he is huiign’. The thieves run everything,rnhe says, and Putin’s attempts at restoringrnorder appear halfliearted. What Russiarnneeds is anotlier Stalin. I can on] sigli.rnA rich, poor, sad, lively, foreboding, hospitablerncountry. Wliat would Russia bernwithout poetr)’?rnI leae the window open in my hotelrnroom and sit down to read the newspapers.rnThe stories are about oligarch/rnKremlin machinations and the good fortunernRussia enjoys in high oil prices;rnabout the debate over whether the Kurskrnwill be raised or left as a sailor’s grave;rnabout contract murders; about an illiteraternold peasant who walks from illage tornillage, reciting his poetrv’ from memor’rnand entertaining passersby. He is happrnin his own way, a latter-day holy fool,rnloved bv his neighbors. Poetry again.rnI turn on the TV. Another paradox:rnPutin has met with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.rnSome of the great writer’s friends arernshocked b’ the meehng of the ex-KGBrnoperative and the former exile/dissident,rnbut I detect in Solzhenitsyn’s commentsrnsome of the same hope expressed by otherrnRussians since Yeltsm’s departure:rnSomehow, Russia will beat the odds andrnsin ic. Although critical of some ofrnPutin’s policies, he wants to keep therndoor open to the Kremlin. I suspectrnSolzhenitsyn is aware that he is beingrnused by Putin to deflect criticism ofrnthreats to die freedoms gained since thernfall of the Soviet empire.rnThe news is over. The weather reportrnsaws that the sunny days will end soon.rnThe Russians are expecting snow.rnDciiis Petmv has many Russian friends,rnand thev are all poets.rnLetter FromrnTennesseernby Clark StooksburyrnRememberingrnTazwell is a town in Claiborne Count)-,rni’ennessee, about 45 minutes northeastrnof KnoxN’illc on Highway 33, just south ofrnthe Kentuck- border. On die mugg}- Satmdarnmorning of June 3, 2000 —thern192nd anniversary of the birth of JeffersonrnDavis and Confederate MemorialrnDay in Tennessee — some 200 peoplerngathered in Tazwell’s Irish Cemetery tornrededicate a Confederate monument.rnAfter reading about this fortliconiingrnevent in the Knoxville New Sentinel, 1 decidedrnto brave die rolling hills and windingrnroads of Union Count)’, which liesrnbetween Knoxville and Claiborne Counties.rnBy the time I crossed Norris Lakern(an FDR creation), my head was spinning.rnBut since I was almost to I azwcll,rnI decided to continue.rnIrish Cemetery sits on a hill a couple ofrnblocks off Highway 33. Looking south,rnvou can see the four-lane highwa andrnthe golden arches of McDonald’s; otherwise,rnthe green, rolling hills of Tennesseernvisible dirongh die light haze diat morningrnformed an appropriately premodernrnvista for a ceremony diat was out of tunernvv idi the times. At the top of the hill, pastrna wrought-iron gate, stands the Confederaternmonument, an 18-foot-tall stonernobelisk capped with an artillery shell. Anrninscription reads: “S.ACRKn ‘I’O THErnMEMORY O E UNKNOWN CoNEEt^E.R-rn.TE Di-.AD W H O LAID DOWN ‘liit.iRrnLivi’.s AMONG SIIUNGIVRS FOR T H ErnLOS’I’ CAUSE.” Details of the monument’srnorigin are unknown, but a noticernin a 1915 issue oi Confederate Veteranrnmentioned tiiat, “in the Irish Cemetery atrndie place, near Cumberland Cap, therernare about thirty graves of ConfederaternSoldiers who died in the hospital there,rnwith nothing to show who diey were exceptrnthat on one rough limestone headstonernis cut ‘C.D.S.'” 0cr tiie ears, thernmonnineiit fell into disrepair; eventually,rnit collapsed during a 1998 ice storm. Lastrnvear, nicmbers of the Knoxville-basedrnJjongstreet-Zollicoffer and the MorristownrnBradford-Rose camps of the Sons ofrnConfederate Veterans began restoringrnthe structure.rnConfederate moiinments are not thernnorm in East ‘I’ennessee; the area wasrnstrongly Unionist during the war. Whenrnthe state left die Union in 1861, mamrnin the east wanted to break w itli Tennessee.rnBut the Encyclopedia of EastrnI’ennessee states that a “sufficient numberrnof Fast ‘I’ennesseans supported the Confederacyrnto create a civil war within a civilrnwar.” Our Union Count}’ Heritage featuresrnseveral photographs of UnionrnCounty Confederates and a tombstonerndisplaying the sort of sectional bitternessrnthat warms the hearts of the mirecoiistrueted:rnMAJOR ALLEN HURSIrnSON OE JOHN & ELIZABETHrnI’HOMPSON HllRS’lrnMARCH 4,1810 ‘I’.xzw ELL CO. VA.rnM,AY26 1873.rnFIRST CiRCun COURI CLERKrnOE UNION CO.rnDuRiNc: RECONSTRUCIION DAYSrnROBBED BY THE CARPETrnB.AGGERS OE4000 AcRi-s O F LAND.rn60 ODD YE:ARS LVH-IR T.V.A.rnCoNEiscA’iI’D SEVERALrnTHOUSAND ACRt;s OE MINEIULrnLAND LEFI To HISrnGRAND CHILDRENrnGONE WITH Ti IE, WINDrnSoutherners began commenioratingrntheir dead almost immediately after thernwar. Over the years, Southern states createdrnvarious official holidays; severalrneventually adopted June 3 as ConfederaternMemorial Day. (Tennessee chosernthis date m 1902.) In Dixie After the War,rnreconstruction chronicler Myrta LockettrnAvary recounted the first such obser-rnance to take place in Richmond inrn1866:rnThe young men of Richmond, thernflower of the citv, marched to Hollywoodrn[cemetery I, anned widirnpicks and spades, and nuinberingrnin their long line, . . . reinnants ofrnfamous companies, vhose gallantr}’rnhad made them shining marks onrnmany a desperate battlefield . . . Asrnthe soldier-citizens marched along,rnpeople old and oung, by ones andrntwos and threes, or in organisedrnbodies, fell into the e er-lengtheniiigrnline . . . Federal soldiers walkingrnthe quiet streets would pausernand shidy diese symbols of griefrnand reverence. Cadoads of flowersrnpoured into the citv’. . . maids, matronsrnand children met diere earlvrnto weave blossoms and greencn,’ intornstars, crosses, crowns and flags —rnflieir beloved Sondiern cross . . .rnThousands isited the green hillsidernwJiere General Jeb Shiart lay,rna simple wooden l)oard markingrnthe spot; his grae was a mound ofrnflowers. From an impnn ised nichernof evergreens, Valentine’s life-likernbust of die ga’ chevalier smiled uponrnold friends. No Hero, great orrnlowl}’, was forgotten. Wdiat a tale ofrnbroken hearts and desolate homesrnfar awa the many graves told!rnHere had tiie Texas Ranger endedrnlANLIARY 2001/43rnrnrn