Thursday, June 7, 2018

A Lovingly Planted Tree

The Georgia State Capital in Downtown Atlanta

One of the beautiful trees at the Georgia State Capital is this huge Magnolia Tree. It was lovingly planted by the Atlanta Ladies Memorial Association on January 19th 1930. A plaque was placed and the dedication of the tree was spelled out.

To the Memory of William Ambrose Wright

Born at Louisville, Georgia, January 19, 1844. Died at Atlanta, Georgia, September 13, 1929; SOLDIER, STATESMAN, AND CHRISTIAN KNIGHT: A gallant officer in the army of the Confederate States of America; for fifty years Comptroller General of the Commonwealth. Guardian of its honor, and its people’s friend; a gentleman in whom lived the graces, the virtues and the heroisms of the Old South;
This tree is lovingly planted, and this tablet reverently inscribed by
The Atlanta Ladies Memorial Association January 19, 1930

 For almost 90 years the plaque laid at the base of the magnolia shown above. Now the plaque has been moved onto the other side of the Georgia Capital near the John B. Gordon Equestrian Statue as seen in the two pictures below:

So the question that begs to be answered is why?

Before that question is answered a little history behind my interest in this plaque. On April 26, 2017, I published a book based on the letters of my GGGrandfather, Stephen A. Corker. Corker was a Captain in the Confederate Army and led the 3rd Georgia at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863.

Captain Corker's 3rd Georgia was under the command of Colonel Ambrose Wright, the father of William Wright for which the plaque in question is dedicated to. In my book are many letters which mention Colonel Wright and William Wright. 

William Wright lost a leg at the Second Battle of Manassas in September of 1862. Once healed he went back to fight and was captured in June 1863. He was sent to Johnson's Island Union Prison in Ohio. Corker after capture at Gettysburg was sent to Johnson's Island also. A letter from the Union Prison dated May 17, 1864 mentions William Wright and other sick prisoners being exchanged.

My book took 5 years of research and discovery to finally publish. Therefore my knowledge of the Wrights led me to discover this plaque next to the Magnolia Tree. My intent was to eventually work to have the plaque restored and beautified. Imagine my shock to find it gone!

But before we move onto that, there is another memorial that had caught my eye in my research for my book. In 1870, Captain Corker ran for the House of Representatives in the 41st US Congress. He won the election but was challenged by a man named Thomas P. Beard. Beard is one of the names on the statue below which had also been moved from it's original location at the State Capital.

The “Expelled Because of Their Color” monument is dedicated to the 33 black state senators and house members removed from office in 1868 because they were black. This monument has been moved from the right of the magnolia tree to the left of the magnolia where the William Wright plaque was once located.

T.P. Beard's name below

So now we get to why the Wright plaque might have been moved. The Georgia Building Authority has not offered any explanation, so lets take a guess. To the right of the "Right Tree" now sits the following statue which was installed on August 28, 2017. With the removal of the Wright plaque this section of the capital grounds is now segregated. 

 Martin Luther King from his I have a dream speech in Washington, DC. 1963.

The State of Georgia should step in and correct this action and return the Wright plaque to the "right"tree that was planted in his honor.

Proverbs 22:28 "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Atlanta Civil War Roundtable

Recently my wife and I attended for the first time the Atlanta Civil War Round Table meeting in Atlanta. The meetings are held at the Capital City Country Club down town.

In my travels giving programs on my book "Above the High Water Mark" I learned of this group and wanted to see what it was about. I must say we were impressed with the location and the caliber of the people in attendance.

This organization has been around since 1949. My grandparents were members of the Capital City Country Club and I have fond memories of going to the Brookhaven location. My grandfather took me fishing on the lake.

The speaker for event we went to was Dr. Earl J. Hess. He spoke of his book on Braxton Bragg. At the end of his program he stated "I am glad the South lost." This was really unnecessary and the audience's response was complete silence. Very appropriate response!

In talking to another member of the Atlanta Civil War Round Table the topic of other Round Tables around the country came up. The comment was made that Round Tables up north don't seem to have the baggage that Southern Round Tables do. From my perspective there is no baggage and I proudly defend my Confederate Ancestors in their struggle for Independence.

