“On Saturday morning, December 13, 2008, I would alongside my Compatriot brother Jim who had been the inspirational figure to lead the planting of over 16,000 flags on the graves of the Confederate dead at Elmira, make my way to the Railroad Pavilion in the beautiful downtown of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, where Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander, the Honorable Mike Webb of the SCV Camp #72, would present me with the Mississippi Division Sons of Confederate Veterans John L. Harris Heritage Award. Commander Web would recite the following passage upon presenting the Award: Consider the example of Representative John H. Harris, a Legislator from Washington County, Mississippi. This occurred in 1893 as the House of the State of Mississippi considered a Bill to fund a Confederate Monument.
“Mr. Speaker! I have risen here in my place to offer a few words on the bill. I have come from a sick bed… Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But, Sir, I could not rest quietly in my room without…contributing a few remarks of my own. I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentleman from Marshall County. I am sorry that a son of a soldier could go on record as opposed to the erection of a monument in honor of the brave dead. And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines and in the seven days fighting around Richmond, the battlefield covered with the mangled forms of those who fought for their country’s honor, he would not have made that speech.
When the news came that the South had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and they made no requests for monuments…but they died, and their virtues should be remembered. Sir, I went with them. I too wore Gray, the same color my master wore. We stayed four long years, and if that war had gone on till now, I would have been there yet…I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions. When my mother died I was a boy.
Who, Sir, then acted the part of mother to the orphaned slave boy, but my “old missus”? Were she living now, or could she speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill. And Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the bill to erect a monument in honor of the Confederate dead.”
LET IT BE ADDED THAT, ALONG WITH MR. HARRIS, ALL SIX BLACK REPUBLICANS VOTED WITH HIM.
Later in the evening, I would attend the Sons 3rd Brigade Christmas Party in Liberty, Mississippi, and to a packed house receive a standing ovation after delivering a brief speech. I would be remiss in my duties if I did not mention the luncheon that I attended at Louise’s Barbeque with so many of my Southern family who had traveled great distances to greet me. Louise’s Barbeque held up to the bragging of the reputation placed upon it by so many of the patrons. It had been a great day in Dixie and I know that my mom, dad and ancestors were proud that such great honors had been bestowed to me. ” H.K. Edgerton from his Southern Heritage411.com website.