MISSISSIPPI: State eyes Heritage Initiative Preserving Confederate, Colonel Reb Past
- Acknowledge Mississippi as a “principally Christian and quintessentially Southern state” and the Christian Bible as a “foremost source of her founding principles, inspiration, and virtues.”
- Declare English the official language in the state, and require all government and
- public communications to be in English only. (There is an exception for foreign language instruction, and those places where Latin or French are traditional, such as in medicine and law.)
- The flag adopted in 1894 and confirmed by vote in 2001 will be declared the state flag. (See below.) The salute will be “I salute the flag of Mississippi and the sovereign state for which it stands with pride in her history and achievements and with confidence in her future under the guidance of Almighty God.”
- Declare ‘Colonel Reb’ (depicted in stained glass below) as the official mascot of the University of Mississippi, and affirm that teams will be called “The Rebels.” (The measure also defines mascots for two other state universities, and forbids forcing a list of other universities to merge or consolidate.)
- April would be declared Confederate Heritage Month, acknowledged by schools and used to guide curriculum, and the last day of that month would be Confederate Memorial Day, on which government offices would be closed, and employees would recieve an unpaid holiday. The week before would be Dixie Week. The Confederate Flag must be displayed on State Capitol grounds.
- Borders would be restored to ‘original’ boundaries, erasing wording established in 1990.
VIRGINIA: Couple Finds Civil War Graffiti in Home
BERRYVILLE, Va. — There’s an old saying: “If walls could talk.”
In the case of the house known as Glen Owen, located east of Berryville in Clarke County, architectural historian Maral Kalbian noted, “They really are.”
In September, owners William “Biff” and Barbara Genda discovered Civil War-era graffiti on the wall in a stairwell when they removed paint from the area.
“It’s wonderful that they found it,” Kalbian added.
Peeling paint in the hallway, which separates the original part of Glen Owen from the 20th century addition, led the Gendas to try and remove it.
“We thought we had a plaster problem,” said Barbara Genda.
However, as the paint came off, her husband said the problem was that someone had stripped off old wallpaper but had not removed the sizing from the wall before painting it over.
In removing the sizing, they found the penciled graffiti along one section of the wall.
Some words they haven’t been able to decipher, but much of what was written can still be read despite the paint and paper overlays of years past.
There are names, like William, and Billie Jordan, and “Mr. Willie,” who appears to be from Berryville.
Another writer, Virginia resident Nicholas K. Criser — who noted he was a member of Rosser’s Brigade, 12th Virginia Cavalry — added a boast.
He was “A Rebel that has given you a many sound thrashings,” he wrote to what he expected to be, apparently, a Union audience.
There is even a sketch of Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis President Jefferson Davis in a kepi hat.
The date of 1863 is also scratched on one part of the wall.
But, what may be most interesting, Kalbian noted, are three lines — one that seems to be a taunt to the rebels, answered by two, written by one or two Confederates, tossing the taunt back.
One line says, “Rebels, if you can hear we will whip you (undecipherable) shore.”
Then comes, “If you do, it will be the first time you impedent (sic) scoundrels”
The next line reads, “You are cowards nothing but a thief the robbers of millions of women and children you good for nothing skunk.”
Civil War graffiti isn’t unusual in the Valley, Kalbian pointed out.
Frederick County’s old courthouse, now the Old Court House Civil War Museum on the Loudoun Street Mall, is famous for the graffiti penned by both Union and Confederate soldiers held there when it was used either as a hospital or a prison.
Marking buildings goes back even further in time.
Kalbian noted that the Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood, built in the late 18th century, has graffiti, and caricatures, dating almost to colonial times.
However, she added, Glen Owen’s graffiti is most interesting because it represents comments from both sides, in a private home.
Barbara Genda noted that, when she and her husband found the graffiti, they decided to remove the paint from all the walls in the stairway leading to the second floor, but found nothing anywhere else.
Kalbian said Glen Owen was apparently owned during the Civil War by Edward McCormick, who lived at nearby Clermont.
However, McCormick was named Quartermaster for the Confederacy, and stationed in Lynchburg from 1861 to the close of the war.
Glen Owen may have been a Stribling property that came into McCormick’s hands through marriage, she said. But, she had no information on who might have lived there during the conflict.
The farm was damaged during the war, according to land records she’s examined, which deducted more than $400 from its worth. That may have been from out buildings being destroyed, Kalbian said, as all the farm buildings date from after the conflict while the original section of the house was built in the Federal style of the 1830s.
