Brook Run Confederate Flag-Raising Story
The Confederate Flag was removed from the flagpole and replaced with a green Henrico County Flag.
I telephoned Victoria Paul, the shopping center property manager in Norfolk, Virginia.
Vickie inquired the status and story of the Confederate flag and ordered a new duplicate flag for the pole at Brook Run Shopping Center.
A month later she drove to Richmond, new flag in hand, with the intention of raising the new Confederate flag on the pole.
I met her at the flagpole site but we couldn't locate the flagpole mechanical crank handle to lower the Henrico County Flag.
Vickie left the Confederate Flag with me and returned to Norfolk.
A new flagpole crank handle was ordered from a company in Texas, and arrived in Richmond two weeks later.
Brook Run trenches are the most northern around Richmond and since General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded to the north near Brook Road past Yellow Tavern (Yellow Tavern was located at the present site of Sun Trust Bank at Parham Road and Brook Road) defending Richmond from attack, I telephoned JEB Stuart IV and asked him to raise the Confederate Flag without ceremony.
JEB was involved with business obligations and travel out of the country and time passed.
I flew the new Confederate Flag on the flagpole over Jefferson and Varina Davis,
The flag was reverently draped over Jefferson and Varina.
The flag touched Gen. Fitzhugh Lee . . .
It flew from the iron fence at the Gen. JEB Stuart monument at the Yellow Tavern site and touched JEB Stuart's grave at Hollywood Cemetery. Someone left a weathered bible lodged in the lower fence at Yellow Tavern.
The new flag flew over 17,000 soldiers sleeping at Oakwood Cemetery and appeared over the Southern soldiers that fell at Gettysburg. This flag honored and flew over Henrico County, Virginia's son, General George Pickett.
This flag flew over Sallie Partington, the beloved Southern Richmond actress, her Confederate soldier brother, "Billy" and her family sleeping in unmarked graves at Hollywood.
This flag embraced the great southern historian, Dr. Douglas Southall Freeman and Inez Freeman, his wife, sleeping at Hollywood Cemetery.
And this flag graced old Emmanuel Church, Joseph Bryan and Rev. Wilmer. Many other people lay hands on this flag and blessed it. In each place I spoke aloud and asked special blessings on this flag - again and again.
Two months later - SCV Virginia Commander Brag Bowling asked a Confederate Color Guard, Scottish Bagpiper, and JEB Stuart to raise the new Confederate Flag over Brook Run trenches at Brook Turnpike on August 9, 2003.
Saturday Morning, August 9, 2003 . . .
At a place called Brook Run, near Brook Turnpike, the trenches still stand as a monument to those that died defending Richmond from attack. A few thousand feet to the south, Rev. Richard Hooker Wilmer, the minister of Emmanuel Episcopal Church sleeps at his church. Rev. Wilmer was the only Bishop consecrated in the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America.
Joseph Bryan, his wife Belle and family sleep there near the shade of the Flag. Bryan rode with John Singleton Mosby, 'the Grey Ghost' and was wounded twice in battle. The prominent Joseph Bryan family left its mark on Richmond business and society from 1850. Their house was named Laburnum and still stands on Westwood Avenue.
At 9:00 a.m. the people gathered to raise the flag:
JEB Stuart IV
JEB Stuart V (no picture) and
JEB Stuart VI
The Captain William Latane Color Guard, Camp #1690, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Confederate Scottish Bagpiper
Brag Bowling, Commander of the Virginia Sons of Confederate Veterans
Ms.Vickie Paul, Brook Run Shopping Ctr. property manager. Norfolk, Va.
The Stuart family stood as the Scottish Bagpiper piped DIXIE and the Capt. William Latane Color Guard saluted with rifle shot and raised the new flag above the onlookers and Confederate fortifications.
OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS:
In my 63rd year, I believe few events happen by accident.
From the beginning. circumstances delayed raising the flag for three months. The delay allowed the flag time to visit hallowed places, become consecrated by association and touch lives.
Not until two days after the flag raising did I completely realize the larger picture of events as I viewed in retrospect, and I was humbled.
Remember, the original effort was to simply run the flag up the flagpole, nothing more. The delay and circumstances allowed the flag to touch many Southern people, people of the Confederacy, to honor them and they to respect the flag. Circumstances took the flag to JEB Stuart's monument at Yellow Tavern for a while. It was appropriate since the trenches and flag pole is near and associated with JEB Stuart's Yellow Tavern military battle. Captain (Doctor) William Latane, rode with JEB Stuart and died in hand to hand combat during "Stuart's ride around General George McClellen." I never heard of Captain William Latane and knew nothing about him or his deeds. Before the flag I never met JEB Stuart IV and knew nothing about JEB Stuart V or JEB Stuart VI. And certainly never thought about the Stuart family lineage coming from Scotland. I never thought about the family line or the Royal House of Stuart, Kings and Queens of Scotland, Ireland and England, William and Mary (Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots); and never thought about the Stuart association with Scottish bagpipes.
On that day, August 9, 2003, everything came together at Brook Run. The mechanical crank handle, JEB Stuart IV, JEB Stuart V, JEB Stuart VI, Brag Bowling, Commander, Virginia SCV, Vickie Paul, real estate property manager and her little girl, the Scottish Bagpiper playing DIXIE, the Captain William Latane Color Guard, SCV camp #1690, from Mechanicsville, Va., approximately 50 people and the flag. The event was not advertised.
Everything associated with that day and event honored General JEB Stuart - it was clearly a 'Stuart' event. The ceremony was beautiful and emotional; it was appropriate to see the flag flying again.
The next day I went back to Brook Run alone to see and be with that flag. There are three flagpoles together; the cable was entangled on the Confederate Flag and required cranking the flag down the pole and after repairs it flew again. I stepped back and looked up at the flag, and a dove flew to the top of that pole, landed and looked down on me. After ten minutes I left and the Dove was still there with JEB Stuart's flag.
My family had profound ties with the 24th Virginia and also served with the 18th Alabama "E" and saw battle at:
Results at Chickamauga
Rocky Face Mountain
Resaca to Kennesaw
Kennesaw to Atlanta
Atlanta to Jonesboro
Jonesboro to Dalton
Enroute to Gadsden
Across Sand Mountain
Down the Tennessee Valley to Florence
North from Florence
Enemy Passes on Franklin Pike
Retreat at Nashville
Return through Franklin
South from Franklin
Back through Columbia, Pulaski and Shoal Creek
Struggle to the Pontoon Bridge
South of the Tennessee River to Mississippi
Back to Mobile Bay
In Spanish Fort
Seige of Spanish Fort
Leaving Spanish Fort
Guard Duty at Demopolis
A. C. Griffith
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