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15: Singing Down The Pain: The Civil War

September 22, 2011

The American Civil War, that most deadly of U.S. wars, saw the deaths of some 600,000, a social fabric torn and destroyed, by sense of duty and battle and dysentery and amputation and sexually transmitted disease. And yet too, in time, slaves freed, dancing all night long once having heard the news that no master could falsely claim to own them.

Of course how to describe this war, how to get at “what the war was about” remains a contentious question. Ms. Dixie Fulton Williamson is present tonight and a member of Downtown Presbyterian Church.  Her great-grandfather was Sam Watkins, a good old boy from Columbia, Tennessee who saw many of the major battles of the Civil War.  In his moving memoir Co. Aytch, he reminds us that “north” and “south” were invented somewhere along the way.  Once invented, these fictions were soon argued about, and not only argued about, but scratched and clawed, fought and killed for.

Of course the war was not merely about north and south, but inseparably interwoven with other false dichotomies such as slave and free, black and white.  Such division was woven into the founding of the United States, for the founders asserted that all are created equal, while simultaneously permitting some white men purportedly to own African men and women, to make motherless a child and childless a mother through the horror of the auction block.

After the war, Sam Watkins said that we have come to realize that there is no such thing as north and south, and we might add, any of the other false divisions between human beings. In that spirit, we shall be looking tonight for tokens of reconciliation, the breaking down of walls, the triumph over the pain arising from the pernicious fictions that alienate one from the other.

If the dead do watch the living, then surely they will be watching and longing with us tonight, soldiers who died in this very room, or alone on a battlefield; the husbands, whether slave or soldier, who grieved their separation from their beloved; and mothers whose children were wrenched from their arms, whether by conscription or by auction. So we welcome you, and we welcome all the other host of those who may happen to gather with us.

1: Waiting For The Federals; Fisher's Hornpipe

Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

2: Tokens Radio Theme

Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

3: Opening Monologue

Lee C. Camp

4: Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

Odessa Settles

5: Wheel of Presidents

Tokens Radio Players

6: Woman Back Home

The Whites

7: Ashokan Farewell

Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

8: Interview: Jim Hoobler

Jim Hoobler with Lee C. Camp

9: Vacant Chair

The Whites

10: Soldiers' Joy

Aubrey Haynie with Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

11: Secrety Secrets of Mysterious Untold Tales

Tokens Radio Players

12: Weeping, Sad, and Lonely

Vocal Union

13: Man Against Man & In Christ There Is No East or West

Buddy Greene

14: Intermission Announcement

Tokens Radio Players

15: Class and Grass

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

16: Tokens Theme Song Reprise

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys

17: When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again; Yellow Rose of Texas

Our Most Outstanding Horeb Mountain Boys with Buck White

18: Tokens On The Road

Lee C. Camp

19: Amazing Grace

The Whites

20: TEED Off Party

Tokens Radio Players

21: A Mighty Fortress

William Taylor

22: Secrety Secrets of Mysterious Untold Tales (2)

Tokens Radio Players

23: Interview: Living Historian

Kaelin Vernon with Lee C. Camp

24: Just As I Am

Buddy Greene and The Whites

25: Battle Hymn of the Republic

The Nashville Choir and The Greater Nashville Community Gospel Choir

26: TAPS & Tenting Tonight

Choir with Blake Parker

27: With God On Our Side

Lee C. Camp

28: Brother Preacher

Greg Lee

29: Oh Freedom

Odessa Settles

30: Closing Monologue

Lee C. Camp

31: Down by the Riverside

Todd Suttles, Odessa Settles, Choir

32: Shall We Gather at the River

Company