Friday, January 29, 2010

Abilene Texas Celebrates Confederate Heroes Day

Confederate Heroes In Texas

By: Col. Alan C. Huffines, Ret., Abilene

In 1931, Texas followed her sister Southern states and created Confederate Heroes Day, to be commemorated on the anniversary of General Robert E. Lee’s birth (Jan. 19).

Lee, a Christian gentleman, epitomized to the depression era Texans what duty and sacrifice meant while enduring unimaginable hardship and privation. Tuesday was the state holiday.

Here in Abilene there are several memorials to Confederates, usually with Texas historical markers or street names. See if you can recognize a few of the Abilene founders who served the Southern Cross:

n Private Missouri M. CLACK (Company A, 1st Tennessee Cavalry)

n Private James J. CLINTON (Company G, 2nd Arkansas Cavalry)

n Captain Claiborne W. MERCHANT (Company H, 14th Texas Cavalry)

n Musician William A. MINTER (Company G, 5th South Carolina Infantry)

n Lieutenant James H. PARRAMORE (Company C, 8th Texas Cavalry)

n Brigadier General John SAYLES (Texas State Troops)

n Lieutenant John W. WOOTEN (Company K, 10th Texas Cavalry)

n Private James J. WYLIE (Company E, Frontier Regiment)

And of course there are communities such as nearby Robert Lee (he never used the middle initial) and Stonewall (Jackson) County. At least 27 Texas counties are named for confederate veterans or events.

Please take a moment and remember those in gray and butternut who believed in state rights enough to fight and die for it and understood duty as “the most sublime word in the English language.”

Walmart Foes Get Reinforcements

Walmart foes get reinforcements

Area residents, National Trust for Historic Preservation receive support from Park Service director, two nationwide groups in lawsuit against Orange County's planned Wilderness Walmart

Date published: 1/28/2010


This week brings a double-barreled development in the legal battle over a Walmart in the Wilderness battlefield area.

Two other U.S. groups seek to join the National Trust for Historic Preservation and six local residents in their fight to overturn Orange County's approval of a 240,000-square-foot retail development anchored by a Supercenter.

On top of that, the director of the National Park Service has weighed in, expressing that agency's support for the litigation and dismay at the Aug. 25 decision by the county supervisors.

The Park Service "is deeply concerned about the development at issue, and the NPS does not believe the County has taken actions necessary to address our concerns," NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis wrote the National Parks Conservation Association and the Civil War Preservation Trust.

It's unusual, but not unheard of, for a Park Service director to involve himself in such a land-use or legal issue, David Barna, NPS chief of public affairs, said yesterday. This is the first time that Jarvis, who became director in October, has done so, he said.

Yesterday, the NPCA and the CWPT asked Orange County Circuit Court for permission to file a friend of the court brief supporting the National Trust's pending lawsuit.

Orange County has asked the judge to dismiss the NTHP challenge, which aims to block construction of the retail center near the intersection of State Routes 3 and 20, a quarter-mile from the entrance to Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

The project, Jarvis said, would directly harm the Wilderness battlefield. "Although there is some commercial development in this area already, this complex would be many times larger and transform the character of the landscape," he wrote. "Hills would be leveled and roads widened to that the Piedmont landscape would be unrecognizable."

The development would impair the park gateway's "historic rural character" and tremendously increase traffic, heightening pressure to widen Route 20--the historic Orange Turnpike--to four lanes through the park, Jarvis wrote. Route 3 would be widened as well, he said.

National Park Service spokesman David Barna: "This is our director backing up the park superintendent, and showing he feels this issue is that important. This is a local issue that has national implications for preserving the parks, viewsheds and visitors' experiences."

Orange County Attorney Sharon E. Pandak declined to comment on the nonprofit groups' friends of the court brief or Jarvis' letter. She said she will a file the county's response to the legal brief today.

James Lighthizer, president of the Civil War Preservation Trust: "We are pleased to have the support of National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis in this fight. No one has articulated better than he did in his letter the historic significance of the Wilderness and the threats that confront the battlefield."
By 2016, the project would generate 10,667 new vehicle trips on an average Saturday, with 20 percent of them along Route 20 through the park, he wrote. "In a single peak Saturday hour, there will be more than 1,000 new trips" from the retail center, not counting traffic from spinoff development likely to occur, Jarvis wrote.

The development would degrade park visitors' experiences at several sites--including historic Ellwood Manor, the Wilderness exhibit shelter and the historic crossroads where Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant turned his army south toward Richmond, setting the war's future course, the director said.

Traffic would increase noise, pollution and safety issues on Route 20--and "compromise efforts to interpret the role of the road in the battle," Jarvis wrote.

He noted that Ellwood--an early 19th-century house within a mile of the Walmart site--is being restored by the Park Service.

At the nearby crossroads, the Union army set up artillery, tents, hospitals, headquarters and supply and ammunition depots. Jarvis said the agency hopes to restore that crossroads area to the way it appeared in May 1864, when it was one of the few bits of open farmland in the tangled woods of the Wilderness.

"The Walmart complex would foreclose that option," he wrote. "Even if no landscape restoration is done, the lights from the complex would be visible at Ellwood at night."

The project would be built within a few hundred feet of Union earthworks the federal government owns, and within two-tenths of a mile of the park itself, which abuts the Route 3-Route 20 intersection, Jarvis noted.

In closing, Jarvis expressed hope that the CWPT and NPCA will "succeed in raising these important historic issues in your litigation."

His letter is addressed to Trust President James Lighthizer and NPCA President Tom Kiernan.

In their amicus curiae motion, the 213,000-member NPCA and 55,000-member CWPT urge the court to reject Orange's plea and "to preserve the Wilderness Battlefield for future generations."

Virginia attorney Scott D. Helsel, who is with the Reston law firm of Walton & Adams, filed the brief.

The Circuit Court is scheduled to hear the case next Wednesday.

Walmart Threatens Wilderness Battlefield

Walmart has initiated another bushwhacking in the Wilderness

Published: January 27, 2010
Updated: January 27, 2010

A century ago, when memories of our tragic Civil War were still fresh and old soldiers visited the battlefields to reflect on lost comrades and life’s deeper meanings, one veteran wrote that “the spirits lingered on the fields and formed the shadow of a mighty presence.”

Years passed, reunions came and went; reports, photographs and old soldiers faded, but as Americans who cherish heritage know well — something stayed.

I find it ironic and saddening — in light of recent struggles to preserve the Wilderness battlefield and honor heroes on both sides — that Walmart is progressing with plans to erect yet another superstore complex on the northern edge of this historically significant field 12 miles west of Fredericksburg.

Aside from the certainty of greater traffic congestion and urbanization in still bucolic areas bordering the Wilderness along Route 3, irreplaceable loss and degradation to the area’s “historical environment,” the proposed Walmart will probably have unintended consequences.

How we honor our history as a nation, like our fallen dead, and the hallowed ground where they fought, speaks volumes about who we are as a people. In challenging times such as these, we must protect our treasured legacies and resist those forces that would accelerate our slide to into “historical amnesia” if left unchecked.

From the number of stores already in the area, it would appear Walmart believes its “Manifest Destiny” is to pave over the landscape at strategic intersections where research analysis indicates a potential growth market within 10 miles. But the company’s professed interest in local communities seems shallow when framed against this reality: Walmart seeks to build literally across the street from a national shrine.

Wilderness is not just another historic site. Arguably the largest and most horrific battle of the Civil War, with more than 160,000 total combatants (Gettysburg had 30,000 fewer), the Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-6, 1864) was also among the bloodiest with 29,000 casualties (killed, wounded and captured).

It marked the first direct contest between armies commanded by Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The fighting was desperate. Fires erupted and smoke obscured the lines amid the tangled underbrush. Many wounded were consumed, screaming in the inferno. Years later veterans would liken the struggle to Indian warfare — a “great bushwhacking in the woods.”

