The Golden Sword Society

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 The Golden Sword Society
The town that didn't exist!

How many of us while driving down the freeway, have decided to take a short cut down a sparsely driven two lane road into the back country, only to discover it seems to lead to nowhere.  The endless miles roll by until dark over takes us, and the road becomes all the more weary with passing time, you grow tired, seeking a restaurant, motel or gas station for a rest stop.  Beware, while traveling these lonely out of the way roads, for just over the next hill or around the next turn, you may dip into a ravine and end up lost in time and space.
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“God governs in the affairs of man.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?  We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.  I firmly believe this.  I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel” Constitutional Convention of 1787 | original manuscript of this speech … Benjamin Franklin
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It was Sunday the beginning of the second week of the year 2000, the family and I was returning from the Heritage Rally in Columbia South Carolina.  A rally, which would prove very successful, having mustered the largest crowd witnessed to date in the Confederate movement.  Estimates ranged from 12,000 to 15,000 people in attendance!  On our return trip home, we decided to take a backcountry road in order to cut the distance by traveling diagonally across Georgia from the northeast to the southwest.
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We did very well and soon were making headway, finding ourselves on route 221 out of the little community of Hazlehurst, not far from Douglas, Georgia.  There we found a quaint little eating-place, which looked more like the old fashioned soda fountain out of the 1950's more then any present day restaurant.  We stopped in for a hotdog and other snacks before returning to the road! Upon our departure, we obviously made the wrong turnoff, and rather than continuing on route 221, we took the left fork going southeast on route 23 toward Baxley.  A mistake we did not discover until we were some distance down the road!
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At first I thought we were lost, but then I realized we were experiencing an entirely different situation.  We decided to pull over in order to look at our map, which confirmed our mistake.  We had already started out from Columbia late in the morning, and evening would soon be upon us, so we decided, rather than turn back we would continue ahead for a while and see if we could locate an motel for the night, then set our course for home in the morning.  We had no idea that decision would set in motion a series of events that would change our lives forever.
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THE DENSE FOG
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It was getting well toward dusk, maybe 20 minutes or so of daylight remaining, when it appeared a fog was beginning to set in, which was getting denser as we continued further down the highway.  It seemed very odd to me, because while I am certainly no meteorologist, I was convinced the conditions for fog did not exist.  I turned on all my exterior automobile lights - even the flashers - slowed down, and open my window. The fogs somehow smelled different, not unlike thick honey suckle, but much heavier then nature has ever provided.  It was so thick, it was almost bitter to the taste, and even stung the nose while breathing!
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The fog went on for what seemed like an hour, but actually it was probably more like 15 or 20 minutes.  Then finally we found ourselves coming out of the fog, my family and I were greatly relieved.  Maybe it was just a fluke, caused by the ravine or dip in the road, we had just passed through.  Perhaps a breeze-blowing counter to the gorge, caused moist air to become trapped?  Anyhow we felt confident that everything was working out fine, and we were finally returning to our intended course.  Anyhow, we could now begin looking for the motel we were seeking, so we could take a much-needed rest.
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THE COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
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We reached the outskirts of what looked like a small crossroads community, the sign along the road said 'Cottondale - Population 2500' and somehow neither my wife or myself recalled any such community listed on the state road map, which we had both studied.  But then maybe we had missed it somehow!  We read the community name sign, as we passed under a banner stretched across the road that read 'Aureus Gladius Societas.’ the phrase is Latin for 'Golden Sword Society.'  We both began to question where we were, and doing so out loud.  But as we entered the town we found a community, which seemed straight out of a historic fiction story.  This can't be real, but here it was, a place such as no one had ever seen before!
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We drove into an area that seemed like the center of the community, consisting of a kind of small town type square with a park in the center, surrounded by a number of well-lit businesses.  But it was the names, which amazed us; they read Lee's Clothiers, Stonewall’s Hardware, and J.E.B. Stuart's Hunting Supplies [a few of which were all located on Long Street].  We pulled into a parking spot in front of a place called Hood's Restaurant, we then crossed the street and ask directions of a gentleman standing among a moderate size crowd gathered in the park.  We approached the man and his lady, soon after introduced as his wife!  The people were all dressed in period clothing of the 1860's, so we quite naturally looked completely out of place.
