3 June 2016 4 Comments

The Haunting of Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant

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A Family Affair
Being a Sci-fi fan and paranormal enthusiast, it’s common a few evenings out of the week, for me to watch Ghost Adventures, Dead Files etc. to get my weekly fix of high strangeness. One evening I was watching the Ghost Adventure guys and to my surprise, they were in Santaquin, Utah filming at a family restaurant. I checked out where the town Santaquin was located from where Michael and I live and it was a short distance away, under an hour.

I enthusiastically told Michael about Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant and we decided to head out and visit it the following weekend. I called the restaurant to let them know we would be coming and as luck would have it, Leslie the restaurant owner answered the phone. She was a real sweetheart and down to earth kind of gal. We talked a short while and she even told me a few stories of her own experiences. But before I get into the actual haunting and experiences, let me give you some history of the town.

Santaquin was settled in 1851 by Mormon pioneers. There was a war called the Walker war that lasted from 1853-1854. The war started with a confrontation with James Walker Ivie which resulted in the death of several Timpanogos (also known as Ute) tribe members. It had to do with trade interruptions and hostilities between the Mormons and the Native Americans. There were raids and each side retaliated which resulted in the loss of life on both sides. Santaquin was at first named, Summit City but was later renamed in 1856 in honor of the son of Guffich, a local native chieftain friendly to the settlers.

Interestingly enough, the deaths and burial ground of some of the Ute Indians is part of the hauntings of the restaurant since it was supposedly built on a Native American burial ground. But there are other ghosts who for some reason or another have decided to stay within the restaurants familiar walls as well.

Leslie told me about a ghost with a sense of humor who was behind her and said, “Boo!”

She laughed at that one and she also saw a little girl who was emphatically talking to her. It seems as if Leslie is seen as a motherly figure and I can also see that they acknowledge her as the matriarch of the restaurant. Smart ghosts.

When Michael and I arrived at the restaurant we were greeted by friendly smiles and as we looked around the large room, it was evident by the many photos on the wall that Leslie and her family were leaving a legacy all their own. It was a warm and friendly place but you could feel something, almost like eyes upon you. It could have been all the photos on the wall or maybe some patrons of long ago.

We let some of the wait-staff know we were paranormal investigators and they enthusiastically started talking to us about their experiences. Charlotte, Leslie’s granddaughter came over and volunteered to give us a tour after our meal. I must add here that we really enjoyed our meal. They are known far and wide for their scones and they did not disappoint. Think of them as sopapillas but better!! Their honey butter is to die for! (No pun intended)

As we were eating Charlotte told us about a woman spirit in the women’s bathroom who was sad and heard crying. They believe she is a woman who lost her child to drowning a few streets behind the restaurant years ago. The bathroom at first seems just like any average bathroom and then a little melancholy sets in and it seems to affect the emotions a little and for some a lot. Those who are empathic are impacted more so than those who aren’t. There is also a dark spirit that Zach from the Ghost Adventures tried to agitate from the men’s bathroom. The dark spirit allegedly scratched a visitor on one of the ghost tours the family offers. As far as the episode with Zach commanding the dark spirit to show itself, the likelihood of the dark spirit actually scratching him shown in the episode is pretty unlikely. But those ratings always need a little boost!

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We followed Charlotte into another room that used to be a bar but is now used for parties etc. It was really heavy and to me housed most of the spirits that were connected through the illegal gambling which happened down in the basement many years ago. Charlotte said they were able to get the spirits to turn on and off flashlights. She also said that during a voicebox session two names came through, Peter and Henry. Henry for some reason messes with the electronics and they think that Peter is the one talking to them through the flashlight.

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The family was told that at any given time they have more than a hundred spirits coming in and out of the restaurant, hanging out or communicating with people. My thoughts on this particular room is that the spirits from the illegal gambling days moved there from down below because the Indians who’s burial ground was inharmoniously defiled are hostile to anyone wanting to stay down there. 168

I also heard there was a vortex in the restaurant and sensed where I thought it was by the party room. There is a bathroom adjacent to the party room with a brick wall painted a dark brown or reddish in color and I asked Charlotte if there used to be a doorway there. She said, “No.”

