Edgerton Sighting in Ringgold, Georgia

He’s back and more committed than ever to telling the “true” story of the Confederacy and the loyal place that black Southerners occupied within it.  H.K. Edgerton was in Ringgold earlier this week to “stage a peaceful protest against the City Council’s decision to remove the Confederate battle flag from above the Depot downtown in 2005.”  Unfortunately, the available news does not tell the complete story and this has everything to do with Edgerton’s presence, who is ultimately a distraction.  Check out the news item referenced above and you will notice that most of the story is devoted to the fact that Edgerton is black and carries a Confederate flag.  We end up trying to figure out what he is about and in the process inflating his own sense of importance.

Two of my readers were kind enough to send along additional information about this story that did not make the paper.  It turns out that the Ringgold City Council removed the Confederate battle flag from a memorial that the SCV had erected in downtown area and as a compromise they flew a Hardee Corps flag, which was used by Cleburne’s Division in the battle there.  About a month ago the city council learned that they were being sued by Kirk Lyons of the Southern Legal Resource Center. I am willing to bet that Lyons contacted Edgerton to travel to Ringgold in order to bring attention to this case.  I am also willing to bet that until Lyons sued there were few problems in Ringgold over the compromise that had been struck which left a bona fide symbol of the Confederate cause in a public space.  The problem, of course, is that most white Americans don’t identify with the Hardee Corps flag or know much of anything about its history.  Wouldn’t it be more fitting to honor the white Southern men who fought in this area by displaying the actual flag they carried into battle or is that not what this controversy is about?

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3 comments… add one
  • Kevin Levin Mar 13, 2008 @ 20:19

    Good point Brooks.

    Tim, — That was definitely a rhetorical question.

  • Tim Abbott Mar 13, 2008 @ 12:51

    Clebourne has become something akin to the J. L. Chamberlain of the Confederacy in Civil War buff memory. Part of the reason is that there were very few successful Confederate military leaders in the Western theater(aside from cavalry commanders). Polk, Bragg, and Joe Johnson (not the martyred A.S.) do not inspire great affection in Confederate memory. Sad-eyed Hood does, but as a symbol of the physical toll and sacrifice made by those who fought in the Lost Cause, rather than his reckless leadership.

    Clebourne is different, a divisional commander whose men were the shock troops of Hardee’s Corps the way Jackson used his Texans. He is also a martyr (and let us not forget, a late war proponent of arming blacks for military service).

    So those honoring Clebourne and his division would be likely to be pleased to see the hardee pattern flag at Ringold. As for the rest, well your closing question wasn’t really rhetorical, was it?

  • Brooks Simpson Mar 13, 2008 @ 12:04

    It’s never about “honoring” the Confederate dead. It may be an effort to make sure they did not die in vain. And that’s where we open the can of worms.

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