Although neither side gained clear advantage, the battle signalled a turning point. Wilderness marked the beginning of the long slog to Appromattox as Grant wheeled south toward Richmond after the battle instead of withdrawing as his predecessors in Union command had done in each of three earlier campaigns.

On behalf of all tourists, Civil War buffs yet unborn and fellow pilgrims of history, I sincerely hope Walmart will have the decency to shelve its proposed complex or move it elsewhere and avert another potential “bushwhacking in the Wilderness.”

It would be more than tragic if the last casualty of the Wilderness turned out to be the battlefield itself.

Hollis is director of the General Longstreet Recognition Project in Washington, D.C.

Independence Monument Proposed for South Carolina

Group proposing Secession monument in SC

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Sons of Confederate Veterans are proposing a monument commemorating the ordinance by which South Carolina seceded before the Civil War.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Thursday the group approached the Patriots Point Development Authority about putting the monument at the authority's naval and maritime museum on Charleston Harbor.

The proposed 11 1/2-foot stone memorial would include the wording of the ordinance and the names of the 170 signers. The monument would be placed at Patriots Point.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans' South Carolina division is proposing to install
a nearly 12-feet-tall stone memorial as the centerpiece of a 40-foot by 40-foot landscaped plaza at the state-owned tourist attraction.

Designed by Pelion artist Ron Clamp, the rectangular structure would be made from blue Georgia granite and would measure five-feet wide on each side.

The group plans to raise $160,000 and hopes to have the monument completed by December, the 150th anniversary of the signing.

The authority board says it needs more time to consider the idea and will consider it next month.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

Saturday, January 23, 2010

South Carolina Government Short Changes Heritage

S.C. not spending on Civil War anniversary
By Brian Hicks - The (Charleston) Post and Courier

For the past few years, the state of Virginia has put up to $2 million annually into planning, programming and advertising for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Kentucky has put at least $1 million into its efforts, while Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas are refurbishing historical markers, sprucing up battlefields and planning for the expected tourism bonanza.

But in South Carolina - where the war began and still permeates the landscape - state officials have put almost no money into events for the sesquicentennial. And even though the 150th anniversary of South Carolina's secession is less than a year away, that's not likely to change any time soon. Some people fear the state is going to miss out on some needed tourism dollars.

Secessionists may be honored

A group seeking to commemorate the 170 South Carolinians who signed the ordinance of secession nearly 150 years ago wants to place a monument to recognize the historic event on the grounds at Patriots Point.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans' South Carolina division is proposing to install a nearly 12-feet-tall stone memorial as the centerpiece of a 40-foot by 40-foot landscaped plaza at the state-owned tourist attraction.

Designed by Pelion artist Ron Clamp, the rectangular structure would be made from blue Georgia granite and would measure five-feet wide on each side.

Now, state and local officials are developing a plan to expand tourism in the Charleston area and want suggestions from the public. A hearing is being held Thursday at Santee Cooper headquarters in Moncks Corner.

"It's not about white or black, or blue or gray - it's about green," said Randy Burbage, South Carolina division commander for the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "I think we're missing out on a huge economic opportunity because of all the tourism."

Right now, there are conferences scheduled for December (the anniversary of secession) and April 2011 (the anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter). Heritage groups are planning re-enactments, commemorations and other programming. Many groups say other events are in the planning stage but are not ready to be announced.

Still, next to Virginia - which has produced a DVD documentary for school children - South Carolina's dance card seems a bit light.

"We're doing a lot with no money," said Robert Rosen, a member of the state's Sesquicentennial Advisory Board and president of the Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie Trust, which is planning Lowcountry events.

Confederate Hero Remembered In Little Rock

Crowd remembers Rebel Martyr
17-year-old Dodd, hanged in 1864, compared with Nathan Hale
By Charlie Frago

W. Danny Honnoll (right) leads a prayer Saturday at the grave of David O. Dodd, who was executed by Union troops for being a Confederate spy.

A 17-year-old boy hanged by Union troops for spying during the Civil War was a hero, a leader of the Sons of Confederate Veterans told a small crowd gathered Saturday in Little Rock’s Mount Holly Cemetery.

Mark Kalkbrenner of White Hall gave a brief speech about the legacy of David O. Dodd, the boy who was executed on Jan. 8, 1864, after being found with information on Union troop strength in Little Rock.

Dodd never gave up any names of other spies and his death was a brave one, said Kalkbrenner, commander of the Arkansas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Kalkbrenner compared Dodd’s actions with those of Nathan Hale, a Revolutionary War hero hanged for espionage ...

For the rest of the story see:

ANV Announces Scholarship

To Division Commanders of the Army of Northern Virginia:

I am pleased to announce that the ANV Russell Darden Scholarship Committee is ready to begin receiving essays for this years contest. The subject matter is "1860" - Prelude to War.

I am also pleased to announce that we have raised the scholarship to $2500. I hope this significant boost will spur more interest in our scholarship program. Please remember that applicants must follow the rules we have set out. Any deviation will result in disqualification.

Contact Brag Bowling at 1-804-389-3620 for a copy of the scholarship rules and guidelines and application form for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Army of Northern Virginia Russell Darden Scholarship in the amount of $2500.

Please give this scholarship email the widest possible distribution within your Divisions. It is important to cultivate young minds and also to promote the SCV. I think this scholarship is a great way of doing both.

Brag Bowling
Army of Northern Virginia

S. D. Lee Institute - Nashville, TN Feb. 26-27

The Stephen Dill Lee Institute is taking reservations for the meeting on February 26-27 in Nashville. Please go to our website at for Institute registration and hotel reservations.

Registrations are also being taken at SCV Headquarters at 1-800-My Dixie. Dont miss this unforgettable event. The Institute also has a limited number of scholarships for students and teachers.

For further information call Brag Bowling at 1-804-389-3620.




8:30 Opening ceremony

9am Kent Masterson Brown An Indissoluble Union

10am Brion McClanahan The Politically Incorrect History of the Founding Fathers

11am Marshall DeRosa The South Shall Rise Again: The New State Sovereignty Movement


1:30 W. Kirk Wood The Truth About States Rights

2:30 Donald Livingston The Case for Secession

3:30 Question and Answer with all speakers

5:30pm Open cash bar reception

6:30 Banquet
Thomas DiLorenzo banquet speaker The South was Right (Again): The Implosion of the Yankee Empire

Lee and Jackson Celebrated in New York City

New York City's Archibald Gracie Camp #985 honors Generals Lee and Jackson. Go to the the following link for a report on the event and to see the photos.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lee and Jackson Celebrated in Deleware

Delaware history: Confederate generals celebrated in Sussex
By J.L. MILLER • The News Journal • January 17, 2010

GEORGETOWN -- Confederate flags fluttered in the breeze Saturday as a small group of people came together to celebrate the memory of two Southern generals and a chapter of Delaware history that slowly is being rediscovered.

Members of the Delaware Grays Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 2068 and the United Daughters of the Confederacy Caleb Ross Chapter 2635 gathered at the Delaware Confederate Monument in Georgetown to remember Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

"We are gathered here to pay tribute to two very honorable men," Robert B. Eldreth Jr., commander of the Delaware Grays, told the crowd.

The event celebrated the 203rd birthday of Lee, who was born Jan. 19, 1807, and the 186th birthday of Jackson, born Jan. 21, 1824.

But it also celebrated the memory of those Delawareans who chose to wear Confederate gray instead of Union blue, men whose numbers are estimated anywhere from the hundreds to 2,000.

"The monument you see here was erected to pay tribute to the citizens of Delaware, our beloved state," Eldreth said. "The preservation of our history for future generations is something we can't let get out of our hands."

On the monument are the names of everyday men, farmers, fishermen, even a onetime News Journal reporter, John W. Dunning of Dover. Dunning was a private in the famed Mosby's Rangers.

Tracking down the names of Delawareans who fought against the Union can be difficult, as they had to go out of state to join Confederate units. Although a border state with divided loyalties, Delaware stayed in the Union.

But as research continues, more names are being unearthed, and each qualifies for a spot on the monument -- which is now full.

