Battle of Selma Anniversary, Jimmie Lee Jackson remembered, Cullman Roads

Feb 26, 2015

The world is getting ready to remember the fiftieth anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma early next month. But another bit of Selma history is being remembered now.

One hundred years before the voting rights march and Bloody Sunday, the Battle of Selma took place during the Civil War. What you’re hearing is a 2013 re-enactment by civil war buffs. A historic marker was just unveiled at the corner of Highland and Summerfield Road. In April of 1965, Union General James Wilson defeated the troops under Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Wilson’s biographer Edward Longacre says Wilson was only twenty seven at the time…

“He was actually a more distinguished boy general than the one we think of as the pre-emininent boy general of the war, General George Armstrong Custer. In fact, Custer and Wilson served together, and for a short period of time Custer was under Wilson’s command.”

The one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Battle of Selma is in April.

It was fifty years ago that civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson died after being beaten and shot by an Alabama State Police Trooper.  Jackson’s death helped bring leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. to Selma and kicked off the marches from Selma to Montgomery. Vera Jenkins Booker was the nurse that tended to Jackson when he was brought into the Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma…

“I pulled up his shirt, pulled that up and there on the left side of him was a mass of intestines that was out, were the hole was where he got shot.”

Booker was also called upon to help civil rights marchers who were beaten by state troopers as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.  She was brought in to testify in the case of James Bonard Fowler, the trooper who shot Jackson. Fowler pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the killing in November of 2010.

Cullman County wants to use money left over from the 2011 tornado disaster to repair roads.

The Cullman Times reports that county commissioners are asking the state for permission to use leftover federal disaster recovery funds for road work.

Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker says $1.29 million in grant money was awarded the county, and about $198,000 still hasn't been used.

Walker says the remaining funds must be spent on roads that were in the path of tornadoes nearly four years ago and have residents with low to moderate incomes.

Dozens of tornadoes swept across the state on April 27, 2011 and hit areas including Cullman County north of Birmingham. More than 250 people died statewide.