Sword in the… Tree?

A sappy story, a sword in a tree.

You may retch or you may reach… but FencingClassics’s dug it up for you anyway.

Even though the “sword” turned out to be less than expected…

Birmingham—A few weeks ago in a story about the special class at Elyton School, I mentioned a Civil War sword sticking out of a tree we used to watch for every time we drove down Third Avenue. It was part of a sad sweet story of love unfulfilled. 

More on the sword. The story we always heard is that a gallant Confederate officer plunged his sword into the tree before he went off to war, promising to retrieve it when he returned to his sweetheart. But he never returned to reclaim the blade from the trunk. When I returned home to Birmingham after years of school and family career travels, the sword was gone.

Thanks to my friend and lover of Birmingham history, Dr. Lamar Osment, for confirming the story, sending some old press clippings, and even locating the sword today.

But first more Birmingham lore of unrequited love.

Like many former Appalachain hollers, Birmingham has its own tale of a Lover’s Leap, and like most of them between here and Rock City, it involves an Indian maiden. With the maiden forbidden to marry her white settler lover, these pioneer-day coon- skin Montagues and Capulets reputedly jumped to the their deaths together. There used to be many tales of lover’s leaps, but you don’t hear them much any more…

Read more here…

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