Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why?


Bill Yopp and his former master and childhood playmate Tom Yopp in their golden years

Today is Confederate Memorial Day. Some people will be paying tribute to the Confederate soldiers who fought to preserve the South’s way of life.

The Confederacy was doomed from the start. There were not enough resources in humans or material compared to the North.

Emerged from the conflict were many interesting people from both sides. One of them was Bill “Ten Cent Bill” Yopp. Bill was black.

His master, T.M. Yopp, went into the Confederate army as an Officer. Bill went along as his “manservant”, which was not all that unusual. Captain T.M. Yopp was wounded and returned to the plantation. Probably Bill accompanied him back home but soon returned to the same Confederate unit, Company H, “The Blackshear Guards”, 14th Georgia Infantry to do what he could for “The Cause”. He became their drummer.

Bill got his nickname “Ten Cent Bill” because he shined the soldiers shoes for 10¢ a pair. He became the richest man of the unit.

After the war he was a free man. He tried working at various jobs all over for several years. Finally, he returned to the plantation to work and found his former master packing to go the Confederate soldiers’ Home in Atlanta. Again, Bill went as his manservant.

After his master died he got a job as a door man at the State Capital. There, he held the doors opened for the leaders of Georgia. There, talking daily to the elite he started a campaign for more money for the Confederate Soldiers. He collected quiet a few coins himself – and I don’t know if he was asking for money for the soldiers or they just tipped him and he used the money for the soldiers. Either way, he took all his coins and small bills and distributed it among the men at the Confederate Soldier’s Home, some didn’t have more than a dime until he showed up every Christmas handing out money to each one of them.

His collecting money for the soldiers became so well known that Governor Hugh Dorsey.

Bill was so well liked when he became too old to work, he was admitted to the Confederate Soldiers’ Home.

Bill died June 3, 1936.

And his is buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta.

Bill did all he could to give aid and comfort to those who fought to keep him in bondage.

I wonder why?

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2 Comments:

Blogger Suzanne said...

I say the North should have said "buh bye" to the South and let them collapse on themselves within 20 years, as it was a totally unsustainable economy and way of life. A lot of money could have been saved that way, plus maybe there would be less misbegotten pride of the way things were. But what do I know? I'm just bitter.

3:03 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
Oh no! Then I would be a foreigner - wait! From where I am sitting, you would be the foreigner.

5:03 PM  

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