Journey to Appomattox

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 Journey to Appomattox

 Sunday 20 January 2009


The story you are about to read is a follow-up to ‘
A Nation on its Knees
’ and tells of the struggles, heartaches and tears of a seven years old boy, who when he hears of the upcoming national day of prayer to take place at Appomattox, becomes convinced, Jesus will be there.  He becomes determined to find a way to go and be there on that day, but what can a little seven years old boy do, whose family can ill afford to travel to a nearby town, let alone the distance to Appomattox Courthouse?  Come with us now and read about a brave, determined little boy and his ‘Journey to Appomattox.’

 

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"The withdrawal of a State from a league has no revolutionary or insurrectionary characteristic. The government of the State remains unchanged as to all internal affairs. It is only its external or confederate relations that are altered. To term this action of a Sovereign a 'rebellion' is a gross abuse of language." -- Jefferson Davis
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Sunday 25 January 2009

It was Sunday again and little Jimmy Parsons and his family was preparing to make the journey on foot, just down the road a mile and a half to the old wood frame Church House, where they had been attending for as long as he could remember. The city of Crump Tennessee was just across the river from their small town of Savannah and the Shiloh Battlefield Park, lay only a short distance form Crump. Jimmy still remembered the last time he was at the battlefield, his mother, father and sister Shelly all toured the grounds and somehow he had strayed away and ended up in the Confederate section of the Graveyard.The day was 6 April 2008 also a Sunday, the family had decided to take a trip to the park after church and the dinner that followed. Jimmy had heard stories of the battle that took place and had come to admire the brave Confederate Soldiers, who had fought there long ago, it almost seemed like ancient times to him. Jimmy bowed his knee upon the grass over the grave of one soldier among so many, and he look about himself at the sight of so many markers. Dear Jesus, he prayed, I am just a little boy, and I don’t understand such things, but why did these brave soldiers loose the war? I am told that so many of them were Christians and they must have surely prayed!

As Jimmy finished his prayer, and looking up he notice his parents and sister standing not far away, obviously waiting for him to finish. You shouldn’t have wondered off like that Jimmy, his dad said; this park is plenty large enough for a little boy like you to get lost in, wondering away like you did. I am sorry Daddy, just wanted to see and when I ended up here, I decided to ask Jesus about these soldiers. Daddy {Joe Parsons} wasn’t about to scold the boy at such a time, feeling as he did that it might discourage his faith in our Lord and Savior. He only gave him a warning and let the incident pass! But Jimmy was mulling these things over in his mind; he never could come to a decision as to why these brave soldiers had to loose.

Sunday passed and finally it was Monday once again and he would see his friend Billy Gibson at school; his daddy normally allowed him to go home on Monday evenings with Billy, provided assurance were given, that Jimmy would be escorted safely home. The School Bus passed by Billy’s house before it got to his, and Jimmy was always quick to ask before daddy went off to work on Monday mornings. Daddy worked hard and put in long hours, even then, he was barely able to provide for his family. Billy’s Daddy made a little more money, enough so that his family was able to afford a second hand computer and an older model color television.

Jimmy’s family had only an old black and white television with rabbit ears; those were indoor antennas, even then it will no longer work when something called ‘digital’ becomes the law. Anyhow Jimmy was usually able to play with the computer once and a while, that is when Billy’s brother, sister or parents weren’t using it, that is when he accidentally logged onto something called a Confederate website. He called in Billy’s Daddy asking him to read the words that were written; Jimmy could read, but this looked like something one of them college grown ups would write. Billy’s Daddy {Mr. Bert Gibson} entered the room, and after a short explanation by the kids, all talking at once, began to read the article.

He had been bowed over at the waist in order to get a better look, but he now stood up straight. There’s going to be a Confederate National Day of Prayer and Respendence at a place called Appomattox Courthouse. Now Jimmy hadn’t yet grown smart enough to do any complicated math, but he could add Confederates to a National Day of Prayer and Repentance, and come up with the notion that Jesus was going to be at Appomattox. Right then and there Jimmy looked up at Billy entire family and said; ‘we … I have got to be at this place, what did they call it Billy? Appomattox Courthouse; yes said Jimmy, that’s the place; we got to go there. Little Jimmy did however, wonder why they were ‘fixin’ to have a prayer meeting at a courthouse!

