infantry (above), that served in South Texas before joining Walker’s Texas Division in 1864. Their only major action was the Battle of Jenkin’s Ferry, which was the combat shown in flashback at the beginning of the Spielberg Lincoln film last year. The flag is unusual, being red stripes on a blue field. It was reportedly made in Cuba and brought in through the Union blockade.
  • I’m reading Cecil Brown’s Stagolee Shot Billy, about the famous ballad. Everybody’s heard Lloyd Price’s famous version, but I bet you haven’t heard the version recorded for play on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show — it’s so cleaned up, it makes no damn sense at all.
  • James Reston, Jr. has a new book coming out that argues that when Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK in Dallas 50 years ago, he was actually aiming for Texas Governor John Connally. I don’t think much of most assassination conspiracy theories, which are usually too convoluted to seem plausible, but Reston’s theory — not about who shot the president, but why — seems at least worth considering.
  • Confederate reenactors, beware! Among you there are infiltrators, “false flaggers” (get it?) who are being paid to subvert the hobby with political correctness and anti-Southron sentiment. Or so says this person.
  • Over at To the Sound of the Guns, Craig Swain continues to do definitive and original blogging on events at Charleston during the war, tied to the sesquicentennial. Bloggers will know the discipline and focus required for a sustained effort like that. This week, Craig shared the story of one of the most historic photographs of the war. It’s not much to look at, and you may not have paid much attention to it before, but it’s absolutely worth your time.
  • John McClain, the dean of Houston sportswriters, makes a compelling case that Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. He’s right, but the whole idea makes Houston Oiler fans queasy.

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Got any more? Put ‘em in the comments below.

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GeneralStarsGray

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8 Responses

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  1. Andy Hall said, on September 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    An additional thought on Reston’s thesis —

    One reason that JFK assassination theories have such traction is (as many others going back, I think, Manchester) have pointed out is that there’s a tremendous cognitive dissonance with the idea that a completely forgettable little like Oswald, using a mail-order Italian rifle, could bring down the president of the United States. Reston’s book, it seems, not only accepts that, but goes one step further in arguing that Oswald acted not out of ideology or political motivations, but purely out of a personal vendetta, directed at Connally, and the murder of JFK was incidental to that. Expect a lot of pushback to this idea, that not only did a nobody bring down Camelot, but did so accidentally.

    • Pat Young said, on September 15, 2013 at 3:13 am

      I’ve read a lot on the assassination, but I never heard the Connally angle before.

  2. Foxessa said, on September 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Was thinking of you while reading the Dixie Outfitters article — which I came to via salondotcom.

    It got to be quite a mess about 2/3 the way through, in my humble opinion, anyway. He was trying way too hard — o mighosh, black and tans are dogs! Yeah, black and tans are Irish stouts too. Therefore there is never any white supremacy being expressed in the display of this flag.

    • Andy Hall said, on September 14, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      Dewey Barber had some nice things to say about H. K. Edgerton. With a little more candor he might have mentioned that he, Barber, owns Southern Heritage 411, the group Edgerton fronts, and Edgerton is effectively his employee.

  3. Billy Bearden said, on September 15, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Selma city council meeting minutes in 1871 do give the UDC 1 acre. While there is no ‘deed’ it has been stated the former UDC president’s house burned down long ago and the ‘deed’ may have been in her possessions. The vandalized statue of Forrest sits inside that acre where Selma moved it to and away from the Smitherman historical museum.

    Alabama Senator Hank Sander’s wife Rose Sanders tried and failed to topple the statue in 2000

    The anti-statue repair petition started by Rose Sander’s daughter now has 331,951 signatures.

    Sander’s followers attacked the construction project manager and his people, and went so far as to place children into a ditch where concrete was about to be poured, which cost 2 loads of concrete.

    Sanders filed charges against the construction manager, but a judge ruled for him and against her.

    A 2 pronged lawsuit against Selma is now underway, the lesser of the suits being just $375,000.
    Shame the hate of the Sander’s have brought all this on Selma.

    Of course, the Feds should look into why and how Hank is sending Alabama Taxpayer $$ to Rose’s ventures like the “National Voting Rights Museum” and other operations, and the FCC should check into the hate spewed forth by Rose and company on her radio show……

    • Andy Hall said, on September 15, 2013 at 9:11 am

      Regardless of what happened to the paper copy originally held by by the UDC — which, I should point out, did not exist in 1871 — there should be some record of a formal title transfer. If the city council minutes record such a transfer in 1871, then that’s a strong argument in favor of the current UDC claim. But it means nothing unless and until they get themselves recognized as the owners under law. They can say “we already own it” indefinitely, but that’s not going to stop the city from trying to sell it.

      The city is now officially on record as wanting to sell this plot. If the UDC is unwilling to buy it on their terms, or to challenge the city for title to the property (which they can make a good case for), then the city’s next logical step is to put the property up for bid. The UDC needs to move on this.

      I know you like to focus on specific individuals in these matters (e.g., Mimi Elrod, Anna Brodsky), but this situation is bigger than Rose Sanders; it’s now the Selma City Council.

      • Pat Young said, on September 15, 2013 at 10:22 am

        Just as a technical issue, in New York, titles are filed with county. These are public records. This is so liens can be attached and notice given of ownership. Does that not happen in Selma?

        • Andy Hall said, on September 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm

          I’m sure the process is similar everywhere. While the 1871 city council minutes may indicate their will and intent to transfer the property, it’s still not a title. (And of course, the UDC was not organized for more than 20 years after that.) The current UDC chapter sounds like they have a substantive claim to the property, but they need to get that formalized, post haste. The current city council is now on the record as wanting to divest themselves of the property, and seems likely to move forward while Ms. Godwin is still saying, “but we already own it.”


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