Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

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Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby Scratcher » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:40 am

Native American Legends and the Virginia Legend of the Headless Confederate Officer of Appomattox, Virginia, USA by Scratcher

America was officially birthed at Jamestown, Virginia in 1634. The settlers named their first of eight shires, Jamestown, in honor of King James of England. To this day there is a Jamestown site on the exact spot where the settlement existed. So Virginia’s history is America’s history too.

Virginians are very proud and at times loud, about the fact that their state is the birthplace of America’s first President, George Washington. Even today one can visit President George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon and see his mansion along with its slave quarters too.

This long, and sometimes troubling, American history goes further back than that of the European settlers. The history, in oral and musical forms, goes back thousand of years, to the true first Americans who didn't settle the land; but respected it and lived off it for generations.

The First Nations tribes, as Canadians respectfully refer to the first inhabitants of North America, continue to relate these legends of the past. Many of these legends center a round the visitations by long dead ancestors who help explain to the living the origins of life and of nature along with warnings of future events.

These long dead ancestors, according to these oral histories, present themselves in many forms. Some of these forms we would know as ghosts; but to those related to these forms they are still family and treated with the utmost respect.

These pre-European legends are really designed to explain the unexplainable and they utilize the character of long dead ancestors to transfer traditional wisdom. These ancestors can take many unusual forms. Some can be an eagle, or a bear, or the effects of nature, or some even an entire constellation in the sky. The following website has compiled these legends and does a much better job than I could ever do of relating these legends for each tribe.

http://www.opossumsal.com/NAL.html

These legends are told as part of a tribe’s oral history; but most importantly they are part of a tribe sacred religious belief system. To them these legends are not ghost stories we casually tell around a campfire for fun; but are a tribe’s sacred history. When one studies the history of Virginia, and the strange experiences related by it first residents, one finds without a doubt that these First Nation’s legends are not to be toyed with or belittled; but read, shared, and respected. Enjoy the legends.

This is not to say Virginia doesn’t have European ghost legends too. The most numerous and notable of these deal with the young men who were lost in the War Between the States (or as some Virginians call it The War for State’s Rights).

During America's Civil War a full generation of young men of Virginia lost their lives in fierce fighting for what they saw as 'the pride and dignity of the Old South' and the right for America’s Southern/Confederate state’s to practice plantation slavery as their economic engine. It is sadder still that so many of those young lives were lost in battle to defend a state’s right to enforce slavery of one human being over another.

These young dead soldiers are sentenced to replay their horrific death dance for the rest of eternity. These long ago battles are still being fought and sometimes the living catches glimpses of the dead soldier in their final moments of life.

There is one case in particular that is interesting. It is the numerous sightings of a Confederate officer, in full battle dress, marching, saluting, and then praying. The sightings have centered a round the Appomattox County Courthouse and local cemetery. This is the location where General Robert E. Lee of Virginia, surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9th 1865 and saved the Union of the United States.

The legend goes that a Confederate officer was killed during what turned out to be the final hour of what became the most costly war in America’s short history. It was on that rainy and cold night of April 8th, 1865 that this unknown officer was surprised by a Union soldier who was mad and distraught after comforting his best friend as he died on the battlefield. The Union soldier was hidden in the brush near the burned out railroad tracks that went through the small town of Appomattox, Virginia. With a deep hatred raging in his heart the Union soldier surprised the Confederate officer and stabbed him to death. Then the soldier profaned the now dead corpse by removing the head and throwing it in some weeds.

Sightings of this Confederate officer increases during special dates surrounding the Civil War and whenever the United States declares war or experiences tragedies such as 9/11 or the race riots of 1968 with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. According to the sightings the ghost is a fully seen apparition of a Confederate officer who tends to perform a type military march, then salutes, and ends by kneeling to say a prayer.