It wasn’t so much a doorway to me but an opening and then it hit me that this was where the vortex is located. You could actually feel the spirits coming in and out through the wall. It made sense to me because the room seemed to be full of spirits that were all talking at the same time, like actually being in a bar or gambling room. At times it felt as if the room was beyond capacity in spirits.

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Next we went down to the basement but to get there Charlotte had to open up a wooden door from the floor that once opened revealed steps going down into a very dark room. Stepping into the room was like stepping into an Indian campground. It was like I was at one of the Pueblos back home only this time was with departed spirits. They weren’t happy and I must say that the basement was kind of a mess with things piled in different corners that had been there for years.

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I knew immediately why the spirits were upset. Imagine a place where your loved ones were once buried and all of a sudden, someone comes along and builds a structure over their gravesites.

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I was greeted by a young Native American who was shirtless, wearing leather pants with long black hair and a small pouch hanging from his neck. I didn’t see a mark on him where a bullet hole would be so I got the impression that perhaps he didn’t die from a gunshot wound. I think he got sick and died from some type of consumption. All in all there were 7 spirits down there that were unhappy. There could have been more but that is who came through to me. They were very unhappy with the mess over their gravesites. I think that the dark spirit that scratched the visitor in the men’s bathroom was probably one of the Native American spirits in the basement. 152

I told Charlotte that if they cleaned it up and paid homage to the spirits who were buried there, that the energy would be lighter, better and they would be happier. I suggested a Remembering Blessing that the family members could do to appease the spirits and let them know they are not forgotten. To be forgotten for many of us is worse than death but if you are dead, feeling no one cares or knows about your plight, it could be a prison of inconsequence.

Amy Allan from the Dead Files commented that Leslie would need representatives from many religions to do a ceremony to help appease the spirits at the restaurant. Leslie told me on the phone it was basically impossible and I agree with her. To advise this is a set up for failure. How can anybody possibly do this? Not many people have the time or ability to find such a large group.

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What I feel needs to be done is simpler. A Medicine Man from the Ute tribe and a Bishop from the Mormon faith need to come and do a Blessing of the Spirits. An intermediary such as an empath or healer who is not from either group would stand between the Bishop and Medicine Man. From the Medicine man I see a pouch of prayers being offered. From the Bishop a written Blessing. If both representatives could do the ceremony, the hostility would dissipate and there would be a lighter feeling down in the basement and throughout the restaurant. Remembering the Dead once a year is a good way to let them know they are not forgotten.

At the end of our tour, we said good-bye to Charlotte and felt we had just made a new friend. To Leslie and her family, we would like to thank you for your gracious hospitality and to the spirits of Leslie’s Family Tree Restaurant, rest assured, you are not forgotten.

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27 January 2016 0 Comments

Part 2.

God's Voice

Here are my thoughts on what I believe the two aspects of hearing voices are about.

“A haunted voice is just memories replaying through the doorways of the mind. There are no locks on the doors so walking through a residual thought is just like playing the reruns of a personal existence, whether it be your own or someone else’s.”

“The intelligent voice plays upon the secretive inclinations of the emotional state along with original thoughts, owned by each person. The intelligent voice takes words out of context and confuses the intent of sentences with alien concepts not original to the person in question.”

The difference between the haunted voice and that which is placed within the mind, is the intelligence behind it. A weak echo can’t answer anyone back but an intelligent voice can play havoc with the mind. Understanding these two concepts was vital in me healing from the fear of worrying about schizophrenia or mental illness. Our minds are more powerful than any one is willing to admit, especially those that prey on real or invented diagnosis to make a buck.

Let’s look at what really happens when an intelligent voice occurs.

