Monday, May 31, 2010


Jefferson Davis and the Memorial Day funeral train

Remembering Jefferson Davis
Calvin E. Johnson Jr.
May 29, 2010

“Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance. Our cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again.’‘——Jefferson Davis

Monday, the 31st day of May, in the year of our Lord 2010, is Memorial Day. It was on Memorial Day—Wednesday May 31, 1893, when the remains of Jefferson Davis was re-interred at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. Thursday June 3rd, is the 202nd birthday of Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis served the United States as a soldier, statesmen and Secretary of War. He was also the first and only President of the Confederate States of America. On Saturday, April 24, 2010, a statue depicting Jefferson Davis and two of his sons Joseph and adopted Black son Jim Limber was unveiled at Beauvoir, , the last home of Jefferson Davis located on the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.

If you listen closely, and the wind blows in the right direction, you might hear a train whistle in the distance.

When I was growing up near Atlanta, Georgia, this and the sound of “taps” from nearby Fort McPherson were special sounds. Today, air conditioners and closed windows segregate the sounds of the trains, owls and the wonderful sounds that are nature’s symphony at night.
On Sunday, May 28, 1893, a few days before “Memorial Day”, in New Orleans, a story began that overshadowed all other events reported in the newspapers of the South and that of the North.

This was the day when the remains of Jefferson Davis, former president of the Confederate States of America, laid in state at Confederate Memorial Hall in the historic crescent city of New Orleans. Jefferson Davis died in 1889 and was buried at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. Four years later, May 27, 1893, his body was moved from the burial site, placed in a new heavy brass trimmed oak casket and taken to Confederate Memorial Hall where it was placed on a huge oaken catafalque.

At 4:30 P.M., May 28th, a funeral service was held for Mr. Davis and a moving memorial address was delivered by Louisiana’s Governor Murphy J. Foster as thousands listened. There were no sounds of cars, planes, sirens, cell phones or sound systems. They did not exist. A reverent silence fell among the people as the casket was given to the commitment of veterans from Virginia who had been sent to receive it.

The procession then formed for a slow march to the railroad station on Canal Street.
Train No. 69, with Engineer Frank Coffin, waited patiently as the casket was taken to the platform and passed through an open observation car to a catafalque. The cars wall could not be seen due to the many flowers.

This was the vision of Mrs. (Varina) Jefferson Davis when she began three years previous to secure a funeral train and military escort for a 1,200 mile train trip from New Orleans, Louisiana to Richmond, Virginia. Train engine No. 69, of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad slowly pulled out of New Orleans Station at 7:50 P.M. L and N Railroad later became CSX Railroad.

Newspaper reporters from New Orleans, Richmond, Boston, New York and the Southern Associated Press were guests on the train. After a brief stop at Bay Saint Louis, and a slow-down at Pass Christian, where hundreds of people lined the tracks, the Jefferson Davis Funeral Train stopped at Gulfport, Mississippi, near Beauvoir which was the last home of Jefferson Davis. It was here that Davis wrote his book, “The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government.”

Uncle Bob Brown, a former servant of the Davis family and a passenger on the train, saw the many flowers that the children had laid on the side of the railroad tracks. Brown was so moved by this beautiful gesture that he wept uncontrollably.

In Mobile, Alabama, the train was met by a thousand mourners and the Alabama Artillery fired a 21-gun salute. Locomotive No. 69 was retired and Locomotive No. 25 was coupled to the train. The new train’s Engineer was C.C. Devinney and Warren Robinson was its fireman.
Church bells rang in Montgomery, Alabama when the train pulled into the city at 6:00 A.M. on May 29th. A severe rainstorm delayed the funeral procession to about 8:30 A.M. when a caisson carried the body of Davis to Alabama’s state capitol. A procession carried the casket through the portico where Jefferson Davis, in 1861, had taken the oath of office as President of the Confederate States of America.

The casket was placed in front of the bench of the Alabama Supreme Court. Above the right exit was a banner with the word “Monterrey” and above the left exit was a banner with the words “Buena Vista.” During the War with Mexico, Jefferson Davis was a hero at Monterrey and wounded at Buena Vista.

All businesses and schools closed, and church bells toiled during the procession to and from the capitol. In final tribute, thousands of people of Montgomery, including many ex-soldiers and school children filed by the casket.

At 12:20 P.M. the funeral train departed over the Western Railway of Alabama and Atlanta and West Point Railroad for Atlanta. At West Point, Georgia, the train stopped under a beautiful arch of flowers to pick up Georgia’s Governor William J. Northen and staff. At 4:30 P.M. the funeral train pulled into Union Station in Atlanta, Georgia. It is estimated that 20,000 people lined the streets as the funeral procession made their way to the state capitol. Atlanta’s Gate City Guard, which had served as Company F, 1st Georgia (Ramsay’s) during the War Between the States, stood guard over the president.

At 7:00 P.M. the train went north on the Richmond and Danville Railroad, which later became Southern Railway and, today, Norfolk Southern Railroad. The train traveled through Lula, Georgia, Greenville, South Carolina, and stopped at the North Carolina capitol at Raleigh.
A brief stop was made in Danville, Virginia, where a crowd of people gathered around the train and sang, “Nearer My God To Thee” as city church bells toiled.

Finally, the train reached Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, May 31, 1893, at 3:00 A.M.. It was Memorial Day. Mrs. Davis met the train and her husband’s casket was taken to the Virginia State House.

At 3:00 P.M., May 31st, the funeral procession started for Hollywood Cemetery. The caisson bearing the casket was drawn by six white horses. Earlier rains kept the dust from stirring from the dirt roads.

With Mrs. Jefferson Davis were her daughters, Winnie and Margaret. Six state governors acted as pallbearers. It was estimated that 75,000 people attended this final salute to President Davis. The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute and “Taps”.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Valuable battle flag donated to Georgia museum

A tattered, bloodied and bullet-holed battle flag that had belonged to the Georgia 65th Infantry Regiment was recently given to the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw.

The still colorful flag, with its distinctive 41 bullet holes, was donated by descendants of regimental color bearer Pvt. John Davis, who took the flag home to Alabama at the end of the war. The blood is believed to have come from another color bearer, William Martin, who was killed during the Battle of Franklin. The officer who next grabbed the flag was wounded. Davis was the third and final color bearer that day.

Don Davis, the great-great-grandson of John Davis, told museum officials the flag and its story was an important part of his family's history. They have a photograph of Davis holding the flag at a Confederate reunion in 1900.

The flag is the only known surviving Army of Tennessee flag that features the unit and state designations sewn onto both sides, according to museum officials, who have consulted conservators about stabilizing the flag. Plans call for it to go on public display, although no date has been set.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Remembering a Confederate general with a Waco connection
By Terri Jo Ryan Special to the Tribune-Herald
Saturday April 10, 2010

The sad tale of a Mississippi lawyer who met and married an Alabama belle in their adopted home of Waco, just before the Civil War, adds even more poignancy to the story of the brutal conflict that had almost 70,000 Texans under arms.

Confederate Brig. Gen. H.B. Granbury, who would become commander Granbury’s Texas Brigade, was born in March 1831 in Copiah County, Miss., the son of Nancy and Norvell R. Granberry, a Baptist minister.

Educated at Oakland College in Mississippi, a Presbyterian institution, Granbury, reportedly more than 6 feet tall, moved to Texas upon completion of his degree in 1851 to open a law office in Seguin. He later came to Waco Village to practice law. He was admitted to the bar and served as chief justice of McLennan County from 1856-58.

The courthouse was a clapboard building and was the only house on the east side of the square. In his spare time, he assisted with the editing of the first paper in Waco Village. On March 31, 1858, in McLennan County, the 27-year-old judge married 20-year-old Fannie Sims, of Waco, a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

War begins

When the war began in early 1861, Granbury organized the Waco Guard, a hometown militia group. Answering the call of the South, this McLennan County militia marched to Marshall, Texas, when the fighting erupted. The Waco Guard joined with nine other counties to form the 7th Texas Infantry Regiment, as Company A. Granbury’s company elected him major.

The 7th Texas and other Confederate regiments were captured at Fort Donelson, Tenn., in February 1862. Before Granbury could be transported to prison in Fort Warren Prison in Boston Harbor, Mass., he requested permission of the Union’s Brig. Gen. U.S. Grant to escort Fannie, who had followed him to war, to a more suitable place.

But refusing to leave her husband’s side, Fannie accompanied Granbury and the other captured Confederate officers on the train to the north. Granbury remained imprisoned for five months before being paroled as part of a prisoner exchange — a not-uncommon occurrence in the war’s early months.

Some documents indicate that Granbury’s bride was already suffering from the effects of suspected ovarian cancer and that he had received a special pardon so he could care for her.


But instead of staying in the North and seeking surgical treatment in Baltimore, Md., the Granburys slowly made their way South again, to Fannie’s family in Alabama. Her health now in rapid decline, Fannie was left in the care of her father’s home in Tuscaloosa, while her husband — since promoted to colonel — spent much of the winter of 1862-63 in Texas, recruiting to help fill the refill the regiment.

