Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chickamauga: Re-enactors react to Newsweek story

Chickamauga: Re-enactors react to Newsweek story

By: ChloƩ Morrison
By: Mike O'Neal

Civil War re-enactor John Culpepper said he has always heard about the “nut” from Kennesaw who collects Ku Klux Klan memorabilia, and he doesn’t appreciate being lumped together with such a person.

The cover story in the Aug. 11 issue of Newsweek, “Southern Discomfort,” details writer Christopher Dickey’s odyssey through the South as he tried to gauge impressions of presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain.

For a portion of the interview Mr. Dickey talked with a young Civil War re-enactor he ran into on Lookout Mountain. He also talked to the Kennesaw man Mr. Culpepper referred to, whose name is Dent Myers.

In a photo spread, the re-enactor, 12, is just below a picture, which features a mannequin in a white, pointy, Ku Klux Klan hood, from Mr. Dent’s store.

Mr. Culpepper said his friend sent him the article.

“He was boiling mad,” Mr. Culpepper said of his friend, a fellow re-enactor. “Because it puts us in with racists.”

The history buff, also Chickamauga city manager, and others said the Newsweek article perpetuates stereotypes of re-enactors, and of Southerners, that are inaccurate.

“As far as me and the average Southerner, we are not racist,” Mr. Culpepper said. “We are living historians. We portray Union and we portray Confederate. We are doing it for our ancestors to honor both sides of the war.”

Ann Shackleford and her husband, Bill, have been re-enacting Civil War battles for 18 years. They operate the Mountain City Mercantile, a Civil War-era general store in Chickamauga.

Re-enacting is not about trying to rewrite history, Ms. Shackleford said, it is about recreating history and honoring ancestors.

Mr. Shackleford said many members of the Sons of Confederate veterans also are members of the Sons of Union Veterans, having ancestors who fought on both sides.

Although some re-enactors said they are sometimes misunderstood, Mr. Shackleford said he never has been ridiculed for his hobby.

“I catch more flak for dressing as a Yankee,” he sai

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Louisianans headed to Poland to honor cavalry officer

Louisianans headed to Poland to honor cavalry officer

Heros Von Borcke was a larger-than-life figure.

By John Andrew Prime • • August 25, 2008

In a tribute to diversity, two Louisianans are headed to Poland to honor a Prussian aristocrat who fought for the Confederacy almost 150 years ago.

Chuck Rand, of Monroe, and Michael Bergeron, of Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, are en route to Eastern Europe to help dedicate a new U.S.-supplied military gravestone for Col. Johann August Heinrich Heros von Borcke, a soldier who served with the South in the 1860s and became a heroic figure among its cavalry corps. A 6-foot 4-inch prankster who fought with enthusiasm, and who almost could have been taken from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, his wounding in 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg is thought by some historians to have changed the course of the conflict.

"It is interesting that events that occurred in North America over 140 years ago not only still reverberate here but also have echoes in Europe," said Rand, who is the national chief of staff for the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Heros von Borcke is due his tombstone through a change in U.S. law that has recognized Confederate veterans as U.S. soldiers since the early 1900s.While the government provides tombstones for former Confederates, they are different in design from traditional gravestones for other U.S. soldiers in that they have a pointed, rather than a rounded top.The gravestone dedication and graveside memorial service, which will be open to the public and the media, will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Gyzin, also called Giessenbrugge.

Due to wars and boundary changes in Europe, the historic residence of the Von Borcke family was once in Prussia, a part of old Germany, but now is in modern Poland.Von Borcke's original tombstone was destroyed by the Soviets after they occupied the region following World War II.

Rand and Bergeron will represent the Sons of Confederate Veterans at the event.

The national heritage group has another Louisiana connection through its national commander in chief, Shreveport Charles McMichael. Rand and Bergeron will present the Von Borcke Family with a certificate from McMichael noting their ancestor's service.Von Borcke was an imposing presence in the Confederacy, as he was a top aide and confidante to James Ewell Brown Stuart, the famous cavalry leader.A signal character in the June 9, 1863, battle of Brandy Station, the largest cavalry encounter of the war, he was known to give advice and guidance to Stuart.But Von Borcke was badly wounded in the neck at the Battle of Middlesburg 10 days later. Stuart and his cavalry were absent from the July 2-4 Gettysburg battle at crucial times, and some historians believe that had Von Borcke been at Stuart's side, he might have given Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia better service when most needed.