One day I was sitting at my desk getting ready to write some choreography text for students. All of a sudden out of the blue and literally in my head, I heard a man and woman converse over what they were going to say to me. I think they forgot somehow that the switch was turned ON and I could hear everything they were saying to each other. I looked at my speakers and thought, “Are they on”? I checked and they weren’t. I looked at my computer to see if I was on the internet without knowing it but I wasn’t. I had actually just sat down to work and hadn’t been on the computer for hours. But the really weird thing was, they were in my head, not outside of me. It was like I had speakers in my head.

It was the one and only time I can remember this kind of thing happening and I laughed outloud, telling them that I didn’t have time for their BS and that I had work to do. Even though I could still hear them, (and yes, they heard me because I heard them become baffled as to the fact that I could hear them,) I focused on what I love to do which is create choreography and their voices literally became whispers and finally within about 10 minutes, they were gone. All that I had in my mind was my creative thoughts. I learned that day that focusing on something else was a great way to dispel the voices. They can’t compete with how our brains function to our own commands. I also rerouted my attention to right and left brain choreography because I work with both sides of the body continuously so creating moves, counting out combinations and steps, outmatched their voices. It didn’t occur to me to be afraid, I was more annoyed at the fact they invaded my body and mind which to me was a total violation of privacy.

Intelligent voice

Spirits, Entities, Unknown Beings or Cryptids talk to me but when they speak, they speak more so at me even though it’s in my head. Sometimes I have heard them in the room with me but most of the time, they will speak directly to my mind. This kind of intelligent voice can feel strange at first but it can be blocked which makes it less invasive. I think as an Empath, the green light is always on for chance communication. We are like a beacon, open day or night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since I’ve learned to live with this from childhood, I don’t mind asking if communication can happen another day if I don’t want to engage in a conversation at that moment. Also, I’ll block what I don’t want to deal with especially if it’s someone or something I feel is dangerous. Believe me when I say, sometimes with what’s literally out there, I want to be able to block undesirable company .

Adding to the intelligent voice phenomenon, it’s important to know that sometimes entities or deities will wonder within the mind to see what lies hidden, what is feared and what as mortals is our Achilles heel. It’s important to know that whatever information they find is only as important as we make it.

The Voice of Self

There is one aspect to being human that I think is amazing, a true gift that we have at our fingertips which is the knowledge of the innerself. We have thousands upon thousands of years at our fingertips and all we have to do is listen to our gut, our God Connection. A majority of our lives is like living in the dark ages because we live without ever knowing we have this inner source of wealth and knowledge. Mass media, entertainment, politics, and I must include religion here, all want to mediate for us, only allowing a minute amount of information out, literally a drop at a time. We are already created with the ability to access whatever we need, we only need to believe in this and know that our questions are already answered many times over if only we listen to our inner voice, hearing the whisper of the Universe and Gods infinite wisdom.

5 February 2015 0 Comments

Religion and the Abductee Experience

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My private journey into the phenomenon of the paranormal and abductee experience was and is an isolated, complex, up hill trek that tends to leave me feeling vulnerable and exposed not only to the elements but to opinions. To be more to the point, I am speaking about opinions like yours, your friends and the public at large, yet here I am sharing my story with you. Am I a glutton for punishment, not really? This is just apart of my desire to see if anyone else, has had similar experiences, perhaps furthering my own exploration into the religious, abductee experience.

My religion seemed to add a twisted, exorcisty kind of atmosphere that made me think I was possessed or abnormal most of my childhood. The two worlds for any child can create a dysfunctional and skewed perspective concerning what reality is and what it will become. If I can levitate does this mean I’m an angel? If I see beings from above, does this mean they are from heaven? Most of these questions were answered from my childhood in the most basic to elaborate of ways. Who might I ask, could answer the questions that plagued me, especially if they didn’t understand the problems at large, the unequivocal intimidating type that molded and encouraged me to become a timid victim? Believe it or not, it was religion that was quick to answer me pointedly because in some peculiar ways, it played a role in my experiences.