When Fannie’s death drew near, he was summoned to be by her side in Mobile, Ala. On March 20, 1863, the 25-year-old Fannie Granbury died of cancer. An unmarked grave in Mobile’s Magnolia Cemetery holds the remains of Granbury’s beloved belle, Fannie.

Back to Texas

Returning to the 7th Texas, Granbury took part in the Battle of Raymond, Miss., and later joined forces with Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee in Georgia. That fall, the 7th participated in the Battle of Chickamauga, a counteroffensive by Bragg against the invading Union army.
After Chickamauga, a brigade was created composed entirely of Texas troops. During the siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., Gen. Patrick Cleburne’s division defended the Confederate line on Missionary Ridge. When General James Smith went down wounded, Cleburne gave Granbury a battlefield promotion to brigadier general. Granbury was one of 32 brigadier generals hailing from the Lone Star State.

After the Missionary Ridge melee, Granbury’s Texas Brigade provided protection as the army’s rear guard when the troops retreated into Georgia. That November, the brigade made a defensive stand that halted the federal pursuit and allowed Bragg’s dispirited forces to escape without further loss.

Killed in action

By the end of the Atlanta Campaign in mid-1864, Granbury was leading his men in Gen. John B. Hood’s invasion of Tennessee. At the Battle of Franklin, on Nov. 30, 1864, he charged the Union center with Gen. Cleburne and was killed before reaching the federal breastworks. Battlefield witnesses recorded his brutal end:

“Gen. Granbury was hit in the eye about the same time Gen. Patrick Cleburne was hit in the chest. The bullet passed through his brain and exploded at the back of his head. He threw his hands up to his face and fell dead instantly.”

He was one of six Confederate generals to die in the fray. By the time the final surrender came, in April 1865 at Durham Station, N.C., so few remained in the brigade that all eight regiments had been combined into one fighting force.

Initially buried near Franklin, Tenn., Granbury’s body was later reinterred at St. Luke’s Cemetery in Ashwood, Tenn. But in 1893 — almost 30 years after he died — his body was once again moved. This time, it was to Granbury, Texas, a town named in his honor.

The county seat of Hood County (named for Granbury’s commanding officer), the town sits in the cluster of Texas counties named after Confederate generals. A statue of Granbury was erected in 1913 on the courthouse lawn.

Sources: Handbook of Texas Online;;; Gen. Hiram B. Granbury Chapter No. 683, United Daughters of The Confederacy; TexasMilitaryForces


Students dive into mystery of Civil War submarine Hunley
By Betty Klinck

Part of the story is solid. Part of it remains a mystery.

What is certain is that on the night of Feb. 17, 1864, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina to become the first submarine to sink a ship during combat.

Then the Hunley itself literally sank into oblivion when it went down with its crew of eight. The resting place of the Civil War submarine, which had remained a mystery for more than century, finally was discovered in 1995 off Sullivan's Island.

But before the submarine sank, the story goes, it flashed a blue light to Confederate soldiers on the shore to signal success. But as this part of the story comes from second- and third-hand accounts, it "gets a little fuzzy," says archaeologist Mike Scafuri of the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, where the recovered Hunley is on display.

Nobody knows whether the signal was supposed to be made directly after the attack or as the Hunley approached shore, Scafuri says. And another question remains: Could a lantern have produced a strong enough light for the soldiers to see?

Hands-on investigation

To try to answer the question of the mysterious blue signal, 12 students at Hamburg (Pa.) Area High School are building three replicas of the submarine's lantern in the school's metal shop.
Retired history teacher Ned Eisenhuth and retired shop teacher Fred Lutkis began the project after expressing interest last summer in the history of the Hunley to the Lasch Conservation Center.

Before they retired, Eisenhuth and Lutkis had worked with students at Minersville (Pa.) Area High School to create replicas of a Viking burial sled and a medieval cart. These will be the only true replicas of the Hunley's lantern, Eisenhuth says. Next month, the school plans to donate the best replica of the lantern to the conservation center, which has been studying the submarine since it was excavated in 2000 with help from the Friends of the Hunley Organization.

Scafuri says the conservation center and the high school hope to answer the following questions with replicas of the only light source on the Hunley:

•Could the soldiers on shore have seen the blue light from more than 1,000 feet away?

•Just how powerful was the lantern?

•Could the lantern actually produce a blue-colored light?

Using X-rays and drawings from the conservation center of the actual lantern remnants from the recovered submarine, students have begun soldering and molding sheet metal to form the lantern.

The lantern consists of three cylinders that fit tightly inside one another: the outside, inside and lens cylinders, says Lutkus. "The hardest part has been going off the diagrams (of the lantern) that were mailed to us" by the conservation center, says Hamburg senior Cody Wertz, one of six students working on lantern construction. "There's some stuff that you don't know exactly, that we have to guess to the best of our ability what they would have had."

Goal: Historical accuracy

Hamburg offers only woodshop, so Lutkus says he had to teach the students how to work with sheet metal, which proved difficult. "Sheet metal does not always do what you want it to do," Lutkus says. "You're taking a flat surface and making it three-dimensional. It's not like wood where, if you mess up, you can fix it or hide things. When you mess up with sheet metal, you have to scrap it and start over."

Freshman Seth Kunkel says metalworking also can be dangerous: The soldering iron gets hot. He says he is picking up many of the techniques, such as using a roll iron to make cylinders and using a blowhorn stake to hammer metal into different shapes.

Students also faced problems making the lamp historically accurate, Eisenhuth says. Restrictions on commercial whaling have made whale oil, which was burned in the original lamp, hard to come by.

After consulting a lantern manufacturer, Eisenhuth says, he learned that kerosene — also available during the Civil War — would be a historically accurate alternative. The lanterns will be finished this month, and Eisenhuth says he hopes to donate two, rather than just the promised one, to the center and to put the third unused lantern on display at the high school.


Proposed Constitutional Amendments 2010:

Items in ( ) are to be deleted; items in { } are to be added.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2010-1C
Proposed by Mark V. Brandon
General Henry Watkins Allen Camp 133

To prohibit a sitting CIC and GEC from refusing to hear an appeal by a member referred by the disciplinary committee for action by the GEC.

13.7 Appeal. The accused may appeal the decision by submitting a request for an appellate hearing to the Commander-in-Chief within thirty (30) days of the date from which the notice was sent. The request for appeal, once received by the Commander-in-Chief, shall be ordered for hearing before the General Executive Council in a timely manner. The General Executive Council ( may decide whether or not to ) {must} hear the appeal {if requested by the disciplined member; a 2/3} majority shall be necessary to uphold the decision of the Disciplinary Committee. The General Executive Council may remand the case to the Committee for reconsideration. The accused shall be notified of the decision of the General Executive Council by U.S. Mail or private carrier which provides proof of delivery.

Proposed Constitutional Amendment #2010-2C
Proposed by Charles Kelly Barrow
John McIntosh Kell Camp 107

2.1 The Sons of Confederate Veterans, in furtherance of the Charge of Lieutenant General Stephen D. Lee, shall be strictly patriotic, historical, educational, fraternal, benevolent, non-political, non-racial and non-sectarian. The Sons of Confederate Veterans neither embraces, nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry, and further,{ strongly } condemns the misuse of its sacred symbols and flags in the conduct of same. Each member is expected to perform his full duty as a citizen according to his own conscience and understanding.

Proposed SCV Constitutional Amendment 2010-3C
Proposed by Chuck McMichael
Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp 1308

Purpose : To allow a family to ensure that its son or grandson will always be a member of the SCV. Fathers and Grandfathers will be able to do this for a male heir from the time of birth, which is most likely a time when they have a high interest in the child someday being a member. In many cases it may also bring peace of mind to the member that he has met this obligation and does not worry if he will be in a position to do so in later years.

3.6. Life Membership. Members who make a qualifying contribution to the Life Membership Endowment Fund shall be termed Life Members.

3.6.1. The amount of the qualifying contribution shall be twenty-five (25) times the amount of annual dues for applicants up to 65 years of age, and half that amount for applicants 65 years of age or older with applicable rules and forms to be determined by the General Executive Council.

3.6.2. Life Members shall be exempt from the payment of per capita dues to General Headquarters.

3.6.3. Life Members may receive such special recognition, certificates and badges as the General Executive Council shall deem proper

{ 3.6.4 A contribution to the Life Membership Endowment Fund may be made on behalf of anyone who is otherwise qualified to be a member. Proof of qualification shall be presented at the time of contribution. If the named individual is under the age of regular membership, he will be a Cadet Member in good standing until reaching the prescribed age. At that point his Life Membership shall be activated and he shall receive such special recognition, certificates and badges as the General Executive Council shall deem proper for Life Membership. }

Proposed SCV Constitutional Amendment #2010-4C
Proposed by Denne A. Sweeney
COL A. H. Belo Camp 49

The purpose of this amendment is to make this section consistent with section 13.10, which states that expelled members are not eligible for reinstatement

3.3.2. Expulsion. Any individual expelled from membership under the provisions of this Constitution and Standing Orders shall be stricken from the roster, and the Adjutant-in-Chief shall take care to note his name so that he may not be readmitted nor reinstated to membership ( except by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the General Executive Council upon recommendation of the Commander-in-Chief ) .

