Wait For It….

Posted: August 21, 2017 in World On The Edge

james knox polk park

This is my father’s Park family, taken in the late 1870’s after my great-grandfather (the man pictured above) returned from a Union Prison camp in Ohio where over a thousand Confederate soldiers died. My father’s grandfather and his great uncle were part of  the Alabama Brigade, established on 19 January 1863, which consisted of five Alabama infantry regiments. They were commanded by Evander M. Law and part of Gen. Robert E. Lee`s Army of Northern Virginia. Assigned to the division of Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood in the First Corps under Lt. Gen. James Longstreet the Alabama Brigade participated in the Suffolk Campaign and poured out the blood of its bravest men at the Battle of Gettysburg.  Afterwards the division was, for a brief period in 1863, transferred to the Army of Tennessee where it fought in the Battle of Chickamauga and the Knoxville Campaign before being transferred back to the east in 1864. It participated in the Battle of the Wilderness and continued to serve in the Appomattox Campaign that resulted in Confederate Gen. Lee’s surrender and the conclusion of the American Civil War. Along with the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia, the brigade was paroled and its surviving members returned to Alabama as civilians.  THIS IS AMERICAN HISTORY, AND MY FAMILY’S HISTORY, AS WELL.

Kenningtons2

Above is a picture from my mother’s side–of my Kennington great-grandparents from middle Georgia, and their children. The little girl in the foreground is my grandmother who helped to raise me. She is next to my great grandfather, Frank Kennington. When Frank was twelve years old, he lost his father and three older brothers in Civil War battles at Cold Harbor, and at Chancellorsville, which was a five day battle that cost more than half the lives later lost in the entire Vietnam War. A fourth brother came home with his palate shot out from the Battle of Wilderness, VA; he never spoke again.   Because she had lost her husband and four sons, when the southern army desperately needed men, and the ruthless Confederate Guard came looking for them,  Frank Kennington’s mother, Sarah, hid him in the woods, taking him food until the soldiers left.  THIS IS HISTORY. MY FAMILY’S HISTORY.
Mama Fiddie

This is a 1924 picture of my great, great, grandmother, Phalba Story, at eighty-five years old. In 1862, her young husband, John, enlisted in Twiggs County Georgia and served three years as a private in the Confederate Army, where he was wounded. He recovered enough to fight again, and was later killed during the siege of Richmond, leaving behind Phalba and their three young children. During the time he was gone, General Sherman and his entire division marched through Georgia and stayed three days on their place, with Phalba cooking for all of them–everything  she was saving to feed her children. Then they killed her chickens and livestock and left for their march to Savannah. THIS IS HISTORY. MY FAMILY’S HISTORY.

GigiThis is a picture of my grandfather, Kenneth Shealy. His grandfather, Andrew Epting Shealy, called App,  was son of a Georgia settler. During the Civil War, App was called away from his wife, Sarah Adams, and small children to the defense of Atlanta. He had a premonition that he would not survive, but he lived long enough to witness the resulting carnage. However, compassion replaced outrage when he saw a dying Union soldier calling for water. He gave of his own canteen, but no sooner was this done than a Yankee bullet stilled his life. This event was depicted in the Cyclorama at Grant’s Park in Atlanta until 2015, when the Atlanta History Center began preparations to move the 358-foot-by-30-foot, 5 ton-plus circular painting to its new Buckhead location.  THIS IS HISTORY. MY FAMILY’S HISTORY.

Every event and every person has a history. Lessons can be learned from it. But whether it is good, or bad, history cannot be erased. Unless you are an immature child, you deal with that, and it may even make you stronger.

If we allow history to be destroyed by TEARING DOWN its memorials and reminders, then what will be next? Perhaps real flesh and blood people who don’t fit the current political mood?Graveyard

Allowing Mob violence–which is what recent demonstrations have led to–fixes nothing. And of course it and ruins everything in its fanatical, self-absorbed path.

My opinion is that humanity has gone haywire. From a “my way or the highway” attitude to the depth of self-worship, the only history some will accept is one that suits their personal agenda of–me, me, me! It’s as if the only memorial some will be satisfied with, is a statue to themselves.

Apparently, the good lessons to be learned from it mean nothing. Our nation’s history is on its way to annihilation, without a hand being raised to stop it.

So …… wait for it. There will be more.

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