Sorry, I’m not going to write about great experiences with the church I grew up with. I went to a Catholic school for the First grade, which played a surreptitious role in me being bused out a few days a week to a base and underground facilities where I grew up. I was warned early on that if I said anything to anyone, especially my parents, one of my parents would get hurt. What can a child do but believe that the adults scolding her, making her feel responsible are not only speaking the truth but making her a part of the consequences. I was tight lipped and proud yet I held on to a secret that no child should ever have to deal with. At age six, I was responsible for the well being of my parents, or so I thought.

This kind of responsibility leaves a mark; it’s like an emblazoned imprint on the soul because the mind of a child can only handle or empathize with what they are being told by adults. As time faded the mark of my censorship, the imprinted stigma stayed with me because the moments of responsibility took a toll on my childhood and in essence took away my childhood naivety.

It didn’t help that right around the time I was 13, the movie, The Exorcist came out in theaters. I thought for sure I was the object of some ill-begotten spirit. Night time was a panicky and heart palpitating occurrence, where I lived under the covers. I could always feel spirits looking down at me, just a nose length away from my face, trying to suck the breath out of me. I had two giant teddy bears on either side of me that did nothing but help me hide, from whatever I knew was in the room with me. I loved sleeping under the covers because they always gave me a false sense of comfort, a divided barrier that hid me from whatever was antagonizing my sanity.

Obviously the paranormal plays a role with abductees. In my case, with spirits freely visiting me at night, I also had to deal with the infamous … closet! It didn’t matter what house I stayed at, closets always symbolized the omnipotent, ethereal world that was black and empty. As a very young child, I knew vampires, witches and goblins lived in closets but after age five, there seemed to be something more sinister, lurking within the claustrophobic blackness. I have always felt that because of my interactions with the Greys, I have become more empathic, almost as finely tuned and observant as they are. This came in handy, when I felt they were near.

A sound can be just a sound to everybody else but as an abuductee, sounds are the introduction, the beginning of a dreaded dream that always seems to portray itself with the same characters, over and over again. In the end, the closet doors always opened slowly, creaking methodically and within my child’s mind, everything the blackness represented eventually came out to play. Sometimes, I would hear a voice, speaking faintly, its words lingering in my ear or was it in my mind. Either way, there were always two black eyes to go along with the ominous voice, I came to dread.

Sometimes even in the light of day, I saw strange things. I had a picture of the Virgin Mary that was on a wall by my bed. I would look up to her in the mornings for some kind of explanation for the previous night’s activity. Occasionally, I would think I saw a faint change in her face, and I would jump out of bed because my nerves just couldn’t handle another manifestation of either the paranormal or spiritual. For a child, even the most symbolic representations of religion, can become a daunting reminder of the unreachable, the unfathomable beyond that is heavy handed and unyielding. Sometimes religion can make God seem like a million miles away.

One Saturday morning when I was 14, I abruptly awoke, opening my blurry eyes. I had to adjust my vision because my room was brightly lit. On this particular morning, for some bizarre reason, I didn’t feel safe immediately after waking up. I was facing the picture of the Virgin Mary and as I was gazing up at her, from my peripheral vision, a shadow like figure darkened both my windows, and the face of the Virgin Mary started to drip blood and become distorted. I quickly closed my eyes and hid behind my big teddy bear. My door was closed so making a run for it, was out of the question. I subsequently opened one eye and tried to peak around my teddy bears left ear. To my relief, the picture of the Virgin Mary was back to normal again and my room was bright with sunshine. I thought to myself, did I just dream that or did it really happen? I jumped out of bed and ran for the door, deciding the answer wasn’t important.

Questioning oneself is the modus operandi for most abductees. A mark on the body is either a beauty mark or just a mark, even if it has a strange design to it. Finding clothes put on backwards the next morning, just means, we weren’t paying attention the night before. A strange gooey substance coming out of our private parts is a mild case of the flu, diarrhea or food poisoning. Waking up with strange bruises on our body, just means we knocked into something the day before, and didn’t pay attention. Bloody noses that are extreme, occurring on a daily basis, are explained as dry nose and common place. Finding ourselves outside our homes in the middle of the night, is described as sleep walking, even if all the doors and windows are locked from the inside. One clear observation that can be made, is that we are the most absent minded and obtuse people on the planet, especially to those people who are our critics, and the naysayers of our experiences.

