Fight to preserve Fort Smith Rebels continues; backers punked by fake song story | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fight to preserve Fort Smith Rebels continues; backers punked by fake song story

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 11:47 AM


click to enlarge ALWAYS A REBEL: Joey McCutcheon.
  • ALWAYS A REBEL: Joey McCutcheon.
Fort Smith lawyer Joey McCutcheon continues his battle to get the Fort Smith School Board to reverse its decision to end the playing of "Dixie" and the use of a Confederate-style Rebel as the Southside High School mascot. He's on the agenda to complain to the School Board again today.

McCutcheon said the committee named to come up with a new mascot is "stacked" and he wants to have Rebels restored, even if in different garb, say a 1775 "rebel" who revolted against the British. 40/29 TV has full coverage of his lengthy news conference here.

OK, more Lost Cause nonsense. Sad and tiresome.

But this is kind of funny. One of the offshoots of the insurrection is that Rebel defenders  have swallowed an Internet hoax about the school's new fight song, set to the tune of the "Wabash Cannonball." A mock "documentary," shown above, says the song memorializes a slave train owned by a Baptist preacher (or an Alabama Jew in an equally bogus printed account being circulated in Fort Smith) that shipped slaves bought in Africa to buyers across the U.S. It also secretly shipped Union troops to critical battle spots in the South, including in Arkansas, disguising the black Union troops by having them sit by railroad windows shirtless as they passed through Arkansas).

You'll see at the 16:30 mark in the video of McCutcheon's news conference that he's been punked by the story. He said the Wabash Cannonball was all about the South and worse even than Dixie given that it honors a slave trader. "You can look the history up," he said, "this is all over the Internet." Indeed it is. And this is also on the Internet in an article by Harper's about great train songs.

“Wabash Cannonball,” by J. A. Roff. First set down in 1882, this is probably the only song about a train for which a train was eventually named. There was no Wabash Cannonball; it seems to have been a bit of hobo mythology, maybe about a “death train” carrying souls to the afterlife. In any event, the Carter Family recorded a version as early as 1929, and Roy Acuff another in 1936. It became so popular that the Wabash Railroad fell into line and named its daytime express run from St. Louis to Detroit after the song.

Got it? There was no Wabash Cannonball at all until maybe 70 years after the Civil War. (Lots more history here. Yes, it's Wikipedia, but not a mention of a slave there.)

What follows is a copy of a bogus article on the train that Rebel backers are busily sharing in Fort Smith, along with the video. There are some tells, like the previously secret railroad shipment of 200 troops that spelled the difference for Union forces at Pea Ridge. Professor Dan Glasho? He doesn't have much of a web footprint. He IS on Linked In as a self-employed Fort Smith video producer. Indeed he has produced at least one video. The photo of him with the video is a stock shot of a businessman drawn from the web, a Google search shows. And Joey and his gang of Rebels swallowed it whole. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to set ol' Joey up, observes the indomitable DBI, who tipped me to the latest happenings over at Fort McCutcheon.



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