Proposed SCV Constitutional Amendment #2010-5C
Proposed by Mark Simpson
Brig Gen Samuel McGowen Camp 40

3.6. Life Membership. Members who make a qualifying contribution to the Life Membership Endowment Fund shall be termed Life Members.

3.6.1. The amount of the qualifying contribution shall be twenty-five (25) times the amount of annual dues for applicants up to 65 years of age, and half that amount for applicants 65 years of age or older { and half that amount again for applicants 80 years of age or older } with applicable rules and forms to be determined by the General Executive Council.

3.6.2. Life Members shall be exempt from the payment of per capita dues to General Headquarters

3.6.3. Life Members may receive such special recognition, certificates and badges as the General Executive Council shall deem proper.

Proposed Standing Orders Amendments 2010:

Proposed SCV Standing Ordes Amendment #2010-1S0
Proposed by Denne A. Sweeney
COL A. H. Belo Camp 49

The purposes of this amendment are:

1. To provide for staggered terms on the committee so that expertise in convention planning can be built and maintained over time.

2.The expertise gained should aid the SCV in lowering the cost to members of attending conventions.

3.Place the financial burden on the National organization so that divisions or camps will not be tempted to profiteer, nor will they go into the red due to bad planning.Allow for reunions to be held in locations that may have minimal local SCV support.

6.12. Convention Planning Committee. The committee shall consist of a chairman and at least three members appointed by the Commander in Chief provided that there shall be no more than two (2) members from the same Division. { Initially, the Commander-in-Chief shall appoint members to the Committee with terms of three years, three years, two years and one year, respectively. Additional members beyond three shall be appointed for one year. Thereafter, the term of office of the members of the Committee shall be three years; provided that the members of the Committee shall serve, and be competent to act, until their successors shall have been duly appointed and confirmed. If any member of the Committee shall be unable to serve his full term because of death, resignation or disability, the Commander-in-Chief shall appoint a member to fill the unexpired term. The General Executive Council shall have the power, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote, to find and determine the existence of disability for the purpose of this Section. In addition, the Executive Director will be a permanent member of said committee. } (This committee shall assist camps or divisions in making bids to host a General Reunion and in the planning of General Reunions.)

{ The Committee, in conjunction with local SCV organizations that wish to host a National Convention, shall plan and organize all National Conventions, and is charged with the following responsibilities: }

{ 1. Keeping convention fees and charges as low as possible without incurring financial liabilities to the SCV. The Committee should plan to make a small profit for the SCV, which shall be shared between the National Organization and local SCV organizations assisting with the convention, in a manner to be determined by the GEC. Insuring that Convention guidelines established by the GEC are faithfully executed. Executing all financial contracts on behalf of the National organization. Filing an after-action report which shall include full financial disclosure, as well as detailed attendance statistics. The GEC may direct that the Committee provide additional information. }

2. (The committee shall also r) {R}ecommend{ing} sites & hosts for future conventions ( and Reunions ) whose commencement shall be neither before the tenth (10) of July nor after the twenty-fifth (25) of July each year.

3. Perform such other duties as may be assigned to it.

Proposed SCV Standing Orders Amendment #2010-2SO
Proposed by Charles Kelly Barrow
John McIntosh Kell Camp 107

10.4. It shall be the duty of the Commander of every Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to call a meeting of his respective Camp upon the days appointed by the civil authorities for the commemoration of any Confederate soldier, sailor, { marine } or statesman, and to commemorate such day by appropriate services.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Delaware Grays tribute to Confederate History Week
May 11, 2010

An event sponsored by The Delaware Grays, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 2068 was held Saturday, May 8 at the Confederate Soldiers Monument, at the Nutter B. Marvel Museum, South Bedford Street in Georgetown.

The program included speeches by local dignitaries as well as special guests General Robert E. Lee (as portrayed by Phil Carpenter of Chincoteague, VA) and Marine Gunnery Sgt (Retired) Donald Willey of Hoopers Island, MD. Mr. Carpenter (Lee) reminded the gathering that the men of Delaware who went South to fight in Southern armies were following their conscience and convictions. Sgt. Willey, in his Marine Corps dress uniform, shared his experiences in the First Gulf War and related how the men of Delaware may have felt as they left home and loved ones to fight 150 years ago. Tributes declaring May 8-15 to be "Confederate History Week" were presented.


Monument honors all Confederate soldiers
By Rick Harmon
May 2, 2010

Almost everyone who has driven past the Capitol has seen Alabama's Confederate Monu­ment, but few realize what it ac­tually is and even fewer what is under it.

First of all, although it is in Alabama, it is not really Alaba­ma's Confederate Monument.
While many Southern states have Confederate memorials, Alabama's monument is not just for Alabama's Confederate soldiers. As the first capital of the Confederacy, Montgomery's monument was built for sol­diers from the entire Confedera­cy.

The Ladies Memorial Associ­ation worked tirelessly to raise nearly $46,000 to build the mon­ument to honor Confederate sol­diers who died in the war. In 1886, Jefferson Davis him­self helped lay the cornerstone for the monument, just a few feet from where he took the oath of office as president of the Con­federacy.

Former Confederates from throughout the South came to Montgomery on Dec. 7, 1898, to witness the dedication of the 85-foot-tall structure, designed by Alexander Doyle.
The monument on the north side of the Capitol is topped with a bronze figure honoring patrio­tism and Southern womanhood. Below this figure, Fred Barni­coat created a granite statuary representing the four branches of the Confederate armed forces. A bronze band encircles the col­umn.

Beneath the monument are treasures -- treasures not of wealth, but of history. Many former Confederate sol­diers presented everything from diaries and photos to regi­mental flags and uniforms to be buried under the cornerstone of the monument.

Items placed beneath the cor­nerstone include everything from Gen. Joseph Wheeler's bat­tle flag and a bundle of books from Jefferson Davis' daughter, Winnie, to newspapers from throughout the state (including an Oct. 7, 1864, Montgomery Ad­vertiser) and a list of course studies used by Montgomery public school teachers in 1885.

These, along with Confeder­ate postage stamps, regimental badges, and different denomi­nations of treasury notes and bonds were placed in a zinc box. The lid was cemented in lead, and the box was placed under the cornerstone, where it has remained for more than a century.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


City plans to take over care of statue
United Daughters of the Confederacy has cared for monument for centuries
By Kevin Walters
THE TENNESSEAN • May 17, 2010

FRANKLIN — Franklin's Confederate solider has kept a sharp eye on the city for 110 years. Now it's time he started to look sharper himself. City officials are set to take over the upkeep of the iconic Civil War statue in Franklin's Public Square per a new agreement with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Franklin Chapter No. 14.

Members of the UDC erected the marble statue on Nov. 30, 1899, to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. Since then, the heritage group has watched out for the statue's condition. If approved, Franklin and the UDC will work together to make sure the statue stays in good condition. Aldermen could vote on approving the contract later this month.
"Our chapter worked hard to preserve and maintain the monument throughout these years," said Louise Beauchamp, UDC chapter president. "It does mean a lot to us. We think it means a lot to the citizens of Franklin."

One thing the statue needs is a good cleaning. Moss has grown on its backside — which is the side facing north — and has discolored the statue. The 6-foot-6-inch statue, which has a chipped hat, stands atop a 37-foot pedestal. City Administrator Eric Stuckey said the moss can be removed with mild soap and water. No exact time for the cleaning has been set, but crews might do it at night to avoid traffic, he said.

In 1899, the monument was erected at a cost of $2,700. Over time, it has become synonymous with Franklin. "Everytime you see a commercial about Franklin or see Franklin on TV, you almost always see the Confederate statue," Beauchamp said.

In other Civil War-related news, Franklin Mayor John Schroer wants to create a Franklin Battlefield Preservation Commission that would replace the city's Battlefield Task Force.
The 18-member commission would formally advise aldermen and the city on matters related to the city's military history and serve as Franklin's "historic and cultural preservation brain trust," according to the ordinance.


Confederacy museum could be reality in Appomattox soon
By Nolan

The Museum of the Confederacy has raised $6 million of a needed $7.5 million in funding for a satellite location in Appomattox. “We’re getting really close,” said Sam Craghead, a public relations specialist for the museum. “The groundbreaking is in the foreseeable future.”
Most of the funding has come from private individuals and grants. Craghead said that after a public fundraising effort begins soon, construction could start this year.