Standing with Lee at the CCC

I am a native Atlantan born at Georgia Baptist Hospital in downtown Atlanta. I look forward to joining and participating in this organization.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Problem With Removing Monuments

The Georgia Capital now has a new monument to Martin Luther King. This statue was put in place on August 28, 2017. While many are celebrating the installation of this new monument, others point to Confederate Monuments being taken down across the South. Putting up monuments and taking some down are emotional issues for both sides. Sometimes perplexing issues come to light.

A case in point is the Martin Luther King Statute at the Georgia Capital. Governor Nathan Deal has placed the new statue where another statue was. So what statute was taken down in order that King could be honored? A statue that was dedicated to the 33 black legislators who were expelled out of the Georgia House and Senate in 1868. Yes, a statute honoring black legislators who after the war between the states had their first chance to vote and represent Georgians. Even though moved to another location its prominent place is no longer in view.

Former Secretary of State Cathy Cox depicts the structure of the monument: A detailed explanation of this statute is as follows:“The first tier depicts a sailing ship full of slaves arriving in Georgia. The second tier shows black soldiers who served in the American Revolution. On the next level, antebellum columns represent southern plantation life” (Cox). This monument is more symbolic than it is direct. It not only symbolizes the 33 African-American Georgia legislators but it represents the story of slavery in Georgia. “A pregnant women”, Cox explains, “[symbolizes] future generations, and the ballot box…crowned by upraised hands holding aloft a tiara, shaped in the form of the state of Georgia” (Cox). Even though this monument could represent many stories of the history of African-American in Georgia. I am sure, without knowledge of this monument, that the average person would interpret it to focus more on the narrative of slavery rather than the story of the 33 African-American legislators listed at the foundation of the statue.

One of the black house members who was expelled was a man named Thomas Beard. In 1870 Beard ran against Stephen Alpheastus Corker for the 5th US Congressional. Stephen Corker and his letters are the subject of the book "Above the High Water Mark"


Corker won the election but on the first day of the Congressional session Beard challenged Corker's election stating that violence had prevented Beard from getting votes. The US house took a vote to seat Corker and it made national news. This was because Corker was the last member of the US house from the Old South to join congress.

Georgia had been readmitted to the Union but due in part to the expulsion of the 33 black legislators, Georgia was again denied representation in congress. It was not until 1870 that Georgia ratified the 15th Amendment and was readmitted again to the Union. Thus; Georgia was the last former Confederate State to be readmitted to the Union.

Even though Corker had been given his seat, his election was passed onto the committee on elections for testimony in the case of Beard vs. Corker. Testimony was held in Augusta, Georgia. This testimony gives an interesting view on Reconstruction in Georgia. Nothing in the testimony changed the outcome of Corker's election. Finally on the last day of Congress a resolution was passed giving Corker his seat.

Beard lost his chance to be a member of US House of Representatives. And now it seems that his legacy and that of the other members of the black caucus expelled in 1868 will be lost to the dust bin of history by replacing their memorial with the new MLK statue on such a prominent location at the Georgia Capital.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Behind the scenes of the New “Deal” on SCV car tags.

In June of this year 2015 Governor Nathan Deal and his Abolitionist Lynne Riley, head of the Georgia Department of Revenue, halted the sale of tags with the Confederate Flag on them. These tags have been sold in the State of Georgia since 2003.

The tags that were halted had the Confederate Flag in the background with the Sons of Confederate Veterans logo on them.

Lynne Riley upon initially halting the sale of the tags was quoted as saying “There will not be another Confederate Flag on the State Tag.” Riley from Massachusetts, home of the hated Benjamin Butler apparently forgot that she lives in the South where the honor of our Southern Heroes trumps the attitude of Yankees who move here.

Benjamin Butler

Ms. Riely’s actions remind me how my Confederate ancestor was treated when taking his seat in the 41st Congress. In 1871 Butler attempted to deny my ancestor, Captain Steven Alpheastus Corker, his seat. Butler was defeated and the seating of Corker was National news. Corker was the last US House Representative to be challenged in the reunited States after the War of Northern Aggression.

Southern sentiment at the time can be summed up in this quote from the Macon telegraph January, 31, 1871 “We hope, therefore, Georgia is now a State of the Union, and that a Georgian is just as much a citizen as a New Yorker or a man from Ohio.”

And now in 2015 such is the rule of law in the Georgia that trumps any Northern ideas of denying the citizens of Georgia the right to honor their Confederate Ancestors.

