When my G-G-Uncle, 1st Lt. William B Erwin Co. ‘C’ 9th Tennessee Cavalry CSA, was killed in battle, I didn’t blame Northern people. I blamed a Union soldier. And, when my great grandfather, Alcie Sid Froman, was killed in a Weatherford gunfight, I didn’t blame the people of Weatherford. I blamed the murderer, Will Rivers. You might recall reading the article I wrote of Grandpa’s chilling gunfight published in the Weatherford Democrat back a few years ago.
No, you’re not responsible for my Grandpa Froman’s death any more than you’re responsible for slavery. Yes, there were slaves and slave-masters in Weatherford, but there were also abolitionists and Christians against slavery. Many of those Christians were worshipers at Persimmon Hill Church of Christ near Walnut Creek, in northeastern Parker County. My G-G-Grandfather, Peter Hall was their minister and helped to build their first Church building. It’s why Peter refused to join the Confederacy in 1861 - he wouldn’t fight for slavery. But, he mustered into the 19th Texas Cavalry CSA a year later to repel Union invasion forces and in that endeavor, he succeeded.
They built that statue on the courthouse lawn for Peter and all Weatherford Confederates, including some who didn’t come home. Each time we drove by it my parents, Bob and Wynell Erwin, used the statue to teach me lessons about family heritage. And, this confirms yet another reason Confederate statues must remain in place as tools of education teaching our children respect for our elders and to honor their sacrifices. This same statue tells us stories of all Parker County pioneer families who endured the hardships of disease, drought, Indian raids, famine, and deadly Union invasion forces.
Like I said, I don’t blame Weatherford for my Grandpa Froman’s death - that would be wrong. The Christian minister, Grandpa Hall, called it “group guilt” and his lessons taught me better than to blame everybody for the guilt of a few, or the ‘one’. Blaming entire groups and races of people is what Marxist do on purpose to cause riots and chaos. They call it “Identity Politics” by dividing us into separate groups: Slaves, Christians, Blacks, Whites, and Confederates. The bottom line is Marxist want Christians to remove a Confederate statue because of Black Slaves.
That’s ridiculous. There were White Christians who were Confederates, Black Slaves who were Christians, and Black Christians who were Confederates. Yes, we have records of Black men serving in the Confederate Army. Regardless if a Black man’s service was prohibited by law, contemporary culture just doesn’t want to admit it. Why? Marxists contrive a historical narrative by fitting everyone neatly into confined groups: — Black/White, good/bad, free/slave, etc., without having to consider the complexity of society as history happened. There are often no absolutes.
Did I mention before that I don’t blame Weatherford for Grandpa Froman’s death? But there could come a day when I’m hurt each time I look at the Parker County courthouse and blame ALL citizens of Weatherford for my Grandpa Froman’s gunfight. So, would you please remove the courthouse?
Randall Erwin is a resident of Santo, TX.