The museum’s expected completion date is “early 2012” after a projected 18 months of construction. The museum initially planned an opening in late 2011, but was delayed by fundraising issues and an expansion of the original museum plans. The new design is 11,000 square feet and located on eight acres of land near the intersection of U.S. 460 and Virginia 24. The proposed site is a mile away from the Appomattox Court House National Park.

The satellite location in Appomattox is part of an effort to expand the number of Confederate artifacts on display. Craghead estimated that visitors to the Richmond museum see less than 10 percent of the entire collection. The Appomattox site, Craghead said, will have artifacts and exhibits related to Appomattox, including General Robert E. Lee’s uniform and sword and the pen he used to sign surrender documents at the McLean house in Appomattox Court House.

Other satellite sites will include locations in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Fort Monroe near Hampton Roads.

The museum is a perfect fit for the location, Craghead said, because the site “is close to the courthouse, (has) easy access to the roads” and could help to keep visitors in the area.
Craghead said the museum is looking forward to participating in the ongoing sesquicentennial observations of the Civil War, which will end on April 9, 2015 — 150 years after Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Court House. “That’s the important date,” he said. “But we’ll be doing all of other things out there before then.”


Ariz. park is called a threatened battlefield
Civil War group cites budget cuts

The Civil War Preservation Trust is at
Associated Press / May 14, 2010

EYour article has been sent.

RICHMOND — A desert peak where cavalry clashed nearly 150 years ago has joined an annual list of the nation’s most endangered Civil War battlefields because state budget cuts are set to close the park that marks the site.

Picacho Peak in Arizona, the Western frontier in the battle between North and the South, was named for the first time on the Civil War Preservation Trust’s list of 10 historic battlefields most threatened by development or neglect.

In addition to Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg and the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia, the list includes sites of some memorable battles waged in states where the Civil War still resonates on the eve of its 150th anniversary, primarily in the South and Mid-Atlantic. Picacho Peak stands apart from the rest. The state park is scheduled to close June 3 because of budget cuts.

On April 12, 1862, Lieutenant James Barrett led Union cavalry to the rocky spire 50 miles northwest of Tucson and skirmished with Confederate Rangers. While Barrett was killed and the Union army retreated, Union forces from California eventually moved on to Tucson and snuffed out a Confederate settlement.

The battle, while a footnote in history, still attracts annual visits by re-enactors. "A lot of people who come from the East use it as a vacation,’’ Ellen Bilbrey, a spokeswoman for Arizona State Parks, said of the Civil War reenactors.

A fund drive launched in nearby Eloy, Ariz., is attempting to keep the park open, and the inclusion by the trust in its annual endangered list is a boost to that effort, she said. “Any attention, of course, is going to assist people who are trying to keep that park open,’’ she said.

Called History Under Siege, the most-endangered list is intended to highlight threats to what the trust calls “tangible links to our shared history.’’ With the nation about to mark 150 years since the start of the Civil War, the 2010 installment was released with the support of Jeff Shaara, a member of the trust’s board and author of “Gods and Generals,’’ among other books on the Civil War.

“Nothing creates an emotional connection between present and past like walking in the footsteps of our Civil War soldiers,’’ Shaara said in remarks prepared for the formal release of the list yesterday in Washington.

His father, Michael Shaara, wrote “The Killer Angels,’’ a historical novel on Gettysburg. The battlefield where 160,000 Union and Confederate soldiers fought in the summer of 1863 is on the endangered list because of a second attempt to bring casino gambling within one-half mile of Gettysburg National Military Park.

Like Gettysburg, Virginia’s Wilderness Battlefield was making a repeat appearance on the list. In this case, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is facing fierce resistance to building a Supercenter within a cannon’s shot of where Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant first met on the field of battle.

The others in the top 10 and the threats, as defined by the trust, are:
■ Camp Allegheny, W.Va., where wind turbines on a high ridge across the border in Virginia threaten to blot the view from the battlefield.
■ Pickett’s Mill, Ga., which is amid cuts in public funding. Last fall, its footbridges and portions of a mill were damaged by floodwaters.
■ Fort Stevens, Washington, D.C., threatened by a proposed church community center that would tower over the fort where President Lincoln was the target of sharpshooters.
■ Cedar Creek, Va., where a mine expansion would chew up nearly 400 acres of battlefield.
■ Richmond, Ky., where a new highway interchange would probably attract commercial growth.
■ South Mountain, Md.; the issue is possible development of an energy plant.
■ Thoroughfare Gap, Va., which could see construction of a 150-foot communications tower.

Besides issuing the 10 most-endangered list, the trust also identified 15 “at risk’’ sites.

Friday, May 14, 2010


July 21 - 24, 2010 Anderson, South Carolina

The SCV Awards Manual was last revised in February 2006. All awards will be in accordance with this revised edition. The Awards Manual may be downloaded from the SCV website. Previous editions of the Awards Manual are obsolete.

Awards Display:

The SCV Awards Display table will be set-up at the National Convention in Anderson, SC near the SCV General Headquarters table by noon on Wednesday, July 21, 2010. This is the drop-off and pick-up point for all SCV awards at the convention.

Best Camp Award - Tabor Award:

Camps who wish to participate in this competition should print a copy of the entry form from the SCV website or they may request one from GHQ if they have no internet access. Entry forms should be sent to:

Compatriot Danny Honnoll
Distinguished Camp Competition
216 Hillpoint Cv
Jonesboro AR 72401

All entries should be on the new form approved effective July 1, 2002. Please check and make sure you have the current form. Up-to-date forms are available on the SCV website. Deadline for best camp entry forms is June 15, 2010.

Newsletter Awards:

To be entered in the newsletter competition, four (4) copies of each newsletter issued during the eligibility period must be submitted to the National Awards Committee by June 15, 2010. Eligibility period is July 2009 issue through June 2010 issue. See the Awards Manual for all details that must accompany the entry. Newsletters should be sent to:

Charles Lauret
P.O. Box 721
Washington, LA 70589

They may be submitted in PDF fomat or sent on a CD.

Scrapbook and Historical Project Award:

Entries for the scrapbook or historical project awards must be delivered to the awards display table not later than 5:00 p.m., Thursday, July 22, 2010. No entries will be accepted after that time. Camps must arrange to pick up their entries on Saturday, prior to the dismantling of the Awards Display Table. Entries not picked up will be discarded at the end of the convention. See the Awards Manual for requirements and details for these awards.

Best Website Award:

SCV units interested in competing for the Best Website Award should submit their URL through the link on the front page of the website at no later than June 15, 2010.

Judging will be performed by experienced webmasters outside the SCV, based on generally recognized criteria for website excellence. Judging will take place at a randomly chosen time between June 10 and July 10, 2010.

Individual Member Awards:

Nminations for individual member awards should be submitted by the Division Commanders, along with a brief statement citing the reason the particular individual should receive the award, to Brian Sharp, Membership Coordinator at GHQ and to Chief of Staff Chuck Rand.

The lists of proposed award recipients must be submitted to GHQ no later than June 1, 2010 to allow time for review, consultation and approval by the Commander in Chief, and for the GHQ staff to prepare the awards and include the names in the professionally printed Awards Luncheon Booklet. - see this link for complete information.

Nominations not at GHQ by the June 1 deadline could result in a division’s award recipients not being listed in the Awards Luncheon souvenir booklet.

Presentation of Awards:

Awards winners will be recognized at the Awards Luncheon on Thursday, July 22, 2010 or at the Saturday night banquet on July 24, 2010. Please pick up awards after the luncheon as well as those of men in your camp to take them home with you. This simple process will save the SCV hundreds of dollars of postage expense and enable the staff to process your dues and new memberships more quickly when they return to GHQ.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Communities face shortage of funds to commemorate Civil War

During much of the Civil War, Confederate troops were short on manpower, funding and equipment.

Nearly 150 years later, as local officials make plans to commemorate the war's sesquicentennial anniversary, they face the same challenges.

Local governments, historic groups and tourism leaders hope to capitalize on tourists they hope will flock to local sites during re-enactments and other anniversary events. But trying to raise money for marketing campaigns during a recession and a major state budget shortfall has proven to be difficult.

Every time Chickamauga City Manager John Culpepper has gone to Atlanta seeking money for various campaigns, he has found only empty pockets.

Mr. Culpepper, who also is the Georgia Civil War Commission president, said the state initially budgeted $500,000 toward publicizing state sites and events for the 150th anniversary. That funding was stripped out with the first round of budget cuts, he explained.

For comparison's sake, Virginia included $2 million in its budget to prepare for the anniversary, Mr. Culpepper said. "The state of Georgia hasn't budgeted anything," he said.

Established re-enactments are faring better than new ones, according to Ken Sumner, founder of the Battle of Tunnel Hill re-enactment. "It is a difficult time," he said.

Tunnel Hill, which takes place in September, gets all of its funding from private sources and is run by volunteers. Manpower and funding, however, remain a problem for similar events across the South, said Mr. Sumner, who works with other re-enactments Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

Because the financial situation is so tough, Mr. Culpepper recently started the Tri-State Civil War Association to combine resources and promote related sites and events in Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. "By pooling our resources together, we can get the job done," he said.