The State caved on tags due to the fact that the sale of Sons of Confederate tags was embedded into the state law. The action of further denying the tags meant legal consequences for the State of Georgia.

Deal’s Abolitionist made the mistake of assuming the Texas SCV tag case gave her the right to deny the Georgia tag from being sold. She was thrilled that the Supreme Court had denied Texas its SCV tag in June of 2015 and immediately went into action. The case of Walker Vs. SCV gave the State of Texas the right to say no to any tag with a Confederate Theme.

Lynne Riley

But Georgia is not Texas. The tags in Georgia were one of the scraps of the final change in the State Flag in 2003 that the enemies of Georgia’s Confederate Heritage threw like a bone to the sons of Dixy. The approval of these tags went through the legislature in the form of a contract with the State. 

The SCV tags continue to remain protected from dictatorial commands of Scalawags like Governor Deal and Skohegan Skunks* like Lynne Riley.

The SCV agreed to removing the Confederate Flag backdrop but not remove the organizations logo. This allowed Deal to claim a pat on the back by the Republican Party which despises the Old South and the Loyal League of Atlanta.

 Meanwhile the Sons of the South can celebrate the fact that their Logo, which includes the Confederate Flag, will stay on tags across Georgia and Ms. Riley can learn a lesson. The Sons of the South will defend the Confederate Flag and honor thier heroes.

*Skohegan Skunks is a word used in Georgia for Carpetbaggers during Reconstruction.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Real Deal

Nathan Deal came to Dublin, Georgia on September 18, 2015 to attend the grand opening of the newly restored "Skyscraper". 

This Skyscraper is the First National Bank Building built by my Ggrandfather, 
Frank G. Corker in 1912.

After the ceremony I had the opportunity to approach the Governor and discuss an important issue to me and many other native Georgians.

Deal in his speech about the newly restored Bank Building was quoted as saying "I have every reason to believe that when we come back years from now, we'll look upon this Skyscraper as a beacon of learning that shines very brightly throughout this region of our state,"

"For a building that is 102 years old, this is a  rebirth. This is a new beginning and built on strong foundations. Those foundations will make us proud of what we are celebrating here today."

In the picture above I am shown having a chance to ask the question. "Why Governor Deal did you remove Confederate Memorial Day and Robert E. Lee's Birthday from the State Calendar" as shown below.

My premise on asking the question was his line of  mentioning the strong foundation of the First National Bank building. I told Deal "The strong foundation of the First National Bank building was my Great Grandfather. His foundation was his father Stephen Alpheastus Corker. S.A. Corker fought for the South and was a Captain in the 3rd Georgia Co A, Burke Guards and his memory should be honored not removed."

Deal fired back saying he did not remove the Confederate Holidays. Hearing this I felt like Fletcher in the movie "Outlaw Josey Wales"

 I then fired back that he left Martin Luther King's Name on the Calendar. Deal then said that was a federal holiday. The Governor was steely eyed and unwavering in his defense of what he had done. 

Deal is guilty of not having to run for office anymore and kissing the rears of the power structure of Atlanta and the Chamber of Commerce. These types have no need for the Confederate Heritage of Georgia. They would be fine seeing every mention of the South removed.

In honor of Deal's Removal of the mention of the Confederate Holiday Names, the Skowhegan Skunk* award is hereby presented to his honor Nathan Deal.

A Skowhegan Skunk is a reconstruction term Georgian's used for Carpetbaggers in the South after the War between the States. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Southern Poverty Law Center "SPLC" 2013 Tax Return Analysis

The Southern Poverty Law Center based in Montgomery Alabama states that its purpose is to fight hate, teach tolerance and seek justice. The following is an analysis of the SPLC's 2013 tax return which is the most recent one available for public view. The SPLC is a "Non-Profit" charitable organization that pays no income taxes.

Being a CPA familiar with financial statements and tax returns, I have made the following analysis available as a public service to the American public. The reader can make his or her own conclusions.

Revenue from Contributions was approx. $43,000,000

Salaries were approx. $17,000,000

This means that approx. 40% of contributions goes to salaries

Another part Revenue is investment income of Approx. $10,000,000 which equals approx. 18% of the total income of the charity.