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We introduced ourselves, and soon found we were in a friendly conversation with a Mr. Robert Kingsley, his wife Sabrina, and those in company with him.  Not wanting to commit ourselves before we were more fully informed, we simply indicated we were from far away.  Mr. Kingsley indicated it was obvious to him, given your unusual attire, as well as the automobile in which we were traveling. We ask about the celebrations presently underway, and what it was all about!  While he explained the festivities going on, he most courteously walked with us through the crowd, introducing us to a number of prominent citizens of the community.
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My wife and Mrs. Sabrina Kingsley went off on their own, no doubt touring about and discuss areas of interest to the ladies; knowing my wife as I do, she was interested in what it was like for a lady to live in a world where the Confederacy had won the war.  My wife later indicated that Sabrina told her; “Our women and children can walk the streets anytime day or night, without fear of injury or harm from the criminal elements that plague some societies.  While the women enjoy complete freedom and equality with men, the liberal women’s liberation movement as know in our dimension of time, did not exist here nor does the unisex pop culture.
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The ladies enjoyed the better of two worlds, complete freedom, while at the same time conducting them selves and dressing in the unique feminine nature of women.  In this dimension blacks were freed from slavery, but progressively, as they were educated and became part of the greater melting pot of society.  Therefore the concept of a, Black community or a Latino community never developed, political correctness and affirmative action and the other disruptive elements of our world, did not take place.  Black women, Latino women, as well as White women all live harmoniously in a Society dominated by the Antebellum Southern Culture.
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Meanwhile Robert Kingsley and myself came upon a monument shaped like a circle of pillars on a Southern Plantation Mansion, of about four feet in height, and capped with a round table.  On top of the table lay a glass case, with a sword positioned ceremoniously inside.  While I was no sword expert I did recognize it as a sword from the War for Confederate Independence, Yankee but beyond that, it was most unusual in a very special way.  There was a transparent fence of about three feet in height surrounding the pedestal.  I decided to ask Mr. Kingsley what were the origins of these celebrations and of this monument.

I am sure you’ve noticed the sword on display is gold in color; I indicated that I had indeed noticed!  Mr. Kingsley continued; “The sword was forged of real gold by a company of men during the closing day of the war.”  Aren’t you afraid, I ask, someone will break the glass and steal the sword for its value in gold?”  Not at all, the glass is quite unbreakable, short of using high power explosives, which would destroy the sword and the gold.  Additionally, you may not have noticed, none of our building have locks, simply because they are not needed here, we are an honest and humble God fearing people.
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The sword you are looking at has very special qualities, which allowed us to win the war against overwhelming numbers and firepower.  Qualities which I will not go into here and now, but suffice it to say, our soldiers achieved through this sword, a strength many time their true numbers.  After the war we wanted to make sure no one ever used the sword again, save in an emergency so severe, the very existence of the Confederacy would be threatened.  How would you retrieve the sword if the glass is unbreakable; I see no opening or door, it appears to be seal inside its own case.  We best not discuss that either, for the sake of our security!”
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ALTERNATE HISTORY
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”Well sir, Mr. Kingsley replied, perhaps you are not very knowledgeable of our history and customs?  This of course is the delightful community of Cottondale, established on 22 November 1864 with the forced surrender of General William T. Sherman.  The general is buried below this monument”, Mr. Kinsley pointing to a bronze placard a short distance away. Our troops were sorely outnumbered and outgunned by his superior force of 60,000 men.  Our own General John Bell Hood while in war council, decided not to confront the Yankee army in the traditional manner.
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A decision was made to bait a trap, whereby his army would be divided and conquered in pieces. Westerners might call the tactic used, a bushwhacking!  In any case it worked beyond all expectation, however, it necessitated catching General Sherman's Army on the march.  General Slocum's wing of Sherman's Army was caught only one day later, on the move preparing for the Battle of Atlanta. General Hood, rather then assembling his forces in Atlanta proper, or else in a large opposing encampment, decided to divide them into a dozen smaller armies, with each three regiments under a single joint commander.