Dover resident Anne Happoldt is researching academic rosters, including those of Delaware College, the forerunner to the University of Delaware, for Delaware Confederates.

She found a group of Choctaw Indians who attended Delaware College before the school closed in 1859 amid financial difficulties. Because the Choctaw tribe backed the Confederacy and the students had lived in Delaware, some might qualify as Delaware Confederates.

But there are about 200 names already awaiting a spot on the monument, something the Delaware Grays hopes to rectify.

"We're working feverishly to raise money to purchase two more stones," Eldreth said. That will cost about $4,000, he said.

Confederate soldiers who returned to their native state sometimes faced hostility, and today there are many who see Confederate flags as a symbol of slavery and racism.

But members of the Delaware Grays say they're only honoring their ancestors, men who fought for a cause in which they believed.

"We're not here representing hatred," Eldreth said. "That flag is a symbol of our heritage

Remembering Robert E. Lee

Duty is the sublimest word in the language. You can never do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less

Remembering Robert E. Lee

By Calvin E. Johnson Jr. Saturday, January 16, 2010

“Duty is the sublimest word in the language. You can never do more than your duty. You should never wish to do less.”—Robert E. Lee

Did you know that Paul Revere, Betsy Ross, Martin Luther King and Robert E. Lee were born during the month of January? History can be great fun when parents and grandparents share stories about the past with their children making the study of American history a ‘Family Affair.’

Tuesday, January 19, 2010, is the 203rd birthday of Robert E. Lee, whose memory is still dear in the hearts of many Americans and people throughout God’s good earth.

During Robert E. Lee’s 100th birthday in 1907, Charles Francis Adams, Jr., a former Union Army Commander and grandson of United States President John Quincy Adams, spoke in tribute to Robert E. Lee at Washington and Lee College’s Lee Chapel in Lexington, Virginia. His speech was printed in both Northern and Southern newspapers and is said to had lifted Lee to a renewed respect among the American people.

Robert E. Lee-Stonewall Jackson Day events are planned for Saturday, January 16, 2010, in Lexington, Virginia that includes a Memorial at Lee Chapel featuring Guest Speaker Pastor John Weaver, Past Chaplain in Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. For additional information go to:

Many more events are planned for Lee’s birthday that includes:

The United Daughters of the Confederacy’s annual Robert E. Lee birthday commemoration held in front of Lee’s statue which is in the Crypt area of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. See upcoming events at: and

The Sons of Confederate Veterans 23rd Annual Robert E. Lee birthday celebration in Milledgeville, Ga. on Saturday, January 23, 2010, beginning with a 10:45 a.m. march from the old governor’s mansion to the one time capitol building of Georgia. See details at:

Do you remember when….

On August 5, 1975, 110 years after Gen. Lee’s application, President Gerald Ford signed Joint Resolution 23, restoring the long overdue full rights of citizenship to Gen. Robert E. Lee. Read more at:

Who was Robert E. Lee?
Robert E. Lee was born on Monday Jan. 19, 1807, at ‘Stratford’ in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The winter was cold and the fireplaces were little help for Robert’s mother, Ann Hill (Carter) Lee.

Ann Lee named her son ‘Robert Edward’ after two of her brothers.

Robert E. Lee undoubtedly acquired his love of country from those who lived during the American Revolution. His Father, ‘Light Horse’ Harry was a Revolutionary War Hero, served three terms as Governor of Virginia and was elected to the United States House of Representatives. Two members of his family also signed the Declaration of Independence.

Lee was educated at the schools of Alexandria, Va., and he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1825. He graduated in 1829, second in his class and without a single demerit.

Robert E. Lee’s first assignment was to Cockspur Island, Georgia, to supervise the construction of Fort Pulaski.

While serving as 2nd Lieutenant of Engineers at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Lee wed Mary Ann Randolph Custis. Mary was the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the Grandson of Martha Washington and adopted son of George Washington.

Mary was an only child; therefore, she inherited Arlington House, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., where she and Robert E. Lee raised seven children.

In 1836, Lee was appointed to first Lieutenant. In 1838, with the rank of Captain, Robert E. Lee fought in the War with Mexicoand was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec.

Lee was appointed Superintendent of the United States Military Academy in 1852.

General Winfield Scott offered Robert E. Lee command of the Union Army in 1861, but he refused. He said, “I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children.”

Lee served as adviser to President Jefferson Davis, and then on June 1, 1862, commanded the legendary Army of Northern Virginia.

After four terrible years of death and destruction, Gen. Robert E. Lee met Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia and ended their battles.

Lee was called Marse Robert, Uncle Robert and Marble Man.

In October 1865, Lee was offered and accepted the presidency of troubled Washington College in Lexington, Virginia. The school was later renamed Washington and Lee College in his honor.

Robert E. Lee died of a heart attack at 9:30 AM on the morning of October 12, 1870, at the college and is buried at Lee Chapel with his family and near his favorite horse, Traveller.

Booker T. Washington, America’s great Black-American Educator wrote in 1910, “The first white people in America, certainly the first in the South to exhibit their interest in the reaching of the Negro and saving his soul through the medium of the Sunday-school were Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.”

Let’s not forget those who made our nation great!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mississippi Plans for Sesquicentennial

Commission plans for Civil War Sesquicentennial
by Lena Mitchel/NEMS Daily Journal

CORINTH – Members of the governor-appointed Mississippi Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission expect to lay out plans for the state’s commemoration and begin publicizing this year.

However, the group has met only once, with a second meeting in Corinth aborted in November by lack of a quorum.

With state Legislature starting the 2010 session last week, the commission will need lawmakers to act quickly to allocate funding for its work, something it did not do when it authorized the commission last year.

Without that funding it may be left to individual cities and communities to beef up their ongoing Civil War events to highlight that historic period.

“The Legislature put together the commission but did not fund it in any way,” said Kristy White, executive director of the Corinth Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The route between Corinth and Vicksburg is a naturally significant corridor, so we’ve decided to work together and do some cooperative things like an itinerary for motor-coach and car tours. We don’t have a formal agreement, but these are things we can market at some of the Civil War consumer shows and other places.”

Corinth is a pivotal Civil War site in Northeast Mississippi as the focal point for the Battle of Shiloh.

That connection between Corinth and Shiloh has brought significant financial support through federal and state appropriations.

In the past six or seven years the Siege and Battle of Corinth Commission has established the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center and the Corinth Contraband Camp; bought significant amounts of battlefield acreage; and has secured funding to begin restoring the Verandah-Curlee House Museum, used as military headquarters for both Confederate and Union generals during the war.

During the same period, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Department of Transportation have provided significant funding to restore the Old Corinth Depot to house the Crossroads Museum and the Railway Express Building as headquarters for the Corinth Area CVB.

The interpretive center and contraband camp are both managed by the National Park Service as units of Shiloh National Military Park, and plans are to bring the Verandah-Curlee House Museum under NPS management as well.

A project to update the orientation film at the visitors center is a priority for the 2012 commemoration events at Shiloh, said Superintendent Woody Harrell. A new orientation film for Corinth’s interpretive center is nearing completion and is planned to premiere April 6, 2012.

“The film is 52 years old and somewhat outdated, and people have talked about doing a replacement for a number of years,” Harrell said.

“We’ve taken entrance fee money for about seven years and put together enough to tackle the project of making the film. In December we executed a contract with a film company. They’ll begin preparing the script and doing all the other work between now and April 2011. Then they’ll do the filming at the same time of the year as the battle occurred, and have another 12 months for post-production like editing, developing the music score and so forth.”

The contract calls for a cost of about $390,000 to $400,000 to complete the project, Harrell said.

The Brices Crossroads Battlefield in Baldwyn is represented on the state commission by Executive Director and Curator Edwina Carpenter.

“One of our goals is to demonstrate to the public the opportunities to learn about history and the opportunities Brices Crossroads brings to Baldwyn,” Carpenter said.

“By 2011, the sesquicentennial of Brices Crossroads, we should have three new interpretive pull-off areas here, a brand new trail and a pull-off site and interpretation of the Battle of Tupelo, increasing awareness of the public about the battles fought in this area.”