In 2013, the Battle of Chickamauga re-enactment will be the largest in the Deep South with as many as 12,000 re-enactors expected, Mr. Culpepper said. The key, he said, will be getting those visitors to stay an extra day or two to visit Resaca, Ringgold or other nearby towns with historic sites."Ringgold, Trenton, Dalton, modern Chickamauga -- you had all these communities that were touched during the (Civil War) campaign," he said.

Catoosa County Commissioner Ken Marks said tourists coming to the Chickamauga National Military Park present an opportunity for businesses in Catoosa and Walker counties as well as the counties themselves. "Our county lives off sales tax," Mr. Marks said. "We have to promote tourism."

Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell called the potential tourism boost from the Civil War anniversary "very important." She said she hoped to have another hotel in the county by then and said she would hoped to add a lodging tax for the unincorporated areas of the county in anticipation of the anniversary.

Luring tourists is all about marketing the county's historic sites and activities, she said. "I've always said, if a Pet Rock and a Hula Hoop would sell, you can sell anything," she said.

Monday, May 10, 2010


May 2, 2010 10:13
Civil War Era Safe En Route To North Texas

North Texas Civil War enthusiasts are in for a treat. A safe about 150 years old is on its way to Fort Worth from Richmond, Virginia. "It's very significant and it's a one of a kind artifact and we are anxious to have it on display," said Ray Richey Curator of the Texas Civil War Museum in Fort Worth.

Richey can talk in detail about every piece at the museum: From a sword that came from the Grant family in the late 1960s to the Victorian dresses on display. He knows the story behind everyone of them. Richey says he's a history buff and right now he just can't wait for this latest addition at the museum. "To my knowledge there was only one of them," explains Richey.

Documents and secret papers during the Civil War are believed to have been kept deep within the vaults of the safe. Richey said the safe was used by Texan John Reagan who served in the Cabinet of the Confederacy as Post Master General during the war. "It was very important that the Confederate Government had a safe place to keep their documents," Richey said. "It's something that if it could tell the story it would have quite a story to tell. "The Texas Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy raised $19,000 to get the safe to North Texas. They think it will cost about $12,000 to get it here."

It's one of a kind. It lived through the war. It lived through the fire after the war," said Esther Sims with the group. "I wish it could talk because I'm sure we would find out a lot." The project has been in the works for years. The group says it couldn't think of a better place then the museum in Fort Worth. Before the safe is moved to the museum it will have to be opened. At this time, no one here knows if it's ever been unlocked or what's inside. "We are hoping there will be lots of treasure inside but we don't really know," says Richey.

For Richey, he's anxious to preserve a piece of history and said the museum's latest treasure could blow away all his expectations.The safe is expected to arrive in Carrollton Monday morning. It will be cleaned and then moved to the museum in about a month


Links to a bygone era: Fewer than 100 kids of veterans of conflict remain; 6 in Tenn.
Posted April 17, 2010Jim Brown, 98, of Tellico Village holds a photograph of his father, James Henry Harrison Brown, a Civil War veteran, on Tuesday at the Bearden Banquet Hall. Jim Brown is part of an exclusive group: the surviving children of Civil

Jim Brown grew up in the Civil War's shadow, listening to stories of the fighting from a father who lived it. "He was in it from the beginning at Manassas to the end at Appomattox," Brown said. "He'd be amazed to see the changes today."

At 98, Brown's part of an exclusive group - the surviving children of Civil War soldiers, removed by a single generation from the nation's bloodiest conflict. Records show fewer than 100 sons and daughters of the blue and gray veterans remain nationwide. Tennessee boasts four Confederate sons - two in the Knoxville area, including Brown - along with a Union son and daughter.

Historians hope to see members of that club hang around long enough to help celebrate the war's 150th anniversary, which begins next year.

"As you might imagine, they're going away pretty quickly," said Ben Sewell, executive director of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. "We know of 32 Confederate real sons across the country, and we're losing them at the rate of about five to nine per year. But a number of these fellows who are remaining have birth dates as late as 1923 or 1924. So there's a pretty good chance of having a few remaining for the sesquicentennial."

Brown, who lives in Tellico Village with his son, plans to be here for the celebration. So does Tom Bruce, 85, who lives in Knoxville with memories of a Confederate father he barely knew.
Bruce was born in Morristown to a 77-year-old former Virginia cavalryman and was just 6 years old when his father died in 1930. Levi Bruce served with the 7th and later the 11th Virginia Cavalry through fighting in what's now West Virginia.

"I'm part of a dying breed, I guess," Bruce said. "The only thing I can remember distinctly about my father is when he bought me a bicycle once. My mother had his sword and a picture of Robert E. Lee he had framed, but she sold them one piece at a time for enough money to get by."

Brown can claim memories a little clearer. He was born in 1912 to a 71-year-old father who survived battles from Gettysburg to the Siege of Knoxville. Brown knew his father for the next 11 years, until the veteran's death at age 82.

James Henry Harrison Brown joined the 8th Georgia Infantry's Company K at age 20 when war erupted in 1861. Records show his regiment saw action from the war's first major battle at Manassas, through the cornfields of Antietam, Md., in 1862 and across the bloody ground at Gettysburg, Pa., in 1863.

The father followed Gen. James Longstreet to East Tennessee in the fall of 1863 for the Confederacy's attempt to recapture Knoxville, including battles at Campbell Station near present-day Farragut and at Fort Sanders, where the Siege of Knoxville ended in a 20-minute failed assault near the University of Tennessee campus. He returned to Virginia for the last days of the war, all the way to the surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.

Brown plans to stand where his father fought next month when he helps celebrate the placement of a Civil War Trails marker near the Campbell Station site. He still shares some of his father's stories in talks to groups such as the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable, where he spoke Tuesday night.

Most of those stories dealt less with glory and honor than with hunger and hardship.
"He'd talk about what he endured," Brown said. "He'd talk about marching barefoot through the snow in the East Tennessee winter and leaving bloody tracks behind."

He believes his father would be proud to see the nation that emerged from that struggle.
"He was doing what he thought he had to do," Brown said. "But I never heard him say a harsh word about anyone, Yankees or anyone else. I just wish I could have listened to him more."

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Mouton House to be scene for Civil War Sesquicentennial event

The Alexandre Mouton House will rally once more to the cause as it kicks off its Sesquicentennial of the War Between the States. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War commemoration

Saturday, May 8

The Sons of Confederate Veterans don their gray ― and blue ― for the occasion. “We’re so pleased to be a host site for the Sesquicentennial,” said museum volunteer Louise Ganucheau. “While there won’t be an actual skirmish, there will be Confederate and Union soldiers, military history and all kinds of swords and memorabilia.”

The public is invited, and admission to the 1122 Lafayette St. festivities on May 8 is free between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, call 337.234.2208.

Living historians will reconstruct the time period via “stations,” which will include Infantry, Artillery, Civilian Life and Local History. Charles Lauret, Division Commander of the Louisiana Division of SCV, will demonstrate period cannon loading and operation. Lauret has appeared in two movies, “In the Electric Mist” and “Jonah Hex.” He said both sides will be depicted on May 8.

“Not too many people come down from the North to do re-enactment,” he said. The organization does what he calls “galvanizing,” where SCV members don the Union blue. You have to be willing to do that,” he said. “Those of us who re-enact, we do what we have to. Some take it better than others.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is an historical, patriotic and nonpolitical organization dedicated to preserving an authentic historical record of 1861-1865. Established in 1896, it offers national membership to male descendants of Confederate soldiers. While many of its members engage in re-enactments, the SCV is not a re-enactment group.

Ties between Mouton House and the Confederacy run surprisingly deep. Jean Mouton, the founder of Lafayette, built the house in 1816. Mouton’s son, Alexandre, lived in the home between 1826 and 1836, and served in the Louisiana House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and as governor of Louisiana from 1843 to 1846. He was an active supporter of the Confederacy, donating a large portion of his wealth to the cause. His son, Confederate General Alfred Mouton, died at the Battle of Mansfield in 1864, and his daughter married Confederate Major General Franklin Gardner.

“We’re really pleased the Mouton House wants to do it,” said Lauret, who’s hoping to organize a series of annual events through 2015. “We’re really living in historic times, and this is our way of celebrating the Sesquicentennial.”


Saturday, May. 08, 2010
Confederate Memorial Day steeped in tradition

June Murray Wells still remembers the Confederate Memorial Days of her childhood: the ladies in their black dresses, the wreaths, the little flags on the graves — and the last two living Confederate veterans in Charleston.

The two men showed up at the annual Magnolia Cemetery event back then, and were still able to squeeze into those old gray uniforms. “When I was a tiny little girl, I remember them coming to the ceremony,” Wells said. “Their jackets wouldn’t button in the middle.”

