Send your thangs of Southern interest for posting.
Send to SWR/SHNV
Old Soldiers’ Day in Catawba County
A wonderful late-nineteenth century recollection of North Carolina’s Senator Sam Ervin, Jr.
Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission www.ncwbts150.com "The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial" ========
Old Soldiers’ Day in Catawba County:
“During the 1890s the people of Newton, the county seat of Catawba County, North Carolina, set aside a day in August of each year which they designated as Old Soldiers Day, to pay tribute to Confederate veterans. After all the Confederate veterans had pitched their tents on fame’s eternal camping ground, the people of Newton continued to celebrate Old Soldier’s Day, and to this day use it as an occasion for honoring all the soldiers who have served in all America’s wars.
Charles F. McKesson, a beloved member of the Morganton bar during my youth, was affectionately called “Cousin Charlie” by all the people of the community. He was a silver-tongued orator, in the parlance of the day, and was in great demand as a public speaker on occasions of patriotic rejoicing.
I told Cousin Charlie that he always spoke with grace and ease and that I sometimes wondered if he had ever lost his composure while speaking. He responded, “Yes,” and added, “I lost it completely years ago when I was keynote speaker at the Old Soldiers’ Day in Newton.”
“At that time multitudes of Confederate veterans were still in the land of the living. Before the speaking, the Daughters of the Confederacy provided them with a bountiful barbeque on the courthouse square. Others added to their pleasure by bringing a supply of moonshine from the Catfish section of Catawba County.
“After the eating and drinking, the old soldiers repaired to the auditorium in the courthouse, and I delivered my speech, which I had prepared with meticulous care. An old soldier who sat on the front bench gave me the most rapt attention I have ever received from any member of an audience. He seemed to hang on every word I uttered.
“I reached the climax of my speech. I said, “I saw you undergo your baptism of blood at Bethel, I saw you storm Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg, I saw you fight the Battle above the Clouds on Lookout Mountain.”
At this juncture the most attentive member of the audience staggered to his feet and shouted, “That’s a damned lie. You weren’t there!”
I lost my composure completely, and had the greatest difficulty regaining it.”
(Humor of a Country Lawyer, Sam J. Ervin, Jr., UNC Press, 1983, pp. 45-46)
This is the untold story of the Union's "hard war" against the people of the Confederacy.
Wholesale plundering of personal property, and even murder of civilians.
In July 1864, Union General William T. Sherman ordered the arrest and deportation of more than 400 women and children from the villages of Roswell and New Manchester, Georgia. Branded as traitors for their work in the cotton mills that supplied much needed material to the Confederacy.
The battle at Antietam Creek, the bloodiest day of the American Civil War, left more than 23,000 men dead, wounded, or missing. Facing the aftermath were the men, women, and children living in the village of Sharpsburg and on surrounding farms. In Too Afraid to Cry, Kathleen Ernst recounts the dramatic experiences of these Maryland citizens--stories that have never been told--and also examines the complex political web holding together Unionists and Secessionists, many of whom lived under the same roofs in this divided countryside.
Confederate women and men who sought to protect themselves and their family treasures, usually in vain. Dominating these events is the general himself -- "Uncle Billy" to his troops, the devil incarnate to the Southerners he encountered.
Statements, comments and links posted
The Southern Co-op Forums & Blogs
are for information ONLY, you must be
the judge of the content. They do not
necessarily represent the views of
The Southern Co-op unless otherwise
stated by editors of same.