New construction also is set to get under way at the Brices Crossroads Visitors Center, adding a wing to interpret the Battle of Tupelo.

“The Brices Crossroads National Battlefield Commission received a grant for this work and purchased property in Tupelo also,” Carpenter said.

The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Brices Crossroads will be June 10, 2014, and will undoubtedly draw thousands more re-enactors than do the regular biennial re-enactments, she said.

The Mississippi Civil War Trails project also continues to develop, with the work at the Brices Crossroads Museum and Interpretive Center the final piece of construction work to be completed at Trails sites, said Jim Woodrick of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, which manages the $6.2 million project.

The sites will become part of The Civil War Preservation Trust’s Civil War Discovery Trail.

Plans for commemoration events at the Okolona Battlefield have not been decided yet, said spokeswoman Patsy Gregory. However, a book released in November chronicling the Battle of Okolona has sparked great interest.

“We are real excited,” Gregory said. “It’s the first book written about the battle, written by a man who moved from Virginia to this area to research it. He had a book signing (recently) and more than 50 people came to get a book. I’ve had even more inquiries about it since then.”

The Civil War is an ongoing topic of interest even when no significant commemoration events are planned, and Corinth Area CVB’s White thinks the interest will continue to heighten as the sesquicentennial dates come closer.

White recently hosted a writer for the AAA magazine who visited Vicksburg, Brices Crossroads, Corinth and Shiloh.

“There is always a lot of interest in the Civil War and people are interested in traveling to the sites of those history-making events,” White said. “Any mention we get in the Triple A magazine or any other national publication will help us tremendously.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or

- The Civil War Preservation Trust lists 39 Mississippi sites on its Civil War Discovery Trail (, with 10 of those sites in Corinth. Two additional sites are pending.

• Battery F, Corinth

• Battery Robinett, Corinth

• Beauvoir: The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library, Biloxi

• Brice’s Crossroads Battlefield Visitor and Interpretive Center, Baldwyn

• Campaign of 1862- Driving Tour of Corinth Campaign

• Confederate Cemetery, Raymond

• Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center

• Corinth Contraband Camp

• Corinth National Cemetery

• Crossroads Museum, Corinth

• Driving Tour of Historic Raymond

• Fort Massachusetts on West Ship Island, Ocean Springs

• Fort Pemberton, Greenwood

• Friendship Cemetery, Columbus

• Grand Gulf Military Monument Park, Port Gibson

• Grenada Lake

• Longwood, Natchez

• Manship House Museum, Jackson

• Marshall County Historical Museum, Holly Springs

• Melrose, Natchez

• Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Jackson

• Natchez National Cemetery

• Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History, Jackson

• Old Court House Museum and Eva W. Davis Memorial, Vicksburg

• Port Gibson Battlefield

• Rail Crossing-Trailhead Park, Corinth

• Raymond Battlefield

• Raymond Courthouse

• Rosemont Plantation/ Home of Jefferson Davis, Woodville

• St. Marks Episcopal Church, Raymond

• The Beauregard Line, Corinth

• The Coker House Interpretive Center, Champion Hill (to be added with Mississippi Civil War Trails)

• The Oaks House Museum, Jackson

• The Shaifer House Interpretive Center, Port Gibson (to be added with Mississippi Civil War Trails)

• The Verandah-Curlee House, Corinth

• The William Johnson House, Natchez

• Tupelo National Battlefield

• Vicksburg Battlefield Museum

• Vicksburg National Military Park

• Waverly Plantation Mansion, West Point

• Windsor Ruins, Natchez

Flags Face Uncertain Future

Civil War flags may face their toughest battle yet
By Chris Carola

ALBANY, N.Y. - They made it through Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg, but many of the Civil War battle flags in the nation's state-owned collections might not survive the budget battles being waged in some statehouses.
Preservation work on deteriorating banners carried in some of the war's bloodiest battles has been eliminated, scaled back, or ignored by state budget planners focused on finding money for basics such as education, health care, and transportation.

In New York, home to the nation's largest state-owned collection of Civil War battle flags, money for a preservation project is being cut from Gov. David Paterson's proposed budget. Indiana's funding for flag conservation has been returned to the state's general fund. Ohio hasn't provided government funding for its 400-plus Civil War battle flags in nearly a decade.

Another recent budget casualty is Pennsylvania's allocation for maintaining the battle-flag collection it preserved in the 1980s.

"Thank goodness we did it back then," Ruthann Hubbert-Kemper, executive director of the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee, said of the project, which conserved all of the Keystone State's nearly 400 Civil War battle flags.

The lack of funding for flag preservation could hurt efforts to promote the 150th anniversary of the Civil War next year.

Battle flags are commonly used in Civil War exhibits, but usually only after lengthy preservation work that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Staging publicity-generating events using the flags may be more difficult in the run-up to the Civil War sesquicentennial in 2011, advocates say.

"This isn't the time to be cutting this. It's the time to be increasing it, because it will be bring in tourism dollars," said Ed Norris of Lancaster, Mass., head of the battle-flag preservation committee for the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

The total number of battle flags in state-owned collections isn't clear, but it's likely several thousand, only a fraction of which have been preserved. Some have deteriorated into mere fragments and fringe, victims of neglect or exposure to light, heat, and humidity.

"Time is the enemy," Hubbert-Kemper said.

With New York facing a budget deficit in the billions of dollars, the state is dropping its $100,000 annual funding for flag preservation, parks agency spokesman Dan Keefe said.

Civil War buffs and historians consider battle flags, especially those damaged by shot and shell, to be among the most compelling artifacts to survive the war. Flags marked a regiment's location on the battlefield, and flag bearers made prominent targets. Some banners are stained with blood.

"There are many flags that were carried in battle heroically by soldiers who died in doing so," said Christopher Morton, assistant curator at the State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, where many of New York's flags are stored.

In the South, several states rely on donations from reenactment groups and descendants of Confederate soldiers to fund flag preservation.

The Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va., is home to the largest Civil War battle-flag collection in the South, with more than 500.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Florida Student Assulted for Display of Confederate Flag

Florida Teen Arrested in Scuffle Over Confederate Flag
Sunday, January 10, 2010

NAPLES, Fla. — A Naples high school student was charged with felony battery over a scuffle with another student who had a Confederate flag displayed on his car.

Collier County Sheriff's deputies responded to Lely High School Friday to a complaint that one student tried to pull another student out of the car.

A report shows that 18-year-old Alfredo David was arrested at the scene. The victim was not identified.

He told authorities David taunted him to try to start a fight over the flag, punched him in the chest through the open windows and then tried to pull him out of the car.

There was no phone number listed for David.,2933,582724,00.html?test=latestnews

Lee and Jackson Remembered

Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson Were Anti-Slavery
By Chuck Baldwin
Published 01/11/10

Praise For Lee And Jackson
January is often referred to as "Generals Month" since no less than four famous Confederate Generals claimed January as their birth month: James Longstreet (Jan. 8, 1821), Robert E. Lee (Jan. 19, 1807), Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (Jan. 21, 1824), and George Pickett (Jan. 28, 1825). Two of these men, Lee and Jackson, are particularly noteworthy.

Without question, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were two of the greatest military leaders of all time. Even more, many military historians regard the Lee and Jackson tandem as perhaps the greatest battlefield duo in the history of warfare. If Jackson had survived the battle of Chancellorsville, it is very possible that the South would have prevailed at Gettysburg and perhaps would even have won the War Between the States.

In fact, it was Lord Roberts, commander-in-chief of the British armies in the early twentieth century, who said, "In my opinion, Stonewall Jackson was one of the greatest natural military geniuses the world ever saw. I will go even further than that--as a campaigner in the field, he never had a superior. In some respects, I doubt whether he ever had an equal."

While the strategies and circumstances of the War of Northern Aggression can (and will) be debated by professionals and laymen alike, one fact is undeniable: Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson were two of the finest Christian gentlemen this country has ever produced. Both their character and their conduct were beyond reproach.

