Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Exacting Revenge 150 Years Later?

In response to inquires as to my absence from this page for the last five days, thank you for the concern. I now have some time to explain.

Friday night, during a diner party in honor of a dear friend, a stately and graceful spanish moss covered 200 year old oak tree gave up the ghost.  Hilarity ensued, but that is a story for another time.  The result is a large section of Diogenes' humble abode, lovingly restored over the past 85 years by the three previous owners and myself, is heavily damaged. The tree fell dead center into the room used as Diogenes' Headquarters. Fortunately, it missed most, but not all of my computer equipment.   

But this tree was not just any tree.  

Early in April, 1864 just before the battle of Mansfield, fought just south of where I sit, two union soldiers were sent behind the confederate lines to scout out the heavily fortified gun emplacements guarding Confederate Naval Yard, the Red River and the city of Shreveport. The Union soldiers were captured by a confederate patrol and the the next day were hung as spies, and left as a message for anyone who followed. It is said but not been proven, that three runaway slaves hiding in the woods cut them down and buried them under the tree where they were hung. The very tree that damaged my home. 

Over the years, in attempts to verify the story, request to dig around the tree have been denied by all the previous owner because of the shallow roots of an oak, and the danger to the tree. But now that the tree is to be cut up and the ground is disturbed, local historians have asked once again to verify the legend. I plan to grant permission if assurances are given of a proper military burial if any remains are found. 

One friend joked "maybe the soldiers just finally got their revenge". For you see the property was bought soon after the war by a former confederate Major who built the original residence that stood on this site until 1905, until it burnt. 

As for me, I was devastated about the damage, that was until a friend hugged me and said "but for the grace of God  go I - you could be in the Philippines". Yes, It is good to be an American.   

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