The Dawn Riders

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               The Dawn Riders
                 Could a part of the Confederate Army survived into the twentieth First Century? 

What if the Confederate States Army reemerged, hidden in plain sight? Pending the day when they are prepared to take back our occupied nation, thereby enforcing our right to liberty and independence, as a separate and distinct people. The reconstitution of those long gray lines, and return of the Confederate States Army depicted here is of course fiction. It will remain fiction until sufficient numbers of Confederate Patriots step forward, and make it happen in the real world.
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"The North has used the doctrines of Democracy to destroy self-government. The South applied the principle of conditional federation to cure the evils and to correct the errors of a false interpretation of Democracy." --- Lord Acton
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A friend of mine from many years past and myself had over the years went our separate ways, due to changes in state of residence as well as our separate status in life.   But somehow we managed to meet for a brief period of time as fellow travelers who had somehow beat the odds against such a thing happening.  Of all the people to cross paths with at a fast food hamburger restaurant it was my old friend Jim Bowman.  We made our trip through the line together and joined our wives at a booth around the corner from the order counter.  We engaged in a little small talk in an attempt to get reacquainted and up to date on what had happened in each other’s lives.   We had always known each other to be believers in the Almighty God, the Holy Scripture and prayer even though our feelings about Christianity as we both had read in the scriptures something put us at odds with many mainline liberal Churches of our modern age.

So Jim had drifted away from such Churches and settled into a return to a system of worship, which has for the most part gone extinct, which was previously known as House Churches or Cottage Prayer meetings.  We were both long time believers in Confederate States Nationalism and Patriotism even though our means of expressing those beliefs were sometimes as different as our personalities.  Still our fellowship over both our interest in Christianity as well as all things Confederate and Southern had brought many hours of socializing, either at his home our my own.  We took what few moments we had to compare notes and the subject drifted to a very unusual and memorable worship service, which Jim had attended, in his own home.   The home he now owned in the countryside northwest of Richmond Virginia!

Then Jim and his lovely wife Brenda asked if my wife and I would be so kind as to accept an invitation to visit their Virginia home.  We decided upon a convenient date, finished our meal and soon were off in different directions.  We thought our visit would amount to renewing old acquaintances and enjoying a little socializing.  There was little doubt the subjects related to those things Confederate and Southern would be a topic of discussion second only to that of our Christian Faith.  The date chosen for our visit was Friday 7 April and we found ourselves arriving in the late afternoon refreshed from having stay layer over at an excellent motel the previous evening.  We didn't take long to settle in as Brenda served everyone coffee and a few small snacks in the living room.  Somehow even though it had been years since we had visited the Bowman's at home, still we both felt quite comfortable.

Jim and Brenda's home was a modest middle-income house, which turned out to be an older structure that had been completely restored by Jim's father who had since passed away.  The house was so comfortable and beautiful the two of them felt they could make no other choice but to move in and make it their permanent home.   None-the-less it was positioned some distance down a dirt road which stretched between two major highways, one of which lead directly into Richmond.  In addition to the house Jim's father had left him 300 acres, which supported a variety of animals such as, would be found on any family farm.  These included one half dozen cows, 200 chickens, 50 rosters, ducks, geese, several goats, plus Jim's own addition of several horses.  Jim was not by nature a farmer, but he did manage to learn enough from his father to make the farm pay off sufficient to support the family.  Additionally he had always been interested in the stock market in a small way, and was able to make gains on his meager investments.

Jim had a golf cart, which he had altered for small tasks around the farm, so before turning in for the night Jim gave my wife and I the grand tour, including a ride across the open fields and through a patch of woods, which bordered his farm.  Early the next morning, according to normal farm routine we all arose before daybreak in order to complete the chores.  Jim's farm was positioned in such a way that as we stood at the front door we were facing the rising sun and looking down the long dirt road, which passed his house.  We had finished the chores just about the time the first twinkles of light began to appear on the horizon.  It was a beautiful clear Saturday morning and the rising sun looked like a hung orange ball sitting directly on the earth.  When suddenly our attention was attracted to a huge dust bowl in the distance.

