Robert E. Lee's Orderly: A Black Youth's Southern Inheritance - Al Arnold $16.99 FREE SHIPPING USE CODE ORDERLY
Al Arnold is a descendent of a slave, Turner Hall, Jr. “Uncle Turner,” as he was known in his later years, served in the Confederate army as a body servant for two Confederate soldiers and an orderly for Robert E. Lee. As a slave, Turner Hall, Jr. was owned by another prominent Civil War general, Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Al began researching his ancestor’s life in 2008. At a family reunion, he saw a newspaper caption indicating his ancestor, Turner Hall, Jr. served Robert E. Lee as an orderly in the Civil War. To Al’s amaze-ment, his research found a proud Black Confederate who held both Civil War generals in high esteem, even well after the war. At the age of ninety-five, Turner Hall, Jr. cherished a gift from Nathan Bedford Forrest as one of his most treasured possessions.
Al was further intrigued that his great-great-grandfather was a celebrated man in his community of Hugo, Oklahoma. Blacks and Whites commemorated him as Hugo’s “most distinguished citizen” as a result of his Civil War service. Turner Hall, Jr. lived to be a hundred and four years old. He attended the last Civil War reunion in 1938 at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Newsreel cameramen captured him displaying his reunion medals as an example of the typical Black Confederate.
In 1940, he was interviewed as a Black Confederate by a nationwide talk radio show in New York City. Turner Hall, Jr. left a trail for his family that Al has uncovered. Al shares his personal journey into his Confederate heritage as a modern Black man. He makes a connection through the life of his ancestor and embraces the premises that history should unite us instead of divide us. He argues that African Americans dishonor their ancestors by attempting to destroy Confederate heritage and by neglecting the historical impact that slaves had on both sides of the Civil War. These are the honest thoughts of a modern Black man who has wrestled with his Confederate heritage while being a Black Christian man in America and who is connected to two famous Civil War generals.