Officer's Salaries totaled approx. $2,000,000

Founder Morris Dees total compensation totals approx. $364,000

Investments total approx. $317,000,00

Of the total Investments approx. $302,000,000 are in Private Investment funds.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ebay Bans Confederate Flag Sales

September 13, 2015

Ebay Headquarters
Atten: Devin Wenig
2065 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, California 95125

Dear Mr. Wenig:

I recently placed two items for sale on ebay. I have been a member of ebay since 12/13/2004. As of yesterday I had been a seller for 1,432 days. I am closing my account effective today.

The reason I am closing my account is because your company has decided that your company “believes the image of the confederate flag itself has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism.”

I am from the State of Georgia and my two items were a T-shirt and the Georgia Flag. The T-shirt has a Confederate Flag on it with the saying “It’s a Southern Thing, Y’all Wouldn’t Understand.” Obviously you do not understand that the majority of Southerners and people around the world see the flag as a symbol of our region and history. The only reason it is divisive is because people like you and your company make it divisive.

According to your 2014 annual report page 14 lists item 1A:Risk Factors. From the report “Substantial and increasingly intense competition worldwide in the ecommerce and global payments industry may materially and adversely affect our overall business and results of operations.”

Might I suggest you add to your risk factors stupid decisions by management. I have already moved my business and my account to Ebid and look forward to dealing with them going forward.

I must say that the recent plunge in your stock price seems to coincide with you decision to ban Confederate Items on June 23, 2015. Your action against me and others will be spread across the internet via this letter so that others can make the same decision as I have.


John C. Hall, Jr.

Encl: Stock plunge, removal message and my account closing message

CC: Pierre M. Omidyar, Founder

------------------------Posted for Sale on Ebay - Banned----------------------------------


--------------------Now listed on Ebid - Ebay's biggest competitor-------------------------

Click this link for Ebid

Stock Price Dive


Dear forrestcsa1,

Recently, eBay took action on your account due to a policy violation related to this item: Its a Southern Thing T-shirt, 100% Cotton. We would like to get your feedback regarding this recent interaction via the survey link below.

eBay sent this message to Hall,Jr., John (forrestcsa1).
Your registered name is included to show this message came from eBay. 
Learn more about how to tell if an email is really from eBay.

Your listing has been removed: Discrimination in a Listing

Hello forrestcsa1,
After reviewing your eBay account, it looks like you haven’t followed our Discrimination in a Listing policy. We understand that you may not have been aware of this policy or that this may have been an oversight, so we're including some policy information to help you with your future listings. We also had to take the following actions:
- Listings that didn't follow eBay guidelines have been removed. A list of removed items is available further down in this email.
- We have credited all associated fees except for the final value fee for your listing(s).

Listings that promote or endorse discrimination against any individuals or groups aren’t allowed on eBay.

To learn more about our offensive-materials policy, go to: 

Ebay has made a decision to no longer permit Confederate battle flag listings. Likewise, items designed with the pattern of the battle flag as the central theme are also prohibited. We believe the image of the flag itself has become a contemporary symbol of divisiveness and racism. This is not a reflection or judgement on anyone selling the item and we respect that there are a wide variety of opinions on this issue. We thank you for your understanding and ask you to please not list these kinds of items. We would have loved to explain this to you over a phone call, however, this item was removed outside of our calling hours. (9:00 AM to 9:00 PM)

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this information and be sure that your current and future listings follow these guidelines. If they don’t, they'll be removed and we may, at our sole discretion, decide not to refund your fees. It could also result in additional actions, including loss of buying and selling privileges on eBay.

If you have any more questions, contact our policy experts.

Here are the listings that were removed:
291560558430 - Its a Southern Thing T-shirt, 100% Cotton
291561248766 - Georgia state flag

Today at 11:46 AM
eBay sent this message to John Hall, Jr. (forrestcsa1).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. Learn more.

MC999 Notice: User Account Closed per User Request

Hello forrestcsa1 (,

As you requested, we've started the process of closing your account. Your account is now blocked from bidding or listing on eBay. You can still access your account information to find out if you owe any fees. However, if you've had recent listings or bidding activity, you'll need to wait 60 days.

By allowing days to pass, we can make sure that all of your transactions are complete. After these days pass, we'll close your account and send you a final account closure notice. We'll also contact you if you have an unpaid balance on your account.

Please note that after we close your account, your contact information, transaction history, and Feedback Profile will be permanently deleted from our system.

If you don't want to permanently close your account, please click "Help & Contact" at the top of most eBay pages to reach us contact us immediately. 



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