Even then, in the first half of the 20th century, Confederate Memorial Day was an old tradition.
The two ceremonies at Magnolia Cemetery this year — one today, another Monday — date to 1894, when the United Daughters of the Confederacy began honoring the war dead on May 10, the anniversary of Stonewall Jackson’s death.

Wells, president of the Charleston chapter of the UDC (and former national president of the organization), said the tradition actually has its roots in those dark days of the Civil War, when the ladies of the community would go out at night and help bury fallen soldiers by candlelight.
When they finished, the women put small Confederate flags — the First National flag of the Confederacy, not a battle flag — on the graves. They continued to take flowers on the same day every year after the war, but “during Reconstruction, they couldn’t put the flags on the grave,” she said.

But all that resumed after Reconstruction, and is now in its 116th year.
Confederate Memorial Day became an official state holiday in 2000 as part of a deal that established Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the state. In the 10 years since, little has changed — the ceremonies have continued, but groups still center some of the events around the weekend for those who don’t get the day off.

In Charleston, many of those commemorations are still held at Magnolia Cemetery.
Beverly Donald, superintendent of the cemetery, said it is the final resting place of some 2,200 Confederate veterans, including five generals, as well as 14 signers of the Ordinance of Secession. It is, without a doubt, some of the most hallowed ground of the Lost Cause.
Today’s event is sponsored by the Confederate Heritage Trust, which is a group of 10 local organizations, including several Sons of Confederate Veterans camps and the Order of Confederate Rose. David Rentz, president of the group, said the mission of the ceremony has remained unchanged over the years.

“We are simply having a remembrance of the men, honoring their deeds and actions as patriots,” Rentz said.

The event today will be held in the Confederate soldier section of the cemetery, just inside the front gate, where more than 800 of the cemetery’s soldiers are buried. And then, on Monday, Wells and the United Daughters of Confederacy will host their own traditional ceremony at 2 p.m. The ceremony hasn’t changed much since 1894, and, Wells said it won’t.

It is, she said, a tradition.Read more:

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Senate Confirms Brazil's First Woman - a Confederate Descendant - as Chief Justice

Marcos Chagas
Thursday, 23 March 2006

The eleven justices on the Brazilian Supreme Court elect their own Chief Justice for two year terms. The praxis is to elect the justice with the most time on the court who has not been Chief Justice.

In the last election for Chief Justice, to replace Nelson Jobim, who will retire, the country's first female member of the court, Ellen Gracie Northfleet, was elected in a vote that was definitely historical, even though it was a mere formality.

Northfleet, who is descended from Americans who settled in Brazil (her great-grandfather was a Confederate officer who moved to Brazil after the Civil War), is the first woman to sit on the Brazilian Supreme Court and its first female Chief Justice. The Brazilian Supreme Court was established in 1891.

Being Chief Justice in Brazil entails other obligations. The Chief Justice presides over the National Justice Council (CNJ), a judiciary watchdog organization, which requires approval by the Senate. Yesterday, Ms Northfleet got that approval. She will officially become Chief Justice and head of the council in April after Jobim leaves the court.

Another obligation a Brazilian Chief Justice may have to fulfill is acting president. This is a possibility because of electoral legislation. The first four people in the line of succession in Brazil are: vice president, president of the Chamber of Deputies, president of the Senate, and the Chief Justice.

Brazilian electoral legislation prohibits a candidate for an elective office from assuming an executive office during the six-month period before the election. Thus, the situation for 2006 is that the first three in line for presidential succession, all of them being politicians (Vice President José Alencar, Aldo Rebelo, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, and Renan Calheiros, president of the Senate), are expected to run for elective office. So, when the president travels abroad it is Brazilian tradition for someone who remains in Brazil to be "acting president." If that happens in the six-month period before the October elections, it is very possible that Ellen Gracie Northfleet will become acting president.

The last time a Chief Justice was acting president was in another election year. It was 1998, the president was Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the Chief Justice was Marco Aurélio Mello.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


U.S. Marines boot recruits with Confederate tattoos
You won't believe what military thinks of historic Southern symbol

Straight out of high school, one 18-year-old Tennessee man was determined to serve his country as a Marine. His friend said he passed the pre-enlistment tests and physical exams and looked forward with excitement to the day he would ship out to boot camp. But there would be no shouting drill instructors, no rigorous physical training and no action-packed stories for the aspiring Marine to share with his family. Shortly before he was scheduled to leave Nashville for boot camp, the Marine Corps rejected him.

Now, the young man, who wishes to remain unnamed and declined to be interviewed, has chosen to return to school and is no longer an aspiring Marine. "I think he just wants to let it go," said former Marine 1st Lt. Gene Andrews, a friend of the man and patriotic Southerner who served in Vietnam from 1968 through 1971. Andrews is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of male descendents of Confederate soldiers. He counseled the young man when he decided to become a Marine.

"He had been talking to me, and he was all fired up about joining," he told WND. "He asked my opinion of it, and I just tried to tell him the truth, good points and bad points." When the young recruit didn't go to boot camp, Andrews learned of his rejection based on his tattoo of the Confederate battle flag on his shoulder. 'Right now, it's a flat-out denial'

Current Marine Corps tattoo policy states, "Tattoos/brands that are sexist (express nudity), racist, eccentric or offensive in nature, express an association with conduct or substances prohibited by the Marine Corps drug policy and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to include tattoos associated with illegal drugs, drug usage or paraphernalia, are prohibited. Tattoos/brands that depict vulgar or anti-American content, bring possible discredit to the Marine Corps, or associate the applicant/Marine with any extremist group or organization are prohibited."

WND contacted the Tennessee recruiting station, and a Marine sergeant explained, "The policy is if a tattoo can be construed by anyone as being gang-related or racially biased, then we can't accept them."

While some extremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations have embraced the Confederate flag in the past, the KKK has also adopted the U.S. flag and Christian crosses as symbols. However, many Southerners do not consider the flag an expression of racism or indicator of membership in extremist groups. They regard the Confederate flag as a symbol of state sovereignty and an honorable tribute to the men who fought and died to protect their homeland from invasion by the federalist North.

Asked whether an exception might be made for a Marine recruit who could provide a full explanation on the meaning of his tattoo as an expression of Southern pride, the recruiter explained, "At this point in time, no. If it can be construed by anyone as being racially biased, then right now it's a flat-out denial."

He acknowledged that the tattoo is quite popular in the South and that recruitment has been impacted by the ban on Confederate-flag tattoos, but he explained that the policy has been set by Headquarters Marine Corps.

Headquarters Marine Corps has not responded to WND's requests for clarification of the policy.

However, the U.S. Marine Corps "Guidebook for Tattoo Screening, Volume VII," a manual that outlines procedures for enlisted recruiting and officer procurement operations, explains, "Users of this guidebook should keep in mind, however, that few symbols ever just represent one idea or are used exclusively by one group. For example, the confederate flag is a symbol that is frequently used by white supremacists but which also has been used by people and groups that are not racist. To some it may signify pride in one's heritage, but to others it suggests slavery or white supremacy."

'We've seen this before'

"We've seen this before," SLRC Chief Trial Counsel Kirk Lyons told WND. "This is not a unique situation. We have had instances where people have called who were hassled by Marine military police for having a small Confederate battle flag sticker on their vehicle. We had a Navy recruit who was turned away for having a Confederate battle flag tattoo on his forearm. There was one more incident a couple of years ago where another Marine recruit was refused enlistment because of a battle flag tattoo."

Lyons said the case of the Marine with a Confederate flag bumper sticker was resolved without legal action because the base commander decided to leave it alone. However, he said most enlistees and recruits don't pursue legal action or complaints, so the policy is never challenged.
"If a family is not willing to make an issue of it and push it, there's really nothing we can do because we have to have standing," he explained.

On the other hand, enlistees often cooperate so their careers don't suffer, Lyons said.
"They've got to keep their mouths shut because they're very career-oriented," he said. "You either get with the program, or you're going to destroy your career. The military is going to fight it tooth and nail. In a lot of cases like this, there's nobody to support these guys. They're on their own."

He added, "Somebody's got to stand up and say, 'I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore.' If people surrender their rights and just go on, there's not much we can do."

'This is an insult to us'

As for Andrews, he walked into the local Marine recruiting station in Madison, Tenn., that had turned the recruit away. He met a staff sergeant and informed him of his family's defense of Tennessee during the Civil War and his own service in Vietnam. I had thought about it, and the more I thought about it, the more I felt like this is just not right," he said. "I thought, if we just sit here, we're going to be slapped around and stepped on forever."

In a recent commentary posted on numerous blogs, Andrews recounted his experience:
"I informed the young sergeant that my family had defended the state of Tennessee (also his home state) against a sadistic invasion under that flag and to call our sacred flag of honor a 'hate symbol' was an insult to all southerners, but especially to those southerners who had risked or even given their lives in service to the Marine Corps. Southerners had served at Belleau Woods, at Tarawa and Iwo Jima, at Inchon and the Chosin Reservoir, and at Khe Sanh and Hue City, but now we are no longer wanted in the politically correct, don't-offend-any-minorities military?"