When I was 18, I called upon a young priest who occasionally gave service at the church I attended. My experiences were getting beyond what I thought I could handle and I decided I needed some outside guidance. He was young, giving the appearance of being slightly innocuous, yet astute in his demeanor, I was uncomfortable and sweaty beyond belief.

Within seconds of sitting down, I literally spewed out my predicament, leaving nothing to the imagination. A long, torturous silence followed and I felt compelled to high tail it out of his office because I became horribly uncomfortable. He eventually looked up at me from closed eyes and said, “Pray my child and God will help you.” I stated that I did pray and the experiences still happened. He then said I needed to pray harder. I basically bared my inner most secrets to this man, thinking he would be my redeemer and to my dismay, he brushed me off with a safe and predictable answer. I left his office feeling foolish for even thinking he could help me.

I decided to go to see another priest (who was older) and prepared myself with a more resolute attitude, knowing he was going to help me and give me the answers I was seeking. To make a short story even shorter, within minutes of explaining my situation, I was asked to leave his office because he didn’t have time to deal with a paranoid and delusional parishioner like me. I left knowing that the religion I thought I could always count on, wasn’t there for me anymore.

The different times I did pray during an abduction experience, my abductors didn’t seem to pay attention to me or they ignored what I was doing. I realized that prayer is great for an abductees’ sanity after the fact, because it pacifies the nerves and serves as a familiar and safe haven. In order for prayer to work, we have to assume that ET’s have religion similar to ours and like us, they view God in the same way. If they are doing something terrifying to us, we can only assume, they must be malevolent in nature, opposite of our beliefs and that of God. If they don’t know God, how can they fear God. I remember thinking to myself years ago, that to assume my abductors followed society’s dictates and customs was just about as ludicrous as assuming they would ask me if I wanted to go with them instead of taking me against my will. I understood a long time ago they weren’t from here.

Growing up with an abductee’s state of mind was not easy, especially when high school became the mile marker that indicated that I was not like everybody else. Graduating from high school helped me feel normal because it seemed like a momentary way out or a reprieve from the abduction phenomena. Months after graduation, my nightmares and experiences became less and less and I “almost” lived a normal life.

The word “almost” is very important to remember here because it seems like the alien agenda carries within it individual timelines for each abductee. This can mean months, even years can go by with nothing happening and then all of a sudden … boom, with no warning, they start up again! The rollercoaster begins and it’s a ride that consumes the senses, leaving no room for normalcy, only the descent of questionable insanity.

In some ways, my abduction experiences tested my belief in God because if he existed, how could he let this happen. Yet, I have to say, something really interesting happened as I started to stand up and face my fears. I knew that being human was not only to my advantage but a blessing in disguise. I realized I was apart of something that was wise, venerable and sentient. This connection allowed me to see, that I needed to stand on the building blocks of my own convictions. This birth right which I call our fundamental foundation consists of 4 pillars that hold all of us up as human beings. They are known as, the emotional, spiritual, physical and mental pillars of humanity. The consequences of abductions, can wreak havoc on these pillars, tearing them down one by one leaving a person broken and fragmented. Once the human foundation is unbalanced, the three pillars by proxy, have no recourse but to carry the burden of the faltering pillar. This unbalanced condition can become so intolerable for abductees, that they react from a survival perspective based on fear rather then an analytical response based on faith.

I had to figure out a way, how to become whole again during these dark and confusing times. I realized that my faith was more then super glue, it was the rudiments from which my pillars were made. God created my pillars and because they were made by his blue print, I knew they could rebuild themselves back up. I also knew that it’s who I am in-between the abductions that matters most. The question of, why me, turned into, it does not define me.

Faith replaced the religion that I grew up with and it has been the one constant through out my life that has never let me down. Once I started to understand who I am, the abductions became less monumental in my life. This makes sense to me because I no longer feed the fear mongering monsters lurking in the closets; the door stays shut and if it opens, it’s because I opened it myself.

