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Jubilee gave “a great opportunity” for others to discover the history of Oakley Park, writer says

web posted October 30, 2007
Dear Editor,

This is in response to Clarice Wise’s letter published in your site. I realize this was one persons view of the recent “Jubilee” held at Oakley Park so I do hope you will do me the courtesy of publishing another view.

Not in contention is the historical significance of Oakley Park, the home, grounds, people and events that occurred there. But calling it “hallowed” grounds is being a bit theatrical! Historical, absolutely, but comparing it to Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Vicksburg, Chichamauga, Manassas, Antietam, Shiloh, Stone’s River or other battlefields where thousands of men from both North and South bled and died is way out of line.

And to call any of the organizers a “scalawag” is an insult! They were doing Oakley Park a favor, far too many people from Edgefield and the surrounding area had or have no idea of Oakley Park and its history, to get people there and to teach them about the history should be thanked not rebuked. Not to mention the hours and the cost of  the work the city spent cutting down dead trees, clearing underbrush, killing poison ivy and fire ants, that the UDC would never had been ale to afford. Now the surrounding area of the house looks inviting not a mass of tangled underbrush.

Ms. Wise you missed a great opportunity to educate men, women and children about the significance of Oakley Park, to the events that transpired there and the people who led these events. Instead of staying home and crying, you could have been in the house to see the open eyed awe of the visitors who were seeing the beauty of this grand home for the first time and learning its history. To see so many people interested in the heritage of Edgefield you could have been crying tears of joy. And Friday night when the home was lit so beautifully, it was truly a sight to take your breath away and bring a tear of pride to your eye.

As someone who has been an avid student of the American Civil War for 50 some years, any chance to educate the public of the “truth” is a chance I relish and you should as well.  The group of Confederate re-enactors camped on the grounds did this with dignity, as they always do. You had the same opportunity, it’s just a “crying” shame you missed it.

Patricia Weyhrauch
Edgefield, SC

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