"Upon returning to Germany, Col. Von Borcke wrote a book titled 'Memoirs of the Confederate War for Independence,'" Rand said.

Von Borcke, who died in 1895 at the age of 60, flew the Confederate flag from the battlements at his ancestral castle and even named his daughter Virginia in tribute to his service.The U.S. War Between the States is a topic of interest in Europe and other parts of the world, with re-enactors active in Germany, Poland, Australia and South America.

In addition to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, a company of German Confederate reenactors, Hampton's Legion from Berlin, will fire a salute in honor of Von Bocke, with attendees from units in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and other countries looking on.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jefferson Davis sites gain visits

Jefferson Davis sites gain visits amid Lincoln 200th fervor
>>By Joe Biesk
>>Associated Press
>>FRANKFORT, Ky. -- From Abraham Lincoln's boyhood residence to the
>>Mary Todd Lincoln house, visitors this year are flocking to Kentucky
>>sites dedicated to the 16th president.
>>But Lincoln's Confederate counterpart, Jefferson Davis, is
>>experiencing a similar resurgence. Kentucky, which claims both men
>>as native sons and has statues of both in its Capitol Rotunda, isn't
>>the only place experiencing a Davis boost.
>>"It'll be hard for anyone to approach the level of attention that
>>Abraham Lincoln gets because he's always classified as one of our
>>greatest presidents," said Paul Bradshaw, manager of a Davis
>>historic site in Georgia. "But I think there's a trend to learn more
>>about the other side."
>>Interest in both Civil War presidents seems on the rise, amid a
>>two-year blitz surrounding Lincoln's 200th birthday next February.
>>This June marked 200 years since the birth of Davis, who served as
>>president of the Confederacy.

Race Riot in Lincoln's Home town

Lincoln's hometown marks 100th anniversary of riot
By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer
Sat Aug 9, 4:02 PM ET

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Two days of terror. Black men tortured and hanged. A baby dead of exposure. Four white rioters shot by black defenders.

It wasn't America's first riot, and certainly not the last.

But this one was in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, the president who helped end slavery.

Today, Lincoln's city — where Barack Obama launched his campaign to become the first black president — is finally commemorating the events that erupted 100 years ago this month.

At the time, even respectable citizens came out to gawk at the smoldering rubble and a body hanging from a tree.

"His feet dangling and within reach ... the men and boys played with the corpse by swinging it back and forth against the building to hear the dull thud," a local newspaper reported.

Outraged activists helped form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in response to this "race war in the north."

"It wasn't in Mississippi, it was in Illinois. That jarred people," said Roger Wilkins, publisher of the NAACP's The Crisis magazine. "Add the fact that it's where Lincoln is buried. You have a lot of symbolism. Lincoln was a live memory to a lot of people."

Then the riot simply faded into history.

Nationally, it was overshadowed by larger riots in East St. Louis, and in Tulsa, Okla.

And for generations, it was studiously ignored in Springfield.

Tamara Douglass, an African-American high school teacher, grew up in Springfield but didn't hear a word about the riot until a professor mentioned it in college.

"I was angry," she said. "I found it hypocritical that in this town it's all about Lincoln, we want to embrace him. Then you find out — whoah! — this is who we are. THIS is Springfield."

The violence began on Aug. 14, 1908, after a bit of trickery that saved two lives.

An angry crowd gathered outside the Sangamon County jail demanding that two black prisoners — one held on murder charges and the other accused (but later cleared) of rape — be turned over to them.

Instead, the sheriff had the nearby fire station ring its alarm to distract the crowd and then hustled the prisoners out the back door and into a waiting car, which took them to safety.

Furious at being tricked, the crowd took vengeance on the man who had driven the prisoners to safety, Harry Loper. They burned his car, then looted and demolished his restaurant.

In the frenzy, one man was killed, apparently shot to death.

Then the crowd, several thousand strong, turned its fury on the city's black residents, tearing through the red-light district known as the Levee and burning black-owned businesses.

Next, they attacked a largely residential neighborhood known as the Badlands. They bypassed homes with sheets hanging outside, signaling that whites lived there, but torched black homes and beat their owners.

Scott Burton, a 56-year-old barber, tried to hold the mob at bay with a shotgun, but they grabbed him after he had fired a couple of rounds. Someone got a clothesline from a nearby house, and they hanged Burton from a tree.

Then they mutilated his body and halted only when members of the state militia showed up and fired into the crowd.

Most black families fled to the militia's arsenal or hid in fields and forests, where at least one baby died in the August heat. Some sympathetic whites offered refuge.