The sergeant politely explained that the policy was handed down by headquarters.
Andrews continued, "I asked the sergeant if he had taken out the trash yet. He replied that he hadn't. I then said, 'Please add these to the day's garbage,' and returned my lieutenant's bars, my gold and silver Marine Corps emblem from my dress blues, my shooting badges and my Vietnam ribbons.

"I, like many of you, have always been told, 'Once a Marine, always a Marine,' and 'There are no ex-Marines, only former Marines,' but for me that is no longer true." Adrews told WND he was born in the South, raised in the South and will always be a Southerner.

"This is an insult to us," he said. "We've laid our lives on the line in the Marine Corps since there was a Marine Corps. We fought in every campaign that the Marine Corps has been involved in. When I was in Vietnam, there were Confederate flags at every base, every fire-support base over there. Nobody said anything about it. There were state flags, Confederate flags, and it was no big deal."

Andrews said he is not angry. Rather, he is disappointed in the Marine Corps. I thought if it had been a bunch of political hacks or a school board or a local government or some municipality that was pretty spineless anyway, I really wouldn't have been surprised," he said. "That happens all the time. But I felt that the Marine Corps had a little more backbone and a little more character than that."

Asked what he would say to people who believe the Confederate flag represents racism and slavery, he responded, "I'd say they don't know much about history. Slavery existed under the United States flag much longer than it ever did under the Confederate flag."
He added, "It's pitiful to bring up historical topics to some of our young people today. They just stare at you like you're from outer space. If you're going to be led around by the nose in this country by the government, if you can't figure out what's true and what's not and what kind of propaganda they're giving you, that's a sad situation."

Confederate flag: Symbol of 'terrorism' or independence?

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, recently fought to ban the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Statehouse. NAACP leaders have said the Confederate flag "supports the evils of slavery" and "represents terrorism."

However, in his 1999 commentary, columnist Walter Williams argued, "It must be ignorance, an ignorance I once shared. The NAACP crowd sees the Confederate battle flag as a flag of slavery. If that's so, the United States flag is even more so. Slavery thrived under the United States flag from 1776 to 1865, while under the Confederate flag a mere four years."

He explained, "The birth of both flags had little or nothing to do with slavery. Both flags saw their birth in a violent and proud struggle for independence and self-governance."
Williams noted that the flag naturally symbolizes resentment for those individuals who see the War for Southern Independence solely or chiefly as a struggle for slavery.

"The idea that President Abraham Lincoln waged war against the South to abolish slavery is fiction created by the victors," he explained. "Here's an oft-repeated sentiment by President Lincoln: 'I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.' Slavery simply emerged as a moral front for northern aggression."

Williams explained that significant factors that led to the war included states' rights and tariffs Congress enacted to protect Northern manufacturing interests. He also cited professor Edward Smith, director of American studies at American University, who has calculated that between 60,000 and 93,000 blacks served the Confederacy.

"These black Confederate soldiers no more fought to preserve slavery than their successors fought in WWI and WWII to preserve Jim Crow and segregation," Williams wrote. "They fought because their homeland was attacked and fought in the hope that the future would be better and they'd be rewarded for their patriotism." illiams then suggested the NAACP make an effort to memorialize and honor black Confederate soldiers.

Meanwhile, a May 9, 2000, survey by Gallup Poll News Service posed this question to Americans, "Do you, yourself, see the Confederate flag more as a symbol of Southern pride, or more as a symbol of racism?"

A full 59 percent of all respondents said they believe it is a symbol of Southern pride, while only 28 percent saw it as a symbol of racism.

"It's kind of a hot topic for us right now," the Tennessee Marine recruiter said of the Marine Corps policy on Confederate flag tattoos. "Personally, I don't have any problems with it. I have friends, both white and black, who don't have any problems with it. But there are also those out there who do see it as being racially biased."


Half U.S. backs Confederate History Month
May 5, 2010

Half of U.S. residents support proclaiming Confederate History Month, a new poll reports.
Almost one-third support a ban on public displays of Confederate symbols, while 43 percent oppose a ban, Angus Reid Public Opinion said Tuesday.

Governors in several Southern states issue proclamations of Confederate History Month. This year, Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell's proclamation became controversial because the original document omitted any mention of slavery and because the Republican revived the celebration after two Democratic governors did not recognize it.

Overall, 50 percent of those surveyed support Confederate History Month while only 27 percent oppose it. Respondents in every region were more likely to support the month than oppose it.
Westerners were more likely to oppose a ban on Confederate symbols than those in other regions, including the South.

Angus Reid, an international polling company based in Canada, surveyed 1,002 adults on line on April 14 and April 15. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Cemetery flags help honor local Confederate soldiers
April 26, 2010

Sons of Confederate Veterans camp honors local veterans of the Civil War with miniature flags. Posted: 11:00 PM Apr 25, 2010

ALBANY, Ga. — Gene Edmunds’ genealogical research started when he decided to do a little checking into his family’s history. When it turned out that there were more than 200 Edmundses — or Edmondses — listed among the Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War, including some of his ancestors, the retired M&M Mars employee decided to focus his research there.

Now, as the national Sons of Confederate Veterans organization recognizes April as Confederate Heritage Month, Edmunds’ personal tribute to local soldiers of the Confederacy is on display at Albany’s Oakview Cemetery and, to a lesser degree, at the cemetery at Pinebluff Baptist Church. Edmunds, the quartermaster of the Dougherty SCV Camp, placed more than 200 miniature Confederate flags on graves of soldiers buried in the cemeteries on the first of the month. He plans to take them down when the month ends Friday.

“This is something I’ve done the last six or seven years,” said Edmunds, who also works with American Legion officials on the annual Field of Flags display at the Albany Mall. “It’s a part of my family’s history, and it’s a part of the histories of a lot of families in this area. I do it as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of our ancestors.”

Among the more than 225 graves of Confederate soldiers that Edmunds was able to identify in the Oakview Cemetery were four in the family plot of Albany founder Nelson Tift. One of Tift’s sons and three of his sons-in-law fought for the Confederacy during the war. With an assist from Jeanette Driggers, a library assistant in the Genealogy Room at the Dougherty Central Library branch, Edmunds painstakingly researched such publications as “Roster of the Confederate Soldiers: 1861-1865” and “Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia.” He compared names in those publications to a listing of individuals buried in local cemeteries to find the graves of Confederate dead.

“Mr. Edmunds did a nice job of putting together a map of the cemetery that shows where the graves are,” Driggers said. “He really put a lot of research into the project. He used our research books, used the web and went out to the cemetery to confirm the names on the graves.“I understand he contacted a lot of the families of the soldiers to verify the burial plots and then put the flags out on the markers.”

Not content to place the miniature flags in the dirt surrounding the graves, where they would be at the mercy of the elements, Edmunds received permission and put piping into the ground that serves as standards for the flags. “You can’t just stick one of those little flagsticks into hard Georgia red clay,” Edmunds said. “Plus, some of the gravesites had concrete poured in the ground around them, so I had to drill holes to put the pipes in. “I also think it’s necessary to take the flags up at the end of the month. You don’t just leave them out in the weather; that’s no way to treat the flag.”

The fruit of Edmunds’ research, in addition to the placement of the flags, can be found in two detailed notebooks filled with data he collected on the soldiers and their regiments.
“It was a time-consuming process,” Edmunds, who joined the local Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp in 1999, said. “But my duties as quartermaster included responsibility for the flags, and that kind of fit in with the research I’d been doing.

“The Oakview and Pinebluff — which has the graves of 10 to 15 soldiers — cemeteries are the only ones in Dougherty County that I found that contain the remains of Confederate soldiers. The other cemeteries in the county were established well after the war. It took some work, but I really enjoyed being a part of honoring our ancestors. It’s a fitting tribute.”


Tributes paid to fallen Confederates
Monday, April 26, 2010

HERNANDO - The echoes of a war long past and the sound of "Taps" reverberated past the tall granite obelisks and gravestones at Hernando Memorial Cemetery.On a weekend marked by deadly tornadoes, a crowd of about 150 gathered at the sprawling cemetery on Sunday to remember those who died in carnage from the turbulent conflict of the War Between the States.Mississippi, which lost almost one-third of its male population in the war, still recognizes those who died with a special commemoration at one of the county's oldest cemeteries.State and county offices were closed throughout DeSoto County and Mississippi for Confederate Memorial Day on Monday.

"The South is known as a land of cousins," Sons of Confederate Veterans Past Commander Bobby Mitchell said, noting many in the crowd on hand for the occasion discovered they were distant cousins brought together by a shared love of history. "We've known each other from generation to generation."Mitchell said many of the soldiers who fought for the Confederacy were simple farm boys who fought to preserve their homes and farms."The men who served in the conflict weren't professional soldiers," Mitchell said. "These soldiers didn't have much to do with the political controversies of the time. They were just citizens expressing their vision and hopes."