Appomattox is not just across the river, like Shiloh, you’ve got to cross the entire State of Tennessee, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the northeast and a third of the way into Virginia. Besides Jimmy, your Daddy hardly got the money and his old car would plum fall apart long before it got there. I don’t know about such things, said Jimmy; but if Jesus and the Confederate’s are ‘fixin’ to be there, then I want to be there also. Jimmy had to be home by 7:00 P.M. so there would be enough time before he had to go to bed, for him to ask his Daddy.

That evening, no sooner had he been dropped off at his own house, his momma pointed to the bathroom and he knew what that meant; it was bath time. After his bath it was Momma’s turn and his Sister was in her own bedroom, so Little Jimmy decided to take advantage and ask his Daddy the big question. Daddy, Jesus and the Confederates are ‘fixin’ to be at some place called Appomattox, can we go there to see them? Where did you get an idea like that son, asked the Daddy? Well we read it on the computer over at Billy’s House; can we go Daddy?

You know we ain’t got that kind of money Jimmy, if we did, it might be otherwise, but as things stand, I don’t see any way that it is possible. What if I raised the money Daddy? How are you going to do that, your just a little boy, I am a full grown man and I couldn’t raise that kind of money. Well Daddy, what if I could, how much would it take? Well son, you’re just daydreaming, but if it were possible, it would require $3,000 for the lot of us to travel to this place called Appomattox. Jimmy’s Daddy was not a harsh man, he did believe in disciplining of children, but this was a new one to him, a situation he wished to mull over in his mind.

Friday 6 February 2009

It was eleven days later and by then ole Mr. Parson decided to discourage the boy while at the same time he would not outright turn him down, only to say he was working to many hours to have the time to raise the money for a trip to Appomattox. He felt like if he gave Jimmy a little time, he would forget the whole idea, until the evening news came over the radio. The family television had finally stopped working a few days before; Mr. Parsons wasn’t sure whether it was due to that big change called ‘digital’ or something else.


While the radio news devoted only short space to the story, they did mention a Confederate Prayer Meeting, which was to take place on Thursday 9 April this year. Sure enough he thought, the boy knows what he is talking about, maybe Jesus and the Confederates will be there together after all, who am I to tell Jimmy it won’t happen. Jimmy seemed quite restless over the past week, feeling like he hadn’t been able to convinced his Daddy. Now his chances of meeting Jesus and the Confederates at Appomattox seemed impossible. That was until he heard the news coming over the radio!

The boy got real excited over hearing it over radio; see Daddy, I told you, I told you; alright he replied, we’ll go if you can figure out a way to raise the money, remember I told you at the beginning of last week. About that time Momma entered the room; I’ll go down to the R.B. Junk Store and see if they got something besides reject cloths, maybe by chance they have a large size flour. If they do I’ll make cookies for you to sell Jimmy. That’s a small start, but maybe we can work from there! The next day being a Saturday Momma having found her some inexpensive flour, began making more cookies then Jimmy had ever seen in their house.

The Parsons couldn’t afford a telephone, so they allowed Jimmy to go next door to the Jamison and ask to use their phone so the boy could call as many friends as he knew, asking for their help to raise the money. By noontime he had already found a wooden box and a small chair and set up a cookie stand by the side of the road, where route 64 goes through town, running from Memphis to Chattanooga. His friends brought over cold drinks and more cooking, a few of them even brought candy, but happiness would soon turn to gloom, as no one stopped to buy Jimmy’s Cookies.

The time passed and finally an older gentleman, well dressed stopped and approached the little cookie stand, inquiring as to what was taking place. Thinking they were in trouble the boys stuttered over their words; we … we … we are trying to sell these things so I can go the Appomattox, to see Jesus and the Confederates. The old man introduced himself as Jake Holiday, none other then the Editor and Chief of their small home newspaper; I know about Jesus and I not sure about these Confederates of whom you speak, but it seem to me that if a little boy wants to go meet Jesus, there aught to be a way to make that happen.