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The city of Atlanta would be left open well in advance of Sherman's approach to the city, as a kind of bait for the trap.  Thus Yankee General Slocum and his army were caught on the march between several of these smaller Confederate forces, while moving into position for an attack upon the city.  He and his army were nearly annihilated, before they were finally compelled to surrender.  By the time word reached General Sherman, it was no longer possible for him to alter his battle strategy.  One piece at a time, Sherman's 60,000 men were whittled down through a series of these hit and run raids and in effect, simply bushwhacked.
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Supply wagons were either confiscated or burned during many of these raids, thus Sherman's intended Battle of Atlanta turned out for him, a last ditch defensive posture.  General Sherman’s well-planned intention to conqueror Georgia was soon turned against him, thereby making of it a guerilla war of attrition.  Sherman divided and dispersed what was left of his own force, intending on regrouping about 50 miles Southeast of Atlanta.  Hopefully well clear of Confederate Forces!  When he arrived at his intended rendezvous site, he found the small force with him was all that remained of his once formidable army.
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He malingered about for several days, and then realizing the Confederates were on his trail, he fled!  The mighty Sherman was running for his life, from a Confederate Army rearmed with captured weapons from Sherman's own supply trains.  Included among those munitions were repeating rifles and a number of cannon!  It was in this very locality where they cornered him, and when he refused to surrender, the battle raged and continued, until the last of his meager forces were annihilated.  They were all killed save for Sherman himself, who had his sword taken from him in a round of hand-to-hand fighting, while he was still alive.  General Sherman died of his wounds about an hour after the battle had ended, and here he is buried where he fell, below the golden sword.
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THE GOLDEN SWORD CELEBRATIONS
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Your celebration, does it not commemorate what happened here?  What is the meaning of 'Aureus Gladius Societas' or the Golden Sword Society?  Where does this cliché fit in?  Mr. Kinsley continued, regarding the final victory of the Confederacy, over the invading Yankee armies, which became the turning point of the war.  The defeat of General Sherman permitted valuable manpower and resources to be turned toward the ongoing war in Tennessee, Virginia and other areas of the Southland.  Georgia began to recuperate and became, as it were, an economic stronghold for the war effort.
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As a result, six months later, General U.S. Grant's Army of the Potomac surrendered, at what later became known as the Third Battle of Manassas.  After the war a group of Confederate Officers and senior Enlisted Men from across the Confederacy returned and formed the Golden Sword Society, in order to protect this valuable treasure for posterity.  Soon after, the town began to grow and prosper, though it remained relatively small, as those having direct knowledge of the Golden Sword and their families, move to this locality.  I was stunned to say the least, not being certain as to the reality of this place, or whether we were in a dream!
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The best I could figure, this town was not even recorded as officially existing!  It was certain however, wherever Cottondale was the Confederate States had won the war and became an independent nation.  The historical places and events my wife and I had known all of our lives, were unknown to these people.  After making our rounds of this most the park and surrounding area, our new friends Mr. Kinsley and his wife, invited us to stay with them over night.  As part of the celebrations, period carriages were supplied, so we hired a coach and took a tour of the community.
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The local houses were gorgeous, adorned with antebellum architecture; still, after entering the Kingsley home we found they were also very modern, in every sense of the word.  The citizens of this community seemed to enjoy the best of both worlds!  We had a conversation over coffee that evening, just prior to turning in for the night, provided by his lovely wife.  I ask Mr. Kinsley how the Latin term came into use.  Well he stated; 'One of my forefathers was present when General Sherman fought his final battle, which soon after would cost him his life.
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Also present on that day was a very scholarly officer and self-proclaimed student of biblical studies!  He spoke several languages, Greek and Latin among them, with a small understanding of Hebrew!  He himself expressed the situation in terms of a golden opportunity.  While at that moment standing over the body of Sherman he was said to have stated; Quo Aureus Gladius, the Golden Sword, meaning this man's died as a result of very brave men as well as the Golden Sword.  Yet we were all in agreement, this treasure must certainly be a gift from the Almighty God, and should be treated as such.