Meanwhile, the hall painting project is on hold, Biff Genda explained.
Barbara Genda said she’s trying to find some way to preserve the graffiti so that it can be seen by visitors, before refinishing the bare plaster walls in the stairwell.
“I don’t want little fingers patting it,” she said, with a nod to the five of the Gendas’ 12 children still at home. Her special favorite item is “the picture of Jefferson Davis with the little Civil War cap.”
Kalbian said it was “profound” that the graffiti came to light during the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
It shows, she said, that, “no matter how much we know, there is always more to learn.”
People with houses that were standing in the Valley during those four years might just want to peel off some wallpaper and take a look, she said.
GEORGIA: Re-Enactors Take Marietta Square Back 150 Years
MARIETTA — The Marietta Square came alive with soldiers’ war cries, gunshots and flames Saturday night during a re-enactment of a skirmish on its streets 150 years ago.
One Confederate re-enactor in the event, John Hyatt of Lawrenceville, said he was a descendant of John A. Daniel, who fought in the Confederate Army’s 34th Regiment of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry in the battle on the Marietta Square 150 years ago.
“He was my great-great-grandfather, and he fought right here in this Square,” Hyatt said.
Thousands gathered Saturday evening to watch a re-enactment and live battle scene commemorating General William Tecumseh Sherman’s orders to burn buildings around the Square before he began his March to the Sea.
On Nov. 13, 1864, Sherman told his troops in Marietta to burn all the supplies in town, as well as all buildings that could be used to produce goods, said Brad Quinlin, a Marietta historian. When the soldiers set fire to one building, the wind blew the flames toward other buildings, resulting in more damage than the Union soldiers intended, Quinlin said.
Joe Barkley, a re-enactor who played Sherman in the event, said the general was saddened that the fire caused so much damage to the Square.
“I want to disperse some misconceptions about General Sherman,” said Barkley, an anesthesiologist who works in Tennessee. “His way of fighting the war made the war end much quicker, but his greater emphasis was to limit the bloodshed.”
The burning of buildings on the Marietta Square is a perfect example of Sherman’s strategy, Barkley said, because he chose to beat the Confederates by destroying their supplies rather than killing soldiers.
Robert Hawthorne, a Confederate re-enactor from Waleska, said he enjoyed recreating what life was like 150 years ago for the crowd.
“I had a lot of ancestors in the Civil War, and ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been Civil War crazy,” said Hawthorne, who works at N.J. Wilbanks Contractor, Inc.
The Square was transformed into a battleground Saturday with soldiers lining the streets ready to fight and horse-drawn carriages circling Glover Park.
The re-enactment included a skirmish between Confederate and Union soldiers, who fired muskets at each other until the Union soldiers eventually ran the Confederates off the Square. Union soldiers then came back to light fire to gas-powered flame blocks at the bottom of the Cobb County government building on East Park Square.
The fire signified the burning of the courthouse and other buildings that sat on the Square 150 years ago.
Smoke from the fire and the muskets soon filled the sky around the Square, and narrators read diary entries from soldiers and residents written during the war, which described a scene much like the one being re-enacted.
Mayor Steve Tumlin played Marietta resident William Root and he said the night went well.
“It’s a good Marietta night,” Tumlin said. “I think people are here for the right reasons.”
Elise Goldstein, who is Councilman Philip Goldstein’s wife, sat in the audience to watch the event. She said she’s enjoyed the summer of events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Marietta because she was able to remember the history of the town.
“I don’t think (the event’s) purpose is to celebrate what happened to any great measure, it’s so that we remember what happened in the Civil War and that slavery and racism were horrible things,” Goldstein said.
Other spectators came to the show for the special effects, such as Marietta residents Tony and Kate Viola, who brought their three children, ages 1, 4 and 7.
“I think it’s awesome that Marietta has this, and the kids just wanted to see the fire and hear the booms,” said Kate Viola, a realtor.
Jasmine Kosoris, an 8-year-old from Marietta, said the flames didn’t disappoint.
“I liked it. It was awesome. The best part was when they were putting the flames in front of the building,” Kosoris said.
City Manager Bill Bruton, who played a Confederate soldier in the skirmish, said four firefighters were stationed around the flames to make sure the show went smoothly. East Coast Pyrotechnics put on the show of flames, which is the same company that shoots fireworks for the Fourth of July in Marietta, Bruton said.
Bruton said about 100 people put on the event, including 30 re-enactors, 45 orchestra members and 25 narrators.
-Marietta Daily Journal