The cookies were selling for 3 for a $1.00 but ole Mr. Holiday put down a $20.00 bill and picked up only one cooky and told Jimmy to keep the change. Then he reached in his pocket, took out a Cell Phone and began to call his newspaper, local television, then a television station as far away as Memphis. Little Jimmy looked at the man who was now insisting the boys call him Jake, but could only manage to make a few stuttering sounds; ga-lee, you got to be a very rich man Mr. Jake. Anyone who could afford one of those fancy, what do they call them Billy; Cell Phones, replied Billy. Yes Mr. Jake, Cell Phone!

We’ll see what can be done to help you boys; no sooner had Jake finish speaking when a television and radio crew drove up, pulled off the highway and parked in the vacant lot, just behind the boys Cookie Stand. Within minutes Jimmy and Billy were all over the local news and the lot behind them was filled with cars, all wanting to buy cookies. A Memphis television crew having finished filming a living history documentary at the Shiloh Battlefield Park was diverted to Jimmy’s Cookie Stand. By evening Jimmy and Billy were national news celebrities and money began to pour into a special account set up that very afternoon at a bank, just down the road.

Local stores began to donate cookies for Jimmy and Billy to sell, by early evening the boys had raised $30,000 dollars and a Savannah Car Dealer donated a brand new Ford Crown Victoria, for the Parsons family to travel to Appomattox Courthouse. It appeared the public agreed with Jimmy; if Jesus and the Confederates were ‘fixin’ to be at Appomattox, Jimmy and his family should be there to meet them. Jimmy who was by nature smaller then is peers, was being billed nationwide as the ‘Littlest Christian Confederate.’

Before Jimmy became a news spectacle, few people in these parts gave the Confederacy or Confederates much notice, but the Little Boy from Savannah Tennessee had change all that, by insisting on Journeying to Appomattox. A week later bomber stickers began to appear; “Appomattox our Bust” which would later lead to a caravan of vehicle of all types, on their way to see Jesus and the Confederates. Jimmy’s Second Grade School Teacher was interviewed over a Chattanooga Station, which had sent a crew for a follow up story on the Little Boy from Savannah. She stated; If Jimmy says Jesus and the Confederates are ‘fixin’ to be in Appomattox, who am I to differ.”

Saturday 14 March 2009

While it appeared Little Jimmy Parsons had become the instrument in resolving his family’s financial difficulties, at least for the moment, his own personal hardships were only beginning. In all the hoopla Jimmy seemed to have caught a deadly virus, which all but shut down his Vidal organs, placing him on the critical list; the small community hospital in Savannah was not equipped to cope with such an illness, at least not adequately. On Saturday morning Jimmy was air lifted by ‘Medivac’ to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Memphis Tennessee.

The countdown to Appomattox was now 26 days away, and the Little Boy from Savannah, who had become so beloved by millions, having come so close to his seeing his dream fulfilled, so it slipping through his fingers. Jimmy’s condition kept getting worse as first one Doctor examined him, then another, until his parents were both on edge wondering what could possibly be ailing their precious Little Boy. They didn’t know much about Hospitals and Doctors, since the family had not suffered any medical problems to speak of in their entire lifetime.

Finally during one of their many visits to the hospital a Doctor wearing a white hospital smock approached them in the waiting room. Hello, I am Doctor Jeffery Womack; Are you the parents of Jimmy Parsons; yes answered the father, the mother nodding her head as a sign of agreement. I don’t need to tell either of you, that your son is a very sick Little Boy. What does he have Doctor, ask ole Joe Parsons, the Doctor looked at both of them for a moment, then directed his attention to Mr. Parsons. The Doctor gave the name of the disease using a long scientific word, and then said, let us just say he has a new strain of the Asian flu.

Surely there’s a treatment for it, ask Jimmy’s Momma? Mrs. Parsons, this is a research hospital, there is no better facility for your son’s treatment, but I must be completely honest with you, this is a deadly disease and thus far there is no know cure. However, we have slowed the progress of the disease, even though it has not improved his condition dramatically, he has been stabilized. It’s going to be a long road; the Doctor, looking first at the mother, then the father. Doctor, stated Mr. Parsons, we are poor people, we can hardly afford the cost of such a prolonged stay in the hospital.

