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An Open Report; The Weekend of September 21st - 23
Friday morning as I existed the Hotel room of the Days Inn , adorned in my Confederate uniform ; a Lincoln Impersonator existed the room next door. All I could think was d__n, when he extended his hands in a warm greeting to me. However, I just wanted none of this , but my mama would have demanded a courteous response of her son, so I did just that, and thought to myself, let me get out of here before I have a heart attack. Upon arriving on the grounds of the Historical Bethesda Church , I scurried quickly past Commander Mike Lee Beck , because all of us who know him , know that look in his eyes when he is at his very best putting you to work. On this day thousands of school children would come with their parents, teachers, and other administrators and members of the public to hear and learn of events and actions that led a nation to a war that caused battles like this at Morristown, Tennessee. The only down side for me was that, the very same Lincoln that I had run into early this morning was now lecturing a group of my Southern babies in the adjacent tent ; I thought, how sad, the Honorable Jefferson Davis is not here , we all must pick up the slack.
As the day began to wound down , the children had gone , I would turn from where I was sitting and see Lincoln sitting in the seat of a U.S.Army tank; it was if he was putting the icing on the cake he had baked this day on Southern soil. I shall never forget the total perplexed look on Lincoln's face when at the urging of one of my gracious ladies of the Order of the Confederate Rose , I climbed into the cockpit of the tank with my Battle Flag in hand , the young Staff Sgt. revved up the tanks motor and we sped away across the battlefield at the cheers of my Southern Family. Later in the evening as I sat across the table from Commander Jim Maddox, my brother and kindred soul of the sister and brotherhood known as the South ; listening to him as he always does in his very special way ribbing me about the reports he had received about me cutting up earlier in the day, and just like he always does, he turned to how he could help you, how are you doing , and the projects he was working on to help those who fought everyday for the vindication of the South's good name and that of her honorable people. We gossiped for several hours about everything, our love life, Mike Lee Beck, Skip Earle, Dave Roberts, Ed Butler, Alan Howell , Judge Nidifer, and Travis; a Band of Brotherhood whom we both loved . I would leave Commander Maddox and head out to Zachary Hills, N.C. for the Historical War Between The States Re-Enactment of the Battle at Zachary Hills , N.C. , where alongside Randolph Nichols (I hope I got his name right) of the United States Colored Troop Re-enactors I would once again address the children and visiting members of the public. After participating in the battle and visiting with another of my favorite brothers, Arthur Lee Brewer of the Roxboro Sons of Confederate Veterans, his wife , and Norman and his wife; I had just completed a great weekend, and headed home.
Travis would be the first to call, just as I drove up in the yard. HK, I hate to give you this bad news he would say. I would brace myself for what was to come, but I could never brace hard enough when he said to me that Jim Maddox , in room 130 of the Days Inn , the very same room that I had spent the night on Thursday , had passed away. Ironically on this very day, as the Battle of Zachary Hills was concluding, the order was given that when the Union Army fired there cannons next volley; all the charging Confederates in the Company where I now carried the Colors should fall dead ; only the Colors would live to retreat. It had been a sickening feeling as I watched the men fall. I could only think how it must have felt to those men who would watch this kind of scene unfold. I did not want to retreat, but was told from one of the dying officers, HK, you must save the Colors. That same sick feeling had now hit me as I listen to Travis, only it was worse. I am so mad at Jim Maddox ! How could he do this to us now. Go off and die. It surely has to be one of those right to the point jokes he tells , just like Commander Beck, it's so serious, but so funny. God will be so happy to see him, General Lee will call out the Honor Guard, and my mama will get even for all of us for him taking off like this. I have lost a true friend and brother , and the South like General Lee's lost of General Jackson has lost one of her finest Generals , but take delight in the knowledge that there will be a celebration in Heaven , and Commander Maddox will be lobbying all of God's Angels to bring the South some help . In my macabre sort of humorous way that Commander Maddox would understand , could only think, I hope he didn't run into Lincoln at the motel door, I had warned him ; Lincoln was next door.