Vote yes on Confederate Heritage Month
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 11, 2004
Editor, the News-Herald:
I am the descendant of James D. Watkins, born in your neck of the woods. Watkins Point on the James River is named after my ancestor who stepped ashore with Capt. John Smith when they landed and founded the Jamestown Colony! My great-great-grampa, James Hut Watkins, his son, served honorably with the 4th Missouri Cavalry Co. D, CSA, during the War of Southern Independence against an invading Union Army under orders from General Sheridan, who burned the Shenandoah Valley, Va. Under the Union banner General Sherman burned Atlanta, and under the Union banner, General Lyons massacred civilians in St Louis, Mo (Jefferson Barracks) just for throwing stones at the Union Army, for illegally arresting Missouri State Guard troops for drilling one weekend like all national guardsmen do to this day at bases across the country. So it is with deep feelings I write to protest the actions of Suffolk Mayor E. Dana Dickens III for refusing to sign the proclamation declaring April Confederate Heritage Month for the flimsy excuse that it would be offensive to some folks! But he probably had no problems standing with a group I think offensive to me for their stand against monuments and our flags of the Confederacy – the NAACP. But in the same breath he calls a group of descendants of Virginians and all points south offensive to him and others in Suffolk. I disagree whole-heartedly. Ours is a group steeped in history and patriotism. Lee and other generals of the Confederacy were honored graduates of West Point. Most all served honorably in the GAR before submitting their resignations in 1860 in order not to be forced to fight against fellow Virginians. The same cannot be said about Sheridan, Sherman and Grant for their tyranny against the peoples of Virginia and Missouri!
In closing, I think it a shame people can not let their personal agenda not get in the way of honoring fellow Virginians like Robert E. Lee, one of America’s most honored generals, and honor them all in a proclamation to honor the Confederate Heritage of Virginia for the month of April 2004. I would almost guarantee that not a single councilman of Suffolk has the bullocks to go up against the mayor and support this resolution, and this letter will probably go into the trash as quick as some council clerk reads the subject line, so I will be forwarding a copy to other interested parties in Virginia.
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Jerry Watkins, Quartermaster
Capt James V. Knox Camp #2022