Mitchell said a much larger crowd was on hand during the dedication of a memorial in 1989 erected in the rear portion of the cemetery honoring soldiers from the era. He said despite the fact many in the Sons of Confederate Veterans are getting older, younger generations will be left to carry on the work of preserving history. A group of reenactors in the 17th Mississippi Infantry reenactment unit fired musket volleys into the air and a cannon blast boomed a birthday salute to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Robert Lee Long: or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252


Tri-county area dedicates Confederate monument
By Karen VoylesStaff writer
Sunday, April 25, 2010

TRENTON -- More than 100 people turned out Saturday afternoon for the dedication of the latest veterans' monument in the Gilchrist County Veterans' Park.

Members of John Hance Osteen Camp 770 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans hosted the dedication and unveiling ceremony for the Confederate monument. It was set in the park where monuments have been dedicated in recent years to veterans of the Operation Iraqi Freedom, the wars in Vietnam and Korea, and World War II.

"During the (Civil) War, there wasn't even a Gilchrist County -- it was still a part of Alachua County," said camp commander Clement Lindsey. "Alachua County has a Confederate monument outside the courthouse, but Gilchrist, Dixie and Levy counties didn't have one, so we added them to this monument."

Gilchrist County Veterans Services Officer Major Stroupe said the monuments each cost $6,000 to $18,000 a piece and are paid for through donations by individuals and organizations. In some cases, the donations go to the county's historical society while in other cases such as the Confederate monument, a single organization such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans will pick up the cost.

Stroupe said a World War I monument will probably be the next one added to the county's Veterans's Park, which is just south of the courthouse in Trenton.

In addition to work on the public monument, the local members of Sons of Confederate Veterans have also been working on more public recognition for Confederate veterans. Lindsey said a recent emphasis has been identifying and locating grave sites of Confederate veterans and making certain that those without markers identifying their military service receive such recognition. "When our camp was chartered about four years ago, we could only find 12 Confederate headstones," Lindsey said. "Now we have 33 with markers."

Nationwide, the organization claims 35,500 members and, according to its literature, is working to ensure "that the symbols of the Confederacy remain a part of cultural history."
Stroupe said that while all wars are filled with anguish and heartbreak, the war between Northern and Southern states had an extraordinary aspect. "What could be worse than going to war with yourself?" Stroupe asked. "This was something that our community and other places view as a part of our history, something that we can learn from."


Judah P. Benjamin, 'the Confederate Kissinger'
featured in Louisiana State Archives exhibit
By Jonathan Tilove
April 20, 2010

Judah P. Benjamin was known as "the brains of the Confederacy," its "court Jew," "the statesman of the Lost Cause," and even "the Confederate Kissinger."As, successively, attorney general, secretary of war and secretary of state in the Confederate Cabinet, he was President Jefferson Davis' closest and most trusted adviser. He has been called the most important Jew in American public life in the 19th century: the first acknowledged Jew to serve in the U.S. Senate and the first Jew to be offered a seat on the Supreme Court, an offer tendered by President Millard Fillmore, and declined by Benjamin, just a few years before the birth of Louis Brandeis, who in 1916 would become the first Jew to serve on the High Court.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in a 2002 lecture at Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans, Benjamin's political career was "bracketed by two discrete but equally remarkable legal careers, the first here in New Orleans and the second in Britain," to which he made his spectacular escape, posing as a foreign peddler, after the Confederate cause was lost.And yet, despite all that, and much more, Benjamin has over time become a second-tier Confederate celebrity, a bit of a novelty item, the man whose visage, perhaps fittingly, was on the Confederate $2

Even in Louisiana, "very few people have heard of Judah Benjamin, unless they are Jewish or Civil War buffs," said Laura Cassidy, a fifth-generation descendant of Benjamin through his sister, Rebecca Benjamin Levy. In an effort to help rectify that, the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane in Baton Rouge, will be hosting an exhibit, "Judah P. Benjamin, a Louisiana Statesmen" through May 31. The exhibit is free and open to the public Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

It opened with a reception Sunday hosted by Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and Cassidy and her husband, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, whose office collaborated with the archives in putting together the exhibit.Laura Cassidy, who grew up in Mobile, Ala., said that as a teenager she learned about her connection to Benjamin and, "I really was the one in my family that was very interested in it and I started doing a little digging." A few years ago, while in Washington, she visited an exhibit, "Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America," at the Library of Congress and, as soon as she walked in, "on the sign, there was a picture of Judah P. Benjamin," renewing her curiosity."

That's sort of how this transpired," said Cassidy, a surgeon who is not practicing while she raises family, of the new exhibit.That image of Benjamin, an oil painting in the collection of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans, was loaned to the Library of Congress for the "350 Years" exhibit, and is now on loan to the state archives for the Benjamin exhibit.

Born in 1811 in St. Croix, Benjamin's family moved first to North Carolina and then to Charleston, S.C., home to the largest Jewish community in the United States at the time, where his father was among the founders of the first reform congregation in the United States. Benjamin came to New Orleans in 1832, where made his career and married Natalie St. Martin, the daughter of a leading Creole Catholic family, who had hired him to tutor her in English.

While Benjamin built a grand home at Belle Chasse Plantation in Plaquemines Parish, where he became a path-breaking sugar planter, his wife moved to Paris with their only child, where she remained the rest of her life, receiving annual visits from her husband. A brilliant attorney, Benjamin emerged as the protege of the political boss John Slidell, and, according to Tulane University history professor Lawrence Powell, the key figure behind the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1852, which Powell said amounted to "the birth certificate of the Louisiana oligarchy that more or less stays in power" until Huey Long. "He was the architect of the government of gentlemen," said Powell, a marriage of big agrarian and big urban property interests."He just sort of exemplified the kind of brains and ambition that poured into the city in those glamour days before the Civil War," said Powell and, "before the war, he was really almost running the state."But as a Jew, albeit non-observant, he also was ever the outsider.

"He really was an extraordinary figure because he was so brilliant, because he was so competent, and because he chose as much as he could to remain in the background because it was safer there, to remain somewhat aloof -- that constant smile he wore, which I think was a way to set himself apart and not engage," said Eli Evans, author of the 1988 biography, "Judah P. Benjamin: The Jewish Confederate."

For many years, Evans said, Benjamin was a puzzle for Jewish scholars who found him "incomprehensible as a Jewish figure."After the Civil War, Judah P. Benjamin started fresh as a barrister in England, where he was hugely successful. And yet, Evans wrote, "Judah P. Benjamin achieved greater political power than any other Jew in the nineteenth century -- perhaps even in all American history," and was "the first Jewish figure to be projected into the national consciousness."

In his 1907 biography, Pierce Butler noted how Benjamin was able to transfer that success and start fresh as a hugely successful barrister in England after the war, writing a legal volume, "Benjamin on Sales," that Justice Ginsburg described as a "near-instant classic." "The perfect patriot is so much of the soil that he cannot survive transplantation," Butler wrote. But, after the war, Benjamin left the South and not only survived but thrived. "Having, as it were, taken a brief for the South, he earnestly and zealously fought for his client at long as his abilities could avail," Butler wrote. "When the cause was lost, after he had done all that lay in him to win it, he accepted the decision as absolving him of future useless effort. Though he felt for the South, he thought that there rested no obligation upon him to share her adversities."

Jonathan Tilove can be reached at or 202.383.7827

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Virginia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans
Michael A. Rose, Commander

The Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans,
denounces “14CV88” license plate issued by DMV

The Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, is pleased to hear that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has rescinded a plate issued by the Department in March 2009 with the message “14CV88.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans has a long-standing policy against the use of the Confederate Battle Flag, or any other Confederate Imagery, by any extremist group or individual, espousing racial superiority or other extremism, including, but not limited to, the Klu Klux Klan. Furthermore, any member found in violation of this policy will be subject to the penalties set forth in the Organization’s Constitution.

Additionally, the Virginia Division has offered to review the list of Sons of Confederate Veterans personalized vanity plates for any messages or language deemed offensive or degrading to the honor of the Confederate Soldier or the public. The Division has also offered to work with the Department to ensure only members in good standing with the Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, currently hold the plates. Both requests were vehemently denied.

Therefore, both the responsibility for issuing appropriate license plates and ensuring that only current members have them lies solely with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
It is regretful that a plate referencing Adolph Hitler and White Supremacy was approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles and made it into the public sector. However, the Sons of Confederate Veterans are gratified that the Department has done the right thing by recalling the plate.

About the Sons of Confederate Veterans

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes, so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause.

The SCV is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans, and the oldest hereditary organization for male descendents of Confederate soldiers. Organized at Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the SCV continues to serve as a historical, patriotic, and non-political organization dedicated to ensuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.

Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces.


For more information about this Press Release, please contact: B. Frank Earnest, Chief of Heritage Defense, Sons of Confederate Veterans at 757-474-0624For More Information on the Sons of Confederate Veterans Resolution condemning hate groups, please visit: More Information on the Virginia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, please visit: