The Littlest Soldier

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                          The Littlest Soldier

                  "It is the people, to whom all authority belongs."
-- Thomas Jefferson 

Once in several generations there arises a most unusual child, so it was with the son of Robert, known as ‘Bob by his friends’ and Jennifer Kessler, upon at his birth they decided to name him John, not knowing that he had been imparted within him from the moment of conception, the mind and heart of a true Confederate Soldier.  Their son would be known affectionately as Little Johnny, due to his small stature, and later in years as Johnny Reb by some!

Little Johnny was intelligent all right, but more then that he was, what his own daddy described as a throw back!  This was no derogatory description of the son he loved so much, but rather of a boy, which knew his heritage far better then his School Teachers could have imagined.  Join us now as we enter the world of The Littlest Soldier, Little Johnny Kessler!
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"The contest is not over, the strife is not ended. It has only entered upon a new and enlarged arena."
--- Jefferson Davis, address to the Mississippi legislature - 16 years after the wars end
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                     Journey to Appomattox    
Confederate Patriot Guard
                     Winds of Atlanta     Ahab of the North     The Leader Among Us
 

Little Johnny Kessler

Monday 22 July 2013

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Little Johnny was born unto what is know in our time as a stay at home mom and a hard working father, he was so busy he seemed to barely eke out a living for his family, thus having little time for his son, whom he loved so very much.  Johnny’s family might be considered members of the low middle income class, meaning they made a sufficient living to keep body and soul together but beyond that, not much was left over for such things as, luxury items, entertainment or amusement.  Johnny’s younger years found him following his mother through stores like R.B. Junk; a store, which sold cloths that, had errors in manufacturing.

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The store would get a new shipment every Friday morning, and that’s where Johnny spent many a Friday morning during his pre-school years.  Johnny’s mother perceived early in her sons life that he was what she called a ‘smart little boy’ although an intelligence test had never been given to him so as to prove her suspicions, one way or the other.  The little boy did know that his mother was usually calm and patient, and seemed to take things as they came, without much complaining or frustration, not completely satisfied with her lot in life, but willing to accept the what life had dealt her.

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Johnny’s father and mother were Christian parents, who attended the local Community Church regularly three time a week, that being on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and then back to Church for Wednesday evening services.  Actually his mother was the faith and staple of the family, and the center, around which the family seemed to be centered!  It was from his mother that Little Johnny got his deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, as well as his belief in the Holy Scriptures and in Prayer.  It was from his father that he got the concept of what would develop into a firm conviction regarding an honest days work, as well as setting a self-less goal in life for him-self.

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The things his parents taught Little Johnny were to include not merely an education, but a well-rounded knowledge of the truths of history, that if a man did not understand the past, he certainly could not adequately plan for the future.  On the personal level it meant Little Johnny had come to understand that if he didn’t know where he came from, he could not know for sure where he was going.  These were the guiding principles, which had set Little Johnny Kessler on a very special course in life!  The Community Church Johnny and his family attended might be considered old fashion as churches go, having a steeple with a real bell, a piano, and the sanctuary seating approximately 250 when filled to capacity.

