I heard that there was a controversy over the Confederate flag. I decided to investigate the issue by taking a trip to a Civil War Battlefield.
Fredericksburg was a battle between General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside.
Over four days in December of 1862, the Union Army had suffered 13,300 casualties. Lee’s Confederate Army had suffered 4,500 losses.
As I surveyed the battlelines, I came upon a monument erected for Richard Rowland Kirkland of CO. G 2nd South Carolina Volunteers. At the risk of his life, this Confederate soldier brought water to wounded Union soldiers. He was called by many “The Angel of Marye’s Heights.” As I continued my walk, I asked myself, “Could that have been a Confederate soldier?”
I visited a Union Army Cemetery. There were fallen men from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, and Indiana. It was quiet. I visited a Confederate Army Cemetery. It to was quiet. “May they all rest in peace,” I said to myself.
Next I traveled to see the root of the problem. At the corner of Charles and Williams Streets in Fredericksburg, there sat a stone marking the location of the principal auction site for human chattel:slaves. Slavery had to be abolished.
Then I moved fast forward. I attended a county fair in rural Virginia. I saw an interracial R&B band entertain an interracial audience. The crowd laughed, rocked, and danced. I even hit the dance floor with a stilt walker.
I concluded my investigation with the observation that we have come a long way since our bloody Civil War. There can be no doubt that we have challenges ahead. However, with some patience we’ll continue forward progress.
PS: I encourage anyone wishing to fan the flames of hatred to first visit a battlefield before writing another inflammatory word.
Thank you.

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