This is the gravestone of my great-great-great grandfather, Benjamin Parks Middleton, located in the Bethel Baptist Church cemetery between the towns of Hazelhurst and Georgetown in Copiah County, Mississippi. He was a farmer from that area and, to my knowledge, was not a slave-owner.
Benjamin served as a private in the 6th Mississippi infantry unit of the Confederate States Army during the War Between the States. Eighty or so years earlier, his grandfather, Holland Middleton, served as a captain from Richmond County, Georgia in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. At the time of Benjamin’s death in 1891, he could not have known that his two-year-old grandson, Troy, would log more days in combat than any general officer in the United States Army fighting real, flesh-and-blood Nazis (not the modern Hitler fanboy variety) during World War Two. Hundreds of thousands – nay, millions – of Americans alive today can trace similar lineages and share similar stories.
I cannot say for certain, but my guess is that none of these men shared the Current Year’s enlightened views on race relations in our Vibrant, Diverse, Multicultural Society. Does that make them History’s Greatest Monsters whose sacrifices and accomplishments are not worth …
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(The opinions in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Southern Nation News or SN.O.)