Who You Gonna Call?

When a yankee teacher comes down to Georgia, who you gonna call?

H.K. Edgerton

H.K. Edgerton

Mr. Edgerton,

My name is —– —–. I am the commander of the Gen. Henry L. Benning Camp 517 in Columbus, GA. The former commander of this camp contacted me on a serious issue that I thought would get your attention. He has a daughter who I would consider very smart and brave. During a discussion about the war of northern aggression, she wrote as an answer on a test to the question on why the war started, as the war was started on greed. The teacher approached her about it and argued with her that it was slavery that was the issue. The girl then asked the teacher where she was from, which of course the teacher was a yankee from Ohio. She then quoted to the teacher Gen. Cleburne about how schools would be taught by northern teachers. Well, the school is going to have a cultural diversity day where the students get to pick and talk about their culture of choice. She chose the south. She is planning on wearing a period dress and then singing Dixie in front of her class. Today the teacher told her she could not sing Dixie because it might offend someone. This is outrageous! Her dad has a meeting with the school on Monday about it then he plans on going before the school board, but we dont expect much to come out of it. If there is any advice that you can give us or any help you can provide we would greatly appreciate this. This child loves the south more than any other child I have ever seen. Thank you for what you do for us!

Deo Vindice,
—– —–

Dear —–,

First of all, I love this baby girl. She is indicative of so many brave young Southern girls who like herself, I have had the great honor of having my life cross their paths. I have no far reaching answer to this , other than to say if this brave soul could talk her teacher and her administration to allow me to be a part of her presentation, I would gladly stand beside this baby, and sing Dixie with her. God bless you Sir. I will continue to contemplate the matter.

Your brother,
HK

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation if you are so inclined. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

11 comments… add one

  • Michael Lynch May 3, 2014

    “The girl then asked the teacher where she was from, which of course the teacher was a yankee from Ohio.”

    I live in Tennessee, and the last time I saw a Confederate flag in a non-historic context was in Ohio. No joke.

    • Marian Latimer May 3, 2014

      I’ve seen those flags all over rural Michigan where I lived most of my life and plenty in the Metro Detroit area. Whenever I was in Ohio back then, I was too busy behaving the traffic laws, because I had Michigan plates to notice. (Ohio cops supposedly hate Michigan drivers, or so I was told, especially as a Michigan grad)

    • The other Susan May 4, 2014

      Isn’t it amazing what you can learn by traveling. As Samuel Clemens said,
      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

  • The other Susan May 3, 2014

    I don’t know, her answer makes sense to me. Selfless people would not want to own slaves or spread slavery. So in a way it wasn’t the existence of slavery, but the greed of wanting more and wanting to spread it. I can’t think of how else she meant it, unless she meant that it’s greedy to want to own yourself and not to be happy with what the master gives you… Unless she thinks there was some kind of Civil War era Halliburton like company that staged Fort Sumpter in Matthew Brady’s studio in order to start a war and sell more guns? Am I getting warmer or colder? While she is singing Dixie can she change the words and explain what she means in song form please.

    I must know, what is this Gen. Cleburne said?

    • Jerry McKenzie May 6, 2014

      A cut and paste from Inspirational Quotes at dixie.com:

      “… every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late. We can give but a faint idea when we say it means the loss of all we now hold most sacred … personal property, lands, homesteads, liberty, justice, safety, pride, manhood. It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the War, will be impressed by all influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, our maimed veterans as fit objects for their derision, it means the crushing of Southern manhood … to establish sectional superiority and a more centralised form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.”

      Gen. Pat Cleburne C.S.A. … 2 Jan 1864

  • Matt McKeon May 4, 2014

    I’m pretty sure that’s not how its meant. Its trying to decouple the specifics of slavery and secession from the Civil War. A generic word, “greed” and we fill in the blank. You could also say “freedom” and I imagine there would be some different meanings: the end of slavery, but of course the freedom to secede. Its all freedom!

    • Kevin Levin May 4, 2014

      A student would fail my Civil War class if that is what he/she wrote as a response to the question about the cause of secession. It tells us nothing about this specific moment in history and it doesn’t begin to explain the available evidence.

  • Andy Hall May 4, 2014

    The incessant whinging about kids being taught “Yankee history” is pretty ridiculous, considering that public K-12 curricula and textbooks are chosen by state and local education boards. Textbook publishers generally hew to the requirements of their prospective customers, not the other way ’round.

    • Kevin Levin May 4, 2014

      Absolutely. The other aspect is the Internet, which knows no state boundaries. Perhaps the parents should enroll their child in the Sam Davis Youth Group. I hear they have some open slots for the summer. :-)

      • Marian Latimer May 4, 2014

        I’m sure Counselor Lyons will be more than happy to take up the cause here. Snark…

    • Rob Baker May 4, 2014

      Most of the country adheres to what Texas decides when it comes to education textbooks.

Leave a Comment