He has been spotted at the east bound train tracks just outside of Appomattox or near the town's old cemetery. It is as if this officer is searching for something and at times the apparition appears with no facial features visible. After the march, salute, and prayer the ghost disappears leaving those who have seen it wondering.

There is a rumor that several years ago a young ROTC cadet at Liberty University, a very strict Christian university, reported seeing the apparition. His reports were met with skepticism and to this day are denied by the university. But still reports of the apparition appear every once and a while and have been listed as one of the many ghost legends of Virginia.

Here are some of the least known attractions of the area.
http://www.retroweb.com/lynchburg/attractions/main.html

And a website dedicated to the Ghosts of Appomattox, Va.
http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/2/Virgin ... tings.html
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Re: Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby Spirit Bear » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:14 pm

Fascinating stuff,Bob,especially the Appomattox CH sighting. It might be a good idea to start a seperate thread on Civil War Hauntings! :shock:
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Re: Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby Scratcher » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:58 pm

Spirit Bear wrote:Fascinating stuff,Bob,especially the Appomattox CH sighting. It might be a good idea to start a seperate thread on Civil War Hauntings! :shock:

I will think about starting a thread like that since my family was originally from Appomattox, Virginia (on my late father's side) and there were a few 'ghost experiences' passed down by them.
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Re: Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby GhostInTheMachine » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:35 am

This is very interesting indeed Scratcher. Isn't it funny how America and Canada are thought of as "new lands" with little history, but this is a view of more arrogant European or civilised white cultures, as these lands have been inhabited and built up their own culture for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans, and so of course there will be residue from the historical events of previous times.

I have often thought about this. I think about London and how when you visit it, it "feels" caked in history, you can almost perceive the layers on layers of thousands of souls living and dying on those few square miles of space over more than two millenia, and so it has this sense of age.

However it isn't any older than anywhere else on the planet!

This leads me to think it is not the physical age of the place that gives it the sense of atmosphere and cultural age for humans, but maybe it is the intensity of condensed life that has lived there, and the degree of human emotion that has impinged upon the area by events that have occurred (both positive and negative). This is per the Stone Tape Theory re: residual energy that is stored in the fabric of an environment from trauma or strong emotion.

London has had so many millions of people living there and dying, as have Rome and other cities. An area in America or Canada that is considered sacred, or the scene of impinging events or emotional trauma will also have "that atmosphere" that could make people visiting today perceive those events of the past, if they tap into those finer senses.

Isn't it interesting as well how spiritually advanced the Native Canadians and Americans seem to be (to me) that they didn't fear "ghosts" but saw them as friends, spiritual beings like themselves who survived death and could guide them forward.
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Re: Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby Scratcher » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:23 pm

GhostintheMachine

Your observations and insights are brilliant. I never thought of the 'same age' paradigm and the residue energy left behind by those countless numbers who have passed on. I am so amazed at the astute and intelligent insights you and your group has as to ghostly paranormal experiences.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of it and helping me to learn more each time I visit.

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Re: Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby GhostInTheMachine » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:11 pm

You're very welcome Scratcher, and thank you for the compliments!

We just like to hear all sorts of views, there are always ways to learn from other ideas and experiences, and it's great to share whatever knowledge we all have.

Most of us are not the "Scooby Doo" types, we have a great deal of fun, but also like to try to work it out, trade different ideas and philosophy too, not just be into the paranormal for thrills and spills or electrifying effects as there's not much to be learned that way. I have to say I have seen plenty of folk on ghost hunts who do just go for that, but I don't really blame them, I suppose everyone wants and gets something different from the experience. I think there's a lot to be gained by increasing understanding, & sharing knowledge and that way fear of the unknown lessens.

You have great ideas and views too, and it's very refreshing to have a new mind added here to the mix of this forum
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Re: Legend of Virginia, USA Part 1

Postby Chatelaine » Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:05 pm

What a thoroughly enjoyable read, thanks Bob. I was interested to read so much about Virginia, as where I work here in Wales, we have a Virginian connection. Great stuff x
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