His mother played the piano during the Wednesday Services, inasmuch as the regular piano player had to work on Wednesday evening, and could not attend.  Their Pastor approached
Robert ‘Bob’ and Jennifer Kessler concerning their extra ordinarily intelligent son!  The Pastor, the Reverend Walter Thorp, knew of an agency that just might give Little Johnny a scholarship to attend a special school for gifted children.  As a result Johnny entered the First Grade at 5 years of age, even though, based upon the date and month of his birth, he normally would not have began his education in the public school system until a year later, when he was 6 years old!
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All this gave Johnny a keen interest in a particular part of his family ancestry, in that his great-great Grandparents on both his father and mothers side struggled behind the scenes to secure the Secession of the State of Georgia from the Union in 1861.  They were also involved in the similar manner in the formation of the Confederacy!  The growing little boy was not at all satisfied with the public perception, and given that he had learned to read and write exceedingly well at an early age, beginning early in his life to uncover the truth, regarding the Confederacy.  As hard as his father worked, he still found the time to take Johnny to visit nearby battlefields and particularly when reenactments were taking place.
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His mother being a very excellent seamstress, made Johnny a complete well-tailored and professional looking confederate uniform, and he loved to wear his uniform whenever the circumstances permitted.  One day his fifth grade teacher, a Missus Martha Dietrich had assigned the class to read a short rendition of the Battle of Chattanooga, to be reviewed during the late afternoon.  Then gave as a homework assignment, for certain of the kids, all volunteers of course, to present a story of the battle on the following Friday, it being Tuesday.  No one raised their hands; save for Little Johnny Kessler, but the teacher knowing he would never volunteer if he could not carry though with the assignment.
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The remainder of the week passed quickly, Wednesday and then Thursday, but Johnny said nothing, not even a hint at what he might present to the class come Friday, and even Missus Dietrich began to wonder.  Finally just before the afternoon dismissal bell, she asked Johnny before the class; Mister Kessler, have you prepared a presentation for the class tomorrow?  Yes Missus Dietrich, he responded, I am completely ready!  All right then she replied, everyone do their homework tonight, and study the story of the Battle of Chattanooga, and we will see what Mister Kessler will add to the study.  She had just finished when the bell rang, whereupon she gave her usual call for the day, class dismissed!
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The next morning it being Friday, the school day opened in the usual way, with a few verses from the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer, followed by announcements, sometimes by the Principle, other times by a student.  The opening of the day being completed, the class did just as the teacher had indicated the day before; they briefly reviewed the Battle of Chattanooga.  Then Missus Dietrich called Johnny forward, Johnny was not boastful but at the same time he was not shy either, so he arose and headed toward the front of the class, just as the teacher stepped to one side.  It was the Friday before Thanksgiving, an ideal time in Johnny’s mind to study this particular battle!
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It had been an unseasonably cold morning, the temperature dipping down to 27 degrees, so like the other members of the class Johnny wore a coat, but he had purposely wore a somewhat long coat on this day, so as to cover up what he had beneath, and to his own surprise, no-one seemed to notice.  As he began to describe the battle he removed his coat to reveal his well tailored authentic Confederate Uniform.  “The city of Chattanooga had been pretty much under a state of siege, stated Johnny, Confederate forces were positioned on Missionary Ridge, as we rolled the cannon forward.  They were positioned so as to fire in the direction of any potential Union Army that might approach.”

About that time someone in the back of the class interrupted calling out, you said we, you weren’t there; Missus Dietrich quickly responded, let him continue uninterrupted.  As Johnny continued he continually spoke in the first person, as if he were a participant and first hand witness to the battle.  General George H. Thomas moved his two Union divisions forward!  General Ulysses S. Grant, in command of the entire Army in that region, wanted more then anything to break the siege and eliminate the Confederate resistance.  The battle raged for four days from Monday the 23rd until Thursday the 26th, when finally Major Philip H. Sheridan and Generals T.J. Wood managed to break the Confederates outer defenses of the city.
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The class was almost mesmerized as they all concentrated on this Littlest of Confederate Soldiers, as he describe the battle that raged in the area in an around Chattanooga.  Johnny’s mind and heart was suddenly in the middle of the battle, as he continued!  While I had helped moved the cannon into position, I was an infantryman and for the most part fought along with other infantrymen.  We took up positions between and at either flank, firing down the ridge at the hordes of Blue Belly charging and firing upward at us, in wave after wave.  Both our own Confederate lines as well as that of the enemy was a sea of carnage, of blood, sweat and mangled bodies.
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Suddenly Johnny yelled out, “we can’t stop them, we can’t stop them, they’re like a sea of devils, never ending in their numbers.  The more of them we shoot, the more of them there are.”  I ran out of musket balls and reached over and removed the ammo pouch from my friend, which had been felled just moments ago!  Once I had used those up I laid down my musket and began filling in for one of the Artillerymen that had been killed just moments before; I began to stoke the cannon first with rags and black power, then with anything and everything I could find; grapeshot, rocks, anything, but still the blue bellies came.