Other black residents armed themselves and fought back. Four rioters were killed.

In an interview decades later, Edith Carpenter recalled that her father patrolled with guns visible.

"I'll let you know they never bothered him," she said. "All day and all night long, he had a gun on each shoulder and he marched from where our store was ... to our home, and that was back and forth all evening."

The next day, Aug. 15, the rioters regrouped as darkness fell, but soldiers turned them back as they headed for another black neighborhood and the arsenal where hundreds of blacks were taking shelter.

The mob then headed to the home of 84-year-old William Donnegan, a retired cobbler who had worked for Lincoln and who was married to a white woman.

Just a short block from the state Capitol, the mob hauled Donnegan from his home, slashed his throat and hanged him. He was still alive when the militia arrived and cut him down, but he died the next day.

The riots led to 107 indictments and 85 arrests. But witnesses, either sympathetic to the rioters or intimidated by them, were hard to find. One mob leader killed herself rather than stand trial. One man was sentenced to 30 days in jail for stealing a sword from a black veteran, and a teenager was sent to a reformatory for a few months.

The city power structure quickly played down the riot.

"This was not a race war at all," one newspaper claimed. In decades to come, the obituaries for key participants — including the sheriff whose protection of his prisoners helped trigger the violence — would contain no mention of the riot.

Not until the 1990s were markers erected on the sites of important locations in the violence.

"It's a history that has to be brought out into the open. It really has to be," said Garret Moffett, who leads walking tours of those locations. "The martyrs of the riot should be remembered."

This summer, black and white churches have held a series of assemblies to remember the riot. The local ministerial alliance arranged for billboards proclaiming "All races welcome here!"

The Lincoln Presidential Library is hosting an exhibit on the riot and offered a summer program for high school students to research the topic. Events marking the centennial are scheduled in coming weeks.

Mayor Timothy Davlin issued a formal apology for the riot and "the lingering consequences of the misdeeds."

"It is extremely important that we take time to recognize the significance of the race riots, that we teach our children all about them," Davlin said last year when he formed a commission to plan for the anniversary, "and that we rededicate ourselves to the notion that we must all work together to ensure that something like that never happens again."


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Confederate Flag Shooter Arrested

Suspect in shooting over confederate flag arrested
By Emanuel Cavallaro

Staff Writer

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Springfield, Ohio — Authorities have arrested a man suspected in a July shooting incident that was connected to a dispute over a confederate flag.

Investigators with the Clark County Sheriff's office arrested Frederick A. Griffin Jr. without incident at his 1215 West Liberty St. home on Thursday, August 14.

The 18-year-old Griffin is suspected in a July 28 shooting of 27-year-old Joshua Knox. The shooting incident apparently stemmed from an argument about a confederate flag Knox's cousin was carrying at the Clark County Fair. Knox later told the News-Sun he was neither at the fair that day nor was he involved in the argument.

Tennessee Battleflag Law Suit

UPDATED 8/15/08 6:33 p.m.: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- After twelve hours of deliberations over three days, a federal judge declares a mistrial in the case of an Anderson County student who filed suit after not being allowed to wear clothing with confederate symbols to school.

Should Tennessee students be allowed to wear Confederate flag patches and other clothing representing the "confederacy" to school?
Not sure

Tommy DeFoe is disappointed the jury could not reach the verdict he wanted, but that's not stopping him.

The court will have to set a new trial date and do it all over again.

For DeFoe, he may not have won the war, but he feels at least he's won a battle.

"If I hadn't have stood up for my rights, everybody else's right, hadn't have stood up for the South and the Confederate flag nobody else would."

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Rodes Book Available from SCV Store

From First Manassas in 1861 to Third Winchester in 1864, Robert Rodes served in all the great battles and campaigns of the legendary Army of Northern Virginia. Jedediah Hotchkiss, Stonewall Jackson’s renowned mapmaker, expressed the feelings of many contemporaries when he declared that Rodes was the best division commander in Lee’s army. A combat officer of this stature deserves a complete and deeply researched biography, and now he finally has one in Major General Robert E. Rodes of the Army of Northern Virginia: A Biography.

This book is now available through the SCV Online Store

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Federal Lawsuit over Confederate Flag Ban

Federal lawsuit over Confederate Flag ban being heard in East Tennessee

Posted: 6:54 PM Aug 11, 2008

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- School systems across the nation will be watching as a federal jury in Knoxville decides if a ban on the confederate flag in Anderson County is acceptable, or if school officials crossed the line of free speech.

