Like any elected official, Pensacola mayor Ashton Hayward gets a lot of letters and emails. The vast majority are ordinary and mundane: polite complaints, the occasional compliment, and a lot of fairly routine requests from city residents.
Every once in a while, though, something really entertaining comes along. And thanks to the magic of Florida’s public records law, we’ve decided to share some these gems for our readers’ enjoyment in a new series we’re calling Letters to Ashton.
In April, Hayward received a letter from Geoff Ross, a retired U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer, which Ross titled, “Mayor Ashton Hayward ‘Twinkle Toes’ in Pensacola gets a history lesson from the Senior Chief.”
It gets better.
Over the course of about 800 words, Mr. Ross painstakingly laid out his bizarre case for honoring Pensacola’s roughly 16-month-long Confederate history and the “rebel freedom loving soldiers” who took up arms against their own country.
We hope you find Mr. Ross’ letter as informative and entertaining as we did.
Dear Mayor Ashton Hayward, Mayor of Pensacola Florida; Republican In Name Only (RINO)
Your attempt in 2015 to censor American history in Pensacola the ” City of Five Flag”s will not go unchallenged.
I thinks perhaps legal action should also be considered for your attempt to dismantle and disenfranchise from future generations the true nature and meaning of the city of Pensacola.
In 2015, after the church shooting in South Carolina you sir decided to censor over 154 years of Florida heritage with the censorship of the Northern Virginia Battle Flag.
This sir will not go un challenged [sic] and I consider it political cowardice.
The liberal left wing registered Democrat who was involved in the South Carolina school shooting was also wearing Levi jeans but I do not see any attempt to boycott this product only the flag he lawfully displayed behind him.
I am so glad he was not flying the Stars and Stripes in his yard perhaps you would have censored that too.
Some folks in the remake of history in Pensacola state the cities [sic] involvement in the Civil War had ended by 1862 , before the battle flag was widely adopted, and there is no evidence that it ever flew over Pensacola.
That is like saying just because we did not enter World War II until 1941 the Stars and Stripes was irrelevant in 1940. Liberal hocus pocus BS.
Pensacola was a huge part of the Confederacy and the 13 states who desired to be free of federal over reach [sic] and oppression. Lincoln used slavery as the race card to circumvent the US Constitution and decimate the southern states with union federal forces.
In my opinion I think that the Civil War could have easily have begun in Florida instead of Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
Pensacola was at the pointy end of the spear when in January of 1861 Florida joined the other Confederate states and seceded from the federal Union.
During this time in our history Union federal soldiers were stationed at Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, right off Pensacola.
Of course the Rebel freedom loving Confederate soldiers demanded that the Union federal soldiers surrender, now that Florida was a Confederate state.
The federal Union soldiers declined to leave the fort and Lincoln ordered more Union troops be hastily shipped in to reinforce the number of soldiers in the fort of Pensacola.
A massive battle began and the standoff lasted for months and months.
In response, the Confederate army deployed over 1,000 soldiers on the island near Pensacola on October 9th to raid a small Union army camp outside of the fort.
Lincoln sent in even more federal Union soldiers to reinforce their camp and they were able to drive the Confederates off the island.
Major battles continued throughout the early part of 1862 and then by May 1862 the Confederate troops withdrew from the area and the yearlong standoff was over. The federal forces occupied Pensacola for the rest of the war.
So I would assume the Confederate forces were flying the Northern Virginia Battle flag during these skirmishes or perhaps they just winged it and flew the State of Florida flag instead, like the one you have flying today to represent the Confederacy in your rewrite of history.
That sir was the real flag that never flew during the civil war and has no relevant meaning in the line up outside Pensacola the City of Five Flags.
Our children and our grand children [sic] will learn about the history of this nation and people like you will be challenged and paper shredded for your blatant liberal minded cowardice and feebleness.
You remind me of one of the Keebler Elves prancing around waving the rainbow flag in a diversity party but with the Karl Marx manifesto rolled up your backside looking for someone to remove it.
Pretty soon I will be hosting rallies with the Northern Virginia Battle Flag outside your office and along the causeway into Pensacola to remind the folks of our history and our heritage.
Certainly not to represent any hate that the liberal left wing Communists have tried to install into the mindset of the easily manipulated and weak of learning sheeple regarding this flag.
It will be to honor the military war dead that stood up to Lincoln and fought for freedom and states rights.
I am sure my friend of many years and great Statesman State Representative Mike Hill will join me.
Copy to Sherriff Morgan Escambia County Sheriff’s office. Pensacola.
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Geoff Ross Surface
Warfare Air Warfare
US Navy retired