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An Open Letter & Open Report / Lakeland & The Madness In Manatee County, Florida

From: HK Edgerton [hk.edgerton@gmail.com]
Date: Wed, Sep 6, 2017
Subject: An Open Letter & Open Report / Lakeland & The Madness In Manatee County, Florida
To: siegels1 [siegels1@mindspring.com]

Dear Ms. Lunelle,

I could not have been more proud of the Honorable Attorney, David McCallister, than I was on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, as he stood before the Lakeland City Commission. I could not help thinking just how proud not only Stephen D. Lee must have been as he looked down from on high, but also all those mothers who sent their sons to General Lee to do battle in defense of our homeland, the Southland of America, as Mr. McCallister spoke.

On this day, only two women would present a shaky presentation on the removal of the beautiful Confederate soldiers monument from the Park where it stands in downtown Lakeland, one speaking in the negative for what she believed Black folks of the era felt about the monument. I would later straighten her out.

A young Black man, Ashley Troutman, would give a rousing dissertation for the monument to remain in place. Instead of moving it, he would suggest a forum of the stakeholders and citizens on both sides, pro and con, would better serve the community.

There was a host of other citizens who would echo the same as Troutman. It became increasingly clear that the overwhelming majority of folks in this Council chamber wanted their monument to remain in place. Only Commissioner Selvage seemed bent on removing the monument. He tried his best to persuade Troutman into saying that he would accept an alternative solution. However, Troutman stuck to his guns, saying that he preferred it stay in place. Selvage even tried to get the other Commissioners to vote on the matter right away as the other Commissioners leaned towards Troutman's suggestions.

Selvage would challenge me about the number of Black Confederates who served in the Southern army. I told him to start counting the ones who fought in the State of Florida, beginning with the Honorable Dr. Alexander Darnes, and Christopher Columbus Quarls. I would go on to offer him five dvd's authored by Terry Lee Edgerton, and his now famous pictorial documentary book of the Historic March Across Dixie that would the answer his questions.

He would after the meeting slam the dvds and book on a rail in the Chamber as I stood talking to a retired Florida school teacher, indicating that he did not want the materials. The teacher would chide him for his rudeness, and ask of me could she have the book? As I signed it, the mayor would come over, and ask if I would sign the one I had left for him? And I did.

Mr. McCallister and I would travel on to Tampa and arrive in time to watch the sacrilege of the Confederate soldiers monument being removed from its base. Another dark day in the Southland of America unfolded before our eyes. God bless you!

Your brother,

HK

Chairman, Board of Advisors Emeritus
Southern Legal Resource Center