After 13 out-of-school suspensions for wearing clothing that had the confederate flag on it, Tommy DeFoe is continuing his fight over the right to wear the clothing, and this time a federal jury could make history with their decision.



The Sons of Confederate Veterans are now taking
registrations for the Stephen D. Lee Institute
seminar on February 6-7, 2009 at the Hotel
Francis Marion in Charleston, South Carolina.

The cost for general registration is $150 per person.

The cost for SCV members and spouses
will be a discounted rate of $125 for a
limited period of time.

Registration includes breakfast, lunch,
and the banquet on Saturday February 6.


Friday evening February 6, 2009

Edwin C. Bearss - A Conversation with Ed Bearss:
The Assassination of Jefferson Davis—The Dahlgren Raid. 8pm.

Saturday February 7, 2009
Program begins at 8:30 am.

Thomas DiLorenzo - Host and Moderator

Clyde Wilson - A Sacrifice for his people: Jefferson Davis’s Persecution and Imprisonment

Brian Cisco - Davis , Lincoln and the Rules of War

Marshall DeRosa - The Confederate Experience in Constitutional Government.

Kent Masterson Brown - Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist

Donald Livingston - Davis, Lincoln and Liberty

Samuel C. Smith - Davis, Lincoln and Christian Faith

Please register today!

You can register by calling The Sons of Confederate Veterans
at 1-800-MY DIXIE (1-800-693-4943).

Hotel reservations at a discounted rate can be made
by calling the historic Hotel Francis Marion at
1-877-756-2121 or 1-843-722-0602 or by visiting their website at:

Thanks for your support of Southern history,

Brag Bowling
Event Chairman

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lincoln's Hometown Marks Race Riot Anniversary

Lincoln's hometown marks 100th anniversary of riot
By CHRISTOPHER WILLS, Associated Press Writer
Sat Aug 9, 4:02 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Two days of terror. Black men tortured and hanged. A baby dead of exposure. Four white rioters shot by black defenders.It wasn't America's first riot, and certainly not the last.But this one was in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, the president who helped end slavery.Today, Lincoln's city — where Barack Obama launched his campaign to become the first black president — is finally commemorating the events that erupted 100 years ago this month.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

CSS Neuse Offers Summer Camp For Local Students

Living a sailor's life
CSS Neuse II offers summer camp for local students
August 9, 2008
Chris Lavender Staff Writer

It's been 143 years since the CSS Neuse's crew scuttled the ironclad they hoped to use to regain New Bern from Union forces.Today, the 158-foot long Confederate vessel still inspires those who treasure maritime military history. The CSS Neuse II, a replica of the original ironclad, hosted a sailor camp Saturday for several Lenoir County Schools students.Jeff Stephens, Neuse Foundation Treasurer, said the week-long summer camp will conclude on Thursday. Stephens said the camp's primary sponsor is the Sons of Confederate Veterans

Posted By:
Chuck Rand

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Another Giant Flag Raised; This Time in TN

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday afternoon, under a blistering sun in Trimble, a passionate crowd estimated at around 300 from five different states attended the Confederate Battle Flag dedication. The Gen. Otho French Strahl, Camp 176 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans at Parks Cemetery Ridge Confederate Memorial Plaza presented the flag. The site was chosen by its highly visible location adjacent to the new Highway 69 corridor that will run between Canada and Mexico.

The flag, which is 20 feet-by-30 feet, can be seen for several miles in all directions as it sits atop an 85-foot flagpole, and overlooks the Obion River Bottom. It is at the Dyer/Obion county line at State Highway 105, in Trimble. This project is part of a 'Mega-Flags' project that will place the battle flag in prominent locations across the South.

Full Story:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Poll Results: How did you find out about the SCV?

The SCV spends a lot of time and money on recruiting and analyzing the results of recruiting efforts, which was the focus of the latest Blog poll. We had 107 respondents, and some interesting results. The highest number of respondents (28%) indicated they found out about the SCV by "Other", meaning that there's something going on beyond the usual expected connections that needs to be followed up on. Next was "On the internet" at 25%, indicating that we truly have entered the information age, and that the SCV needs to focus on its internet presence. "A friend told me" garnered a 19% response, and "A family member" 13%, came next showing that between them, 32% still involved a person-to-person connection, which has been a consistent showing in all our recruiting analyises. The rest: 5% said "Ad in a magazine besides Confederate Veteran, 3% "Read about it in a book or magazine article"; "Radio ad", "News media report", "I saw a copy of The Confederate Veteran" and "Billboard" all received less than 1% each, and "TV ad or Public Access channel" received no responses.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Shreveport Paper Covers CiC Election

By John Andrew Prime • • July 27, 2008

A Shreveport educator has been elected national head of Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Charles "Chuck" McMichael, 51, was elected by acclamation July 19 at the heritage society's 113th national reunion in Mount Pleasant, N.C. The group is the nation's largest Confederate heritage organization, with more than 30,000 members throughout the United States and some foreign countries. His term of office is two years.