Unlike his northern counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant, General Lee never sanctioned or condoned slavery. Upon inheriting slaves from his deceased father-in-law, Lee freed them. And according to historians, Jackson enjoyed a familial relationship with those few slaves that were in his home. In addition, unlike Abraham Lincoln and U.S. Grant, there is no record of either Lee or Jackson ever speaking disparagingly of the black race.

As those who are familiar with history know, General Grant and his wife held personal slaves before and during the War Between the States, and, contrary to popular opinion, even Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free the slaves of the North. They were not freed until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed after the conclusion of the war. Grant's excuse for not freeing his slaves was that "good help is so hard to come by these days."

Furthermore, it is well established that Jackson regularly conducted a Sunday School class for black children. This was a ministry he took very seriously. As a result, he was dearly loved and appreciated by the children and their parents.

In addition, both Jackson and Lee emphatically supported the abolition of slavery. In fact, Lee called slavery "a moral and political evil." He also said "the best men in the South" opposed it and welcomed its demise. Jackson said he wished to see "the shackles struck from every slave."

To think that Lee and Jackson (and the vast majority of Confederate soldiers) would fight and die to preserve an institution they considered evil and abhorrent--and that they were already working to dismantle--is the height of absurdity. It is equally repugnant to impugn and denigrate the memory of these remarkable Christian gentlemen.

In fact, after refusing Abraham Lincoln's offer to command the Union Army in 1861, Robert E. Lee wrote to his sister on April 20 of that year to explain his decision. In the letter he wrote, "With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the army and save in defense of my native state, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed . . ."

Lee's decision to resign his commission with the Union Army must have been the most difficult decision of his life. Remember that Lee's direct ancestors had fought in America's War For Independence. His father, "Light Horse Harry" Henry Lee, was a Revolutionary War hero, Governor of Virginia, and member of Congress. In addition, members of his family were signatories to the Declaration of Independence.

Remember, too, that not only did Robert E. Lee graduate from West Point "at the head of his class" (according to Benjamin Hallowell), he is yet today one of only six cadets to graduate from that prestigious academy without a single demerit.

However, Lee knew that Lincoln's decision to invade the South in order to prevent its secession was both immoral and unconstitutional. As a man of honor and integrity, the only thing Lee could do was that which his father had done: fight for freedom and independence. And that is exactly what he did.

Instead of allowing a politically correct culture to sully the memory of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson, all Americans should hold them in a place of highest honor and respect. Anything less is a disservice to history and a disgrace to the principles of truth and integrity.

Accordingly, it was more than appropriate that the late President Gerald Ford, on August 5, 1975, signed Senate Joint Resolution 23, "restoring posthumously the long overdue, full rights of citizenship to General Robert E. Lee." According to President Ford, "This legislation corrects a 110-year oversight of American history." He further said, "General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations . . ."

The significance of the lives of Generals Lee and Jackson cannot be overvalued. While the character and influence of most of us will barely be remembered two hundred days after our departure, the sterling character of these men has endured for two hundred years. What a shame that so many of America's youth are being robbed of knowing and studying the virtue and integrity of the great General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

Furthermore, it is no hyperbole to say that the confederated, constitutional republic so ably declared by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence of 1776 and codified into statute by the U.S. Constitution of 1787 was, for the most part, expunged at the Appomattox Court House in 1865. After all, it was (and is) the responsibility of the states to be the ultimate vanguard of liberty. Without a tenacious, unrelenting defense of liberty by the sovereign states, we are reduced to ever-burgeoning oppression--which is exactly what we see happening today.

Thankfully, freedom's heartbeat is still felt among at least a few states. State sovereignty resolutions (proposed in over 30 states), Firearms Freedom acts (passed in 2 states--Montana and Tennessee--and being proposed in at least 12 other states), and official letters (Montana), statements (Texas Governor Rick Perry), and resolutions (Georgia and Montana) threatening secession have already taken place.

Yes, freedom-loving Americans in this generation may need to awaken to the prospect that--in order for freedom to survive--secession may, once again, be in order. One thing is for sure: any State that will not protect and defend their citizens' right to keep and bear arms cannot be counted on to do diddlysquat to maintain essential freedom. It is time for people to start deciding whether they want to live free or not--and if they do, to seriously consider relocating to states that yet have a heartbeat for liberty.

I will say it straight out: any State that will not protect your right to keep and bear arms is a tyrannical State! And if it is obvious that the freedom-loving citizens of that State are powerless to change it via the ballot box, they should leave the State to its slaves and seek a land of liberty.

I, for one, am thankful for the example and legacy of men such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. They were the spiritual soul mates of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. They were men that loved freedom; they were men that loved federalism and constitutional government; and they were men of courage and understanding. They understood that, sometimes, political separation is the only way that freedom can survive. Long live the spirit of Washington, Jefferson, Lee, and Jackson!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sunken Yankee Gunboat Found in Texas

Civil War history surfaces with help of Austin archaeology group

More than 140 years later, Texas City Channel yields sunken Union vessel. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Bob Gearhart Archaeologist is cataloging wreck items.

The Battle of Galveston came alive for Bob Gearhart with a dive into 46 feet of visually impenetrable Texas City Channel water.

Surveying, site mapping and dredge scheduling gave way to the acrid smoke of cannon and rifle fire of a surprise attack on Jan. 1, 1863, which for a time, returned the city of Galveston to Confederate control. In the chaos of the following morning, the USS Westfield, flagship of the Union blockade there, ran aground in 7 feet of water near Pelican Spit in Galveston Bay.

As Cmdr. William B. Renshaw prepared to destroy the Westfield rather than allow her to be captured, the side-wheel ferryboat exploded, killing Renshaw and a boat crew assisting him. What hadn't been carried off by the crew before the explosion remained deep in the Texas City Channel.

The passage is deep, but not deep enough for satisfactory international ship navigation. In 2004, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a

$71 million partnership with the oil and refinery businesses that depend upon a navigable Texas City Channel to deepen it. To ensure the integrity of archaeological preservation, the corps hired a nautical archaeology group from Austin headed by Gearhart, who works with PBS&J , a national engineering, environmental and construction planning company.

Many of the assignments Gearhart has taken on in his 20 years with PBS&J involve disproving the archaeological significance of areas in the way of construction or improvement. Of the five sites with possible historical significance that PBS&J surveyed for the Texas City Channel, four yielded finds, such as a sunken channel buoy and a thick piece of steel cable.

The importance of the fifth was confirmed when a diver in the black water bumped into an 11-foot-long piece of metal with an opening at one end.

On Dec. 10, that piece of metal — a 10,000-pound Dahlgren cannon, one of 1,200 made during the Civil War and one of only 50 recovered — was unveiled at Texas A&M University's Institute of Nautical Archaeology.

"It's the pinnacle for me so far for projects like this," said Gearhart, who is cataloging everything recovered by the Westfield wreck.

"This was the flagship of the Union fleet. The surrender of Galveston Island took place on the Westfield. You think about how the war might have been different had she not run aground," he said. "It's so cool."

The members of Gearhart's team was relatively certain they had located the Westfield as early as 2005. Their plan to recover her permits from the Texas Historical Commission and the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command . The diving expedition to locate her was made in 2008, Gearhart said. The raising of the cannon Nov. 22 and the recovery of the rest of the salvageable metal followed almost a year of planning for the dredging of the channel by the Army Corps of Engineers, he said. The cost of the archaeological portion of the dredging bill was about $3 million, he said.

What the team found was the metal leftovers of a craft built by tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt to be a Staten Island Ferry but was instead sold to and armed by the Union with the outbreak of the Civil War.

"There was no part of the hull left, just a scattering of metal artifacts," Gearhart said. "When the ship ran aground, much of the material pertaining to the war was probably taken off. The Confederate Army also salvaged some of the Westfield later in the war because they needed the metal."