7 November 2014 0 Comments

The Spirits of McGavock Confederate Cemetery

Carnton plantation 2

This is a fitting story to share with all of you during Fall and the beginning of Winter. It’s a new tale, fresh with a mixed brew of emotions and haunting whispers. It is one story I thought I would never tell only because my experiences with ghosts have never been with the Civil War, only the old west towns of my home state, New Mexico and those along my travels as a cowgirl.

Sometimes spirits reach out to those who can feel them, hear them and relay the replays of life that went on years past. They whisper the echoes of torment, languishing pain and the truth of how death does not end their soul’s convictions…it only prolongs the outcome of their inevitable actions, if such have the fallacy of intolerance.

What wayward souls can not comprehend, they cannot see and because of this, they cannot rest.

With this being said, I will now share with you the story of my travels with my sister Holly, to Carnton Plantation just a few minutes from Franklin, Tennessee where the Battle of Franklin took place in November 30, 1864.

Just a mere two weeks ago, I went to Nashville to visit my sister and to enjoy the southern hospitality she is known for. My sister is a fabulous cook, the hostess with the mostess in all aspects of making anyone feel right at home. The area where she lives is not too far from the town of Franklin, a place that oozes with the shadowy memoirs of a sorrowful past. I realized the moment Holly took me through this beautiful town; I was literally thrust back in time, no time machine needed here because the surroundings emulated old Southern pride. It’s a déjà vu kind of feeling but as a Yankee, it felt a little unnerving. The architecture through out the town with the churches and homes held within their walls the echoes of people running, yelling, and the distant thunder of gun fire. It was still in the air and I could feel the emotions with every fiber of my being. Holly and I are empaths, we feel places and with this ability we can smell the flowery aromas of perfume or the trepidation and stench of death. This ability is in our family, it’s in our blood.

The day after traveling through the striking town of Franklin, Holly somehow without forethought but I’m pretty sure, pure intuition, drove right by the Carnton Plantation as if planned and on queue. She said she had never been there before and was quite surprised to have driven by there on our way to another plantation. We decided immediately that we were destined to go to this one instead. The land seemed to whisper secrets through the car windows to us and then there seemed to be an urgency to our summoning. As Holly turned the car around, we almost went down a one way road the wrong way. It was a bit confusing at first but interestingly enough that confusion never left us even as we drove up the one lane road. We could see that this plantation was not only massive but obviously an important historical landmark. As we drove into the parking lot, the house sat back behind what looked like a large barn and to our right was a cemetery that had huge headstones peaking out from the iron fence.

With my persuasion, we first went to the cemetery because it was up on a hill and I wanted to look around and see the vast green land that encircled the cemetery. Holly stated she had reservations about entering the cemetery but like a trouper, she ventured forward with me. There seemed to be an odd feeling that almost felt like we had walked into a bubble or a time warp from the past. The air was different, birds crowed and yelled down at us and we both felt the immediate sense of sadness and the traumatic demise of all the soldiers within the cemetery. There are nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers buried at the cemetery who were casualties of the Battle of Franklin. Carrie Winder McGavock was in charge of the soldiers brought to Carnton which was to become the largest field hospital in the area for the wounded. There were at least 150 Confederate soldiers who died that first night at Carnton from the battle. There are still blood stains on the floorboards of the main house to this day.

When we entered the cemetery none of this information was known to us. We understood the severity of what all the men had gone through because we could feel it in our bones. It was with this emotion, this connection that the first communication with some of the spirits of the cemetery started to happen.

I heard a mans voice say softly to me, “How is Elizabeth?”

Wait a minute; I went…no, he said Lizbett. I thought I must have gotten the name wrong but when he said it again, he said it more forcefully and I knew for sure he was saying the name Lizbett. I told him I was sorry that I didn’t know her. I asked my sister if that was a Southern name and she said she thought so.