"I am honored and gratified by the trust that my compatriots have put in me," said McMichael, a 20-year veteran high school history and civics teacher in Caddo Parish schools.

Full Story:

Tampa Flag Opponents Have Miserable Turnout

By Andrew Meacham, Times Staff Writer
In print: Sunday, July 27, 2008

TAMPA — Backers and opponents of a huge Confederate flag in east Hillsborough met Saturday to air their differences. After two hours, nothing appeared to have changed.

Community activists and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the group responsible for a Confederate monument on U.S. 92 near Interstate 4 and a prominently displayed Confederate flag to come, had some of the "dialogue" sought by organizers of the event.

But the flag will still fly. And its opponents promise not to go away. They also predict a backlash.

Alvin Mccray, whose Community Justice Forum sponsored the event held at the Alessi Woodstone Oven, said he was disappointed with the turnout. He had blanketed black churches with invitations and included four county commissioners. He had told activist Michelle Williams, who opposes the flag, she could invite as many people as she wanted. In the end, only 14 people showed up to listen to Mccray and six panelists.

Full story:

Charlotte Post Coverage of Clyburn Events

Duty. Honor. Confederacy.

Published Thursday, July 24, 2008
by Kimberly Harrington, For The Charlotte Post

MONROE – At first glance, it’s an unlikely combination. A black family seated under a tent facing a line of Civil War re-enactors, proudly holding Confederate flags and gripping their weapons.

But what lies between these two groups is what brought them together: An unmarked grave about to get its due, belonging to a slave who fought for the Confederacy.

Weary Clyburn was best friends with his master’s son, Frank. When Frank left the plantation to fight in the Civil War, Clyburn followed him.

He fought alongside Frank and even saved his life on two occasions.

On July 18, the city of Monroe proclaimed Weary Clyburn Day; an event that coincided with the Sons of Confederate Veterans convention in Concord.

The N.C. Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans (James Miller Camp 2116) honored Clyburn, who died March 30, 1930, with a memorial program at Hillcrest Cemetery in Monroe and unveiled a new headstone for his unmarked grave.

“It’s an honor to find out we have a gentleman who served ... with loyalty and devotion to his friend,” said Commander Michael Chapman of the local SCV chapter.

Full story:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Little Support for NAACP Flag Boycott in SC


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Confederate flag that flutters 30 feet above one of this city's busiest streets still draws a mix of head shakes and shrugs from South Carolina residents.

Some are upset the banner was removed from atop the statehouse dome eight years ago. Some say they like it in its current spot beside a memorial to Confederate soldiers. And some echo a recent call by the NAACP for the banner to be removed from state property altogether.

The NAACP at its national convention this week renewed its call for an economic boycott of South Carolina. Since 1999, the civil rights organization has encouraged family reunions, sporting events and entertainers to stay away from the state and officials say their new plan entails asking actors and movie studios to shun the state's efforts to lure film makers.

Even the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which countered the protests of 2000 with their own demonstrations in support of the banner, likes the way things are.

"Once the Senate and the House spoke and exerted the will of the people through their representatives, we accepted it. You don't see us out there protesting at the African-American history monument," said Don Gordon, chairman of the group's South Carolina heritage defense committee.

Full Story

Saturday, August 2, 2008

'Colored Confederate' Has His Day in Monroe, NC

By Donald W. Patterson, Staff Writer
Friday, July 18

Pictured at Right: Earl L. Ijames and Mattie Clyburn Rice

Mattie Clyburn Rice of High Point will take part in an unusual ceremony today, but then, she’s an unusual woman.

She’s the 87-year-old daughter of Weary Clyburn, a “colored Confederate,” a slave who served in the Civil War.

“His is a hero’s service,” said Earl L. Ijames, a curator at the N.C. Museum of History. “Him serving is really an incredible story.”

Rice feels the same.

That’s why she’s agreed to allow the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the town of Monroe to honor her father’s memory this afternoon.

Full Story: