I posted this on my FaceBook but removed it because I know this topic is like opening a can of worms. Here, on my Blog, as I have said many times, this is “my place” where I can give my opinion without feeling I am offending anyone because it is mainly for me to vent. Sure it is public but it is also a Blog where people can ignore it all together or comment or advise their true feelings about what I have to say and go on following my posts or not. I am open and try to respect all comments and opinions…..actually I learn from them, the good and the not so good.
My Southern Ancestry – When it comes to my nationality I am first and foremost AMERICAN and a USA Citizen and secondly, I am US SOUTHERN and NOT racist, just a Southerner who loves my Ancestors, strongly believe in the rights of all southern blacks and whites, and the “traditions” we have made together such as Southern Hospitality, our food, our belief in Jesus Christ, and the list goes on. As for the Civil War, it was a part of the history of this Country it help make us the GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH no matter what anyone has to say about politics and the way this country is run. What other countries think of us, well it is their right but as far as I am concerned, we are one nation under God and as Lincoln said, “A nation divided cannot stand.” Much blood was shed on all sides (the civil war nearly tore us a part) through the history of this country. What bothers me is that there are so many in this country and the world countries that would love to once again separate us and pull us a part!
My Maternal Great-Great-Grandfather, Nathaniel Luke Strickland (1848 – 1928) and his four brothers, Andrew Jackson Strickland, Isaac Ogden Strickland, Daniel John Strickland and Matthew Abraham Strickland (Matthew died in the War) all enlisted into the Confederate Army in Savannah Georgia. Nathaniel Luke was 13 years old at the time, youngest of the Strickland boys. As the War Between the States progressed, Nathaniel Luke at age 15, was stationed at James Island, South Carolina when his left arm was badly injured (paralyzed) at Cheves Battery Explosion. In later years the arm had to be amputated. At age 17 Nathaniel was captured by Sherman’s Army in the battle of Murphreesboro Tennessee and later transferred to Camp Chase Prison, Ohio as a prisoner of war. He appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War as having enlisted (I suppose they gave him and others amnesty) in United States Army while a prisoner in Camp Chase Ohio.
Due to the loss of his arm he had great difficulty supporting his family as in those days farming was the primary way of living. In 1906 he received the Southern Cross of Honor. At age 49 Nathaniel applied for a pension.
Story has it “an elderly one armed man would often ride his one horse carriage to Atlanta Georgia” to argue for his pension as he had no income as a farmer to support himself and his family. Basically they survived off other family members. At age 72 (Dec. 1920) he was flat out denied for a pension due to this statement from the government, “Applicant deserted by taking oath of allegiance to the United States of America.”
Nathaniel Luke Strickland died penniless December 19, 1928 at the age of 80 in Savannah Georgia.
This is one of my ancestor’s. I sincerely believe they fought for their land and families, NOT because they were for or against slavery or were racist. This is my belief and it is why I feel the Confederate Flag (not the Battle Flag) represents my ancestry. It IS time to put it all to rest, thank God we are now one nation, of all races. My interest in the Civil War and “The Flags” is for my ancestors not necessary what they believed in at the time but for the sacrifices they made for the freedom of their way of life. Whether you are a Southern black or white, we are the children of those who helped to build this nation and the area of the U.S.A. we call “The South”. Just my opinion. All that is Southern, good or bad, it is our heritage and what people but those from the South will face head-on (blacks and whites) to wipe out hatred and inequality.