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An Open Letter & Open Report / A History Lesson For My Babies

From: HK Edgerton [hk.edgerton@gmail.com]
Date: Thu, Dec 7, 2017
Subject: An Open Letter & Open Report / A History Lesson For My Babies
To: siegels1 [siegels1@mindspring.com]

Dear Ms. Lunelle,

First of all, I am grateful to all who provided me with the support to journey to Tennessee and the Lowcountry of South Carolina to speak to my little Black babies.

"Listen, my babies, to the testimonials of former Presidents McKinley, Taft, Eisenhower and Wilson about the Confederate soldier, his monuments and their Commanding Chief, the Honorable President Jefferson Davis."

On December 14, 1898 in a move to mend the fences between the North and South, President McKinley, at the successful conclusion of the Spanish-American War, gave this speech to Congress in which he urged reconciliation based on the outstanding service of Southerners during the recent war with Spain in which several former Confederate officers were commissioned as Generals: Every soldier's grave made during our unfortunate civil war is a tribute to American valor, and the time has now come, when in the spirit of fraternity, we should share in the care of the graves of the Confederate soldiers. The cordial feeling now happily existing between the North and South prompts this gracious act and, if needed, further justification, it is found in the gallant loyalty to the Union and the flag so conspicuously shown in the year passed by the sons and grandsons of those heroic dead.

Congress immediately passed the Congressional Appropriations Act FY 6 June 1900 for $2,500 that enabled the Secretary of War to have reburied in the National Cemetery at Arlington and to place with proper headstones at the graves of the Confederate soldiers.

At the 1912 dedication of the Confederate soldiers monument in Arlington National Cemetery, President William Howard Taft gave this speech: "Ladies of the United Daughters of the Confederacy: I recognize that you have founded a shrine and an altar here which will be visited in the future by many a faithful pilgrim. You are not here to mourn or support a cause; you are here to celebrate and justly to celebrate the heroism, the courage and the sacrifice to the uttermost of your fathers, and your brothers, and your mothers, and your sisters and, of all your kin, in a cause which they believed in their hearts to be right, and for which they were willing to lay down their lives.

I rejoice in the steps that I have been able to take to heal the wounds of sectionalism, and to convey to the Southern people as far as I could my earnest desire to make this country one. It fell to my official lot with universal popular approval to issue the order which made it possible to erect in the National Cemetery of Arlington the beautiful monument to the heroic dead of the South that you founded today. The event in itself speaks volumes as to the obliteration of sectionalism. It gives me the greatest satisfaction as a lover of my country, and as President of the United States, to pronounce upon this occasion the benediction of all true Americans.

President Eisenhower, in a letter on August 9, 1960 about the Honorable Robert E. Lee: General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause which, until 1865, was still an arguable question in America; he was a poised and inspiring leader, true to the high trust reposed in him by millions of his fellow citizens; he was thoughtful, yet demanding of his officers and men, forebearing with captured enemies, but ingenious, unrelenting, and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle. Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault, and unfailing in his faith in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader, and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

From deep conviction, I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee's calibre would be unconquerable in spirit and soul. Indeed, to the degree that present day American youth will strive to emulate his rare qualities, including his devotion to this land as revealed in his painstaking efforts to help heal the Nation's wounds once the bitter struggle was over. Such are the reasons that I proudly display the picture of this great American on my office wall.

President Wilson wrote this about our President and Commanding Chief, the Honorable Jefferson Davis: Jefferson Davis had the pride, the spirit of initiative, the capacity of business, which qualify men for leadership. His indomitable will and impervious purpose made his leadership effective. He moved directly forward, undaunted by any peril, and heartened a whole people to hold steadfast to the end. In a joint House and Senate resolutions sponsored by Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon, and Representative Trent Lott of Mississippi in 1978, President Davis's American citizenship was restored. Senator Hatfield remarked: "This legislation corrects, after 113 years, a glaring injustice in the history of the United States. He is no longer an alien in the land of his birth... a land he had served as an Army officer, a Congressman, a wounded Mexican War hero, a United States Senator, and a Secretary of War.

I concluded to my babies that there were good people at the bottom spectrum of the NAACP who have no knowledge of what I speak, and believe they are well attended with their sacrilege as they are led at the top by self serving merchants of chaos and misplaced hate; synonymous to those carpetbaggers, Southern scalawags and outright traitors who came into our homeland during the 12 year period of reconstruction bent on dividing Southern Blacks and Southern Whites with their lies and distortions of history as a means to enrich their depleting personal and organizational coffers. And, there is no reward for this, only the beginning of a new hate. God bless you!

Your brother,

HK
President, Southern Heritage 411