A Touch of Gray

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 10, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Touch of Gray


Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A touch of gray

Sen. John Edwards has long criticized the Confederate flag as a "divisive symbol" that should not be flown on the Capitol grounds of Southern states.

But Mr. Edwards has family ties to the Confederacy, according to Brag Bowling, a member of the Virginia branch of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Researchers in his group have traced Mr. Edwards' ancestry back to three soldiers who served in the 34th and 15th Georgia infantries of the Confederate States Army.

According to the "amateur genealogists" - who worked for a month to find the information - Mr. Edwards' forefathers include Joseph H. Edwards and Charles G. Edwards of Company G of the 34th Infantry, and WiIliam Edwards of Company B of the 15th Infantry, which surrendered to Union troops at Appomattox, Va., on April 9, 1865.

The researchers traced Mr. Edwards' family through Franklin and Stephens counties, Georgia and Oconee County, S.C., from 1832 all the way up to 1953 - and the birth of one Johnny Reid Edwards in 1953.

"Is it no wonder he is so despised in his own state for being both detached, liberal and anti-heritage?" asked one member of the group.

"I would only question their methods of genealogy," said another source familiar with Confederate heritage. "Edwards is a common name."

Keene on Kerry

David Keene of the American Conservative Union is annoyed with Sen. John Kerry over his criticism of President Bush's decision to continue reading to Florida schoolchildren for several minutes after he had been informed of the September 11 attacks.

"John Kerry must be getting desperate. Had Mr. Bush immediately rushed from that schoolroom, today John Kerry doubtlessly would be savaging him for panicking in a crisis," Mr. Keene said yesterday.

"Millions of Americans were inspired by President Bush's calm, resolute and unflappable leadership on that terrible morning. Rather than frighten and disappoint those children, the president proved himself capable of keeping a cool head in a crisis. He calmly wrapped up his scheduled visit," Mr. Keene continued.

Mr. Keene says Mr. Kerry is "taking cues" from filmmaker Michael Moore.

"To base one's attack on the fevered conspiracy-theory nonsense in Michael Moore's film 'Fahrenheit 9/11' is both goofy and irresponsible," Mr. Keene said.

Cooter's concerns

Former Rep. Ben Jones, Georgia Democrat, wants to take on fellow Georgia Democrat Sen. Zell Miller over the woes of southern Democrats.

According to Roll Call yesterday, Mr. Jones - who once played Cooter on CBS' "The Dukes of Hazzard," - has challenged Mr. Miller to a TV debate over "the problems the Democratic Party has in our beloved Southern region and the reasons for your recent concerns regarding our party's direction."

Mr. Miller supports the re-election of President Bush.

"I think that the devil has got into Zell Miller, and he needs an exorcist," Mr. Jones noted.

While in office, he maintained a solid liberal voting record and later filed ethics complaints against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Georgia Republican.

Mr. Jones owns Cooter's Place, a museum and memorabilia store in Gatlinburg, Tenn., devoted to the TV show that made a star out of a 1969 Dodge Charger called "General Lee."

Hold the applause

One Hispanic journalist is troubled by colleagues who gave Sen. John Kerry a rousing welcome at the recent Unity conference for minority journalists in Washington - but saved a cool reception for President Bush. …

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