Saturday, June 4, 2011

Confederate flag above Phelps County Courthouse

What a lot of fun we had at the Sesquicentennial celebration held at the Old Phelps County Courthouse today.
Not only is this the 150-year celebration of the founding of Rolla, it's also the 150th anniversary of the completion of what we now call the Old Courthouse.
There was a re-enactment of a secession debate followed by a re-enactment of the seizure of the Phelps County Courthouse by the Union Army commanded by Franz Sigel.

After the Army pulled down the Confederate flag, they started asking for oaths of allegiance. Edmund Ward Bishop, called the founder of Rolla, was the first one to jump and offer the oath.

The Army continued to go around and ask questions. One officer, who was local attorney Charles Hoskins, asked me who I voted for in the last election. I said, "Sir, I am a native of the great state of Georgia," leaving him to draw the conclusion that I voted for Stephen Douglas, the Democrat. "That makes him suspicious," said another officer, who was John Petersen, our city's community development director. They went on and quizzed someone else.

What a lot of fun to "live" in history for a moment. You should've been there.

I'm grateful to all who helped make this event (and Summerfest) possible.

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