Anyone in North Carolina has heard about the destruction of Silent Sam. Silent Sam was a statue erected in honor of all of the UNC alumni who died in the Civil War.
I really haven’t thought much about the statue because I’m not a big history buff and it really doesn’t change my life one way or the other. History is history, no matter how we feel about it. History is one thing we can’t erase. Did the statue really cause pain in the hearts of kids that are several generations removed from the war? I don’t know. I think more than anything, in today’s society (if something offends us) we think we have the right to spew anger, rage, and disunity. If we don’t like something, we destroy it. If we don’t like someone, we slander their character and try to destroy them as well — with little thought of the ramifications. Social media has created a monster. It can be used for good, but unfortunately I see a lot of negativity out there as well.
Let me introduce my great great grandfather, Isham Sims Upchurch. He fought in the war and was held as a POW in Maryland. I would feel the same about my family history whether we were in the south or the north. My history on my mother’s side had roots in New York and somehow ended up at Moravian Falls. I just happened to be born in the south, but I have some northern blood in my veins too (though you sure wouldn’t know it with my accent).
Isham Sims Upchurch served as a Private in Company G, 16th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry, C.S.A. during the Civil War. After he returned from the war, he lived to the ripe old age of 91.
I feel mercy for everyone involved in war.
War separates families and nobody really wins.
While thinking about this today, I looked up some Civil War letters. This letter was written by my great great grandfather, Isham:
Saturday night after supper
Nov 16th 1861
My Dear wife I seat myself to night to let you know where I am. I was a little unwell at dinner today and could not eat much dinner but I feel well now hoping these lines will find you and my dear Children well I can not tell when we shall get to Manassas on the account that we can not get our baggage a long on the cars it is the hardest matter in the world to get freight to gow on to its destination M.D. Williams H. Sears others & a Mr. Hannis from S.C. are gone down to the Depot to see if our things has come the freight traine came in at 5 P.M. and if has come we wile stant to the boys in the morning and if we stand then with no accident we will get to them Monday next so you see that we will not have long to stay with them as we want to get home by tonight weak but if we fail do not bea uneasy about me for I feal safe where I am the people seams kind here but I have to pay a high price for the kindness. I receive only $2.50 for day night and loging. I will tell you of some things I have seen since I got here last night I went to the soldiers theaton and saw a goodeal this morning me & a young soldier from Orang took a strole in town went to the one of several market houses which made me open my eyes to see so much & so many things the house is some 3 hundred yards long I think . came back eat brakfast started a gain went to a grist mill where I saw 13 wheat mill runing & several still and a host of other things the greatest was the monument to Geo Washington on a large horse away up in the air._______ after dinner I.H.L & Wm. A.B. went down on the river at the worfe I saw several saile vesels flat bottom & one steme boat which was right smart for me to see went to the paper mill saw them making paper Richmond is a great place for any body to see that has never seen no more than I had. You may gow out look all around and see buildings 2 or 3 miles every way Just over the river there is Manchester there is buildings here 10 storis high I am in the American hotel 5 story room No 8 I wroat John a little note before I left Raleigh. Tell John he would be surprised if he could see Richmond. If the men has com from the depot and our things has com I write to necttey Ill go down and seee. Mr. Williams has come up tells me our things has not come.
I will close by saying fare well for this time.
I. S. Upchurch
How cool is it to read a letter than my great great grandfather wrote? I love the fact that I live just up the road from where Isham lived and where he is buried. I have two of my great grandparent’s home places still standing and occupied near my home. I also have my other great great great grandfather’s house behind us. What a blessing indeed!
The thing that bothers me about this whole Silent Sam issue is the lack of respect for the law. Do we live in a lawless society where we can attack anything that offends us? Are people no longer held accountable for their actions?
The thing that bothers me about social media is the vomiting of opinions without truth. Character assassinations and anger …
I’m sad to see this lawlessness, but poor old Sam’s presence didn’t change my life one way or the other. I don’t know about you, but I just want to run with God. I want to partner with the Holy Spirit and seek greater intimacy with Him. Can we just have grateful hearts for the good in our lives and give all of the glory to God?
I entitled this post, “Sam was silent, a lesson to learn.” We would do well to follow his example.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
Each of us have the opportunity to bring goodness to this world. Be a light in the darkness. Think about your words on social media.
God bless you all!