Normally I would not be discussing finances with the next of kin, but in Jimmy’s case I am free to inform you that an anonymous donor has taken over the entire cost of his stay at this facility. His only statement regarding Jimmy, was that he should receive the best of care, and that is precisely he is being provided. You are free to look in on him but do not stand to close, or hug him, as much as you may wish to do so, and don’t expect him to react very much to your presence. I recommend you stay a short period of time, and then quietly leave the room! The doctor finally excused himself and went his way!

Thursday 2 April 2009

Mr. And Mrs. Parsons had been provided a motel room and a small rental car in order to travel to Memphis, so as to be close to their Little Jimmy. But as the days passed with little change in his condition, they felt there was no choice but return to Savannah, then return at a later date. The days passed, the Parsons made several trips to Memphis, and while there was some small progress, Jimmy seemed to linger on the edge of either coming through or dieing. Doctor Womack seemed uncertain as to the outcome! It was a Thursday, one week before the Prayer Meeting at Appomattox they both knew Jimmy would be disappointed if he were unable to make the ‘Journey to Appomattox.’ However for the present, it was totally out of the question!

The Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital provided what used to be called candy stripers, primarily ladies who were not Nurses but who were in effect Nurses Assistants. Little Jimmy had been given his last medication before ‘turning in for night’ and soon it was the middle of the night, things were as quiet as any hospital could be, given the comings and goings of their patience. The Little Boy normally would have slept straight trough the night, save for tossing and turning, due to the discomfort caused by the disease. But in the darkness of his room he was awakened by, what he thought was the night nurse.

Jimmy turned his head toward the light shinning through the opened door, a lady was entering dressed the way nurses did in some of the older movies, which he had seen on their old black and white television, before it finally quite working. She wore a white nurses cap and white dress, typical the way nurses dressed in his grandfathers time. Jimmy didn’t think much about it, believing it must be a holiday and the nurses are dressing up special for that reason. The lady entered the room and began to walk slowly around the bed, then stood quietly in a darkened area at the head of this bed, between the bed and the window side of the room.

Jimmy could dimly see her as she began to speak ever so softly! Jimmy, you want to go to Appomattox, do you not? Oh yes, said Jimmy, but I’ve got this terrible disease and it won’t be cured in time; the sadness in his voice was heartbreaking. Jimmy then asked the kind lady; who are you, a nurse? She replied, a nurse of sorts, but let’s just say I am a friend who has come to make sure you are well enough to travel to Appomattox. The lady reached out and touched Jimmy’s chest, he could feel his entire body getting pleasantly warm as she held her open hand upon him. Jimmy reached out and took hold of her hand as she began to withdraw; how do you feel now Jimmy?

Jimmy began to bounce up and down on the bed, I feel great, and the disease must be gone! In the excitement, he hadn’t noticed the lady was gone. Jimmy got up from his bed, turned on the lights and looked around; he even opened the door to his room and looked up and down the hallway. The kind lady was nowhere to be found, all Jimmy managed to accomplish was to attract his regular night nurse who quickly came toward him, urging him to get back in bed. Jimmy finally did so but he couldn’t sleep, he was excited and he felt so very good for the first time in a long while.

Friday 3 April 2009

The next morning found several doctors, nurses and a host of people coming in and out of Jimmy’s room, the rumors spread all through the hospital, Jimmy had suddenly recovered from a deadly disease that had no cure. Doctor Womack finally entered the room shortly after the breakfast hour, giving Jimmy a thorough going over. Then the Doctor with a nurse present, ask the Little Boy, tell me Jimmy about the kind lady that entered your room. The Doctor then turned to the attending nurse and said; Jimmy tells me he must Journey to Appomattox to see Jesus and the Confederates, I believe it is time to discharge him so he can begin his travels.

On the way out of the room the nurse asked, Doctor how is this possible, he couldn’t have gotten over his ailment so soon. Doctor Womack turned to the nurse and stated; we like to think medical science has all the answer, but in this case nurse, a Physician much greater I visited Little Jimmy. The Almighty God obviously intends on Jimmy being at Appomattox, so much so He has sent him a cure directly from the realms of Heaven’s Grace. His parents should be contacted immediate, make sure his papers are prepared for his discharge by the time they arrive.

