Tag Archives: H.K. Edgerton

Has H.K. Edgerton Gone off the Deep End?

H.K. Edgerton is known for irrational outbursts, but never before has he managed to string together so many back-to-back. You decide.

According to Edgerton, a school official on Wednesday tried to get him to leave, but he refused. Ultimately, though, Edgerton said he could not stay in Florida through Monday’s deciding school board vote. Edgerton sent TPM a copy of an open letter he wrote, containing what he had hoped to say at Monday’s meeting.

The letter begins (perhaps sarcastically?) by arguing that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — because he “broke the sacred vows of a minister,” “consorted” with Communists, and “staged the so called bus debacle” with Rosa Parks — should not have streets or monuments named after him. The letter accuses “United States Colored troops and their White Yankee Officers” of committing “many heinous crimes against the Southern people.” And it defends Forrest as a “friend to the African people.”

“The Honorable General Nathan Bedford Forrest would be called a nigger lover, but never to his face, because of the oft spoken love and affection that he showed in his actions to the African people and especially to those men who rode with him during the war and who would attest to his courage, compassion, and the many lies spoken about him after the war to a man would deny,” Edgerton wrote. “Delight in this madness against a friend to the African people if you must, but heed my warning for very soon you will not be in the drivers seat as your time of sacrifice will come. And you will have to say goodbye to those you hold sacred as those of us who are loyal to the memory of those Southern men and women, be they freed or indentured, Red, Yellow, Black and White who made an honorable Stand against a man who would breach the contract that they forged together.”

First, what does Martin Luther King have to do with this issue? What exactly is he referring to as a “bus debacle”? There is something so disturbing about this that I don’t even know where to start. I am actually beginning to feel sorry for this man. Somebody close to H.K. needs to step in on his behalf.

I would love to read this letter in its entirety. Come to think of it…

Update: Click here for H.K.’s letter in its entirety.

When In Doubt, Bring in H.K. Edgerton

Update: More details are emerging about this meeting: “Passions ran high, at one point erupting in a spontaneous chorus of “Dixie” led by a black man, H.K. Edgerton, who called Union soldiers rapists and wielded his large Confederate flag like a conductor’s baton as the audience sang.” Oh, brother.

H.K. Edgerton

H.K. Edgerton

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection held a meeting last night on a proposal to add a monument to Union soldiers on the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.  This story has been in the news for some time, but it’s still not clear to me why there is an issue with adding a monument to a battlefield. Most monument controversies are about their removal.

Speaking out against the addition of the monument, along with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, was none other than H.K. Edgerton, who we haven’t heard much from of late.

“There is no place in the south land of America to memorialize Yankee soldiers,” Edgerton said. “This is an army that came here raping, robbing, stealing, killing and murdering our people. The kinds of things that happened here under the sanction of Abraham Lincoln were for these men to commit total warfare against innocent men, women and children who could not defend themselves.”

What the commission made of a black man carrying a Confederate flag is anyone’s guess. Probably a good thing H.K. didn’t show up in full uniform.

Welcome to Dixie Outfitters (and what it all means)

Edgerton, black confederate

Black Confederate Fashion by H.K. Edgerton

A few months ago I had a conversation with Alan Levinovitz, who teaches at James Madison University. As a new member of the community there were a number of things that struck Alan as strange and begging for explanation. At the top of the list is the local Dixie Outfitters store in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Alan asked if I could provide some context for the store’s presence and stock, especially those H.K. Edgerton t-shirts. The inquiry was in preparation for an article he was planning for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

The article is now online, which I highly recommend. A few of my comments about the myth of the black Confederate made it into the piece.

“People don’t believe in the black Confederate narrative because they’re crazy,” explains historian Kevin Levin. “They believe it because they read it. It’s on a website that looks professional, has all the bells and whistles, and includes images, primary sources of all kinds. How could it not be true?”

Levin’s long-running blog, Civil War Memory, is on the front lines in a battle between established historians and a vocal minority who insist that most academics are biased liberals bent on slandering the South. Dixie Outfitters is a part of this minority, and its company website includes a history section with over eighty links to information about black Confederates.

Read the rest of the essay here.

New Summer Fashions from Dixie Outfitters

Dixie OutifittersUpdate: Brooks Simpson provides additional analysis.

Check out the new summer t-shirt line from Dixie Outfitters. The company has already created custom t-shirts in response to the popularity of H.K. Edgerton and the Virginia Flaggers. Now it is coming out with a new shirt for the members of the Southern Heritage Preservation Group or as Brooks Simpson calls it: “the gift that keeps on giving.” The only thing missing from this shirt is some of the group’s greatest hits from their comment threads.

I love that the shirt seems to include the states of Kentucky and Missouri in the Confederacy as well as what became the state of West Virginia. Remember, it’s about heritage, not history.

This has me thinking. Perhaps I should come up with a t-shirt design for the Civil War Memory community. Hmmm…I wonder what it would look like.