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Georgians have long memories ...

June 11, 2009 - Lee Smith
My Uncle Tom (yes, I really have an Uncle Tom) is a true Southern gentleman, in the best sense of that term. He lives in rural Georgia. You'll never meet a nicer guy. He's one of those favorite uncles you have as a kid, and when you grow up you find he's still interesting.

But don't mess with the South. Tom and my Aunt Carleen recently visited Fairmont so, of course, I had to give them a tour of the Sentinel. Pretty exciting, I know. As they were looking through some recent newspapers, the Almanac caught Tom's eye. The Almanac is a little box at the bottom of page one that features a look back at history. One of the entries noted that in 1884, Civil War hero William T. Sherman had turned down the Republican nomination for the presidency.

And? Well ... did you note that word "hero." That didn't sit too well with Tom. If you know anything about history, Sherman was the guy who pretty much rampaged through Georgia in 1864, tearing up the railroads and burning Atlanta. And those were some of the nicer things he and his troops "accomplished."

From a Northern point of view, Sherman shortened and helped win the war, so he is seen as a hero. But folks down South aren't keen on Sherman's march to the sea. They don't view it with pleasure. I suppose we would feel the same if Stonewall Jackson had pillaged Iowa. Well, maybe not Iowa. But you get the idea.

Anyway, I convinced Tom the fault lies with the Associated Press. They send us the history items. I bet they don't run the one about Sherman in Georgia newspapers.


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