We walked through the main entrance and Holly said she didn’t feel right, she almost felt like she didn’t want to go forward. I had trepidations myself but I walked a little ways past the family gravestones to the entrance to where the Confederate soldiers were buried. Holly walked with me and we immediately stepped to our left, looking at the first of granite markers. We saw two copper pennies on top of two markers and we both wondered what the significance of that was. It was at this very moment that a young mans voice came to me, talking in my right ear and in my head, stating that he had died of a gun shot wound and he wanted to show me where he was shot. I didn’t want to know but he didn’t let up and upon hearing him say, “I got shot in my stomach,” I felt the first stinging pains in my own stomach right where my belly button is. I told Holly my stomach hurt and when we turned to face the dirt path that went down the middle of the markers, we did an about face and left the cemetery. It was just too much.

This young soldier would not let up. It was imperative for him that he tell me what happened to him. I finally acquiesced, letting him know I would listen.

He started from the moment he was shot. He said he was down for about an hour. It hurt like hell and he didn’t think at the time it was something he would die from. He knew men were down around him but he thought if he could get help, he would be alright.

He knew he was bleeding out and he tried to calm himself down waiting for help to come. He was only 19 or maybe 20, young, full of hope, not really understanding the gravity of his situation. When help did arrive, he felt he would be taken on a stretcher and he would live to fight another day. There were three men, two carrying a stretcher and the other man checking wounds. They talked to him for a few minutes, looked at his wound and with grave faces told him there was nothing they could do for him. They were under orders to take and carry only those wounded that could be saved. They gave him his death sentence. He never saw it coming just like he never saw the bullet that hit him. He said he lay there for about three to four hours before he died. He couldn’t believe they left him and for him, the fact they did leave him was worse then getting shot. He felt alone when he died. I think this is why sometimes he’s not sure he’s dead. His memory stays within the confines of the bullet that brought him down. It’s an eternal pain that he shared with me, not just a physical one.

Carnton Plantation

By the time he finished telling me his story, my stomach was burning and I felt as if my insides were on fire. The pressure on my stomach was intense; it was as if I literally had an opening gash that was bleeding out.

Holly and I entered the gift shop by the barn area and when we walked in, we both thought for a minute we might fall down from weak and shaky legs. I couldn’t really focus on any one item except for a book on Carnton. I felt like I should buy it but for some reason I didn’t. We decided to make a hasty departure to the car because neither one of us was feeling or doing well. I was bent over at this point from the pain in my stomach and Holly had a headache that was growing in intensity by the minute. The Carnton house was out of the question. Neither of us wanted to take the tour.

As I climbed into the car, from my right ear, I distinctly heard an angry male voice that seemed to be in his mid 40s to early 50’s. Discretion Advised! (Please understand that this is what I heard and not how I talk. I debated whether I should state what I heard and I feel it’s only right to write exactly what I heard.)

He said, “God Damn (N word)! Nobody is gonna tell me what I do with my property!”

I said, “Oh my God, Holly, you won’t believe what I just heard.” I then proceeded to tell her, word for word. She shook her head and said it was time for us to go. I was in shock and couldn’t believe the intense animosity coming from the male voice who spoke in my right ear. That kind of talk is just plain wrong and I found myself feeling disgusted at hearing it.

Holly drove down the one lane road exiting the plantation and it wasn’t until we were on the main road and driving away that we both started to feel better. For a minute we just looked at each other. Words were beyond us.

As a woman of the west, I must admit that I came back home with a tangled web of emotions. I had no idea the Civil War was fought in so many areas where my sister lives. I had no idea the mindset of the South lives on. Most of all, I had no idea how sad I would feel about the loss of life. It’s an intense feeling of sorrow with a raw edginess to it.

There is one thing for sure that I do know and that is that death makes every man and every woman equal because in the eyes of death,our humanity is all the same. What makes us individuals is our sense of self when we die. For these men of the Franklin Battle, they were comrades in arms and I think it’s this unity that keeps them there. They stay because of each other and they stay because in the end, they don’t seem to know the Battle of Franklin is over.