After some testing to ensure nothing would be damaged, the team employed a powerful electromagnet with a face 5½ feet in diameter to pull up larger metal pieces. The team recovered several thousand artifacts, down to tiny, rust-encrusted nails. Other items included 19 cannon balls and 11 oval-shaped U.S. Army buckles, their lead faces stripped of their brass coating.

"We were surprised and pleased to discover that the firebox was intact," Gearhart said. "The iron grates, side by side, where the coal was shoveled in, were still in place."

The tagging, description and cataloging of each artifact should be completed by the end of January, Gearhart said. The items will all eventually be taken for preservation at the Conservation Research Laboratory at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology in College Station .

"This is a part of history I knew nothing about until we got started," Gearhart said. "I have an appreciation now for the role that the Westfield played in the Civil War. In my experience, this is my best project so far."

"Grey Ghost" Remembered in Georgia

'Gray Ghost' fueled Culpepper's fascination with Civil War
By Winston Skinner

The Times-Herald
Newnan, GA

John Culpepper is a genial man who has spent most of his six decades a few minutes from one of America's most famous Civil War sites.

The chairman of the Georgia Civil War Commission, Culpepper and his family lived in North Carolina until moving to Chickamauga in northwest Georgia in 1958. "My dad was a textile worker," he said.

Chickamauga was a textile town at that time, but it was the town's tie to Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park just a mile away that fascinated Culpepper. As a youth, he spent many hours on his bicycle riding around the park and other sites reminiscent of the Civil War days.

Culpepper, 64, is working to encourage Georgia communities and organizations to get prepared for the Civil War's 150th anniversary -- which will be observed from 2011-2015. He recently spoke to members of a local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp.

Culpepper grew up in the cowboys-and-Indians era. Many television shows of the time featured cowpokes and gunslingers. A 1957 series, "The Gray Ghost," captivated young Culpepper.

The series starred Tod Andrews as Maj. John Singleton Mosby, a daring Confederate hero. One of Mosby's Rangers was William Thomas Overby, who grew up in Coweta County and was hanged by Union troops in Virginia in 1864 after he refused to reveal the location of Mosby and his comrades.

Overby's remains were exhumed from a rural Virginia cemetery and reinterred at Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan in 1997. A large monument to Overby -- sometimes called "the Nathan Hale of the Confederacy" -- is on the grounds of the Coweta County Courthouse, and a state historical marker designates the site of his boyhood home on Highway 34 west of Newnan.

Culpepper remembered that -- after becoming a fan of "The Gray Ghost" -- "I became fascinated with the war."


FEBRUARY 26-27 2010

The American System of Liberty:
Nullification, Secession and States’ Rights

The Institute is now taking registrations and reservations for our upcoming meeting on February 26-27 in Nashville. Please call our headquarters at Elm Springs to register (1-800-MY DIXIE) or register at .

Don’t miss Thomas DiLorenzo, Donald Livingston, Kent Masterson Brown Marshall DeRosa, W. Kirk Wood, and Brion McClanahan.

A special treat will occur on Friday evening with a book signing by the authors and an unforgettable historical lecture on The Battle of Franklin by nationally known historian Thomas Cartwright.

Anyone desiring information can contact Brag Bowling at 804-389-3620.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Georgia Governor Signs Confederate History Month Proclamation


WHEREAS: April is the month in which the Confederate States of America began a four-year conflict in the Civil War. Confederate Memorial Day on April 26 is a time when Georgians honor the more than 90,000 brave men and women who served the Confederate States of America. Georgia joined the Confederacy in January 1861 when a convention ratified the ordinance of secession, and Georgia has long cherished her Confederate history and the great leaders who made sacrifices on her behalf; and

WHEREAS: Among those who served the Confederacy were Native Americans who saw action in the Confederate armed forces as well as in governmental service. Two such individuals who made a significant contribution to the state’s history were Stand Watie and Elias Cornelius Boudinot, both born in Calhoun County; and

WHEREAS: In 1861, Stand Watie was commissioned as a Colonel in the First Cherokee Mounted Rifles and by May 1864 rose to the rank of Brigadier General. He and his unit participated in 27 major engagements and numerous smaller skirmishes, more than any other unit encountered west of the Mississippi River. Watie participated in what is considered to be the most significant Confederate victory in Indian Territory, which took place at Cabin Creek during mid-September 1864. He led a raid that captured a Federal wagon train and netted approximately one million dollars worth of wagons, mules, commissary supplies, and other needed items. In February 1865, Watie was given command of the Indian Division of Indian Territory. He officially surrendered on June 23, 1865 with the distinction of being the last Confederate General to surrender and the only one to be a Cherokee Indian; and

WHEREAS: Elias Cornelius Boudinot served as secretary of the Arkansas secession convention in May 1861 and later joined the regiment raised by his uncle, Stand Watie on December 4, 1861. Boudinot rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before being elected as Cherokee delegate to the Confederate States Congress. This made him the first Native American to hold such a position, and it is where he earned his reputation as an Indian spokesman. After the war, he continued to fight for the rights of all Indians and called for Indian Territory to be made an official territory of the United States. He helped write proposed legislation naming the new territory "Oklahoma"; and

WHEREAS: It is important that Georgians reflect upon our state’s past and honor and respect the devotion of her Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens; now

THEREFORE: I, SONNY PERDUE, Governor of the state of Georgia, do hereby proclaim April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH and April 26, 2010, as CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY in Georgia and encourage our citizens to observe this occasion with appropriate ceremonies.

In witness thereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the Executive Department to be affixed this 1st day of December in the year of our Lord two thousand nine.

UDC Honors Black Confederates

UDC members hold grave marking ceremony for 18 Confederate soldiers

A most unusual memorial grave marking ceremony was recently held at Maplewood Cemetery in Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee. This was the dedication of markers for 18 Tennessee Colored Confederate Pensioners. Pamela Wood of Sparta and Barbara Parsons of Crossville, both members of the Capt. Sally Tompkins 2123 UDC, attended the impressive ceremony.

Cathy Gordon Wood, president of the Giles County 257, United Daughters of the Confederacy, used newspaper accounts and Tennessee Colored Confederate Pension applications to locate these Giles County men, their respective service to the Confederacy, and their family members. One of the Colored Confederates received the Southern Cross of Honor for his service.

The Captain Sally Tompkins 2123 UDC chapter in Cookeville has marked four Colored Confederate graves, and chapter member Pamela Wood (no relation to Cathy Wood) currently serves as chairman of the Tennessee Recognition of Black Confederates committee. When she began planning this memorial service, Cathy Wood of Pulaski contacted the chapter regarding the grave markings they had done, and also Pamela Wood for procedure to apply for the Veterans Administration markers since the chapter had applied for and received four VA markers for Colored Confederates in the past.

To the great shock of everyone involved the VA refused to supply the markers for the 18 Colored Confederates, stating that they were slaves and did not qualify. Several of these Colored Confederate veterans had attended military reunions for many years up until their deaths. They had received pensions from the state of Tennessee for their service. May 23, 1958, Confederate veterans were declared by the U.S. Congress as, “All Confederate veterans are U.S. military veterans, and deserve all the rights and honors pertinent to such service.” Quote from U.S. Statutes at large, Volume 72, Part 1, Pages 133-134.

Though many efforts were made to secure the proper recognition for these Colored Confederate veterans, the VA would not change their position, stating the men served as cooks, teamsters, and body servants, not as soldiers. This argument does not hold up because men who served in these same positions in the Union army have been given VA grave markers. This is a clear case of discrimination by the Veterans Administration.

Rather than allowing 18 Confederate soldiers to go unmarked, the Giles County 257 UDC chapter began a fundraising effort and raised the necessary funds to purchase the markers. The Capt. Sally Tompkins 2123 UDC also sent a donation to aid in the purchase these markers.

Property was purchased in Maplewood Cemetery and a double rainbow of 18 grave markers were placed together. There will also be a fence placed around the markers; however, it had been raining too much to be able to install the fence before the dedication service.

