Defending Southern Heritage

Defending Southern Heritage 

 

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Fox News December 24, 2013: Too cold for shepherds in December

The Real Lincoln - Despot

Is the Constitution Really Inimical To States Rights? - Part Fourteen

MYTH: Too cold for shepherds to Tend Flocks in December - Part 2

Gun Control Coming to the Senate Floor on Monday

74th Anniversary of 'Gone with the Wind' premiere

The First Thanksgiving Day - flyer

The Death of Jefferson Davis - December 6 1889

Marietta Daily Journal - on The First Thanksgiving

Demonstration against Lindsey Graham & Southern demographic displacement

Who was Sir Moses J. Ezekiel?
By: Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.
1064 West Mill Drive
Kennesaw, Georgia 30152
Phone: 770 428 0978

moses ezekiel"The death of Moses Ezekiel, the distinguished and greatly loved American sculptor, who lived in Rome for more than forty years, caused universal regret here----1921, The New York Times Dispatch from Rome.

We have heard the many speeches, at a soldier's memorial, by those who conclude, by saying, "We shall never forget our Veterans!" But have we, not, forgotten our ancestors? Memorial observances, which once were attended by the thousands, are now attended by fewer folks.

September through October is Hispanic History Month.

Do your children know who Sir Moses J. Ezekiel was? This was a man whom was proud of his Jewish-Spanish Heritage and whose birthday is remembered in October. He was proud to be an American and a Virginian.

Do schools still teach our American history of, "1776-2005"?

As a student, I remember my school taking all kids on an educational field trip. Each mother and father should take their children on a trip through history at Arlington National Cemetery. There is a story for every great American buried here and if you listen closely you may hear their story that is part of our nation's history.

Arlington National Cemetery is located in the shadow of the Custis- Lee Mansion (Arlington House) that was home to General Robert E. Lee and his family until 1861, and the beginning of the War Between the States. This cemetery was first used in 1864, for the burial of Union soldiers.

Tours, through this famous burial place of President Kennedy, General Wainwright and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, are conducted daily. I have been told that another part of this cemetery (section 16) may sometimes be overlooked. It is, however, an important part of our nation's history and should be a part of your guided tour through Arlington.

On June 4, 1914, the President of the U.S., Woodrow Wilson spoke at the dedication of a new Confederate memorial at section 16. The monument, to those Confederate soldiers who were re-interred there in 1900, has been called by some people as both striking and unique. This monument was trusted into safe keeping to the U.S. War Department by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1914. It was a tradition of American presidents to place a wreathe and some even spoke there on Memorial Day. What has happened to this wonderful tradition?

Dr. Edward Smith, a Professor of History at American University, has described this monument as probably the first to honor the Black Confederate soldiers. This monument includes a depiction of a Black Confederate marching in step with the white soldiers.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy commissioned a Jewish- Confederate Veteran, Sir Moses J. Ezekiel, to do the work on this monument. Some people say that he might have been the first Jewish- American to do this type of sculpture. It is written that the UDC was pleased with his work which depicts the multi-cultural makeup of the late Confederate States of America.

Moses J. Ezekiel was born on October 28, 1844, in Richmond, Va. He was one of fourteen children born to Jacob and Catherine de Castro Ezekiel. He was born in a house on "Old Market Street" that is said to have been in the poorer side of town. His grandparents came to America from Holland in 1808, and were of Jewish-Spanish Heritage.

Ezekiel talked his parents into letting him attend Virginia Military Institute and he did enroll on September 17, 1862. Some people say, he was the first Jewish-American to enter there at this the school of General Stonewall Jackson.

After three years at VMI, Ezekiel saw military service during the War Between the States. The Cadets, of Virginia Military Institute, were called to support Confederate General John C. Breckenridge at the Battle of New Market, Virginia. Ezekiel joined his fellow cadets in the charge upon the Union lines.

Ezekiel, after the war, went on to finish his education at VMI. It was during this time that he had the fortune to meet General Robert E. Lee who was president of Washington College. Lee gave him the following words of encouragement in his quest to be an artist;

"I hope you will be an artist, as it seems to me that you are cut out for one. But, whatever you do, try to prove to the world that, even if we did not succeed in our struggle, we are worthy of success and do earn a reputation to whatever profession you undertake."

Ezekiel would travel to Italy to study and work as an artist and would become known worldwide. He was honored by King Emmanuel who knighted him and gave him the distinction of "Sir Moses Jacob Ezekiel."

It was Ezekiel's wish to return to his native Virginia but World War I kept him for doing so. He spent his final days in Italy where he died in 1917. His remains were not brought back to the states until 1921.

Among his many great works are: "Christ Bound for the Cross", "The Martyr", and "David Singing his Song of Glory."

His funeral service was held at the amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Cadets, of the Virginia Military Institute, stood by his casket that was draped with a flag of the United States. Ezekiel was buried at the base of the Confederate monument. Also buried around the monument are 450 Confederate soldiers, wives and civilians.

The following words are inscribed on his grave marker;

"Moses J. Ezekiel
Sergeant of Company C
Battalion of Cadets of the
Virginia Military Institute."
Lest We Forget our American Heritage!


[Rebmaster's comment: The Black Southern Heritage video contains Professor Ed Smith's presentation on Moses Ezekiel  and pictures of the monument at Arlington, click here for information.]

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