A thousand thanks for your post concerning the forgotten men in gray. You mentioned Nelson Winbush. I have had the very distinct pleasure of meeting him on several occasions. I have had the honor to have held to my breast and have kissed the Southern Cross that was draped over his grandfather's casket.* Once, as he was gathering up his display, a small fragment of thread fell from his grandfather's old gray kepi. (pronounced kay-pee) That tiny piece of thread is amongst my most prized possessions.
Mr. Winbush's grandfather you see was a slave and a black Confederate soldier. He attended 39 Confederate reunions and asked to be buried with his reunion medals. All but about four medals, which could not be found at the time of the funeral, were interred with him. I have held these encased medals in my hands.
* Each time I see the old "Southern Cross" (when it is properly and rightfully displayed) I salute it, nod to it, or when possible, I press it to my breast and kiss it in memory of those who fought for it and fell beside it. It is my flag.
I "gives a =====! " The blood of my ancestors was poured out for that flag, and I will not forget them! They died that this nation. So concieved in liberty. Of, by, and for the people, that it would not perish from the earth. Sadly that dream was defeated. That nation did perish from the earth. But their flag. My flag. Still waves for the same reason and for the same freedoms. DEO VINDICE!!
"You are the gray rider. You would not make peace
with the bluecoats! You may go in peace!"