Confederate Veteran, Vol. IX, No. 7 Nashville, Tenn., July, 1902.

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WOULDN'T SING "MARCHING THROUGH GEORGIA"

Unknown

A strange report comes from a public school in Louisville. It is that "Marching through Georgia" is sung in school there. A special to the Atlanta Constitution states that Laura Talbot Gait, aged thirteen, a pupil, refused to sing "Marching through Georgia," as her teacher, Miss Sue Allen instructed. Miss Galt has been withdrawn and complaint made to the superintendent. She not only refused to sing "Marching through Georgia," but she put her fingers in her ears when the school was singing the song, and was reprimanded.

Mrs. Laura Talbot Ross, the grandmother of little Miss Gait, is a Daughter of the American Revolution and a Daughter of the Confederacy. She instructed her grandchild to obey her teacher, but to protest against singing that song.

The little girl says that Miss Allen, her teacher, refused to listen to her essays in which she gave the Confederates credit for bravery on sea and land.

A characteristic little letter from the heroine to the VETERAN:

I can find no words to express how extremely honored I feel when I look at my letters I have received from almost every State, and I think of what those dear old Confederates suffered for the cause they loved so dearly, and yet they praise me so highly for such a little act of duty. They do not know how much pleasure they have given me, for I will always keep their letters among my treasures.

I had read many other histories before I went to school, the year before this last school year, and knowing the truth of the battle between the Alabama and Kearsarge, I would not say, as my teacher tried to force the class, that it was a breach of honor in Admiral Semmes to escape on the Deer Hound instead of giving his sword to Captain Winslow, when the Kearsarge had fired broadside after broadside into the Confederate cruiser after the white flag was raised.

As for putting my fingers in my ears I did that because I would not listen to a song that declares such a tyrant and coward as Sherman and his disgraceful and horrible march through Georgia and the Carolinas to be glorious. I did not think, at the time, my teacher would think it very bad. I felt that forcing the Southern girls who were in the room to sing or listen to such a song was an insult that I could not stand.

And the patriotic "Aunt Edith" wrote as follows:

It seems strange that Laura's action should have caused such widespread interest. It was the only thing for her to do. We thought she had done only her duty. But after the papers took it to the old Confederate soldiers and to the women, and those who were children when Sherman was in Georgia, and their letters called her "comrade," our little girl was excited beyond words, recalling forty years ago.

When resolutions from John Pelham Camp, U. C. V., of Texas, came, there were shouts of delight. It seemed from old friends sure enough, for many a time has she dashed around on her pony, "a member of Pelham's artillery." Laura's thirteen years should make her almost a young lady, but she is such a child! She has lived without a child companion all her life on the old homestead, which has been in the family since it was bought by Laurence Ross in 1783, in a house full of books, with no children far or near. She has made them her living companions. One day her dolls would be characters from "Hamlet," the next from "The Tempest," the next from "She Stoops to Conquer," "The Courtship of Miles Standish." and "Hugh Whyn," but the oftenest of all, "Red Rock."

There is a large picture of "Martial Law in Missouri," with the order signed by Brigadier General Ewing. in the house. This gives her some idea of how Northern battles were fought which they consider "glorious."

 

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This site last updated 01/16/2011                                      Col. Thomas Hardeman, Jr.  UDC Chapter 2170 Macon, Ga.

 

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