Approximately 300 people attended the ceremony including many descendants of the men being honored, state representatives, the city and county mayors and a letter was read from Governor Bredesen. A sketch of the service of each veteran was given as well as family information and the location of their burial, if known, was included on their memorial marker. Family members gave brief accounts of family history on their ancestors. At the conclusion of the addresses family members removed the covers placed on the markers during the service, and the service was closed with the playing of the “Echo Taps.”

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Site Related to "The General" Due for Makeover

Friday, Dec. 11, 2009
General historic site in line for makeover

By: Andy Johns

Staff File Photo: A train passes a 108-year-old monument marking the end of the Great Locomotive Chase outside Ringgold, Ga., in Catoosa County.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to help Catoosa County commissioners spend a $2,500 grant awarded to the county in 2007.

The state grant can be spent only for improvements to the site where The General locomotive was abandoned at the end of the Great Locomotive Chase in 1862. The money has been sitting in an account since it was awarded as officials tried to determine how it might best be used.

Members of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp brought up the issue at a recent County Commission meeting.

"They just needed somebody like us to agitate them or at least present (ideas) to them," said John Bryson, a member of the camp.

In 1862, a group of Union soldiers and a Union spy stole a locomotive, The General, in what is now Kennesaw, Ga., and drove the train toward Chattanooga while trying to burn bridges and cut telegraph wires along the way. The General ran out of steam about two miles north of Ringgold, where a large marble marker has stood since 1901.

The grant will be used for improvements to the site, but commissioners and Sons of Confederate Veterans camp members have debated about an additional plaque, directional signs informing drivers of the marker or more parking space along state Highway 151, where the marker sits.

After the initial meeting, commissioners agreed the county probably could get more "bang for its buck" if they opted for a marker or plaque, but commission Chairman Keith Greene asked for the veterans group to come up with recommendations.

The group met Wednesday and appointed a committee to consider the options.

Committee member Tom Poteet said all the options were improvements, but whatever is done needs to be completed by the 150th anniversary of the chase in 2012.

Agencies have plans to promote Civil War sites across Georgia during the sesquicentennial in hopes of promoting history.

"We definitely need to get it done before that," Mr. Poteet said.

Bill Clark, another member of the committee, said the marker would help inform local residents, many of whom might not even know the story of the chase.

"The old-timers do," he said. "The people new here in the last 15 or 20 years, I doubt it."

Video: "The General" historic site in line for makeover
- Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

1862, a group of Union soldiers and a Union spy stole a locomotive, The General, in what is now Kennesaw, Ga., and drove the train toward Chattanooga while trying to burn bridges and cut telegraph wires along the way. The General ran out of steam about two miles north of Ringgold, where a large marble marker has stood since 1901.

See Video of the discussion of "The General"

New Hunley Discoveries

Research on Hunley spurs new discoveries
By Tony Bartelme
The Post and Courier
Sunday, December 27, 2009

Clemson Professor Michael Drews explains how the subcritical reactor at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center works. Conservators working on the H.L. Hunley have discovered a new way to preserve iron artifacts using this new technology.

The complex reaction between iron and seawater has always plagued marine conservators. The new preservation technology could ease their frustration. At right is an X-ray imaging of before and after treatment.
Water is just water, right? Not at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, where researchers with Clemson University and conservators working on the H.L. Hunley use super-pressurized water in ways that could transform the preservation of metal artifacts, increase the durability of offshore windmills and even make paint cling better to ship hulls.

The secret of the water's transformation is tucked in a corner of the Lasch lab, in a room next to the Hunley and a pair of cannons from the Confederate raider Alabama.

"This is the big one," said Michael Drews, director of the Clemson Conservation Center at the Lasch lab, pointing to a panel of levers and pumps next to a waist-high metal cylinder.

Called a "subcritical reactor," the contraption is a sophisticated cousin of the pressure cooker and has nothing to do with radioactivity.

Instead, it creates pressures 50 times higher than what might be found in the open air, and this intense pressure causes materials to react differently. The boiling point for water, for instance, shoots from 212 degrees Fahrenheit to 392 degrees.

Just below this higher boiling point, water becomes "subcritical" and behaves like methanol and other solvents.

Drews and other Clemson researchers have been investigating whether subcritical water could preserve iron artifacts. They've tested the process on several of the Hunley's rivets, and so far, the subcritical technique has successfully preserved these pieces 10 times faster than other processes.

Paul Mardikian, the Hunley's senior conservator, has described the process as a potential "turning point in the history of archaeology and conservation."

This work also has led to new looks at how metal can be protected from corrosion, research that bolstered Clemson Restoration Institute's successful proposal to the federal government for a national wind turbine drive train test lab.

The $98 million wind lab will be built next to Lasch lab.

"Metal and the sea. It's all connected," Drews said. "The Hunley showed what happens to metal in the long term, and we're using what we're learning from the Hunley and applying it to modern metals."

New discovery

Iron and seawater have a complex relationship, one that sometimes resembles a love story with an unhappy ending.

Put a piece of iron, such as a submarine, in the ocean, and iron and water begin to merge, with iron swapping its ions with chloride ions in the seawater. As long as the iron stays under water, this relationship is stable, and the iron stays well preserved.

But if you remove the iron and expose it the air, the romance turns bad; new and often violent reactions begin as the iron oxidizes. After being pulled from the sea, old cannonballs have been known to spontaneously combust.

On the Hunley, metal shavings collected during the removal of some rivets got so hot they burned plastic bags. Had the sub's conservators removed the Hunley from the sea and left it alone, the sub would be a pile of dust today, Mardikian said.

Marine conservators always have wrestled with how to preserve iron once it was removed from the sea. They boiled artifacts, heated them and painted over them, but none of those techniques worked.

For the Hunley, conservators decided the safest course was to soak the sub in a caustic bath and zap it with electricity for a number of years to remove the chlorides.

By chance, the Hunley conservators discovered a new option. In the fall of 2001, Mardikian had a meeting at Clemson, and Drews, a professor in the university's material science and engineering school, happened to sit in.

Drews had been working with subcritical water and its effect in wastewater systems. As he listened to Mardikian, Drews wondered: Could subcritical water work on the Hunley? If it did, Drews thought, conservators might be able to preserve artifacts in a matter of weeks or months instead of years.

During the past several years, Drews and the Hunley's chemist, Nestor Gonzalez, tested subcritical water's effects on thimble-sized iron artifacts using a scuba-tank-sized reactor nicknamed "Felipe 1."

They studied how these artifacts did compared with artifacts preserved through slower methods. So far, Drews said, the subcritical technique has worked.

Useful for paint

Now they're poised to begin testing the process on artifacts in the new large subcritical reactor, which is big enough to preserve cannonballs.

Drews said someday the subcritical technique could be used on even bigger objects, such as cannons.

How about the Hunley?

That's not likely, Drews said. Years of tests on large objects still need to be done. "The Hunley is unique, and the risk (of something happening to it) is unacceptable." Besides, the need for a sub-sized pressure chamber probably would be limited to a few artifacts, making the construction of a large subcritical apparatus a tough investment to justify.

Research into the effects of subcritical water on iron artifacts also has led to other discoveries.

Drews said researchers learned that the process has an etching effect on metal that can be seen only with powerful electron microscopes. Drews said he didn't confirm this until the lab acquired such a microscope a year or so ago.

Researchers are now studying whether this etching effect could help paint cling to metal more securely, an important issue in maritime circles. Work on the Hunley also spurred research into new ways to prevent barnacles and other sea life from accumulating on ship hulls and foundations for offshore wind turbines.

Partly because of this metals research, the International Conference on Historic Metal Conservation will meet in Charleston in October.

About 300 conservators, museum officials and scientists from 50 countries are expected to attend. "The vision of what we wanted to do here is starting to fall into place," Drews said.

Restoration Work in Historic Richmond Cemeteries

Volunteers reclaim Hollywood, Shockoe Hill cemeteries

A new stone now stands where one needed retoring within the Presidents Circle.

David Gilliam, general manager of Hollywood Cemetery, points out a few of the steps that have already been made in the restoration process.