Johnny was moving about like he was actually in the middle of the battle, as he cried all the louder, tears flowing down his cheek!  On the night of 23 and 24 General William T. Sherman, being positioned north of the Tennessee River sent a brigade across the river, so as to establish a foothold, whereby a bridge could be constructed.  While at the same time Confederate General Braxton Bragg did his very best, to arrange a suitable reception for the Yankee invaders from the north.  By battles end, which extended from 23-25 November 1863, the Casualties were 6667 Confederate and 5824 for the Union!
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Johnny could be seen in front of the class telling his tale of valor and heroism on the part of the Confederate Soldiers, not as one repeating history from a text, but as a Confederate Veteran relating true-life experiences.  Their beloved teacher Missus Martha Dietrich, thought within herself, either he is the most gifted child I’ve ever seen or else somehow that little boy has the kind of first hand knowledge, not found in any record of the war.  Missus Dietrich turned and stared out the window for what must have seemed like an hour, but actually was probably not more then a few minutes, then her attention was drawn back to Little Johnny.
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She arose from a chair near the window where she had been seated, walking toward Little Johnny Kessler, she now considered the littlest Confederate Soldier.  Knowing his parents and having gained their trust as a friend, Missus Dietrich knelt down low enough so as to give Johnny a hug, her own eyes moist with tears.  Johnny she said, I’ve never heard history told in such a manner, you are truly a Soldier born out of season!  Johnny look at his teacher then nearly collapsed in her arms; he felt as if he had actually been at war!  Johnny, Johnny she said, as the attention of the entire class continued to be directed at Little Johnny, who at the age of 9, looked more like a boy of 7 years of age.

Johnny began to come to himself, as the teacher looked into his eyes; Johnny, your great-great Grandfather was on Missionary Ridge that day, wasn’t he?  And in your mind, in effect you had taken his place; in effect you became your great-great Grandfather!  Isn’t that true?  Yes Missus Dietrich, I was he, and I was their that day; in my mind of course.  While Johnny had answered the way in which he was expected, in his own mind, he had to wander, maybe I was actually there?  Johnny and the teacher both got up, the teacher feeling like she had to bring the class back from that place and time, in which Johnny had taken them, and Johnny himself was also very much in need of a break.

So she openly thanked Johnny for an excellent presentation, then called out; “I am calling for a 20 minute early recess, so everyone, outside and enjoy your-selves.  I will come out of doors to watch over you and to blow my whistle when it is time to come back in, and resume classes!  All the kids arose from their desks and began to file out of the classroom, Little Johnny taking up the end of the line.  He first stopped by the Boys Rest Room and changed out of his uniform into his regular school cloths, then put the uniform in his backpack.  After dropping the backpack off, and placing it in the closet at the back of the classroom, he headed out the door for a little sunshine.

Missus Martha Dietrich had been an Elementary Teacher for 12 years now, previously having majored in History and English, afterwards going on to post-graduate study in Mathematics.  She had over the years received special mention several times, having received the Golden Apple as Teacher of the Year, but she had never before heard of what Southerners refer to as The War, described in such a manner.  She thought to herself, I’ve never quite thought of ‘The War’ according to how bloody and vile it really was.   How the Southern People suffered so much, and in the end, fought for nothing more then the right to be left alone, for the security and safety of their families, homes, communities and nation.
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The Growing Crowds
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It was a Saturday and Johnny ‘s mother’s sister Geraldine, Johnny’s Aunt, said she would act as chaperone, so Johnny’s mother could finish up a little house work before her husband Bob got home from work.  Johnny was now 11 years old, doing exceptionally well in school, his school system being based upon a child’s progress, thus allowing a student to move up in grade level, once he or she had progressed sufficiently in their work.  So Johnny was expected to graduate from High School during the coming year, which was a demonstration of his desire to learn as well as his obvious level of intelligence.  The young boy was also maturing beyond his years, faster then the average public school child!
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Geraldine and Johnny got a late start, inasmuch as they wanted to carry an early picnic brunch, since the other children was not expected until nearly noon or a little after.  The boy enjoyed spending time with his Aunt, finding her to be happy natured and pleasant to be with, and she had a humorous, even playful side to her nature.  And as long as everything went well, she never interfered with Johnny when he was with his friends!  As usual and given his nature, he managed to surround himself with a crowd of kids, some slightly younger, some just a wee bit older.  Geraldine did find it amazing how that a neighborhood park could manage to attract so many children, but then she let the thought pass.

The two of them were just returning home and passing through the door when he notice his father had returned home from work early, it being only 3:00 0’Clock in the afternoon; normally he never got home until at least 5 maybe 6 in the evening.  Geraldine hearing her sister in the kitchen rustling about, headed that way, while Johnny walked slowly toward the living room, where his father was sitting.  He glanced over at his father as he entered the room, “hello daddy, your home early, is everything alright at work?”  Certainly Johnny, he replied, come on over, move up a chair, I’d like to have a word with you!
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The Plans for Atlanta
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An extra wooden Dinning Room Chair was standing nearby, so Johnny moved it closer and took a seat, waiting for whatever his Dad might have to say; looking at him, his Dad smiled and said, relax Johnny, I have good news.  You’re eleven years of age now, and have progressed rapidly in school, you seem to be lined up nicely to graduate from High School next year.  I’d like you to have something to look forward to besides going to college, and I have an idea.  Johnny now looked, completely focused on what his Dad had to say, so he hung on each word enthusiastically!  What did his Dad have in mind, he though to himself?

You are probably as knowledgeable of the history of what the Yankees call the Civil War, more so then most adults, indeed few college graduates know of the personal side of that horrible war, better then you yourself, and at such a young age.  There are plans to reenact the Battle of Atlanta next summer, how would you like to participate as a Cavalry Officer?  Johnny’s face suddenly lit up like a light bulb, ‘how Daddy, you work hard and it would surely be expensive?’  Johnny’s Father smiled once again; “Not to worry son, as you know I have done construction work in the Horse Country of Central Florida, and somehow managed to meet a fellow lover of The War along the way.
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While socializing over a cup of coffee at a Mom and Pops nearby, the subject led to you, my son!  This gentleman, a Mr. Walt Jenkins, has been aching to encourage young people to participate, but with limited success.  What part could I possibly play in all-this Dad, responded Johnny?  Well, stated Johnny’s Father, it appears your now famous class presentation of a couple of years ago, plus your gatherings in the park have preceded you.  Your famous my son, and obviously you aren’t even aware of it!  Dad, I am eager to go and I am aware of how to ride a horse, but a little practice would certainly help.

The two of them look at each other, then his Dad began to layout a few details; ‘Your Uncle Franklin, your mothers brother, will drive you to Mr. Walt Jenkins Ranch, and act as chaperone, since you are under age.  He will make preparations in every way necessary, then he will finance your trip to Atlanta next year.  You are to leave next week and spend two weeks at the Jenkins Ranch, but let me turn to a different angle on this same general subject for a moment.  Johnny whether you realize it or not you have become an influence on a lot of people, that is obvious by all your class presentations over the past couple of years, as well as the gatherings you have attracted in the park down the street.
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You should consider the future of the Confederate Cause and your growing status as a leader!  Johnny arose from his chair without saying a word in response, walked around the chair and stood behind it, looking at his Dad with a serious expression on his face.  After pausing for a while, he finally he began to speak, ‘Dad, I am overjoyed at the opportunity to visit Mr. Walt Jenkins’ Ranch, and to take part in the Battle of Atlanta reenactment next year.  As for me being a Leader of the Confederate Cause, I will give it serious thought!  I can only say that what I have done thus far came from my heart, and it is a part of what I have become, thanks to both mother and yourself.

The summer of 2011 passed quickly, as did the fall and winter, and finally it was the spring of 2013, the boy was now being referred to by the more mature name of John, however, his friends were already calling him The Boy General.  Mister Walt Jenkins visited our humble home so as to make a few last minute plans toward John’s participation in the upcoming Battle of Atlanta.  Mister Jenkins and John’s Father sat in the living room discussing the matter!  “Bob, you need not worry, your son John is up to it, true he’s still a boy, but a most unusual boy, you must agree!”  Walt, you’ve been so kind as to take John under your wing and help him prepare, but what about a stray mini ball or grapeshot?
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No Bob, there will be so ammunition of any kind present, the only thing remaining will be the noise, like in a real war, and I’ve trained your son to ride as good as any man, not withstanding how to conduct himself as a real Confederate General of that time period.  This reenactment, if one could call it such, will be based upon The Battle of Atlanta as it began on Friday 22 July 1864.  As you know Bob, the battle was fought between General John Bell Hood verses General William T. Sherman. Casualties were, 8500 Confederates, 3722 Union!  The series of battles would end when Hood abandoned Atlanta to Union General William Tecumseh Sherman on Thursday 1 September of that same year.
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Bob, I want you and Jennifer to be there as my guest, both of you need to see your son in action!  Bob looked at his new friend then at Jennifer just as she entered the room from the kitchen.  Jennifer had obviously overheard what was said and nodded her head in the affirmative!  Bob then turned back to Walt saying; so shall it be, we will take you up on your offer.  Let us see what you have made of our son, who is now being referred to as The Boy General; I am anxious to see his performance.  They stood almost in unison, looked at each other, then shook hands as Walt closed the discussion; Bob, I must be getting back to the Ranch, we can make the arrangements by cell phone and computer.
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Preparations for the Battle of Atlanta
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The date of Monday 22 July 2013 came quickly, and before we knew it we were all gathered on the Battlefield Park northwest of the City of Atlanta, and the crowd was larger then anyone could remember having ever gathered at such an occasion.  In the middle section where the spectators were gathered, front and center stood Robert Kessler, known as ‘Bob’ and his wife Jennifer, John’s Mother.  His Aunt Geraldine was also present, as was his beloved School Teacher Missus Martha Dietrich!  Everyone waited patiently for something to happen, as once and a while someone from the Union side would ride out on horseback, take a look and return back into a woods.

Then finally two Confederate Generals rode out from the Southeast and positioned themselves about 10 yards from the woods on their end of the field.  Everyone’s attention was now drawn to the two Confederate Generals; what were they up to, what was about to happen?  They just stood there motionless, until out of the wood rode the most spectacular horse, and its rider was none other then The Boy General.  The horse was Coal Black and shinny, a powerful horse, even for a Boy General, but the boy, dressed like General John Bell Hood, in a well-tailored uniform, rode like a professional.
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When he reached mid field, the horse arose up high on his hind legs, kicking his forelegs in the wind and whinnying; the crowd seem to go wild with all manner of noise making and applause.  The Boy General then turned his horse around, rejoined the other two Generals and rode back into the woods!  ‘The Boy General then called a Council of War’, which included his entire General Staff, among those present was Generals Joseph E. Johnson, Joseph Wheeler, John J. Hardee, Leonidus Poke and William W. Loring.  Scanning his eyes down the line of Generals, he looked into each of their eyes, “I am not the great and mighty leader you seek, I am but a signpost along the way.
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There is a Coming Leader that has been prophesied for a little less then 40 years, he it is that will be inspired of God, and he it is that will unite the Southern People.  This coming leader will also restore our people to their rightful history, heritage, culture and faith, as well as restore our nation!  You look at me as The Boy General, and rightly so, that I aught to be at home with Momma, and this is also true; it is natural that you should be reluctant to take orders from me, even in a reenactment.  However, I am here to, if possible, raise a measure of confidence in our people, to demonstrate that victory was possible back then, and it is certainly so in our time.
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For the sake of this demonstration here today, it is the summer of 1864, and for all practical purposes, I am in fact General John Bell Hood himself, and it is my hope to provide unmistakable proof as to how the Battle of Atlanta could have been won.  And I cannot do that from the sidelines, thus I am in command of this army!  Once we begin you are to fix in your mind that it is not 2013, but 1864, and we stand in defense of Atlanta as well as our nation, the Confederate States of America.  Here today, we are at war, even though every possible provision has been made to ensure that no one is injured or killed.  Is there any question?
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The men reenacting the part of the other five generals turned to each other then to The Boy General, General Johnson spoke for all of them.  We’re with you kid, as of this moment you are General John Bell Hood, the Commander of this Army.  As you said it is now the month of July 1864, so let us together show our stuff!  The Boy General had seen to it from the beginning that an inferred patch would be attached to the uniform of every soldier, and an inferred aiming device to everyone’s rifle or pistol, so all hits could be registered.  So the Boy General did like as he had done several years ago in Missus Dietrich’s class, and went into first person mode.
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As he stood before his Generals, in his mind it was now quite literally July 1864, and General Sherman while some distance off, still he was rapidly approaching, preparing to lay siege to the city.  As it was, with everything at the ready, he presented his the strategy to his General Staff!  Gentlemen, word has come to me that Sherman is rapidly approaching the city with his army; he has us grossly outnumbered and outgunned.  Our job is to defend this city and the Confederacy, and we will not do so from fixed barricades surrounding Atlanta, but rather we will met him our own terms.  General Loring, move very quietly toward the northwest as Sherman approaches, position your-self on his left flank.

General Poke, do likewise as Loring, but you will take up position on Sherman’s right flank, both of you will travel light, no wagons, no artillery and no mules.  General Hardee, you will take up a forward position facing off against Sherman on the left, General Wheeler will do likewise on the right, with General Johnson in the center.  All this must be done in total silence!  Generals Hardee, Wheeler and Johnson set up our artillery behind our forward lines, hid them with branches and leaves, where possible, but make sure they and their crews are battle ready.  When the signal is given Poke and Loring will strike in an attempt to roll up the right and left flank of Sherman’s lines.

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General Johnson broke into the conversation!  General Hood, what will we be doing while Poke and Loring are engaged?  Hood glanced at his generals then replied, our forward lines will lay low, our artillery having been camouflaged, Sherman will be lead to believe we are expending all of our capabilities in a single thrust against his left and right flanks.  His main goal is the City of Atlanta, so he will move forward, as he does he and his army will fall into our trap.  Another signal will be given and Generals Hardee, Wheeler and Johnston will rise up, and rain havoc upon our arrogant invaders form the north.

General Wheeler wanting to be sure he understood the timing when our forward lines would open fire, began to speak, General Hood with all the noise and commotion, how will I know when to open fire?  Very good question General Wheeler, our cannon will be behind us, based upon Sherman as well as our own position in relation to one another, the elevation will mean our artillery will be firing over our heads.  When you hear our own artillery fire, continue to lay low, you and your men will at first open fire in position on the ground.  Then afterward, arise and move forward, you will see me front and center at that time.  I see said General Johnson, then you intend on encircling Sherman!
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Indeed General Johnson, if we can catch him by surprise, we will be able to whittle down his forces, long before he comes with firing range of Atlanta, prayerfully disabling his Union Artillery and destroying his wagon trains.  If we are successful, his superior numbers and firepower will not prevent his ultimate defeat!  If my strategy is carried out as planned, Sherman’s Army will not only be smaller in numbers as they approach Atlanta, but his men will be relying solely on the ammunition they carry with them.  They will be thrown into confusion, deafened and blinded by the quickness and effectiveness of our lightening strike against him.
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The Surrender of General William Tecumseh Sherman
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Since there were no other questions, General Hood dismissed his General Staff, who then moved quickly to carry out their Commander’s Strategy!  In short order the two Confederate Armies under Generals William W. Loring and Leonidus Poke began slipping out of the city, moving under the cover of darkness.  The Officers and Cavalry walked their horses at certain critical points so as to give further insurance of complete surprise!  It was approximately a half hour later when Generals John J. Hardee, Joseph Wheeler and Joseph E. Johnson’s Artillerymen began moving their cannon, slowly and quietly out of the city and into their forward positions as directed by General John Bell Hood.
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The Infantry being lead by there own several Cavalries - followed suit moving them-selves into position!  The wait was not long, as the last of the Confederate Armies were barely in position and ready for action, when Generals Loring and Poke saw the most crude but clear signal.  A private in Pokes Army had a hobby of hand carving exceptionally, home made Bows and Arrows.  He had brought a set to Atlanta, now he put his unusual talent to use; he shot a flaming arrow high into the sky.  Meanwhile General William Tecumseh Sherman had called his own General Staff to War Council, which included Generals James B. McPherson, George H. Thomas, Oliver O. Howard and John M. Schofield.
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Sherman had just begun to speak when he could hear musket, pistol fire and the sound of many horses coming from both the northwest and the southeast!  One of his Guards, a Private, came charging into his command tent, “Excuse me sirs, but those Rebs are everywhere, they’ve hit both our right and left flanks, reports have it that all of our Sentries are dead.  They are cutting us down like wheat before the scythe; then the Private collapsed, General Thomas being the closest to the Private, bent over to help if possible.  He felt his pulse then looked up at Sherman, “he’s dead!”  Sherman shouted, “We have them outnumbered and out gunned several times over, yet they abandon Atlanta to come after me.”
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Schofield turned to Sherman with an expression of the urgency befitting the situation, “What are your orders sir!”  Sherman began shouting to his Generals, in response, “Get these men out of here before they’re all dead.  Move directly towards Atlanta, we’ll simply move our original plans up by a day!  General McPherson responded in a loud voice, “our army has been cut to shreds, and those gray backs will surely have us cut off before Atlanta.”  Sherman quickly scan the faces of his General Staff Officers, then responded in a gruff voice, ‘these Rebs can’t possibly have an army that large, we’ve sent them running before, we’ll do it again.’
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Then in a mumbling voice, speaking more to himself then to anyone else, Sherman stated, ”After I take on Atlanta, I’ll leave a 60 mile wide scorched earth, all the way to the sea!  Then turning back to his Generals he shouted, now get moving toward Atlanta!”  On the Confederate side of the battle, the Armies of Loring and Poke, having stood ready at their jumping off point, charged into the left and right flanks of Sherman unsuspecting Army.  They had caught Sherman encamped and preparing for the next days action; the Yankees fell in droves before the Confederate onslaught.
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While at the same time previously chosen Confederates disabled Sherman’s Cannon using the Yankees own black power, while killing his artillerymen in the process.  In the confusion of battle, Sherman did somehow managed to organize a sizeable portion of his army all right, but ended up moving them into a frontal confrontation with Generals John J. Hardee, Joseph Wheeler and Joseph E. Johnson’s Armies, under the Command of General John Bell Hood.  With Wheeler and Hardee closing in behind him, and his encampment destroyed, as was his commissary and ammunition wagons, Sherman was in a bind.

The two Confederate Armies came together behind Sherman, even while Wheeler and Hardee could hear their own cannon in the distance, laying frontal siege to Sherman’s Army.  While Sherman’s Troops did have repeating rifles, they offered little superior advantage, inasmuch as the Confederates seem to come out of nowhere and struck like lightening while the Yankees were still encamped.  General John Bell Hood was prancing back and forth before the three sectors of his armies, and even charged into battle with them, as they continued to whittle down Sherman’s numbers.
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While their own Armies were themselves suffering sizeable losses, there was no comparison to the well deserved horror inflected upon Sherman, who had raped, pillaged, burned and murdered his way through Confederate homes, cities and indeed our nation.  Now he was receiving the due reward of his deeds, when suddenly large numbers of Sherman’s troops began signaling on their own, they wished to surrender, least they all are annihilated.  Sherman alone wanted to continue the fight, but seeing many of his officers and men killed, and his men throwing down their weapons in mass, holding up their arms high into the air, signaling surrender, he sheathed his sword, knowing it was over.

Sherman’s remaining troops moved slowly back into formation, leaving their weapons behind them, the Confederates in like manner move back into their own formations, General William Tecumseh Sherman was left seated on his mount, in the center of the field.  The Littlest General had proven; victory was possible back then, as well as in the 21st century!  After receiving Sherman’s sword as a clear demonstration of his surrender, General John Bell Hood, the Boy General then came to himself, for him it was over also!

He turned and rode together in formation with his General Staff!  The six of them positioned themselves before The Boy Generals Family, Teacher and friends, simultaneously giving a salute to all of them with their swords, before the thunderous applauds and cheers of the crowd.  The six generals in unison moved a few paced forward, positioning them-selves closer to the crowd, as General Joseph E. Johnson, looking down at The Boy General’s Family, he began to address them.
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The Book of Proverbs tell us in verse 22:6 - “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”Your boy is not only a devout Christian, but also a strong defender of our history, heritage, culture and nation.  The two of you being the boy’s father and mother, along with those who are his favorite Teacher and Friends have both individually as well as collectively, carried out this injunction magnificently.  There should be no doubt as to his future!
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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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