The Doctor turn one more time toward the nurse with an order; take a sample of Jimmy’s blood before he departs, perhaps Heaven wouldn’t mind if we check to see if he is carrying any anti-bodies, that may help us find a cure for his deadly disease. When his parents arrive, let me know, I’ll met them in the lobby just before Jimmy is returned to them. The parents soon arrived; Jimmy and Doctor Womack meet them in the lobby as the Doctor had ordered. The joy on their faces was obvious, but still, why the sudden change in their son’s condition, and how could it have happened?

Joe Parsons spoke for both of them; Doctor Womack, what happened, did you come up with some kind of new medicine? Mr. Parson, stated the Doctor, Jimmy received the very best treatment available and the finest medicine science can provide. None-the-less the treatment Little Jimmy received last night was beyond our medical science. Doctors seldom use the word miracle, however nothing else can explain a Little Boy being tucked in for the night with a deadly disease with only a slight chance, then awakening in the morning totally cured.

He had a visitor some time in the middle of the night, a visitor Jimmy says was a Nurse; we have no one on our staff meeting his description of her. In the middle of the night had anyone slipped by our checkpoints, they would have been noticed roaming the hallways? Call this visitor an angel, the spirit of God, whatever you like, but whoever this individual was, he or she is the ultimate physician, so great, our science pales by comparison. No intruder could have arrived so gracefully, performed what amounts to a miracle, and then depart unnoticed! As Jimmy’s Doctor I can only say; this little boy obviously has a date to keep at Appomattox!

Thursday 9 April 2009


The following six days pass quickly and the Parsons were finally checking into a motel on Wednesday 8 April not far from the Jason McPherson farm and found a parking space within a sea of automobiles, pick up trucks motorcycles and a host of other vehicles. The family was invited to march at the head of the parade, inasmuch a their story had by this time, become common knowledge and the Parsons as much as any, represented the essence of what the Confederate Cause was all about. However the distance to the park, while not to far for a healthy adult, still, Jimmy had just gotten over a serious illness, and his parents were deeply concerned.

The Lord God had obviously guided this family and provided for their needs, even to the point of performing miracles. Ole Joe Parsons was not about to doubt what God intended for Little Jimmy, nor His reasons for him to be at the park that day. The parade finally got underway and true to form, Jimmy became worn and weary with the miles, when suddenly the parade halted, it couldn’t have been more then a couple miles from the park entrance. The word spread that the real President Jefferson Davis, Reverend Robert L. Dabney, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson had taken the lead; while some doubted, Jimmy knew better, they were real alright.

It was half a mile further down the road when General Stonewall Jackson fell back a small pace, as the parade, while not stopping completely, manages to slow to a snails pace, so as to tend to Little Jimmy. Stonewall reached down toward the boys father; may I be of assistance, perhaps the boy would be more comfortable riding. The father was in awe, paused and handed the boy up to Stonewalls waiting arms. He placed the boy directly in front of himself on the saddle. The parade then picked up its pace and moved toward the entrance to the park.

Little Jimmy had never been on a real horse; his uncle Ben Parsons owned an old mule and Jimmy had ridden it a number of times and he certainly knew who Stonewall Jackson was, in a small sort of way. His daddy had told him a number of stories about the war and the Confederates from a set of books he received as a Christmas gift many years earlier. Stonewalls picture was one of those found in the book, but Jimmy while knowing it was really him, still he was surprised. Jimmy also knew in a general sort of way, the story of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Robert L. Dabney, here he was riding with all of them.

As the procession passed through the gate Jimmy felt proud and very happy; he had made it to Appomattox and already he was seeing the throngs of Confederates following behind and he also expected to see Jesus. The parade continued toward its destination in front of the McLean House where General Robert E. Lee had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. As they made their final approach, Stonewall lowered the Little Boy down into the waiting arms of his father, as the crowd began to gather at the McLean House. Little Jimmy and his father found themselves near the front, when the services got underway!

Jesus and the Confederates

The services had been underway for what seemed to Jimmy to be an hour, but it was really more like 20 minutes, when Jimmy became excited; ‘He’s here, He’s here’ hollered Jimmy. Jimmy’s Daddy looked twice, even attempted to focus more clearly, but he obviously could not see what Jimmy was seeing; he could see Jefferson Davis, Generals Lee and Jackson as well as Reverend Dabney. Jimmy began to shout, Jesus is standing behind Jefferson Davis, the Reverend and the Generals. Jimmy’s described that on either side of Jesus was an angel, one on his right the other on his left. Jimmy looked carefully at one of the angels! Daddy, the angel on the right is the lady that visited me at the hospital, she’s the same lady, but Daddy could not see what Jimmy was seeing.

Then Jimmy broke away from standing besides his Daddy and moved down closer to the alter that stood at the foot of the platform, his father and mother seeing he remained fixed in his place, decided not to disturb him. Little Jimmy knew what he was seeing; he heard the Pastor at Church describe such things as a vision. Even Jimmy knew by now, that he was the only one that was seeing Jesus and the two angels. While he continued to look, almost frozen in place, Jesus and the angels descended from the platform as if they were floating in mid air, and positioned themselves just a few feet away, in front of little Jimmy.

Jesus looked down at Little Jimmy, as the boy looked up; I am your friend, said Jesus. Jimmy's father and mother were by now, fixed more on the podium then on Jimmy. The crowd was deeply engrossed in the spectacle, even then unfolding on the platform, where Davis, Dabney, Lee and Jackson all stood together, then one by one they took turns calling out over the microphones to the people. The national call to prayer was being heard and heeded; now Jimmy knew even more then ever before, why he had felt compelled to come here. Jesus, I am just a Little Boy, what can I do to help, and will I see you again after today?

Jesus look down at Little Jimmy and said; “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” when you are of age, go forth and Preach the Gospel to every nation, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;” I am a pour boy from a pour family, perhaps they will not hear me! Jesus said unto Little Jimmy, “Tell them I have sent you!” Just as Jesus had finished talking with the Little Boy from Savannah, Davis, Dabney, Lee and Jackson descended from the platform, preparing for their departure.

As their four horses where brought from the backside of the McLean House, and the men mounted; about that time Jesus and the two angles came together and slowly vanished, while Little Jimmy watched in amazement. The crowd was focused on the four Confederates as they mounted and rode off; while the throngs of people may not have seen Jesus, as did Jimmy, they all knew, they had experienced a miracle. Everyone’s eyes were drawn to the four horsemen as they rode very slowly in the direction of the main gate. Each of the men paused and reached down from their horses to shake the hands of the Little Boy from Savannah, who had struggled so hard in order to be able to come to Appomattox.

Then the four Confederates rode off into eternity, disappearing some distance from platform they had mounted a short span of time before; leaving behind a gasping and awe struck crowd, not only in the park, but around the nation and the world. Little Jimmy would grow in stature as well as in wisdom, determined to fulfill the commission given him by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He would be the first among a number of Christian Confederate Ministers of the Gospel, who would use a newly free and liberated nation, the Confederate States of America, as his launching pad for a worldwide ministry.

God save the Confederacy

 

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Little Jimmy's Ministry


Little Jimmy’s ministry would not reach the millions but the billions of people, in every land and of all the races of man.
  Jimmy would state many times; “I come not in my own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ, who has sent me.” 
Scores of liberal Ministries fell by way, as their congregants repented and accept the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The man, once known as Little Jimmy, would become the first Minister to preach before a congregation, which includes the entire, Confederate States Senate, House of Representatives as well as the Second President, Confederate States of America. 
Others would join the Ministry and travel the Gospel Road, but Jimmy would become a legend in his own time.

Despite his enormous size in manhood, he would always be known as ‘Little Jimmy!’  Jesus said; “… lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  Amen!”  {Matthew 28:16-28}. 
“Jesus also said,”… if thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believe. {Mark 9:23}.

Many critics later would say the entire event was staged, that special effects were used, but none were ever found, even after being examined by experts.  Those things like unto what is written in this story can happen, if we as a people would but believe!  If we are to make the physical Journey to Appomattox, we must first take the spiritual journey, which precedes it, just as did Little Jimmy.”
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"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a Utopia – what a Paradise would this region be?" -- John Adams

 

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