Related Info
Location: 412 S. Cherry St., Richmond
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Info: or (804) 648-8501


Location: Fourth and Hospital streets, Richmond
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

A Who’s Who of those buried in two of Richmond’s historic cemeteries.
In Shockoe Hill Cemetery, which opened in 1822:

John Marshall: former chief justice of the United States

Elizabeth Van Lew: Union spy during the Civil War who organized an extensive informants network and assisted Union prisoners

Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton: beloved of Edgar Allan Poe as a teenager

John Wickham: prominent lawyer who defended Aaron Burr in his 1807 treason trial

William Foushee: first mayor of Richmond

William H. Cabell: governor of Virginia from 1805 to 1808

Peter Francisco: known as the Sampson of the American Revolution; celebrated by George Washington and others for feats of strength and bravery

Jane Stanard: family friend and inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “To Helen”

John D. Blair: prominent Presbyterian minister and city leader

John Allan: along with wife Frances, took in a young Edgar Allan Poe but didn’t formally adopt him

Johnson Jones Hooper: noted mid-19th-century humorist

SOURCE: Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery

In Hollywood Cemetery, which opened in 1848:

James Monroe: president of the United States, 1817-1825

John Tyler: president of the United States, 1841-1845

Jefferson Davis: president of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865

J.E.B. Stuart: Confederate general

Ellen Glasgow: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, 1942

Lewis Ginter: Richmond leader of American Tobacco Co., creator of Ginter Park and builder of The Jefferson Hotel

John Harvie: delegate from Virginia to the Continental Congress, 1777-1778; a signer of the Articles of Confederation; his estate became the site of Hollywood Cemetery

Matthew Fontaine Maury: Confederate scientist considered the father of modern oceanography

Lewis F. Powell Jr.: Supreme Court justice

Edward Valentine: sculptor whose most famous work is the recumbent statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee

Published: December 28, 2009

The ravages of time, nature and society had left their marks on two of Richmond's most historic cemeteries.

Trash and debris littered Shockoe Hill Cemetery in Jackson Ward, where cars had crashed into the brick wall lining the perimeter of the city's first municipally owned cemetery not associated with a church.

Hollywood Cemetery near Oregon Hill was pummeled in 2003 by Hurricane Isabel, which toppled more than 100 mature trees to block every road and damage many monuments. Other headstones suffered from botched repairs, while tourist buses had wrecked important ironwork.

The cemeteries, both on the National Register of Historic Places, are the burial grounds for some of Virginia's most prominent people: U.S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, governors and mayors.

Now the cemeteries are benefiting from two volunteer organizations -- Friends of Hollywood Cemetery and Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery -- that formed recently to bring new attention to the riches and the needs of each place.

"We're reclaiming it and making it part of the city again," said Jeffry Burden of the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery.

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Hollywood Cemetery, established in 1847, was one of the nation's first cemeteries designed in the "rural style," with meandering roads that follow the contours of 135 acres overlooking the James River just west of downtown.

The center of attention is Presidents Circle, where Presidents James Monroe and John Tyler are buried. Other notables elsewhere in the cemetery include Confederate President Jefferson Davis, six Virginia governors, 22 Confederate generals, two Supreme Court justices, Confederate soldiers, business leaders and literary figures.

Monroe, who died in 1831, was moved to Hollywood in 1859. The sarcophagus of the nation's fifth president is topped by a 12-foot-tall cast iron "birdcage." Tyler, who died in 1862, is buried beneath a monolithic granite shaft erected by the federal government in 1915. At the top, a bronze Greek urn is supported by two eagles. A bronze bust of the 10th president stands on a pedestal at one side.

A survey by Pennsylvania consultant Robert Mosko in 2007 estimated that a full restoration of the cemetery and its monuments could cost $7 million. Even though Hollywood remains an active cemetery, income from about 200 burials a year produces only about half of the cemetery's $1 million to $1.5 million operating budget, with only about $75,000 allocated to restoration and preservation, said cemetery director David Gilliam. The rest of the operating budget comes from investment income.

So Friends of Hollywood was created to concentrate on raising money. The first phase has a goal of $1.5 million to $2 million, said Mary Hoge Anderson, a Friends board member. That amount would repair Presidents Circle and cover repairs in surrounding areas. Because the Friends group is set up as a 501(c)(3), it's eligible for grants and matching gifts that the nonprofit cemetery would not be able to qualify for under its 501(c)(13) status.

The project already has received $50,000 from the Roller-Bottimore Foundation and $20,000 from the Marietta M. & Samuel Tate Morgan Jr. Foundation, both of Richmond. Restoration work has begun within the circle to repair some of the damage, including from Hurricane Isabel.

Where a falling tree had shattered the marble cross for Mary Heath Davenport Newton in Presidents Circle, a replacement stone once again is identical to the cross of Elise Williams Atkinson beside it.

A new headstone has been created for Eliza Maury Withers, whose father, Matthew Fontaine Maury, is portrayed on Monument Avenue as the "Pathfinder of the Seas." A long-ago repair with mortar had left black streaks across the face of her headstone. The new marble stone is identical in size and shape to the original.

Other remaining projects include repairs to the ornamental cast iron fence, only a third of which remains intact across from Presidents Circle. The rest was destroyed by tour buses before the area was declared pedestrian-only.

"The cemetery is similar to a historic structure that you want to preserve," Anderson said. "That's what we're trying to do here."

"The challenge," Gilliam said, "is to build an endowment so that when we're no longer active with sales, we can operate."

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Shockoe Hill Cemetery may be one of the most overlooked cemeteries in the city.

The city-owned cemetery, where Chief Justice John Marshall is buried, opened in 1822 on 12.7 acres in North Richmond as the cemetery at St. John's Episcopal Church in Church Hill neared capacity.

But through the years, as burials at Shockoe Hill became less frequent -- just three in the past 28 years -- the cemetery fell into a state of disarray. A few family plots remain, but otherwise, the cemetery is full.

When the John Marshall Foundation celebrated Marshall's 250th birthday at his gravesite in 2005, "the cemetery didn't look like we wanted. It was not being maintained," said Doug Welsh, who helped organize the Friends of Shockoe Hill group.

Maintenance of Shockoe Hill rests with the city, but the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery is taking a vested interest in beautifying and promoting the cemetery near the Gilpin Court public-housing complex.

A few years ago, the John Marshall Foundation contributed $1,800 to have a historical marker placed at the cemetery. The Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery organizes groups of volunteers to take on duties such as providing upkeep for gravesites, raking leaves or cosmetic work with the Keeper's House.

Across Hospital Street lies Hebrew Cemetery, a private cemetery affiliated with Congregation Beth Ahabah. Hebrew and Shockoe Hill cemeteries form the largest parcel of land in Jackson Ward, said William B. Thalhimer III, chairman of the Hebrew Cemetery committee.

The two organizations work in conjunction to beautify their cemeteries in an effort to become a park environment for all of Jackson Ward, Thalhimer said.

Within the past six months, Welsh said, a plethora of volunteers have come forward to help with the cemetery --from high school groups to Revolutionary and Civil war groups.

O. Wayne Edwards, cemeteries manager for the city, said the city and the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery have a good working relationship as they move toward the common goal of increasing public awareness of the cemetery.

"It's great what they're doing; we furnished the records and whatever help they need, they call me and we get it done," Edwards said.

The cemetery is filled with history and the remains of thousands of people, from the prominent to the poor. One section of Shockoe, along the intersection of Fourth and Hospital streets, is a site of single graves for Confederate soldiers, paupers and stillborn babies, Welsh said.

Ultimately, the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery sees the cemetery becoming a place that attracts genealogical groups, historical groups, and families that want to visit their ancestors or reclaim burial sites. The group also aims for programming next year that celebrates the cemetery's rich history.

Despite being surrounded by the city, a tranquil quiet washes over the cemetery. Welsh said Shockoe Hill is his place to unwind and consider life among the headstones.

"Life goes by you quickly; we need as much time to reflect as we can," he said.