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Then Mr. Kingsley turned to me, explaining something that startled me a little!  “Some of us are quite aware as to where you came from, we have learned that dimensions exist in time, though we don’t claim to understand them to any degree.  A story is told among our people of a man, his family and a few friends who set sail toward what you call Bermuda, and became displaced in place and time.  He later reported that he crossed into what we now know as your own dimension in time, where the Confederacy lost that great and terrible war.  He managed to return safety, but quite clearly both he and us prefer history, as we know it here!”
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WHERE IS COTTONDALE
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The next morning after an excellent breakfast and pleasant conversation with the Kinsley’s, we prepared to depart this most pleasant home and community, which likened to visiting a lost paradise, knowing we’d rather stay then leave.  After shaking hands along with a few hugs, Mr. Kingsley stated; “The Confederates of your dimension can prove victorious and liberate the Confederacy, but quite frankly they must want it, even more then their own security and well being.  The victory or loose is now in their hands, and given another loss, they will not be able to blame the Yankees; it is for them to win or loose.”
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We made our last brief tour of the community, before our return toward the way we had originally came into town.  Deciding we had simply been waylaid along the way, and feeling like we could return to the northwest, up route 23 toward Hazlehurst, then southwest on route 221 and home.  As we left town, I thought I would pause along the road, and take one last look back, at this pleasant little community - hoping perhaps one day we might pay another visit, if possible.  But when I stopped the car and turned around, there was nothing!
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I had to be certain my vision wasn't going bad, so I drove back toward Cottondale!  We continued for what must have been at least ten miles past where the community had been, until we came to Route 1 running north and south toward Baxley and Waycross Georgia.  We reverse our direction again, and headed back toward Hazlehurst, and once more there was no sign of any community, let alone one called Cottondale, not even an indication that it ever existed.  Then I thought of the fog we had passed through, and how everything was so different, after we had passed through it toward Cottondale.
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But if the fog had something to do with our visiting Cottondale; then where was Cottondale?  Could we have somehow passed through a warp in time, and into another dimension?  A world in which the South had won that horrible war, and the Confederate States of America went on to gain its independence.  We had somehow managed to stumble upon a beautiful storybook place, where all the values and principles of our forefathers, had been passed down to the present generation.  A world in which our history, heritage, culture, and nationhood was completely dominant throughout society.
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THE JOURNEY HOME
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As we turned onto State Route 221 and headed southwest, my wife and I spoke of these things; had we imagined the whole thing?  Could both of us have experienced the same dream?  If so, where did we spend the night, if not in Cottondale?   Then I glanced quickly at the center consol beside us, picked up a photograph of the house, where we had been a guest and handed it to my wife. The photograph was of Mr. Robert Kingsley and his family, standing at the front entrance of their home. The names and dates were of recent vantage; I pulled the car over briefly so as to have a better look.
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We both examined the photograph carefully, on the front and bottom of the photograph, in gold colored letters; was the statement; 'Printed in the C.S.A.'   I had a hunch and decided to take the time to look in my wallet; there it was, a modern Confederate States $5 dollar bill, of equal or better quality then any printed in the United States, which we had obviously received while making a purchase.
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As I was about to get back on the road, my wife said, “wait; she picked up her Make-up Case from the car floor just in front of her, put it on her lap and opened the lid.  Just as I though, she said;” she then pulled out two pictures of Sabrina and her children, two recipes and a small ‘home made’ lace table piece, a gift from Sabrina Kingsley.  Among the gifts was also found a pound of coffee, which bore the words, Morgan’s fine Coffee, a product of John Hunt Morgan and company of Kentucky.
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Most people would figure it was nothing more then a tourist trap, where we had visited along the way, and the picture was merely a cute little keepsake, but we knew better.  Somewhere out there, along the unknown corridors of time and space, there is a little community and a doorway to a place called Cottondale Georgia, where the Confederacy lives.  If only we could locate it once more, that we might return and live there in peace and tranquility forever, under the starry Southern Cross of the Confederacy.
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God save the Confederacy

 

 

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"But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things."  (Joel 2:20)
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