We both looked carefully but the dust was thick like a dense the dense fog which often settled amidst a thicket of trees.  We both began to question; is that a car or a truck coming toward us?   But no it couldn't be since there was no car or truck sound, just thick dust moving our way.  We would have normally gone inside for breakfast and a cup of coffee, but we were mesmerized that somehow there was something strange happening here.  Finally they began to approach closer and I couldn't speak for my friend Jim but I was stunned.  What we saw coming directly out of the morning sun was at least 2,000 Confederate Cavalrymen, dressed not in historic uniforms but modern in every way.  They even carried in their side saddle holsters some type of modern rapid fire weapon and I was willing to bet their saddle bags did not hold a batch of grandma's cookies.

We walked slowly down the lane and stood by the side of the road in order to see more clearly, as there long columns passed Jim's farm.  We had hardly taken up our roadside position when they were upon us.  There were color guards carrying the Confederate Third National, Battle Flag as well as the Virginia State Flag.  Then we notice a fourth flag which we both recognized as General Lee's Battle Flag!   These cavalrymen weren't riding on the cheap, we both saw lots of money ride by the farm that morning and these cavalrymen looked like crack troops.  Their commander displayed the modern cloth patches of an Army Colonel and bore a Confederate Battle Flag patch on the upper left sleeve of his uniform.   Even Jim, who previously didn't seem very surprised, now stood in total awe at what we were witnessing.  All he could say is 'The Dawn Riders!' - repeating the phrase several times!  The colonel looked down at us as he passed and rendered a salute and I found my years of military training coming to the fore as I found myself returning his salute.

The last of the formation finally arrived and we could see what we interpreted as a follow up car so we waved him down.  A gentleman in an Army Captains Uniform was driving, so we Jim approached the car and ask him in a quivering voice; who, what, I mean where?   Look for us coming down Monument Row in Richmond at dawn tomorrow with 5,000 cavalry, along with 20,000 Confederate Infantry troops.  I found myself having one last question; Are you re-enactors or are you the real thing?  The captain smiled and said; See you at down tomorrow, while at the same time he handed me a business card which read; The Dawn Riders in large letters.  In italics at the bottom were the words, "We have returned!"  Suddenly it occurred to me that Jim had called them by their correct title; 'The Dawn Riders' so I asked him, How did you know what to call them?  I didn't stated Jim; I was referring to the time of day in which they appeared!

While we finished the farm chores, had what was by this time a late breakfast we all sat down to discuss traveling to Richmond early the next morning and scheduling our trip so as to arrive at a suitable location just off Monument Row.  We decided to wake up early enough to do the chores, that it wasn't all that far away and we could make the trip in an hour and a quarter.  Just before down we were waling the distance of a block away from Monument Row and found ourselves arriving in the middle of a huge crowd.  Police were everywhere and traffic was already being diverted away from was obvious to anyone a route being prepared for an oncoming parade.  We didn't have to wait very long for no sooner had we found a suitable location from which to get a good view of the parade when the commotion started.  We had somehow managed to relocate ourselves about two blocks from where the parade turned onto Monument Row and began their approach toward in the direction of the Statehouse.

Even though we had gained small preview the day before we were all eyes as they made their approach and nothing upon this earth could be more soothing to the eyes of an aging Confederate Patriot then seeing 5,000 cavalrymen and 20,000 infantry on pass and review.  Particularly since we were certain we had stumbled across a little piece of information of which few others were aware; they were the real things.  A reconstituted Confederate States Army, which hid itself in plain site, under the umbrella of parade, troops in the business of entertaining the crowds.  As the column came near we could see the same Colonel, however beside him was a man I had never seen before, a Confederate Major General with all of the proper accoutrements.  The Colonel glanced our way as he passed, but this time simply touched the rim of his hat as a sign of respect and greetings.

On the way back the two ladies along with us men all discussed what we had seen, but both Jim and myself thought it best to say anymore then that they were re-enactors and parade troops.  But we knew better, for what we had seen was the Confederate States Army remerging once more, which disguised itself as re-enactors and entertainers.  We had witnessed the coming of 'The Dawn Riders!'   But even more perplexing then what we had seen, was the looming question; how had they managed to gain the influence or the connections to parade 25,000 Confederate Troops trough Richmond at the crack of dawn?

God save the Confederacy
 

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"Governor, if I had foreseen the use these people desired to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox, no, sir, not by me. Had I seen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand." --- General Robert E. Lee - as told to Texas ex-Governor F. W. Stockdale
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