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Salutatory To The South

I was born on April 12, 1861, in the Harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, and the Constitution of the Confederate States of America is my Birth Certificate.

The blood lines of the South run through my veins, for I offer freedom that each State should regulate her own affairs, according to its best interest. I am many things and many people.

I Am The South.

I am millions of living souls, and ghosts of thousands who died for me. I am the Farmer-made soldier who did not turn his back during Pickett’s Charge. I am the Rebel Yell that was heard across many of my rolling fields, protecting our homeland.

I am Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson: I stood at Fort Sumter and fired the shot heard through our young nation. I am Longstreet, Hood and Patrick R. Cleburne. I am General’s Johnson, Beaugard and President Jefferson Davis.

I remember how we fought in Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. When duty called I answered and stayed until it was over. I left my heroic dead in Chickamauga, in the fields of Shiloh, on the bloody hills of Mannassas and the mountains of Kennesaw.

I Am The South.

I am the Mississippi River, and the cotton fields of Alabama and the piney woods of the Carolinas. I am the coal fields of Virginia and Kentucky, the Florida coast and the Louisiana bayou. I am Richmond, the Capitol of the Confederacy. I am the forest, field, mountain, and rivers. I am the quiet villages and the cities that never sleep.

I am the Heritage that’s been forgotten, the dying memory of a way of life that is being still. You see me in the twilight and hear me in Dixie, as the past continues to fade away each year.

Yes, I Am The South, and these are the things I represent.

I was conceived by force, and God willing, I’ll spend the rest of my days remembering my birth. May I always possess the integrity and the courage, and the strength to keep my Heritage alive, to remain a Loyal Southerner and stand tall and proud to the rest of the world.

Do not forget who we are, what we are and where we came from…. This is my goal, my hope, my prayer.

by Louise Nettles

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